Family, Life

life in general

I’ve been posting a lot of random kid pics and book quotes lately, so today I thought I would change it up with an update on the Sods. Prepare to be bored. Possibly to tears. 🙂

Today begins day one of our new summer schedule. We tried the whole carefree summer days thing for awhile, but I’ve noticed recently that the younglings are struggling with their listening skills. And if I have learned anything in my 4.95 years of mothering it is that the best way to combat little ears that don’t listen is not through discipline (although they get that too!), but through a more structured day. We’ve had lots of tears and mom is not #1 in toddlerland today, but I know that means that they really did have too much freedom and that improvement will be just around the corner!

We have also begun working on their sitting quiet skills (or in this case, lack thereof). So for 15 minutes they sat in separate chairs and looked through books, without talking. I’ll keep moving that time up until hopefully 45 minutes. (that’s my goal anyway!) Which should secure for me a nice slot for my quiet time (my kids are early birds, so rising before them is not a practical goal). It will also help develop some self control, which is another area we all need to work on all the time! 🙂 I used to practise blanket time every morning. For 30 minutes (we worked up to that time) they would each sit on their own blanket and play quietly with a toy of mommy’s choosing. I found this a wonderful way to start the day, it improved their listening/focusing skills and seemed to make for happier children the rest of the day. So the new sit time is just a more advanced form of an old practice. Juno will begin having blanket time again once school starts in the fall for Justus.

The only thing I will say the crazy, free days we have had recently have done is allow for LOTS of sibling play time. I am amazed daily at the friendship growing between Justus and Juno. They play and play and play and play and play. They have the perfect combo of personalities because Justus is an extrovert and longs for company (even his 3 year old sister when no one else is available!), while Juno is an introvert and could play on her own all day. But being younger she adores her big brother and is generally willing to go along with him in whatever activity he wants to play, but can handle it when he does need his space. If Juno were the older child, we would have one constantly annoyed eldest, and one very lonely youngest. I’m not going to lie, we have our share of fights around here, but I think that creates a fantastic environment for learning social skills.

Jon has been working hard prepping for the fall start up of the Harvest Students ministry, and also starting to prepare a fall missions team for another Nepal trip. It will be a busy ministry season ahead, but knowing Jon it will be well organized! 🙂 He is excited to have more time to prepare this year. Looking forward to seeing what God does in both those ministries!

We recently discovered that Justus seems to have seasonal allergies. His nose is frequently stuffed and his eyes itch and turn red. When he has a really bad day I check the allergy report online and it seems to be the worst when Cladosporium (mold) are high. That is my super scientific diagnosis. 🙂 I only suffer from seasonal allergies on the occasional fall season when it’s a really bad year for allergies. So any advice for helping him cope with symptoms? Thus far I just give him some antihistamines on the bad days, and we have been running the air conditioner more than usual because it’s worse for him when our windows are open.

I’m attempting to get the kids back on a Feingold diet and cut back again on Juno’s dairy consumption. She was doing great with a bit of cheese or yogurt here and there, but I’ve noticed a few symptoms returning. I find it hard to be rigid when it comes to diet, but the pay off is definitely worth it. So here we go again! 🙂

Jon installed new vanities in 2 of our bathrooms last week, so that was kind of exciting. Back in the fall when we put in our laminate floors we had planned on getting new vinyl flooring put in the bathrooms and back door hall. In light of that, when they had a really good sale on at Lowe’s we picked up 2 new vanities. However, when the quote for the flooring came back we decided it wasn’t doable at the time…. so the new vanities went into storage at a friend’s house. (thank you!)

Last week Jon decided he was brave enough to attempt the plumbing change on his own, so in they went! They look awesome and Jon did a great job. He is becoming more handy by the second, I am constantly amazed at they way he teaches himself new skills.

Other than that? Just the usual summer stuff. Wading pools, splash pads, soccer for me, slow-pitch for Jon. Beach days, housework, upcoming vacation (YAY!!!!), and visits with friends. I love summer, even the dog days like today when it’s too hot to move outside! Although I will say my lungs did not appreciate playing soccer in yesterday’s humidity!

Anyway, laundry and children call! ttfn!

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  • Reply Jon July 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I miss your blog! I’m glad you are doing it again, sometimes I feel so isolated over here at the office from my own family!

    Thanks for everything you do with the kids – if anything, out of the 4.95 years with them, you have learned perseverance (even if you think that you haven’t!)

    Can’t wait until next Thursday, then Saturday!

    • Reply Christa July 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      <3 you!

  • Reply Debbie July 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Ahhh Cladosporium….it’s the worst one for me too 🙁

    • Reply Christa July 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      what do you do for it Debbie? Anything?

  • Reply Jen July 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Thanks for the update! 🙂
    Sitting quiet skills??? What is THAT??? 😉 That’s definitely an area we need to work on…as well as ‘couch time’…we haven’t been doing that well and it shows b/c it’s really hard to have a conversation with my husband without being constantly interrupted!
    And if it’s any consolation, we are beginning Feingold all over again!:( We are on week 3. And this time for both boys. Even though we never gave them any artificials the first time, even the ‘good’ stuff with salicylates we may have just introduced too much too soon and there was a lot of ‘reaction’ behaviourally (but it was hard to determine to what in alot of cases), so we’re going back to square one and going to reintroduce more slowly this time around. Also when we do reintroduce, as hard as it is here with what’s av’ble, we are going to try and give them only the approved brands b/c I’m sure that was part of our problem? So you’re not alone!!! 🙂

    • Reply Christa July 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      wow, I’m impressed, going totally phase 1 Feingold is a LOT of work! How’s it going?

  • Reply Jen July 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Well, we did do it before, so it’s not totally new to us, BUT I really, really didn’t want to go there again!!! 🙁 It’s going well, but having reintroduced many foods the first time around, I have to keep checking to see what’s allowed again in phase 1 and what’s not. I’ve messed up a few times already and given them stuff I wasn’t to give them! It is a bit of a challenge, but I like a challenge and it’s worth it when you see the results! 🙂 I got away from keeping the food diary too, so I have to get back into that and I’m not always on top of it and that’s the impt part so I can tell what might be causing the reaction.

    • Reply Christa July 13, 2011 at 8:18 am

      yeah, I really should do that too… it would be nice to know if it was a particular thing that made them go crazy….

  • Reply Lisa @ Just the 6 of us July 13, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Loved the update, wasn’t boring at all! 🙂

  • Reply GP July 14, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Glad you’re all well and enjoying summer! <3

  • Reply Rosemary August 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Congrats on the ‘blanket’ time and sitting with a book. These are great skills that we taught our children (practiced church at home). I think parents these days, don’t understand that children must be trained….says something in the Bible about that, doesn’t it? But it is a great benefit to mom if there is structured quiet time….and it helps them too! I’ve been taking an Echinacea capsule and a White Willow together for 10 years for allergies…not sure if Justus can swallow a capsule but maybe there is a liquid out there with both? Tell Jon I made the most amazing Jerk burgers with homemeade buns…they were huge and juicy, drippy, spicy yummy…Levi said he had to unhinge his jaw to eat the TWO he ate! That’ll get Jon’s meat-in-ator going! Love you guys-sounds like you’re having a fun summer!

    • Reply Christa August 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      I’ll pay my friends at Quartermaster a visit and see what they have for kids… good idea! I feel bad for him! And that burger sounds amazing!!!

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