Living a Life of Routine

I was talking to a single male friend the other day on Facebook. In the hour we were chatting I think I walked away from the computer 6,436,193 times. Seriously. Eventually he  realized that I was being pretty slow in replying and he asked me what I was up to. So I told him. I had had to put Nick down for his nap, give Zoey a bottle. Get Alex a snack and lie him down on the couch to watch TV and have a rest. My laundry needed to be switched over or else I wouldn’t have any diapers when the kids got up. Nick woke up and needed a short cuddle. You know. Mom things.

He replied with a comment about how chaotic it all seemed. I replied with a comment about how routines save my life. He jokingly said he was sure the kids followed the routine I wanted them too. I thought about it. And I realized, my days are all pretty similar. They go something like this:
630 Am – Nick wakes up, gets a diaper change and some milk and him and I cuddle on the couch and watch TreeHouse.
700 Am – Zoey wakes up, gets a diaper change and a bottle and then plays on the floor
745 Am – Alex wakes up, gets a diapers and some milk and I make both the boys breakfast
800 Am – I throw diaper laundry in the wash
1030 Am – The boys have a snack, Zoey has a nap (I normally remember around now to run the next diaper cycle)
1130 Am – Nick has his nap, Zoey wakes up and eats
1200 Pm – Alex eats lunch and then lies down to have a rest ( I move the diapers into the dryer and start normal laundry)
130 Pm – Nick wakes up and eats lunch, Zoey has a nap
200 Pm – Zoey wakes up, has a bottle and we go outside (Or do something fun in the house when it’s yucky outside)
300 Pm – The boys have a snack
430 Pm – I start supper
530 Pm – We eat Supper
600 Pm – Bath and PJ time
630 Pm – Kids start getting cranky and hubs and I try everything to get them as close to 7 as possible before we take them upstairs to brush their teeth and get into bed.

There are some things that don’t always happen at specific times, but it is more or less around the times I posted. And there are some things that didn’t make my quick write up. (playing, diapers etc)

After the kids are in bed, I load the dishwasher, sweep and wash my floors, fold laundry and then have me time. Normally with a cup of coffee and Hubs watching TV.

During the day while the kids are playing quietly, I sneak onto the computer and read blog posts, stalk Facebook and write. But, not without constant interruption.  (For example: I started this  post at 830 am, it’s now 935!)

Do you keep your household running on a routine? And, do you clean while the kids are awake, or leave it until they are sleeping?

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

An Update on the Orange Rhino

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At one time, I was posting weekly about my challenge with the Orange Rhino. (A no yelling for 365 days challenge… You can read about it here

Originally I was going to keep up the daily journal type entries, but I was finding it discouraging to have be writing out my failures. So I decided to stop writing them and just mark on the calender the days I made it through without yelling. It kept me accountable, but without making me feel like I was failing my monsters. 

Today I decided that I was going to write an update for two reasons. One- I don’t wan anyone to think that I gave up on the challenge. I am still going strong. And two- Because today I am proud of myself. Today is the first time I have made it to day 10. 

I cannot even count how many times I have started back at zero. In the two months since I started this challenge, the best I had been doing was 7 days (which I did twice, not counting this time!). Today is day 10. I hope tomorrow is day 11 without yelling/snapping. But only time will tell. 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Family time

I have been having a hard time coming up with words lately. I can come up with the topics I want to write about. The things going on around me. Things the kids do that I want to share. Things I see, do, experience. But then I start typing and I can’t think of the words to express what I am thinking and feeling. It’s absurd. I feel so… blah… But not in the ‘I’m in a depressed, not me’ kind of way. I just.. I don’t know. I think I am losing my mind.

This week has been all about family time with Hubs and the kids. After the last few weeks of me being in and out and preoccupied with other things, I decided to devote this week to them. I think I did pretty good. Monday we hung out in the house since it was rainy out and played trains. Tuesday we did some shopping and played trains some more. And blew bubbles in the living room before bed.  I made a point of taking the kids out for a walk on Wednesday. I was amazed with the boys. Nick walked about a half a KM and Alex walked the whole 2 KM’s with me. Without complaining. Yesterday we took the kids into Fredericton and walked around the mall, played in the play area with them. Bought them each a new puzzle for us to do together and bought scrabble for Hubs and I to play. Today we went to the park and played in the backyard. And, played trains. Of course.

Of course, my housework hasn’t been getting done. By the time the kids are in bed, I’m exhausted and just don’t feel like doing it. So there are toys everywhere. But oh well. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow 😉 There is time for that. I have been enjoying my babies. I realized that they grow up far far far too fast. Zoey is 4 months old today. It feels like just yesterday Hubs and I decided to try for one more baby. Nick is 18 months as of a couple days ago. He is starting to talk more and more. And I started planning Alex’s third birthday today. /sigh/ (His birthday is December 29, but we are planning to have his party on November 30 before everyone is busy with Christmas)

Yesterday Alex was playing trains with Nick when him and I had this conversation:

A: Mom, where’s Henry?
M: huh?
A: I want Henry
M: *light bulb goes off, Henry is a train from Thomas, and not part of his collection* We don’t have Henry
A: Go store and buy him?
M: No. Maybe you can ask Santa for him for Christmas.
A: Go right now?
M: Um.. no… Santa is still sleeping. We’ll have to watch for him to come to the mall.

Then this conversation today:

M: *to hubs* I figure we can do a pirate theme for his birthday party and bbq Hot Dogs. I am only inviting a couple people.
A: Birthday Party! For Alex?
M: Yep. In a couple months.
A: With cake?
M: yep.. Cake, hot dogs, salad, balloons, presents…
A: SANTA
M: Um… no… Santa doesn’t bring you presents for your birthday
A: Oh. I want Henry.
M: Maybe someone will buy you him for your birthday.
A: No. Santa buy him.
M: Santa doesn’t buy toys… his elves make them.
A: Laughs

This child of mine. I can’t wait until Nick starts talking.. I’m sure it’ll only get more interesting. Right now, he only says a few words and not in sentence form. Although, he is pretty funny with some of the ways you can see him processing things. Like when he was trying to get between the table and the side of the chair (I have the table pressed against the side of the chair so there was more room on the other side of the table while I was going through clothes) It wasn’t working for him. So I said ‘Nick, you aren’t going to fit in there. There’s no room’ His reaction? Let’s just try to move the table so I can. When he moved the table (it’s not heavy) He gave me the most hilarious ‘I told you so’ look ever. How I wish I had a camera.

But that’s been my week. I am hoping to get some laundry and stuff done this weekend. But I have to be honest.. if the kids want to play, laundry can wait!

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Being a Kid

I love being a kid with my kids 🙂 It’s so much fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to play play doh and in the mud and finger paint and make a mess?

Yesterday the kids figured out how to lie the wrong way on the couch. (Lying on the couch with their backs where their bums should be, and legs going up the back of the couch where their backs should be) Talk about fun kicking the back of the couch!! ‘Momma, you try too?’ Alex says ‘Mom mom mom’ says Nick. How can I say no? 

So I contort myself to fit on the couch in their awkward position and lie next to them. 

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The pictures are a little blurry, but they were taking on a cell phone, and we have the memory, which is all that matters! 🙂 

On another note… see that big heaping full bin of clothes in the background? Those are all clothes the kids have outgrown, and I am not done going through all the clothes yet. CRAZY! I can’t believe how much they have all grown! I found an amazing website though, which I would like to share with my Canadian followers. It is PerfectThreads.ca. The way is works is they send you some bags (free of charge) that you can fill up with the good condition clothes that your kids have outgrown. When they are full, UPS will pick them up from you (free of charge again) and bring them back to the warehouse. Once the clothes have been sorted, you will earn a credit for the clothes you have sent in, that you can then use towards getting new kids clothes off their website! Seems like a pretty great way of changing out the kids wardrobes to me! Right now I am waiting for the bags to be sent to me. I’ll keep everyone posted on the experience I have with this website. I am looking forward to being able to ‘trade in’ the kids clothes for clothes that are going to fit them! 

 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Did you plan this?!?

Tonight I cooked up the kids favorite foods for supper. I had some mommy guilt because I have been so busy with my fall cleaning (kind of like spring cleaning, but in the fall so I can go through clothes before fall/winter and toys before Christmas) the last three years I have had a newborn or been super pregnant in the spring so I have started the habit of doing it in the fall instead. 

So anyways… I make them their favorite (healthy) supper. I make some pork chops in a mushroom sauce, rice, and broccoli (Alex’s favorite veggie) and carrots (Nick’s favorite) thinking they would love it. 

Well. They showed me. They both ate the rice. And asked for more rice. And more after that. But (and this was almost simultaneously) they both put a piece of pork in their mouths, spit it out and told me it was icky. Same with the veggies. 

What the hell guys. Seriously. I took extra time tonight to make you guys a nice supper with your favorite foods even though I was exhausted and sore and this is the reaction I get. (I didn’t say this. I thought it. But I knew I shouldn’t say it. They can smell when I am frustrated.)

So I said to Alex: ‘You like broccoli. You were asking for it yesterday.’ (We had pancakes for supper yesterday, and when I asked him what kind of fruit he wanted, he said broccoli) 

His reply: ‘No Momma. Bwakey yucky’ 

I quit. 

 

Love, hugs, and more to come later

Lynn

Home Sweet Home

We did it. We survived driving halfway across the country with the kids for a second time. When we did it the first time to go out west, it seemed so so so much easier. Zoey was only 5 weeks old so she slept most of the way, Nick wasn’t cutting 5 teeth at the same time and Alex was excited to go see Nana and Papa. Coming back… Zoey is 11 weeks old and enjoys her awake time and her play time, Nick is cutting 5 teeth all at the same time, and Alex was mad at us for taking him ‘away’ from Nana and Papa. /sigh/ It was a long trip back. 

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Day one: Day one we travelled from Winnipeg, MB to Thunder Bay ON. That leg of the trip is 708 Km’s or 440 Miles. It took us about 9 hours. The kids were great on this part. They were happy to play in their car seats, watch movies, etc. It wasn’t until the last half hour or so that they started getting cranky. I was cautiously optimistic that the trip was going to be easy. Until we went to put them to bed. After fighting with them for 3 hours, they finally went to sleep and we all got about 8 hours of sleep before we set out for Day 2. 

Day two: Day two we travelled from Thunder Bay, ON to Sault Ste Marie, ON. This leg of the trip was the same length as day one and took us the same length of time. Day two was a little more hilly than day one and the ups and downs were really bothering Nick, so he was a whiney mess all day which resulted in him and Alex not napping well in the van. Which sucked. Both of them were in bed by 530pm. And up at 2am ready to go. Since we had gone to sleep when the boys did, we were feeling pretty well rested and decided to start day 3 instead of fighting to get the kids to go back to sleep just to have to wake them up in a few hours to start our day anyway. 

Day three: Day three was supposed to be Sault Ste Marie, ON to Ottawa, ON, which would have been 795 km’s or 494 miles, but since we left so early we hit Ottawa at about lunchtime and it seemed a little ridiculous to stop that early in the day. The kids were cranky. Nick’s teeth were bugging the hell out of him and he was letting us all know it. Around the time we hit Ottawa I gave in and gave him Tylenol. I don’t like to give the kids meds if I don’t have too. But he was obviously in pain, he was keeping his brother and sister awake from his whining and screaming. His screaming was distracting Hubs from driving and it was driving us all insane. So anyways. When we hit Ottawa we decided to keep going. All the way home. In total this leg of the trip was 1819 Km’s or 1130 miles. It took us until 4am to make it into our house. I was so excited to climb into bed. The last day of the drive was stressful. My anxiety level was through the roof. First, I hate driving through Montreal, QC. The traffic is nuts, and we hit dinner hour rush when we went through, and we didn’t grab the kids dinner before we hit Montreal so the hour we spent trying to get through Montreal was made that much worse by the boys whining they were hungry.

Then of course there was the lovely gentleman who tried to cut us off and when he was unsuccessful (as we were too far up and his lane was ending) decided he would just try to drive into the side of our van. When Hubs honked at him, he started swearing at us. I, being stressed and anxious and tired and hungry, started yelling back at him and in the process taught my kids a couple new words. Thankfully, I haven’t heard any of them come out of the kids mouths. 

I also hate driving in the dark. Or being a passenger in the vehicle when it is dark. Especially when we have been on the road for 24 hrs +. We did stop a few times so Hubs could nap in the car (I don’t drive, so he does all the driving) and the kids and I would go play in the rest area for an hour or so. 

So anyways, finally at about 4am we got home. Alex and Zoey decided they didn’t want to go back to bed, so I got to be up from that point on.

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Which is why there was no post yesterday. I wasn’t ‘there’ enough to handle much, and after I got groceries, opened the mail, returned phone calls and caught up on (hopefully) all of your lovely blogs I was done. 

So this was my adventurous road trip this week. It was long. It was stressful. But I would do it again. Just not right now. 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

 

**I just want to add, that at no time did I pick up a hitchhiker to entertain my kids, I just turned the music up louder to drown them out. Sometimes, singing to the Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald had a Farm and Here we go ’round the Mulberry bush as loud as you can and dancing like a crazy person is all you need to restore your sanity. That and coffee. Lots of coffee. But the singing and dancing makes the kids laugh. Who cares what the people in the cars around you think!**

I guess I’m a bad Mom. Also I know where the dance party came from.

This evening I was cruising through Facebook checking things out and I learned 2 things. First I learned I am a bad mom. And the I learned where Alex came up with the dance party he wanted to have last night. (If you missed that, you can read it here) The two are related. 

First off, every night when I put the kids to bed, the routine goes something like this diaper changes, stories and cuddles, and then I lie them down in their respective beds and turn on their TV and DVD player and let them watch their movie until they fall asleep. (Normally this takes all of 10 minutes) Apparently this makes me a bad Mom. Good moms don’t let their kids watch TV while they are going to bed. Good moms don’t even put TV’s in their kids bedrooms. In fact, good moms turn off all sources of electronics at least 1 hr before their kids go to bed so that they fall asleep faster and sleep through the night better. But wait. My kids used to take upwards of 2 hours to fall asleep before I put their TV in their room. AND my kids would wake up numerous times a night. (they might still wake up, but if they do they aren’t up for long and they don’t wake me up) 

Honestly, if it means I can sleep and my kids are sleeping better, I can deal with being a bad Mom. It’s perfectly okay with me. 

Oh yea, and the dance party thing. Lately at bedtime and naptime the boys have been watching Shrek. Turns out that when Alex lies down in the afternoon, he wakes up as the credits are rolling. At the end of the credits is Shrek and Fiona’s Karaoke Dance Party. I learned this today when I heard him moving around and went into the bedroom before he came out on his own. He was bouncing on the bed and as soon as I walked in he excitedly told me he was having a dance party with Shrek and the Princess.  

What do you think? Is making the choices that get you labelled as a ‘bad mom’ worth it when it works for you and your family? 

Love, hugs and more to come later

 

Lynn