Friday, February 14, 2014

Our Routine

I asked on facebook if anyone had any blog-topic ideas ... because my writing fuel is running low after this recent sprint. AJ asked about a daily schedule. Every day is a little different so here's a very boring post about our weekly routine - that often is thrown out the window for various reasons. But in general ....

Sunday - Ren Man works all day. He gets up in the "middle of the night" and leaves (in theory) by 7:30 or so to get to work - a 45minute commute. He works at a retirement community - I guess is the best description - cooking. He loves it. He was working full time over the summer (remember the summer where I had 4 kids and was farming full time and 2 of the kids needed constant supervision despite their 4-5yr old status?). That was intense. For all. So he's working 2 days a week and happy with that.
The first kid usually wakes up a few minutes after 7 (and it's usually Child F.). She gets up, pottys, and goes downstairs to wait for me to bring her clothes. I get up, get myself dressed, in contacts, and by then another kid or two is awake. When everyone is awake I get clothes for Child F., Child D. and Baby E. and they get dressed downstairs in front of the fire. Then everyone has their hair brushed and then breakfast. Usually oatmeal or granola. The kids then play and I get on the computer and/or do laundry/cleaning/dishes. Around 10 Baby E. starts getting pretty fussy. Lately I've been trying to hold her off on a nap. At 11, I start lunch for the younger two and then they go down for naps. Then it's lunch-making for the older 3. They have strict instructions to stay quiet while the younger two are napping.
When the younger two wake up, they get a snack along with the older 3. Then it's outside for farm chores. Next is dinner making, then bed for the younger 3 and then bed for the older 2.

Monday - Ren Man works all day again. Same morning routine except at 7:30 I leave to bring Child F. to school. Usually at least one of the two younger kids are also with me and often Del wants to come along too. If either of the younger two are still asleep, I try to leave them home with my dad, who doesn't start work until 10am.
Back home we'll do what we do on Sunday mornings, except without Child F. I try to get some farm chores done while the younger two are sleeping (but it's a little early for afternoon chores, so I can't do all of them). I also make sure to wash the milker that Ren Man leaves while the younger two are napping. Whoever is awake when I leave at 1:30 to pick up Child F., is welcome to come. The rest stay with my dad, who has a lunch break from 2-3pm. When I get back from picking up Child F. I finish chores. Then inside to make dinner (although lately my mom has been bringing home takeout on Monday nights), dinner, bed. Ren Man often stays up late late this night because he's prepping for his Tuesday class and hasn't had time before now.

Tuesday - Usual morning routine but Ren Man brings Child F. to school on his way to a local college where he adjuncts one class. He picks her back up at the end of her day and comes home. Usually he does afternoon chores on Tuesday. Tuesdays I tend to do laundry. Not on purpose, it just happens that way.

Wednesday - Same as Monday in the morning, except Ren Man is home so I don't always bring extra kids to drop Child F. off. Ren Man does all of the farming on Wednesdays. When I pick Child F. up at 2pm from school, I have 3-5 kids with me. I drive them to town, drop off farm deliveries quickly on my way to the dss office so the younger 3 can have their visit with their parents. During that time we do errands around town - run to the bank, groceries, avoid target because it sucks me in, and as a big treat - the library! I always leave strict instructions for Ren Man to have chores and dinner done by the time we get home. This rarely happens. He's usually still in the barn. And I'm stressed about getting a dinner thrown together.

Thursday - just like Tuesday.

Friday - just like Wednesday, except no afternoon town run. So it tends to be a very relaxed day. Ren Man often makes cheese, yogurt, and/or butter. If it's a farmer's market week, he's also making bread and sometimes cookies.

- every other Saturday we have the winter market, so Ren Man goes to that. On the off-Saturdays it's a down day. Farm chores - and the bigger farm chores that don't need attention every day, but build up over time.

That is the very general overview.

Part of the fostering process in the very beginning is a talk about family rules, routines, and preferences. I explained that we were very laid back and didn't have rules really - just be respectful. And we were often flying by the seat of our pants, so didn't have a set routine.
Then we had our first placement and I figured out quick what chaos was. Kids that we've fostered have no rules, no routines, and no respected preferences. So I figured out our rules and routines quick. Furniture is for sitting on, not for jumping or standing on. We eat at the table. We don't counter surf for food. Etc. We also have a fairly regular routine. We always have. It was just hiding in our "normal". When you're compelled to teach others your family culture, a culture that is so family-specific, you realize the view of your "normal" life from the outside looking in.

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