You guys know me, I detest the word "schedule". After all, who wants to be a slave to time? Jaina and I are definitely more carefree, uninhibited, flexible, and spontaneous. We base our activities on how we feel, not what time or day it is. Jayce and Brian? LOL, not so much! Those boys love their routine. They like to know that their world never changes and that everything is constant. I do see merit in having both personalities living in our home.
So, as not to run around like a chicken with my head cut off most days, we developed a nice relaxed flexible routine, (not a schedule, mind you!), that will help keep us organized in the late afternoons and evenings. We get home at 2:45 and I let Jaina veg on the couch for a bit or play, whatever she chooses. Jayce usually has his rest time in his room, no more naps for him unless they are in the car. At 4:00, Jayce has the option of either TV or the computer, since I sit down with Jaina and complete homework. Then at 5:00, my friend Patty calls and talks to me while I do dishes. I really hate dishes, but I find that they are bearable if I am talking on the phone :) Around 6, I throw the kids in the bath (or Jaina showers while Jayce bathes) and I also start dinner about this time. If dinner is complicated, I start it first and bathe kids while it cooks. If dinner is quick and easy, I start it after I get them out of the bath.
Brian walks in around 7 and we eat at 7:30. Jayce goes to bed before we sit down to dinner (which has its pros and cons) and Jaina picks out her bedtime books from the library right after we eat. She's usually in bed asleep by 8 or 8:30.
So far, its worked really well. Sometimes we hit up a MOMS Club activity at 3:00 afterschool or go to the Science Center. Sometimes we just hang out at the park or have a playdate. Whatever floats our fancy that day :)
Yesterday, we headed to the Fire Station to attend a MOMS Club field trip.
Jaina loved it, Jayce not so much. I ended up keeping him happy by letting him play with my DSLR camera. You KNOW I was desperate to keep him quiet if I gave him my good camera to keep him occupied! He took over 100 pictures (with flash!) and ran my battery down, but boy did people remark that he held it together for that last 1/2!
Here's a picture of his shoe. Good photography, Jayce! :)
Jaina and her friend Connor, while listening to the video about fire safety:
After the video and lesson on fire fighters, the kids got to go outside to see real fire trucks. Jayce? Yeah, didn't want to have a single thing to do with it. Instead he pushed the stroller around and around through the garage, to the front door of the station, back to the room that the video was in, back to the garage, and so forth. We must have done at least 20 laps around the place. I had to follow him to open doors and such (and to make sure he was out of trouble) so I completely missed Jaina getting to ride in a fire truck :( Thankfully my friend Dana saw that I as occupied with Jayce and kept a close eye on Jaina for me. She is such an awesome friend!
After we got in our car to head home, Laura stuck her head out her window and said, "Hey! A bunch of us are going to head to the park! Wanna come?" Jaina immediately agreed and I thought about it. I had a billion reasons to say no.
-It was already 20 until 5:00 PM
-We needed to homework
-I was making a new recipe that night and I had no idea how long dinner would take
-I had 3 piles of laundry calling my name to fold
-The kids were in long-sleeves (it was cool yesterday morning, but hot by afternoon)
-We were out of juice in Jayce's sippy cup and no water for Jaina and I to drink.
-The fire station kind of exhausted me, so I was looking forward to going home.
But we went anyway. And had a BLAST! We stayed until 6:30 and I never once looked at my watch :) We ran through a Chick-fil-a drive thru on the way and grabbed a large coke for us all to share.
And you know what? Brian called as we were walking in the door at quarter til 7:00 to tell us he'd be late. I fed Jaina soup, threw the kids in the bath, put them in bed, and Brian and I had a lovely meal just the two of us at 8:00 PM :) It all worked out fine!