(Alternately titled, “More Than You Wanted To Know…”)

Last week, I opened the floor for questions. A few of you had them, so I’m here to answer.

Eva asked, how many siblings do you have? were you home schooled for your whole school years?

I have two brothers – JC is 2 1/2 years older than me, is married to Lindsay, and together they are the producers of Ali’s three cousins. Nick is five years younger than me and is not married.

Nick and I were homeschooled for our entire school career (except college, of course – I went to UAB (The University of Alabama at Birmingham) and majored in Accounting), and JC was homeschooled 3rd – 10th grade, going to Christian School before and after.

Lora asked,

1) I’m pretty sure that the last time you did a q&a, I asked about Ali’s sleep schedule given that she was a regular napper even at the ripe old age of 3, almost 4. I’ll reprise the question. Now that you have a non-sleeper, what do the sleep “schedules” look like in your house and how on earth are you blogging/working. :-)

Ali still naps 2-3 hours a day and complains vehemently if I make her skip her nap. And although Noah went through a very bad stage of not napping, he is in general much better now, thanks to an AMAZING book. I got really desperate during his shortest of napping phase (15 minutes to an hour twice a day) and got the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child after several friends recommended it to me.

The book made perfect sense to me. I made a few very minor tweaks to Noah’s schedule, and voila!! He immediately started napping drastically better (1 – 2 1/2 hours twice a day) and was extraordinarily more happy because of it. I highly recommend the book, although it’s ridiculously long – I also recommend skipping around to the sections that apply to you.

With that said, I still have less time than I used to, so I basically blog less and read blogs less. Before I got pregnant with Noah, I consistently wrote 6 posts a week. Now I’m usually around 4 posts per week, and I’ve just learned to be okay with that.

Also, I just work one accounting job from home now instead of two, so that definitely helps.

As to what our schedule looks like, it’s something like this:

7:30 – I get up, have prayer and bible time, take a shower.

8:00 – 9:00 – The kids get up somewhere in there, then we have breakfast and play time.

10:30 – 12:00 – Noah naps, Ali and I do school, read, or play.

12:00 – 2:00 – We eat lunch, get out of the house, see friends, etc.

2:00 – 4:00 – Both kids nap, I work and blog.

4:00 – 5:30 – We play.

5:30 – 7:30 – I either feed the kids (and Chris and I eat after their bedtime) or we all eat dinner together, play, have family time, and then put the kids to bed.

7:30 – 11:30 – Chris and I either have “Porch Time” (conversation and mochas on the porch swing) or watch TV. He often has work to do during the later hours, at which point I might do more blogging if I have the mental capacity to do so.

11:30 or midnight – We go to bed, way too late.

(Still Lora asking) 2) I’m curious about if/how you have been teaching reading. I’ve just started (very informally) with my son. When did you start, what did you use (did you use any curriculum), how well is she reading at this point, lessons learned along the way. You can answer as much or as little of that as you would like.

Ali loves anything to do with numbers, but is very resistant to learning how to read. I ordered the Hooked on Phonics DVDs for her, and although these were very rudimentary, they achieved a very valuable purpose: they helped her become interested enough to learn the basics, and definitely taught her the concept of putting letter sounds together.

After that, I tried to get her to read simple readers, but she was still resistant. She learned a lot more about basic reading and spelling from her iPhone/iPad games because she enjoyed them.

Ali likes rules and hates it when words break said rules, so I did some research and found a book called Phonics Pathways. It does a great job of concisely going through each phonics rule and exception (I’ve learned a lot, too!) and providing a listing of all related words. We’re slowly making our way through the book, and she’s really soaking a lot of it up.

She is still very resistant to reading books, but loves to read single words or phrases. She’s able to figure out most words, except for the stranger parts of the English language like “ought” and “through”. But I’m sure those will come as we continue to go through our phonics rule book.

I don’t push her too much on it, though, because she’s only four, and I want her to love reading, not resent it. So I stick with the things she likes to do and am patiently waiting for her to decide on her own that she enjoys reading.

Karen – of all the blogs you follow if you only have a little bit of time which ones are the ones you check out first so as not to miss even a bit of bloggy goodness?

This may surprise you, but I don’t read a single “infamous” blog – not Dooce, not MckMama, not even The Pioneer Woman. The main reason is that I just don’t have time. However, I do read a LOT of blogs, and a lot of AWESOME blogs – all of your blogs. I blog for the relationships and I read for the relationships. With that being said, some of my longest-lasting bloggy friends are the ones I always read first, like Rachel and Mama Hen.

Angela in Arizona – What does ROLL TIDE mean? Do you get to enjoy any tasty snacks while at the football game? It’s difficult for me to really get into football, but I love a good snack!

Roll Tide. Ummm, I have no idea. Since I was a small child, I’ve wondered why Alabama is the Crimson Tide yet has an Elephant for a mascot, and why it’s the Auburn Tigers yet they have an Eagle for a mascot and say “War Eagle”.

(Obviously, the analogies of football are deeper than I could possibly understand.)

The vague answer is that Alabama IS the Crimson Tide, so chanting Roll Tide, I suppose, would be encouraging the, um, Crimson Tide to Roll?

I dunno. I never claimed to be an expert.

(I just asked Chris and he said that decades ago, a reporter used the analogy that Alabama running down the field “looked like the crimson tide was rolling in” and it stuck.)

But snacks!! Yes, there are definitely tasty snacks involved in football. Especially considering that we arrive in Tuscaloosa in the early morning hours, regardless of game time.

(Or at least we used to, but now that we have kids we’re allowed to arrive slightly later in the morning hours.)

We tailgate with a group of 10-20 people, all of whom bring a different tasty snack each week. So there are tailgating breakfast snacks, tailgating lunch snacks, sometimes tailgating dinner snacks, and then stadium snacks. So if snacking is what you’re into, whether or not elephants and tides and first downs make any sense, then you’d love our gameday!

In fact, I was just snacking on gameday leftovers right before writing this post – whipped cream cheese + crumbled breakfast sausage + drained Rotel is absolutely the most sinfully amazing dip ever concocted.

And no, I don’t know the calorie count.

Okay, so THAT ended up being mind-numbingly long. I do apologize for my narcissistically lengthy answers. However, if you have any follow-up (or randomly unrelated) questions, feel free to ask! I’ll answer in the comments.

15 thoughts on “The More You Know…

  1. Awww, you are so sweet to mention me Rachel. I always always click on your blog when I see you in my reader. I know some good reading is in my future!

  2. I like this because I too am learning more and more. You help me with what to do to help the children at church. Being the experienced mother I am (not) I can always get ideas.

  3. I also have a reluctant reader (although he is in 1st grade, making the problem much scarier!). I’m going to try some of these suggestions. He loves my iPad, so maybe that will help!

    1. I wish there were more reading ipad apps – there are a lot of spelling, word recognition, and basic ones, but very few just READERS. I hope he loves some of them, though!

  4. I actually know the story behind Roll Tide, Crimson Tide, and Elephants.

    But, rather than producing an essay for your blog comment I’ll give you the links for the terminology in question:

    Crimson Tide: http://www.rolltide.com/trads/why-crimson.html

    Elephants: http://www.rolltide.com/trads/elephant.html

    A group of elephants is called a “tide” (kind of like a group of fish is called a “school”)… Setting a group loose to do something can be refered to as a “roll out”… SO when you want to set the elephants loose on to the field, you let the “tide” “roll”=> Roll Tide

    Hope it helps! :)

    1. What a bearer of useful information you are!! Thanks for researching my blog for me – something I was too lazy to do myself!!

      Did you see the movie about Alabama and Auburn’s rivalry on ESPN last night, by the way? It was really good.

  5. Thanks Adrienne! I,too, have wondered what in the world “Roll Tide” meant. I am not from Alabama though we have lived here 12 years. Obviously not an UA fan either:). But I have heard enough RTRs and for the life of me I couldn’t understand. However, I so get it with that explanation and now have a mission – ha – to ask the Bama fans if they know what it means! For you see….I am an LSU fan…and the saying floating around Louisiana right now is this….”just like the moon, LSU can control the Tide….”

  6. sweet! you answered my question! i feel special :). i enjoyed hearing what you’re doing with your daughter. i have some friends who were home schooled and they seem to have a leg up on it, like you do. i just hope i don’t mess up too much!

  7. Sounds like you’re doing a great job with Ali and reading. Do you and hubby model reading (i.e. show that you enjoy it?) And read to her? Something my mother-in-law did with my dsylexic sister-in-law when she was a bit older was ‘you read and page then I’ll read a page’. It keep the story moving along).

    And a supplementary question – what’s Rotel? (could Google, too lazy). :)

    1. Yup – we read to her much more than we make her read. She loves being read to!! And I’ve tried the swapping up approach, but she’s not a fan. So I usually just keep the two times separate.

      Rotel is a canned tomato and pepper product – it’s a good thing to add to dips to give it a spicy flair.

  8. Wow, I am impressed that you can stay up till midnight and still get up at 7:30 and be functional enough to do your bible study. I am so not a morning person. I’m not a night person either though. By 10:30 I’m already pestering T to go to bed. He usually gives in by 11. Getting up in time to have K to preschool by 8 has been killing me. Is it wrong that one of my biggest +’s to homeschooling would be not having to get up?? Seriously a big factor for me.

    Your schedule sounds almost exactly like ours when S was still taking a morning nap. That is one reason I am glad K is doing preschool…S makes it very difficult to do school. I might have to get that Phonics Pathways. K is very into reading but I could still use a little help with those hard to explain rules.

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