Monday, June 27, 2011

Got it!

I finally got Ellie on video rolling over from back to front!  I've been trying to catch this for the last week.  It's quick, since she was already 3/4 of the way over when the camera finally turned on, but I've already posted photos of her most of the way over and so you've seen that part.  You can tell from the ease with which she gets that bottom arm out from under herself once she's on her tummy that she's been practicing this A LOT this past week! Fortunately, she hasn't put together the fact that she can now roll both ways, or even that if she gets herself onto her tummy, she can also roll back off of it. (Phew!)

Don't blink or you'll miss it!

(And there will be a new post soon about our weekend in Charleston, which was great.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Passing time

The kids and I get a lot of calls from concerned people lately.  We really are doing OK, though we do love having so many people supporting us through Jason's job away from home.  Jason tells me that, from what he's seen of me, single parenting requires a lot of caffeine.  Thankfully this doesn't seem to bother Eleanor--she doesn't really sleep much during the day anyway and I haven't noticed a decrease in that little bit of sleep, or in fussiness or anything.  This is a very good thing.

We're keeping busy.  Last summer I worked while being home with the boys and didn't do a great job of keeping work separate from spending time with them.  I was so focused on getting the work done that I spent way more time working during their awake hours than I would have liked.  That's changed this summer.  I do some work during the day but mainly while they're in quiet time.  Most of it gets done after they go to bed.  I'm spending more time letting them have fun this summer--we've been going swimming a lot, going to our playgroup, just spending time with friends.  The kids haven't gotten really bored yet (of course, it's only been 3 weeks) and I find it's easier when they're not bored.  I have a couple of things I'm saving for rainy days or those times when they get really bored.

OK, I know you're not here to listen to me blather about things like that.  I actually have some more substantive posts that I'm slowly writing piecemeal but it's hard to find time to do this at all.  Ellie is getting more and more fun lately.  She isn't screaming as much of the time, to the rejoicing of my ears, and spends an awful lot of time cooing and babbling and such. 

She's taking an interest in toys...particularly in eating them.  Caterpillars are especially tasty when one is teething.

She's also decided that rolling front to back is all well and good, and she'd like to find out more about this whole rolling back to front thing.  In the last two days, she has managed to turn the lower half of her body from back to front and get her upper body onto the side.  All she needs is a little more upper body momentum to get that arm out from underneath and she will have officially rolled back to front.  Today I helped her with that last little bit of arm movement to get her onto her stomach, and she promptly rolled onto her back again.  It was basically her way of telling me "I've mastered about 3/4 of rolling.  One of these days, you'll look over and I'll be halfway across the room."  Because what I need is a rolling 3-month-old.

The kids are particularly cute these days.  Last night they were all sleeping in amusing ways, so I broke out the camera!  It's 95 degrees here (76 in the house).  The boys consisently choose to wear fleece and flannel pajamas.  I don't get it.

Last night Patrick also chose to bury himself in his blankets, because that's what you need in Atlanta in June.

Melkamu slept on top of the blankets but decided his feet needed the pillow more than his head.

And Ellie has been choosing to sleep sideways in the bassinet.  I put her down normally every night and she immediately squirms sideways.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making adjustments

Ellie turns 3 months old tomorrow.  That, in and of itself, is an adjustment.  She's such a fun little baby girl.  Definitely still very temperamental but hey, at least you never have to guess what she's thinking!  I'm not sure exactly how big she is now but at 2 months she was in the 92nd percentile for weight (13 lb 1 oz) and 96th for length (24+")--these are about the same percentages as her birth percentages, so she's staying on the same track.  I think she's getting it from Melkamu's side of the family.  Naturally, to maintain this rate of growth, she eats all the time still.  She slept through the night on one glorious occasion last week but other than that, she wakes up twice a night or more to nurse.  I don't actually expect her to sleep through the night regularly anytime soon.  During the day, she nurses once almost every hour.  She might go 90 minutes between nursings but somewhere within the 3:00 hour, the 4:00 hour, the 5:00 hour, the...anyway, she's probably eating. 

I'm teaching two online classes and a face-to-face lab class this summer.  It's a huge amount of work but so far it's going OK and I'm keeping up.

The biggest adjustment for us has been Jason's work.  As you know, his job ended in February and he's been looking for a new one ever since.  He got called by a legal temp agency about 2 weeks ago to do a job for most of the summer, which was great...

...except that the job is in South Carolina.  We live in Atlanta.  Atlanta is not in South Carolina.  Atlanta is too far from South Carolina to commute.

This poses several challenges.  First, a normal summer schedule at my college is two classes--the summer semester is only half the length of a normal semester, so there's twice as much work each week as in a normal spring or fall semester.  I took on a third class because Jason wasn't working and it would help us financially.  However, I also arranged these classes so that I could still be home with the kids in case Jason got a job (silly me expected that if he got a job, it would be here).  Hence, I leave to teach my lab two nights a week at 7:30 p.m., when the boys go to bed, and do my online classes whenever I have a free minute, and most other evenings.

So basically, it's worked out like this:  I am currently working 50% more than full-time, while also home full-time with the kids, one of whom is a newborn who doesn't sleep through the night and won't take a bottle.  (Don't ask me how it works to be a full-time SAHM and a full-time WOHM/WAHM at the same time.  There is no answer.)  Jason is renting a room in a house in South Carolina and came home last weekend, but won't be able to come home again for several more weeks because he's expected to work on the weekends.  Which means I am also doing everything around the house that I'd normally do plus everything he normally does.  Like mowing our lawn.  Have you seen our lawn?  It's like mowing a black-diamond ski slope in 95F temperatures.

I miss Jason and his lawn-mowing prowess.

The kids are bearing up as much as possible.  Melkamu says "I miss Daddy" at least 10 times a day.  Patrick will be doing something and say "I have to remember to tell Daddy about this when we talk to him."  We're doing all we can to keep up and keep the house together.

And we really, really miss Jason.  It was such a nice surprise to have him come home last weekend--we didn't know he'd be able to but they apparently got their first weekend off--but know that he won't be able to do it often.  He won't be home for Father's Day weekend, and our 12th anniversary is the next day.  That's particularly hard, knowing he won't be here to celebrate his first Father's Day as a dad of three.

We'll adjust as much as we can, and hope that he's home as soon as possible.