Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer schedule?

Guess I'm taking a not-planned, but clearly obvious break from this here blog. I find that the recovery from all things involving two small children takes, like, weeks. I wouldn't say we've been all that busy, but we were out of town for a long weekend, followed by a week of swimming lessons every evening, followed by a sick baby and, well, I know you get it. Harried is an understatement.

A couple of updates:

One, Ellen's bedtime had degenerated into a mess. Georgia is so easy these days, but Ellen's bedtime routine just required from both Erik and me at the time of day it was hardest to muster. So - new plan. We have two "tokens" (random pieces of wood I dug out of her treasure box and labeled 1 and 2). We do the regular brush teeth / potty / PJs / book / bed and try to move it along. She has 2 tokens to start the night. She can leave her room for "free" to potty as long as she gets back in bed by herself. If she needs to talk to me or Erik she can spend a token to do so, but only has 2 passes. If she keeps her tokens, though, in the morning she gets 1 or 2 stars on her ice cream chart. (I drew a picture of ice cream and filled it with little circles where the stars go). When her chart is full, ICE CREAM! I do randomly give her a star during the day if she does something especially good without prompting, but it's mostly a bedtime thing. I've also taken away stars for especially bad behavior. One time I was going to take away a star and forgot and I told her later she was lucky. "Well, too late now, Mom. HA HA!!" So, I then I erased one for sass. It has actually worked pretty well - we will see for how long. She did ask Erik to come up and scratch her back the other night - "It was worth a token, Dad."

Georgia was sicky, sick this week - same usual respiratory crap. Pro tip for the future: if you own a nebulizer machine and have the meds at home, take it all with you to the doctor's office visit. You can use all your own stuff and save yourself the $$ of getting it there. DUH. I'm sure we will be back ...

And, some stuff I've come across:
Good Guard, Bad Guard - how to know if your lifeguard is doing a good job. Ellen took swimming lessons for a full week and made great progress, but is still not swimming. She is almost LESS safe in the water because she feels confidant, but doesn't yet understand about quickly going into deep water and such. I was watching her and within seconds she took a few steps into the deeper end and was underwater and panicking and my friend had to jump in and pull her out. Not good times.

Similar to the emergency link last time, tips on packing a Go Bag. We haven't done this and, truthfully, I kind of glaze over when I think about it because it seems so monumental. I have a goal of becoming much more paper-less with our important things, which fits nicely with this. A high school acquaintance recently had a bad house fire, which makes all of this feel more important. And, makes me feel that Ellen really is old enough to start talking about this stuff. Again, glazing over ...

Some of my best friends are germs - really interesting article in the New York Times about the microbiome. Well, interesting for you science-y folk. Most fascinating part to me? There are compounds in breastmilk that babies can't digest, but they are specifically intended to nourish good bacteria in the baby's gut. Amazing.

Why Women Aren't Crazy - interesting article, with a take-away message of using caution in how you address your children, girls in particular. I find myself often telling Ellen - "you are so dramatic!" and over time, I think it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm trying to be more aware of what I say to her or how I describe her actions.

Finally, there was a nice article in Parents magazine this month about encouraging kindness in your children - teaching it as a skill, just as you would responsibility and independence and such. For those of you who have time to read, it lists two interesting-sounding books: Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, and Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. It basically talks about listening to your kids - is their complaint about a tummy ache or hurt toe masking their desire for an extra snuggle or some special attention? Also, cultivating a culture of cooperation - helping your kids pick-up. Essentially, if there is a situation where you would normally like some help for yourself, do the same for your children. I must say that I'm probably not good at this - it would be kinder of me to offer to help Ellen at times, and then hope my example encouraged her to do the same for others. And, being kind to yourself - taking time to do nice things for yourself is part of taking care of your family.


McGinnis Family said...

LOVED "it was worth a token, Dad" - OMG - my heart melted. So stinkin' sweet. ;) LOVE your posts . . .

Caroline said...

Fantastic articles! Especially the lifeguard one...scary!