How Do I Wear Them Out???

The fun question:

What is your favorite summer salad recipe?

Panera's Fuji Chicken Salad.  Oh wait!  You meant one I make.  Well, since my salad recipe repertoire contains exactly three salads, this isn't too hard.

Cindy's Salad

romaine, cut into chiffonade or shred

red onion, thinly sliced

bleu cheese, crumbled

poppyseed dressing

Seems like an odd combo, but if there is one salad I get asked for consistently, this is the one.

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And now the serious question:

My oldest just turned four, middle child just turned two, and the baby is 7 months. My question is, HOW ON EARTH do I wear them out?!! We play outside, spend time in the sun working in our “garden” (a patch of sunflowers,lol), play in the sprinkler or baby pool…these kids just have so much energy. Naptime is a nightmare and my four year old can not fall asleep. It is 10:15 as I write this and my four year old has been awake since we put her to bed two hours ago. The two year old head bangs at naptime and bedtime (we’ve already had him checked out by the neurologist and he’s fine physically). I think the key is for them to fall into bed physically exhausted, but I don’t know what to do. I’m exhausted–why aren’t they?!

Oh, and how do you keep the little ones from mischief while you’re nursing the new baby? That’s one I’ve never mastered!

-Andrea



Hi Andrea-

Take heart!  When they're teenagers, they'll sleep a lot.  In the meantime, I wouldn't insist the four-year-old sleep, but I would insist she rest quietly on her bed for two hours.  YOU need her to rest ;D  As for the nighttime, I would tell her the same thing as her naptime.  She must be quiet on her bed.  In fact, I might even allow a book for her to look at or a book on tape.  And a nice cup of Sleepytime tea might not hurt.  Or Benadryl.  Just kidding!

Unless they're completely wiped out, my middle kiddos stay awake for at least an hour at night talking.  I remember a guest in our home one night hearing them laugh for a while after they'd been sent to bed and asking, "Do they always do that?  Are you ok with that?"  Yep, we've always been ok with it.  These are the relationship bonders that sibling memories are made of.  You just need to decide if you're ok with it.

If the little ones can't stay out of mischief while you're nursing, it's time for some training.  I would use my high chair or playpen and keep the older one(s) there while feeding the baby.  We have a playpen set up in our bedroom right now so I can pump or nurse while the 15-month-old watches a video or just plays.  He sometimes convinces an older sibling to get him out and play with him, but if not, he stays right where he is until baby and I are done.

~Kendra