Words cannot express how happy I am that school is about to start. There will be no more fighting (at least during school hours) with the big kids and I can have a schedule again. I finally get why moms dread the dog days of summer. For me, it is because my children turn into dementors. They pretty much have sucked the joy out of all things fun this summer (I like them still, but seriously???? ).
We are going to have another summary post because I am very lazy. AND, I never get on the computer anymore and I just want to get a #*$&@ laptop and be done with it already. I want my blogging life back.
--We have our new nanny Maria. She is AN. ANGEL. STRAIGHT. FROM. HEAVEN. I worried about the expense and drama of having someone in our home all the time while I was here (some of the time). She is awesome. It is like having a smarter, more patient version of myself here with the kids. When I am running around trying to be the kids fed so we can get out the door, she has the time to help Norah (and at some point, Grace) practice the things she needs to learn how to do on her own; walking, dressing herself, going down the stairs, using a fork, etc, etc. I have seen SUCH changes in Norah already. She is confident and sassy. She is not a baby anymore (and as Maria told me on about day four "you must stop doing everything for her and stop treating her like a baby"). I am so proud of Norah and how hard she is working. I watch Maria turn every single experience during the day into a learning lab. Me too. Sometimes Maria deals with the big kids and I do the littles. All day long there is an internal dialogue running through my mind and it goes something like this "who can I make this activity help Norah practice her gross motor/fine motor/social/cognitive/speech skills?" All day long. It is work, but it is also WORKING.
--Grace is so cute and happy. She has a special face that is reserved only for her father (or, in her world, the bringer of all things wonderful). It is a sight to behold. It is almost like her face will split in half because she is so happy. I am still dealing with my issues over her life and future but have gotten to the point where her Down Syndrome is so much a part of who she is that while I still wish I could change it, there is the fact that changing that would change who she is because it is part of who she is...and I like here just how she is now. Confusing? Yes.
--Jacob has finally, finally mastered the potty. He has also mastered riding a bike with no training wheels. I really didn't think those things would happen in the same month, but this kid always surprises me. He also just figured out the whole "I am sick, can I have a Popsicle/candy/stay up later" thing. Good boy. I am always amazed and thrilled to see how gentle and kind he is with the little girls, especiall Norah. The other day he came in to tell me that she had taken her diaper off. He was very quick to follow up with "Mom, it was an accident. Don't get mad at her, just take a sticker off her chart, don't get mad mom". For the record, I don't get mad when NORAH takes her diaper off, but I do get mad when JACOB decides to take his big boys off and use the backyard as a bathroom.
--Lu has an opinion on what she wears. There is an excellent chance that anything I like, she will hate and vice versa. We had quite a time finding a dress for her baptism (for all you non LDS readers out there...in our church kids are baptized at age 8 and some families get a special "sort of nicer than a normal church dress" dress for their kids. Our main difference is that she wanted to look like a street walker (in the sweetest 8 year old way) and I wanted her to look 5. We finally found something that both of us liked, and by that I mean it had sleeves and no rhinestones and was longer than her knees. For her that meant she chose the color and it was the one dress that fit my standards but I liked the least. We both win/lose. Good times ahead for this mama and daughter team. I need to fortify myself before I will even think of school shopping with her.
--Derek has been working hard. It is a blessing to have work that he loves and does so well, but I had forgotten how it used to be. He used to put in these kind of hours all the time. Now it is the odd week or two, but still. I am thankful for his hard work and how well he takes care of our family. It isn't easy to pay attention to all the kids, help me out and do the things needed around the house all on 3-4 hours of sleep. But he manages to do it and I am very, very thankful for that. I am also thankful for the thousands of times when it would be so easy to snap at the kids (because after all, he is tired too and has put in a full 8 hours of work by lunch time) but instead he almost always puts on a patient face and listens to them (because seriously... they want to say more in the last 5 minutes of the day than in the rest of the day put together). Just when I think I can't hear ONE MORE Sponge Bob quote, he saves the day and acts interested. He sees them so little each day that it isn't OK for him to be short with them. It isn't technically ok for me to be short with them either, but they get other interaction with me all day long. He gets that and is really, really good about it.
--Me..... I am busy, busy, busy. Shocking, right? Mostly I am just spending my time taking children to doctors, therapists, preschool and trying to fill the needs of all my kids. I am tired. I can do this, but it might take more Diet Coke than normal. I am thankful for the DVD player in the minivan that lets the kids watch their kids stuff while I listen to things like books on tape and NPR..things that make me feel like my mind is still KIND OF working. I am meeting lots of really cool people that I might not have crossed paths with if I wasn't doing all the stuff for the little girls. I am very thankful for that.
We are off to Utah for a visit with friends and family in just a few hours. We have a few birthdays, two anniversaries and some hard core catching up to do while we are gone. I am looking forward to having my mom pay attention to my kids, teaching Lu to water ski, sleeping in, eating at Dairy Keen, celebrating my 11th anniversary and eating at Training Table this week (I am seeing a food theme....).
Happy End of Summer to you all! See you in a few weeks.