Required: Nap Time & Quiet Time

Hallelujah for Quiet Time every afternoon!!!!  I seriously don’t know what I would do without it.  I get my emails answered, make necessary phone calls, do a photo project, write a blog, start supper or even read sometimes!!!

   As a mom of 4, I have stopped feeling guilty about taking that time and am embracing it as OK and necessary for my Mommy Morale.  We are all refreshed and ready t0 play again after quiet time, Mommy included!

Even Saprina and Sophie take naps in the afternoon. I think they like the quiet time too!  🙂

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   We chose to do this from 12:30-2:30, so that most of the time, everyone is awake by the time we need to load up to get big sis from school.

 Nap time!  On weekends, Destiny is required to lay down and read for an hour.  We want our kids to love to read, plus this helps her meet her Book-It requirements for the month, and keeps her quiet while the others rest.

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Tylan is almost 5 and rarely falls asleep anymore, but he still has to pick a spot and rest and looks at books.  Sometimes it’s on the couch, across the foot of my bed, or under a chair.  As long as he rests and reads, I am not picky on location!  🙂  He is required to lay 1 hour and then play quietly with cars the second hour until the other children wake up.  During the first hour, if he comes out of his spot, I add 5 minutes to his reading time.

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 At 16 months old, Paxton still takes 2 naps a day. The key for him, is to only let him have an hour-long nap in the morning, so he’ll still go down at 12:30.  I have to really watch my time because that hour goes fast!  

  There is a natural transition that we seen happen at our house from baby with two naps, to toddler with one nap…..

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  When we start to notice that our morning nappers are fighting their afternoon nap, we cut down the 2 hour morning nap.  We do this until we find the right mix that still allows for a good afternoon nap:  From 2 hours to an hour and a half, then an hour, then eventually 45 minutes, watching carefully which time frame still allows for a 2 hour afternoon nap. 

  Tylan kept his morning nap for a long time as a toddler, even just a 20 minute power nap helped us get through morning fussy time.  It was perfect because it didn’t mess up afternoon nap schedule.

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He’s not a toddler in this photo, but I liked this one.  🙂

  Then there is little Miss Avery….who has decided she no longer needs naps every day. 

That’s because she is so angelic…..

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NOT!

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  She really does still need quite time or Crabitha comes out!!

  When I was a mommy of 1, and Destiny was Avery’s age and transitioning out of afternoon naps, I fought tooth and nail to keep her sleeping every day.  (She was a bear if she didn’t!)  Being a mom of 4 has helped me to be a bit more laid back about this transition, so here are the rules:

~Avery may read books until she falls asleep.

~She may not come out of her room until I give her permission.

~Is she sleeps, she gets to stay up with the big kids.  If she doesn’t she has to be the first one in bed. (WHICH SHE HATES!)

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When I was making her lay there and try to sleep, she was not taking a nap at all anymore!

  Now that I let her read, sleep is sneaking up on her, and she is napping 8 out of 10 times, then coming out cheerful and ready to play.

  SCORE!

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If you are looking to schedule your baby, which turns into scheduled toddlers and good sleepers, make sure you check out Baby Wise! We swear by it!

  I had 2 Baby Wise babies, and 2 not:

~ Destiny slept all night long at 5 weeks, we scheduled her from the first day home from the hospital on. 

~Tylan nursed every hour and a half, so I was unable to schedule him like I wanted until later, he slept all night at 5 months. 

~Avery came into our family 17 months after Ty,  I was exhausted and did not even try to schedule.  She did not sleep all night until 9 months!!!!!!  (I really thought I was going to die from lack of sleep! Seriously!) 

~Then Pax came along and I was bound and determined to schedule him based on how tired I was with Avery’s non-schedule. Guess who slept all night at 7 weeks? Yup! My scheduled eat-play-sleep baby.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

 I know it’s not for everyone, but I love schedules and anything that makes me feel organized, so this fits my style of parenting to a “T”!

Uh-oh, quiet time is over, and everyone is waking up, gotta run!

~T

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4 little Fergusons Daily Routine

   I have had 2 separate Mommy’s email me recently, asking about our daily routine.  Sounded like a future blog post to me, so here I am!  🙂

  Let me start off by giving a HUGE disclaimer….

  This schedule is what I strive for, and I LOVE it when we succeed, ‘cause being organized makes me happy.  However, with 4 kids, I have learned to expect the unexpected!  I never know when a phone call or fussy baby will throw the whole morning’s routine, you know?  So, if you call me at 12:15 and I am not making lunch yet….no judgments!   🙂

This is the school schedule, but I’ll try to make notes of how it changes in the summer time:

134Btwn 6:30-7   Breakfast time for all the kiddos! Destiny makes bed, gets dressed, and brushes teeth. (For the summer, this part of Destiny’s routine will all start an hour later, with the other kids.)
7:50  Destiny off to school
Little kids do their morning chores like make their beds, get dressed, do hair, brush teeth.
~Next, they unload the dishwasher or put away their clean laundry. If no chores need done, then they get to play in the playroom until TV time.
~I use this time to pick from my monthly menu what I want to make for dinner, lay out the necessary non-perishable ingredients and thaw meat in a cold water-filled sink.
0688:30   Morning nap for Paxton, my time to check my email/blog comments.
(Did I mention I LOVE to hear from you all? Cause I do!) 
9-10   1 hour of TV time (This is all they get for the day) so I can get a shower. (Or at least get my contacts in and freshen up a bit!  Let’s be realistic, this is not something that always occurs!!!!!) LOL 🙂 

*I’d like to think someday, as Pax gets older, I will be rested enough to set my alarm and get up to shower at 5:30 or something!!!! We’ll see how that goes!

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 ~The good news about limiting Tv time? It’s SUCH a special treat, that they don’t budge from the couch until the show is over.  I use the rest of this time to get some work done on the computer or make phone calls while all is quiet!
10   Wake up Paxton, so he’ll take an afternoon nap. (we are just starting to show signs of outgrowing morning nap, so we’ll cut it down slowly until it’s no longer necessary)

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10-10:50  Play a game, do puzzles or read to the kids. If they are playing wonderfully together, I don’t always interrupt, but choose to keep working around the house.
10:50  Make lunch and call for toy clean up.
11-12:00   Lunch. 
   My kids are SLOOOOW eaters! I eat with them and once I have fed Pax his baby food, start working on supper or pay bills or something constructive.

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Why, oh why, do little ones feel the need to dig their faces into their sandwich eating only the center, even if they know they have to eat the crust afterwards anyways?

  On another note: 1 bribed the kids today with a “1 Carrot Earns You 3 Chips” Rule.  Guess who got too full of carrots to want any chips? SCORE!  🙂

12:15  Required rest time for big kids. (We aim for a minimum of 1 hour.)
~Destiny must read a chapter book during this time. Tylan looks at picture books and plays quietly with cars. They both must stay in their locations the whole hour, no coming in and out of the room or minutes are added to resting time!
~This is also nap time for the two little ones (minimum of 1 1/2 hours or they are cranky!) They usually sleep 2-2 1/2 hours.
12:30  Nurse Paxton and get him to sleep.
12:30-3  Work like mad to get supper prep work done (I chop veggies, or wash lettuce, fry up my hamburger and onions;  anything to make supper go faster later when the kids are STARRRRVING) then I lay out, read a book, or do something for me.

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After their hour is up, Destiny and Tylan can come out and play, or help me in the garden, with weeding and harvesting.

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3ish  Every body is awake, it’s Snack time!

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*No eating past 4 or we spoil supper.

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~From the time they get up from nap on, its swim time or (during the nice school days) outside play time until I call them in for supper.
5   Get supper in the oven, call Destiny in to do homework during the school year.
Eat supper anywhere from 5-7 pm depending on daddy’s schedule.

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Start bedtime @ 7:00   during school year, or between 7:30-8 in the summer, it takes us a good half hour!
~First we get outdoor or indoor toys picked up, put Jammies on, get teeth brushed and unmake beds.
~Meet in the office to get online and check off Chore Charts for the day. 053
~Then meet as a family in front of the fire in the winter, or either the girls room or the boy’s room the rest of the year, for Bible story, songs and prayer time.
LIGHTS OUT 7:30 during school year and between 8-8:30 in the summer!

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  No matter what time we go to bed, it seems they wake up around 6:15 the next day, and then we start this routine over! 🙂 

  After Tylan was born, and I had to really schedule his nursing’s and naps between Destiny’s preschool drop off and pick up, so I used to have this schedule written out on a piece of paper and taped up where I could see it.  After a while it just flowed on its own and this is the schedule we currently aim for each day.  I am sure it will change again after 3 of them are in school next year on different days in 3 different locations! 🙂

  Hope this gives you a jumping point in creating your own schedule and routine.  Have a good one!

~T