Saturday, September 22, 2012

Settling In

We have now completed three weeks of school. I am relieved to say we are starting to figure out our new routines and things are going really well. The morning routine is pretty much worked out. Matthew's school has a community breakfast where everyone in the school eats together. I love this idea. It makes sure that all of the kids receive breakfast, doesn't single out those children who receive free breakfast and helps all of the kids settle in and start their day well. The principal uses this time to recognize birthdays, holidays that students are celebrating and make announcements. I also like the community breakfast because it made Matthew's adjustment a little easier. Matthew has always started out his day with breakfast. He had breakfast right after he arrived at day care and last year his 4K class had a community breakfast together. Even his summer program had a morning snack right after the kids all arrived which Matthew thought of as actually having breakfast. He has learned that breakfast signals the start of his school day and is a nice way to help him settle down. Matthew has also seen food as a tool for feeling safe and secure so starting his day with breakfast with his class helps him to perceive his teacher and school as a safe place where his needs will be met. Jacob has decided that he wants to eat breakfast at school this year as well. This is a change for him. His school doesn't have a community breakfast so he has to get to school 15 minutes early and then can choose between eating breakfast and playing on the playground. I always give him his choice since school breakfast is really cheap but I also understand if he wants to play with his friends. So far he has chosen to eat at school which makes our mornings a little smoother and faster. My parents returned from vacation last week and we were very happy to see them again. I am always grateful for everything they do for us. Even just having their emotional support and someone to turn to when I am having a rough day and just need some support is really nice. The only part of our schedule that is still being fine tuned is after school. Jacob and Matthew started their after school activities two weeks ago but the schedule has changed a few times. Jacob had a field trip one afternoon and a party another afternoon last week so he had to change his swim team practices around. Matthew has activiites on Tuesday and Thursdays evenings so those evenings are really busy. They go pretty well except I haven't quite figured out the best way to serve dinner. I am thinking that these are great nights for crock pot dinners but I haven't found very many recipes that I am in love with. I plan to spend some time over the next few weeks experimenting with different dinners (crock pot and ones that are quick to fix) so that those evenings are a little smoother. I am enjoying being with my children in the evenings and not using babysitters at night. That is such a huge change from the past 3 years when I was in class or at my internship at least 2 evenings a week. Now I get off work and I know that I will get to see my kids. The only exceptions are when I have an emergency at work and have to work late but thankfully that doesn't happen often. We are still adjusting to the new school year but we are much more settled than we were even just a couple of months ago. I think it will be another month or so before we really get used to the new schedule and are able to relax a little more but we are getting closer. I still need to figure out some things like when is the best time to buy groceries and run errands but those are details that will get worked out as time goes on. For now I am just happy to finally be getting caught up and able to spend more time with my family.

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