A new start

Seems that we have two times in a year, when we adjust and we reconsider what we are doing at the moment.  It’s right after school breaks, for summer and for winter.  It’s both times when Mark stays at home for longer periods of time and we need to get used to a new routine after he goes back to work.

I like it.  I like it that we have these periodical times when we do this, though many times, it’s not easy on everyone.  Sometimes it’s not easy to look at yourselves and evaluate.  We look back at what we’ve done.  We decide what worked, what didn’t, what we liked and what we didn’t.  Then comes the hard part.  What do we want to change and how to do it.

This year, after returning from India, we decided to try something new.  Siena felt like she needed more structure on her days.  I felt the same way with my days and also needed more help in the day-to-day things.  So we came up with a calendar inspired by Heather from Beauty that Moves.

This is Lucas’s calendar.  It has more clip art than the rest of us, because it helps him remember what things need to happen when.  But I tried to keep some color in all of ours.  Because who doesn’t like to have a drawing of someone singing in the shower to remind you to take one, right?

We’ve been trying it for about over a month now, and it’s been great.  It’s been fun actually.  Lucas and Siena can’t wait to check things off their list.  I thought we’d use these lists again and again, but they like marking them off.  It’s fun to see them so excited to do all the work we decided to put in our lists.  And makes it really fun to talk about Mark’s list.  He doesn’t check his lists off, so Lucas every day laughs so hard saying “Papá didn’t go to work today!” or “Papá didn’t eat lunch!” It is funny, every time he says it.

It has made our days smoother.  We don’t have to keep asking for their help.  They just know what they said they’d do each day and they want to check them off too.  It’s more like a game, and that’s all I wanted, really.  I didn’t want to stress over who did what when.

We are far from being a neat and decluttered house, but it works for us right now.  Our house is kept much cleaner and organized during the week than it was before, and especially from being gone, it seems that we had “travel items” laying around for a long time.  This way, we are not spending lots of hours on the weekend tidying up the house when we could be sleeping (right!), playing or riding our bikes outside.

Thanks Heather for your great help and inspiration! It has made this transition to our new days here back at home, coming from 4 months in India, a lot easier.

We also did a deep cleaning and organizing of our books.  Siena loves doing this.  She wanted to make little signs to help us know which types of books we already have handy.

These cute little tabs, have made our searching, already much easier and much more fun.  I love them!  Having everything cleaned, organized and re-organized to what works for us now, makes our days much smoother.  It is a complete new start.

I was having a hard time coming back.  I knew, from having traveled a little before, that we would have a return culture shock, but I wasn’t really prepared for it.  I wasn’t ready for all four of us having this at different times, dealing with it in different ways.

I’m slowly getting used to our new lives here.  It’s all pretty much the same, I know.  It was only four months.  It’s mostly all the same.  Same house, same place of work for Mark, same friends, same street, same neighbors, but it seems that everything is really different.  I think it’s because we are different.  We’ve grown, we’ve seen things we had never seen before.  We lived things we had never lived before.  We experienced things that made us change forever.  Things, people, places we will never forget. I hope we don’t.   It was an experience I am still trying to understand, trying to grow from and trying to keep close to our hearts.  It is, and I think it will always be a very dear and full of memories to us all.


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