Friday, June 14, 2013

So... Progress?

I just finished baking cupcakes for a soccer party. While I was doing this, here's what the kids would have been doing last month:

Watching movies. Lots of them.


Zoen was playing in the sink. My kitchen may be utterly soaked, (namely because the kid learned to use the sprayer). He's still playing in the sink, but since I want to complete this post without interruption, I'll let him stick his entire head under the faucet and shake like a puppy.

He's um... learning?

The three big kids decided to play zoo. Lexi tried charging me money for admission despite the fact that I was merely attempting to cross their zoo to head to the bathroom. She said that it's a toll-zoo. I'm admiring her entrepreneurial spirit.

(Also, entrepreneur is a REALLY hard word to spell if you're not used to writing it).

Zoen is now sticking his feet into the sink. I'm caught between worrying for his safety and admiring his ridiculous flexibility. 

The middles abandoned the zoo to create their own "cupcakes" out of pipe cleaners and spare wrappers. 

This morphed into drawing all over their arms and legs with markers in order to give themselves super powers. No, I don't quite see the transition in thought there, either. But they're powered up and "baking" away. 

Lex is creating monsters out of various craft objects. 

And no one has asked to watch a movie once.  

I suppose it's kind of like when you start a diet, all you can think about is nachos. NACHOS NACHOS NACHOS.  Then by week 2, you're kind of over the nachos and those little dehydrated apples taste pretty amazing. 

(OK, this has never happened to me, ever... BRING ON THE NACHOS. But alas, so I've heard...)

They asked for TV all the live long day in the beginning. Now? Not so much. We're making progress, folks. Progress. 

Now, I have to go fish the toddler out of the sink. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lessons Number 1 and 2

So, here we are... 4 days from my bold blogging of our foray into (semi) screen free-ness.

I should have waited until after the massive amount of rain that we had on Friday.

It all started innocently enough. We had gone to the library the night before and stocked up on more books than we had shelves.

There's no limit of how many we can check out at our library! Jackpot! For them. This just increases the odds that I'm going to owe my second born child and my car to them as collateral for library fees.

Anyway, our shelves were full. Knowledge! Imagination!

Half of our stash.
For the first 15 minutes, there was a lot of this:

Peaceful reading
Exactly 4.5 seconds after the above picture was taken, someone threw a book which bounced off of the floor and knocked someone else in the face. There were many accusations, tears, and episodes of civil unrest.

I looked at the pile of dishes in the sink and the piles of laundry on the couch. I looked back at the mutiny. Chores. Mutiny. Chores. Mutiny.

I debated sending them outside and locking the door. But it was pouring, so no. (I did make them go out later).

I also debated letting them fight for first blood.

Then I sighed and turned on a 30 minute show.

I got the dishes and the done and they piled together like puppies and happily watched television.

I had made it 1 hour and 47 minutes into day 2.

My lessons learned?

1.Time without television pretty much guarantees that the kids will descend like ants to honey when they hear a screen turn on. This has many benefits. I can sit and drink coffee and play on my phone (screen). I can do the dishes and other chores without tiny hands making more messes.

2. Rain makes kids nutty. Nutty kids make massive messes. Budget screen time for rainy days.

Lessons learned. Onward!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Desperate Times Call For... A Movie?

Today started at 4:50am with an overtired, cranky 2 year old who was firmly convinced in his delirium that his sister's bed held the key to all happiness. So in light of not wanting the house to be full of more overtired and cranky children, this is where we stand, (or lay), this morning:

Never fear! Today will be full of us Doing Fun Things. 

Or maybe we'll start this whole shenanigan tomorrow... 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Diving In!

So, we're attempting a (semi) screen-free summer.

There. I've said it on the internet. That means it's true, right?

A few weeks ago, I looked out the window to see my kids knee deep in dirt, having themselves a grand time in the great outdoors. They stayed out for the whole day, popping their heads in briefly for snacks or a bathroom break. The TV didn't go on that day or for a week thereafter.

"Isn't this great?" I thought to myself. "Shouldn't they be doing that all the time? Hey... what if we went totally screen free this summer?"

I looked down at the phone in my lap.

"Ok, what if we went mostly screen free?"

I mentioned the idea to Shaun. He heard the sound of saved money when I mentioned cancelling cable and was instantly on board. 

I fleshed out the idea a little.

1. No TV
2. Movies on special nights, pre-planned. 
3. iPad time would be limited and earned. 
4. I would (gasp) put my phone away most of the day. 
5. I'd blog it. (Yes, a screen... but I have to document the insanity). 

The one obvious exception is when we drive to Texas like crazy people would... I'm giving unfettered screen access during that drive. I like my sanity right where it is, thank you very much.

So... today was supposed to be day one. We surrendered the cable box and remote. I hid the iPad. 

Then the eldest was up 3 times last night with a cough. The youngest infiltrated our bed and rose at 5am. Bleary eyed, I fished the iPad out of the cabinet and tossed it in his general direction. The middles woke up shortly thereafter and I transferred movie watching to the television to allow the eldest to sleep and me to have an uninterrupted cup pot of coffee. The youngest decided he would NOT wear a diaper this morning, but he also won't stay on the potty unless the movie is on. (I know this because he walked in the kitchen to pee. ON ME). So they're on movie # 2. 

Day 1 SUCCESS. Or... um, something. 

But hey, it's a start. Stick around for stories of our insanity, posts about what we're doing to fill our time, and some accountability to help me stick with it. Or join with me! Oh, you know how misery loves company! :)


Maybe I should go turn that television off now? Maybe once I down another cup of coffee. 

Signing off... for now.

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