Friday, August 31, 2012

A Word Challenge

We have a 'rule' in our house.  It started this year at Lent when I challenged M to join me in reading the Bible before we read anything else each day, and has stuck as a good principle to gently enforce.  It's become new again this week as she has a new iPod with a Bible app; she changes translations, listens to it read, and generally is happy to have another excuse to use her new technology each day.  She subscribes to a plan on the app that gives her a reading each day, but I have also challenged her to keep track of what she's read with the goal of reading the entire thing.

I printed off a super simple Bible reading chart for her that she promptly lost when she was giving her room a deep clean.  I'm printing off another one today and I wanted to share it here for you, and may I challenge you to the same thing?  So many people have read some of the Bible, some have even read lots, but haven't ever tackled the whole thing.  Our churches and families do not push this as mandatory, which I agree with, but I do believe that as believers, we should want to know what it says.  The best way to know it is to read it all, then read it again, and again and never stop.  In my life I've switched up often how I do it - front to back, chronologically, with all the books on slips of paper in a jar and pulled out randomly...  There is no right way to read it, and the only wrong one I can think of is to just not read it!

How do you encourage your kids to read the Bible?  Have you ever finished the whole thing?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sleep Training Update

Have I ever mentioned that my baby is an excellent baby?  I think he's pretty awesome.

He also does the opposite of what I think he will, and if I say something, I jinx it.  Even if I'm just thinking something - like, "He's doing so well on this drive!" - he'll go and change and do the opposite.  It's mostly pretty funny.

So when he was getting up four times a night and I wrote the post about thinking about sleep training?  That night he only woke once.  Just to mess with me, I'm sure.

But I did make my way through one book yesterday, and while so much of it is common sense, there is lots too, that you just don't think about until you make the effort to look into it.  Here's a few highlights of what 'THEY' say:

  • Have a routine for bedtime.  We do - around 7 he gets a bath, into his jammies, we play a little more, then I'd nurse him and he'd fall asleep. 
  • Have a routine for naptime.  Hmmm...
  • Naptimes are important to do at home in his crib.  (Especially while training him to fall asleep on his own.)  Lots of the time he would fall asleep in the stroller or carseat while we were out; when he got tired at home I would nurse him or rock him to sleep.
  • Babies need to go into their crib awake; the whole point of sleep training is to teach them how to fall asleep on their own - once they master this we can get a little more flexible in our schedule again.  I knew this, but haven't decided that it was something we needed to tackle, until now.  And I did put him in his crib awake some bedtimes and when we were home at naptime, but I was just introducing the idea to him, and would still help him get to sleep.
  • Take away the props - nursing, rocking, stroller, carseat, soother; and introduce the favorites - the blankie or the stuffed animal that he can use to help himself fall asleep.  I had started to give him one 'stuffie' at bedtime; now I'm more intentional about it.
So while closer to a weekend is better for letting him cry it out at night (less sleep deprivation for Sean at work), I figured I could still start some of these things with his naps.  Yesterday's first nap saw a new routine: clean diaper, nurse, story, light off, hold him for a lullaby, then into his crib.  "It's sleepy time..."  He cried for almost an hour, with me going in periodically to put him back down, sometimes to pick up and calm down for a minute.  His second nap he cried for 40 minutes.

Bedtime?  10 minutes.  Today's naps?  Two minutes this morning, three this afternoon.  This kid rocks!!  So glad he picked up on how to put himself to sleep so quickly.  In another day or two we'll have to address the nighttime wakings - it might be time to stop all nighttime feeds and just let us all sleep all the way through.  Hopefully he's got the skills now so that when I don't go in when he wakes up at night, he will just go back to sleep.  (Did I just jinx it???)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blogging for Compassion

I have written lots of times before about our connection with Compassion, the organization we sponsor children through.  (The post where I tell about all our kids is here.)  I signed up a while ago to become a compassion blogger, because I believe so strongly in what they're doing and how they're doing it.  Every once in a while they send me topics to blog about, and sometimes, if I can write something interesting, then I have.  I'm not a pushy about anything, though (I would be the worst sales person ever), so writing to tell you that you should sponsor a child - I probably just wouldn't do it.  I couldn't tell anyone that they should do anything.  Except my 13 year old - that's a whole different story!!  That's in my job description as Mom.

I got an email the other day from Compassion International, saying that September is Blog Month.  They are focusing on getting more children sponsored via the internet than any previous September.  So you may see a few more posts here with a Compassion theme - I'm on board to help with that goal.  I do think they do a fantastic job with the whole sponsorship thing, and would love to see some kids sponsored because I took the time to make you aware of the need. 

I have to tell you that in thinking through this stay-at-home-mom job I've taken on, I did consider becoming an Advocate with Compassion.  There doesn't seem to be many events to help out at, though, and I didn't like the idea of having a stack of child packets that I was responsible for finding sponsors for.... because of that not-selling-things thing.  So I'll write a bit on their behalf, instead, and wear the Compassion Blogger badge with pride.

(Click here to see all of my posts about Compassion.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Commenting to Save Lives

I followed a link on Twitter today to a blog that was part of something called the Shot@Life Relay.

Turns out Shot@Life is part of the United Nations Foundation, and is a "movement to protect children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed."  In August (Blogust), 30 bloggers are writing posts and each comment left on those posts makes $20.  Twenty bucks.  That covers vaccinations for the 4 deadliest diseases for one child.  One comment = one kid protected.  Pretty sweet deal.  I've been reading blogs and commenting since Nolan went to bed, even though I planned to blog about something else.  Oh, well, I can't remember what that was, anyway.

Check out Shot@Life to see all the bloggers participating, visit one (or all of them!) and leave a comment!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sleep Training

Nolan, with teething and learning to crawl, has been getting up twice as often at night these last couple of weeks.  Two times was doable; four is a bit much.  So we're starting to talk about training this little one to sleep through the night.  Sigh.  The end result sounds great, but the process sounds painful.

Any stories?  What worked for you and your child?  What do you recommend?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seven Months Old

Nolan pushed through tooth #4 yesterday.  That's two at 4 months, two at 7 months... I don't think we'll be waiting another 3 months for the next ones!  He has been balancing like crazy this week, and even has been taking a step - once even two steps.  He's playing the "I need my mommy" game sometimes, like in the church nursery...  He cries every time he goes in the carseat, but just for a minute and then he's ok.  We just went through his clothes today, putting the too-small stuff in a giveaway pile and pulling out a few more things from his shower gifts and hand me downs.

And here he is:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fame and a Hero

Our favorite branch of the Regina Public Library had for lease signs in its windows last fall.  It eventually closed, opened in a small temporary space, and today, opened the doors to it's brand new facility.  It opened at 1 pm, but I knew Nolan would be sleeping then and that M would want to go too, so we waited and went after we picked her up from basketball camp.

While we were there, a guy with a CTV camera was roaming around - I saw him look at us and made my way to the far side of the library... and around the stack he came and asked if he could take a shot of us browsing.  I do have a cute baby, so I said sure, and we were on the news tonight checking out the baby board books!  At least four people saw it - I think that makes us famous.  Glad I wore makeup today, for the second time in a month!

The hero of the day is Sean.  Yesterday he discovered a virus on our computer and spent all last night and again tonight fighting it - and he recovered all our pictures and documents that we thought were gone for good!!  I'm glad I'm as caught up as I am with my album - there would only have been a week or two with no photos.  Still, it's so great to have all those other ones back!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Madeline is off at Basketball camp, Nolan is sleeping, and there are no Olympics on to distract me, so grab a coffee and come in for a chat!  I wish you were here in person; this is a pretty one sided chat...

M is at the U of R this week for a bball camp; it runs 9 - 3:30, and she enjoyed the first day.  I don't think they were run as hard as we were expecting / hoping...  She should learn some good skills this week though, from some high quality athletes - I'm hoping her school season shows improvement this year because of it.  In her last two years playing, her team has won one game.  With M being one of the oldest players, they'll be looking to her for leadership and points whether she likes it or not!  Her big sports dilemma lately has been whether to play city basketball or city soccer this year, as opposed to just school bball or instead of community soccer.  She would prefer soccer because that is her favorite sport, but thinks that there is more of a future for her in basketball, with school sports and scholarships.  (I just looked, though, and I think the high school she's going to has soccer, as does the UofR if that's where she ends up.)  I'm glad she's taking more of an interest in athletics, and hope it's something she can enjoy for a long time.

She had a big babysitting job last weekend - she and a friend were recommended by their grade 5 teacher and sat at a hotel for the kids of 3 out of town sisters while the parents were at a wedding reception in the hotel.  She's got another babysitting job this weekend - it's not her favorite thing to do, but she likes the money! She'll be helping out with VBS at our church next week, too, and enjoys going to junior youth on Wednesday afternoons.  She enjoyed it more when there were older kids around; now that they are the older ones, it feels a little young for her.  We had a good discussion about following and leading and how it's important to still go so the younger ones have someone to watch...  One more year, then she'll be the young one again - grade 9 - high school!!

Nolan is a big boy now, with a third tooth as of yesterday.  He is a week away from seven months, and weighs in at 21 lbs.  He's crawling, starting to climb, loves to pull up to standing, and to walk around holding our fingers.  He naps three times a day still, but usually short ones in the morning / late afternoon, and a longer one mid day.  We're feeding him all kinds of foods, and he seems to enjoy it all.  He's not that great with the baby cookies or baby rice crackers yet - he prefers to chomp and swallow rather than gumming it till it's soft enough, so we'll wait a bit longer for those.  He's active and loud, with growls, screeches and flexing his whole body; it can be pretty entertaining as well as tiring!

And that's all I know - how my kids are doing - that's my whole world it seems.  It's not a bad life.  We don't have any more plans for the rest of the summer, other than finishing the back to school shopping.  The mornings are a bit cooler now, but I'm reassuring myself that there's still lots of time for eating out in the back yard and going for ice cream.  M got a Ladder Golf game for her birthday (aka Mexican Golf, Bolo Ball...), and we had that up the other day for some good fun.  (Thanks, Mom!) 

Off to see if there's anything else on my to-do list that needs to be done during nap time...

Thursday, August 02, 2012


Today we had M's birthday party.  I've been wrestling with photos for an hour and need to get to bed, so you're going to have to see these ones sideways till I can get back to this.

It was a costume party, and I made up skit bags - each bag had 4 different props that they had to incorporate into a skit.  They had some good fun.  M wore my old basketball uniform.

Mackenzie had the best costume - a peacock!  They did her hair on the weekend, so she made the costume to match.

We found this for Nolan yesterday - so cute.

The other thing they did was a repeat of last year's party - decorating cupcakes.  They did two each - one to have here and one to take home.