Moving to Dublin has mixed up our morning routine completely. In Washington, Kevin worked the afternoon/evening shift, so he was home during the hectic morning time. Most parents know what I’m talking about, during the school year it can be so stressful to get the kids up, dressed, fed, lunches made, and out the door in time to catch the bus or get to school on time. Last year, I had Kevin to help me. His job was making breakfast and he was good at it. He played short order chef for the kids every morning, sometimes making up to four different things to make everyone happy. My job was to make sure the kids were dressed and ready to go at the designated time and I made Maddex his lunches, or told him to buy lunch when I didn’t feel up to it. Kevin would normally take Maddex to the bus stop and then the girls to preschool before leaving for work. We had an amazing routine down to a science and we had that routine going from the time Maddex started preschool almost five years ago.
Moving to Dublin has shaken up our perfect morning routine. Kevin now works the early shift, leaving before 5am, and I am on my own to deal with the pre-school routine. Luckily for me, I only have to do this three days a week, Monday through Wednesday, and I have Kevin to help on Thursday and Friday. I’m still working on perfecting the routine and getting into a whole new groove. My kids are early risers, so I don’t have to struggle with getting them out of bed; Roxi and I are normally the last ones to get up. My morning tasks include: making breakfast, making lunches, and helping the kids get dressed in their uniforms; which also means some days I need to iron shirts, yuck. I try to keep breakfast simple, cereal, eggs, or toast/bagel; sometimes Maddex likes all of the above. I like my morning coffee and eggs.
After breakfast is done, the kids are off to get dressed. Maddex and Mila wear uniforms and Khaleesi can wear whatever she wants to preschool. I usually try to get Roxi dressed as well, and myself, though staying in my yoga pants all day would be nice. While the kids are dressing, I make lunches. Maddex and Mila eat lunch at school; and Khaleesi just needs a snack. There are no “hot lunches” at school, and there is a healthy eating policy in place. There can be no crisps (chips), chocolate, or fizzy drinks in lunches. There are some children in the junior block (this is the area where Jr. Infants through 2nd Class are located), who have severe nut allergies; the kind where coming in contact with the oil of nuts can make them have a severe reaction. For this reason, all nuts are off limits in lunches. That makes things more difficult for me since the kids love PBJ sandwiches and peanuts; oh well, we will figure that out as we go. They do have a program where they give out a piece of fruit and a carton of milk each day, free of charge; it’s all part of their “healthy eating scheme.” This will start the second week of school, which begins on Monday.
Once everyone is dressed and ready to go, we all grab our backpacks, I put Roxi in my kid carrier backpack and Khaleesi hops in the stroller and out the door we go. The walk to school takes about 20-25 mins depending on traffic; we have to cross two busy streets and a total of 5 crosswalk lights, which can take what feels like forever. The walk to school is about .8 miles each way. Once we get to school, the kids have a few minutes to play before they need to line up and wait for their teachers to come collect them. After, four days of school, I think we finally figured out where Maddex and Mila’s lines are. I wait until both kids have gone into the school and then I walk Khaleesi over to her preschool, which is located just behind the school. Monday was her first day and she was super excited to be going to school too. Afterwards, she said she had so much fun. The teachers were amazed at how well she did her first day; they said they wouldn’t have guessed it was her first day with how well she did.
After dropping off Khaleesi, Roxi and I head home and I have about two hours of down time. Khaleesi and Mila get out of school at noon and Maddex gets out at 1:30 at least for the first two weeks of school. The week of the 15th of September, Mila will switch to the 1:30pm dismissal time as well. This different release times means I get to go the school three times, yeah me. The first day was a bit painful, pushing a stroller, carrying a kid on my back, and walking almost a mile each way. As the week progressed, it got a little easier, but by the time I got home with Maddex I was exhausted. Of course, I always look at the bright side and I see this experience as my own personal workout routine; I walk approximately 4 miles with weight on my back. I should get into decent shape in no time, add that to the normal everyday walking we do. Now, I just need to curb my sweet cravings.
One roundtrip journey:
At the time of this posting, we have successfully made it through week one of school and the new morning routine. It has been a pretty big switch up from what we are all used to, but we are slowly gaining a good routine; a good routine makes the morning battle easier.
End of the week wrap up:
Khaleesi is getting acclimated to preschool and having fun learning songs, but she says “I haven’t made any friends yet, except for Glitter, I play with Glitter every day.” (Make your own assumptions about Glitter here.)
Mila has made friends with three girls in her class. She says she is shy and misses me during the day, but she is trying. Hopefully once we get settled we can set up some playdates with her new friends and help her gain some confidence in those friendships.
Maddex made Pupil of the Week in his first week at a brand new school, we are so proud of him. His teacher says he is an angel and a such a great kid. He has made friends with three boys in his class and enjoys playing with them at recess.
All in all our first full week of school has been a success, the kids are happy and Kevin and I are very happy with the school in general. Our next big project will be to find permanent housing, and then we can really begin to settle in and fully integrate ourselves into the Dublin lifestyle.
Here are some pictures of the garden at the school that is planted and run by the students; hopefully we’ll get to do some family planting in the spring: