Getting Back to Normal

The question is what is normal?

Ice Skating

We have had crazy busy stuff since October 12 (Issac’s birthday and the beginning of our holiday season). With Rachel’s birthday over we finally can settle down. The problem is with the ice melted, the snow melting (we will have more, believe me), and no big upcoming events the kids are at a loss for what to do. I haven’t pointed out to them that our wedding anniversary is this weekend (and that they are all going off to visit family so that Shamus and I could have alone time to celebrate 13 years) deliberately. I want a little peace and quiet and boredom. Boredom is good for them, it gets their brains moving, it gets them thinking outside the box (unless we have boxes, then they think inside and all around them.)
At the Science Center

Today is a normal day. Today the kids have spent 5 minutes each working upstairs in their rooms doing some sort of cleaning up, and 5 minutes downstairs, again doing some sort of cleaning project– whatever floats their boat as long as it makes a difference. I am finding that 5 minutes makes all the difference.
Ice Skating

Rach spent 15 minutes doing Wii Fit and the other two have also been asked to do at least 15 minutes of some sort of physical activity (what and when is completely up to them– I only ask because Esther will spend all day reading without moving and then can’t sleep, and Issac will spend most of the day doing quiet sedentary activities only to be bouncing off the walls come bedtime– again, 15 minutes makes all the difference).
A Very birthday tea.

The kids decided that they would like to have boredom buster boxes, just in case they can’t think of something to do or need drawing ideas or book ideas, so they helped me put those together. They are free to fill them with their own ideas (because some days we have too many ideas about what we want to do and others not enough.) In the meantime I put some of their favorite (and forgotten) activities in the boxes in case they need something to do, knowing that they will likely not touch the boxes– just knowing they are there is enough.
At the Science Center

And what are they doing?

Esther reading

Esther is on the 4th Gregor the Underlander book, nearly ready to start the 5th. She is curled up on the couch in the living room, cuddled under a blanket, enjoying the story (and grateful to Penny who suggested the books). She has already spent some time drawing and reading, and will likely spend some time in conversation with her siblings or us (her parents) about what she has read and the thinky thoughts she has developed because of the books. She will also likely spend some more time listening to audio books (she listened during breakfast and lunch and will likely do more later). Earlier she watched the rest of the Bionicles movie her brother rented (for some reason he doesn’t want her to watch with him.) She is also attempting to start an idea journal so she can remember ideas for stories, poems, drawings when she needs them as she constantly has ideas when she is otherwise occupied.
At the Science Center

Issac is in his room building and listening to audio books. The trip to the library yesterday scored some new audio books (boy am I tired of Geronimo Stilton. He is great and all but too much is enough.) Earlier he spent some time cuddling me while Rach and I watched a movie he didn’t want to watch and whining because his sister was in his room. He likes to be in there alone, building and thinking and designing, then later emerging with whatever project that he has been working on for the world to see. He has also been spending time reading Calvin and Hobbes and Francis.
Ice Skating

Rachel is feeling a bit off today (partly just down after such a busy birthday weekend) so she and I have been watching “Tin Man” which we just discovered today and are enjoying thoroughly. She is also coming up with ideas for her brother’s busy box– she loves coming up with activity ideas and this way he doesn’t feel bossed by her. She is also helping me find things to put in the bowls in the living room– because if it is in the bowls Issac will get it out and research it. Right now she is up in her room designing saris though earlier she was blogging on her site. She is reading the American Girl’s Smart Girl’s Guide to Internet Safety which I am thrilled with since she wants to spend more time online and make some internet friends. She made breakfast for her siblings and spent quite a bit of time drawing with the new pastel pencils I picked up. She also spent a lot of time talking– today mostly to her dad about random stuff, asking lots of questions about everything.
Rachel's 12 birthday

You can see the painting in the background.

In the meantime I have been working on painting with acrylics and learning a lot, mostly learning how much I don’t know about working with acrylics but it is getting there and I am learning. Also have been spending time trying to get one of the sites back online, and finally, a week later managed to get in touch with someone who knew what was wrong and fixed it. And now back to the kids– Rach wants to watch the next episode of Tin Man and is being very patient.