Monday, November 29, 2010

Attack of the snow clothes

My house is being overtaken by snow clothes.  Now that there is snow on the ground, we (I and my 3 children) take half an hour to get everyone bundled up in socks, boots, snow pants, gloves, hats, and coats to go play in the snow outside.  I sometimes long for the day when I only have to worry about dressing myself.  When we come back into the house, I've been managing to at least keep the snow clothes contained to the entryway while we unbundle and before the kids take off through the house.  I'm left however, with a giant pile of wet, cold clothes.  They end up everywhere to dry--on the banister, on the dryer, on the backs of the kitchen chairs, on the floor next to the heat vents, etc.  Today I was longing for one of those "mud" rooms some have in their homes that connect the garage and the rest of the home.  I'm not sure the wet mess would dry any faster there, but at least I wouldn't have clothing scattered throughout my house.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Uncaging the Animal

We uncaged the animal this week.  We took the side railing off the crib our 19 month old sleeps in and turned it into a toddler bed.  We decided we might as well do it now.  If I try to do it in February, in the middle of tax season and when the new baby is almost here, I'm pretty sure I would not have the patience to do it.  But, the baby's going to need a place to sleep, so we had to do it sometime.

Switching child #1 to a "big kid bed" was a bad experience.  She was about 19 months old, and like this child, we were going to need the crib for the new baby on the way.  She has never been an easy child to get to sleep at night, and this just made it worse.  She would scream and refuse to sleep in her bed, but also refuse to sleep in the crib anymore.  We would find her asleep on the floor, or up against the door when we tried to open it.

Child #2 was a breeze.  He's always been the sort of kid that just goes right to sleep when he's tired.  We got bunkbeds, so his big sister got to sleep on the top bunk and he got to sleep on the bottom.  No problem.

This child falls somewhere in the middle.  She's okay about going to sleep, but given the choice between sleeping and playing, she'll always choose playing regardless of how tired she is.  Here's how it went:
Day 1 - 19 mo stayed up until 10 pm (normal sleep time is 8 pm) playing with her sister, climbing into the top bunk, and pulling toys off the toybox to play with.  We found her asleep on the floor and had to move her to her bed. Other 2 kids were asleep by 9:30 at the latest.
Day 2 - She went to sleep during nap time, but it was on her sister's bed on the top bunk.  At night, about every 20 minutes we went in to try to get her in her bed to go to sleep.  She kept trying to go back up to the top bunk to play with her sister, who seemed to be enjoying it.  There was much crying involved.  They were all asleep finally by 9 pm.
Day 3 - She napped on the top bunk again.  We finally unscrewed the ladder from the bunkbed before bedtime.  Her older sister has to climb up now using the footboards or the dresser.  The 19 mo was sad to not be able to climb up anymore (and only fell once trying), but it was much more peaceful and all were asleep by 9 pm.

I'm hoping it continues to calm down some.  I'm pretty sure my sleeper boy is looking forward to having his own room in the near future so that he can just go to sleep and not be kept awake by his two sisters.  I'm looking forward to his getting more sleep so that the daytime is a little happier.  I may have to cut down on the 19 mo nap time so she starts to go to sleep a little earlier at night, but I'm not sure that would help right now.  This is just another one of those things I think you just have to sit through as a parent and wait for it to be done.  At least they get along, right?  I'll enjoy those moments while I can before they become teenagers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Picky eating

My children have started telling me "I don't like to eat that" when I serve them foods that they've always eaten in the past.  I'm hoping this is just a phase.  I've always heard it takes 10-15 times or so of being served a new food before a child will sometimes try it.  I'm not sure how this applies to food they have eaten before.  I try to just ignore them when they say it, and serve it to them anyway.  Today my 4 year old told me "I don't like grilled cheese.  I won't eat it." I ignored her and made it for everyone anyway.  She ate half of it, which I considered a victory.  I'm hoping they don't get in the habit of saying they don't like something and never eat it, only to find out as an adult that, what do you know, they really do like it.  I'm pretty sure that's what happened to me and tomatoes.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

See me spin...

Do you remember twirling as a little kid? I remember having so much fun just spinning until you dropped.  It makes me happy to see my kids spinning around in circles, trying not to run into each other, until they get so dizzy they drop or have to stop.  Wouldn't it be great if we adults found such great pleasure in simple things like children do?
This video reminds me of the old 8mm home movies we had when I was a kid. It was taken on my phone, so the picture and sound are a little grainy, but still captures the fun fairly well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Organizing my stress away

When I get stressed, I organize.  I think I inherited this from my own mom.  When she was angry, we all seemed to start to clean.  I don't know if it's because she made us clean, or if we were just trying to stay out of her way and give her space.  Either way, it's what I do in my own life now.  If things seem stressful or out of control, it calms me down to organize something. 

Today I categorized and alphabetized the books on my bookshelf.  If this is something I did on a daily basis, I'd probably start to be worried.  In many ways, this is mindless work for me that helps me feel like I accomplished something, without exerting too much effort. 

I think my sister describes this well in her blog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baby math

2 self-employed parents + 0 maternity insurance coverage = 1 expensive pregnancy
2 self-employed parents + 1 recession = 0 new houses

1 baby due mid-March + 1 CPA mom = 1 pregnant woman in denial
4th kid on the way + 1 kids bedroom = -1 home office

Nonetheless: 2 parents + 4 kids = 1 happy family!