Monday, February 2, 2009

Routines

Routines, I like routines. Things are getting settled and the kids are adjusting to their new surroundings. Everyone knows what to expect and when. Nadia knows the bus picks her up at 7:20 and drops her off at 3:05. Julia and Kole know that their bus is at 8:15 and they get home at 3:55. Mom or Dad is not to far behind at 4 to 5 pm and dinner is usually at 6 sharp, and always as a family. When Mom or Dad gets home we start dinner and homework needs to have been completed or attempted. After dinner to 7 is time for family games, homework help or telling us about their day. Showers are at 7 and bedtime is at 8pm for Julia and Kole and Nadia stays up until 8:30. Everyone gets a bedtime story, but this needs to be done before the appointed lights out, which is the same as bedtime. Mom and Dad unwind from 8:30 until our bedtime of 10 or earlier if really tired. The TV isn't allowed on for the kids from Sunday night through Thursday night with the exception of after school and after homework time before Mom and Dad get home. We may, once or twice a week watch a Tivo'ed program from that 8:30 to 10 pm window I spoke of earlier. Thursday nights are church nights and the schedule gets pushed back about 30 minutes. Also, there isn't time for bedtime stories since we get home right at the kid's bedtimes. But they experience spiritual growth and get taught the importance of our Lord and Savior, so it's time well spent.

On weekends, things change a bit. We get outside more and the schedule goes out with the wash. Saturdays mornings are meant for cleaning and tidying up their rooms. Each Saturday, one kid gets his.her turn with Mom at the grocery store. This is something we learned with the girls we had this past summer. Things can get out of control and go downhill fast with three kids in tow at a supermarket!

The rest of the weekend is made up as we go. We (Mom & Dad) are usually burned out from the week long schedule and just want to take it easy. The exception to this is that we try to do a family pizza night on Friday night with a movie. Sometimes that gets pushed over to Saturday night if we did something else on Friday night. I have been buying the Jiffy-Pop pans and letting each kid pop their own popcorn on the stove, with supervision of course. I make a big game of it with usually some sort of goofy singing like, "shake that pan like a Polaroid picture". They laugh and think it's hysterical, another one of those things that, in time, I will lose to teenage "un-cool-ness". For now, they think I hung the moon and I don't want them to know any different.

We play a lot of "Papa sandwich", which is nothing more than them piling on me or tackling me around the ankles until I fall, then piling on me again. I love it and it works out a lot of their energy, too. I'm not sure where we got the term from, but I'm usually the bottom piece of bread. Bicycles and roller blades are a big hit, too. I ride with them a few times each week.

When I got back from Ukraine I started my workout and weight-loss plan. I get up MWF mornings and go to the gym and I started adding running to my exercise regime a couple of weeks back. You can see my progress on my other new blog. The kids like to ride their bikes when I do my long run of 40-60 minutes on Saturday morning. Usually it is just two of them as the third is taking their turn with Mom at the supermarket. Needless to say, I am tired and fall asleep when my head hits the pillow each night. But I love our routine! It's one I can live with.

Unbeknownst to the kids, we cook everything on the Weight Watchers plan for family dinners, when I'm home. This includes the pizza night. The cool thing about WW is that everything is real food and is no different than what you might eat anyways. Each dinner consists of a "smartly" cooked meal with lots and lots of vegetables and fruit, two things they can't get enough of. On the odd occurrence that we can't eat at home or we get invited somewhere, it is I that watch the meal and take care of myself. No need for the family to have to conform to my problem. I just exercise portion control and all is fine. I help do a fair share of cooking, too. Tonight's dish was Creole Chicken and rice with a side of chopped up fruit. I went out on a limb with a touch of spiciness. It was a big hit The kids picked the side dish of cantaloupe. See regular food, just sneaked in healthy stuff!
Our friends the Volfs brought their new family home this past Thursday, We all went to the airport to welcome them home. Ashley and Nadia hit it off from the start. The two families went to the pool on Sunday and everyone had a blast. I skipped out for some much needed "me time". Afterwards, I caught up with them and we all went to their house to watch the big game. It was a great party and another chance to let all the kids play together. The kids weren't too interested in the game, they just wanted to watch the 3-D Disney ad during the half-time show. We left at a reasonable hour in time to get back into the bedtime routine.
Kolya had his orthodontist appointment this morning and the doc came up with a plan of action. Kolya will need two cavities filled and one is a baby tooth that the doctor said could be made into a permanent tooth, since there is no permanent tooth behind it. He will need a third one pulled. Once Kole turns 12, he will be started on braces and will need to wear a retainer until he is 21. At the age of 21 he will undergo implants to replace the missing teeth. I didn't get a clear picture on what will happen with the two "sideways" teeth that are growing in wrong.
Both girls got a trim at the hair salon this weekend. They enjoyed that. Of course it is still a big competition for our attention. On Friday we had a big melt-down when Mom and Dad had to go see the specialist about Julia's future. We have formulated a plan for her, more about that at a later time. Well, we were gone just too long and the bottom fell out. A lot of tears and fits came about as a result. Oh well, I guess they are attached! More problems ensued over the course of the weekend from Nadia. She is trying to maintain her control over everything and we just won't let her have the reins. I sometimes forget that she is a child. She reminds me of it every time she throws a fit. I maintain control and composure and when she gets out of hand I deal with her firmly and swiftly. That bumps her back to center until the next crisis comes along.
The kids have taught us the importance of routines. Things get out of whack when something unknown comes along or the schedule gets amended. I keep reminding myself that these are wounded angels entrusted to our care. They are still hurting and mending. We keep them close and under our wings for the time being. I know our friends and family understand the need to stay at home and "nest" with them.
~ Felix ~

6 comments:

Kevin & Pam said...

We thrive on routine also. I think it really helps the kids to know what to expect. I know it helps me too!

Suzanne said...

I am still reading and love hearing what you all are up to!

Rachel & Michael said...

All sounds very good! I love routine. I'm on ww also I love it!

Christine said...

Felix you guys are great! Your family rocks! THanks for sharing. I am inspired by your weight loss plan. Nearly 16 pounds has crept up on me, and I so want to lose them. Continue blogging-- I hope you don't mind me adding you to my blogroll!

Heidi and Felix said...

Cool Christine! Thanks for reading...and that goes for all of you out there, comment-ers & lurkers, we love ya!

Don't forget to watch the pounds melt off the fat-boy at www.felixroge@blogspot.com

Felix

Natasha said...

Hi Heidi and Felix,

This is going to be my third attempt at leaving a comment on your blog - I think I got my password wrong and can't figure out how to post these anymore!
First and foremost - you and the Volfs have been a blessing to us!
How sweet is it that Kolya is already saying "I love you". The girls will too and I'm praying that it happens sooner than later!! Those words are amazing, aren't they?!
My husband Erik and I (Natasha) are leaving for Ukraine in 2 weeks - we sure would appreciate prayers! I blog at www.ry-ky.com.
I hope you don't mind me adding your blog to my Blog Roll.
And how awesome is it that you have the desire to loose weight and you're doing something about it - way to go!!!

Blessings,
Natasha

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.