Sunday, March 29, 2009

Less Than 100 Days

I noticed that my little countdown thing-a-ma-jig says that I have one-hundred days until Lachlan is born. Wahoo!!! All of my previous children were born in the fall and winter, so this summer thing is going to be different--and nice in so many ways. All of my previous children were induced too, so I won't make it to July 7th. I just deliver them too quickly. Z has been taught how to deliver babies since #3, so he'll probably get a refresher course this time too. So, for now, let's just say it's going to be less than 100 days. No, I'm not panicking....yet.

As I face that 100 day milestone, I think of all the things I need to and HAVE to get done before the time comes. I'd love to streamline our entire house and get rid of so much junk. One thing's for sure, our darned garage has to get completely cleaned out. Aren't you sick of hearing about that dumb garage. I've cleaned it out partially about five times since Christmas break, but it just keeps getting added to. I'd better do it soon, or I won't have the energy to do it. I just a piece of a sectional that has no place to go. If I can figure out where to take it, I will. For that matter, I think we'll part with the entire couch. That would leave our family room with nowhere to sit, but it's mostly a playroom for the kids anyway, so they would have all that room to mess around in. Since we're redoing the floor in there anyway, I don't think this is such a bad idea. The flooring guy comes tomorrow.

One of the reasons I'm excited about having a summer baby is that my kids'll be home (for the most part). I won't have to rush about taking them from place to place, they'll get to hang out with their new sister and be available to help out. Although Z will be working, his schedule is much more flexible. Our last three children have been born without the benefit of my mom coming to help take care of the other kids and the house. I loved it when she would come--such a calming influence. I'm not completely convinced that she hasn't been here for the others in spirit.

So, my feeling at this point is that it's training time for the Hess kids. They are wonderful about doing what they're asked to do when they're asked to do it, but I would love to set them on auto-pilot, so they know just what is required of them and they just do it without being asked. Five of them can surely run a household, don't you think?

They already take turns on making dinner each night of the week. A is begging for a night, but I haven't been brave enough to take that on yet. I think what I'll start to do is have him be my helper on my night (Monday) and make simple dinners that he can plan.

Once school gets out, I figure I'll have at least two (maybe three) good weeks to train them up. Q will be gone to Girl's' Camp the last week of June and back right before Lachlan is born (if things go according to plan), but I just need a good game plan that won't be hard to stick too. Are my expectations too high?

Do you have any good plans that you follow? Do you know of any good websites that could help me out here? I'd LOVE to hear any input you might have--either what you've done or how you were raised. Thanks!


Darilyn said...

I don't have any brilliant ideas but I understand what you are saying about summer being a good time to have a new baby. Someone asked me today if I was ready for my kids to go back to school. I replied that no, i wasn't. Life actually slows down a little when we don't have all the stuff associated with extracurricular activities and school things like PTO meetings and homework. I get ya' girl!

Rory Baxter said...

I have had 2 summer and 2 spring babies and it has been so wonderful! It is great to be able to just sit back and do things if we WANT to, not every day filled with all the have-to-do. We even cut out all the extras (music lessons, sports, etc) so the time is just ours. The best thing about summer babies is that you can just get out and go when you are ready to - not have to worry about bundling extra layers. The one trick is to watch the sun - it can be very damaging to such delicate skin - but there are tons of new sunscreens and hats and such to keep little ones safe. I need to get you that pram stroller too - it will be perfect for outdoor anything.

For the kiddo/family schedule I have a couple of suggestions.

1)We have made a plan to assign each kiddo their own room/bathroom AND one extra room in the house to be responsible for every day. This may mean just a small tidy (if it is kept up) or a big job (vacuum,dusting,etc). It has helped to take the responsibility from me to them - and sharing the work makes things so much easier to keep up. The kids rotate all the big rooms so it doesnt get boring.

2)Wendy Boyack has an awesome "clean a room in 15 minutes" for EVERY room in the house. We have used this by posting each clean up list in each room - that way kiddos know exactly what is expected. It has worked really well and I can email those to you if you want.

3)The other thing that I do, that most families don't, is have my kiddos responsible for their own laundry. This comes from Preston's mom - when the kids turn 8 they learn to do their own laundry. Each kiddo is assigned one day during the week to do their laundry so everyone is not fighting over the washer on the same day.
My big girls are great at this. Caiden usually needs some supervising (when loading the laundry - remember the mudroom flooding story I told you...) but he can change loads and fold and put away. I will do wash for the little boys but Caiden is myfolding/putting away guy. Colton and Ky are able to match socks(when they dont get eaten by the washer) and help carry clothes up to their room.
It has been a huge help for me, although it seems laundry still stacks up - with such a big family it seems that laundry and dishes are never-ending jobs.

Anyway - hope these ideas might help you get that jump start you are hoping for. I wouldnt wait until school is out to start though. We used several FHE to introduce and discuss our new family plans before Kels was born and it took several weeks before things ran smoothly enough for me to sit back and let the kids take over.

I admit we get into our lulls when things dont run so smoothly - but when they do it really is amazing at what we can accomplish and how much free time it gives. Because everyone is tidying daily it frees up afternoons/weekends to just play.

Good luck with things! You do an awesome job and you will find what works best for you and the kids. Hope these ideas will help.

Anonymous said...

We had a couple of run throughs during FHE before our babies came. I think something that our kids have enjoyed was the time when I talked to them about Heavenly Father sending an angel to stay with us. If the kids come up with the ideas and jobs that they can help with during the transition, it seems they are more apt to remember what it is they can do to help the ship stay afloat.

I need to bring you a crib! It is Spring Break for us this next week, I'll see about getting Sean conditioned. It will come, if you still want it?

I've been fortunate to take time to 'enjoy' each of my babies. I've had one in each season of the year. Ashlynn is our July baby.

Our last, Sean, came in mid October. I think you need to do your best to set whatever plan in motion. The KEY to success, is to allow it to play out how it does. I know I've cherished each of my kiddo's because I let other's do their best (even though it was different than I would have done or etc.)

I learned a lot of patience but also was filled brim full of love just loving my newborn and appreciating all the little things that others kids and my sweetheart would do or 'try' to do.

The dishes and balanced meals fade quickly, but the precious time just can't be replaced. I can't believe Sean is just about 18 months old!

We love you. We pray for you! We are Thrilled for you! HUGS!!

vaxhacker said...

We're working on the same thing--getting our kids to start taking more responsibility for even a small part of the housework on their own. I appreciate all the input as well, thanks everyone!

And Julie, we more than owe you some help with that garage if you need a hand...

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