Friday, September 20, 2013

Vera's Nursery- Part 2

Still have a few more things to do- like artwork over crib, hang a shelf, change outlets to white covers...- but thought I would at least share something!  Remember how I had JR's nursery ready by 30 weeks pregnant?! :)

But we have come a long way from this:
Vera's Nursery Part 1 {here}

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Room Time

When John Ryman was just a few months old, he had a special time each day in his pack n play.  (thanks to Babywise book)  I gave him a whole box of toys that he only had access to when he was in the play pen so they seemed "new" to him. He did great and enjoyed that alone time until he got to be about 7 or 8 months.  It was too small and he spent the entire 20-30 minutes trying to scale the pack n play walls!  So I stopped for a little while and then around 9 months started doing room time.  I bought a cheap gate for the door, made sure he couldn't get into anything dangerous, turned on some music, and let him play alone for 30 minutes.  (Of course I would secretly check on him and hope he wouldn't see me) He did great because he had already started walking and knew how to get his toys out of the baskets.  It gave him time to explore and play while allowing me to get some things done quietly.  Then at some point we just kinda stopped doing room time.  Not really sure why, I guess he occupied himself  well enough and I learned to get ready and play with him. 

Last week, my mom was in for a visit and she asked if JR did room time.  She said it was one of things she loved for us when we were little.  Not only did it give her time to get stuff done, but it also taught us how to entertain ourselves and learn there are boundaries.  There are certain times when we didn't get full reign of the house just like when we were out at church or a store, we couldn't run around freely, there were boundaries.  She said we even did it when we were several years old, just without the gate, and we loved it!  So that day we tried room time again with JR.  He screamed when we first put the gate up, but after a minute or two he was off playing happily.  Of course, whenever he saw me or my mom the screaming started again, but still only lasting a minute (shorter each time). She said to make sure to end room time on a happy note, as in don't remove him from the room when he is screaming or he will think that gets him out of room time.  Instead, wait until he is happily playing, remove the gate, praise him for playing so well & then work with him to clean up his toys.

Well, we have continued room time every day since she left and John Ryman loves it!  (and I do too!!) He still screams when he sees me get the gate, but I explain how much fun he will have & asks him if he wants music... he immediately says "yes" and starts playing happily. By the way, our two favorites on Pandora are Kari Jobe & Toddler Radio, although JR prefers Kari most of the time :)  We started the first day with just 10 minutes and slowly increased to 30 minutes.  There are usually a few moments each room time where he fusses and yells over the gate, but he gets quickly distracted and continues playing and singing. 

The only problem we have had...
We have a climber!  He opened his closet and climbed all the way up to play with his stuffed animals on the top shelf of the changing table!  I knew he was a little quiet after I heard him open his closet door, so this is what I saw when I walked in.  So it's a good thing to stay close to their room and check in often :)  I may even set up the video monitor so I can watch but not let him see me. 

Just thought I would share this idea since it has been very helpful to me!  I usually try to plan it when Vera is sleeping and far enough away from JR's nap time so he isn't sleepy and plays happily.  It's amazing how an extra 30 minutes can change the entire day for this mama!

And here are a few blog posts to encourage you mamas, they are definitely worth the read:
{a holy experience}
{mama seeds}
{arielle elise}

Nap Time ?

Someone sure wakes up from a nap with LOTS of energy :)