My husband and I work opposite schedules. I work 5:30am to 1:30pm. He works 6pm to 3am. I see him long enough to pass the baton on childcare and feed him dinner. Olivia is in Kindergarten and the other two go to Mother's Day Out (which I affectionately call Father's Day to Sleep) Monday through Thursday (except for Zoe, they didn't have a space for her on Tuesday, so that's her Daddy Day). Originally, the opposite schedules were to avoid paying for childcare, but our kids needed more structure than Daddy can normally provide. It is still very helpful when school is out or the kids are sick. All that is just to let you know that "family time" is very limited. We do have Friday nights, all day Saturday, and Sunday mornings together, but for a while it just consisted of my husband laying on the couch, the girls being bored out of their skulls, and me being frustrated about the whole thing.
At the beginning of the year, we implemented a behavior reward system - the marbles I've mentioned before. I have to admit that in the past, things like this didn't last with us. We did sticker charts and it worked a week or so and I'd forget to dole out the stickers. But for some reason, this is working for us. The girls don't always earn their rewards.... this week for example... but they keep trying even when they didn't get their reward the week before. I've consciously made each reward family-oriented so that Saturdays are our "family days." It kind of worried me that if they didn't earn their reward that we wouldn't do anything, but so far, we still have gone out to do something, even if it wasn't their reward.
This week they were trying to earn a trip to the ice cream shop. It didn't happen, but Bill decided we would go to the Toltec Mounds State Park (I might be totally forgetting part of the name of the place, but that's close). It's a park dedicated to the mounds built by the Toltec Indians in the area. It really just has some walking paths.. but we hadn't been. It was a lot of fun.
As a little change within a change, I'm trying to use my camera more, so these family outings give me a chance to exercise my camera. Normally I'm obsessive with my camera, but the past year was unusual. I didn't take all that many pictures at all. I guess I wasn't in the right frame of mind. Last year just wasn't good mentally for me. I'm doing much better this year, so far.
These glasses were passed around the girls all day. Their "movie star" glasses. =)
It was a gorgeous day.
If you look, you can kind of see me in this picture....
After walking around the mounds, we went over to another park with a playground and let the girls play for a while. I'm not sure what they are really called, but they had one of those old merry-go-round kind of things there. You know, the kind you played on as a kid and probably got a concussion flying off when some bigger kid got it spinning super fast. Or at least you puked. I almost did while we were there, but I was laying on it funny trying to be all artistic with my pictures. We played on a lot of dangerous playground equipment now that I think about it. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that our children are so ultra-protected sometimes. A little of both I think.
Afterwards, we went out to eat dinner, where my husband ate peanut butter on his cheeseburger. I know... gross... he said it was good and would try it again. I did try a bite, but he had some other nastiness on his burger I couldn't get past to really pass fair judgment on the peanut butter. Again, a pretty successful adventure in eating in public. Bill's head didn't spin around and I only had to make two bathroom trips with the girls.
Of course, no ice cream... Maybe next Saturday.