Right now I'm sitting here enjoying a peaceful 30 minute window of catching up on the blog while John naps upstairs and I watch the clock to go pick up Catherine from preschool and playgroup! This means that most of the day I got to spend with just this goober. Once we got the big kids set up at school and preschool, we headed out for a coffee date, then a big exciting trip to Costco, followed by lunch, tummy time at home and now this very precious crib nap. John doesn't sleep much or well in the carseat so when we need to be out and about with the big kids or running errands it generally means he's in the sling, where he sleeps beautifully.
Prior to going back to school and the big kid routines I started tracking John's sleep. As Matthew's not quite ready to walk to school by himself and he has to be released to a parent in the afternoon our days are bookended by these points at 8:15 and 3:30p. Add in Catherine's playgroup on Monday at 10a, then preschool Tuesday and Thursday with pick-up/drop-off at 9a & Noon, John's crib naps will be few and far between and he's not yet a great carseat napper. I had hoped to find a pattern we could work around but mostly I observed he's not in any sort of patterned stage yet! In doing it I mostly created an interesting picture, but I did glean a few insights as to how long he can be awake before he gets overtired and learned his window between tired and overtired is very, very small. The biggest takeaway of using an app was that I have an awful memory combined with the fact that I am a terrible, terrible judge of time!! I'm not so certain that without a clock around I can "feel" the difference between 15 minutes and an hour.
One tired bear on the way to pick up Matthew!
****And this is as far as I got on blogging before someone woke up and we had to rush to pick up Catherine across town, twiddle our thumbs for a dead 10 minutes because we were to early to pick up Matthew but too late to go home and walk. Now Catherine and Matthew are enjoying more of their gingerbread house and coloring while I attempt to blog. John is enjoying his second crib nap today****
But right, the photoshoot. While I was setting up and trying to grab the last fleeting amounts of natural light in our house for the day John woke up and Matthew jumped in to help, so we played around with the camera remote and the live view screen on Papa's camera (thanks for switching cameras with me Papa!!). Though all I see in some of these pics is my double-chin and unwashed hair I'm resisting my initial instinct to delete them and even share them as I try and internalize the idea that mom stays in the picture, even the practice ones :-)
Over the weekend we cleaned up our holiday decorations, took down the tree and in general got our house back in order. Normally I toss the gingerbread house and feel incredibly guilty about it, even though it's made with a hard as brick dough and cement-like frosting, so this year I decided to let the kids go wild at least for a bit! 8 minutes of demolition and they had barely made a dent, so we packed up the pieces and the kids have been enjoying it. My rule for avoiding the dentist office (for cracked teeth at least) is that they have to have to dunk them in milk :-)
****And here is where my blogging got interrupted by the 4:30-9pm dinner craziness/witching hour wherein we retrieved and moved bookshelves from a friend, had dinner, the two big kids lost post-dinner game playing privileges so James and I played cribbage instead, we read stories and put 3 kids to bed, cleaned the kitchen, finished our cribbage game and then retreated to our respective computers for an hour before bedtime***
One of the hardest things in wrapping my mind around our Cystic Fibrosis debacle is looking at John now and ever wondering how I spent 4 weeks looking at him and thinking he was sick or possibly near the downward spiral of failure to thrive.
The first Monday of winter break I had scheduled a "Snowman Brunch" for Matthew and Catherine's school friends to kick off Winter Break. Unfortunately, Catherine ended up a hot mess with a cold/fever so we moved the snowman breakfast until after Christmas. This worked out well as the kids then had time to write their thank you notes, and open up one last present of new pajamas! For Santa gifts the kids can ask for 4 things that they want, need, wear or read. We've discussed that Santa sometimes only brings 2 or 3 of these things which was helpful because Matthew really wanted Ninjago pajamas and Target screwed up Santas order and they arrived after Christmas. However, this meant James and I could use it as their one last present to open after thank you notes were written.
They were both thrilled to have new pajamas to wear to their brunch! They also chose to wear them New Years, and there were a few days we didn't change out of pajamas so you might have seen them a lot :-) The kids had a great time at their brunch. We made snowman pancakes and then the rest of the time they played. Snowman brunch bled into our normal playgroup so we had a good 4 hours of friends and chaos and plenty of coffee that morning!
Sadly, that morning was when Uncle Matt had to leave :( He stole some last baby cuddles the night before he left and read some final stories to the monkeys.