When the boys first came home, they were like clockwork with their sleeping schedule. They woke up almost every morning between 8:00 and 8:30 am, napped from 10:00 to noon and again from 4:00 to 6:00 pm and went to bed at 8:30 pm. Of course, they were about 5 months younger then than now.
Now, Ben is almost 20 months old and Nick is right around 18.5 months old. Although they are both still great sleepers, their sleep schedules are changing and I am struggling to keep up. Ben requires less sleep than Nick, which presents a challenge for a mom who needs a bit of down time in her day.
These days, I am just going with the flow. We no longer have a set schedule. I try to read them, understand their sleep needs and meet them as well as I can. Nick tends to wake up earlier in the morning than Ben, usually around 7:30 or 8:00. Yesterday, Ben slept until after 9:00 am and Nick woke up around 8:00 or 8:30.
Generally, their morning nap is slowly moving out each day and, sometimes, becoming longer. They are now going down for nap around 11:00 am ish and, sometimes, waking up around 2:00 pm ish. When this happens, they normally don't need an afternoon nap. If their morning nap is only a 2 hour nap, Nick will need at least a short nap in the late afternoon. Ben does not, although I will sometimes try to get him to take a short one so I can have a break and start dinner.
I tend to be a creature of habit and I like having a routine, so this has been a challenge for me. Also, I eat breakfast around 6:00 am normally, so I am usually ready for lunch around 11:00 am, which means that I really want them to go down for nap around that time so I can eat peacefully. I know I have to learn to eat with them up, but I am struggling because this is not peaceful for me at all. I like to sit down on the couch, turn on the news or my laptop or read a good book while I eat my lunch and take a break. When they are awake and I am eating, I usually have to rush, frequently have to share whatever I am eating with them and usually have to play referee because they will do everything they can to get my attention during this time. There is nothing fun or peaceful about this. I need to figure out another way to handle this so I can eat, at least somewhat peacefully, when they are awake. Any suggestions?
As for food for the boys, so far I have found very few things that they don't like. I have not found any veggie that they don't like. Some favorites are green beans, peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli (they can't get enough of this!), sweet potatoes, potatoes and corn. They love their veggies soooo much that I frequently have to hold back the veggies until they are almost done with their protein dish, otherwise they only want to eat their veggie. They would rather eat veggies than PB&J sandwiches. Based on something I read on the American Academy of Pediatrics web site, I usually serve yellow or orange colored veggies for lunch and green veggies for dinner. Unfortunately, I am somewhat of a picky eater so that limits us, although I do serve the boys several things that I don't care for and that they love, such as tuna fish sandwiches.
The only fruit I have found that they didn't care for that much was pears. They especially love apples, bananas, grapes (peeled and cut in half) and strawberries. They are normally very good eaters, although they both have times when they don't eat much and I just shrug and know that they will eat when they are hungry. They normally make up for it at the next meal. There have been several times when I thought they didn't care for something I served and then they ate it up at a later meal. Sometimes, they are just not that hungry, but most times they are and they eat very well. They have so many meals and snacks (and they continue to gain weight) so I know they are getting enough to eat. I fixed pork chops the other night and they couldn't get enough of them. They also love a couple of my chicken casseroles, chicken pot pies, cheese pizza, turkey and cheese sandwiches (heated) and egg salad sandwiches (heated with melted cheese on top). My husband and I really like salmon and normally eat it at least once a week and the boys love it too. They also love mac & cheese and pasta with chicken.
So far, I have really not found anything that they just really would not eat. These are some of their favorites. I am always looking for other ideas to introduce so, if you have any great recipes, please send them to me.