Monday, August 30, 2010

Learning to Schedule

Homeschooling has been a challenge up until today.  Mostly I think the challenge has come because I try to plan what we are going to do for the day while I am sitting at the table with an eager three year old!  Last night however I sat for about an hour at the computer and planned our day/week.  The result?  Happy toddler, less stressed mom and overall a great experience!  We even managed to get everything done while brother was sleeping in his swing. 

Speaking of little brother, I have a post half-written about Asher and I hope to post it soon!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

11 weeks and we are "golden"

Asher is 11 weeks and a couple of days old now and we are doing great!!

He has been sleeping through the night now for about a week and a half.  Because of this fact (and the ease in which he has been falling asleep this last week or so) we decided to put both boys to bed last night at the same time in the same room!  At first Asher didn't fall asleep so Philip went up to get him and I finished nursing him (he had fallen asleep half way through).  Ethan almost cried when Philip went to get him.  "I want Asher to sleep up here!"  Philip explained that he would be back and on the second try he did stay in bed and go to sleep.  Usually Ethan talks a ton before he falls asleep, but last night he was super quiet and I think that probably helped him fall asleep faster.

So far so good!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The final decision....maybe

So last week I posted a question on Facebook to all my friends concerning weather or not you start your summer born baby in Kindergarten when they are five, or if you wait and start them when they are six.  When Ethan was first born I was excited that it was in July because I thought we had avoided the whole "start them/don't start them" issue.  But not so!  Here the parents I talk to really think that May is the cut off and that if you have a summer baby that you should wait until they are six to start them in Kindergarten.

I feel like after reading the 31 comments left by other moms I have a better picture of why parents keep their five year olds home, but I still struggle because I don't want my kids to bored in school.  I know some moms are saying, "Bridgette, you have plenty of time to think about this."  Really if I want Ethan to have a full year of preschool before he goes to Kindergarten I will need to have made at least a preliminary decision by this Spring when registration for preschools usually begins.

After reading all of the comments and talking to other experienced moms here is what (I think) we will do.  This year I will continue to home school him through our current preschool curriculum which teaches letters, some phonics, numbers, and bible literacy.  Then next year (when he is four) I think we will send him to a preschool for at least 2-3 days a week.  The year that he turns five I think we will send him to a K5 program that follows the Kindergarten curriculum, but isn't a public school.  I think a co-op school would be a really good fit at this step.  At the end of that year I feel like we will be better educated about the skills needed in Kindergarten and able to make the decision if he is ready for Kindergarten at the public school level, or if he excelled we can start him in a public school in first grade.

With all that being said, I really am glad that we aren't locked into anything yet and we can wait awhile before making our final decisions.

Thanks to everyone for their input!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Second born....

You hear it all the time....the second child gets less pictures of them taken and in our case the second child gets less blog posts written about him!
Asher is a wonderful baby and  the only reason he hasn't had more posts about him is that when he is sleeping I am either sleeping with him or I'm keeping up with his brother.  One of the things that Ethan and I have been doing is "school".  After a lot of thought and prayer and after reading Radical I've decided to keep Ethan home with me this school year and instead of going to preschool he will go to the Little Gym once a week.  The cost is substantially less and I'll be able to use the difference to give "radically" this year.  In place of preschool we are going through "Little Hands to Heaven" which focuses on Bible stories, characters and goes over one letter and one number a week with a review every four weeks.  Ethan loves to play school!

Anyway, back to Asher...  He is two months old and we go for his two month check up on Monday.  Thanks to the Baby Whisper he is on a steady eat, awake, sleep pattern.  He has even re-learned how to put himself to sleep after a week and a half of being rocked by myself and my family while I was in Louisiana for my Pawpaw's funeral.

After a rocky start we are both thoroughly enjoying nursing.  It is so freeing to be able to walk out the door without having to calculate how long we might be gone and how many bottles we will need for the trip.  Growth spurts have been difficult - one night he nursed every hour for four hours, but then he slept for his longest span yet: 7.5 hours!!  Right now he sleeps for 4-5 hours at a time at night and he eats about every 3 hours during the day.

Ethan has a few new tricks up his sleeve including going diaper free during nap time and night time.  He actually started this skill the week before Asher was born.  We've had a few accidents but they mainly occur when something is out of sync (one morning he woke up at 5 and I sent him back to bed without suggesting he go to the bathroom and then when he slept till 9 he woke up wet.)  He is a great big brother and he always asks, "I want to see Asher's eyes!"  He loves to Asher his trains and planes.

Hopefully my next update will be no later than Monday!!

10 years!!

Ten years ago on May 11th Philip and I got married!!  I can't believe it was ten years ago that we walked down the's a little trip down memory lane.

  • When we got married we were both still in college and we lived in a little house that probably had less than 400 square feet.  We spent the first year of our married life sleeping in a twin bed!
  • Our second place to live was 10 yards from the first and was only probably 50 square feet bigger, but it felt huge since it had a full size oven and a walk "through" closet. 
  • Our second summer as a married couple we spent living in Oak Ridge as we both did summer internships at the lab.
  • The next year Philip finished up his bachelor's while I got my teaching certificate.
  • In the summer of 2002 we moved up to Knoxville so Philip could get his masters at UT.  It took 8 months but finally Nashville and Baton Rouge decided to communicate and I got a job teaching science at South-Doyle.
  • Three years later Philip had a job at ORNL and we were buying a house and trying to raise two gigantic puppies who liked to eat raw potatoes and chew through immersion blenders!
  • Five years later we have done so many things to improve this house the list is daunting: vinyl siding, new carpet, paint on almost every single wall, painted the kitchen cabinets, a new dishwasher, a new A/C unit, and most recently a laundry room remodel.  (I'll post pictures of the last item as soon as Philip is done.)
  • Four years ago we decided to expand our family and now we are the proud parents of Ethan (3) and Asher (2 months).  The birth of our first son is currently the most scary and wonderful moment in our lives.
  • This last year we lived through our first high-risk pregnancy and although some aspects could be trying (6 hour infusions once a week) we made a new friend and were blessed with our first "normal" delivery and hospital stay with a newborn!
I plan on writing a whole post about our pre-baby anniversary trip, but that is for another day.

"I painted the Golden Gate bridge today!"

As I walked around the living room last night, picking up toys that will be taken out again tomorrow, I was reminded of a message I heard on the radio. Supposedly the same paint crew paints the Golden Gate Bridge all day everyday year round. By the time the crew works it's way from one end of the bridge to the other, the end of the bridge where they began needs to be painted again.

I don't know how true this is but it does illustrate a point for the work of a mom. I have a few friends that are stay-at home moms who are occasionally are asked, "What did you do today?" Well, from now on I believe those moms should say, "I painted the Golden Gate bridge." Even though the work we do may not seem evident to the outside viewer we have worked hard all day, and no matter how hard we work today there will be work waiting for us tomorrow.

So, to all those moms out there: keep painting!