So I don't know about any of you...but when I am pregnant my kids pretty much get away with murder ;)
Alright, thats a little dramatic, but they do definitely get out of the routines I work SO hard to get them into.
I always start off the pregnancy with the best intentions...then reality sets in. Once you get past the yucky, sick part, then we have a few months of normalcy when WHAM! Its time for bedrest...and there is no better way to get a kid way off schedule than to have their mom go on bedrest for a month. By the time baby arrives, I have so many great ideas to implement...but I also have a sweet, cuddly newborn that needs to be snuggled :)
Now that we are at the 3 month mark with our little Baby C life is settling into our new normal, and I have been excited to do a few SIMPLE things to help cut the chaos in our home a little bit.
First up...my 1 millionth attempt at a chore chart!
Seriously...I feel like I have done them all! But no matter what I do, something is always not quite what I want. Either its not cute enough to have up (yes, I am lame like that!) or its not quite customizable enough. Some days my kids have REALLY random chores to do...so I finally figured that dry erase would be the way to go for us!
I was at Tai Pan a few months ago when I found this large frame in their clearance department. It was only 5 bucks...I was sure I could use it for something! ;)
After it sitting against the wall for 3 months I finally figured out what to do with it. I just used push pins to put pictures of each of my kids on the corkboard. Then I cut some cute, patterned paper and put them in the frames. Now each morning before my kids wake up I write out their chores of the day with a dry erase marker. The kids love wiping off each chore as they complete it, and I love that I can evaluate the things that need to be done each day and change up the chores as needed. Some days the front yard needs to be cleaned, other days we need to weed. I love the simplicity of it, and I especially love that my kids know as soon as they come down for breakfast everything they need to accomplish before they can play with friends. It has made a huge difference in the kids attitude!
The next one we have done isn't quite so simple...but I swear by it!!
I will warn you...this takes a time commitment. Every night I have to put these boxes together and portion out all the kids snacks for the next day. Its definitely not the fastest way to go, but I feel the benefits totally outweigh any of the work!
The number one thing I hear at my house all summer long is "I'M HUNGRY!!" It is a full-time job to keep 4 growing kids not starving. Between that and feeding Cohen...I felt like I was spending all day in the kitchen. One would come down and want something. Then 10 min later another one would see that one eating...and would then want what they had. It was never ending. So we brought back our snack boxes. Here is the beauty of snack boxes. It gives both YOU and your CHILD control. You control the snacks they will have throughout the day, but THEY get to control when they have them. If my kids want, they can have all of their snacks before lunchtime. However, once the bucket is empty...NO more snacks til the next day. Yep...you may have a few rough days. But I bet you will be surprised. My kids do a great job of rationing their snacks for the day, and I think it cuts out a lot of bored eating. When your kids know those are the snacks they get for the day, they think twice before scarfing them all!
This was the bucket we had today. If it seems like a lot...it is! My kids are snackers...and I am too. As long as they are fairly healthy snacks I am totally ok with it, I am big believer in eating a lot of small meals throughout the day. Today they had a kids Clif Bar, Fruit Rope, Apple with All Natural Peanut Butter, carrots with fat-free Ranch, string cheese, yogurt, graham crackers, an orange, and a 100 calorie pack of Kettle Corn.
Now when my kids get hungry, they can go grab whatever they want out of their snack bucket! It is a beautiful thing :)
Finally, we have added one simple thing to our morning routine that has (most of the time ;) changed the feel in our home. SUPER simple Morning Devotionals.
Since we are all together at breakfast, every morning before we eat we have a family prayer. Then as the kids are eating I read a story from The Friend. Then, if I remembered to assign it the night before (I only remember about half of the time ;) one of the kids will share a thought or an experience and we spend a few minutes talking. It is such a simple thing, but it has produced some wonderful learning moments. Just this morning we read a darling story about The Priesthood, and Britton asked some great questions and learned alot about something he wasn't super familiar with. All in under 10 minutes...can't beat that! Seriously, its a great way to start off the day with a wonderful message and a good spirit in our home.
So there you have it...3 simple ways I am ATTEMPTING to get back on track after baby! I would love to hear...what are some simple systems you have implemented in your home to cut some chaos and more fully enjoy your family?!