Friday, July 29, 2011

The same, but different

I'm happy that both boys love lego (duplo for now). I have a closet full of my lego just waiting for them to be old enough (to not choke on the pieces).

It's interesting to watch them play with it. These were taken this morning. Nathan was very focused, building towers out of brick of a uniform size (2 more followed these ones). Corwyn was more intent on building trains/cars and taking all the people and animals for a ride around. Both are wonderful ways to play with blocks and they clearly show how differently the boys think.

Corwyn will also build towers. Nathan doesnt' seem interested in building much else, but if I make a "house" he'll spend an hour putting blocks inside and taking them back out again. I can't wait to see  how they grow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To sleep, to sleep perchance to dream

For me it’s just the sleep part; dreams can’t happen if I don’t sleep or don’t reach REM sleep.

Let’s start with an update. The beds are going great. I have no regrets at all. They have stopped pulling everything off the shelf if I leave the room after lights out. For the most part, they won’t leave their bed after lights out at all. This can actually be a problem when a monkey or blanket falls out since they won’t leave their beds, I have to come get it. Ah well. The worse that happens now for getting out is that sometimes Corwyn wants to sleep with Nathan. Nathan never wants him there so it can sometimes be a battle and occasionally results in Nathan switching beds.

Our bedtime routine is similar but different to the crib one. We still read a story, but they are no longer trapped in cribs before. I often can’t get up after one book before another is shoved at me with the command ‘read mommy’. Eventually books are done and they get into bed. Then its lights out. But now, they insist I sing a lullaby. Sure why not. This is followed by a fairy tale. I’ve modified a few of the basics and some others avoided completely (why are all step mothers wicked anyway?) Right now the 3 Little Pigs is a favorite and they love to blow the house down with me. I really treasure this time. It’s also nice because unlike in a crib, our bedtime now includes hugs after they are tucked in.

When they were in cribs, the first stir would come between 5:30 and 6:30. But since they couldn’t get up and a small whine didn’t bring me running, it typically resulted in them falling back asleep until 7 or 8. Those were the days. Now since they have the freedom, they will get up and come into the living room to see me in bed. Nathan will simply crawl into my bed, snuggle up and go to sleep. Unless or until Corwyn comes out. If there is any sign of daylight when he gets up, he wants to play. He usually wants company. The last few times though, I could hear ‘noises’ and when I looked, he had made himself a bit of fort under the table and was taking things out of and putting back in the stroller basket. I have no idea why, but don’t mind since it lets Nathan sleep longer (and sometimes me).

Corwyn has fallen out twice so far. He is a very active sleeper. When he fell out last night, I’m not sure he even noticed. I thought I heard a bang, but I hear those lots (as they roll around and hit the edges) but there were no cries. I found him on the floor when I went in to check them before I went to bed. I put him back in bed (I debated leaving him there, but had to move him to reach Nathan) and he stayed asleep. But he woke up less than a half hour later and came out to my bed. I had just turned off the TV and light. He crawled into bed and proceeded to make himself comfortable. This was done by tossing, turning, nudging, pushing and kicking me. They say our sleep goes in 90 minute intervals. I could see this as I was woken up again about every 90 minutes by a repeat performance. I can totally understand how he can fall out of bed. Nathan joined us around 5:30 and they both slept through until 7 (bliss, I tell you, sheer bliss).

Corwyn got another molar last week, making 4 in total (Nathan is up to 6, go figure). He took it Corwyn style which is to say he got a fever was cranky and screamed for 3 straight days. If Corwyn is unhappy, he needs me by his side. Sleep is rare then. I managed to get a couple of hours one afternoon while they actually napped. I haven’t caught up yet.

That’s about it for the sleep update. If and when we move to bunk beds, Corwyn will be on the bottom.

These pictures were taken about a week apart. Norice that Nathan takes up a reasonable amount of bed space for his size. Corwyn on the other hand, makes it very hard for anyone else to find room.

Wordless Wednesday - Little Red Wagon

Okay, here are some words. I'm behind, sorely and sadly behind. There is nothing overwhelming to share, but lots of little things. I'm a tad on the sleep deprived side right now though. I promise a post soon, probably about sleep.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh no! I missed a Wednesday picture posting!

I have no idea how I missed the chance to load pictures of my boys. The shame of it all! So to make up for it, here are two pictures from last weekends shoot with my friend. I hope there will be more (he gave me these to tease me). We were at the park by the beach and eventually ended up near in the water. I cant wait to see the ones of Nathan frolicking in the ocean.

I also have thoughts and updates, but those will come later.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Boy Beds

Well, they're really toddler beds, but they are not cribs.

I went with toddler beds for reasons of economy. It was economy of space in that while I could have fit 2 twin beds in the room, there would be no fun space left in there.  It was financial economy because I could use the crib mattresses, saving me cash there. I lucked out and got these beds for 100 from another twin mom. Her boys used them for 6 years (cribs first, then beds) and the mom before her used them for 5. I'm hoping to use them until they are 5 or 6 and old enough to move to bunk beds. I'm not keeping the crib sides and base around; I really don't have space to store it.

I'd love to say its been a walk in the park, but it has had its challenges. That said, they are doing really well, better even than I thought they would. They aren't quite their usual really easy to put to bed in the crib boys, but so much better than I know many people go through.

They're going to bed a tiny bit later than usual to make sure they are good and tired. The routine is kept as close to what it was when in cribs as possible. They get changed, then brush teeth and wash hands and faces (bath on bath night). Then they get to play in the bedroom for 15 minutes or so. They like to kick me out of the room for this most of the time. Sometimes, about once a week, while playing like this, they will empty every shelf, door and cupboard. This was the signal to put them in their cribs (after they 'helped' to put things away). But now there are no cribs and nothing stopping them from getting right back out. In fact, while one is helping me put clothes back, the other will be starting over again at the other end, taking it all down. Sigh. So now I 'order' them to sit in their beds while I toss clothes off the floor onto where ever they land.

The old routine had me reading, while they were in bed. Now they will either sit on my lap or the edge of their beds while reading. When we read two books, that was it. Now they will run and get another book before I can get up. I'm encouraging (with mixed results) reading to themselves in bed like they used to. If I leave the room though, the clothes will get tossed so I need to stick around.

Then its tuck in time. And this is really varying, day to day, nap to nap and bedtime to bedtime. None has been exactly the same. But once they accept that its sleep time, they do not get out of bed again. In fact, if a monkey falls out of bed, they scream for me to come pick it up. Ah well, the balance is coming slowly.

It sounds like torture, but the first night, from lights out to both being asleep was 40 minutes. The next night was 30, then 20. It was back again to 30 tonite. Corwyn did not want me to leave the room, for any reason. This might be because I went to work today.

But they are asleep now. And I finally had dinner. Oh and a glass of wine. To give you an idea of how often I drink, the wine is the same bottle I opened when we stopped the bottles. Yeah, that's me, party animal.

So what's next? Potty training of course. We need more time to adjust to this change. I'm not sure when we'll give it a try. It will be before the end of the summer though. I may need to stop using cloth diapers before then. They are too tall and butt cracks lead to poop leaks and, well, yuck.

Enjoy the video. It was shortly after they saw the beds for the first time, but before they actually had to sleep in them.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Before and After

Friday Morning

 Friday Afternoon

Details of how it went to follow

Friday, July 8, 2011

Learning about Weather

One of the best places I've found for quality Montessori printables is The Montessori Print Shop. So far, I only have their Science CD but I expect to get more as time goes on. One of the segments on the CD is about weather. I finally got a laminator and put this together for the boys. This one also happens to currently be in the free downloads too.

When they get up the morning they check out the window to see what the weather is that day. This is Corwyn checking out the rain.

After that, they will point to the icon the best shows the weather. (He got it right on the first try.)

Next we update the chart, moving today to yesterday and putting in today's weather. I use the news to 'guess' for tomorrow. If there is a big change during the day, we can put up another icon. I used stick on velcro dots for the daily weather icons. I still need a thermometer to be able to tell the temp each day, but since they can't read yet, I'm not in a big rush.

While this doesn't seem overly complicated, it's not something the average 2 year old is given the chance to learn this way. This not only teaches them the words for the different weather and the pictures often associated with it, it gives them some more practice with the concept of the passage of time (yesterday, today, tomorrow). It's needed to learn about why we have different weather systems. It also has a big place in learning about the seasons (we're going to start with fall in, well, the fall). And it adds a bit of structure to the day.

Check out the blog at The Montessori Print Shop too. Along with information on ways to use some of their materials, they often include links to other blogs with some cool Montessori inspired ideas. They run contests fairly regularly too.

I'm not sure the next set of print outs from the CD that I will introduce. Right now, it's between Animal Stripes, Spots, or Solids and Five Senses. I think they`re ready for the early introduction to both of these. I`ll keep you posted.

I've started taking a Montessori online certificate course last month. I'll write more on that later with details of the school etc. I work full time out of need so obviously wont be homeschooling but I still think that I can help the boys succeed in life and school with as much of the best support I can provide in the time I do have with them. So far, I`m working most on prepared environment since my place is too crowded and too cluttered to be the best for learning. And as I said, more on that in a later post.