Monday, March 7, 2011

The days are long...

....the years are short.

There is a saying that goes something like that. And boy oh boy, It keeps replaying in my head lately. The boys are testing us in multiple ways and I am overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to fix some of the struggles...I crave delicious days with them.

Charley asked me about full day kindergarten recently, Why he didn't get to go. And I explained that he had a lifetime ahead of him that would tie him to an almost 8-5 schedule...just like full day school. And I wasn't ready for him to be gone that long from us. I wanted him to have the outings, the brother time, and the freedom to play. He nodded and let that answer sink in.

Minutes later, I was doing everything in my power to stay patient as the energy from the brothers was overpowering their bodies and they were going at it either physically or with their whiny voices. Why didn't we choose full day? hmmmmm.

So tonight I reflect on one of the changes I have made to try and make our days more "delicious". I am trying to "create" (remember my word for the year) the atmosphere that will make us all content, happy, stimulated, and tired when bedtime rolls around.

So on Friday when we got home from school, as I was making lunch, I grabbed a blank piece of paper and wrote out a schedule for our afternoon. It went something like...

12-1:00 lunch
1-1:45 free play
1:45- 2:00 Clean up and make a choice for quiet time
2-2:30 cartoon (Charley picks)
2:30-3:00 Quiet time
3:00-3:45 Mama activity
3:45-4:30 Free play
4:30- 5:00 Cartoon

I read it off to Charley and he seemed pumped. I explained what Quiet time is. This was one of the big things I was implementing.

Henry stopped napping at the age of 2 1/2, last August. People said to have quiet time but it just wasn't anything I ever got to work with Charley. But I decided that it was time to give it a try. I was noticing that mid afternoon the boys got at each other either physically or verbally and I would end up giving them playtime in separate areas and it made all the difference.

So I explained that Charley would head up to their room with anything he wanted to do for his 30 minutes. And Henry would head into our guest room, also our toy room. This room is located on our main level - my thinking is that I can help Henry or even let him come out if needed since his mornings are often time spent playing alone at times.

Friday it went WONDERFUL! Saturday it went WONDERFUL! Sunday we took a break. But during a conversation with Charley today he said he liked having the quiet time - time by himself.

All afternoon on Friday we were setting our timer and going from one activity to the next. Amazingly, things flowed way smoother. Activities ended before they went on too long. The free play was split up and the cartoons were spaced out. I found myself throwing in laundry and folding a basket in between things. The day began slipping by instead of dragging on.   Note:  I was not sticking to the actual times...but rather gaging when I thought things should end. 

On Friday the mama activity was science time.

We got out Charley's science tools he received at Christmas. I gave them some little tablets that are typically used to turn the bathwater fun colors and let them play with coloring water. They were busy for over an hour...more than I expected.

Saturday part of their mama activity was coloring.

Sadly, I will admit that I haven't sat down and colored with them in a long time. The 30 minutes I had allotted for this turned into 45! We were all having a great time.  Who doesn't love coloring with Mr. Sketch smelly markers.  I had a huge box of them from my classroom...and Henry and I were able to dig them out of the basement.

We divided the paper into six boxes and picked things like fruit, balls, Christmas, etc and you had to draw something associated with that topic and the rest of the people had to guess. It was a lot of fun.  I only had my paper to snap a picture of when all was said and done.  Not sure what happened to the boys????

Charley excitedly waited all morning on Saturday to find out what the schedule would be for the afternoon. He is looking forward to Monday afternoon too.

As for me, I have realized that my phone and computer have been on my mind since I haven't been able to sit up at night and blog and catch up with things. My phone is just purely addicting. And so the schedule kept my nose away from a screen. This week I am going to try and step away from the screens more in the afternoon and devote some creative play with my boys.  Trying to unplug.

They need the attention. They are showing signs that they need their mama.

Spring is around the corner and I know that they really just need to run. They need fresh air. They need a change in their environment.

So cheers to an afternoon with a little more structure. I will let you all know how it goes on Friday!

Oh...and here is a little smile from Miss Sydney!


Beth said...

Great ideas, Sarah! And Sydney's smile...PRICELESS!

The Mama said...

That schedule looks great! I have been struggling lately with finding a good schedule and I think that one looks like a good starting point, modified a bit for my 2 kiddoes. Thanks for the idea!

And Sydney's smile - precious!

Crystal said...

What a great idea - I really need to try this! My son has a train table in his room but kind of grew out of trains - so we put the trains away and made the table a monster truck arena with ramps and such. He now absolutely loves going to his room for awhile to play with his trucks. It is doing wonders for things in the afternoon! I like the idea of spacing out the cartoons too - we watch far too much tv simply because I don't really pay attention to how long we've had it on. I am totally going to steal your idea :)

Love the new blog header -- Sydney is precious!

Crystal said...

And I love that science set - totally need to get that!

CanadianMama said...

Great idea! And how old are these boys? They seem so old in the science pictures!!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that your quiet time in the afternoon went well. Sounds like everyone is happy. :)


Raina and Andy said...

can't wait to hear more. i often think of my days off and feel i would get mor accomplished with a schedule like that! go mama! RR

Stepping On Cheerios said...

You are an amazing mom and i am inspired!

Shell said...

Sounds like the schedule is really working! I really need to try to get on a schedule, too!

Heather (One Take On Life) said...

I love schedules or at least something in my mind to follow to make the days go smoothly. Maddy knows our schedule so well she will tell me it daily, makes me laugh.
Love the smiling picture of Sydney.

Liz said...

Ohmigosh! Your new banner photo is amazing...SO CUTE!

Danifred said...

Love the science kit and all your fabulous ideas!

Bri said...

Aww baby smiles!


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