Friday, October 21, 2011

The new plan

Hallelujah, we had a breakthrough!  I had the kids in bed and asleep at 7pm last night!  I don't remember the last night they were asleep before 8!  (Heck, I'm not sure when they last fell asleep before 9!)

After giving it some thought and getting some advice, I had decided to try doing away with naps entirely . . . at least in the short-term. However, missing the nap usually ends with Sarah having night terrors (which she did last night, poor little thing!). Nicholas seems to be past night terrors for now, but he also had them at her age when he was over-tired. Well, we're all overtired at this point, for heaven's sake

So, yesterday, I called the Catholic preschool we're thinking about for next year.  I asked a bunch of questions, one of which is whether the kids nap at school since the day is so long (8:00-2:45).  I found out that they eat lunch at 11:15, go down for naps at 11:45, and are up again at 1:15.  I started thinking about that schedule--and the fact that many people suggested shorter and/or earlier naps--and decided we'll try lunch at 11:00, nap at 12:00, up by 1:30. Yesterday, we skipped naps (except for a 15-minute snooze Nick had in the car) because I had a doctor's appointment after preschool. The kids were very cranky, but fell asleep within 10 minutes of getting in bed last night.

We'll just have to wing it on preschool days, since we don't get home until 2:00 after school. The preschool schedule is the whole reason for our current, late nap schedule. Because we get home so late on school days (two days per week), we've gone to a late nap schedule every day so as to remain consistent. Since the kids started back to preschool this fall, we have to wake them from their naps at 4:00 almost every day so that they won't sleep too late. Ha ha. I can see that they've been sleeping too late for a long time--it's amazing that they went to sleep at night so well for so long with such a late nap schedule. I blame the sleep deprivation for my inability to see the obvious problem for so long!

If we move to an earlier nap schedule, I'm hopeful that the kids might fall asleep in the car on the way home from school for those two days a week. Then they might get enough of a cat nap to make it till an early bedtime. It just confirms, though, that we need to move to a different preschool. I love the school and the teachers (and so do the kids!), but the schedule just doesn't work for us. If we can make the transition to an early nap schedule and make school days work, we'll stick it out for the rest of the year. Next fall, Sarah will be three, and that will open up a lot of possibilities for us.

The Catholic preschool (which only takes 3- and 4-year-olds) is part of a small-ish parish school. The parish is trying to revive the school, which is in an aging neighborhood. The upside of this is that there are less than 20 students per grade right now and the school is attempting to revitalize by--surprise, surprise--becoming even more orthodox. Hooray! We know a family whose kids started there this fall, so we can get some feedback from them. The cost is also significantly less per hour than our current preschool, the hours will work better for my work schedule, and it's only five minutes from my office. That means I have an easier commute, I can stop by for lunch/mass/school programs, and I'm much closer in case of emergency. The downside is that class size is large (16 3-4-year-olds to two teachers right now, with the class capped at 20) and Sarah and Nick would be in the same class.

Well, enough of my stream of consciousness. Let's see if I can knock three projects off my list in the next 75 minutes, shall we?

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