Clara has made it through her first half year of life! Six months is a big milestone. I pulled out the high chair and bibs and now she gets to sit at the table and “eat” (play with) solid food with us–so far, the biggest hit has been pineapple. She also got “big girl” pacifiers, moving from the 0-6 month size to the 6-18 month size. I’m excited about the new pacifiers, because she has ones with handles/knobs that glow in the dark, making them easier to find in the middle of the night. I don’t know if glow-in-the-dark pacifiers didn’t exist before or if I just never saw them, but I thought they were a brilliant idea when I came across them a couple months ago.
The first three weeks of 2017 have gone well. I worked hard to clean up the “green room,” which is sort of a second living room in our house. Our intention was that it would be a play/reading/study room for the boys after we moved here, but it has been a disaster area for most of the time we’ve lived here. Toys and books were strewn everywhere, making it difficult to even walk across the room. It has been cleaned several times, but the cleanliness has been short-lived. Usually, after all the effort I put into organizing everything, putting all the parts to the toys and games back together, and finding space on the floor to play, the boys have been so excited to have the toys and space back to a usable state that they promptly pulled everything out to play with and then left it in a mess. Meanwhile, after seeing all my efforts nullified so quickly, I lost motivation to try to keep it clean.
This time, I came up with a plan to do things differently, in order to get a different outcome. As I cleaned and organized, I put things away in closets, out of sight. I made a list and took pictures of everything, then I printed the pictures out and put them in a little photo album. I explained to the family that we are now operating on a library system. Only one toy can be checked out at a time. It has to be cleaned up and returned in order to get another toy. I gave Simon a “library card” that he can slide into the pocket of the picture in the photo album of whatever he is checking out. I also put a box in the corner of the room for miscellaneous things that need to get put away (like a random Lego piece that I found somewhere in the house, but I don’t feel like hauling out the tub of Legos to put away at that moment).
So far, one week in, it’s working. It is a bit inconvenient for me sometimes because I have to put the checked-in toys away and get out the new ones, instead of Simon being able to do it independently. However, it’s worth it because it is forcing him to clean up after himself before moving on to a new toy, which is a habit I have long tried to instill without great success. Cleaning up never takes very long because there is only one toy out to be cleaned up. Having the floor clear has promoted exercising too–our mini basketball and mini hockey equipment has gotten more use over the past week than it did in the past several months.
The past week, we’ve had several sunny days and days with temperatures above freezing, which restores my faith that spring will come. I know that we’re still in for plenty more winter, but we will make it through.