Chores and Allowance

The girls and their chores. Photo from December 2012.

Our household has been in disarray since the move last month. Martin and I have been cleaning, repairing, painting, and unpacking while simultaneously working full time, and managing the lives and wellbeing of four children — three of whom have been on school holiday for most of the month — all as I’ve been wrapping up my undergraduate program, too.

If it weren’t for our au pair, Wynter, to help us keep afloat, I am fairly certain Martin and I would have lost our minds a long time ago. A lot of things have slipped — chores, bedtimes, and family meetings — but as it stands now, we’ve reached a point where we can begin etching out a family routine once again, and that includes nailing down routine chores for the kids.

In the past, we used a single chore chart hung up in the kitchen or laundry room, in a place where it was seen on a regular basis near our family calendar. But considering the layout of our new house, there isn’t really an appropriate communal space for a chart of chores for multiple people. Plus, with the kids being older, and taking on additional responsibilities while also going in different directions with school and extracurriculars, I wanted to come up with a new way of managing household duties without creating an enormous chart that would soon become an overlooked piece of scenery and not a part of our daily lives.

So I literally put it all in their hands. Continue reading

Sleep Mates

Getting my heavy-sleeper son to use his inhaler when his asthma flares up is impossible, so last night, I carried him into our room to use the nebulizer after he resisted my attempts to wake up and administer his puffs.

I propped him in my spot on the bed, got the nebulizer set up, turned it on, and watched the mist appear around his nose to ease his breathing. Once that started going, I went to get a glass of water, and returned to this.

My husband and son, holding hands, resting contently while the nebulizer hummed. Completely peaceful and serene. Continue reading

Winter

The new village waking up to a winter wonderland.


I’m falling more and more in love with our house on the hill
, but last night, I discovered driving up to it in the snow and ice can be pretty white-knuckling! Just heard the snow plow come through the neighborhood, scraping up the ice and treating the road. Oh, winter fun! Continue reading

Martin the Machine

This man is a machine. The past week has been intense. Driving here and there. Cleaning. Carrying boxes. Moving furniture. Painting. Repairing. Handling all the finances and endless paperwork. Digging out clothes and shoes and whatever else the rest of us need to get thru our day. Continue reading

In the Nick of Time

Last night, I heard Martin drop his paint supplies in the other room, bolt out of the house, and then peel out of the driveway into town. I figured he needed something before the stores closed, so I didn’t think anything of it. He returned about 20 minutes later, looking exhausted.

Continue reading