Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Napping Saga

While most of the time I post about all of the sweet memories we make and all of that, it isn't always rainbows and sunshine around here!  Lately we have been struggling with Ryan and his nap schedule - or lack thereof.  He's never been on a daytime routine because of having Katie's and Jack's routines to keep in mind, and that has worked for us.  But on days when we are home and it would be a normal naptime (for instance, days when Jack does not have school), it sure would be fantastic to have him nap (and at the same time as Jack would be even better)!

Just before he was 9 months old, Ryan was waking at night quite a bit.  I don't know if it was teething or congestion from allergies or what, but knock on wood that has been better.  Part of it could also have been being overly tired.  Yes, that does happen - if sleep patterns are disrupted, they sleep even less often times!  Mix that in with lack of schedule during the day and I was going nuts!  We didn't want to address the daytime sleep issues until after spring break. 

When we got back from the beach, I got a humidifier to help with any congestion.  That has helped some - or at least I think it has.  It certainly hasn't hurt!  And we started trying to pay attention to Ryan's cues of being sleepy.  And it wasn't working.  Like at all.  We would rock and rock and literally the minute we stood up, he would scream.  I put him in his crib to "cry it out" -- two hours later, he was still crying.  So that obviously didn't work.  I tried different times of day.  I tried one nap per day.  Nothing was really working.  I even called the pediatrician's office!  Their suggestion?  Change the bedtime routine and do NOT rock him.  Let him learn to soothe himself to sleep at night when he is used to sleeping better and hopefully that will carry over to napping.  So we did it.  And it went so much better than I thought it would!  He cried for maybe 2 or 3 minutes at first - and then it got to be less and less.  And this week?  He is quiet and goes to sleep! 

So we do our bedtime routine and get him ready for bed and read a book and then attempt to feed him a bottle (that would be the "other issues") and rock and sing Jesus Loves Me and then lay him in bed.  And it is finally working for bedtime!

Now.  Napping.  I have to say - he is doing SO MUCH better with the falling asleep.  And he doesn't cry for minutes and minutes and hours.  But it is still not really smooth.  It is improving though!  Here is a brief synopsis of posts I have done on Instagram or Facebook related to our Napping Saga.

April 18: Remember that whole he-needs-to-take-naps-and-in-his-crib deal I posted about last night? Well apparently he got the memo about self-soothing, but he just didn't make it to the crib! Ryan apparently decided the floor in the middle of playing was the best place for a 45 minute snooze. Not sure whether to call that progress or not!

April 19: A Ryan-needs-to-nap-in-the-crib update! We did an earlier lunch and I layed him down at 12:08. I checked the monitor at 12:18 and found this! Less than 10 minutes to be asleep - YES!!! Day 1 of success. Now let's hope he gets a good nap in! -- he woke up about 10 minutes after I posted this because Jack fell off the couch and woke him up.  Poor third child!
April 21: An update on the napping! Yesterday he fell asleep within 5 mins but then only slept for 20 mins. An hour of crying later and he fell asleep again for another 20 mins. And that was all the napping he did yesterday.  Today, we dropped Jack off at MDO and came to TJ Maxx and I turned around and see this. I think we have the self-soothing under control. Now if we can just work on napping in his bed!!!!
 April 27: I'll call today a Monday Mommy Success! We went to an event at church and the boys had a blast in childcare! I had to work wonders in the car to keep Ryan awake until we got home...fed him a bottle and I layed him down at 12:11...AND HE SLEPT UNTIL 2:02!!!! And Jack was asleep a few minutes after 1. So I got a full hour to myself!!! Woohoo! Did the treadmill and both the plank and squat challenge for today! Hooray!
 April 29:  Wow! I layed Jack down at 1:45 and he's still asleep. I layed Ryan down at 1:59 and just had to wake him and try to feed a bottle before Katie's birthday dinner (woke him at 4:33). Holy cow!!!!! -- that means he slept for TWO HOURS AND THIRTY FOUR MINUTES!!!!!
So from all of this I have learned that potentially Ryan does a better job if he gets a short nap in in the morning and then can be home and get a really good nap in during the afternoon.  Of course there are issues with that because we have to pick Jack up in the middle of the afternoons two days a week.  But I am just doing the best I can with all this craziness. 
Today he slept maybe 30 minutes in the jogging stroller when we were out on a walk (probably slept around 10:10 - 10:40ish).  And then he played on the floor...and he ate lunch around 1. Then I took him upstairs and attempted a bottle (unsuccessfully) and then layed him down.  I could hardly believe it!  I kept checking the monitor to make sure he was really still asleep and every time he sure was!
It would be great to be able to get a good 1.5 hour nap in the morning and then a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon, but I will take what I can get!  His morning naps are usually only like 24 minutes (no, not a typo - it seems it really is that long typically...very precise! ha).  But if we have to get in the car and head anywhere for any reason, he is out in the carseat.  A moving car and a remotely tired baby equals a car nap.
I'm also hoping that this summer when we don't have Katie's school schedule to worry about - plus Ryan would naturally phase down to one nap a day - we will really work on getting one good nap at a similar time each day.  For now, I am thankful that he got a good nap today.  And boy, oh, boy am I hoping that this becomes a trend!  I do like the fact that I can just lay him down after maybe 20 seconds of rocking and he rarely makes a peep.  So I will take small victories any day!
And since I love pictures, here is one from our walk yesterday!  He actually fell asleep right after I took this - ha!
Today he slept for 25 minutes this morning and 30 minutes this afternoon - both in his crib.  Ugh.  Ryan - please sleep longer!!!! :)  I am thankful he isn't just screaming, but for the love!  A total of 55 minutes of napping in one day just isn't enough!  Hopefully he will get that message soon :)  And here is just one more of him today!  He is getting into everything these I noticed a difference in his ability to pull up on just about anything.  Watch out, world!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Sweet SIX Year Old

Goodness - for some reason, Katie's birthday this year has hit me kind of hard!  Maybe it is because she has to use two hands to show her age now?  Or the fact that I am coming to realize that she is almost a "grader" (done with kindergarten).  Or maybe it is because I also know that Jack and Ryan will have birthdays soon and we won't ever have any other little babies in our house!  Whatever it is, it is an important reminder to soak up each and every minute of these kids.  They definitely drive me insane with their not listening and all of that, but I know this is a stage of life that will be gone in the blink of an eye and I will certainly miss it!  It honestly seems like this happened like last week!  Wow.
Katie is a tender-hearted, kind, loving, orderly, creative, sweet, gentle (unless playing with Jack), smart, funny, silly, beautiful girl who loves to read, play with friends, eat at Chuy's, write stories, watch Frozen, go to the beach, be outside, shop at Target, help with whatever we are doing (most of the time), snuggle, and boss around her brothers (mainly Jack).  We recently bought new tennis shoes and they are a youth size 2.5.  I think she is aiming to be taller than me by third grade - I know she is over 4 feet tall now!  We go to her six year well-child appointment tomorrow and I am looking forward to see how she measures.  She wants to play outside with friends the minute she gets home from school.  She likes soccer practice better than the games, even though she was the closest she has been to scoring a goal at her game this past weekend.  Her favorite meal at home is green and white tortellini with pesto sauce, but she does love Chuy's!  Her brothers absolutely adore her - she is quick to comfort Jack when he gets in trouble and can make Ryan laugh immediately!  She reads to us at bedtime and has a journal where she writes a new story almost every day.  She loves to have her nails painted and hates to wear ponytails.  She would wear a necklace to school every day if I let her. 
I can't wait for this summer when I will actually get to spend some quality time with her!  Between school and other activities, I sure have missed my time with her!  I am so proud of the girl she is growing up to be and am so blessed that she is mine! 
Here she is before school this morning...
And one more picture inside!  We had balloons on her chair and Krispy Kreme donuts waiting on her!  And all her presents were wrapped and ready on the table, but she didn't have time to open them!
Brad and I surprised her and had lunch with her (I got dressed up, can't you tell? ha).  She said her whole bus sang happy birthday to her - and that her class all sang happy birthday to her this morning.  It makes me so happy that she feels so celebrated and special - because she is!  Here we are at lunch together...
I know time flies, but gosh.  I wish I could freeze time with her sometimes.  She comes up with some of the funniest things at times, and then at other times, she makes observations that I would never even think of!  Here are some pictures from the last 6 years -- bottom left is when she was just a day or two old, followed by her one year picture, etc...all the way to this morning.  
I hope she has the best birthday ever.  And I hope time will slow down just a little bit. 
Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Menu Monday

It has been a few weeks since I have taken the time to write down an actual weekly menu!  We are trying to use everything we have in the freezer and pantry - and just buy the items that we need to put together a complete meal.  Tonight is already going to have to edited a smidge - we don't have any cranberry sauce!  So we will have watermelon instead :) 
I went to an event at church for mom's of little ones - the speaker talked all about couponing (which I was familiar with most of it, but it never hurts to get a refresher and get motivated to start doing it again) and then we got a booklet of new recipes from all the other mommas!  I can't wait to look through and try out some new ones!  Happy Monday!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Bunnies + Headshots

In early March, I took the kids over to my friend's studio (she is a photographer) for some trial shots of a couple different type sessions!  She was preparing to do bunny sessions and headshots, so we were her "guinea pigs" with the new lighting, etc in her new space!  And I love the pictures that she got! 
Here are some of my favorites from the kids with the bunnies!  They were so excited that they would get to see and pet and hold real bunnies!  I'm so glad Jack didn't squeeze the life out of the bunny and that Ryan didn't pounce :)

And here are a few of my favorites from the headshots!  I brought a few options in order to get a professional look and a more relaxed look too!

I think the second two are my favorite - I'm just not used to looking super professional anymore (as in, I don't ever look that way - ha), so it strange!  I'm so thankful to have such sweet pictures of my kiddos and it never hurts to have a good picture of myself - ha!  I've been wanting to overhaul the look of this blog, so it would be fun to have a new picture for the new look!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Break Sneak Peek

I know I need to do a gigantic post about our amazing Spring Break (which happens to feel like it was forever ago, by the way), but I thought I would go ahead and do a sneak peek with some pictures from my nice camera.  I did end up using my phone to take pictures most of the time.  But I did manage some cute ones on here too!  So here are a few of those!
The first day at the beach was so fun!  I love these of the kiddos sitting together looking out at the ocean.  I do this every time we go to the beach.  It is also nice because they don't have to be looking or smiling :)
 Ryan's first time at the beach!  He liked the water (as long as it didn't splash up on him too much or too quickly)!  And of course he kept wanting to eat the sand.
And a kiddo shot before we went to dinner that first night.  Love them!
 Love this picture of them!  We ate at a great restaurant called Yellow Dog - it was our first time eating there and we loved it! 
And another day at the beach!  I love this picture of Katie - you can tell she is just having the best time!
 And I love the perspective of this picture!  I squatted down to take it - and I love it!
 Yay!  I made a picture with the good camera! :) I got quite a bit of sun the first day at the beach, so I opted for a tshirt in order to give my skin a break.
 Oh man I miss this!  It definitely wasn't the same as heading to the 30A area, but it was still beautiful!
 And they actually played with each other - nicely - on the beach!  I got this Velcro ball set at Target and they had a great time with it!
 And in true third child form, Ryan napped anywhere he could!  So funny...
 I think this was the only way we got pictures together this trip - a selfie!
 And it was St. Patrick's Day, so we were all sporting the green!  Love this picture of Katie :) She is looking so old these days!
 And Jack and that cheesey grin :)  Sweet boy.
 And I managed to get a pretty good candid picture of Brad too!  I love this one a lot!
 And Ryan - I think we put him in the high chair to contain him for a few minutes before we went to dinner :)
 I asked Brad to take my picture as well - and this was it.  At least it isn't super blurry.  And I am in there. HA!
 And another selfie - love this one!  Clean and real clothes and I even have makeup on!
And another adventure we went on while at the beach....A DAY TRIP TO DISNEY! --- We surprised the kids - all we said was we were going on an adventure.  Katie was convinced we were heading to an aquarium :)  But they were SO excited once they realized what was going on.  Katie was speechless (which NEVER happens)!
 Here are the three amigos when we were on the ferry ride over to Magic Kingdom!
 Happy baby!
 Goofy Jack!  I'm not exactly sure what was going on with that expression!
 She couldn't believe we were really there.  Love it!  She had a blast for sure - and of course can't wait to go back!
 Daddy even wore his Mr. Incredible shirt!  Way to go, Daddy!
 And a Katie-Mommy picture!
 When we first walked in, we watched the parade.  Next stop?  The castle!  Katie was in absolutely awe of Cinderella's castle!
 We also watched the show out in front of the castle!
 We rode the train too!  The kids loved that.  I think Ryan enjoyed getting out of the stroller!
 Watching the train pull up to the station...I can hear the squeals of excitement now!
 And the castle lit up as it was getting darker!  We couldn't stay to see the fireworks - everyone was worn out! 
And here are a few picture of our last night at the beach (I didn't take the nice camera down to the beach or pool with me as much later in the trip)!  I can't get over this picture of the wild guy!  May have to frame this bad boy!
 And Katie clearly took a shower - she still had wet hair!
 I went on down with the two big kids, so of course we had to take a selfie!
I even managed to get a decent one with both big kids!  That's pretty miraculous that they were both looking and smiling!
Daddy and Ryan finally came down and I got a quick picture of all three crazies!  Not too shabby!  Jack absolutely loves it when he and Ryan match - I'll take what I can get! 
 And a family shot!  Love, love, love this picture!  We were getting ice cream after dinner and had them take a picture for us.  And not too bad!   
We had such a great trip.  And I have a lot more pictures on my phone, so check back for the next post from spring break!  Makes me want to go back to the beach now!