Tell me a story…

Jason and I have always been avid readers. I remember learning to read “Sally Books” (at least, that’s what we called them. I’m not actually sure what the collection of books is called). They were a series of books all about Sally and her family and all the adventures they went on and things they did. I loved those books. I remember reading them over and over again. And so my love for reading grew!

A few years ago we were at a shopping center in Durban, browsing a random, trinkety-type shop, and by chance I came across seven Sally Books! I was so excited – all my memories of reading those books came flooding back, and I spent our last R70 buying them. This was a good few years before we even thought of kids, but I was so excited to have these books to read to my children one day.

Story Time!

Now that we have Noah, we have made reading a priority from day one. From baby days we have read story books and Bible stories to him at bedtime. We have always chosen at least two to three stories to read at a time, even when he was too little to really understand what he was listening to. It’s been important to us that we teach him from a young age what books are, how you use them, how to look after them and that reading is fun!

And it seems to be paying off! We’ve always kept his books easily accessible for him, and so as soon as he became mobile, he would wriggle on over to his books, choose one, and start reading it to himself. And now that he is older, he will either get a book on his own, or ask us to pass him a specific book – these days, all he wants to read on his own are his Thomas and Friends books, especially the one about Arthur!

Normally, Noah and I read at least four stories before bed. I usually do story time, but there are days when Noah has really missed time with his dad, and o those days, Daddy does bedtime story time!

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Noah really seems to love this time. He’ll lie in his toddler bed, drink his “green tea”, aka Milo, and I’ll sit on the floor next to his bed and read to him. Our four books consist of a Thomas and Friends book, a Bible story, a story book from his little library and a lullaby book (we have two, which we alternate).

We are always on the lookout for awesome kids story books to get for Noah, as you can’t go wrong with investing in a good book, in our opinion! Please share any books your children love to read in the comments below. I’ll be sharing our favorite books in a few posts, over the next few weeks!

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Life With a 3-Year-Old

“I’m not a baby, Mommy, I’m a big boy!” 

That’s what I hear most days from my 3-year-old, when I call him my Baby Boy. How do we have a 3-year-old already? And how is he already able to reply to me in an adorably cheeky way, never mind the full sentences!

 

As much as I want time to slow down, I am loving watching my boy grow and develop into the young man God created him to be. I am loving watching him be a little boy –  jumping over more things, higher things; running non-stop; always ready for a wrestle or a rough and tumble!

Then there are the quieter moments. The moments where he will come to me, and give me a gentle kiss on my cheek, just because he loves me. The times where he will seek me out, just because he wants to hug me. And today…well today, he came to me, and for the first time, said to me, “Mommy, I love you!”. Just like that, out of the blue. It was the most beautiful moment. A moment I will treasure forever. Because as much as my little boy loves to wrestle and punch and play with cars, and talk to his Dad about superheroes, and laugh at anything to do with farting, he still has tender, gentle, loving moments that melt this Mama’s heart. They are moments that seem to be happening more frequently these days, and I love that!

 

Life with a 3-year-old is even sweeter. He is one year older, and getting wiser by the day. He speaks in full-sentences. He knows what he wants and what he doesn’t want…boy, does he know! I count it as a privilege to have celebrated my little man turning 3. It is an even bigger privilege to be his Mommy, and guide him through his third year. It is an honor to watch him grow, and a privilege to know that as his Mom and Dad, we get to help him learn and develop.

Life with our Noah has been an adventure from day 1. And I am excited for the adventure that awaits us, as we live life with a 3-year-old!

 

Life with a 2-year-old

A kiss goodnight…

Jason and I have always loved our sleep. We are those people who love to sleep late on a Saturday morning, have a late afternoon nap, and still go to bed at a reasonable hour that night. Don’t even get me started on a mid-week afternoon nap. It’s glorious!

Naturally, while going through our adoption process, we were aware of the very real fact that sleep was probably going to be a rare treat once baby arrived. We understood that and tried, as best as possible, to mentally prepare for that.

Enter Noah – our beautiful, chubby, rolls-for-days, seven month old baby boy. And much to our pleasant surprise, he was a relatively good sleeper. He never slept through every night, but did wake up once or twice. Sometimes, a bottle or dummy would do the trick and get him back to sleep almost immediately in his cot. When that didn’t work, we would put him in bed with us, and that worked too, in getting him back to sleep quickly. I can honestly only remember two nights where where he was awake in the middle of the night, showing no signs of sleeping any time soon. And that has pretty much flowed through as he got older. Yes, we do realize how fortunate we are!

Our biggest sleep issue, especially over the last year or so, has been getting him to sleep early enough, so that he will manage at school the next day. And it has been especially difficult since we stopped the dummy.

When Noah first came home forever, we really had no clue about most things baby, and especially sleeping, He was also quite ill in those first few days/weeks, so it took us a while to find our groove as a family of three. It was only after about the first month or so that the three of us found the sleep routine that worked best for us. And that included the gong-to-sleep routine.

Our evening routine has basically been dinner, bath, bottle, stories, prayers and sleep. Most nights, Jason would bath Noah, and I would dress him, give him his bottle, read some stories and say our prayers, then lie with hm on our bed, until he fell asleep.

I have always loved that time with Noah. Jason’s special time with Noah has always been bath time, and my special time has always been bed time. It is time that both Jason and I treasure.

Some nights, we get it right and by 7pm, Noah is in dreamland! I couldn’t believe it, when just a few weeks ago, it was 6:56pm and he had fallen asleep mid-story! I felt such a sense of accomplishment! Plus, I had an entire evening free, to do what I wanted to do – bonus!

 

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However, this is not the norm. Usually, Noah is in bed between 7pm and 7:30pm, reading stories. By 7:30pm, stories are finished, prayers are said, he is in his own bed and it is time to sleep. Which is when he decides it is time to to chat and catch up. Is this normal for almost 3-year-olds? Some nights, by 9pm, he is still wide awake. We’ve tried leaving him alone in the room. We’ve moaned. We’ve bargained. We’ve threatened to take toys away. Sometimes, something works. Sometimes, none of it works. Also, bearing in mind that most days he does not have a nap – his choice! So he is pretty tired, come bedtime. Please can someone help a mama out!

Do you have any tried and tested bedtime tricks, to get your little one to sleep? What does your evening routine look like? I’d love to hear from you!