Monday, April 28, 2008

Busy and productive

We swapped out all of the boys' winter clothes and took all of the storm windows off just in time for it to be 34 F last night. Crazy! The boys are wearing long sleeves to school again today and the heat was on yesterday and last night (we keep it set at 65 F and I hadn't bothered to turn it off yet, so it kicked on yesterday).

We've had an interesting week. The boys had a few rough days last week. I'm not sure if we had been a little inconsistent or if they just decided it was time to try a few things again, but we nipped all of the undesirable behavior in the bud and the weekend was really good. Some very good friends of ours from college were in town with their two little boys so we got to hang out with them. Lots of fun! Saturday night we babysat and had four boys under the age of 6 in our 900 sq ft house. I told Mark we definitely should have adopted more. ;) I'm not sure he agreed with that statement. :) :)

We've been trying to work the boys' schedule so that they'll be able to spend more time with Mark in the evenings. Unfortunately, he doesn't get home until 6:30 or 6:45, and the boys go to bed at 7.** Changing his work schedule isn't an option since physical therapy patients seem to like late afternoon appointments. So I've been trying to figure out a way to keep the boys up later and still have them get enough sleep. I thought maybe it would be enough to have some down time when they got home from school, so I've started having storytime with them when they get home. They lay down on their beds and listen to me read a chapter book (currently The Bobbsey Twins in the Country). Without fail, they are asleep within a few minutes. That wasn't the plan, but it does tell me that they are really tired when they get home from school. I do think that storytime gives them a chance to stop and decompress after school. I think it wears them out trying to function in English all day, so this is a good time for them to take a break and unwind a little bit before we continue the rest of the day. I usually only let them sleep about 30 minutes, and then we're able to keep them up a little longer at night. It's a constant adjustment trying to find the best schedule for them so we'll keep tweaking as we go. :)

**You have no idea how many people say "They go to bed at 7?!?" and I'm sure there are a few of you reading this saying that too. :) But 4 and 5 yos are supposed to get around 11 hours of sleep at night, so when they go to bed at 7pm and fall asleep by 7:30 and then are up at 6:45am they are getting a good amount of sleep for their age. We still have to wake them up in the morning but they wake up happy and ready to start the day, not grumbly and tired.


BevS97 said...

My 4 year old is supposed to go to bed at 7 although it seems to be creeping towards 8, but she is nearly always wakes right at 7am so it seems to be about the right amount of sleep for her (11 hours).

When I used to work until 6 and then commute home, my eldest used to stay up much later, sometimes 10pm, but she was at a Nursery where they had daytime naps. Once they start school they just can't do it anymore.

I found your blog recently as my sister in law is in the process of adopting a little girl from Russia. I have found your experiences very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Julie said...

I love schedules! As I'm sure you know :)

We used to keep Michael up pretty late until he started school. Now he's in bed by 7:30. We start the process around 7 and he's asleep by 7:45.

Maggie on the other hand takes after her father. She's really a night owl. She's in bed at that same time but has a bit of a quiet time before she actually falls asleep. It seems to be working out.

Joy Rae said...

I hear ya on trying to adjust schedules and figure out what is best. It is sometimes really hard and frustrating, but finally we are starting to feel like we have normal schedule! Thanks for your post! We went indpendent with Kyle and it cost us about $20k. So we figured for two more, it would be the same plus half for the second, when I consider the extra facilitator fees needed as well as double everything else (plane tickets, clothes, embassy, etc). I have heard facilitator's have different fees over there so maybe that is where the difference is. Not sure, but I would LOVE to be able to spend only $20k on both. We may just try that!!

his wife, their mama said...

I'm a huge fan of schedules too, (yea Babywise) and applaud you at getting them into bed at 7. Our girls are in bed at 7, but sometimes they have extra wriggles they need to get out after the lights are out! But, they also nap for 2 hours everyday so I can understand that. It's great that you're trying to tweak things and I am glad to hear things are going well so far. I bet that's great for the boys to have that extra time with Mark in the evenings but still give the two of you your time as well! I think of you all daily and am glad to read of continued progress and relatively quick adjustments to their testing behaviour. It's very inspiring and encouraging to read your blog as I struggle with dealing with all the naughty behaviour on my own right now. It keeps me focused on the end result of standing firm despite when I just don't fell like I am capable anymore. Our girls are definitely well behaved little things, but they are almost 2 and 4, so I still have some very busy and testy days.
Thanks for your continued posting despite all the adjustments you and the family are going through, it really is a blessing to read!