back to school thoughts

I am currently on maternity leave, so Christmas break felt a little different to me this year.  If you would have asked me two weeks ago how I felt about the upcoming Christmas break, I would have answered honestly that I  was excited, but also quite intimidated by the stretch of two weeks with all four kids home and no scheduled activities planned.  I was pleasantly surprised, however,  by how much fun these past two weeks were.  In fact, just the other night I found myself just as sad to see break end as I am each year when I am teaching and have to go back to work myself.  Not only did I have a lot of fun with my kids and during the holidays, these two weeks allowed me to fully adapt to being a mom of four:  I got the shopping with four down to a science.  I can now load all four kids in the car by myself without a worry or a problem.  I can get everyone out of the house on time.  I can feed and bathe everyone without getting stressed out.  I fell into a rhythm over these past two weeks and now feel so much more normal; that normal I was looking for {if you’ve been following along, you know what I am talking about}.

Some great things happened over break too: I got the house more put together {still working on this since we moved in}, the girls made friends and played outside for hours on end with the other kids on our cul de sac {turns our there are about fourteen kids living on our little street alone!}, and I survived five days alone with the kids between Christmas and New Years while Eric was out of town for work.

Over the past few mornings the house seems just a little too quiet.  I have both boys with me, but knowing that we’re back on school schedule, it’s just not quite the same.  We are back to making the commute out to get the girls from school and the long hour drive home in traffic that I didn’t miss AT ALL during break and in addition to all of the driving, I really, really just miss sleeping in!  I guess the little breaks in life make me appreciate my kids and time off just that much more.  Any other mamas out there sad to see break end as well?

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Since the kids are back to school, I decided that I better get “back to” some things as well, so I have decided to get back to healthy eating habits {I don’t know what it is about the Christmas season, but all good eating seems to go out the window!}, to get back to my normal daily walks, and to get back to my organized self {with the help of a new planner…does anyone else still love using paper planners instead of keeping their calendar and schedule on their electronic devices?}.  I have always loved Sugar Paper planners.  They even have a line at Target!  This year, my sister-in-law also introduced me to Erin Condren life planners.  While they are much more expensive, I kind of want to try one out.  The inner organizer in me is giddy with the thought of all the little details to fill in!  I’ll let you know what I decide!

Another thing I have decided to do is start some kind of incentive program for my kids at home {mainly the girls since they are old enough to “get it”}.  I am tired of the arguing in the car on the hour drive home.  I am tired of poor table manners.  I want to encourage my kids to always do what they are asked happily and with a good attitude, even if they would rather be doing something else.  I want to encourage my kids to be polite and respectful of others, adults and other children.  I want them to realize how important it is to be helpful and to put others first.  I try to lead by example, but I figure a little extra incentive won’t hurt.  I’ll let you know what I come up with here too!  The start of this new year is definitely a work in progress and I am eager to try new things!

Today I’m trying to stay on top of laundry {it’s amazing how much laundry six people create each day!} and maybe squeeze in a quick Target run since we are out of napkins and paper towels and almost toilet paper too!  I might even try to get to the magazines I sat on my nightstand the night I went into labor that haven’t been touched or moved since I put them there on the way out the door!  Then it will be off to get the kids and onto ballet.

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I hope you all have a happy Wednesday!

Jenny

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