Thursday, February 26, 2009

February 26, 2009 Part 2

I went back to see what pics I had last posted and, wow, I have been very delinquent in posting pictures for quite a while now. I must do better....and I really must start taking more pictures.

Here are a few from the past few months, to make up for many months with none.

These first two pics are Nick, doing his flip-over on the mini-tramp. He can do it very slowly and stop and hold at any point for a picture or just to look out the window upside down:).

And below is Ben, doing his flip-over. This was all they did for a while, once they learned how. Now they are back to jumping again.

And below is our little salad boy. I think he could just about live on salads. Today at the grocery store the boys talked me into buying the long carrots that require peeling. It's been a long time since I peeled a carrot. It was kind of fun and they really enjoyed eating them.

Play Dough masterpieces....I have no idea what the funny faces (on the boys) were all about.

Ben, riding the scooter. I am hoping they will get this down before we buy bikes for them.

Nick riding the scooter.
Ben, having a snack. I just thought this was a cute pic of Ben.

Nick, sitting on the dad's lap at the dinner table.

The boys with the dad at Papa and Mimi's house.

And this would be me, the mom, with Ben.

The boys with Uncle Kelly on the tractor. It was very windy and very cold that day. When they went out with the dad and Uncle Kelly to feed the cows, they even fed some of them by hand.

That's all folks!

February 26, 2009

Wow, what a beautiful day we are having here today. It is warm and windy and the sun is shining. Makes you almost believe that spring is here, but I think it will be cold again this weekend. We will enjoy it while it lasts though.

So, that sleeping thing. A day like today really makes me want to let the boys give up their naps. But, the dad and I are not quite ready for it yet. Part of the issue is that he normally gets home from work around 6:00pm. The boys are going to bed around 8:00pm, which already does not leave much room for the dad to enjoy his sons in the evenings, when you add in dinner and getting ready for bed and everything. We are not quite ready to move them to an earlier bedtime, which we would likely have to do if they skipped naps.

The other thing is that Nick especially still seems to really need at least a short nap. I really think Ben would be fine without his nap but Nick is definitely not. When Nick does not have a nap, he really becomes quite disagreeable, everything becomes a battle and it is no fun for anybody.

We went to my sister's house on Tuesday to celebrate my mom's birthday and mine, since mine was Monday. We went out to eat lunch and decided to take a drive by some of the beautiful areas on the lake, around their town. Nick was asleep in no time but Ben stayed awake the entire time. We extended our drive to let Nick sleep a little while because I knew he would not fall back to sleep again if he had been asleep for a bit. Nick did fine the rest of the day on the small nap he had and Ben did OK without one.

Ben tends to be a bit fussy at the end of the day, without a nap, but not too bad. I know he would adjust quickly to not having one but, selfishly, I want to keep them on the same schedule. Also, there is no way Nick would fall asleep (or stay in his bed) if he thought Ben was going to be up while he (Nick) had to sleep. He would throw a huge fit and he would be very sad....not to mention the fact that I sit in their room until they fall asleep and I could not leave Ben outside of the room unattended. Having them on different schedules would just be too hard.

The other thing is that I have read in several places that children should really have a nap until they turn four. Now I know all children are different but is that something that ever concerned those of you who let your younger ones quit taking naps? Sleep is so important to their little bodies and I want to make sure they are getting as much as they should.

The dad and I both feel that things are going pretty well right now with our sleep schedule. Granted, one of us is still sitting in their room with them until they fall asleep but, other than that, things are going very smoothly. They now settle down and go to sleep in about 10 to 15 minutes at nap time. Since we are getting them to bed around 8:00pm now, they are normally asleep somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00, but they are quiet and content until they fall asleep.

As for waking up time, Nick has started sleeping in again, which I am thankful for. Three of the past four days he has slept until 7:00 or later. He even slept past 7:30 one day, which was surprising. I think sometimes Nick wakes up earlier because he is a light sleeper in the mornings and he sometimes hears the garage door when the dad is leaving for work. I think that is why he wakes up around 6:00 or 6:30 some days. Ben consistently sleeps until 7:00 or 7:30, for the most part.

For nap, Nick normally takes about an hour and a half nap and Ben will often take two hours. That means they are getting around 10 to 10.5 hours at night and another 1.5 to 2 during nap, for a total of about 11.5 or 12 hours a day. I'll have to look up how much they should be getting at this age. Ben is right at 41 months old. N is a couple of weeks over 39 months.

The only thing is that today I almost, almost let them stay up and not take a nap because it is soooo nice outside and I wanted to let them play as long as possible out there because it is going to be turning cold again. But, I kept thinking about how miserable Nick becomes without a nap and decided that would not be a good thing. He is a very unhappy little guy later in the day without the nap and it is just not worth it yet. But, as soon as they wake up, we will be outside for the rest of the day and it will soon be spring and we can spend all day outside.

I got the boys a soccer ball and goal today so I am going to go put the goal together so we can play with it when they wake up. They were very excited. This is going to be such a fun summer with them. They are at such a fun age to do so many things now.

On the other hand, they are really fighting over a lot of things these days. I am ready to get rid of all of our dishes, silverware and cups and go buy white everything so they can't fight over it anymore...although I know they would find something to fight over anyway. They are now fighting over who gets to sit in which car seat, who gets the blue spoon, blue bowl, blue plate, blue shirt, etc. You name it. They are fighting over everything these days. I am beginning to think that three is much harder than two and I didn't expect that.

At the same time, they also melt my heart these days because they say the sweetest things. God knew what he was doing when he made them look and sound soooo cute when they are at an age where they can be a bit frustrating at times:).

Must go. I know I need to post some pics. Will try to do so soon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 22, 2009

The husband and I celebrated our 4th year of marriage on Thursday. He took the day off and we took it easy for most of the day. We dropped the boys off at our friend's house for a couple of hours and went out to dinner together. It was very nice and fun to reminisce about "four years ago today" type of stuff. My birthday is on Monday and my mom's birthday is on Tuesday and, of course, we just had Valentine's day too so this is a celebrating type of month for us.

The boys are still going at ninety miles an hour. They are at that age where they are constantly saying the funniest things. One of the things they say a lot these days is 'probably'. It is funny how they use it. We hear it most often as "I probably done now". It always makes me smile. Nick also used 'actually' the other day in a sentence. I can't remember the sentence, although his usage of the word was close to being correct and left me smiling again. They are very funny.

I have noticed that sharing has become much much harder lately than it ever has been between them. They are frequently at odds over something or another that they both want these days. It doesn't matter that we have a decent number of cars, trucks and trains. The issue is that "I want the blue one; it's my favorite" (or whatever color happens to be the favorite of the day). I am finding that the threes seem to be a bit more difficult in some ways than the twos and I'm not sure why. Maybe I just don't understand enough about child development and what to expect in the threes. Or maybe it is just that they are now old enough to have opinions and to be firm on what they want and don't want and they are too old for distraction tactics. They have outgrown my knowledge level:). I need some more tools in my tool box.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She was a teacher of young ones not so long ago so she has more training in these types of things and knows better what to expect, what is normal, etc. She also has two sons; one who is a few months older than Ben and the other is around 18 months old. I was telling her how they are having more trouble sharing now and she said this is totally normal for their age. She said at this age they feel that the toy is a part of them so it is much harder for them to see another child playing with something they really like. I was glad we talked about it. It helped me to have a new perspective on their behavior.

My niece was in from college for the weekend so a bunch of us gathered at Papa and Mimi's yesterday. The boys always have a very fun day when we go to the farm. This time they got to see the cousins and had a very fun time wrestling with cousin Trenton. Uncle Kelly spent a good amount of time taking them for rides on his big tractor and letting them 'drive' and push all the buttons and honk the horn. It was very cold and windy but, thankfully, he has a very nice tractor that has heat. They also went with Uncle Kelly and the dad in Uncle Kelly's big truck to feed the cows. This truck can pick up two of the very large bales of hay at a time so it was another new experience for everyone, including the dad who said he also enjoyed watching how they did this. We all had a good time and it is always nice to get together with family.

Gotta go. Boys are waking up from nap and husband is at the health club swimming.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009

Yesterday the boys and I went to the farm to see Mimi and Papa. It was a beautiful 73ish degrees and a bright sunny day and we had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful weather....the calm before the storm.

We went out with Papa in his truck to feed the cows. The boys watched, wide eyed, while Papa lowered the big fork thing on the back of his truck, backed into the very large bale of hay and then raised it up onto the back of the truck. They enjoyed taking turns lowering the hay for the cows and sitting on Papa's lap so they could steer the truck through the pasture.

They also got to help feed the ducks on Papa's pond and then he took them each for a ride on the 4-wheeler. The boys and I also enjoyed throwing rocks into the creek. Loads of fun was had by all.

This morning we went to the aquarium. For the first time, we got to see one of the beavers and the otters. We were there during feeding time so they were all out and busy, including the raccoons. The boys also enjoyed petting the sting rays and the sharks.

We had a lot of fun but I am now ready to stay home for a day. Can you tell I am a bit of a homebody? This comes after many years of doing lots of traveling though so I think I have earned it:).

Overall, things are going very smoothly around here these days. Behavior has been good and potty training is going pretty well. Nick has been waking up way to early lately but he is pretty good about climbing into bed with me and hanging out for a bit while I watch or listen to a little news. He pets Dancer and talks a lot but he is pretty good about letting me take a bit of time to wake up. On the other hand, Ben is sleeping in these days and is taking longer naps than Nick too. I am wondering if he is in another growth spurt.

We have moved the recliner back into the boys' bedroom and are sitting with them until they fall asleep again. I think we both decided it was just easier and less contentious to do it this way. I actually enjoy it most of the time. At nap time, I let them each pick out one book to take upstairs and I read it to them while they are lying in bed. At night time, we are still doing our normal routine.

Both boys continue to be wonderful eaters and will eat just about anything. The only thing I can think of that they definitely do not like is cucumbers. I was actually really surprised that they did not like them because they like pretty much all veggies and fruits that they have tried.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

February 4, 2009

We seem to be mostly over our cold stuff so that is great. I think this is one of our fastest recoveries ever and am very thankful.

I took the boys to the mall today to let them play in the kids play area. It had been a long time since we had been there and they had a lot of fun. I sat there with a smile on my face, thinking about the times they had played there when they were so small and I had to watch them like a mama-hawk to ensure they did not get trampled upon by the bigger, faster kids. Now I have to watch them like a mama-hawk to make sure they don't trample the little ones.

They are growing up too fast!!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

February 1, 2009

Well, Ben, Nick and I all have the cold now so we have not done a whole lot this weekend. The boys both continue to play and run around as if they are perfectly well; not so with me. It amazes me how they seem to be so oblivious to having a cold. They just continue on as if nothing is different, except for the quick detours to the tissue box.

I find a trail of tissues next to every tissue box around the house. Most of them, if not all of them, are Nick's, as he has the most runny nose of the three of us. He takes one tissue, wipes his runny nose and puts it next to the tissue box....and then he comes back a bit later and does the same thing again, even though he could easily use that one tissue more than once. Oh well, at least he is wiping his own nose now and he has learned to blow it a bit now too. Ben still blows out of his mouth, for the most part. Fortunately he has only had one day where he really needed to blow his nose. He was a bit frustrated that day but, since then, he has been doing pretty well.

I have had a very low level of energy, which I really don't like. It makes everything seem like such an effort. The dad has been doing extra to help out so I could take some rest periods during the day...especially today, since Nick woke up at 1:00am, thinking it was morning. He came into our room saying, "mommy, I can't see!", because our room was darker than the other parts of the house. He was not a very happy camper when he found out it was not time to wake up yet. I was not a very happy camper either, as I ended up being awake from at least 1:00 to 3:00 and had fitful sleep after 3:00. But I am very thankful I was able to take a good nap today and also to rest a lot.

Our ice is pretty much all gone now and it has warmed up once again. It is so nice to have a few warmer days mixed in with the wintery days so the boys can enjoy playing outside. We really have not been out much this past week, with the bad weather and now our colds. We stayed home today (Sunday) because I do not like it when people bring sick kids to church and leave them in the classes with the other kids. That is how my guys usually end up catching something, although I know there is normally a period where your child is coming down with something and could be spreading it but you may not know it yet.

I talked to the lady who is copying the boys' lifebooks and she said she should have them back to us by the end of this week. She is also putting them on a CD for us, which will be nice to have. She is copying them on to card stock paper. Once we get them, we can decide how we want to put them into a book. We have had several ideas on the best way to do this but it will be more clear once we actually see them. I am excited to see how they turn out.

Well, I'm just waiting for the boys to fall asleep so I can head to bed myself. Hope you had a good weekend.