Thursday, September 8, 2016

Back to School Routine

Off to school on their first day!
I honestly do not know where the summer went this year!  It seems like I was just picking the girls up from their last day of school, and now they've been back to school a little over a week!!  The last week of their summer vacation, I was feeling like we didn't do enough, or we didn't do anything too exciting, or I worked too much (20 hours a week from home).  Also, with my "baby" leaving elementary school and moving up to 5th grade at the middle school, and my eldest entering 10th grade (!!) I was having the pangs of the rapid passage of time and how did this two little munchkins grow up so quickly?  A funny thing happened though on the first day of school - I had a distinct feeling of "there is nothing I can do about it now, today is a new day" and I have quickly gotten into the school routine again!  

But our routine has changed a lot this year!  My girls both ride the same bus - at the same time - last year the bus & driver made the route at 6:30am to pick my eldest up, and then did the route again to pick my youngest up at 8:00am!  This year, with one in middle school and one in high school, they are on the same bus, so my youngest and I are getting up at 5:45am every morning to make the 6:30 bus!  My eldest still gets up at 5:30am as she has the past few years, but now she has to share the bathroom with her little sister -- she is not thrilled about that!  Last year my older daughter had a routine of getting up, eating breakfast, relaxing for a few minutes whether back in bed or on the computer or on her iPod, then getting ready for school.  Her make-up routine involved mascara.  Over the summer, when her cousin and best friend came to visit for a week she was introduced to the larger world of make-up (tasteful, of course!) and so that takes a little more mirror time in the morning!  Last year, I would get up about 20 minutes before my daughter left on the bus -- she is more than capable of getting herself ready and out the door, but I wanted her to have some company in the morning and also wanted to make sure that she got on the bus safely.  

I had planned to get up earlier this year and help my little one get ready.  All summer she begged to have an alarm clock -- panicking about how would she wake up on her own at 5:00 (really 5:45, but she had 5 in her head) without an alarm clock?  I promised I would wake her, but she insisted, so I found a little white alarm clock with multi-colored numbers -- for $5.99 at Target!  Can't beat that!  We got that the week before school started and every night at bedtime she wanted to set it for "5:00" the next morning!  I convinced her that we could wait, no need to wake up so early when we didn't have to!  A few days before school we began getting her back to an earlier bedtime.  The first day of school, at 5:45am her alarm made the first "blip" of it's little song, and she bounced out of bed and shut it off, ready to start the day!  This summer, we cleaned out the clothes in both girls' closets and set them up with one of those hanging fabric shelves that has about 6 "pockets" (shelves).  My eldest is not quite using it the way I had in mind, but my youngest and I have gone through her clothes and picked out a week's worth of outfits at a time and we put one complete outfit in each "pocket."  In the morning, her alarm goes off, she gets up, opens her closet and takes out her outfit to get dressed!  This has been working WONDERFULLY for both her and me!  It saves both of us time in the morning!

I am not normally a morning person, but this past week in particular, I have found myself enjoying staying up (I really could go back to bed for a little bit if I wanted) and getting work done earlier, straightening things up around the house, etc.  Yesterday, I had pot roast in the crock pot at 6:00am, had made beds, done the dishes, folded some laundry, and put 4 hours of work in by 11:00am!  What a great feeling!!  I was lucky to find a part-time, 20 hour a week job as a virtual executive assistant, and so I am able to work from home which really is a blessing!  It can be a stressful job, in spite of the fact that I work at home and can work in my pj's if I want...  I am trying to better manage my time so that when the girls get home around 2:30pm, I am done with work and available to help with homework and hear about their day with no work distractions!  So far so good since school started last week!

What types of things do you do to help ease back into the school routine?

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