Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Realities of Right Now

There are all these things that are going on that contribute to our days, but do not wholly make up our days.

Like the fact that the kids bathroom is only half usable.  We have to replace the vanity in the bathroom (more trouble than it sounds like due to it not being a standard size vanity, of course) and re-ceiling the closet in the entry-way.

There should be a ceiling there... but we're thankful that the frame wasn't damaged, so that is a beautiful site!

A month ago, there was minorly-major leak.  Minor in that it could have been oh-so-much worse.  Major in that we filed our first ever insurance claim.  It's not repaired yet because we like to take our sweet time and live the rest of our lives.  And y'all, we've got a lot of life to be living!

*****

In case I haven't eluded to it in some other post, our sweet little Daniel is a crazy little thing.  He is this weird mix of I-want-to-do-it-all-by-myself-so-don't-you-dare-touch-me toward his siblings and oh-my-word-would-you-just-pick-me-up-and-carry-me.  And he waffles between those two idealogies about 3862 times an hour.  You always know how he's feeling: Independent brings out screeches of why-are-you-touching/looking-at-me while happy to be coddled brings about sweet peace. 


There is no middle ground.

*****

We did a little bit of bed moving recently.  The boys now share a room again.  They are both highly content with this arrangement, except at naptime when I refuse to allow Thomas to go into his room for any reason lest he wake the baby. 

Please, whatever you do, let the child get his sleep!  Or things could get really ugly!

Sarah Grace moved into the playroom, which was never really a play room.  It just happens to be the place where the toy box resides.  Daniel's crib was in there so, again, the room was only available for use when he was awake.  And it was always messy because I booted people out as I was putting the baby down for nap, leaving them not even two minutes to clean up.

I'm rabbit trailing again, though.  The room is now Sarah Grace's room.  All by herself.  We moved her in an effort to teach some responsibility to the younger two girls.  Sarah Grace is very neat and organized and will do what she can to cover for the lack of neatness and organization in her sisters.  In the end, she winds up working way harder then the other girls do and Elizabeth and Anna have no idea how to care for their space.

So.  Anna and Elizabeth have the big room to themselves and Sarah Grace has her own space.  The little girls room is much neater than I would have thought it would stay!  They took their task seriously.  Plus, I spent an entire day cleaning up and cleaning out and I might or might not have made noise about doing away with all material possessions if they were not properly cared for.

Ahem.

Suffice it to say, the girls' bedrooms are typically staying much neater than they have in the past.  The boys' room tends to suffer a bit because Daniel takes luxuriously long naps leaving Thomas precious little time to actually clean up.  I'm trying to teach him to QUIT DROPPING HIS JUNK all over the floor.  That's only working about so-so.  For the most part, as long as there is a path cleared to Daniel's crib, I can bite my lip.  I know the day is soon coming when Daniel will be awake more and I can give more focused energy to teaching BOTH boys to keep their space livable.


Speaking of Daniel... he has words.  Actually, he has phrases.  He tells us what he wants...outside, to play, banana, orange, good cookie, to be read to, a drink, more.  And if he doesn't have a word for something, believe you me, he will get his point across.  See paragraph 4.

*****

Before Christmas, I entered a give-away on Facebook.  All you had to do was "Like" the page, and you were entered to win a 2 year supply of Go-Go SqueeZ.

Um, yes, please.

If you check Facebook, you'll see Go-Go SqueeZ in my "Like"s and there they will remain forevermore.  I honestly forgot about it (how often do you click on something like that and actually remember to check it out?  Wasn't that why I'd given them my e-mail address??)

You see, I won.  No, not the grand prize, but the tenth place prize.  Which still amounted to a Great Big Lot of squeezable applesauce.  Thirteen cases, to be exact.  Plus a handful of other 'stuff' that was a part of the give-away.

I thought they'd send vouchers, but y'all...  the Fed Ex guy knocked one day with a dolly loaded with boxes.  He unloaded them and went back for another dolly full!  Currently, every spare inch of pantry space we had is devoted to housing Go-Go SqueeZ.  There is some major happiness in knowing that I don't have to put a lot of thought into snacks right now.


Also, if you come to visit and bring your kids, you can count on them having squeezable applesauce.  You're welcome. 

*****

We implemented a Screen Time system a few months ago.  It is a beautiful, amazing, wonderful thing.  The rules are simple: Each child gets 5 screen times a week in 30 minute increments.  They are allowed to use them after lunch, if all their chores are caught up with.  We do not use screen times on the weekends.  If one child chooses to watch a show on Netflix, all the siblings who have their school work and chores done are welcome to watch.  They are also allowed to watch each other play computer games, DS, iPad, or Wii.  If two children want to play a game on Wii together, they both give up a ticket, but they get to play for 45 minutes total.  And, thanks to my friend and her hubby's brilliant idea, Thomas and Sarah Grace have the opportunity to earn extra tickets each Friday (to be used for the following week) for perfect test scores in Spelling or Math.

It sounds a lot more complicated than it is when I type it all out like that!  But the kids and Joshua and I all know the rules in our head, so I guess that's all that matters.  They still have to ask me if they can use a ticket, and then I go to the fridge where we keep the chart, and place a magnet over one of their tickets.  When I printed it out, they each got two television tickets and three tickets for other screen time.  After less than two weeks, I realized I didn't care how they used their tickets as long as it was understood they only got 5 each week.

 
Sometimes, a child will use three in one day.  Fine.  Occasionally, by Friday, no one has any tickets left and I grant them a television show 'on me'.  This is always met with cheers and 'Thanks, Mom!'  'You're the best!'

Which is why I do it.  Sometimes I just need some words of affirmation.

And if I'm feeling super-sweet, I give them a screen time on me AND a Go-Go SqueeZ!



Rock star status every time.  I'm sneaky like that, y'all.  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

o gR
8 manipulator!!!

Aubs said...

I just found your blog and while i'm not even sure how i found my way here, i am certain it was no accident! I'm so encouraged after reading a little bit and what mommy couldn't use a little encouragement?! Your family is precious and you have THE best name ever! (i'm Aubrey too!!) And your screen time system = LOVE! can't wait to share it with my hubby and pray about implementing something like that in our home!!