Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making the Most of Off Days...a.k.a. Seven Sanity Savers

Well, our day started several hours ago...at around 2am to be exact...
Now we are very early risers here, but this was well before when Dear Hubby and I are normally up and at 'em closer to 4 am...
We were up because Little Bro was crying and screaming...took a while to figure out what was the reason for this was that his left ear was really hurting...

We did the children's pain reliever thing but still, he was in loads of pain and it became increasingly obvious that we were not going to be able to wait until an urgent care place would open at 8:30...so sometime around 2:45, we headed out to the ER.
Even though it went pretty fast, by the time we went to the ER, through McDonald's, as the boys were thirsty, then to not one but two pharmacies, and then home, it was approaching near 4:45 in the a.m.
By the time Little Bro had taken his meds and both boys were back to sleep, it was almost 5 a.m.
At that point, our pup decided that he was ready to start his day, so Dear Hubby stayed up with him and I went back to bed with the boys.
Then, when we woke up, Dear Hubby was able to rest, although he never fully got back to sleep...
We all were up for the rest of today by about 10 a.m.
None of us are really in any real shape to be doing work today, but we are trying to make the best of things...
So, Little Bro started out his morning dressed as a cowboy while Big Bro made an attempt at his first morning work. What Big Bro had selected for himself as his first morning work was a language work, but it very quickly proved to be too frustrating for the sort of day we are all having...so instead, we all took a break and enjoyed some homemade pancakes made by Dear Hubby.
After a nice plate of pancakes, Big Bro decided to return his original selection to the shelves and  both boys got out their View-masters with various View-master slides...
 Now, dressing like a cowboy, having a big pancake breakfast, and using View-masters are normally not part of our daily routine, but this day is one of those sorts of days, so you just have to try to make the best of it and go with the flow...
Sanity Saver #1 - Go with the Flow!
Then, following View-master time, Big Bro went and did one of his tried and true favorites...the Reggio style block set we have...
While Big Bro did this, Little Bro decided to do some practical life work. He felt like working on pouring  / water transfer, so he ended up doing two different works.
As Little Bro was working on his work, Dear Hubby wanted me to help round up donations to go to Goodwill.
This was frustrating to me, as normally I am not taking time out from the morning to round up donations, but I really did appreciate that Dear Hubby was willing to lug them in the van over to the drop off, as it would not have worked into our day today otherwise...

Sanity Saver #2: Appreciate your hubby, especially when he is trying to help you! 
I really had to remind myself to be thankful and gracious today.
Dear Hubby was working on even less sleep than I was working on, and yet, he was trying to be a help. (But really, it is a workout for both adults and children when the day is totally off kilter...and ours is pretty much that sort of day.)
Little Bro then decided that he needed to take a break and curled up on the sofa with his blankie.
Big Bro then decided that he also needed to rest, so they both curled up and all was peaceful for a few minutes. Blankies are still quite comforting, so if they get them out, that is okay on a day like today.
Sanity Saver #3: Allow for quiet time and rest when not feeling well...
Big Bro then got up and decided to get out and do a practical life work and then, finally, he decided to revisit what he originally had selected for his first morning work, a language work.
Big Bro then decided that he wanted to spell his words he had been doing with the movable alphabet and combined spelling with running around after spelling each word.
Again, not the norm for us here, but what is normal today?!?
Not much, to be certain...
When Little Bro got back up, he decided to also use the Reggio style block set.
Little Bro then put that set away and got out a marbles set, but it quickly proved to be frustrating to him. Since Dear Hubby is at home, he offered to help Little Bro build with the marble set.

But Dear Hubby is also spent and it soon was equally frustrating for both Dear Hubby and Little Bro.
I tried to let things just happen but finally stepped in and suggested that Dear Hubby go find something else to do in the garage and had both boys put the marbles away, so then, things seemed to calm down a bit and the View-Masters made their way back out...

Sanity Saver #4: Go with how the day is versus how you wish it would be is a good survival technique, whether you are in a homeschool or school setting...
Things sometimes are just outside your control...and if you obsess about how imperfect they are, they do not get any better...and in most cases, they get worse.  
This is a somewhat painful lesson I have learned over the years of being a classroom teacher and now, a homeschooling mom.

Sanity Saver #5: Try to be at peace with where you are at, where you child is at, and where your spouse is at on a day like today is helpful.
You may need to take more breaks, and you will most likely need at redirecting and having everyone take time out for themselves...also remember to take some time out for yourself.
At one time this morning, I returned a call to a dear friend and bloggy buddy of mine.
Thank you, thank you, Jody! 
We spoke on the phone for a while and it just made my morning feel more manageable.
Talking to someone in your same shoes is very helpful, but is not always a possibility...but if you can go into a separate room for even a few moments to regroup, it will make your day go that much better.
Sanity Saver #6: Have a personal space, a sanctuary of sorts, for each person in your family, including the grown ups. 
My little personal sanctuary is our living room, affectionately referred to by Big Bro and Little Bro as "the Tropical Room", as it is all decked out in tropical decor...bamboo, rattan, tropical fabrics and prints, etc.
It is always the cleanest, neatest, clutter free room in our home.
If you don't have a place like this for yourself, make one.
Have one spot that you can retreat in within your home or classroom that is very relaxing to you.

Dear Hubby's personal sanctuary is the garage, as his train set is out there...but it is not nearly as relaxing as my space is...a work in progress...
but he also enjoys working out in the yard on days like today...so our yard is saying a big thanks to Dear Hubby for this, too...

 Sanity Saver # 7:  Add an out-of-the-ordinary snack for some out-of-the-ordinary fun!
Instead of lemonade from lemons, we made some vanilla milks and vanilla lattes!
Well, off to make the most of our out-of-the-ordinary-day today!


Annicles said...

Phew - a very out of sorts day - I do sympathise. I hope your little one sleeps through tonight. Did you say you generally get up at 4am? REALLY? Are you stark staring bonkers?!! You could have at least anther 2 and a half hours sleep. I wish I could get up when I am supposed to instead of being dragged out by my children! - you must got to bed early though?

The Sunshine Crew said...

Thanks for the nice comment.
We generally are up at between 4 and 4:15 every day during the work week, as Dear Hubby leaves for work by 4:30 and our pup is up and at 'em from this point forward, too. If I don't get up when he gets up, usually our pup will start to bark or whine and then, that wakes up the boys.
We do go to bed early...usually both grown ups are in bed by 9 or so...
the boys "sleep in" until about 6:30 or 7. they go to bed at around 8 each night, so it works for us. We adjust our weekend schedule just a bit, but not too much, as then, it is too hard to get back in the groove.
The time in the early morning is actually nice...I get time to myself and get to throw in laundry, unload dishes, and get some coffee going...I left some comments on your blog today. thanks for popping by mine!

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