So here's what we decided- alarms are now set for (I can't believe I'm admitting this in public) 9am! Yup, they will easily sleep past that if I let them. We will basically bump our daily schedule up an hour. Breakfast will be at...gulp...9:30 and school will start around 10:30. It makes me cringe because it just doesn't seem "right". However, we've been living this way the last week and a half and enjoying it! And we've been fighting against this for so long. It hasn't made a big difference so far if we need to get up early, we just do and they seem to handle it fine. I think I just need to get past my mommy guilt of not being "early to bed, early to rise". Oh well, I haven't found myself any wealthier or wiser at 6am... just more tired! I'm thinking I may still try to get up around 7 so I have a few hours to myself. I've always wanted that but wasn't able to force myself out of bed at 5 or earlier. And I swear the earlier I got up, the earlier they woke up!!
Last night was the first night we did this on purpose. Paul and I wanted to watch a show so we still got kiddos ready for bed and in jams around 8 but we sent those 5 and older to the boys room to listen to Adventures in Odyssey and play card games until 9:30 or so. They had a ball! At 9:30 we shuffled Hannah up to bed, had the boys clean up the room and they were in bed to listen to the end of the story playing until 10. I heard some chit chat going on until around 11 but I wasn't stressed or angry because I wasn't concerned with cranky kids all day the next day. It worked pretty well and I was still able to get four out the door for some well child check-ups by 11:30.
So, we'll be experimenting here for the next week or so. If you call before 9 and get the machine, don't feel guilty that we are plugging away at school and ignoring you... we'll just be sleeping!