Right now I am cautiously excited. The new schedule seems to be working over the last week and a half. After the first couple of days of fussiness, the girls are falling into the routine of it. On of the biggest successes, in my mind, is the quiet reading time. After lunch we cuddle up on the sofa and read 'quiet' books. This tends to put K to sleep and calms MBA down after her morning at preschool. Then we have a couple hours of quiet time afterwards. Today MB did not want to read with us, so she chose to go to her room and read to herself. This is great coming from a child that always seems to need to be with other people. Right now she is back in her room creating a 3-D picture for a story about two explorers, a volcano and a diamond that she made up herself. Both K and EM are taking their naps at the same time, and I have quiet in my house. I need to clean the kitchen, but this peace is just too nice to pass up.
The schedule is working in so many other ways. I have scheduled time with the big girls individually to do structured activities. To try and focus on each of their needs. For K this has been very much working on various behavior changes; sharing, not pinching, and other issues I have notice appearing over the last two months. For MB this is often some focus on reading or math readiness. Because they each have my individual attention for a period of time, they are squabbling and competing for my attention much less at other times of the day.
For me, I am losing that feeling like I am forgetting something or not getting to something that needs to get done. I have specific times each day to sit down and focus on things for the household or for my bible study.
Of course on side effect of this is that I have had time to try and tweak our budget again. This is always so frustrating and even guilt-inducing. I can never seem to get it to come out right. Every month we are provided for and seem to make it, but on paper it never adds up. This always leaves me constantly balancing the budget line and determining which day would be best to send in a payment so that it isn't late, but doesn't clear the account too soon. It is so stressful. DH has tried to help me, but for reasons I won't go into here, it is a job that I will have to keep doing. I read the books on family budgeting and stretching dollars, but I have yet to find the magic key for us. Of course I wish that just by reading the books that my budget woes would just magically fix themselves, but like diet books you just have to do it, and keep with it.
Things should get a little bit easier in the coming months. I am waiting on a big refund from the OBs office (we did not have insurance at the beginning of my pregnancy so we had to pay everything up front. Insurance did pay them about a month ago, so now we are waiting for our money back) which will go back into our savings account, our tax refund should be decent (if I will ever receive EMs SS# so that I can file), and dh should start picking up his summer pool clients again. So hopefully we will again have a savings I can start breathing a little easier over those 'emergencies' that seem to pop up, like the two new tires we had to put on the van a couple of weeks ago. This will be great, but it still doesn't help the problem of having X coming in and Y going out, and Y is equal to or more than X most months.
I really wish that I could find some way to help this crunch. I used to think that I would like to have my own home virtual assistant business, but while the kids are young I really want to focus on them. That business would be great in about four or five years. But right now I don't know what I want to do. I am not a 'selling' person, so those wahm opps that have one selling stuff is not for me. All these thoughts constantly run through my head during the day, "I want to do something to help the household financially. I want to be able to focus on the girls. What could I do at home with my skills?" I have prayed and tried to turn it all over to God and ask for his guidance. But I seem to be getting a "hold" signal, I am feeling that I am being asked to wait and hold for right now, not rush into anything. This is so hard for someone like me that always wants to rush into new projects and activities. Just wait, ahhhhh. So I pray some more for the strength to keep waiting. And I keep trying to come up with new options, just to drive myself mad.
Okay, back to interesting stuff :). My schedule has also been blessed by little EM. For almost the last week she has begun to sleep through the night (11:30-6:30). I have never had one of my children do this before when they were still nursing, especially at not quite 2 months. I am just amazed, and I have to admit I was a little worried the first couple of nights. I would pop up from a deep sleep and check on her to make sure she was still breathing. She is a great nurser during the day, and in the evenings she is all but permanently attached to my breasts (yeah slings), so she is packing on the pounds and I am getting the best sleep I have had in almost a year.
Well I have managed to use up all the Quiet Time period. Off to the girls.
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.