Sunday, September 1, 2013

Big Changes

It feels like everything we do on a regular weekly basis is changing!

First of all, Natalie starts school in two days!  It is a huge change, but it appears it won't affect our regular routine as much as anticipated.  She was assigned afternoons, so she will get on the bus at 1130.  The three of us will still do our Monday - Thursday activities together in the morning, only we may need to leave early, especially once it gets snowy.  Currently, I'm trying to decide if we should attempt an outing before school on Tuesday.  I'm very worried about getting home late and missing the bus, but I also think it will be a long morning of waiting for everyone if we don't go out. 

Once Natalie is at school, I plan to have lunch with William and then spend some time alone with him.  I haven't yet decided what to do or the order.  I'm thinking maybe I will put him in the stroller to wait with us at the bus stop, and then we will go for a walk together immediately after.  We have barely gone on any walks since it officially became summer because I've decided I hate pushing the double stroller.  No matter what we do, I plan to let William stay up til 1, instead of rushing him off to nap immediately after lunch.  Recently, he has been falling asleep late or not sleeping at all, so I see no reason to not use this time alone together.

Natalie returns home just before 330.  This is similar to the end of nap time now.  I would like her to still have maybe 30 minutes of quite time in her room giving her the chance to nap and still have that awesome independent imaginative play.  Not sure how that is going to go over, though.

As if that wasn't enough, its not just school that is changing.  All three of our regular weekly activities are already in the process of big change.

First, the story time librarian Natalie has been seeing since she was three weeks old, "retired," to spend more time homeschooling her kids.  Natalie was really upset about this news, but did okay when she got to say goodbye.  Now there is a new librarian, but she is still on trial basis.  Her story times thus far have been very different from the regular patterns we've been used to for almost four years!  Not bad, just different.  New songs, lots of movement.  And, the story times are moving again.  The baby time is switching back to Thursdays like it did for a while a little over a year ago.  This now leaves us with Fridays open, so we don't have a conflict for park play dates or Open Gym once it gets cold our (though I hate paying for Open Gym).  And both story times are moving to half an hour earlier.  This was very good news.  Otherwise, we would not have been able to attend.

The play group at Advocates for Children is changing, too.  They are moving to a new building.  The first change this brings is that they are closed for just over a month!  There goes our activity two days a week!  Once they reopen, they will be in a new location not too far from from their old one, but a little closer to the library.  There is supposed to be much better parking, which I'm excited for come the winter.  Their current location lost several spots to snow banks, and the street parking was reduced by half by allowing only one side of the street parking to make up for bank allowance on the narrow street.  The new room is about the same size, but shaped differently.  They are currently working on new toy centers and plan to change the room about four times a year, unlike the current room which has changed very little over the three years we've been going.  Advocated for Children is also hoping to host new programs (for a fee, which sucks, but I know they need the money), both for the kids and for parents. 

Lastly, our Wednesday moms group is also changing.  I've been disappointed this summer because we haven't done our regular routine.  If we had decided to be more lax in the summer, then I would have expected that, but we said we would continue as always.  But now that we are approaching the start of school, we have put a lot of time into modifying our group.  We've finally figured our which kids will be attending or not attending due to PreK.  (This took so long waiting on the schools mostly).  Then this week, we've decided about adding new members.  We have two new moms each with a child that fits with the kids, which is around the age of two.  Natalie will be the only kid left in the group that is more than a few months older than 2.  We are hoping to make her a helper.  I'm hoping its still fun for her.  We've made a few other small adjustments such as moving the time earlier so that we don't have to miss so much to meet the bus, agreeing to serve on snacks all the kids can eat, and adjusting the hosting rotation.  We've also decided to work in a monthly community service project. 

As if all this change in the mornings wasn't enough, we have change in the evening, too.  In a couple weeks, I will be starting a class at 530.  This means Mike getting home extra early and him doing dinner alone with the kids.  I've planned the month menu so that he has easy foods the kids really like to make it easier for him.  (Mac and cheese, pizza, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets).  I'm supposed to get back from class shortly after they are in bed.  Its a full credit course, so it will run until almost Christmas. 

I've also been working on two employment opportunists.  I keep looking for tutoring jobs, but haven't come up with anything yet.  I started to get letters ready letters asking for recommendations and to send to the local districts looking for work, but have stalled out on it and need to finish.  I also started a flyer to post, hopefully at the libraries and college when I take my course.  Additionally, I was notified by a FB friend about a blogging job.  I don't know if I will get the job, but if I did, I would make about $15 a week for something I am already doing. 

There is one other big change on the horizon.  Our washer and dryer will be paid off in a month or so, and then we plan to use the freed up monthly money to pay off the TV we got last Christmas.  After that, we plan to replace our bed.  We have a water bed now, but as much as we like the warmth in the winter, we think we'd be more comfortable on a new bed.  This also means getting a new frame.  Our current frame has shelves, drawers, lights, and a mirror built in.  Getting rid of it means getting end tables, but still should free up a little space in our room.  We are hoping to time the removal of the water bed and arrival of the new bed so that we can paint the room.  Right now it is white.  By the way, we'll sleep on the pull out during the overlap.  We also plan to get a TV for the bed room.  I already saved up the money for this by selling things we had in the house (which by the way, I've given up on because no one was keeping their meets and it was too much work for no money.  Maybe I'll try again around Christmas).  We are held up by needing a Direct TV hook up in the bedroom.  Mike really wants to see if they will give him a deal if he says he plans to leave and go to Dish.  We are prepared to leave and give up our DVRed shows and a couple of kids channels.  Its really just a matter of getting things rolling. 

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