Life Snapshot 2013 -part 2

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they don’t normally suck their fingers but caught them once and thought it was cute

After snack time, the girls watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” at 11 a.m. Let me just say, I really like this show. First of all, it’s a spin off of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood which was a childhood favorite of mine. Secondly, the lessons taught in each episode are incredibly relevant to toddler/preschool aged kids. Each episode has a little song that goes with the lesson that is super catchy (and not annoying) and easy for the girls to learn. They sing them ALL THE TIME around the house. 

Friends help each other, yes they do.

Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true!

 

If you have to go potty STOP and go right away!

Flush and wash and be on your way!  (very helpful for potty training)

 

You have to try new foods ’cause they might taste goo-ood!

 

Find a way to play…together!

 

When you feel so mad that you wanna ROAR, take a deep breath and count to four! (Reilly has actually done this…)

 

These little songs really help in day to day interactions if there are conflicts and such. If I sing one of the songs that relates to the problem, it resonates with them and it’s like they have a mental picture of what they need to do. So I have no issues letting them watch this 25 minute show five days a week!

After the show is lunch time. Nothing too exciting. I would love to say I always feed them whole foods, but I at least try to opt for healthier versions of kid foods (nitrate/nitrite free beef hotdogs, all natural chicken nuggets, Annie’s mac ‘n cheese, pb&raisins, organic yogurt, fresh fruit, etc. Sometimes I read from the Jesus Storybook Bible while they eat, sometimes I am feeding Karis at the same time, and sometimes I actually get to eat lunch myself!

After lunch, Halle is supposed to have room time while Reilly and I do some type of learning activity together. This is kind of hit or miss. Sometimes I just let the girls play together if Karis needs my attention or I am working on a cleaning job. Reilly really loves when we do things one-on-one though. She just soaks up the solo attention! And she is super smart too. She is much more active by nature than Halle so she will be more inclined to want to incorporate some physical activity into what we’re doing, but when she has my attention by herself she will actually sit still pretty well too.

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can you do this?

From 12:30-1:30 the girls pretty much have free play. Reading, pretending, play-do, coloring, crafts, etc. are all in the mix during this time. Karis is always awake at this time too so it can get kinda crazy! I am so glad warmer weather has finally arrived. I imagine we will be spending this block of time outside most days.

1:30 is nap time! WOOHOO! 🙂 Usually all three will line up and I’ll get a couple hour break, but lately it seems like someone is always waking early/not sleeping and that break hasn’t been happening…but I think that has been partly due to us being sick the last couple weeks and Reilly being without her paci (shortened naps). Hopefully we find our ‘nap groove’ again soon. I plan on enforcing rest time indefinitely. Once Halle is 5, I think we’ll probably change her over completely to rest time (although now, she sort of does that already some days….she probably sleeps 70% of the time but not always). To me, an hour of quiet and rest for everyone is beneficial no matter what age you are.

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Endings & Beginnings

Ending: Reilly’s love affair with her pacifier.

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Beginning: Life as a “big girl” – though tonight when Josh tucked her in he said, “Reilly, you’re a big girl now, aren’t you?” She replied, “No, I’m a little girl.” I like that answer. 🙂

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I love the magic of the pacifier. But I hate what it takes to break the addiction! If it wasn’t weird for a 5 year old to sleep with a pacifier, or if it didn’t mess with her jaw alignment, I totally would have let her keep it longer. As soon as we bring out the blankie and paci at nap time or bedtime, she is as good as asleep. She could be bouncing off the walls 10 seconds earlier, but put that plug in her mouth and the blankie on my shoulder and she lays her little head down and snuggles me. No nap or bedtime battles for her. The paci is just her signal that it’s time.

I tried getting rid of it back in January. We talked about it, she understood, she agreed that she could sleep without it….that lasted about 5 minutes into nap time. Then the screaming and wailing ensued. For a LONG time. So I finally got her up and went on with our day. I was determined not to give the paci back. Bedtime rolled around and I thought, surely she will be so exhausted from having skipped her nap (which was a first ever) that she will just conk out pretty quickly. Nope. She screamed and cried for….a LONG time. No consoling, no reassurance of special treats for big girls in the morning….nothing would calm her down. So I caved. Gave the paci back and I kid you not, she was instantly happy and fell asleep within minutes.

This time, I worked up my resolve for a couple more months. Ha! Then I sent Halle to spend the night at my parents’ house so she wouldn’t have to endure the crying that was certain to come at bedtime (since they share a room). And rather than starting at nap time, we started at bedtime this go around. We talked about it all evening and *encouraged* (or bribed…?) her with the hope of chocolate chip pancakes and ice cream (actually smoothies but she doesn’t know the difference) for a reward in the morning. We praised her for being such a big girl and told her we were so proud of how brave she was, prayed with her for Jesus to help her sleep well, etc…

After I tucked her in last night, she started crying immediately after I left the room. Josh went in after about 15 minutes and held her for a few minutes, then tucked her back in. She cried for about 25 more minutes, then stopped abruptly and slept soundly for the next 11.5 hours.

She was so proud of herself in the morning and we made pancakes and smoothies and that was that. She hasn’t cried for nap time or bedtime today at all. I am so happy to have that behind us. I knew we needed to do it and it was hanging over my head for the past several months. I admit I will miss the paci-face and the way she talked with it in. 😦 We are now officially a paci-free household because Karis never got attached to it and didn’t use one at all past 3 months.

Reilly is such a gift to us. She is so spunky and funny. She makes us laugh all the time and has a smile that is contagious. She is smarter than a whip (what does that actually mean…is a whip smart?) and still seems like my little baby girl. I love watching her grow into a little girl and seeing her personality bloom.

And just for fun, here she is at 2 days old. *Sigh*

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Next up, potty training!

-Brit

Laughing with My Girls

Sometimes I really need some ‘silly’ knocked into me. I like to think I have a good sense of humor, but truth be told, most people who know me would classify me as a typically “serious” person. Serious can be good – after all, this being a wife and mommy thing is serious business. But silly can be good too. Seriously good.

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 Tonight I got down on the floor and acted silly with Halle for the first time in too long. I laughed so hard!

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As I watched her squeal and giggle in classic 3 year-old girl fashion, I felt sorry for all the times I’ve missed this same opportunity. Too many times I’ve said “no” to laughing with my girls because I had something more less important to do.

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Lately, we’ve noticed Halle being in a very disagreeable mood more frequently. I think I found out the root cause of that tonight. She needs to see more joy in her mama.

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Oh, I absolutely do feel joy inside – every day, but regrettably I’m not communicating that to my girls in a language they can understand. My little girls don’t need to hear me talk more about being thankful and full of joy, they need to see me laugh. That is the language of joy to a 3 year old.

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  Monkey see, monkey do, right? Okay, or in human terms, more is caught than taught.

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I’m praying for the Lord to remind me every day, all day that these girls need a joyful mama and home filled with laughter. This is not a burden, but a lovely gift. What better job could I ask for?

What things do you do with your kids that gets everyone belly-laughing? Aren’t these the memories we want to be making?

-Brit

Desperate :: by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

Desperate is a book written by mothers, for mothers. Sarah Mae is a mother with three young children and Sally has four older children. In this book, the reader is given a glimpse into conversations between Sarah and Sally (mentee and mentor). Sarah asks questions that most of us young mother ask: What if I fail my kids? How can I become a more self-discipline person? How do I put away selfish desires? How do I learn to lean into Jesus? How do I choose reality over escapism? The reader is given the opportunity to reflect on her own journey by answering the questions at the end of each chapter.

Motherhood is both beautiful and incredibly challenging. This book provides validation for those mothers who struggle to keep it together, helping you to realize you’re not alone. But it doesn’t leave you there in your fear and doubt. As you read Sally’s encouraging guidance to Sarah, you will be uplifted by the perspective of a seasoned mother who has not only been there, but has found thriving joy in this great calling. There is plenty of real life, practical advice alongside Scriptural admonition that will inspire and uplift you. In Desperate, you will find a mother you can relate to in Sarah Mae and a mother you can look to for wise biblical counsel in Sally Clarkson. This would be a great book to read with a small group of mom-friends. It is a quick and easy read, but one that I will likely go back to from time to time when I need encouragement.

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy.

Check out the free resources  for the book and Desperate Mom community here!
Stronger Together - desperatemoms.com