It has been over a year since my last post, and for good reason. WE HAD A THIRD BABY! His name is Cidian Rex (also known as proto-minion, squishy and tubby-tub) and he’s perfect. C-Rex is a little over three months old now, 15lbs huge and is just absolutely a joy to have around. The big boys are such good brothers, they care for him, keep watch over him, help me and Dad out with everything and are completely understanding that he is a baby and babies have limited abilities and need our constant help. It is especially heart-warming to hear them calm him with high-pitched little voices singing twinkle-twinkle little star and repeating things like “it’s okay Cid, that isn’t necessary, that isn’t necessary.” It’s just way too cute.
This last year has also brought some rough times, we lost our business just before Squishy was born. There were several contributing factors, but ultimately it came down to a massive repair bill that we just couldn’t handle and staffing issues. It is sad and things are a bit challenging right now, but I trust that we made the right decision and that the universe has something much better in store for now.
“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.“- Anonymous
So that brings us through the super exciting year we have had to today… Today I’m sitting here preparing to send minions 1 & 2 to school in just a few short, rapidly preceding weeks. We started the “pocket clothes” system this week. It began with me coming across a blog post with this back to school clothing hack.
I thought oh my god, that would solve so many of the ‘But I wanted to wear that shirt’ meltdowns and the ‘I can’t find socks/I forgot underwear’ excuses that put us so far behind schedule last year…genius! However, as my husband gently reminded me…our kids break everything, literally…everything. There’s no way this would last a month before all the drawers are busted and useless. So, we got thrifty and thought outside the box (pun totally intended…because you know as well as I do it’s hilarious) and we decided to rededicate two of the 7-pocket hanging pocket-planters we originally purchased for vertical garden beds as pocket dressers!
BOOM! It cost us nothing (the planters were collecting dust in the garage), we zip-tied them to the boys beds so there’s no getting lost or moved, and we assigned the ownership of pockets to avoid the ‘I wanted that one’ fight. This is the first week of the pocket system and so far my kids have worn full sets of clothing every day…I am amazed how well it is working out. They get dressed in under 5 minutes (unheard of), they are wearing underwear (impossible) and did I mention NO FIGHTS!
We have also been hitting our workbooks, library books, and flashcards pretty hard for the last month or so. The kids do really well when the TV is off and they have a list of things to accomplish before we turn it back on. Usually this list includes completing their chores (picking up, vacuuming, sweeping, washing/drying 1 load of laundry, unloading the dishwasher, putting away folded laundry, cleaning their room, & feeding and watering the animals), 3 pages in both their writing and math workbooks, running through their alphabet/sight word flash cards, and completing 1 puzzle. So they are basically busy until 1 or 2 assuming we are home all morning. We also make sure and take dance breaks, sing made up songs to each other, and have plenty of shenanigans throughout the morning. It is wonderful; hard and challenging and tiring and often times stressful, but absolutely wonderful <3.
The next project will be preparing and practicing breakfast and lunch routines for school. School routine is the perfect opportunity for us to teach lessons in autonomy, nutrition, and personal responsibility; we have big plans to make the most of this year. These ambitious plans mean this week I am working on setting up the self-service breakfast bar for my boys including making color coded nutrition packed juiced veg/fruit ice cubes for smoothies, pre-making and freezing several toaster sized 10 grain pancakes, waffles & french toasts, and prepping up homemade 10 Seed Nutbutter for our PB&J sandwiches e.g. the lunch the boys are capable of making themselves. Self-service breakfast options will be toast, frozen pancakes/waffles/french toast (minion #2’s favorites, although I am pretty sure he mostly likes syrup), oatmeal, eggs, and smoothies. Oatmeal and eggs are both things the kids can cook, all be it with supervision. I will get more into details on our nutritional theory, recipes, and our attitude towards autonomy on my next post.