Spring Cleaning Family Style

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(Someecards, found on pinterest)

We are always looking for ways to give our kids responsibility.

This weekend, we decided to get their help to cleaning the water softener.

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How to easily get out the door in the morning, with 4 small children

Psych!

That doesn’t happen very often… kinda like a lunar eclipse. (or “seen as frequently as the loch ness monster”, I couldn’t decide which metaphor I liked best)

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Just trying to leave!

8:05am me “we’re late, get your boots and coats on”.  I like to start really early with the ‘we’re late’ comments.

8:10am Belle wanders over puts on mittens and heads back to the play room. The other kids pretty much ignore me and keep playing trains.  I start gathering boots and coats.

8:18 am, me “really we are going to be late”.

Belle, “I have to poop”

me, “take off your mittens”

Belle, with a full on angry face, “I am going to wear mittens to poo!!” …. meh, who’s to say she can’t.

8:22am Caleb is all dressed in his boots and coat, “I have to go to the bathroom”.

me, “Belle, how’s it coming?  Caleb needs the potty.”

Belle “It’s coming”…

me, “use the other bathroom, Elise do you have to go to the bathroom?”

Elise, “no, but I want a snack” …

8:32am Shove everyone out the door… whether they are done pooping or not.

8:33am Belle does a face plant in a foot of snow.  We all go back in so I can change her into dry clothes.

8:45am Head back out to the car.  Realize the car is covered in ice.

My clicker doesn’t work.

My tires are low.

Deep cleansing breaths.

March 3 kids and a car seat over to the driver side to unlock car.

March everyone over to the passenger side to put Owen in.

The door has not unlocked properly.

March everyone back to driver’s side.  Unlock.

Open the rear passenger door… a random tubing falls off the door.  Figuring it could be important, toss it back into the car.

Buckle everyone into their seats… so the kids don’t lock me out.

Scrape down the car windows.

8:52am drive 10 feet from the house, realize I left the stroller behind.  Run back to grab it.

Make the 4 minute drive.  Make it just on time for our 9am appointment.

Easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy.

Sleep tips

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These tips are simply what I did with my kids and should not be taken as medical advice.

 

Feeling tired?  Another mom kindly pointed out, that if I’m not willing to share sleep tips, I should not be bragging about having 4 awesome sleepers.

First off, I wasn’t always getting 12 hours of sleep from my kids, with good naps.  With my first, he had terrible colic, and I honestly had moments wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into.  I was exhausted, my baby was up screaming all night, and I could not seem to console him.

I surveyed all my friends who had good sleepers, and read every book on the market that came recommended.

Babies can be watched for signs of sleepiness right from the early days.  When they are getting sleepy, I try to put them down awake.  I also try not to rush in if they are fussing.  To clarify, that doesn’t mean I leave my baby unattended.  It means, if baby is looking sleepy, I may put them in the playpen nearby and start working on the dishes.  If they start crying, I may finish doing one or two more dishes before I go pick them up because they may fall asleep on their own.  However, under 4 months old, I pretty much cater to any whim a little one desires.  And if having them sleep in a carrier is the only way to get them to sleep at their regular naps, I am (mostly) game.

Between 3 and 4 months, although I am usually hoping that the baby will settle nicely into a sleep pattern, they tend to become increasingly erratic sleepers.  They require more frequent nursing to sleep, rocking or holding, and seem to wake even sooner.  The erratic sleep patterns need to be addressed ideally at this stage, because of the huge developmental milestones taking place.

Around 4 months of age, healthy  babies are able to sleep through the night.  Some may still require one feed at my bedtime, but otherwise, I count on baby sleeping from 7pm to 7am. The most important point that works for us is,  I place my babies in their crib, completely awake, in a very dark, quiet room.  We also start an age appropriate nap schedule at the same time so that my babies can grow and develop well. I use a variety of methods to teach the baby to sleep through the night, depending on each baby’s personality.  But they have all learned to sleep through the night within a few days and napped well within 2 weeks.

At our house, all 4 kids sleeping well is a high priority.  It is necessary for them to recover from their activity, be pleasant little people and grow.  It also gives my husband and I quality time together in the evening, ie binge watch something on Netflix.

Feel free to e mail me or comment if you have specific questions though.  I will do my best to help.

PS. I do consult families on getting their little ones to sleep.  I have a couple spots available in April.  E-mail or comment if you want more information.

(SleepEasy Solution, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, Happiest Baby on the Block)

Fourth babies are much easier than first babies

A full box of dominos has been dumped out next to him.

The girls have been building and tearing down magformer towers next to him.

There has been lots of dinosaur roars and little girl chatter.

Owen just keeps snoozing.  He may stir for a moment, but right back to dreamland he goes.

Whereas Caleb, our first, we would be tip toeing in the basement.  He would be napping in his crib on the second floor. Of course he would wake up if we so much as sneezed.

His floor napping is working out so well,  I am cooking up all the meat from the freezer that died yesterday.

20170111_101337 Here’s a delicious sweet potato and corn chili marinating. I used all the ground beef from the freezer and loads of corn…  the kids are crazy for corn.