Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Clayton, have you seen my ears?"

We had to much fun at play today. Can you tell we were in silly moods?

Jamesy Boy happily opens up cabinet doors.

Like that crusty nose? Thought you would.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Schedules are Awesome

After being a pretty AP mom (which in many ways I still am), priding myself on "going with the flow" and having my child "lead" me, we are now on a schedule. And guess what? We're loving it! It's working. Hannah is thriving, and James doesn't seem to mind at all. And I find myself to be slinging him more now, which I think is just great for babies. And we've had no tv during the day. I've just broken my habit of watching the news in the morning, which was usually followed by a kid show. While there are specific times for things, it's not always dead-on and somethings are guesstimated.

Here is what a normal day at home is like:

Morning Routine
6:30 am - we're awake!
*we roll out of bed and PRAY so it gets done and we start our day on the right foot.
*make coffee and breakfast
*eat together and sing songs like ABCs and Days of the Week
*we take our dishes to the sink
*Hannah gets her story Bible and we read and talk about it together. She adores doing this. So do I!
*Time to make beds.
*We all get dressed.
9am - We are DRESSED and READY for the day. No more jammies until noon, even if we are not going anywhere. I feel so much better about doing anything simply by having this done. I also try to have my hair and make up situated by this time. If something comes up we are ready!
*If we are staying home for the day, we do chores together and/or Hannah and James can play. James is usually napping by this time of day so I can get some laundry done, clean up the kitchen or whatever needs to be done.
10am - Snack time.
10:30ish - We go for a little "nature walk" and then do a craft when we get home. Yesterday we looked for rainbow colors outside and then when we got home made a water color rainbow picture. Hannah is big on crafts and I find I like to do them once I've gotten all the supplies ready and we get started. I bought a cool art book for kids that's full of great, inexpensive ideas for stuff that's around the house. No special, expensive supplies necessary unless you really want to. Fun!
If we finish early, we just play with blocks or whatever
12pm - Make lunch. Hannah likes to help or just play nearby with James. We eat and then clean up together.
1pm - Do some baking. More free play time.
1:30 - Do some workbook pages. Hannah loves these, working on basic skills like matching, rhyming, ABCs and 123s. I had to remind myself to relax at one point though, because we both got a little frustrated writing the letter B.
*little snack
2:00 - Time for tidying the front room. Hannah likes to vacuum. I dust.
2:30 - Quiet time! Hannah doesn't really nap much anymore, so I have her go play quietly in her room. We close the door. I keep James with me. Sometimes he naps, sometimes he plays with me or something, or he just nurses for a while. I get to read or be on the computer. Yay! Hannah gets to make a big mess. It's win-win. I remind her that whatever she takes out she must put away. (Right now both kids are napping thanks to a car ride home!)
*Snack time
*Clean up Hannah's room. Hang out and play with her a little, or read together.
4pm Daddy will be home soon! Get dinner started.
And that's pretty much it!

I feel like a million bucks and I wish I would have implemented this sooner. Hannah's behavior is 99% better. There is a lot less sassin' and whining. I think we had some problems before because she was just bored and we both were just wandering about our day aimlessly. What a difference, thank God! While I'm sure this will be adjusted continuously, it's been a fine start.

I leave you with St. Theophan the Recluse as I've just finished THIS book:
"A child has many desires. Everything catches his attention, attracts him, and gives birth to desires. Being unable to distinguish good from evil, he desires everything, and he is ready to do everything he desires. A child left to himself becomes untamable and self-willed. Therefore, parents must strictly watch this sprout of the soul's activity."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nine Months of James (on the outside of the womb)

Today my squishy boy is nine months old.

Some of James' most favorite things in no particular order:

Nursing. Eating rice cereal, most baby foods, especially green veggies, and O shaped cereal and the latest addition of yogurt. Munching on morsels of food. (The floor is his snack bar, thanks to Hannah and all her crumbs.) Playing silly games like peek a boo, night-night/goodmorning, and now "come and get me!"Hannah. (He follows her around every where she goes. Even the bathroom.) What Ever Hannah Has. Mom's big earings. Mom's sunglasses. Mom. Daddy's beard.
Daddy's nose. Daddy's beer. Daddy. Crawling around at church, and getting into other people's bags. BATHS! Especially splashing in the BATH! Being outside. Eating sand and dirt. Hair pulling. Grass picking. Shiny objects. Standing against furniture and anything else sturdy enough to hold him up. Scaling these things. Opening up the trash can and diaper pail. His toothbrush. Napping in his carseat. Tummy sleeping. Soft blankets. Snuggling. Singing. Dancing. Playing drums with tinker toys. Blocks - mostly knocking them down. Going for walks in the stroller kicking his feet to a beat. Smiling - smiling is his favorite.

Some of James' least favorite things:

Having his nose cleaned, picked or suctioned. Having his face wiped. Diaper changes. Getting dressed. Getting buckled into his carseat. Applesauce. Not getting What Ever Hannah Has that he wants really bad. Having dangerous things taken away. Waking up alone in his crib. Being put down into his crib when he isn't completely asleep yet. Being kicked out of the bathroom. Not getting to tag along with Hannah.

These days of carrying him around and kissing and sniffing his little neck, and smelling that apricot baby breath, and pinching those soft rolls of fat are so fleeting. How could I ever complain about any of it? After a rough night with him waking too often or some other baby type of nuissance, I always say, "How could I ever be mad at you?"

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spoonful of Sugar

Sometimes it takes some Mary Poppins to get us doing our chores. Hey look at that! I figured out how to do links! That was really easy. I'm seriously lame for not figuring that out sooner.

But back to chores. My mom was pretty cool about doing housework. She would always have some music blasting. We would dance around with our cleaning tools. Sometimes she would set a timer and say we would only clean until the alarm buzzed. It was like a game. I'm trying to do the same now with Hannah to get her (and myself) motivated to clean up after ourselves. How do you get motivated? How do you get kids to clean up after themselves?

And a blogger question. I can't get a link from directly because my blog's URL is too long. Anyone have any help for me? Thanks!

Monday, February 04, 2008

They still have lead paint, but...

A first time mom of a one year old was telling me how she was flooded with obnoxious, battery powered toys for her daughter, and asked me how I coped with it. You know, the ringing, repetative beeps and counting and high pitched, nasally singing that make Mary Poppins sound like an alto. I don't even remember what I told her but just now I thought of it again because we have all those toys out again from Hannah's first birthday the second time around for the use of the little guy. And they're not bothering me at all. In fact, Hannah even plays with them again, but instead of them going "1, 2, 3, LA LA LA LA," at her, she is using her imagination. And James doesn't seem to know there is anything missing at all. The batteries have run out of juice and they will not be replaced. I think I'll have to tell the other mom my little secret.

Disclaimer: I like presents, they are nice and thoughtful. It's just that 10 loud learning toys are a little over stimulating for everyone. :)

Friday, February 01, 2008

For her to read when she's 14:

Dear Hannah,

When you were three years old, you ate your boogers on a somewhat regular basis. We asked you to stop and you threw a tantrum and argued your case, like we'd violated an unalienable right. They must be tasty little boogers.

We still love you,

Mom and Dad