Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Screen Time

It may not come as a surprise to most, Dean being Matt's son and all, but he is totally addicted to the computer. He could seriously go all day without TV or Wii (though he likes them), but I take away computer privileges, it's pure torture for him. As of right now, I let him spend about 2.5 hours of total screen time per day, and most days that is 1/2 hour of curious george and the rest is computer.

First of all, I have some internal conflicts about how much time he should be spending on the computer/TV/Wii. Of the three, I think TV is mostly a useless time waster and I hate having it on during the day (I never, ever turn on the TV for myself until after the boys are down and I'm doing chores or taking a break). I love Curious George, so I don't mind that being on, and there are a few other good kid programs I can tolerate, and Dean only watches PBS or videos we get from the library. It is the easiest for me to cut off. The Wii doesn't have many redeeming qualities though it does get him to move on some games. The computer, however, has tons of educational games, computer skills are super imperative to have these days, and I have no doubt that he will be a "computer guy" (in some form, be it professional or not) like his dad. He can navigate the internet incredibly well for a 3 year old. He figured out how to find angry birds by sounding out and typing in a web search. I don't think he spelled it 100% correctly, but it was close enough that he could click on the top search and it was it.

Dean has never enjoyed playing with toys. Never. He has loved learning shapes, colors, numbers and letters, and scissors, and how to read,  but he never really plays with toys. By the time he was 2, he could sit and successfully use the mouse at a computer. He would much rather find someone with a phone that he can play with than play with cars or trains, etc. Once he started preschool, he learned how to play a little better, but it's still takes a lot of effort on my part.

A typical day in our house looks something like this:
  • The boys wake up between 5:40-6:15 am.
  • We run at 6:30 with the boys in a stroller.
  • We get home around 7:30 and make breakfast; Dean is already hounding me to turn on the computer.
  • I usually let him play while I clean up the kitchen and take a shower.
  • I try and get out of the house every morning by 9:30-10 either running errands, going to the library, the park, beach, or pool. If I don't, his screen time is used up very quickly and then I feel like I have to entertain Dean the rest of the day.
  • We usually get home around 11:30/12
  • We eat lunch and I put Walter down for a nap.
  • I read books to Dean and inevitable get crazy tired and start nodding off while reading the third book.
  • I'm so tired by then that I let him go play the computer (even if he's out of time) and I take a 1/2 hour nap or so.
  • He usually likes to save 1/2 hour of screen time for the afternoon when I'm making dinner, so I generally make him get off and I either play with him or have him help me with chores until Walt wakes up.
  • Dean, Walt, and I play until about 4.
  • I usually make dinner from 4-5 when I turn on TMBG's Here Come the 123's or ABC's for Walt and Dean uses his last 1/2 hour on computer. (It's really way too hot here right now for me to just send them outside to play.) We eat around 5.
  • After dinner I clean up and Matt either plays with the boys inside/outside or they watch him play his computer games.  When that runs out steam, Dean usually wants to get back on the computer.
  • We get them ready for bed a little before 7, we read books and whatnot and have them in bed with the lights out between 7:15-7:30 most nights. Some times it's 8, but I don't like those nights because it really only buys me about 15 min. in the morning, if that.

I feel like it's a constant battle of trying to limit the time. If I don't have something concrete, he naturally gravitates back to my computer and I either give in or force him off again.  Then you add in friend time and it seems as though most play dates at other kids' homes result in playing wii.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but what I want to know is, if you limit screen time, what do your kids do during the day? Do they mostly play on their own, or do they require a lot of individual time with you? Do you have lots of structured activities? Was it different with your first child than your subsequent children? It bothers me sometimes how much he's on, but I'm also wondering what more/differently I need or could do. Even at the library now they have computers in the kids' section and that's all Dean wants to do while there. It's a library! Aren't we trying to get kids to step away from computers and look at a book for heaven's sake?  I have to admit, I let him play while I choose books most days because it then means I only have to wrangle one child while filling my bag.

It's so foreign to me because I didn't ever really play nintendo or atari, or the computer growing up. There were periods in my life where we had no cable. But I was also the 6th child, so I had a lot of siblings to watch, play with, and copy.  I read and played the piano a lot, but I don't have many memories of being pre-literate. And then there's Matt. It's hard for me to say to my kids, "It's not good for you to sit on the computer all day" because that is what Matt does the vast majority of his day every day.  Blah. I just don't have the answer on this.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

And salty really sounds good

Well, it's that time again. You know, the time I announce that WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY!! That's right. Bras(s) baby #3 will join our family early February 2012.

To answer some FAQs:
I am currently 7 weeks, though I am already undeniably showing. I think I will start my belly pics next week.

I've been feeling quite good so far in the way of nausea. I've only had a couple of "oh I think I'm going to puke" moments thus far.

I have been quite tired. I haven't figured out if that's due to pregnancy or the fact that my kids have been waking up between 5:30 and 6 am for the past 3 months or so. Probably both. I've been going to bed earlier, but boy some mornings are hard to get up. But for now, I'd rather put my kids to bed on the earlier end and have an evening of not being mommy than sleep in.

I am hoping we have a girl, but if we have another boy we will be just as happy.

I had two previous c-sections (one emergency and one planned) and felt kind of coerced into the second one since Matt's reasoning was "would you rather die or have a c-section?" and my doctor didn't seem too keen on the idea. What's done is done. I really, really, really want to avoid another c-section (recovery with other small children was WAY harder than when I just had a new little baby, plus I feel like it really contributed to postpartum blues for me), so I'm going to start doing consultations with ob-gyns and midwives who will consider vbacs after 2 c-sections. There is one in Denton (about 30 min. away) who is fairly famous for having a high vbac success rate, and has delivered successful vba2c and vba3c even. We'll see what happens, though, since Matt's really not supportive of it.

As for cravings, nothing specific but salt. Salty foods have sounded sooo good to me. Even things like tomatoes with a generous dusting of salt. It doesn't just have to be greasy foods, though chips and the like have sounded good too. The other day when I was eating chips and salsa, I was salting each individual chip. I know. Hopefully I can cut back on that before it starts making me retain a lot of water! =)

I've still been running 4 days a week and lap swimming 1. I just borrowed a road bike from friends and I'm hoping to start riding about 12-15 mi. one day a week. We'll see how long I can do that before I start bumping my belly. I wanted to do a tri-sprint in Sept, but I'll be 18 weeks and last time at 18 weeks I was pretty pregnant! There is one in July, but I don't know if I can feel confident biking by then. I'm quite the beginner, and this 26 year old road bike is much, much trickier than anything I've ever ridden.

I think the kids will do okay with it. Right after we found out we were pregnant, Dean told me (we hadn't told him we were pregnant yet) that he wanted to go to the hospital and bring home and new baby that day. I explained it didn't quite work like that and told him it was a much longer process. Today Dean randomly rubbed my newly protruding tummy and I told him that there was a baby growing inside. He seemed excited. Much better than last fall when he told me he didn't want any more kids in the family because "Walter was enough brother."

We're excited though a little scared to be out numbered. I'm already starting to feel the same sadness about not living near any family that I had when I had Walter. It was really, really hard for me to not have family around last time. Hopefully it will be better this time though. Or maybe I can convince Matt to move somewhere closer. Yeah right. Not impossible, but not probable either.

And finally, I'm really happy to not be 9 months pregnant during another Texas summer!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chomp, chomp, chomp. Timber!

The other night when I went to a Relief Society meeting, Matt taught Dean and Walter the "tree chopping" game.  He would "chop" their legs and push them backwards onto the bed. They LOVED it and begged me to play it with them the next couple of days. Dean got to the point where he was chopping himself, but the funniest part to me was how he'd say, "chomp, chomp, chomp." Here's a video of it.

Untitled from Celia Brasfield on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wallow fire

A couple months ago my grandparents needed a little extra help at home and my parents uprooted themselves and moved to Mesa to help them out. They are saints I tell you. They're back home and taking care of my grandparents in Snowflake now for the summer, but right before they returned home, the wild fires in northern AZ broke out on May 29th.

If you haven't heard about the fire, it's awful!  As of today, the wallow fire has burned 519,319 acres (click here for a day by day progression of the fire. It's incredible how quickly it spread and how long it's been going!) and is the largest fire in AZ ever recorded. It is 58% contained, so at least they're making some progress. My sister and her family were evacuated from their house in Eager for a week and went to my parents' house 100 miles away.  You could see the smoke plume from Snowflake that looks like an A-bomb went off, but at least they could breath.They're now back in their home. Her husband, Mark, is a forest ranger and was fighting a different AZ fire when it started.  He got home during the evactuation and has been working on forest recovery before he goes to fight the wallow fire. She said, " It was a little smokey for the first two days that we were home, but now you can't really tell the the forest is still burning.  Mark has been working 12-16 hours a day.  This week it hasn't been too bad.  He is mostly working on forest recovery right now.  I haven't been able to see any of the damages because the roads are still closed, but Mark says that some of the prettiest parts look really bad.  I'm just glad that most of the homes around here were saved.  The fire that is burning near Sierra Vista has burned around 60 homes.  It's so sad.  That was a beautiful place, too.  We use to picnic up that canyon."

I am so grateful for the men and women who are risking their lives, giving their time, and giving up their comfort to fight this beast.  Beside my brother-in-law, one of my best friend's father has fought it as well.

Monday, June 20, 2011

All about my dad, by Dean

Taken on Valentine's day 2011
In church they did a little survey about the kids' dads. Here are Dean's answers.

Things my dad likes:
Favorite food: Tacos
Favorite dessert: Cake
Favorite game to play: Wii
Favorite sport to watch: Basketball (where he got this, I have no idea. I'm really surprised he didn't say hockey.)
Favorite sport to play: soccer (same. I don't think Matt's ever played soccer in his life. I don't think he's ever even kicked the ball to Dean)
My favorite memory with my dad is:  play memory with dad

My dad is the best in the family at: work. He works best.
At his job, my dad:  works at work
When not at work, my dad likes to: play wii (really? even though he's on the computer like 95% of his time?)

My dad is 12 years old.

My dad is 6 ft tall
My dad weighs 50 lbs.
My dad has green hair.
My dad's eyes are hazel.
My dad likes to wear: Robot suit (hahahahah. love this one. Plenty of robot shirts but no robot suits.)
My dad is special to me because he works.
Once when Matt was working out of town I suggested we pray for dad because he was working so hard for us. Ever since then Dean says in almost every prayer (even blessings on food) "Thank you that dad works so hard every day except not on Sunday."  He's so funny. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Oh what do you do in the summertime?

Sorry I've been MIA. Apparantly blogging is something I don't do in the summer time much...or in 2011. I have my theories about this, but that will be for another post.

Summer is here in full force with temps in the high 90s and low 100s the past 2 weeks. Basically the only thing we can do outside now involves water. Last week we got to go to Lake Ray Roberts, a favorite from last year. I don't think I snapped one picture last year (I don't really want to risk our camera getting sand in it, and we don't have a phone camera), but my friend Erin took this one of Walt last week.  I have to say it was much more enjoyable with a 2 and 3 year old  than a 1 and 2 year old. I was happy with my purchase of longsleeve rash guards for the boys. Dean still got a little burned under his eyes, and Walt got a little burn on the back of his neck, but overall it was much better than usual.

Yesterday I busted out the sprinklers in hopes of getting the boys prepped for splash pads at the parks. They're both fairly terrified of the splash pads and getting sprayed with water in their faces. I bought some swimming goggles the other day and haven't had them try them out yet. When I asked Dean if he wanted to try goggles, he ran inside and got his work goggles. It was so cute I didn't even try and get the swimming goggles on him. Walter was a little unsure if he liked the swimming goggles, but he kept them on for awhile.

And when we are inside, we do things like....have a dance party! Dean made me play Twist and Shout over and over again. He was having sooo much fun today at our dance party. Walt got his incredibly cute groove on for awhile, but Dean stole the show today.