Friday, December 2, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Yoda

1. Faith and Tradition! - I am still learning the traditions of our Byzantine faith.  Some Byzantine family needs to write a book about all the traditions throughout the year complete with prayers and a cd of different tones for the prayers (please).  There are prayers for everything and it seems some people know where to find them, but we do not.  I would love to learn how to sing all the tones as well, because not only would I enjoy singing the troparians and so forth, but my kids would love it as well.  As it stands, I sing only the trisagion prayers and I think the kids get tired of it day after day.  

We started by learning the Great Fast and Pascha traditions.  In the past four years we have been learning the St. Phillip's fast and Christmas Eve traditions.  The Christmas Eve traditions are so wonderful and beautiful.  One thing we have never done is use a St. Phillip's Fast candelabra with the prayers.  But, hopefully for future Advent seasons we will do this…just thinking about Eastern traditions.

2. They call him, Yoda. In college, my husband was given the nickname, Yoda, among others, because he gave great sage advice to our peers.  Lately, my husband is full of good parenting and family ideas.  I do not know why he does not share them with me more often.  Day-by-day, I feel like I scritch and scratch, and barely get by parenting our children.  Honestly, I think I do pretty well, but it is a lot of hard work.  Here are three stories of how my husband has helped solve family problems.

Annie Climbs3. Yoda Part 2 - Recently, we both struggled a lot with our daughters' sleeping habits.  13 month old Annie was still sleeping in our bed and no one was happy about it.  Kristiana was waking frequently and screaming at the top of her lungs.  So there was a lot of waking up in the night by both parents.  But, we problem solved together.  I moved Kristiana into Alex's room thinking that a roommate would squelch her nighttime fears.  They both liked the change, but she was still waking.  Kristiana was also taking milk to bed with her and she was requesting more milk in the night as though she were a little baby.  I told my husband she was cut off from milk.  She simply needed to eat more at dinner time.  He agreed, but he talked to her all day long about it reminding her that she was not allowed to request milk and she was not allowed to scream.  They seem to have a special bond.  All his talking to her really helped and now she is sleeping better--not always, but it's better.

4. Yoda Part 3 - With Annie, I bought a crib and moved her to the girls' room by herself.  She still would not go down by herself, but Andrew put a blanket over the end of her bed so she could not see light shining in from the door jam.  And she could not see us leaving after putting her in bed.  Now we can lay her down and leave immediately and she sleeps all night. Yay!  We will get some sleep before the next baby comes along.  And though I have enjoyed snuggling all night with our little babies the next baby will not be allowed to sleep in our bed.

5. Yoda Part 4 - The BEST advice of the week came from my husband at the end of last week.  He worries greatly about homeschooling Alex, because he is high intensity and non-compliant.  He gives me grief when I ask him to do his school lessons, which only take an hour if he is good about doing it.  We both feel Alex needs an outlet outside of the home, but public school is not our answer.  Our reasons for wanting to homeschool are concrete.  But, Andrew requested that I get more organized and start earlier in the day with Alex.  He said I should sit down on Sunday nights and plan out the entire week.  We should get up early get ourselves ready and then wake the kids.  Then each morning, after breakfast, after the kids dress, we pray, say the pledge of allegiance to the flag and dive right into homeschool.  This has worked brilliantly all week.  Kristiana gets little lessons too and enjoys it.  Annie can be a trouble maker though.  I try to get Alex done by 10:00 a.m. so we can have morning outings.  My problem now is what to do with the kids in the afternoon.  The kids play a little and spend a little time outside.  Alex always asks if he can play computer games, but he always wants to play too long and throws fits when he has to be done.  I feel like he needs to keep well occupied in the afternoon too…We are very much considering sending him to preschool next semester just so he can have a better outlet and more activity.

6.  Monkey - I have such trouble getting pictures of interesting things Annie does before she stops doing them.  She has begun to climb everything.  She drives me mad about it.  She will climb on top of the kitchen table for almost any reason and she will get into everything.  She started climbing to the top of our backyard play gym too.  This week, she decided she is brave enough to fling her tiny body down the slid with no assistance.  She goes flying down the wavy slide and bumps her head at the bottom, then comes crying to me for cuddles.  Then she goes back for more punishment.

7. Clever - One day last week, Annie dragged an outdoor patio pillow to the top of the play house.  When she got to the top she threw it up and climbed the rest of the way herself.  She took the pillow and threw it down the slide.  Then she slid down and landed on the pillow.  It was awesome and hilarious.  She did it two more times and I did not get the camera in time to film it!  She is way too little for such activities.  She is very mature mentally, but looks like a baby younger than a year.



Michelle M. said...

What a great update! Lots of good ideas. We have sent our oldest to public school this year, but I am really discontented with it. I am going to work on getting my life into order this year and I hope to homeschool next year. My oldest reminds me of your oldest in that he has a lot of energy and needs an outlet. He isn't non-compliant as much as he is just highly sensitive. He is the one who makes things most difficult at home, but I just can't be settled with sending him off all day like he has been doing this year. I also feel like he isn't being pushed at all. Anyway :) Oh, and I loved the last story about the slide- what a creative girl!

kayleen said...

We have been having sleep troubles around here as well! Lou still takes milk to bed. It is SO bad. :( I am very ashamed of this and barely every talk about it! What happened was that we gave her a bottle way back when, when I weaned her after I got pregnant with Josephine. She has been attached ever since. VERY attached. It is by far our biggest parenting blunder (thus far!) Ugh. No bottles for Josie! But anyways, I hope that both of us get all our kids onto good sleeping habits, soon! More recently Mike and I have been looking at each other and asking - are we doing this wrong?? (The whole sleeping thing) As you know, our babies sleep in our bed (not Lou anymore, but she did until she was 1) and I have always loved it too. It works so well for the first year, with nursing. I used to wake up refreshed for months, though now Josie is getting to the point of being kicked out because she is nursing too much at night for a one year old. But what we are worried about is that Lou still wakes up in the night. She doesn't scream, but comes into our room and one of us has to go settle her. She has never consistently slept through the night.(When did Alex consistently sleep all night?) In my heart I know she will outgrow this - but there are moments when I think - should we have done the crying out thing?? Would both our kids be sleeping soundly through the night, every night? I guess there is no answer to that question. Maybe nighttime parenting is just hard for most people (unless you get really lucky and have great sleepers who need neither crying it out nor constant comfort) and it's the way it is. So many mothers tell me they miss it when their kids were babies though. So in the difficult (nighttime) moments I keep trying to think of the future when I'll miss babies waking in the night and toddlers needing my comfort. Also, one last thing (longest comment EVER :) If you don't plan on having newest baby sleep with you, what is the game plan? The greatest thing about having them in your bed, of course, is nursing in those early months when they really do need to eat at night, and also it helps space the babies. So will you just be waking up, nursing, then putting him or her back in the crib? Just curious!

Renee Clayton said...

Michelle, I am gleaning more and more that in order to home school in the modern era it takes lots of organization, support and an understanding that the house is going to be messy most of the time.

Kayleen, Alex started sleeping well through the night at about 18-20 months when he was fully weaned and we moved him to his own room, and we also held his hand while he fell asleep for months. We moved Kristiana to her own room at 13 months and she started sleeping through except for the occasional scream for more milk. But, I think all the travel we have done in the past couple of years really upset her sleeping habits/security. I think how you deal with each child depends on your comfort level, parenting style and child's personality. I am a huge fan of nursing throughout the night and will keep doing this. However, I will put the baby back in the crib this time around and as the baby gets passed 6 months I will move to letting them sleep longer in another room. I think with 4 children we need to go into survival mode and do what works best for everyone to get maximum sleep. I am not a huge fan of cry it out, but Kristiana would cry for a few minutes and then go to sleep. The others could go all night crying and I don't think that is healthy. It's just important to find what makes them comfortable and avoid devices such as pacifiers and bottles. Not that I am not an offender of such devices. But, we always try to find what relaxes the kids in their own beds. And anyone who tells you they have no sleep problems is probably lying or have really docile kids.