Well... today was THAT day...the day that children anxiously await and parents dread, the first official day of summer vacation! Ok, so I don't really dread it, but having the three big kids at home definitely changes the vibe around the house. We need to find our new routine, our new groove, if you will. The key to this new routine is flexibilty. Summer is full of all kinds of activities and diversions from the normal everyday stuff. So bascially, our new routine isn't really a routine at all, it's really just figuring out how we are going to get accomplished the tasks for the day with a little bit of time for some fun. With seven kids at home a normal day begins with everyone waking up. Sounds simple enough, but not so much with 7 different kids with seven totally different personalities. DJ for example likes to lounge in bed for a little while, but is usually up and ready to roll by about 7:30. Coley an the other hand would sleep until noon if I let her. But thanks to her sisters, I usually don't have to wake her up. They take care of that for me. That makes for a VERY CRANKY Sissy! Jake is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. He would be up, have breakfast, be dressed and have his bed made by 6:00 if I allowed him to get up that early! Bubba is a casual waker. He is usually up by 7:00, but he's generally happy when he gets up. He's never in any major hurry, but he's ready to go if anyone has something fun to do. Hannah has a split personality. She sets the tone for the whole morning. The hapiness of the family hinges on which Hannah graces us with her presence. If it's a good day, we get the smiling, happy, sweet as pie Hannah, who just beams goodness. I swear sometimes birds and butterfiles flutter around her! (OK...maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.) The other Hannah...well...she could scare the begeebers out of the incredible Hulk. Shrieks and other unearthly sounds come from her and well, it's just really bad. Gianna is a quiet waker. She just silently walks around the house following my with her Lamby in one hand and her thumb in her mouth. Noah is the best though, because he is stuck in his crib, depending on me to rescue him. This is great because even if he wakes up crying, he is so happy to get out of his crib that he will stop mid-scream when I open his door and great me with a big grin. That's my favorite way to start the day.
Waking up is followed by breakfast. This could range from toast or a bowl of cereal to (only if I'm feeling really energetic) eggs and pancakes. Which is of course followed by cleaning up the kitchen. Then I grab clothes for the little ones and everybody gets dressed. That's when the real fun starts...Chore Time! Woo-hoo! I am pretty pleased with my chore organization this summer. I always make big elaborate charts that we use for about 3 days and then they get lost or ripped. Even with a chart there was always whining and fighting. No more! I saw an idea in a magazine and I have adapted it for our family. I am writing all daily chores onto popsicle sticks. There are about 8 things that need to be done daily, so each of the big kids will pick three chores. (There will be a blank in there too as a freebie.) Each of the little kids will be partnered up with a big kid to "help" with the chores. Since the jobs will change daily, it should help with whining and we will always know whose turn it is to do what. We are putting that into practice on Monday. I can't wait. After chores, everyone just kind of does their own thing. That could be anything from playing video games, doing crafts or coloring, playing Barbies or going outside. And then it's lunchtime. Time to feed everyone again and then clean the kitchen again. More free time and my favorite! favorite!! time of the day...Yes, I know that all of you Stay-at-home moms know what I'm going to say...NAPTIME!!! This is the only time of the day that I can fold laundry without Noah unfolding everything as soon as I put it down. I can also do the banking, make grocery lists etc...fun stuff! After that it's time to cook yet again! (these kids think that they should eat at least three meals a day! ) More dishes and kitchen cleaning, followed by bathtime, some stories, snacks and then bed. Well there you go...that's a normal day at home, not too bad, at least not until you start adding stuff like doctor's visits, grocery shopping etc into the mix. But honestly crazy or not, I wouldn't trade it for the world...well at least not most days!