Archives for December 2013

Sleep Regression

A few weeks before the girls turned two, we hit the sleep regression stage. It’s no fun. For anyone. Not only do they need that break, but I’ll admit sometimes I need it too. Not that I don’t absolutely love them and enjoy my time with them, but sometimes I want to take a sip of my drink without hearing “what’s that?” or go into the bathroom without little fingers poking under the door and the (locked) door handle being yanked on because one (or both) want to join me. I usually use their nap time to eat my lunch, finish any little tasks I need to, and give myself some time to decompress.

The girls need it too. Sleep is everyone’s time to rebuild muscle, restore energy, relax muscles, etc. On average, 2 year olds should be getting around 12 hours of sleep a day, total. That includes a 1 1/2 to 2 hour nap. Could it be their 2 year old molars that are working their way through their gums? Sure. But these girls LOVE to chat with each other. It is absolutely hilarious to listen to their conversations when they’re up in their cribs and supposed to be sleeping. If they do nap, they tend to fall asleep around 30-45 minutes before it’s time to wake them up. Sometimes the girls are perfectly happy without a nap, and other times they’re crabby.

Our routine hasn’t changed – lunch, short play time, diaper change for E, potty trip for M, and then I read them a few books before we head up to their bedroom.

I think after the girls get back from out of town I may move up their nap time to an earlier time (they go into their cribs around 2 as of right now) and maybe change up our routine a little bit to see if that helps. Sleep begets sleep, and overly tired kids are immensely harder to get to sleep than just “standard tired” kids. The key is to keep trying, since 2 year olds typically aren’t ready to give up their nap just yet.

I’m convinced, one magical day, I’ll put them in their cribs and they’ll lay down and go right to sleep. Probably wishful thinking, but hey, it could happen.


Aly

Two!

“My” babies aren’t babies anymore! They’re officially two! I can’t believe it. It’s crazy to look back at all the pictures and videos I have from their first year and even this past year, and then see them running and talking now. I love to just sit back sometimes and watch their little conversations. They’ve begun to play cooperatively sometimes, discussing what needs to happen and then working together and sharing things to make it happen.

Speaking of discussing, these girls continue to amaze me every day with their language abilities. They talk in complete sentences more often than not now. I’m talking 6 or 7 word sentences. It’s funny, sometimes they’ll ask for something without using a well-structured sentence “You wanna see elephant!” (We’re still working on using I instead of you, but they’re getting there). If it’s something they can’t have, and I tell them so, they’ll come out with “Can I see the elephant, please?” It’s hard to tell them no sometimes when they ask so politely!

E is still big into books. She’ll sit in front of the bookshelf and just pull one book out at time, turning the pages and “reading” each one. She’ll recite what she knows from memory for each page. She’s almost always 100% correct with what she’s saying too. She’ll do it with book after book after book. Every once in awhile she’ll bring one over for me to read to her but sometimes I get “Do it yourself!” (She means “Do it myself”) if I ask if I can read to her. She’s miss independent, but she’s also sensitive. M will fall down and get right back up, whereas E needs some love and kissed boo boos even if she didn’t actually hurt anything. I don’t mind at all. I’ll happily give out hugs and kisses as long as I can get them!

M is still super physical. That girl loves going to My Gym. Every time we pull up all I hear are shrieks of excitement from her. She loves when she gets to be with one of the teachers and be the example of the skill they learn each class at circle time. She’s also big into music and singing. Both girls can identify almost any children’s song if you hum it. M sings often throughout the day. She can really carry a tune! She’s constantly asking me to sing different songs to her, even if it’s one I just made up. Let me tell you, some of those are a little difficult to remember when I make up a song one day and then randomly 2 weeks later she asks me to sing it!

I can’t wait to see what this next year brings us and how the girls change and grow!


Aly

Fine Motor Skills

What are fine motor skills? Simply put, it’s the coordination involving the small muscles in your body – mainly in your fingers. These skills are the foundation of important things like general hand and finger dexterity and handwriting. Having good fine motor skills is extremely important in the early years, particularly in school. Since children will be doing many hands on activities, they need to be able to control their fingers and have good eye hand coordination. They also need to be able to write words, manipulate materials, and write numbers. These are also skills that will allow them to master other skills like the ones required for dressing themselves such as zippering, buttoning, tying shoes, and so on.

There are many ways you can create opportunities for children to strengthen these small muscles and improve their fine motor skills. Here are a few –

  • Play with play dough. All that pulling, and shaping, and kneading of the dough helps strengthen their fingers.
  • Color with crayons or pencils. You need to allow your child to develop their grip and move those little muscles.
  • At a young age – usually between 7 and 11 months old (but only when they are ready for solid food) allow your child to self-feed small pieces of cut up soft food. This allows your child to develop their precise pincer grasp (a part of fine motor skills), which is the coordination between the pointer finger and thumb to manipulate objects, pick up things, and use crayons and pencils correctly.
  • Let them practice opening and closing clothespins onto different objects – pom poms, the edges of boxes, etc.
  • Give them tongs or dull tweezers to pick up small objects such as pom poms.
  • Have them insert q tips into a container with a lid that has holes cut into the top.

{Clearly, use your own discretion with these activities. Keep a very close eye on your child to be sure no small non-food items are put in their mouth.}


Aly

New Blog Design

New blog design by The Posh Box.  Testing the new signature.


Aly