Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009

Spring is here and so the rains are beginning. So far today it has just been very windy and cloudy but we are suppose to get quite a bit of rain this afternoon, tomorrow morning and then again later in the week.

We had a great weekend. I had some time to go by myself and run some errands. The boys got to spend a lot of time with daddy, which they were really craving. The dad got to work out and do the things that he likes to do on the weekends. The boys spent some time with mommy and we did a bunch of painting and cutting and pasting. They had these little wooden cars they had received in their stockings and they were ready to be painted but we had never done that so I let them paint their cars. They had a lot of fun with it. (More pics coming:). And we all went to church and out to eat on Sunday. So all is back to normal in our world, at least until the dad has to do hospital duty again in May.

It was such a warm, pretty day here yesterday afternoon that the dad decided to go for a bicycle ride. As soon as the boys heard where he was going, they both wanted to go too. He had taken them once before and rented one of those little kid-hauling trailers that goes behind the bike. He is such a great dad. He helped them get ready real quick, put some sun screen on them and off they all went. I enjoyed my quiet time while they were gone:).

When they came back, both boys came running in to my room to see me. They were both quite happy and said they had had fun, when I asked them. A bit later the dad came into the room with a not-so-happy face and said "The next time I say I'm going to take them with me, please talk me out of that idea." After taking the time to load up his bike and go over to the rental shop, rent the trailer and get it all hooked up, they only rode for about 5 minutes before both of them were saying they wanted to go home. The thing that really bothered him was that he really wanted to get some exercise and did not get to after all. Oh well, they will enjoy it a lot more once they have their own bikes to ride. We are hoping to find them each a bike either at a garage sale or on Craig's list sometime this spring.

This morning after breakfast, I read to the boys for a while and then we played a couple of games. They love to play "Mother may I":). They have been very interested in letters lately and in guessing with what letter a word starts so I decided to go over letter sounds with them. We had not done this in quite a long time so I was not sure how they would do. I have these flash cards that came with this Phonics program I purchased at the home school conference in Kansas City last year. So I got them out and we went through them all and they did really well. I was impressed with how well they did and how many sounds they can make very well now. They still have trouble pronouncing a few, like the letter f for instance, but I think they know the sound they just don't have all of the muscles in their tongue yet. Overall they did very well.

Yesterday we decided to forgo naps after church. We went to a huge nursery instead to buy a replacement for a bush in our yard that died. When we got home, we spent the rest of the afternoon outdoors playing and doing yard work. It was very warm out but also very windy. It is incredibly windy here this time of year. I don't remember that from my childhood. When we put the boys to bed last night, they were WIRED. It was the dad's turn and he had a bit of a time getting them to settle down.

Today at lunch the boys did a great job cleaning up after themselves. I was still eating, since I started later. They both cleared their plates, dumped uneaten bits in the trash and loaded their plates and forks in the dishwasher. They have been clearing their dishes for a while but today was the first day I had them dump the debris in the trash and put their dishes in the dishwasher. They are learning to be very good helpers.

I bought a book at my favorite used bookstore this weekend. It is by Larry Burkett and it is about raising financially responsible children. I can't remember the exact name yet but it looks like it is going to be a very good book. He lays out a really great plan for teaching your kids about money....what God says about money, making good family rules about money and lots of other things. And, you can start as early as three years old so I bought it at the perfect time. I am sure I will also learn a lot from this process:).

Today we are doing nap again. I have noticed in the past that when the boys missed their nap, they were sometimes extra tired the next day. So I am thinking maybe I should ease into giving up naps by doing every other day. Not sure but I have a dr. appt. this afternoon and wanted them to be in a good mood for it. So they are taking a nap today but not sure what I will do tomorrow.

I have such mixed feelings about the nap thing. On the one hand, I am thinking this is the perfect time because I want them to be able to spend lots of time playing outside this summer. On the other hand, I really enjoy the break:). What mom doesn't, right? I need to figure out a plan for teaching them how to have a quiet time without it seeming like some sort of punishment. I'm thinking that if we gave up naps but had a one hour quiet time, that would still give me a break. I'm just not sure how to have them do that. They can't do it in their room because they share a room, it is upstairs away from everything and it only has some stuff animals and books in it and nothing else. If I put them in here by themselves, they will go wild, running and jumping around. So I need to keep them downstairs, separated and where I can see them and I need to give them things to do. That is about as far as I have gotten so far.


kate said...

Kids I babysat had quiet time after they outgrew their naps. They had to be on their beds but could look at books or play with small toys. It worked great! No one ventured off the bed.

christine said...

when kate first stopped napping, i had her have quiet time for about 30 minutes in her room. i would put a stack of books on her bed and she would just browse through them. sometimes, she would set up on the floor in her room - with her blanket, some pillows and stuffed animals - and just have quiet pretend playtime. i think she only did this for 3 months because once summer rolled around, we were on a more up-and-go, varied schedule - and we never got back into the routine once the boys went back to school in the fall.

on a positive note, i found that once the kids hit 3 or 3-and-a-half or 4, there tends to be some natural, unplanned periods of time where i could sit down and get stuff done (eg: email, study, quiet time). if the child was engaged in pretend or solo play, i would just move on to what i needed to do. other times, i would declare "a half-hour (or hour) of free choice time" which, for some unknown reason, the child would interpret as a treat, rather than as a way for me to get some time of my own. it's all in the branding LOL. you can lend a "planned" atmosphere to "free choice time" by setting up different activity stations (eg: legos on the table, blocks and plastic animals on the library floor, paper and stampers on another table) - and just vary the choice time activities daily.

i can see quiet time wouldnt work if both your boys were in the same room. maybe put one boy in their room and one boy in your room???

i think alternating days with and without naps would be a good transition into dropping the nap. i would just make sure the boys go to bed for the night 90 or 120 minutes (whatever the usual naptime is) earlier on those days where they didnt nap so their total sleep hours dont get out of sync.

also, some kids can nap daily until 4 or 5 yrs old. maren (mary's youngest) is still napping daily and she is 5-and-a-half. what matters is that it fits into your lifestyle. if it works better for the kids to have more time with the dad when he comes home for dinner, then keep them napping.

for us, once ryan started going to bed around 7 when he was 3 or 4, it was just easier for me to put luke and eventually kate down at the same time. (actually, kate only started staying up past 6:45pm this year LOL). nowadays, kate goes down at 7 or 7:30 - which gives laurance and i some nice mellow time with just ryan and luke for another hour-and-a-half.

with homeschooling, you will have a more flexible schedule which will give you the freedom to follow the boys' natural sleep patterns. i think the APA recommended hours of sleep for a 3-yr-old is 12 (for a 4-yr-old: 11), so whatever way you can hit the number and suits the family's lifestyle is great.

speaking of sleep, i am signing off to get some.

Lea said...

Thanks for the feedback. Very helpful. I have gone back to naps for now, since I am under the weather. But I like the idea of quiet time, although it probably won't last long with summer approaching:).