Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Update

Happy (belated!) Fourth of July!!

While we didn't go anywhere this year to celebrate, the (bigger) kids still had fun with sparklers, a workshop at the hardware store, and our traditional watermelon. W had an extra day off of preschool, so he had a nice chance to stay home on Friday, too : ).

I have begun bribing/rewarding W for working on his ABCs.  Eli goes through W's flashcards with him once every night, and I'm giving him an M&M every time he gets one right. So far, he gets 1 or 2 M&Ms each time...because he guesses "s" or "w" for each.  I'm starting to wonder if he can hear differences in consonants, and will be taking him to have his hearing thoroughly evaluated soon. Still, preschool has been hugely beneficial for him, and it definitely shows.  We've continued with preschool through the summer because he hears a ton of conversation from adults AND his peers...and he's learning so many new words and ways of communicating.  At home, he's beginning to learn to play with toys that are not cars, and I even heard him start to use his imagination over the weekend. I was also pleased to see him independently - and for the first time, correctly - get all of his shapes into the shape sorter. He's been struggling with it from Day 1, and it was a pleasure to watch him confidently match all of the shapes himself.

And Eli started a second set of swim lessons. I can't believe what a fish he is in the water. He loves it...and I am SO GLAD that we quit karate for him to swim at the Y.  Today, he swam down the short side AND the long side of the pool. He did stop a few times - 25 meters is a long way for a 4 year old - but he was SO FREAKING PROUD of himself for making it.  I'm hoping his current teacher will continue with him over the winter at an indoor pool...because ever since she mentioned swim team as a possibility next year, he's obsessing about it.
Jumping in for his lesson!
Eli's also been setting and meeting some new goals. We've finished "Life of Fred: Butterflies" and he completed the 8 book summer reading challenge from the library. Now, he's set his sights on the 16 book summer reading challenge...but he only has a couple weeks left to finish! Honestly, we've barely touched the rest of our 'summer bucket list' because the baby's kept us so busy, but we're at least trying to do some of it!

Hawaiian Shirt Day

So the new guy, on Jack's shoulder in the Hawaiian Shirt Day picture, now has a nickname... "Itty Bitty."  And as many nicknames are, it's a bit of a misnomer, since he is gaining almost a pound a week, and has already moved up to size 3 mo clothing. Of course, I cannot show his (or W's) face on the web, so this is as close as I can get.  I was just tickled that I got these guys to rock their Hawaiian shirts for the picture!

As you can probably imagine, it's been a little nuts-y over here with three kids. Itty Bitty is now down to 1 late night (2 or 3 AM) bottle, so we're at least getting two 4-hour stretches of sleep most nights.  We even got a 5 hour stretch last night, though now that I've put that it writing, it will probably never happen again : ).  Unfortunately, he's still so young that taking him anywhere - for any amount of time - seems to throw off his entire rhythm and it takes a day or two to get him back on track sleep-wise.  I cringe at the thought of having to take him shopping with me tomorrow, because I know we'll be in for a rough evening when we get back. I can't imagine what starting daycare is going to be like in a couple weeks - not to mention that today, the social worker mentioned that he would start visitation soon with a family relative.  BUT, I'm hoping it will be easier then, since he'll be two weeks older. The Fourth of July was a little rough because - even though we stayed home this year - we could hear fireworks until about 1:30 AM. Did I mentioned that Itty Bitty cried at every firework sound? Even though I turned on the white noise machine to try to distract him?? Poor baby.

Oh - and the social worker's visit today?  A complete surprise. Eli and I were still sitting around in pajamas, hair standing on end, breakfast dishes on the table and Saturday's building project all over my coffee table.  Patrick had just taken W to preschool and wasn't back yet. When she first rang the doorbell, I thought she was a random stranger, and didn't go to the door until Eli said that he thought she looked like Itty Bitty's caseworker. Yeesh!  It's not fun to have company when you're definitely looking sloppy...and I kinda did feel bad about making her wait so long on our porch.  But then - Itty Bitty made me very proud. When I took her back to his room to see him, he was soundly sleeping on his tummy (ACK!) in his crib. Since everybody in the entire USA is on the 'Back to Sleep' wagon to prevent SIDS, this initially looked like a parenting fail. BUT, I reminded his case worker that he's been rolling over since he was a week old. Sure enough, as we stood by his crib watching him sleep and chatting about his case, Itty Bitty opened his eyes and casually rolled over onto his back to see what was going on. Seeing us both just standing there, he stretched, rolled back over on his tummy and went back to sleep, giving us both the giggles...and showing the social worker that his tummy sleeping isn't my fault : ). It is definitely odd to have a rolling five week old. He's also creeping around his crib. I can put him on his back in the middle of the crib for a nap...but he immediately rolls over onto his tummy and starts traveling. For some reason, he really doesn't do the same thing on the floor yet...maybe it's too big, or his wake-time really isn't long enough yet. The pediatrician told us to lower his crib mattress a level, just in case.

Sadly, we only have a couple weeks of summer left. We've begun to see school supplies and sales already...

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