Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A nap schedule

Two weeks ago, I finally made it back to my Monday morning yoga class.  I was so excited to be there, but about ten minutes into the class I was spent.  As I kept reverting back to relax in child's pose, I could not figure out what was wrong with me.  I was able to jump right back into the class after a 9 month pregnancy break, without a problem.  I couldn't figure it out and I spent the rest of the day in a bad mood.  A few days later, as I trying to negotiate the day while holding Rory, it hit me.  I was exhausted.  Rory would not let me put him down anymore.  He was exhausted.  Somewhere in our travels over the past couple of months he graduated from the age where babies are flexible and portable with their naps to the age where he was not.  That night, I grabbed my "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book and got in bed at eight.  It did not take long to figure out a plan.  Weissbluth pretty clearly outlined how a baby Rory's age should be napping: naps around 9, 1 and a third nap if necessary.  I started the next day and vowed to put and leave Rory in his crib for an hour even if he was crying.  Well, it worked.  The first few days, Rory did not come close to sleeping an hour each nap, but he cried very little.  Slowly, over the course of the week his naps have gotten longer and more scheduled.  I do not enjoy schedules and I was even more hesitant to be tied to a nap schedule with active older boys.  But, I am now breathing a sigh of relief.  I feel like I understand my days now, even if they are more limited.  If Rory does get fussy, I can more easily determine what is wrong.  Rory is happier.  I am even enjoying Finnan and Jude more as I can actually focus on them without holding on to their baby brother at all times.  

Now, we are squeezing in play dates or short errands in between his first two naps then taking any longer outings in the afternoon.  I have even mastered the pool with the three.  In fact, Rory loves the water and smiles and kicks with delight while getting constantly splashed by the chaos around him.  We have also been enjoying our time at home and the boys have been spending a lot of time working on art and building projects.  

A letter to Sara and Aiden

This summer, Finnan and Jude have joined Ms. Sara's play group.  Sara lives in our neighborhood, runs a Waldorf-style preschool play group and is the mother of Aiden, one of Finnan's buddies from Gabriela's.  Sara offered a summer play group where you could choose your child's attendance down to the day.  It was just what I was looking for and I signed the kids up for two days a week.  The boys just finished their first of three weeks there.  They were both quite taken with it.

As soon as I we walked in the door this afternoon, Finnan announced he was going to write a letter.  He got his pad and a crayon and proceeded to ask me how to spell Aiden, Sara and from.  After he finished that portion of the letter he asked me, "What else do you write in a letter?"  I told him he should write what he wanted to tell Aiden and Sarah.  He said, "I want to say, 'I love you' and 'I am sorry that I will not see you tomorrow.'"  Once he started writing, he decided instead of 'I am sorry that I will not see you tomorrow' he would write 'I hope you have a nice summer.'  His letters started to go on top of each other for this sentence and eventually decided I should write that sentence and he would finish off the letter with a drawing.  Since he then insisted that we put the letter in an envelope and mail it, I took a picture.

This summer he has been writing a lot of "letters."  Up until today, they have consisted of lines and lines of scribble across the page.  But, for some reason, he always starts at the bottom of the page.  So, to understand this letter properly, one needs to read from the bottom.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A bit of Florida

To start off our summer, the boys and I went to Florida for a week to visit my parents.  We stayed busy, or, at least they stayed busy.  They went on many breakfast dates with my parents, to Dinosaur World with my mom, spent many hours playing baseball and soccer with my dad, and they even got to go to a minor league baseball game.  This was Jude's first game and he loved it.  He loved it so much that he did not want to leave even though it was 10 o'clock and ended up crying almost all the way home.  Since coming home, Finnan is refusing to use the tee, preferring me or Jude to pitch to him (and subsequently getting very frustrated with Jude).

My favorite parts of the trip were my daily morning walks with Rory and our daily trips to one of the two pools in their neighborhood with only Finnan and Jude.  Since my dad also came to the pool with us and my mom stayed home with Rory, I was able to swim laps every day. Finnan was apparently taken with the idea of swimming laps.  After he saw me swimming, he put on his snorkel gear and started going back and forth down the 25 yard pool.  When I thought he was finished, I said, "Finnan, you did 18 laps!  I did 20."  He looked at me and confirmed that 20 was more than 18 and said, "I am going to do some more laps."  He got back in and ended up doing a total of 31 laps that day with his snorkel gear.  Jude also did great at the pool never once putting on his back float.  On the last day, I sat on the side while they both practiced cannon balls and Jude was able to swim back to the wall by himself.

Simultaneous "cannonballs."

Yes, this was also called a cannonball.  Finnan does do them correctly occasionally.  Jude, not so much.

Ready for more laps.  This day it started to storm before he could get into the double digits.

Rory started eating solids while we were down there.  He did not think I could do it fast enough and decided to take over.

We took my dad out for Father's Day at a restaurant on the beach and then collected some shells.

Rory loves listening to Weggi sing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rory is 6 months

Rory is now 6 months old.  The best way to describe him is still happy.  He is taking on 6 months with gusto.  We brought down the jumper a couple of weeks ago and he immediately started jumping and has not stopped, continually going high, fast and excitedly.  I started him on solids about two weeks ago and he has finished every serving provided to him.  Yesterday, I finally sat him up in the middle of his boppy and there he stayed.  Granted, I am a little slow on all of these things, so he has been ready, but I do feel like this is part of his personality.  He is ready to take on the world.  Since birth he has not been one to sleep on outings and he still will not fall asleep until he is beyond exhausted, often just suddenly letting his head go limp while you are holding him.  He still always wants to face outward.  He is not a cuddle bug.  He wants to see it all.  

Rory had his 6-month check up today.  He weighed in at 14lbs 15oz (10th percentile) and was 27 inches long (75th percentile).  He received his oral rotavirus vaccination and three shots.  Of course he cried when he recieved the shots, but stopped the moment I picked him up.  He is usually napping two times a day and they don't seem to be very long naps. (Hopefully this will change now that we will be at home for a whole month!)  At night he sleeps from 6:30/7 to 7/7:30, typically waking once.  Once we got back from our trip to Florida, I put the swing in the attic and he transferred to crib easily.  It was as if he had never needed the swing in the first place.  So far he has eaten bananas, sweet potatoes and squash.

And, since it was his half birthday and he had to get all of those shots today, I let him share my blueberry frozen yogurt from Yogurt Tap tonight.  Yes, I am a very different mother than I was four years ago.  Lucky Rory.  Then again, he makes me feel pretty darn lucky every day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monkey muscles

Finnan has acquired the nickname "monkey muscles."  It is partially because he is a little bit obsessed with his muscles.  Mostly it is because we often find him like this...

Last week, he further earned his nickname.  While we were visiting my parents, we tagged along with my mom to the zoo while she was working.  As we were heading to the zoo train, Finnan saw the ropes course.  He immediately wanted to do it.  We did not have time then, but I said if he still wanted to, we could go back later in the week.  Every time I asked him what he wanted to do, he mentioned the ropes course.  So we did it.  

For the kids, the course is divided into two sections.  The first section is probably only 3 or 4 feet up.  You go on "obstacles" in between trees.  These included walking on wires, moving pieces of wood, etc.  Finnan did not have any trouble on any of these.  Nor did he have any issues on the height.  However, every time you reach a tree, you have to unhook and re-hook your harness to the wires.  This involved two carabiners each time and sometimes you even had to hook it to a go between wire since the trees were so big.  It took a while for Finnan to get the hang of this as he was often on his tippy-toes or still on an obstacle.   But, not once did he complain and not once did I have to help him.  When older kids needed to pass he let them.  I was amazed by his patience and persistence.  Here are some pictures from the first section.

Since it took him so long to finish the first course, the instructor warned Finnan that the second course was higher and more challenging and told him he could do the first course again or stop now.  Without hesitation, Finnan said he wanted to go on to the second course.  The second course was higher, always over my head.  It had more varied obstacles and one did seem to really frighten Finnan (you had to stop from a log that was oriented like a balance beam to a short log (like you would put on a fire) that was perpendicular and the moved a lot) but by this point he was very comfortable with the harness process.   Here are some pictures from the second course.

Completing the two courses took him an hour and a half.  He only stopped to let people by.  When he finished he seemed to act like he did something like that every day.  I hope he is as proud of himself as I am.

As an aside:  Since Finnan had a muscle nickname, Jude received one, too.  Jude is called "mega-muscles."  Last night while we were eating dinner, Atticus said, "You better eat more so that you can have mega-muscles."  Jude whined, "But I don't want mega muscles.  I want monkey muscles."