Friday, January 15, 2010

Some Changes

We made some New Year's Resolutions, and so far we are doing very well. We decided it would work better if we had some resolutions that involved the other person so to help us be more accountable and to have a partner and support team. Sounds like marriage to me.
We chose for our theme "self-mastery" or not being a slave to your passions and instead doing what you really do want to do/acheive/become.

Our main resolution, which I think makes all the other ones work, is to get up early. A thing which I was brought up to beleive to be a sacreleige. We just don't do it. And I didn't. For the last 12 yrs. Although I always had "the baby didn't sleep well or had to nurse 50 times last night" as an excuse. Which I still think is totally valid. But in my case it was also a lot of laziness.

Since I can't use those exact excuses anymore, though I did try to come up with new ones, I, or we, have decided getting up early is crucial in making any changes we want to this year.

So now our days, for the most part go like this:

4:15 Shane gets up, says prayers, and works out
5:30 I get up and pack his lunch and make coffee
5:45 he leaves
I say my morning prayers, shower, unload the dishwasher, put on a load of laundry, have breakfast

7:00 turn on all the lizards lights and feed them. Get the kids up and feed them breakfast. Have my second cup of coffee.

8:00 we start math and reading with the big kids. Sometimes we finish by 9:00. Audrey does her French. Sometimes Cyril does too, but I'm wary of him abusing the record/play back feature on the program. He is a little boy who likes to make gross noises. Especially if he can play them back.

10:00-10:30 sort laundry , assign random chores- I need to make a regular schedule

10:30 everyone is ready for lunch and maybe more coffee. Pippin says he needs his sugar coffee so he won't be tired. I wonder what I am teaching my kids. I load and start the dishwasher.

After lunch the kids can play and I get in a little exercise, then unload the dishwasher. And if I'm really fast get to check email and blogs. Shane usually gets home around 4, depending on traffic and meetings.

5:00 dinner then clean up and baths. Then read/play until bed time. I load the dishwasher and turn it on for the second time
8:00 Kids in bed.
M, W, F Shane and I do an ab workout. Tue and Thur we each do a French lesson. We're thinking of doing it more often but for now we have comitted to 2x a week.
9:00 or close to it, we go to bed.

Shane, very wisely, also made some rewards for keeping on track. Each week we have checked off all our boxes- it really is fun to do that part- we can watch a movie or show on Saturday evening. And if we are good for an entire month, we can go on a little date. The rewards definitely keep me motivated. Oh, and Shane has some work stuff and I get to read The 8th Habit, which so far is pretty useful.

Thinking through how to make it work for us also helped in motivating the kids. The first two weeks we did stars for getting up and going to bed nicely. Stars for doing school work and house work  well. Etc. When they earned a certain number - 100, collectively- they got the new marble set Papa had gotten them. And each week they did their school work cheerfully, they also got a movie or game time on Saturday.- We also stopped any shows, computer games for the kids on the week days. One exception was  a BBC production on Yellowstone, which we all watched for 15min  an evening. It is actually part of their curriculum. We want to go there in the fall and would like the kids to learn/reseach all about the park first.

So that is our day. The first Saturday felt strange, not having such a rigid schedule and the morning felt lazy. WE slepped in until almost 7. But we do a workout Sat and Sun so it doesn't feel too unproductive.

Like getting up early, having a schedule was also something I resisted. I hated having even a doctor or dentist appointment to make my "schedule" less agile. I called it "agile". I'm available for whatever opportunity comes along that day. Which usually ended up being really productive things like reading Isaac Asimov and eating Snickers ice cream bars while the kids played in the kitty pool.
Shane called it refusing to grow up and actually have a plan for my days/life.

So here we are 12 yrs later. And we have a plan. And I did read some Orson Scott Card recently. But in moderation and without the icecream. It was too cold.
I found  I actually like having a schedule. I get so much more done and have so much more time. It's great feeling like I can accomplish things and am even thinking of adding on some new things next month, And I like earning rewards.

Oh, and does anyone know where spellcheck went? I can't find it. Which, for being a spelling snob before, I totally deserve. As do I my recent and prolific grammar mistakes. I finally came to rely on the spellchecker. And now its gone.


Kelly said...

I don't know where your spell-checker went, but after "slepped", I'm hoping you find it soon ;)

I am so with you on the schedule thing. I had a major epiphany this year when I realized that some people *actually* lead a disciplined life. And then I had another when I realized I wanted so much to be one of them. Hopefully 2010 is a successful year of self-mastery for us both.

briana said...

Maybe the "slepped" was sign I didn't get enough sleep. I mean its not even close. Maybe I should add phonics to my list too.

Kayleen said...

I like the way your schedule looks. I hope it works for you long term! I also hope you have a better dishwasher than we do - does yours actually get the dishes clean?? :) Ours drives Mike crazy. I shrug it off and drink from a glass with water stains, but Mike really can't stand it so he will re-wash it. Also, I love that Shane gets home early. That seems like it would be nice; rather than having him leave later in the day and come home late evening.

briana said...

Our dishwasher is ok. I used to find the dishes looked, felt not quite rinsed. Then a neighbor said she used Electrosol blue gel packs and really liked them. They have a really nice orange scent. They get stuck together if you get them damp, but they do clean nicely. I think Target has the best price on them. I'd buy them from Amazon, but the shipping is a little pricey.