First things first. I've updated the Week at a Glance page with meal plans and more! Go check it out!
Now, on to my thoughts for today,..
It's been almost a year since I decided to get serious about doing more with my time. I started with a basic framework based on a teacher's plan book and using routines suggested by The Fly Lady. As I've worked within this framework, I've started every week with an understanding of the bare bones schedule. However, that left some details that sometimes hung me up when it came to fleshing out the plan. (I spend more time planning/blogging on Monday than any other day of the week. Not good when I have so many other things to do just to get the week started.
I decided I needed to shore up this early framework with some additional structure. I started by designating types of meals for each night. The girls have dance lessons on Tuesday and Thursday, which means we'll be home a bit later those days. So, Tuesdays and Thursdays are great Slow Cooker nights. Mondays are usually pretty predictable so that's my night to try a new dish that might take extra time to prepare. Next, the hubby asked for more "regular food"a few weeks ago. He's not a big food adventurer so I've been trying to make meals that aren't too fancy and that I already know he likes. With that in mind I filled in Wednesday and Friday as "Regular Food" nights. Finally, Saturday and Sunday will be a grab bag of whatever strikes our fancy. Sometimes we make elaborate meals, but more often we either go out on the weekends or fix whatever is on hand.
Next I took a look at my mornings. I had a general idea that I wanted to spend time with Mr. A doing activities I know will help get him up to speed for the preschool program I've chosen. Since the girls went back to school, I've just been spending time with him, usually doing whatever he wants but occasionally making suggestions. We've spent a lot of time admiring his massive Hot Wheels collection the last few weeks, but now I want to move in a more directed direction. Mondays are now set aside for doing puzzles and playing structured games - like Candyland or Alphabet Bingo. Tuesday will be his day to lead. If he wants to look at all his cars again, fine. Mr. A leads the play. Wednesday is a good day for a craft. The girls come home from school early, but still at different times, so if I plan it right, I can make something appropriate for my three year old then my five year old and then my eight year old all before it's time to clean up for dinner. Thursday is the day I'll make plans to play outside. Mr. A loves playing in the yard, but he's often playing alone while I do yard work. I realized some time ago that Mr. A wasn't really swinging in a big kid swing the way he ought to be this summer and immediately felt bad. He just lights up when I actually play with him in the sand box or take him down a walking trail. I can see it's something he wants more of. He hasn't had enough mommy time on the playground so whether we visit a park or just hang in our own yard I'm vowing right now to spend at least one morning a week outside playing with him. Finally, Friday will be our day to push the academics. I'm not a mom who wants push my child way beyond their peers, but I want to make school easy for them. I want them to know I value the things they learn at school. The best way to do that is to spend time doing similar things at home. The girls have their homework so I'm automatically doing academic activities with them. I want to do the same with Mr. A. Of course right now that means simply encouraging him to pick up a crayon - which he has almost no interest in right now - and finding fun ways to learn Nursery Rhymes or the alphabet. This isn't the age for drills, but there are many ways to bring in school skills through fun.
Using these new guidelines did make planning my week easier. Instead of having so much up in the air, I knew right where to start. I love it already!