Monday, February 06, 2006

Family Update

I haven't done a family update in awhile. I was going to do one weekly, but so often time gets away from me. I'm afraid I'm not one of these disciplined bloggers who posts a self-portrait on Thursday and a corner of my home on Tuesday, or who reviews a certain product on Friday or whatever. I enjoy reading those disciplined bloggers, but I'm not one myself. Maybe one day, in that far-off future when I've become so disciplined and organized that I'm doing self-help workshops for people who are like I am now. *G*

Finally we are all well and back in circulation, only to have Billy come down with laryngitis. That is no fun for anyone, but particularly not for someone who speaks for a living. OK, a pastor's life is so much more than speaking, but that constitutes a lot of it. He attended church yesterday but had to have someone preach for him. Today he seems to be on the mend, but not fully up to par.

Elizabeth is reading or trying to read everything in sight. She carries her chapter books around with her just to turn the pages and look at all those enchanting words. She is looking things up in the cookbook index and reading menus at restaraunts. (So it's not too hard to figure out that the only work on the kids menu that starts "ham" must be "hamburger"--but we give her credit anyway.) I've also realized how much I've been underestimating her capabilities and so the past few days I've been helping her learn lots of new skills, like how to follow a recipe, use the mixer, and so on, how to do dishes, etc. She has blossomed and keeps saying, "I looooove my mommy!" Apparently spending time teaching her skills and enabling her to become more independent and capable has meant a lot to her. It is fun for me to see her taking off and I can also see where this will be a great help to me as she is able to do more and more herself.

When we got in the truck last night after church, Silas spontaneously started counting and made it all the way to twenty, only skipping 15. Not bad for 2 1/2. He has just picked this stuff up from listening to Elizabeth. It's amazing how much easier the second-born and later children have it in that regard. They get so much by osmosis that we firstborns must labor to learn. He has also been saying the letter sounds Elizabeth has been working on. He is not interested in writing his name yet, although he loves to draw and he will spend hours coloring or looking at books. He has a great imagination and he is constantly playing the hero, usually David and Goliath. We watched the new Zorro movie the other night and by the time it was over he had gotten his toy sword, made a cape out of a blanket, and was riding the arm of the couch like a horse.

We have been making valentines this week which the kids have also really enjoyed. Glitter and glitter glue, buttons, heart cutouts, old business cards from when I sold Mary Kay (turned upside down they are a pretty pink just right for valentines), and whatever else we can find--all this makes great valentines and a huge mess. But it's so much fun! The kids are really pretty artistic. They require a good bit of help with cutting and gluing, but their designs are original and a lot of them have turned out better than mine!

Sarah is nine months old and right on the verge of walking. She will let go for a few seconds but hasn't been brave enough to take that first step without help. I guess I am destined to have early-walking babies. Elizabeth walked at 10 months and Silas at 9.

Sarah has also decided that it is more fun to wake up about every hour at night instead of sleeping nicely. She wakes up, I bring her to bed to nurse and try to sleep, but she only likes our bed if she can have my entire side to herself, the little hog! So pretty soon I am up putting her in her crib where she sleeps blissfully for another hour...This cycle has made a zombie out of me. Last night I decided it was over. When she woke up at midnight (one hour after I went to bed), I gently but firmly layed her back down and patted her back to sleep. She was very unhappy and screamed like crazy even though I was right there patting her back, stroking her head, and talking and singing to her. However, once she went to sleep she did much better for the rest of the night and we actually got a few hours' sleep. Woohooo! I don't mind if she wakes once at night and again early in the morning, but I cannot physically mother my children and manage my home, much less sustain my marriage, when she is still waking constantly at night. Especially because I think it is just habit. I'll gladly take the night watch if my littles truly need me, physically or emotionally, and I am super-relaxed about babies sleeping through the night--but every hour at this age is ridiculous. She was very happy this morning, and has actually even napped better today than usual.

As for me, I am gearing up for my knitting workshop later this month and trying to keep my head above water with all the other things on my plate at home. I did go to the doctor because of all the fatigue and fuzzy thinking/forgetfulness/spacyness, and so on that I've had for so long. She put me on a low dose of Armour thyroid and I can already tell a difference in my energy level and mental clarity. I am not so much standing in the middle of the room thinking slowly, OK...what do I need to do next...what was I hear for anyway? I feel a lot more chipper and like that mental and emotional fog is abating. That's a relief. Maybe I will finally get something close to caught up now.

Other than all that exciting news *L* it's been pretty uneventful here. We keep hoping that we will have some winter. This week highs are in the 50's and this is one of the coldest weeks we've had so far. Oh well. I guess we can look forward to spring and summer. Maybe we can have a little garden this year. Billy and Elizabeth love growing things, and I really want to get back to gardening more as well. I think the kid in all of us just loves to play in the dirt!

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