I’m taking a break from the Manic Monday series to announce a really fun celebration happening over at One Fun Mom. In honor of her childhood friend’s first baby, she’s doing a fun Baby Days series throughout the rest of October and all of November!!
There will be some great giveaways (ahem…Moby Wrap anyone?? — I know, right?!?)! Also, I will be guest posting along the way, so check back here often for the low down on that!
Why not head on over to One Fun Mom now, and spread the word! Let’s not hog all the fun for ourselves!
For those of you who are new readers in my little corner of Blogland, the idea behind the Manic Monday series is to share tips/tricks/hints that I have either learned, stumbled upon, or gotten from friends, to help make the week run a little more smoothly.
One thing that has helped us greatly is Family Fun Friday. It’s amazing how much looking forward to something at the end of the week boosts morale during the week filled with homework, housework, grumpies, sleepies, and everything in between! Our tradition of Family Fun Friday (FFF) began when we first moved to Ireland nearly 3 years ago. The first 6 weeks we were here, we were all sick. I had the stomach flu twice, plus the regular flu and colds. Hubs had the flu and sinus infections. Flower Girl had the stomach flu. Butterfly Girl had ear infections and colds. (The Man Cub wasn’t even a twinkle in our eye at the time, but that’s a very different post for another day). Anyway, the first day that we were all remotely well happened to be a Friday. Hubs and I declared it Family Fun Friday and we got take out food and watched a movie at home.
The next week, Flower Girl asked us what day it was. We told her it was Thursday and she decreed, “That means tomorrow’s Family Fun Friday!” And thus, a tradition was born. During the summer months, FFF sort of takes a hiatus, since we are all around more and time together as a family doesn’t have to be as structured or scheduled in order to guarantee it’s occurrence. But once school starts back, we really rely on our FFF!
Sometimes we visit the indoor pool where we have a membership and get some fun take out. Other times we have frozen pizza and watch a movie at home. Sometimes we hit up the local playground. And, on rare occasions, we hit the cinema. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are together and you have fun. One “rule” that has sort of evolved that I really love about FFF is that Mommy doesn’t cook on Fridays. So, if we eat at home, that means Hubs and the kids cook together, which I love.
So, take some time and examine your family’s schedule. Where can you fit in regular, quality time together as a family? It doesn’t have to be every week, but for our family that is ideal. And it really helps that it’s predictable; our kids know that Friday is family time and fun.
Do you have a regular family time set aside specifically for fun? What do you do? How often?
I had really hoped to have an inspiring, uplifting, powerful post this week. The last two weeks have been pretty heavy between the Messy Faith and Raw posts. However, I have been plagued with an ear infection that just won’t quit. And my creative juices, I think, must still be stuck behind my ear drum with everything else. So, I thought I’d write about something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently:
Not necessarily the fact that I don’t get near as much as I need (which I don’t). But more of wondering about my family’s sleep habits. While there are common threads that tie us together, the five of us living under this roof are also complete opposites of each other. How there can be 5 kinds of opposite is beyond me, but there you have it. And those differences are there in our sleep, too.
According to my parents, I never slept through the night. Now, however, I can’t get enough sleep. If left to my own devices, I would go to bed at 9 or 10pm, sleep straight through until noon. Get up, eat something, hang out, take a nap around 2 or 3 until 5 or 6. Then get up for dinner, some TV or a movie, and back to bed. I. Love. Sleep. If I for some reason have a few minutes to spare, and am sitting still, you can often find me with my head flopped back, eyes closed. I can slip into dream sleep within minutes. Did I mention how much I love sleep?
Hubby loves his sleep, too. Almost as much as I do. However, he has a brain that won’t quit. When the rest of the world slows down for the night, his brain gets all revved up and goes 90 to nothin’. So, he ends up burning the midnight oil. If he takes a nap at any stage of the day, he doesn’t sleep at night. But when he does sleep, he loves it and does not give it up easily.
From birth, Flower Girl has never liked to slow down or stop long enough to sleep. She hates the idea that she might be missing something. Similar to Hubby, her mind does some of its best (and silliest) work at night. It takes her a good while to wind down enough to sleep. As a baby, she would often spend an hour or longer singing and talking to herself before finally drifting off to sleep. We would have to meticulously go through the same steps in the same order every night: bottle, bath, jammies, prayer, song. At age 6 1/2, she’s still the same. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone in to kiss her before I go to bed and she’s asleep with several books, stuffed animals and dress up clothes surrounding her in her bed.
Butterfly Girl is another sleep lover. As an infant, she didn’t want to mess around. She liked her bottle and bath, but after that, she just wanted to be put in her bed. You could always tell when Butterfly Girl was/is ready for bed because she would do what we have come to refer to as “the rub”. She would do it with her sleep sack, and then her blanket once she was out of the sleep sack, and rub in on her upper lip between her lip and her nose. Seriously, it would put her in some kind of a trance! She would take a 3 hour nap everyday. At at 4 1/2, she still sleeps 1-2 hours a couple of days a week. When not distracted by her older sister she falls asleep nearly instantly at night. She’s the one person who wakes up in this house in an instant, and almost always with a smile.
The Man Cub is perhaps the biggest sleep lover of all of our children. He struggles to stay awake until 6:30pm when we finally relent and put him into bed for the night. He will sleep all night until at least 7am, sometimes 8 or even 9! He takes several naps during the day, usually 1.5-2 hours each. When he’s tired, he takes whatever fabric he can get: his sleeve, my shirt, the sheet on his crib, and slide his hand along it until it pushes up against his mouth and he acts as though he’s sucking on an imaginary pacifier (or dummy or doty or whatever you call it).
I love seeing how my family’s personality come through, even in our sleep habits. It’s a wild, wacky, chaotic life we live and while exhausting and stressful at times, it’s more often joyous, inspiring, and hilarious. I never expected to be a mother of 3, living overseas, near the ocean. But, thank God for unexpected turns in life’s journey!
And thank God for sleep!
P.S. Sorry there’s no pic of me… apparently I’m the one who takes all the creepy pics of other people sleeping in this house.
P.P.S. Come back tomorrow for a link to my guest post at The Better Mom!