Tuesday, July 31, 2012

i'd like to retract a previous post.

and that would be this one.

because while i thought we had figured out this whole no-nap business and were taking it and our new schedule in stride, choi boy has suddenly gone back to napping.


after powering through what would be nap time for a few days (to see how he would do without it), we instituted quiet time and it went off without a hitch for a week. cb read books and played quietly in his bed for an hour and was happy to do so without complaint. when i went to go and get him after the hour was up, he'd greet me with smiles and chatter about what he did during quiet time and we'd continue our afternoon together.

however, for the last three days, cb fell asleep promptly (within minutes!) of getting into his bed for quiet time. i've let him sleep, waking him up after about 1-1.5 hours, but yesterday, he was a little under the weather and slept for 3 hours. and i let him because it seemed like he really needed the sleep. of course, that messed things up he went to bed at 9:30 that night.

as i write, he's been asleep for an hour and i'll probably try and wake him up soon, but again, he's been coughing and sniffling, so perhaps he needs the extra rest? he's still getting 12-13 hours of total sleep during each 24 hour cycle...so, maybe i should just go with it? gahhh. who knows?

honestly, i don't mind having a different schedule each day regarding naps. i just wish cb would let me know at the start of the day so i could plan my have-to's accordingly. like, had he woken up this morning saying, "mommy, i'm going to sleep for 2 hours between 1:30-3:30, so go ahead and take a long, leisurely shower then. but, i won't be asleep until 9:45pm, so don't rush to give me a bath after dinner. and don't plan on trying to get anything done after i go to sleep because you'll be exhausted from trying to get me to go to sleep."...? that would have been truly awesome.

no? one can only wish.

passed. out.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

check, check, check!

we have been checking things off our summer fun list and are having a blast doing so!

we've done a couple more outings, like a visit to old town clifton:

and we've done lots of activities, too. choi boy loves to get down and dirty and messy in a good project, so he's been loving these activities. i, on the other hand, am trying to be perfectly fine with the messy and getting down and dirty with him. ;)

honest confession: children and paint together terrify me. it takes a lot for me to let go and let my students paint in the classroom and even more for me to bring out the paints at home and give them to the two year old. but, cb loves painting and had a blast painting paper towel rolls and gluing them together to make binoculars.

painting the paper towel rolls led to some free painting, too.
i'm not claiming my child is an art prodigy and i know this was totally unintentional, but i just love this! i painted the sun and then cb tried to paint one, too, but after he painted the circle, he kept going and it morphed into that yellow creature. he smiled and said, "mommy, look at my doggie! please paint him bowls with kibble and water?" :) and i love the backwards C he signed on the bottom left!

of course, all that painting led to this:
see? terrifying. 

we also got to do some activities that i had pinned ages ago, like this one, using baking soda and droppers with colored vinegar:
"whoa, did ya see that, mommy? cool!"

this kept cb entertained for a good hour and at the end, i put the cups of vinegar in the baking dish and gave him a spoon so he dump the remaining baking soda inside the vinegar.
science is so cool. :)

but, perhaps our favorite project so far has been making cloud dough (or moonsand, as some might call it).
this was super easy and will likely last us all summer since it shows no sign of drying out.

the basic "recipe" calls for 8 parts flour, 1 part baby oil. i ended up using 20 cups of flour and 2.5 cups of baby oil. if you use whole wheat flour, it actually ends up looking more like sand, but white flour was cheaper. :) 

you dump it all into a big container and mush and mix it around with your hands until it gets nice and squishy and retains shape when you mold it. 

cb had a total blast playing in the stuff!

i used an old dishpan container and then set out another large tupperware container and different cups, bowls, diggers and sand toys.

cb made "cakes" and various other cloud dough delicacies for me to try.

at one point, he tried to actually get in the box so he could surround himself with the stuff!
cb played and played with the cloud dough for well over an hour and i literally had to drag him back in the house with promises of playing in it again another day. 

but seriously, the stuff is SO cool. the best part about cloud dough is that it is really moldable:
almost like wet sand. but it's much easier to get off and the baby oil makes it smell great!

like i said, it's sometimes been a stretch for me to let go of some of my ocd tendencies and just let cb get down and dirty with these projects, but you know what, it's been SO fun and i'm so thankful to be able to do them with him!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

unsolicited advice...

...on helping your child develop of a love of literacy!

i know, i know, no one likes unsolicited advice. it's so annoying! (especially when given by nagging mommas!) but, i just finished up a series over at Hellobee about helping little ones develop a lifelong love of literacy. and since i could talk about this subject for hours upon hours, i thought i'd share the links to the posts here in case anyone was interested in checking them out:

i. cultivating young readers: library visits

if you have any other tips or ideas, please share away! and you can consider it solicited! :)

i love my little reader!

Monday, July 23, 2012

so...it's not actually so bad.

thanks for commiserating with me and for all your helpful thoughts on my last post!

we ended up napless on thursday (after an hour and a half of trying to get him to fall asleep), and choi boy was dead asleep at 6:45pm. and stayed asleep until 7am. and it was kind of awesome sauce.

so the next day, we decided to purposely cut out cb's nap. during what would be nap time, we hung out in his room and read books and played quitely. or, rather, cb played quietly while i devoured insurgent. (SO good.) all was well, and it was actually a lot more peaceful than the usual cb-jumps-in-his-bed and i-repeatedly-yell-"go-to-sleep" action that usually took place during nap time.

things started to get a little rough between 4-6pm -- lots of whining, tired irrationality, etc. but, after dinner at 6 and a bath afterwards, we started our bedtime routine and cb was out like a light at 7:05pm, a mere 5 minutes after we put him down. and *gasp* the hubs and i had nearly 4 hours of down time together (read: i read more of insurgent, he surfed the interwebs) before we went to bed ourselves! it was so nice and really restful as opposed to the hour or so we'd get after trying to wrangle cb into his bed and convince him to stop jumping and shouting for 2 hours.

so we tried it again the next day and the day after that and today, too. today was day 5 of no naps and as hard has that late afternoon window can be, cb is sleeping SO much better at night and overall, i think our days have been more peaceful.

today we instituted "quiet time". i let cb pick several books to bring to his bed and told him he could read them or lay down, but that he had to stay quiet and in his room until i came to get him. and you know what? he did SO well. for a little over an hour, he read books quietly and played with his stuffed animals, and when i came to get him, he was as happy as a clam and so proud of himself!

of course, while it's been better than i had anticipated, it is still a little hard not having that long afternoon break (there was some mourning on my part, not gonna lie). however, having that extended time at night is *almost* just as good. and, it is nice to not be bound by nap time when we're out and about...although we will have to think about being out at night with cb, since he'll probably be mr. supercrankypants if he's not asleep by 8pm. we'll see...we're still feeling this out, but so far, it's been a lot less scary than i thought it would be.

because when it's 10:30 and your kid's been asleep for 3 and a half hours and will likely stay asleep for another 9, it really is rather awesome saucy.

or at least that's what i'm telling myself...;)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

for the love of nap.

Dear friends, I am in denial.

Methinks Choi Boy might be showing signs that he is no longer in need of naps… and I just can’t bear to think that might be true... Say it ain’t so!!

Since he came home at 15 months, CB has always been a great napper, napping between 1.5 to 3 hours every afternoon. He napped well at daycare and on the weekends and breaks at home, too. And outside of the home when we were away on vacation, too! The great thing was that he was never incredibly rigid about when he needed to nap (though at daycare, naptime was definitely a set time), but depending on our plans for the day, we would put him down somewhere between 12:30 and 1:45 and he would fall asleep within minutes. And an even better bonus was that his afternoon nap never affected his bedtime.

Well. For the three weeks, since I’ve been home with him once school got out, his napping and sleep schedule have been subpar. No, actually, I lie. It’s been bad.

I’d put him down for a nap between 12:30-1, depending on what time we were done with lunch, and for the next 1-2 HOURS, he’d be having a party in his crib. Singing, dancing, jumping, telling stories, bossing around his stuffed animals, screaming... basically, anything but sleeping. And then, just about when I’d had enough and was going to get him out of his crib, he’d pass out and be solidly asleep for the next 2-3 hours. Which means he wasn’t getting up until after 4, sometimes almost 5!

So, you can imagine how awesome bedtime has been, too. We’ve been trying to get him in bed at his regular bedtime of 8 to keep things consistent, but again, for 1-2 HOURS after we put him down, he doesn’t fall asleep! As I write this, it’s 9:30pm and he’s been in his bed for an hour and half and is currently singing The Wiggles’ “Hot Potato.” Awesome.

On top of all that, his wake-up time has stayed fairly consistent, so I know he’s tired during the day, but he won’t fall asleep! And what makes me nutty is that he displays all his normal “I’m sleepy” signs and gets super whiny at what should be naptime, but it’s like I put him in his crib and suddenly he’s Insta-party Guy!



I don’t want to force CB to nap if he doesn’t need to (but let’s be honest, momma looooves that mid-day break). On the other hand, I don’t want him to be overly tired and out of whack for the late afternoon and evening.

And it’s funny how quickly this changed once he was out of daycare! I swear, peer pressure is very powerful…

When we were on vacation, we played around with this a bit. We didn’t force him to nap, but kind of just played it by ear. Some days, he was fast asleep by 1:30pm for a nap and other days he didn’t nap at all. And the earliest he fell asleep, even on non-nap days was 8:45. At the end of the week, we didn’t end up with any answers…just more confused about what our little guy needed.

I know he technically needs about 12-14 hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle, so I’d be okay with cutting out his nap if it will up his normal 10.5-11-hours a night by an hour or two… Wishful thinking? Or maybe even just shortening his nap to 45 min-1 hour and then moving his bedtime to 8:30? I don’t know!

Actually this past week, we’ve gotten in this strange nap-every-other-day cycle…One day CB will take a nap and then he won’t be tired by bedtime, so he won’t fall asleep until 10-ish. Then he wakes up the next morning around 8, won’t nap because he’s not tired by mid-day and will then crash by 6:45pm, sleep for 12 hours, wake up at 6:45am and nap that day and start the cycle again. It’s not terrible, but I know we need to find something consistent, especially as he gets ready to start preschool in September!

I was reeeeeally hoping CB would nap until he was 4.5 years-old or so. Because, again, selfishly, that 2-hour break I get really helps me recharge and have some much needed me-time. And, perhaps these last 3 weeks have just been a fluke, but I know I need to take my cues from CB, and so far, it’s looking like the cues are starting to point to possibly phasing out his nap.


If we do end up nap-less, we *will* be instituting a quiet time during what would be nap time. That will probably require some “quiet-time training,” but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

When did your child stop napping? Or anyone else’s kiddos protesting naptime? Any tips or ideas you’re willing to share? Or do you just want to commiserate together?

Monday, July 16, 2012

CB, defender of the universe!

ladies and gentlemen. i have the great privilege of introducing to you the world's newest superhero.


oh, no. not choi boy.

i present to you, COKE BOY.

caffeinating and energizing sleepyheads around the planet,

and ridding the world of pepsi, one can at a time.

now, he just received his superhero status, so he's still learning to adjust to his powers.

and his supersuit.

everyday things like eating are not always easy when you are wearing super armor.

we managed to capture some secret footage of our young hero attempting to eat...

as you can see, some adjustments were made to help CB. now with his newly remodeled helmet, he is truly ready to defend us all.

and should he ever needs help again, his cardboard hatted sensei is but a call away.

i love my weird family.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

beachy highlights.

alternatively titled, "the lazy blogger's vacation recap post."

so. on saturday, we returned from our fantastic week at the beach. and i finally uploaded all the pictures we took. it turns out i took nearly 300 pictures! i'm too overwhelmed/lazy to do anything with the pictures (not that i can really do much with editing anyway -- really going to work on changing that!), so i'm just going cop out and post my favorite snaps, STOOC. all 35 of them. ;)

choi boy was thrilled to be back at the beach and got right to work playing in the sand. or, as he called it, "digging my treasure." very serious work.

over the course of the week, cb coaxed every adult to come and join him in his sand (and water) play.

how could we resist this guy?
he also charmed his way into lots of special treats...
mmmhmm. that giant lolly has grandparents written ALL over it.

the beach is a great place for boardwalk fries happy dances.

and kite flying.

and realizing you have the exact same haircut.

and also trying to get a decent self-shot with a dirty lens.

we also had a blast on the boardwalk!

nothing says "family vacation" like watching your parents duke it out in zombie blasting video games!

we also discovered my dad might need rock band (and a video game console with which to play it) for christmas.

the slightly suspect carnival rides were also a big hit.
(this one cracks me up. he's totally chillaxin', one hand on the wheel.)

ice cream stands with crazy flavors are so many kinds of awesome. 
i settled on boston cream pie, but seriously thought about crack (i think it was some sort of burnt sugar with toasted almonds or something like that) and white wine.

there was also some jet-skiing to be done.

or sittin' on the dock of the bay for the spectators.

being at the beach for the fourth of july is always extra special. especially when we are treated to a great fireworks show!

and watching said fireworks with doting eemos makes it even more special.

of course, it wouldn't be a family vacation without good eats. and *lots* of them.

cb, meet crab.
delicious, delicious crab.

don't worry, my family also has its classy moments.
like when we all sketch with crayons as we wait for our food. ;)

but the best part of vacation? the fact that anything goes.
anything as in you-fall-asleep-on-your-way-home-from-the-beach-and-your-parents-carefully-take-off-your-swim-trunks-and-rash-guard-and-use-baby-powder-to-get-wet-sand-off-you-and-put-you-in-a-cardigan-so-as-not-to-wake-you-up anything.

and for kicks, a baby-powder-filled-belly-button close-up:
a tip for you beach-goers: baby powder gets wet sand off wet skin like a boss!

and that, in a rather large nutshell, was our awesome family vacation! :)