Friday, November 11, 2011

First Two Weeks Are Over

I can't believe it's been two weeks since Chris left. It seems like it's been at least a month. But at the same time, how can it be? After all, we are crazy busy here. But here we are, 2 weeks down, 50 or so to go.

As I mentioned, we've been exceptionally busy. Mostly because we are still in the process of establishing a new schedule and routines. Mornings are pretty much taken care of at this point. I even get to stay in bed until shortly after 7am (compared to 6:30ish when Chris was home). Today was absolutely amazing, record-setting morning - my early riser slept in until 7:30am! Yeah, it's a fluke, but oh what a nice surprise! So, what's my secret for staying in bed for so long? Well, it's all about snacks and snuggles. Every night before going to bed, I bring a small snack upstairs, usually some dried fruits. This way, there's no more "Mommy, I want to eat breakfast" at 6am. Plus I let him snuggle in my bed and build a nest out of all the pillows. And now that I revealed my secrets and bragged about my superior problem-solving skills, I've probably jinxed it. Better prepare for a 5:30am wake-up tomorrow.

(This is a portrait of me as a mermaid, in case you're wondering. Why mermaid? M figured it was easier to draw a fishtail than a dress).

After breakfast and a quick clean-up it's time for homeschool. So far we do math and reading in a pretty formal sit-down and work way. To my great surprise, M likes math a lot more than reading at this point. He's also making some good progress in it. We are still staying in the first 10, but are about to move on. One interesting thing that I noticed is that he does really well with arithmetic as long as there's a story behind each problem. So, we explore all the different ways of building a two-story Jedi academy with 6 training rooms. And we figure out whether the astronauts collected odd or even number of moon rocks. And we learn combinations theory through Sandwich Recipe game. And we do some Jedi mind tricks that include subitizing (estimating quantity without counting) and "follow-the-leader" Lego builds. If you are interested in more details about different math games we play, start reading my new blog, Moebius Noodles.

Reading is a struggle for now. He still loves when I read to him and asks to be read to a lot. But trying to read by himself, even very short words, is a struggle and a chore. Except when the words I write are downright silly or scatological in nature (yep, he's big on toilet humor right now).

Going to the YMCA is a part of our routine now. I wish we could go daily, but even 3 times a week is a struggle for M who still gets very upset about being left in the childcare room. But honestly, I love the childcare at the Y. First, when we come in, the staff-to-children ratio is pretty much 1:1. Second, there's no TV in the room. Third, they actually play with children, read books to them and do crafts. Fourth, they give them healthful snacks at around noon.

A free membership at the YMCA is one of the benefits for families of the deployed soldiers. And it's absolutely awesome! The Alexander Y is our nearest branch and is the nicest in Raleigh (and quite possibly in the world!). Awesome childcare. Cardio classes starting every 30 minutes or so in 2 studios. Indoor track. Racket ball courts (gotta try that out). An indoor pool! So far I've started with cardio classes (belly dancing on Mondays, toning on Wednesdays and Fridays) and some free weights. But I think I'm going to add some swimming to the mix too. And on weekends, M and I go to family yoga, family Zumba and to public swim. Seriously, I'm in love with this Y!

Evening routine is still a work in progress. We have a friend who's about M's age. So the last couple of weeks the two would spend pretty much every evening playing together (not always peacefully). Unfortunately, the boy's family is relocating in a month.

In other news, I think I mentioned that I'm cleaning up, decluttering and re-organizing the entire house. My plan for the first two weeks was to fix the family room. Well, that's done now and looks nice and neat. Putting toys away takes only 5 minutes even after the wildest playdate. But I also cleaned up the entryway closet and the secret junk closet in the upstairs closet. Next up is organizing the paperwork. And that's what I'll be doing tonight.

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