Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some things I'm glad we did

I could fill up all of Blogland with a post about all the things I wished I'd done better thus far in parenting, but instead tonight I'm thinking about a few things I'm glad we've done.

- Taught our infants sign language. We had begun using signs like "diaper" "nurse" and "more" around 7 months, just so Luke and Abbey would grow accustomed to seeing them, but the real credit goes to my sweet friend Heather who sent us these videos for their first birthday. At nearly 18 months Luke and Abbey aren't especially verbal, and signing plays a HUGE role in our lives. Being able to communicate helps eliminate frustration for all of us. Early this morning Abbey woke up crying and I went in to find out what was the matter, and the second she saw me she signed "diaper". Sure enough, her diaper was soaked. A quick change and she was good to go. We have many moments like that during our days around here, and they serve as constant reminders of how grateful I am that we all learned so much sign language.

- Put family pictures in plastic frames on the fridge. Last month my sister Vanessa came over to babysit for the first time while I went to work. She lives about an hour away, and so the twins haven't seen her very often. She came over a few hours before I needed to leave, and right away when she walked in, both Abbey and Luke went over to the fridge, pulled off the picture of me and my sisters, and pointed at Vanessa. Amazing!

- Introduced ALL veggies before a single bite of fruit. For all I know, this one is an old wives tale, and we just got lucky, but all signs point to this being true. I had heard if you introduce only veggies in the beginning of starting solids before introducing any fruits, you will have good vegetable eaters. Sounded good to me, so that's what we did. And lo and behold, both our little ones will chow down on green beans, peas, corn, carrots and even broccoli. They reach for it without being asked or reminded!

- Associated lovies with sleep time. Sleep. Oh what an issue sleep was for a loonngg time in this house. I know we'll have many, many stages and phases to come, but right now we are in a good sleeping pattern, and neither Luke nor Abbey has fought naptime or bedtime in a long while. They know when that sound machine (white noise) comes on, and they get their binkies and their respective lovies, it's time to go to sleep. They only get binks and lovies in their cribs, and it's worked wonders for cuing sleep time.

- Discovered these. They're a little pricey, but totally organic, so I don't mind spending more on them. My kiddo's LOVE them, and they make a great "treat" for longer car rides. They aren't messy and they kids find them tasty =).

-Rotated toys. This is something my older sister does, and I'm so glad I do it too. Every couple months we pull out "new" toys from the closet and Abbey and Luke are entertained anew. Plus with only 2/3 of their actual toy collection out for play, it makes for less clean up for all of us =).

- Haven't taken away the binky yet. This one is TOTALLY selfish, but...sometimes it just comes in handy. Luke and Abbey only get their binkies (or "kinkies" as Ab's calls them) during naps and bedtime, or sometimes when we're out and about and we need to "push" them a bit longer than they'd normally allow. Last week I had to take them both to the doctor by myself, and anytime I've had to do soothe two babies post being poked and prodded at, I'm always grateful to have the binkies to help with the soothing process.

-Blogged. I am so grateful I've documented - words and pictures- my pregnancy and the twins first year and a half. Someday I hope to make the time and budget to make blog books like this Momma. It's been a wonderful way to keep family updated, a great way to journal, and fantastic for preserving memories.

How about you? What are some things you're glad you've done? I'm always looking for good ideas!! =)


Kaycee said...

We did the veggie thing too and it worked for us! Like you I have no idea if that's a fluke or not but either way I will take it. My girl eats black olives by the handful, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, etc, etc. We have also (as she has gotten older - she's 3.5 years old now) tried to NOT make a big deal out of veggies. Not pointing out "oh you ate all your veggies - good job!" that sort of stuff. They are just food we eat as part of a meal. It's worked well for us so far!

Another thing I have been so glad we did is wait until WE knew she could handle a big girl bed. She was in a crib until two weeks before her third birthday. And we had NO battles when we transitioned her to a bed. She has only come out of her room three times EVER in six months. We also left the baby monitor in there and told her she should continue to call for us when she needs us, and she has done that. Makes me feel so much better to know she's not out wandering in the middle of the night and that I can go to her in the dark when she needs me instead of her coming to me and possibly running into things.

The biggest thing - books. We have read three stories before nap and three stories before bed (age-appropriate length) since she was 4 months old. We started out with the simple picture board books that were 5 pages long and worked up from there. It's been so nice as a bedtime routine - you can read books no matter where you are! And she loves to pick out her own books now for bed. Reading is her FAVORITE thing, we read tons of books throughout the day in addition to the ones before bed. She even "reads" the stories to herself (she has some memorized and she 'tells' some of them through the pictures). I love how she loves books and I know a lot of that is just because we made it such a part of her world.

Super long comment, sorry. :)

Once Upon A Time said...

Great minds (mamas!) think alike. I recently did a post about Baby Signing Time, and today, my post talked about the food pouches. :)

Aunt Carol said...

The blog books look like a really good idea. And I'm glad "signing" has worked out so well.

Our Family said...

I did baby sign with my older DD and have started it again with my 6 mo. old. Right now we are just doing mommy, eat, more, daddy, etc. I can't wait for the moment when she signs back! I think those videos may be on Lydia's wishlist from Santa! haha :)