Friday, January 22, 2010

A Day In the Life

Malia over at Homemaking 911 asked her readers to share how they structure their days. I think she had in mind a short reply in a comment to her post, but I thought I'd "answer" here and just link in the comment.

First, a comment about our the way our WEEK is scheduled. It used to be that, even though hubby generally ended up working weekends, we scheduled our weeks on the assumption that he'd be home on Sunday, so we didn't do school that day, had fewer chores scheduled, etc. I think that just highlighted for both the girls & me that he DID work most Sundays. NOW with his new job, he likely will be working MOST Sundays, but often have one or more other week-days off to make up for it. Based on that, we now treat Sunday as a "week day" and that way we can take a "guilt free" day off whichever day Daddy has off to spend time with him. So, what is listed below is a rough outline of how our days Sun-Fri (Saturday is our Sabbath, day of rest) operate assuming it's a day that Daddy is working. If Daddy's not working, we are flexible to do things with him, or for him and the kids to do things while I work on special projects (for example, today I did some cleaning in the basement so that the furnace guy whose coming to clean the furnace on Monday can actually get to the furnace LOL).

Kids Wake Up: the big girls generally wake up between 7 & 7:30, Little Bit varies abit more, sometimes sleeping in until 8:00 or a little after, she nurses very frequently from about 5am on, so I am "stuck" with bed until she wakes up. The big girls are welcome to play quietly together, or individually until Little Bit wakes up, or they may begin their morning chores. Once Little Bit & I get up, the day "officially starts"

Big girls have their Bible reading time/prayer time (I initially encouraged them to do this AS SOON as they got up, but their reading is such that they still need help w/ some words, so waiting until I am up to answer their "what does this spell?" questions works better for now)

Big girls get dressed and unload the dishwasher while I get breakfast ready & laundry started

Breakfast

Girls brush their hair and, if it's a diaper-washing day, whichever kid has laundry on her chart goes down to start the diapers (I put them in the washer & run them through a cold rinse cycle, then one of the girls goes down & adds baking soda & vinegar, and sets it on a hot wash cycle).

School/Bible Study

At this point until the last couple weeks, Little Bit has been ready for her morning nap by the time we get to this point, lately she seems to be pushing nap later which may mean a change, but for now we'll assume she's ready for nap at this point.

I set the big girls up to listen to their "Little House" chapters for the day on the computer, and give them any school assignments that can be done without me. This always includes their Bible copywork (copying the Bible verse, written on the white board, that we've discussed earlier during school time) depending on what the Prairie Primer (Little House) assignments for the day are, sometimes they are things the girls can do independently after listening to the chapters (for example, draw Mr. Olsen's store as described . . . ) other times it's things I need to do with them, in which case it waits till later. If I think they will finish these things before Little Bit's completely asleep, I also make sure the tv is set on a channel they are allowed to watch (PBS kids or Nick Jr).

While they start listening to Little House I take Little Bit up to the bathroom and put her in the baby swing while I take my shower. The white noise of my shower & the bathroom heater puts her to sleep, though it's meant I need to lengthen my showers. Instead of my 30 second showers that have been the norm since having kids, I now have my toothbrush in the shower so that I can brush my teeth during my shower and also do some simple stretching exercises. My shower is also a great prayer time! Once Little Bit's asleep I slip out of the shower & get dressed.

If I haven't done so earlier, I get the laundry out of the washer at this point, though since it's winter, I hang stuff to dry in the bathroom, so that has to wait till Little Bit wakes up, but I at least get it up from the basement, or put the diapers in the dryer while she's asleep) I also clean up from Breakfast if I haven't already done so.

Now is our FUN TIME! We have a schedule depending on the day, what we do while Little Bit's asleep, depending on the day we do sewing/handwork, crafts, play board games, cook/bake, work on our Ruby dolls (a pipecleaner doll that represents the Prov 31 woman, part of our Bible study time, but difficult to work on when Little Bit is "helping"), etc.

If Little Bit is still asleep after we've done our fun time, the big girls usually finish up any school that they didn't get done while I was in the shower, and I work on things like lesson planning, blogging/email, etc., cleaning . . . whatever needs doing that is easier without Little Bit's help

After Little Bit wakes up we generally wrap up school with any Prairie Primer activities that I need to do WITH the girls. I also am working toward adding in some nature time at least once a week at this point, but we're not quite there yet.

Then the big girls are free to play until lunchtime.

Depending what we're having for lunch the big girls help me fix lunch &/or watch Little Bit while I fix lunch. And take their dishes to the dishwasher after eating.

After lunch we have chore-time, the chores vary by day and include watering plants, cleaning kitchen appliance doors, cleaning the bathroom, etc

If we have any errands to run, we do them after lunch, either before or after (or instead of) the above chores, depending on how things need to time out. If we run errands in the afternoon, Little Bit falls asleep in the car on the way there or on the way home (or in the middle), so we usually stay in the car while she sleeps, I read, do paperwork, listen to CD seminars, and the big girls watch videos.

When we get home the girls are free to play until near supper time.

A little before supper prep needs to begin, I let the girls know that it's time for evening chores. We work together to get any toys put away and other clutter dealt with & the girls vacuum or sweep the kitchen & entryway. Then, the girls help fix supper &/or watch Little Bit. And again, take their dishes to the dishwasher after we eat.

After supper there's generally a little while for the girls to play or spend time with Daddy (Daddy likes to watch Fetch! (a PBS show) so they often save it on the DVR to watch in teh evenings with Daddy).

At 7:30 (ish) we start reading the girls' Sabbath School lessons, and bedtime stories, then they potty, brush teeth, and then put away any laundry that they need to put away (they are responsible for hanging their own clothes and folding/putting away socks & underwear, and their pjs & tights/leggings). I sing each of the big girls a song of their choice (A1 almost always choose "Jesus Loves A1" (Jesus Loves Me, inserting her name instead of "me").

Depending on how long Little Bit has napped during the day, I hopefully can do some kitchen clean-up and prep-work for the next morning (writing the Bible verse on the white board, etc) after the big girls go to bed, but often by that point Little Bit is ready to nurse. Currently she nurses for quite awhile, or nurses, then gets down and plays, but fusses to be held if I try to go work in the kitchen, so I can't really do anything during that time. Once she's asleep, right now she usually starts the night with Daddy holding her in the recliner, and I go to get some sleep while I can. When she wakes, hubby brings her to me, in bed and she sleeps next to me, nursing as needed, the rest of the night, or if she's restless and won't sleep next to me, I bring her back down to the recliner and nurse here there, then if hubby is awake (he doesn't need much sleep, so sometimes is up, working on the computer throughout the night) he takes her again in the recliner, otherwise I sleep w/ her in the recliner. This sleep schedule is far from ideal, but we firmly believe against letting a baby cry it out, and at the moment this is getting us all the most sleep of anything we've tried. I'm hoping to work on NOT running errands most afternoons and instead try to put her down in the pack-n-play for her afternoon nap. My hope is to get her used to sleeping in the pack-n-play for naps, and then be able to have her sleep in the pack-n-play at least part of the night, we shall see . . .

And that's what a"normal" day looks like for us.

1 comment:

3 for Me! said...

Thanks for posting your schedule:) I have 3 little ones (5,4,almost 3) that I "school" with... the younger ones doing smaller activities and jumping into our science and coloring through history....

But I am pregnant with #4 and I know my flexible but very cozy schedule will be "out the window" when Nathaniel comes!!! One blessing is that I have had my 1st year of learning to school the basic subjects first and when it works, to be flexible and not stress the small stuff:)