Summer 2016: June Recap

So this Summer has been quite lazy. I had so many plans for this summer but June did not go as planned.

We started June by ending  our trip to his parents and mine. We had a lot of fun spending that last week of May and early June with family. We really liked being away from our reality of work and daily house tasks. That ended quickly and then it was unpacking and recovering from our trip.

The next week was getting back into a routine…wait what routine? At this point our house was madness! Mason still was not sleeping well and the girls were not sure what to do anymore. Their weekly schedule was gone and they were lost without school, bible study, and friends.

The first two weeks of June were truly lazy days around the house. I would love to say that it was full of pajama time, snuggles, and sleeping in but realistically it was this mom trying to survive three children at home who seemed to be determined to wreck the house in any way possible. Most of these first few days were spent with crying from not just the children but me as well. This was followed by many mommy headaches. Not a good start to summer and three months with three children.

By week three I had decided we had to figure out some kind of plan or we were not going to survive this summer break. This is what needed to be done.

#1 – Mason had to be on a regular schedule. He had spent 6 weeks already on a daily changing schedule. This really affected me, which affected the girls. During week 3 we dropped a feeding, stretching bottles to every four hours. He still wakes at night but is settling quickly and back to sleep faster.

#2 – We had to have a daily routine! We had been so lazy with those first few weeks but now we needed some structure. So I started requiring daily outside time during the hours that Mason takes his morning naps. We have to go out in the morning because it’s already hit over 100 degrees here.

#3 – I had to find some me time during the day. I had spent the past two weeks wanting to pull my hair out and never having a moment of peace so I had to have some me, quiet time without any kids. This is probably the biggest challenge because the girls are no longer napping.

So how did it all turn out?

Well, a week and a half later and Mason is doing better with his feeding schedule. He still wakes up at various times in the night. Unfortunately all of his shifts in schedule has affected my milk supply so I am now supplementing formula with the little breastmilk I can produce. But hey, a little is still important so I’m nursing and pumping whenever I can, which is not much.

The girls are doing better with some kind of routine even if we haven’t been able to play out much with all the rain and horrible mosquitos. Our new issue is that they “hate” playing in their backyard. Their stuff is boring now. Which drives me crazy because we have a ton of outside toys to play on. I guess I need to plan more outdoor activities to make it fun again.

Finding me time…this is still a challenge day to day. With Mason fighting me during nap time and the girls refusing to stay in their room with the door shut for any longer than fifteen minute periods, I don’t get much quiet time. This is a continuous work in progress and something I need to continue to work at.

So with June 2016 a wrap, we are looking toward July with high hopes. We have signed the girls up for semi-private swim lessons. This means that they will be together with the instructor without other children. I’m hoping that this means they will listen to the instructor and actually learn something. This will be a Monday – Thursday thing for thirty minutes in July. I’m waiting to see how it turns out before I sign them up for August.

During that same time, Mason and I are in a Mommy and Me swim class to acclimate him to the swimming pool. This will be a little fun bonding time for he and I but it’s only Mondays and Wednesdays. The other days we will sit and watch the girls swim.

Coming up…

Mason’s 6 month post
Preschool Lessons with a new plan

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Update on the Preschool Lessons

 

You may have noticed that all of the preschool lessons have been removed from the blog. This was my decision to do and here is why.

When I first started the preschool lessons on my blog, I had found a few resources that I could incorporate. I liked the plans for the exposure to learning but as I continued to write the lessons, I found that it was a lot of repetition but was not something that was going to allow my children to grow in learning. So I started looking for more options for this curriculum. I really liked the Science lessons I had found but needed better reading, writing, and math. I wanted to have lessons that would incorporate actual reading skills for my kids and not just read a louds and picture walks, which is where I felt my current lessons were going.

While reading one of my favorite preschool blogs, The Measured Mom, I came across a reading program that they used for their home-preschool. It was from This Reading Mama with her Reading the Alphabet program. Here is a link with a sample of her program. I have looked at a few programs and sample lesson plans for homeschooling now and she has the best amount of resources for activities and lessons for a great price!

No Place Like Home School

My new plan for my preschool lessons will be:

Circle Time:

  • Color of the month
  • Shape of the month
  • Weather
  • Sight word
  • letter identification
  • Songs

Reading:

  • Read Alouds from a book list I have found
  • Weekly Lessons and activities from Reading the Alphabet Reading Program*

Writing:

  • My writing activities will be a combination of writing from the Reading the Alphabet program, ideas I find online, and activities that I found on The Measured Mom.
  • I will also be using handwriting books during this time.

Math:

Science:

  • Science experiments based on the letter of the week compiled from The Measured Mom.
  • A few other experiments that I have found for review weeks

Social Studies, Art, and Drama:

  • All of these will be activities that go with the theme of the week or letter of the week.

 

When will the lessons post again?

I will plan to start reposting the new updated lessons some time between now and mid-August. So check back for updated and exciting new lesson plans.

*Disclaimer: Because of copyright rules, I will not be including pictures or actual copies of the lessons or activities from the Reading the Alphabet Reading Program. I will only be showing how we are using those activities in our weekly preschool lessons. If you would like to use my lesson plans that incorporate this program, you can purchase her program here at This Reading Mama.

 

play learn grow together

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Mason is 5 Months Old!

Mason was 5 months old on June 8th. I have to admit, I’m missing him as a tiny baby. I love his little personality but that newborn baby is something I miss.

During this fourth month, Mason has regressed back to earlier sleep schedules. You can read about those here at Four Month Sleep Regression.

Our family seems to have adjusted to having a new baby. The girls are growing into wonderful big sisters. Bailey loves to help change his diaper, pick out his clothes (she is our fashinonista after all), and  give him a bath. She even will play dress up with him from time to time. (Poor Mason!) Brooke loves to play with him! She rushes by his side if he cries, hoping to comfort him. She really knows how to make him smile. His face lights up any time he sees his big sisters. It really is the sweetest love I have ever seen.

What Him Grow

Mason seems so big to me. The girls were preemies but they were fairly big at this age but Mason is bigger! His current measurements are:

Weight: 18 lbs 8 oz

Height: 27 inches (He has grown 2 inches every month for the past few months).

You can see the girls size at this age here at 5 Month.

He is wearing 6 month clothes. He can still wear 3-6 month shorts and a few sleepers. He is wearing size 3 diapers.

What He Can Do

Mason has started to enjoy being on his tummy now. He can push himself all the way up to look around. He loves to have you push his feet against your hands allowing him to scoot across the floor. Movement is something he is very curious about.

He loves to stand, supported, on our laps. He will try to jump when standing. His legs are becoming really strong, probably because of the jumperoo. I think he will be on the move within the next few months.

He loves to roll to his side and from there over to his tummy. He doesn’t roll over from his tummy much. I work with him on that but he has no interest in rolling that way. He sleeps on his side or back most of the time.

A few other things from the 5 months list from What To Expect First Year:

  • says vowel consonant sounds like “ah-goo” (His favorte is ayah)
  • squeals in delight
  • makes razz sound (wet sound when babbling)
  • turns to look when someone is talking
  • keeps his head level with his body when pulled to sitting
  • holds head stead when sitting upright
  • pays attentin to tiny objects (out of his reach)
  • smiles randomly and at a person when they smile at him or talk to him
  • grasps toys in his hand
  • says ma-ma occassionally

Food He Has Tried

Last month I talked about starting baby food. This is the pattern we started with his baby food.

We started with rice cereal. I used breastmilk to mix the cereal. I made it very soupy to be a thicker version of breastmilk. Mason hated the taste and texture. We tried it for three days then took a three day break. He struggled with the food at first. He would spit it out while trying to move his tongue around. He really didn’t know what to do with it.

After the three days we tried sweet potatoes with rice cereal. He would gag when I gave him this. We tried it for two days then stopped because he couldn’t eat it without gagging. I think that part of this was my fault. I may have made the mixture too thick. It has been a long time since I made baby food so I was struggled to get back with the consistency.

*My pediatrician told us to include the cereal into the baby food so that he received the vitamins and iron from the cereal that food may not have.

Again we waited three days before trying a new food. This time it was apples. Here is the My First Applesauce recipe that I used. I mixed rice cereal with the apples, this time trying to make it thinner. He did not care for the apples. He would eat them and shake his head in disgust. He ate them for three days before we took another food break.

The next food he tried was carrots. He loved carrots! He ate them for four days. After that I started rotating sweet potatoes, apples, and cereal until it was time for the next food.

Pears were the next food to try. He loved pears! He would yell at me to give him more. This was one he ate over four days as well.

Our most recent try was squash. He seemed to like it. I think it has a mild taste so he doesn’t mind it. We are still trying this so the verdict is not complete on whether he likes it or not. He has had it for dinner two nights now so we still have two more to try.

This past week I have started feeding him fruit and cereal at breakfast and vegetable and cereal at dinner. He has had enough exposure to fruits and vegetables to try this and he seems to be getting hungrier throughout the day.

Babywise Schedule

Like I said before, this past month he was all over the place with his schedule. The past few days he has seemed to be moving back to a normal routine. I’m sharing with you this past week’s routine and what I am hoping he will continue.

6:30 AM – Wake up and babble for about 20 minutes in his bed. This wakes me up and gives me a few minutes to get around before going to get him. I change him and get him dressed before nursing him around 7 am. He nurses for about 15 minutes. He is usually very playful during this time and dying for my attention. He feels deprived because he hasn’t had mommy in a few hours.

8:00 AM – Change his diaper again and feed him fruit and cereal for breakfast. He likes this time because he has breakfast with his big sisters.

9:00 AM – He goes down for a nap. I have had to nurse him to sleep most mornings but occassionally I can just rock him to sleep with his pacifier and blanket.

10:00 AM – He wakes up from his nap and will nurse for about 10 minutes before wanting to play with his sisters. He thinks he is playing with them but usually he is just staring at them as they play next to him.

12:00 PM – He nurses again, this time for about 15 minutes.

12:30 PM – He lays down for a nap. Sometimes he will go down on his own but usually he wants to nurse during this time as well.

2:30ish – He wakes from his nap. He nurses for 15 – 20 minutes.

4:00 PM – He will try to take a little cat nap around this time on some days. Other days he doesn’t sleep again until bed time. If he naps it’s only for 45 minutes at most.

5:00 PM – He wants to nurse for a few minutes before I start dinner.

6:00 PM – He has vegetables and cereal while we eat dinner. He usually takes about 20 – 30 minutes to eat.

6:45 PM – He has bath time.

7:30 PM – Nurse and bedtime.

*Dream Feed: He will nurse somewhere between 12:30 and 2 am. This past month he nursed several times a night. It was exhausting! I am thankful to have one a night now. I am hoping to push it to the 11:30 time again so that we can eventually drop it altogether.

His next transition should be within the next month.

Pictures 

5 Months

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Four Month Sleep Regression

Mason’s sleep schedule has been all over the place for the past few months. We will get a routine going and then he changes it. So we were very excited when the week before he turned four months old, he started sleeping 8+ hours straight at night. But as soon as he turned four months old he stopped! He regressed all the way back to his newborn sleep pattern at night. He slept 2 to 3 hours and then would wake up to nurse. I would nurse him back to sleep, get back to sleep myself, only to wake again in two hours. This went on for weeks!

Mason was also struggling with naps during the day. He would nap when his sisters were at school but when they were home, no naps! (I say no naps because they were only about 15 minutes long). This was making him EXTREMELY cranky as well as me exhausted. I can honestly say there were a lot of tears during his fourth month.

Mason started taking better naps the last week of May. He dropped to 3 naps a day. One was a cat nap and the other two were longer, usually an hour or more. This made the days better. His nights started shifting later that same week. He wasn’t nursing as much at night but was still waking up. He would take a pacifier and go back to sleep at some of the previous feedings.

Right before we left for our trip, he slept 6 hours, with only one wake up to feed. I was so excited! It seemed like there was a light appearing at the end of this very dark tunnel. He continued this at my in-laws house, only waking once at night. Once we got to my mom’s, he was back to waking 2 to 4 times at night. Those nights

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Time For A Mini-Vacation

Some of you may know that we live in a small town 6-8 hours from our families. We moved this far 3 1/2 years ago for my husband’s job. It was a very hard thing to do but we made the sacrifice to better our lives. (I’m still trying to convince myself of this!)

Since moving here, we have found ourselves stuck in this “just making it through the week” phase. Every week it’s a rigid schedule that we push through to get to the weekend which disappears in less that 24 hours (so it feels). This is a huge problem with majority of people in America so I know you understand what I am talking about.

With this hectic schedule, we often find ourselves longing for a break of some kind. I see it most in my husband, time when he needs to get away. We used to take this time every couple of months, especially in the fall months to go see family and friends from back home and get away from our reality. Since I was pregnant in the fall and we have had a newborn for the past few months, we have not been able to do this. It has been 6 months since we traveled last. 6 months since we have taken a break from the reality of our day to day lives. It is way over due!

With Joel’s schedule becoming more complex over the next few months, we knew it was now or never for this vacation time. So we packed our bags and headed back home for about 6 days over Memorial Day weekend.

For our first stop we headed to his hometown. Mason did really well on the drive. We had two moments that he cried out but was calm most of the time. I sat in the back seat with him and the girls sat in the very back. This is always fun for them because only “big girls” can sit in the back. They were able to watch movies, play their games, read books, etc… So other than the fact that it rained the last two hours of the drive. It was a smooth first part.

We got some much needed time outside, which is really important to my husband. When he has to spend too much time away from home, spending time out where he grew up seems to refresh him. It gives him a sense of calmness that he can’t seem to get anywhere else. The girls love it too! My in-laws live out in the country so for my girls this is a special place. This is where they get to put on their boots, go visit the cows, splash in the mud, and this time even camp out with Grammy! You can see their camp out here at Double The Fun When Camping Out.

From there we headed to my home town, which is about 3 1/2 hours from there. Mason did well again for this short drive. He slept about 3 hours of the trip. We spent a few days there, seeing my family and going to the beach. We spent Memorial Day with my dad, step mom, and siblings. We really had a fun day relaxing at my dad’s house and swimming in the pool.

The girls have been begging to go to the beach so we took them before everyone got out of school for the summer. This was Mason’s first beach trip. Mason was not a huge fan of the breeze or sand but he loved being in the water. It was warm like bath water so he was pretty happy sitting in the water. You can read more about our beach trip here at Beach Trip 2016.

We had a lot of fun camping, going to the beach, and just having a mini-vacation. It was nice to get away for a week! Mason was not thrilled to ride home. We made extra stops to allow everyone to get out and move around a bit. Our typical 8 hours of a drive took 9 hours. As much as we loved seeing everyone, we were happy to get back home.

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