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Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleep (and the lack of it)

It's not enough to say that I should sleep when the baby sleeps - it's not even enough to believe it and give myself permission to sleep(which I desperately struggle with).  What I really need to do is  SCHEDULE "Mommy naps" into our daily routine the same way I allow time for feeding or changing the baby.


Lately my little one has been having some difficult nights.  I have found myself having to take full showers, run a load of laundry, feed the baby, change the baby and on and on, all at 4am.  By the time I get everything done and baby ready to settle back down it is 6:00, the sun is up, and my family is beginning to stir, wondering what is for breakfast.  I am exhausted!


I know that sleep is important, I feel terrible when I'm sleep deprived, grumpy and sluggish.  I obviously needed the sleep. So why don't I simply take the naps I need or go to bed earlier?


I think it's because I feel too busy to rest.   During the day I feel as if I should always be doing the next thing to keep the house running, lessons on track, and meals planned.  Then once the kids go to bed, my husband and I really want some time to ourselves to unwind, even if we are tired. So, far too often I find myself  staying up way too late, dozing beside him on the couch.


My sister's family gets tons of sleep.  Even though they get up early, they almost always have more than 8 hours of sleep each night.   That doesn't sound like such a bad idea to me. In my family staying up until midnight is normal, but with a newborn this is soooo not a good idea.  


I am working on FORCING myself to rest.  Putting my PJs on and actually Going To Bed at a reasonable hour each night.  I'm certainly not perfect, but I am a bit more functional with the extra hour of sleep.


The other thing that works for me (when I stick to it) is having a scheduled rest time each morning.   I have told the kids (and myself) that baby's first nap of the day is our special "together time".   When she is ready for her first nap of the morning, at whatever time that is, we cuddle up on the couch and listen to each other's breathing as we doze off together.  The morning is my big kid's most productive time of day, so unfortunately they may not get their laundry put away, or their phonics lesson in, but I'm just going to have to be okay with that.  They understand that they need to play quietly for just an hour or so.  This routine has made me a much more well rested woman, happier wife and better mommy.  I hope I can stick to it.  Why did it take me 3 kids to figure this out??

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Bike

Okay, so it's not quite new . . . we got it for free . . . from the dump . . . and it needed a few repairs . . . but it is PERFECT for my son. (No comments from the peanut gallery about the 1st child always getting the newest/best/fanciest and the second getting stuff from the dump.   Alright?) 

After my oldest received her bike for her birthday we noticed that our son was excited to learn to ride too. At a recent trip to the dump my husband found this great little bike, all it needed was some new pedals and a pair of training wheels. So for $20 we were able to give my son his own set of wheels.

He was so excited to shop for the parts that we needed, and he insisted that he be allowed to help put them on himself, saying several times "Don't let Daddy put my pedals on while I'm asleep!"


This morning was the big day. Daddy didn't need to be in to work until 10:30, so the kids headed out to the garage with him right after breakfast. They got the training wheels on without a hitch, but unfortunately the pedals were the wrong size and we still need to exchange them.  

J had a great time, and to prove how hard he was working he kept his little tongue sticking out - just like his Dad unconsciously does   :-)


And here is the newly renovated bike and it's proud owner.





Monday, May 18, 2009

Parade

Our town had it's annual parade this past weekend.  We are lucky enough to live directly on the route, and have enjoyed this fun tradition since moving here.  Each year as the kids get older, they have become more excited about our little celebration.  

At first they all did what my infant did this time - they slept through it.  Yes, the same infant who startles awake when she hears me laugh a bit too loudly when chatting with a friend really did sleep through the police and fire sirens - infant sleep is an amazing thing

As they get older they start noticing what is happening more and they get so excited that they want to share it with us (forgetting that we can see it too).  This year my nephew, a great communicator of the obvious, turned to his mom and excitedly told her "I saw a police man!!!"  Not to be outdone, my son happily waved at the next police car in the parade and when asked by the officer if he was having fun he said "I'm watching a parade!!!"   

A smart duo!




This year my oldest nephew actually got to be IN the parade with his cub-scout pack.  He did great!

Happy pre-Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Construction & Babies

Construction and babies go hand in hand at our house. Each time we add a new little family member, my husband will take a week off to bond with baby and take care of me, but the reality is that newborns (and their moms) sleep . . . alot! He has been left with quite a lot of time on his hands, and if you know my guy, you know that he is not one to sit still for long.

When our oldest came home my husband's project was the barn siding, and for our son he spent time working with our contractors as they put up the structure for our addition.

This baby's project was our stairs, woodwork and hallway flooring. The stairs have been a long term project and are just now coming to completion. It is exciting to finally have a railing! Check out these photos of his progress:







I haven't taken any photos of the woodwork yet, but here is the upstairs flooring as it was going in:



It is easy to tell which one of my kids just loves helping his daddy!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Becoming friends

There are many joys that are naturally connected with the process of parenting, but few compare to the heartwarming delight of seeing your children begin the process of creating a lifelong friendship with their new sister. It is such a privilege to be a mom sometimes.

Our oldest has become her sister's "second mommy."  She loves to hold and cuddle baby, and is more than willing to stop whatever she is doing to go and rock the cradle when she hears even the tiniest of whimpers.  She takes this job very seriously, and has attempted to tell me what needs to be done on more than one occasion - sorry kid, I still get to be "first mommy!"  It really is nice to have such a big helper in the house, and I enjoy watching the sweet interactions between my girls.


Our son has taken another route in adjusting to life with baby.   He went through a period of EXTREME hyperactivity, which is entirely out of character for our laid back little guy.  I guess it was his way of reacting to no longer being the baby anymore.  He didn't seem to be actually looking for attention with his funny antics, it was more like random bursts of energy to simply burn off steam.   He is still young enough that he lacks judgement, and we will occasionally catch him poking her in the face or attempting to gently steal the blanket from under her so that he can "give her a better one," but he is learning quickly and his intentions are good.   He will be a very protective big brother once he figures it all out.  He has already begun to settle down, and we enjoy watching him dote on his baby sister. 
Here are a few of the most quotable moments since we brought baby home:
Baby sister did it!  
(um, no, I don't think so)

That's not fair!  How come she gets so many snacks and I don't!  
(If you want to have some milk go ahead and pour yourself a glass)

Was I that cute/small/boring/etc. when I was a baby?
(yes sweetie, you were!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009