I *think* we're settled into our school routines. Some notes for memory's sake (because Lord knows I'm losing it fast!)...
We spend less on groceries during the school year because the elementary school kids get free breakfast and lunch at school. They complain about it, but there's enough variety each day that I know they'll eat something, even if it is just a "meat and cheese sandwich" everyday (that would be Declan). Every night, we pack two snacks in the lunchboxes and call it done. Every morning, they whine and complain as they watch their high school siblings eat breakfast at home ("They're eating allllll the good cereal!") and make a real lunch to take ("It's so unfair!") so that's been fun.
I haaaaaate that the chunk of time I have with my little guys is also their worst acting time of the day. I have them from after school until bedtime, which is roughly from 4-7pm, though we've been putting them to bed at 6:45 because they're so exhausted. I know their crankiness can be cured with some quality time and food in their bellies, but I am busy making said food and employ the older kids to take them outside to play, or pull out a game during this time. Then it's dinner, cleanup, bath and bedtime and I am left feeling like I barely saw them. Tis the working parent's life, but it's still hard on them and me.
Brendan was our easiest potty trainer...and our worst at keeping his pants dry at school. What gives? He must just get so engrossed in playing that he doesn't want to take time to go.
JP has so much on his plate this semester. He is a high school junior taking three AP courses, 2 college courses, playing soccer, working at Market Basket, and involved in a lot of clubs at school. He seems to be handling it well (save for that one freakout after an AP Chemistry exam) and understands that by Christmas time, he will be done with his college classes and soccer season will be over. Andrew is handling the high school load well, he loves being on the soccer team and is thinking about running for Student Council. His guidance counselor emailed me to say how wonderful he is, adding "he reminds me of Phil!". Ummmmm, what are you implying about his mother then? Ha! They both stay up later than me every night doing homework, and I dream of a new house with a master suite where we can relax without feeling like there's always someone right outside our door.
The middle school is way harder this year, according to my two middleschoolers. They have a bunch of new teachers and seem to expect a lot from the students, to which I say Amen. Kids need to be met where they're at but then challenged in order to improve, and that was not happening last year. Maggie informed me she might not get all A's anymore, but then I told her she's my smartest girl and I know she can do it, which is a benefit to only having one girl, you can say things like that.
Dinner would never happen during the school year without a meal plan. My friend, Katie, told me that she spends Sunday cooking for the week, and then just has to heat up the meal each night. Now that's some serious planning and prep skills! I don't think I'll ever get there (mostly because I hate leftovers) but I think of her when I plan and prep. WWKD?
The school year brings so much more laundry and bathroom fights. The laundry is because everybody's school uniforms and sports jerseys have to be washed all the time (each kid has two to three uniform shirts/pants yet it always feels like we're searching through the dryer for a pair!) The bathroom fighting is because my kids are shy about going #2 anywhere but home, so it's a mad rush for 7 bums to use our two toilets at the end of every day. TMI I'm aware. But what's a blog post without oversharing?
Have a wonderful football watching, soccer playing, date nighting weekend everybody! Go see Kelly for more and TGIF!