Monday, February 17, 2014

A Day in the Life ~ A Catch Up Day

An introduction ~ We are a homeschool family of six. Our four children all have some or many special needs. Our oldest son, 23 has an acquired brain injury which he received in infancy due to a heart attack and stroke. He has cardiac and pulmonary issues as well. Tim still lives at home and attends a day program 4 days a week. Our oldest daughter, Goldilocks 13, is adopted and has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) as well as mental health issues. She struggles with a low IQ. She must be watched every minute of the day or chaos ensues. Our second son, Tom Sawyer 11, is also adopted and also has FASD. In addition, he struggles with poor muscle tone and a weak core due to Cerebral Palsy. He is blessed to be intelligent and have fewer learning issues than his biological sister Goldilocks. Our last child, Little Red Riding Hood 10, is blessed to have only mild learning issues and some mild vision problems which make it more difficult for her to learn to read and write. In all other ways she is a normal girl.

I went back and forth on which day in the life to show this week. Recently, our weeks have been atypical, what with the snow here in the south and lots of canceled appointments. I decided to show this Saturday because it was a catch up day for our family with lots of make up appointments. Even though it was a Saturday, it was more like a typical day for us since we were not snowed in. In a typical week, we have only one day that has no appointments or commitments.
5:19 am - 6:00 am ~ I wake up to the howling wind. It sounds like it is going to bring down trees at any moment. I snuggle deeper into the covers and try to go back to sleep. It is no use. I decide that quiet Mommy time is as good as sleep and get up.

6:00 am - 7:15 am ~ I make tea and settle down to read some blogs and catch up on email. I am really bad about checking email daily which seems to be a requirement in modern society. I then go over our lessons plans and see what we missed in the past week. I am a person who loves lists, check marks and filled in squares in my lesson books. Each of our children has an individual lesson book and many of the squares were still blank for the past week. I decide to make the day a catch up day since we have a make up dance class and make up occupational therapy (OT) in addition to our regularly scheduled Special Olympics gymnastics class.

7:15 am - 8:15 am ~ Tom Sawyer wakes up and joins me in the kitchen/dining room. He is quiet in the morning and we both hug and sit down with our tea and enjoy a bit more silence. Then I explain to him the plan of making the day a catch up day and tell him he can earn some computer time if he does his typing program for 20 minutes. He is overjoyed and starts his typing program right away. He moves on to his computer game and I quickly turn on all of the appliances (washer, dryer and dishwasher). Tim also wakes up during this time and takes a shower.

Tim doing his morning chore.

8:15 am - 8:50 am ~ Goldilocks wakes up and our home becomes instantly rowdy and awake. Goldilocks is a ball of energy every waking moment. Within minutes Little Red Riding Hood and Daddy are awake and making their way to the kitchen for breakfast. Everyone does assigned morning chores and Goldilocks works on the U.S.A coloring wall map.

9:00 am ~ Dad takes Tim to his volunteer job at the nature center and I take Tom Sawyer and Little Red Riding Hood to a make up dance class (Goldilocks comes along for the ride). Tom Sawyer is invited to join the dance studio's Tween Company class for the rest of the year and join Tween Company as a full dance student next year. Two kids in Tween Company! I am proud of how hard they both work at dancing and theater. While we are at dance, Goldilocks works on her spelling book.

When class ends, we head for our next appointment at OT.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm ~ While Goldilocks and Tom Sawyer are having their make up occupational therapy, Little Red Riding Hood and I go out to pick up lunch with some great coupons we have.

12:00 pm -1:00 pm ~ We hurry home to change clothes and check in with Daddy before heading off for our last class, gymnastics.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ~ Even though gymnastics is a special needs class, Little Red Riding Hood is allowed to participate. They all love this wonderful class. Tom Sawyer and Goldilocks are on the Special Olympics team this year and will compete at the state capital in June. Tom Sawyer has a difficult time having enough strength to make it through the class today. He is more than ready for a rest break once we are all done.

2:20 pm - 3:30 pm ~ Everyone has free time at home. Goldilocks needs some centering time (calm down time in her room). She is often very wound up and sassy/rude after being out in the community. I give her a new audio book from the library and put her in her room. Tom Sawyer finishes his computer time and works on his Lego project for the upcoming Lego Club meeting. Little Red Riding Hood makes rubber band bracelets and I take a quick power nap. DH is busy working on our computer system and Tim is resting in his room.

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm ~ DH and I divide up the chore list and the errand list. We then divide up the kids. He takes Goldilocks and I keep the rest. We rotate laundry, make dinner, clean the boys' bathroom, go to the grocery store and Target.

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm ~ We settle the four kids down to dinner and then DH and I take turns freshening up for our date.

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm ~ Grandma arrives to babysit. We head out to eat. Our first choice has a really long line so we move on to the Atlantic Bread Company. We luck out and get a table right in front of the roaring fireplace. After a calm and restful dinner/dessert, we head out to...Walmart...I know, not very romantic. However, we are there to get me a new phone! We pick the straight talk, no contract plan and are delighted that I now will have more minutes plus texting capabilities. Lastly, we finish our date at a used book store. We almost always end up in a book store at the end of our dates. DH finds a book he has been wanting to read and I pick up a few very detailed coloring books with stories for Goldilocks (World War II and Bible Stories).

8:45 pm ~ We arrive home to a very upset and overwrought son who had a bit too long of a day. Tom Sawyer is being inflexible and needs some negotiating/coercion to get into bed. By 9:30 pm everyone is tucked in bed and DH and I veg with our books.

Wow! I am exhausted just recapping the day!

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Wow, what a busy day! Which I guess means you live quite a busy life :) It's wonderful to read about the various activities the kids participate in, and that are available to them.

  2. That is a busy day! What a blessing to have a grandparent able to babysit close by! I love all of your activities outside and the quiet time to recover at home. It sounds like you have a great rhythm for your family.

  3. I love being able to do catch up days! Way to go on making time for a date night too!