School started on Wednesday. Three days into it, we are exhausted!
With the exception of a tummy ache and a visit to the office (for the tummy ache) on Wednesday, everyone has done great! Bless her heart, she loves to be in control and know exactly what's going to happen (I have no idea where she gets it!).
Mornings have gone more smoothly than I could have hoped. This year I decided it was time for them to pack their own lunches. It's been great! They do most of it at night and make their sandwich in the morning. It's my mornings less hectic for me, at least!
The little ones set out their clothes at night, so they need very little help in the morning. We reorganized the kids chore charts for their rooms. That helps them SEE what they have to do in the morning before school. Instead of asking (have you brushed your teeth? have you made you bed? etc.) about each specific responsibility, I can just have them check their list!
Our new Google calendar on the computer (which merges the Coach's, the school's and my schedule) has been a huge help! They even include t-shirt days on the calendar - so the kids can look and see what's ahead.
Bedtime has been a little rough. It's HARD to start bedtime right after dinner. We eat later during football season (although we've been starting before the Coach gets home, just to give us an extra few minutes) and the kiddos need time to get ready for the next day, take baths, do their reading, make their lunches, etc.
I miss the evening play time outside. We've just moved it to before dinner, I guess!
They've all done great getting their school stuff done first thing when they get home. Assignment tablets, lunch bags and water bottles emptied, papers signed (and the soon to come homework). It's gone really well.
I'm not enjoying all of the socks to wash and fold. Ha! Miss those flip flops!
So very grateful we weeded through ALL of the kids clothes. It makes it so easy for them to find what they need for the day. School shirts and pants in specific drawers so they don't have to dig through play clothes to find them. We also just pared it down to LESS clothes, as well. So much easier for them to keep up with.
Here at home, during the day, it's been a bit of an adjustment. The little ones are tired, too. My goal this year was to have the "work" (laundry, kitchen, dinner started, house cleaned up) done before lunch so that right after lunch,Little Man could go down for a nap (we have to leave so early for school pick up, naps are early, around here), and Daughter (#7) and I could have some school and rest time together. There hasn't been enough time!
I'm really working on getting things organized and simplified. It's getting there. I want the kids to come home and be able to get things taken care of efficiently and have some play time!
One thing that hasn't happened is my early morning workouts. I had high hopes! The little ones have been up in the night, though (seems like it's always something!) and I'm so tired! Without my big kids here, it's almost impossible to get on the treadmill once everyone is up.
So that's something to work on next week, right?
The Coach is very busy, but feeling a lot better. I'm so grateful. I've been reminded, once again, this week, how wonderful it is to have him THERE at school with all of our kids. He can check on that tummy ache. Bring kids home if they have to be at school longer for activities. Hug on the little ones during lunch hour (the cafeteria is right across from his office), keep things in his office for the older kids, take the boys to football scrimmages with him. . . could I be any more blessed?
Jr. High is going well for the big kids. There's been some trouble with lockers (keeping the gym locker and the school locker combinations straight - ha!) and there seems to be a lot of rushing around between sports practice and trying to get outside quickly after dismissal while the little ones and I are waiting. But all in all? Really good week.
All of the younger kids have wonderful teachers. They seem to be enjoying their classes. Last night, while Daughter (#6) was reading to me, I was thinking how amazing it is that she's old enough for 1st grade. Reading everything in sight. Keeping her stuff orderly (that's my girl!), being one of the first kids ready in the morning. Even Daughter (#5) hasn't had trouble getting up in the morning. The boys never do! Ha!
I guess my overwhelming sense of the week? Gratefulness.
We are tired, yes. Ready for the weekend? You bet! But a really great start to the year. I know it's going to be crazy. Hopefully we can laugh in spite of it all. In the meantime, doing my best to keep things in order. And when it all falls apart in the chaos (because we all know it will!)? Laugh some more.