Last year we focused on Lamb 2. The best comparison I have is it was like a part time job for me. I was very busy taking him to therapy 4 hours a week. We also had exercises to do at home with him. I wrote reports to communicate between all his different doctors and therapists. I paid medical bills and called insurance and doctor's offices when those bills were incorrect. I kept track of medical miles and medical bills paid for taxes. This was all in addition to homeschooling 3 Lambs; taking the Lambs to piano lessons, track/cross country; and helping Lamb 2 practice piano/review music flashcards. Last year made a huge difference for Lamb 2 and I would do it all again if we had to.
We were all really looking forward to Lamb 2 graduating from all his therapy. He has a checkup scheduled with vision therapy on Monday. If that goes well he will be done with VT completely. In January he had a checkup after his nose surgery and everything was well with that.
The first few weeks of 2015 I took a chance to rest after being so busy last year. Then I began getting caught up in several areas of my life. Last year I did not participate in our health insurance rewards program at all. This year I've already had my physical and I have made plans to get all reward dollars offered. I hadn't done very much school planning since last September, this year I am planning out each week. In homeschool all 3 Lambs are accomplishing a lot this year. I have begun decluttering-I cleaned out my pantry, freezer, refrigerator, and a few kitchen cupboards. Some of that was never done since we moved here 3 years ago!
I have begun some decluttering projects that I have never done before. I organized my recipes that I printed out, especially the Paleo ones. That was just a put them in a binder job, eventually I want to weed through and try recipes and throw them out if we don't like them. I am going through every single cookbook and deciding which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of. This is a huge job as I inherited a lot of cookbooks from both our moms. The cookbooks that I decide to keep, I'm writing our favorite recipes in the back of them. I now have a collection of several Paleo cookbooks and I needed better organization to find recipes in them.
In addition to the decluttering I am hoping to start doing some spring cleaning here soon. We have lived here 3 years and that is long enough to need deep cleaning in some areas of my house, especially after it didn't get much cleaning last year.
What surprised me though was it is the every day little things as part of my routine that has made the most difference this year. Most of the time I am caught up on all the dishes and laundry now. This is huge for me to go to bed with the counters clean even when we aren't expecting company! I am blogging more frequently. I am caught up on paperwork so I'm not dreading getting things ready for our tax lady. I have read more books in the first two months of this year than I have in the last two years. Ram and I have read aloud several books to the Lambs in the last month. I am getting enough sleep for the first time since Lamb 1 was born.
The Lambs have also really loved this change of routine. After they finish their school work and practice piano they have all afternoon to play. Some days they go to the neighbor's backyard that they also homeschool and they have three boys close in age to our Lambs. Some days they play board games together. They have pulled out some games and toys that I didn't see them play with for a really long time. Some days they tinker around in the garage with their tools and scrap wood. They are ready to play with their neighborhood friends when they get home from school. I have allowed them to stay up later when they are playing together nicely. Most of the time their room is picked up and organized so they can find things now.
Some people thrive with a busy schedule, but I am not one of those people. Sometimes our schedule is not under our control. I couldn't help being busy when I had 3 Lambs ages 4 and under. I couldn't help being busy when we needed to help Lamb 2 last year. I can't help being busy when I volunteer at church for a week of VBS. But I am much less stressed and a better wife and a better mother when our schedule is not packed. Remembering what our life was like last year helps me say no to the Lambs getting involved in one more activity and I can say no to one more volunteer job. The entire family is happier when that happens.