This week marks my first week back at work since mid December, and our final step into what I call our “new normal”. Our new normal now includes the following:
We borrowed an idea from Mark’s brother and his wife and we color-coded the kids. This applies to cups, snack plates and snack bowls. Beza is blue, Noah is orange, Wendemagegn is green and Natalie is yellow (works great with the IKEA kids stuff). This way we’re not always looking at the cups all over the kitchen and saying “What color cup did you have today?” I also now know exactly who left their snack bowl in the family room. This has been a real sanity saver!
It now takes two of us to accomplish homework time with much of that attention going to Beza and Wendemagegn, especially if they have any sort of reading comprehension exercise. Though their speaking English is really well and they read quite well, it doesn’t mean they understand everything they read. So there is lots of stopping and explaining. I know this will get better with time.
Serving dinner takes teamwork. When all the food is prepped I give a holler to Mark who will come and help me dish up and get things handed out. We’ve never been a “put it on the table and pass it around” kind of family – not sure why. We dish up the plates and put them on the table, leaving the food in the kitchen. Probably has to do with portion control for the kids. So now this takes both of us to accomplish in a timely manner.
I now make school lunches the night before – at least everything except for the sandwich (they claim it get soggy if done the night before).
While it can be done by one person, getting ready and getting breakfast in the morning is definitely easier as a team. I get the boys up; Mark does the girls. (Non-morning person Mom does a better job waking up non-morning person Noah.) Mark fixes breakfast (a.k.a throwing frozen pancakes in the microwave) while I do girls hair, finish lunches and get my own breakfast.
We are still learning and adjusting to our “new normal” but it keeps life interesting and we are loving it.