I am working REALLY hard right now to stay on track. REALLY. HARD. The house was clean on Friday, and I am working so hard to keep it clean and picked up. Every time I turn around it's trashed, and so I am staying on top of things to the best of my ability. Loading the dishwasher after every meal and every snack, running it once a day, laundry in the hampers, diapers in the "chomper" and toys put away. Used play-doh for leverage today and got the kids to pick up all toys they have touched since Friday and put them away before playing play-doh and then after play-doh they went down for naps. The problem is that we are OFTEN on the go, and that leaves little time for enforcing these things, and I am bad about that. Plus Marek was not quite old enough to follow directions 100% and while he is a good "cleaner upper" it was hard to keep him from tearing things up over and over. I am seeing a light at the end of that tunnel now, and he understands consequences a bit better now, and also understands when I want him to do something BEFORE he gets to get a treat, and so that is helping. It's kinda like when he turned the corner to show some interest in potty training, and understand the positive side of things and the upsides to doing good, he also started seeing rewards for other behavior.
Although I don't think my dear husband quite understands the concept yet, as I have been picking up his dishes and garbage still for the past two days, but he will get there. It's almost like whole-family boot camp going on here, and while I have to be drill sergeant, I also have to have serious discipline to pick things up constantly, both for themselves and myself. It's been two days and I feel successful, but all it takes is one bit of "life" to throw me for a loop. Sickness. The number one thing I dread, has been on my mind heavily lately. After last winter and Evan with H1N1 and kids bringing home things from school, I just do NOT look forward to the season ahead. I am already on the list for flu shots and am so thankful that Evan will be getting one to this year. But I can already feel the anxiety building towards flu season.
I have to find the balance (if there IS one) between neurotic housekeeping that I used to partake in and sloth-filled disaster that came over us after Marek was up and moving. All without losing my mind or strangling anyone who lives here.
It IS possible, right? I am done with MOPS now and although I have joined PJWC I am taking on little with any groups right now. I love the way that PJWC is all about giving back to the community and also how they have such a definite goal in mind that their time is largely spend planning and executing... and there is a lot I can do to help there, but I am going to be very selective in what I sign on to do, which they have been really supportive and encouraging of. I have enough on my proverbial plate and lots of friends who also like help from time to time, but right now this family is first. I anticipate telling a lot of people "no" in upcoming months, and that's okay. I plan on working more on keeping the family unit going strong and less on involvement with groups. I think I have group burnout. Volunteer burnout has happened to me several times over the years already, and I tend to do all that I can, then feel disappointed or exhausted, then back off for a while. I think I am into my "back off" phase for a while now. Especially with both kids going strong. we have plenty going on and I just don't feel the need to add a whole lot more. I also want to focus on fun things like scrapbooking and going to the zoo, whether they be fun times with the family or getting some me-time. I just don't want all my me time going to volunteering anymore. I need me to be in full mental capacity if I am going to keep this place on track.
Today I hid a little toy in Ardyn's bed before naptime. She is really getting to the point of not wanting a nap, but there are days she really needs to rest. I always make her have a 45 minute or longer rest period in the dark in her room, but she almost always ends up waking Marek up halfway through his nap, because their rooms are adjacent. It's really hard when they are attached to each other like that. But anyway, I hid the toy (which is in the toy library so not seen much) in her bed and then I whispered in her ear "It's naptime, and after you go potty, go get into your bed and look for the surprise." She was excited and even more so when she found the doll with her little snap on clothes, and she played in her bed quietly while I got Marek down. I told her when she started to feel tired, to put the pieces back in their tote and put the lid on and lay down, but above all, to stay QUIET. So far so good. I think giving her something like that to play quietly with at naptime might help her relax and ease into napping if she is able, and at least let Marek nap peacefully. He badly needs a nap. If he goes without one, he is begging to sleep by 6:30, which is not like him at all.
I am also working towards an 8pm bedtime, which will be easy once the time changes, but right now it's hard. Not because they won't GO to bed, but because there are nights when our lives are still in full swing at 8pm. Or times when we aren't HOME by 8pm. So that will be some adjustment for all of us. But the kids always sleep 10 hours, and 12 is even better for them, especially if Ardyn won't nap. And I want them to say healthy and not be too ornery during the day... and more sleep seems to help... so with back to school, and early rising... They will be working on 8pm bedtime. I have been trying to get myself into bed early. My goal has been to be sleeping by 10:30/11, which sometimes works and sometimes completely backfires, but a little homeopathic sleeping medicine seems to help. And I have also been working on reading each night instead of watching TV or doing work or chores. Like after the kids go to bed, no late night marathons. I don't know how I will get anything done, but hopefully being home more and more vigilant during the day will help.
Another Goal is better eating, just really more "meals" and less "What the hell is there to eat around here." The kids got bento boxes and I am hoping to really get lunches packed when I know we will be away from home for the day, to cut costs and make for a more healthy meal. My stomach just can't handle all the crap that you have to eat when you are grabbing something on your way somewhere, and with kids you just can't tell them to wait or your whole world will implode shortly thereafter. When they are hungry, they are hungry!
So, my bath is ready and the kids are napping or resting, so I am being called! But enjoy the rest of your weekend and after we pick up fair entries this evening I will try to write a full post about the fair experience. :)