Monday, October 26, 2009

Our Daily Routine

Here is an example of what our schedule looks like. Each day is similar, but there are some differences. Tuesday we go to a play group instead of home blessing hour, Thursday we go to the library, etc. Don't look at this and think we follow the exact schedule every day. It might seem restricting, but it is your schedule. You can change it whenever and however you want!! But I have found that having a written plan that includes keeping the house clean, taking care of myself, feeding my family, and keeping Reina occupied has made our lives much more fulfilling. I'm due in a month to have our second baby, so at that point I'm sure most of this will go to pot for a while and then I will have to re-plan everything to fit the baby into our routine.

Some of the terms in this schedule come from Home blessing hour, the morning and evening routines, and zones are part of her system for keeping a clean and organized home. I may post in more detail about flylady later, but for now, I recommend you check it out!

Monday Schedule

Reina Liz

6:30 wake up, exercise,

morning routine

8:00 wake up, dress, breakfast breakfast

9:00 structured play outside laundry

9:30 roomtime 15 min. zone/15 min. declutter

10:00 structured time with mom

10:30 free time fold and put away laundry

11:00 “help” mommy home blessing hour

12:00 high chair with books, lunch, prepare lunch, eat, cleanup,

Stories with mom read to Reina

1:00 Nap time scriptures, free time

4:00 video time prepare dinner

5:00 Dinner Dinner, cleanup

5:30 free time, family time couch time, family time

(family home evening)

6:00 free time free time

8:15 bedtime routine

8:30 in bed evening routine

10:00 in bed

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recently I have started planning my day with a written schedule. It has been sooo nice! I am not the type that is intuitively organized. I tend to have a scatter brain. So, If I don't have a plan for my day and a list of things I want to accomplish, things don't end up getting done. I got the idea to start making a schedule from the book "Potty Wise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I have read a few books in their series and have really enjoyed them. At the end of the book, which is mostly about potty training, there was a section on structuring your child's day. It talked about how frustrating and unfullfilling it can be for moms who have no plan. The kids fight with each other and get into things because they have nothing else to do. I could relate to that feeling! Having this schedule has helped me so much to feel more productive! We just moved to a new area and I haven't made any real friends yet. I was having a hard time with Tom being gone a lot, and many times I would be in tears by the end of the day because I felt I had nothing to do all day but sit and stare at Reina.
He suggested working the following things into your children's schedules:

  • Room Time-this is a block of time where the child pays quietly in his/her room. The mother would provide the activity and then leave the child to play. It should be something other than the toys they regularly play with or it won't hold their interest. Reina and I have really enjoyed this so far. Today I just gave her some bowls and spoons and measuring cups so she could play "cooking." Other times I pull something out of the closet that she hasn't seen in a while. Younger babies would have blanket time or playpen time instead of roomtime. You keep them where you can check on and hear them, but they should be playing with toys without interaction. This time teaches them to use their imaginations and play independently without have to be entertained. I use this time while she is in her room to do some cleaning and decluttering.
  • Free playtime-this is when the child gets to choose their own activity.
  • Structured Playtime- This is when mom chooses the activity. It helps children learn that they don't always get to do whatever they want. This could be coloring or doing puzzles at the kitchen table.
  • Playtime with mommy-this is just to make sure that the children get some one on one time with their mom. Even if it is only 10 min. a day.
  • Playtime with siblings- kids should have a time each day that they spend doing things together. He says that this can help the younger kids from bugging their older brothers and sisters for the rest of the day because they have that attention they are looking for. This can overlap with some of the other activities.
  • Playtime with friends- It's nice to have the kids socialize with other kids maybe one day a week.
  • Video time- he suggests that instead of having the children watch a movie when they are driving you nuts, you have a specific time planned that works best for you. For example, I like to have Reina watch a show while I am getting dinner ready, and I try not to let her watch movies during the rest of the day.
  • Family time- just time when the whole family spends time together
  • Couch time- This is where the mom and dad talk on the couch while the kids play. He says it's important for kids to see that their parents are important to each other and spend time with each other. It is also good for your marriage to spend a few minutes talking together without the television on. You should tell the kids not to interrupt you during this time because it's a special time with mommy or daddy.
  • Daddy time- This is a time when dad spends one on one time with the kids. If you have more than one child, this may only be one child per day. It could be as simple as dad giving one of the kids a bath or playing with one child while mom gives the other a bath.

The example schedule in the book only had the child's activites, but I have added my own scheduled activites. This way I can plan out what I want to be doing in conjunction with what Reina is doing at that time. I have my exercise, cleaning, errands, dinner and free time all planned out. I will post an example of what our schedule looks like soon. All of this might sound really complicated and stressful, but it has been so nice! The important thing is to have goals for what you want to accomplish and the skills you want your children to be learning. Then you just take those goals and put them into a schedule! Of course the schedule can be changed and rearranged as different things come up, but it forms a good backbone for your day.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Here Goes Nothing!

I've been contemplating this blog for months now, but never started it because I felt so overwhelmed by the thought. I couldn't think of just the right name, or decide what I wanted to focus on in my blog. I decided to name my blog Liz's Lemonade for a couple of reasons. The first is that I just plain love lemonade! The deeper meaning goes along with the quote, "When life gives you lemons...make lemonade!" This blog is going to be kind of a journal of my attempt to make lemonade out of my life. I want to share with other wives, mothers, and women some of the exciting things I have found that make my life a little bit better. This will include organizing my day/home, raising children, and cooking. I would be embarassed if you thought I claimed to be an expert at any of these things. Far from it! But I would love to share some of the things I emjoy doing in my home, and would love to hear from other women what things you have found as well!