I am enjoying where my kids are at in life. I really wish life was a little more slowed down for me so I could enjoy them more and get a handle on some things, but on the other hand, I'm so excited to be earning a Masters degree, and learning what I am learning. My experience in this program is turning out to be life-changing and while that makes it very difficult for me, I am loving the benefits of my hard work and actually even love the hard work. Most days. Also, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I have so much to learn before I reach that light, but it's nice to see an end to this crazy schedule.
Presently we are waiting to hear from PA schools for J. We have a good backup plan if he doesn't get in this round. We have no idea what kinds of things hold more weight than others. He's pretty well-rounded in all the requirements and above average in most, but we'll see! It's kind of exciting to both be working toward higher degrees and positive changes in our lives. J has enjoyed the "science-y" classes he's had to take, and they've been a challenge as well. Between him regularly telling me things like the breakdown of DNA or the make up of other molecules and Bo incessantly talking about the presidential race, I spend a lot of time feeling particularly brilliant in my own home. It's all good. They don't know how to reflect meaning like a boss, so there!
I feel like AJ has gotten the shaft on life documentation. So naturally, I'll need to make up for that. Brace yourself, here come the baby stories. I will keep the poop and spit up stories to a minimum. Maybe.
She is ten months now. I just noticed within the last week or two, her actively trying to engage and initiate "conversation" or play. I love seeing all the little developmental things...well, develop! We taught her the sign for "milk" when she was 6 months old. I did it to work up to when she was 9-10 months and she could then say it back (what the books say to do). She started using it within a week. I was shocked, but it was awesome to have that communication barrier removed so early. Only problem is, she now will ONLY do that sign and it means whatever she wants it to. Much like Bo's sign for "more" meant whatever he wanted, but mostly candy.
Today the neighbor girl came over and AJ was delighted to see her and immediately started moving her lips (without sound) and making hand motions that seemed to be a combination of "milk, more, and popcorn popping on the apricot tree". She just really wanted to engage so she pulled out all the stops.
We have a four seasons room that we've dubbed the "fun room". It has toys, books, a computer, and a futon. AJ has taught herself to climb up on the futon, which is terribly cute. Then she can alllllllllmost reach the computer which she tries desperately to do every 5 minutes. She can reach a small shelf which for some reason makes her feel awesome. She climbs up and yells, sings, tears things apart, and slaps wildly at the keyboard she can't quite reach. She actually reminds me a lot of my nephew Thomas when she does this. It's this tiny little human acting like king of the world that's so darling.
Since she's showed some interest in the toilet recently, we've started potty training. It hasn't really worked out well, but I KNOW she's interested because she's constantly crawling to the toilet and trying to eat toilet paper.
Danyo is enjoying an "extra year" at home with us. I've noticed when I tell people "yes he's five but we kept him out a year" that a lot of them kind of try to make me feel better about having a stupid five year old. It's really kind of sweet, but it's also funny. I have no embarrassment about keeping Danyo out an extra year. I sometimes regret putting Bo in, even though academically if he was still in 3rd grade he'd probably be dying. Danyo is learning to schmooze even better, working at keeping his temper under control, and perpetually charming the socks off of all of us. He's just so dang cute. This morning he sat on the edge of my bed, hanging his head down dejectedly, with one arm wrapped around a giant teddy bear named Teddy (he gets ridiculously creative with his animals names, we have a "Beary" and a "Hoppy" and a "Chocolate Moosey") and his other hand clutching his blankie, "I just wanted to snuggle with you the whole night. I just want to snuggle right now too." How do you say no to that? I don't. He is my kryptonite. In more ways than one.
One of the very cute and sweet things I've noticed Avee doing lately...well, a little background first. My schedule is ridiculous right now. I'm gone a lot but also come and go a lot. Sometimes I'll rush home for a stolen 45 minutes to snuggle the baby and nurse her and hear about the kids' days. Or I'll have a more lax day with appointments and obligations scattered throughout the day. Usually when I have to get to class, I'm rushing because I think I can travel in the blink of an eye and that there's never any traffic to contend with, so I never budget enough time. The last few times I've been rushing to get out the door, Avee has filled my water bottle with ice water, put my bag by the door, and last week, grabbed a wonton off the table for me to eat, since I didn't have time to eat dinner with the family. It's so nurturing and thoughtful and pro-active. There is so much about this girl that I adore. I think both J and I just kind of stand back in wonderment that she is ours. I know a lot of people get to enjoy this feeling with their children. It's a good feeling.
I'm learning to not harp on Bo so much. It's so crazy, even though I KNOW it's not helpful or could be damaging, and that I have more unrealistic expectations of him because he's my oldest, I sometimes simply can't stop myself. I've been trying really hard to be conscious of this and reign it in a bit. His latest is to say, "I thought you said..." about EVERYTHING and it will be what he thought I should have said, or what he hoped I'd said, or what his lack of attention led him to do and he fills in the blank. It drives me NUTS. I should just let it go and say, "no, what I actually said was..." but instead I just want to whack him over the head with a plastic bat. He's developing an even better sense of humor and that's fun to watch. He watches these goofy sketches on Youtube, usually grown men acting goofy in public, and then he imitates them. Like this: I don't have the patience to watch the videos myself, but when he imitates them, it almost always makes me laugh out loud. He's obsessed with the election and even when playing with AJ he says things like, "Hi sweet baby, do you wanna talk about the financial crisis, huh sweet baby, huh?" It's pretty entertaining. He's only kind of trying to be funny, mostly he's just saying what's on his mind.
He has written letters to Ohio and Wisconsin to try and persuade them to vote for Romney. If you've been reading this blog for a few years, you'll remember that last election the obsession was with Obama. He has taken this obsession much further since his little mind is capable of understanding more. His teacher has decided to let them have a mock election on the election day and Bo has taken it upon himself to convince the Obama people to vote Romney and address their concerns one by one. He's also determined he'll give a speech on election day, his teacher doesn't know this yet.
Excerpt from his letter to the states....oh dear, I just read it. I can't take an excerpt, it's too funny to slice up.
J is so much better about keeping a straight face than I am. Unless it's addressing four-year-old Avee's act of stealing a bean bag from her preschool by way of her underwear. Then he's useless.
Well, this is probably already much too long for most of my closest friends to read. I feel like I should include some pictures or something. I'll go round some up.