Just two more days til school starts for three of my four little loves! I’m really not sure what I’m going to do with myself on Monday afternoon when I drop Booga off for preschool and Scooter goes down for a nap…It will be a whole new world for me! I haven’t had just one since Scooter was born, and I haven’t had just one who was napping since, well, I can’t even remember. I think I had one month of that before Booga was born…
So we’ve been working a lot the past couple of weeks on getting reorganized for school. Last year was not exactly successful, with Squirt spending most evenings in tears over homework and stressed from the crazy days at school, and Boyo was just bored. As of a week ago, none of my children wanted to go to school at all, and it was hard to know they were all upset about going to school. Thankfully, Meet the Teacher days were great for all three. Squirt has a Mr. Teacher for the first time, and he already got her out of her shell and happy in the ten minutes we spent in his room, so I am very encouraged about fourth grade. Boyo has a new teacher to the school; she’s young, happy, and plays the guitar and ukelele! He’s very excited about that! And Booga got to spend some time exploring all the toys at preschool, so right now he’s ready to go back, and thrilled that he got to pick out his own crayons, glue sticks, and pencils just like the big kids. Keeping our fingers crossed that these attitudes last at least for a few weeks!
Around the house, we’ve been working on organization. First, we cleaned up a special spot in each kid’s room for the next days’ clothes. I hope to get them in the habit of setting clothes out every night, we’ll see how that goes. This is especially helpful with Squirt and Booga, since what I would pick does not always fit with how they are feeling. I’ve given up trying to figure out why a shirt is perfect one day, but the seams are too scratchy tomorrow!
Then, we cleaned up the desks. We have two small desks in the dining room that needed a good clean-up job, but hopefully they are now ready with everything the kids might need to get their homework done after school. Squirt’s desk is as empty as possible, with some fidgets nearby just in case. I’m working on making her a lap pet, which I hope will help with sitting down for homework. I’ve also considered giving her my exercise ball instead of a chair, but I’m not sure she could keep her balance on it…
Last, we worked on school lunches. We printed up the hot lunch menu, and each kid highlighted their choices; one lunch per week. This goes on the fridge, right next to our dinner menu calendar. Then we printed a list of what needs to go in their lunchboxes each day; 1 protein, 1 fruit/vegetable, 1 snack, and 1 drink. I made a list with some examples and taped it to the inside of the pantry door. You should be able to get a copy here; Filling my Lunch Box
This way they are responsible for their own lunches at night, and the most I should have to do is make a sandwich if that is their choice. I will say that I still sneak in surprises from time to time, and I always add napkins so I can write them messages. But I’ve found that if they pack it, they eat it. If I pack it, it tends to come home with more food left than eaten. Very important for Squirt, since she doesn’t really feel like eating at lunch time, and if she loses weight, the doctor makes us change medications again!
Then I cleared out a shelf in the pantry. I had this shelf last year, but it got a little overrun by the end and over the summer I lost it completely. So I reorganized and put in my 2 bins; one for snacks, which is filled with individual bags of chips, cookies, brownies, or other treats. The other is for fruit cups, applesauce, apples, real fruit snacks, etc. Sometimes I buy bigger of these and portion them and put them in the fridge, but at the beginning of the year I can get the pre-portioned stuff at such good prices, that I just buy them. I also have a plastic container in the fridge that I fill with cheese sticks, boiled eggs, carrot bags, cucumber slices, or whatever else is designated for lunches.
So that is what’s happening at our house this week. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to keep up with all this great organization, and continue it through the whole school year, but for now, I feel ready to go.