Monday, October 26, 2009

Makeover My Monday

*This post could alternatively be titled "preserving Monday's sanity" (or Mommy's sanity), but the abbreviation has a few too many connotations/inferences that I am not willing to admit to. I much prefer the 'M' alliteration, don't you?

I work part-time outside of our home, Tuesday-Thursday. So I am home with the cherubs four days out of the week. But for some reason, it is always Mondays that get us. As previously mentioned, I've learned that if I don't have a plan the boys come up with one (see picture to left...don't be fooled into thinking that is a hug). It just seems like there are more battles, more messes, more tears, more tantrums, more TROUBLE on Mondays. Maybe it is because RRL has been home to help all weekend and we are missing him on Mondays. Maybe it is because I feel overwhelmed trying to get the house cleaned up after a busy weekend and get us all ready for the week of work/school/babysitters house. Maybe its because my kids just have the Monday blues. Whatever causes it, I'm definitely willing to take ownership for the fact that Mondays are rough (my attitude, my patience, my attention to what really matters) and I've decided to do something about it. Something small yet intentional.

I've started "Makeover my Monday" plans. Today, and for the previous two Mondays, I just tried to plan ahead for an activity or craft for the boys that is something we don't usually do or haven't done before. In the morning while we get our chores done, I talk to them about what we are going to do. This buys me a little time to get the laundry going, clean up the kitchen or tidy up around the house while they get excited. Then we do our "project" (as KJ likes to call it) when Lou goes down for a nap.
1) The first week we made our first ever (but definitely not last) couch/sheet fort to:
hide in,
read stories in
and play flashlight games in

...and as a bonus, invited a friend over to make and decorate cookies.

2) Last week we decorated pumpkins using things we could find around the house (construction paper, stickers, markers)
Note: I can neither confirm nor deny whether Cbug
colored on his face with brown marker during this
little project.

Aren't the final results just the cutest things you have ever seen? KJ declares them to be "BEEEAUTIFUL pumpkins". I concur.
3) This week we played with dried beans. We measured them, dug for buried treasure (which may or may not have been candy left from last Easter), and made roads for racecars. For the big finale we used the beans inside of paper plates as noise makers and had a dance party (see video below).

Thanks to Kendra V for the idea of digging for things in the beans. The funny thing about the "treasure dig" was that they were having so much fun, they found and re-buried the candy about 12 times before even thinking to ask if they could eat it. And we definitely covered our noise-makers in stickers. Mostly I like involving stickers in every project just to get to hear Cbug say "steeeeeeekers"
over and over. So cute!

This Monday "mission" is definitely still a work-in-process but has already been successful, I think, at giving the boys some time on Monday with my undivided attention (or at least a little less divided). Its been a learning process to figure out the timing to make it happen, what are reasonable expectations for their attention span, etc. It really hasn't been so much about the what we do, as much as just that I have a plan and am intentional about spending some Monday time with them.

I would love to hear your ideas of things to do. I would prefer it to be something we can do in our home, with few supplies, and age appropriate for a nearly 2 year-old and a 3 1/2 year-old. Share your ideas, then when we try it I'll share pictures and let everyone else know how it goes. I've also been posting a facebook status on Sundays saying what we'll be doing on Monday so if anyone else needs "a plan" you can use ours or maybe get an idea of your own. Hope that helps if there is anyone else out there needing "An Extreme Monday Makeover". Hopefully it will also hold me accountable to having a plan ahead of time.

Let me know your ideas!



Allison said...

Here are the two ideas off of the top of my head.
1) Water and food coloring. You can start with clear glasses with water. Then let the kids add food coloring. Have a few extra empty glasses, and after making the intial colors you can mix the colors together and show them how colors mixed form new colors. If you want to do an actual project, you can then water paint with the colors on either plain paper plates or computer paper. Or if you happen to have celery on hand you can put it in the water and have a science experiment for the next few days.
2)My kids LOVE to cook from scratch. I'm sure you already do this, but making any kind of cookie, cake or bread with my kids is always a hit. They love to help measure, count, and take turns pouring in. They also love eating at any point in the process.

Bravo to you for taking advantage of a difficult day and making great memories from it!

Jennifer said...

I love your Monday Makeover idea. I'm looking forward to seeing other people's ideas. Elisa is almost 3 1/2 and her favorite thing to do is play with her toys in the sink and give them "bubble baths" with dish soap. That's all I've got. :)