Monday, November 9, 2009
Last Week's Wrap-Up
I'm only a couple days behind . . . last week was a good week. We continue to have many warm, sunny days, most of which find us at the playground in the afternoon. It works out so nicely for the big kids to play while Little Bit finishes her nap (driving in the car generally puts her to sleep, just like it did her big sisters at this age) and I get to read, listen to CDs, knit, etc.
We've stretched our Halloween out abit this year, after attempting to trick-or-treat at the mall on Sat. night (a disaster, it was SOOO crowded, it is NOT worth the candy to have to stand in line forever!) we visited our neighbor, Miss Judy on Sunday night & she took pictures (which I'll post when I can get the photo adder thingy to work . . . ) and we "wrapped up" Halloween by visiting another neighbor, Miss Denise THIS Sunday evening (she wasn't home last week).
School continues . . . last week for Bible one activity was to learn the books of the Bible so we are working on that. Conveniently the girls have been learning a song in Sabbath School for the OT books, so they have a good start on those.
We finished up Little House on the Prairie and moved into By the Banks of Plum Creek. Most days, after listening to the "required" chapters the girls, especially L, ask for more, but we're trying to stay on track . . . some of their favorite assignments have been the nature/art ones, where we read about/discuss a wildflower, etc and then they get to draw a picture of it, so I decided to expand on that and let them each start a nature notebook. Each week we (them, unless they can't think of something) will choose something they'd like to learn about and we'll read about it & they'll draw a picture. We'll also try to do nature walks, etc. Yesterday when we were driving home from the playground we passed a whole herd of deer in a field, so L decided she wanted us to learn about deer this week. I happened to have a Deer Unit Study in my files so I used that to give us something to read about & today had them draw a picture of deer, then the next couple of days I have some additional "lapbook" activities related to deer that we will do, and put in their nature notebook.
Another assignment I'd given them a couple weeks ago was to do all their chores one day w/o me having to remind them. I "cheat" some and . . . warn them that I'll be checking their chart soon, but the main thing I'm trying to get away from is the CONSTANT reminders/nagging . . . if I can get it down to just reminding them 3 times a day (their chores are essentially divided into 3 "blocks") I'll be thrilled. So anyway . . . last Wednesday they finally were successful in remembering all day, so on Friday (because I forgot on Thurs, bad mommy!) we went for donuts. NOW their new assignment/challenge is to go a whole WEEK without reminders, we started yesterday, so far, so good . . . A especially is really getting into it, which is, of course wonderful . . . the next challenge will be a whole MONTH, and hopefully by then it will be a habit that won't require additional incentive . . .
Something I've been working on in the last couple of weeks is getting Little Bit's morning nap to not be a "nurping session" (nursing/napping), sometimes on weekends dh will end up taking a shower after Little Bit's been up for a couple hours and put her in the swing in the bathroom while he showers, and she would fall asleep & take a good-length nap in the swing. But I was in the habit of taking a shower/getting dressed as soon as I got up each morning, so of course she wasn't tired then, and just played in the swing during my 2-3 min shower. Which was fine for getting me clean, but . . . it occurred to me that it is very rarely that I NEED to be dressed before late-morning, so there's really no reason I can't wait & take my shower/get dressed after she's been up for awhile. After experimenting with that last week & the week before, I determined that she seems to be ready to go down for a nap about 2 hours after she gets up in the morning SO . . . yesterday I talked to A & L and told them that if they could stay focused, I thought we should be able to get our morning chores/breakfast done in an hour and then school done in an hour so that we'd be done w/ chores and school when Little Bit's ready to nap. If we can do that, then they can do their copywork (part of school, but a part that doesn't require anything from me) while I take a shower & then we can do something fun (craft, baking, etc) while she naps. BUT if they dilly dally and don't get chores/school done, then we'll have to spend her naptime finishing that up.
So, this morning was our first test . . . and wouldn't you know it, for some reason Little Bit was WIDE AWAKE by 5:30 (she normally wakes up between 7 & 8am, similar to when, usually soon after, the big girls wake up), sigh . . .I was SOO frustrated. I was afraid this was going to really ruin the whole "experiment" because the girls would be upset if we couldn't do things like we'd planned (since of course they weren't awake at 5:30am (thank goodness!) to start their chores, etc). BUT . . . thankfully the dishwasher hadn't been quite full the night before so I hadn't run it, so that was a normal morning chore that they didn't have this morning, when they woke up I told them "Little Bit's already been up awhile, so I'm not sure what's going to happen with her nap, but let's just try to get through things as fast as we can and see how it goes", we were through chores/breakfast in 1/2 an hour! (granted dishwasher is the most time consuming chore, but they often dilly dally over breakfast and make IT take 1/2 hour or more, just to eat their bowl of cereal & fruit). And jumped into school. We made it through Bible time (which is slightly longer on Mondays because we read a chapter out of our mission book to learn about the country we are praying for that week) but then when we started listening to Little House, Little Bit started nursing to sleep (my mistake there was sitting down to check e-mail and such while the girls were listening, me sitting down meant Little Bit crawled up to nurse, I think if I'd busied myself in the kitchen, etc she might have held off longer, although it had also been over 2 hrs since she woke up, so who knows . . .) anyway . . . when I noticed her starting to "nurp" I told the big girls I needed to go shower, I left them to finish listening to the chapter they were listening to & told them when it was done, to go ahead & do copywork. They'd finished both when I came down from my shower and Little Bit was sound asleep. So we went ahead & did a craft (they got some 3-D water-color kits in Sabbath School for knowing their memory verse every week last quiarter, so they're working on those) while she napped, then finished up school after she was awake again. . . so it was a partial success, but considering the monkey-wrench of her early wake-up, things went quite smoothly. And the big girls are very excited with that dedicated "mommy time", so it's a very good thing.
And a few more pictures to share . . .
The girls were eating lunch on the ottoman in the family room to watch tv while they ate. Little Bit kept trying to grab their food so I put some "Gerber puffs" on the ottoman for her to eat, she was so proud of herself to be eating right along with her big sisters.
And is anything sweeter than pictures of Daddy sleeping with his baby girl? I LOVE this picture :o)