Saturday, March 22, 2014

Filling Days

I don't like being bored. Never have, in fact. Blake has, in the past had some jobs that I know I could never handle, because unless he had customers, he spent most of the time bored. I would hate that.

As first a host at restaurants, and then later as a waitress, I was rarely bored at work. There was a time that I worked a Sunday night shift at a restaurant in a business area, so it was pretty dead some me and a coworker played chess between helping our tables... but most of the time waitressing kept me busy.

Teaching too, was a very busy, keep me going kind of job. I liked that every 40 minutes to a hour I was doing something different with the kids, each day was different than the day before, and each year was different than the previous year because of the students. I also really enjoyed the power to decide shift the schedule if needed, or if the kids were really getting antsy, I could take them all outside for some spontaneous exercise before getting back to work. Teaching's pace really suited me.

If I'm not proactive, my current job can get boring. This job being, of course, mom to two kids. Not boring because of the kids, who I love, and are always surprising me, but just there are a lot of hours to pass during the day, and many of them I am simply an observer.

Besides the fact that on days that Grace goes nowhere and sees no one and does nothing but play with her toys at home, she tends to get bored too, and thus acts out, and I have more tantrums to deal with, adding to my frustration of being bored myself.

So, I have made it a point to fill days. An empty day is a bad day... so those are to be avoided at all costs.

For the last month or so, the day filling looks like my mother in law watching the kids for part of Mondays, my mom and the kids and I having lunch and playtime together on Tuesdays, Blake comes home Wednesdays, Thursday are usually some playgroup activity and Fridays we go to a Bible study that has free child care for Grace as a bonus (and she likes it too). On the days that it is only a lunch plan, not a play time plan, we also go to a place near our house called Pretend City.

I decided a few weeks ago that it was worth it for us to become members there, and it has already well paid itself off. For one day it is twelve dollars a person (Remington is free... I am not) or you pay 140 for the year.

Six visits, it is already worth it, and in the few weeks we have had it, we have already gone nine times.

In short, it is exactly what it says, a small city full of things she can pretend to do, like a farm, kitchen, grocery store etc.

Our typical Pretend City day starts with the play cars, which she samples many of, and then she wanders to an area of her choosing for the day. She plays till story time, and then we hear the story, do the craft, and then I let her meander to wherever she chooses till it is time to go for lunch. One of the best stories is one day as she was cooking in their pretend restaurant, she kept going back to her pot, opening it, saying "More spice," and then closing it again. It kept her occupied for almost half an hour!

There will be copious amounts of pictures of her doing pretend city activities below... since it is at least a once a week occurrence.There are also some cute pictures of Remington.

Starting in April, we will be adding even more to our days. She will be taking both a dance class with my mother in law once a week and a dance class with me once a week. We will also be doing a Waldorf playgroup (more on that in a later post), while keeping most of our standard activities above. Hopefully we will both be happier with the busier schedule, and Remington won't mind being carted around a bit more.

 photo Phone10598_zpsa8dcb07d.jpg

 photo Phone10687_zps93eeb2cb.jpg

 photo Phone10656_zps7ccc691e.jpg

 photo Phone10479_zpsbbe42450.jpg

 photo Phone10650_zpsdd75db01.jpg

 photo Phone10472_zps1323a1ac.jpg

 photo Phone10456_zps975068ab.jpg

 photo Phone10647_zps75a138a2.jpg

 photo Phone10579_zpsef018bcf.jpg

 photo Phone10460_zps04c924fb.jpg

 photo Phone10520_zps6f37d550.jpg

 photo Phone10465_zpscf655966.jpg

 photo Phone10461_zps88c3e180.jpg

 photo Phone10467_zpsb3f08464.jpg

 photo Phone10464_zps3d6b8650.jpg

 photo Phone10458_zps61e9550e.jpg

 photo Phone10450_zps5145dc67.jpg

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

One small step for Rem, one big leap for our family

September 16th, 2013, I went to bed with two cats, one dog, and a husband. From September 18th to the night before last, there was a baby in our bed as well.

First, we just shared the bed, and he fell asleep cradled in the crook of my arm. It wasn't as good of sleep for me, as I couldn't move around at will, and I didn't let myself go into a deep sleep either. But nursing was easy, and he was sweet and he slept great that way, so we continued like that until "the incident."

Thanksgiving morning, he got his first scar from a scared cat run, and we decided we had to change our arrangement for his safety. Now he slept in a bassinet type thing, in between us on the bed, and that transition was hard at first, but I had to acknowledge he slept fine in there and I slept better too. I had the freedom to switch sides in the night, sleep deep and nursing was still pretty easy.

But from November to March, this little boy continued to grow. We saw he was increasingly not as comfortable in that little space, hitting his head on the sides, and trying unsuccessfully to turn in there. Sunday night and Monday night had large stretches where he wasn't sleeping, and we tried everything to soothe him, and suspected it was because he just couldn't find a comfortable position.

Our favorite sleep book said it was time, he was a week away from 6 months, which was our original thought of crib time, and most importantly, he was telling us it was time too.

As you probably have guessed long ago, all this is leading up to the fact that last night, he slept in his own crib, down the hall. He still woke up twice for feedings, but otherwise didn't complain much about his new arrangement, either when he was first put down, or after his feedings.

He held no grudge in the morning, and after his morning feed was his normal, happy self.

Our bed is back to two humans and three pets, and I have mixed feelings about it. The space is nice, but in some ways I miss having my baby so close. Just one of many signs he is no longer a newborn.

I know he has to grow up, one step at a time, and I don't begrudge him that, but it doesn't make it any easier to see my kids become more independent, and need their mom less and less.

(Picture is of Remington this morning, to commemorate his big achievement)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Recap

To share a picture I take on Facebook from my phone takes a few seconds, especially since my camera app has a button to share right after I take the picture. To write a blog means taking a chunk of time to write something with the pictures, then go through and select the pictures and upload the whole thing.

For Facebook friends, the blog is simply more pictures and details that they might not otherwise get, but I tend to forget my other audience. I know of five or six, family members and friends off the top of my head that follow this blog faithfully to see the kids, but are not at all connected with Facebook. To you, faithful facebook-free followers, I apologize.

I will try to post more regularly on here as well.

Most of February was routine, and I am starting to take less pictures of routine activities. For example, we go to a park or a playground literally every day. Usually after her nap. I could take a picture of her swinging every day...but I don't, because to me, quite honestly, it is boring. It is her current favorite thing to do at the park though, so we do it. I've been working on my willingness to push her on the swings for the full park time, as much as I would prefer to have her do the slide or play in the sand, or something I could be less involved with.

We usually have a playdate or two a week, and we see my mom every week and my mother in law most weeks. For most of February, my mother in law took Grace to a tap class, which she loved.

But even these events rarely warrant pictures, since they became part of my routine.

The events in February got most of my camera's attention- Valentine's Day and President's Day. For the first, Grace went to a party with our playgroup, and really enjoyed passing out the Valentines to the other kids.

President's day, Blake had off, so we had a family park day. It really was a wonderful day, with a picnic and naps on a blanket, as well as her daily dose of playground.

In other news, Grace is getting good at identifying letters, and can even write a few! The picture of her with the G, is a G she did completely on her own after practicing with my mom a few times.

Remington is now 5 months old, and is sitting well enough for us to put him in a high chair at restaurants. At home, he got Grace's old seat, and she just sits at the table with us. More recently, we started giving him some oat cereal, and will be introducing new foods every few days. He makes faces like he doesn't want it, but then grabs the spoon for more, though even so, he is only eating maybe a teaspoon at each sitting.

He is making good progress towards crawling soon too. He can push well enough with his arms to go backwards, and can get into a good crawling position on hands and knees for short moments too. He has made very little forward movement at times by pushing off with his toes or twisting in a weird way, but definitely hasn't got crawling down quite yet.

So there is the much belated update. I'll put a bunch of pictures on too.