Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaBloPoMo 2: The quick fail

Wow, it didn't take me long to fall off the bandwagon on NaBloPoMo, did it? I thought about posting twice yesterday. The first time I was at work and my brain was on rapidfire, trying to find ways to avoid grading a set of tests--but I quashed that little thought and got the tests done. The second time I was at home, but it was late and I wanted to get a stew into the crockpot for us to eat for dinner tonight since I knew I wouldn't have time in the morning. I admit that I decided that we needed to eat more than I needed to blog at that moment, but I also figured that I'd blog after I finished putting the stew together. Then Ellie woke up and that was that.

But here I am. I refuse to give up and at some point, I will do an extra post to make up for it.

So much has happened with Ellie in the last few weeks. She got her first two teeth within 3 days of each other--they're the bottom middle ones and she is adorable. I'm very grateful that she's not a chomper while nursing. She doesn't show them off very often but they're well above the gums now. She's also this.close to crawling. She gets up on all fours as often as possible and rocks back and forth, but hasn't figured out forward movement yet (though she does sometimes end up going backwards). I also appreciate that she waited until a normal age to start crawling. She's been able to sit for a while, and also get herself onto her stomach without falling, but now she's trying to get herself from her stomach into a seated position. She hasn't managed it yet but it's coming. She can also stand on her own for brief periods as long as you give her some back support. I'm just astounded at how strong she is.

She's been talking for two months or so. Just a few words and she doesn't say them often, but they clearly have meaning. She says Mama, Dada, na (for nurse), and broh (for brother). Jason and I think she's working on da (for dog) and also heh-oh (for hello). The last one sounds a lot like uh-oh and I thought that was what she was saying for a long time but she didn't seem to care when I would repeat it back to her. When I say "hello!" after she makes that sound, she gets all excited.

The boys are just enthralled with Ellie. We chose to have another child because Jason and I wanted another child, but watching Patrick and Melkamu with their little sister is just as close as it gets to perfect happiness. They are sweet with her, always wanting to make her happy and smile. Patrick loves to hold her and Melkamu loves to make faces to make her laugh. They are excellent at trying to make her happy if we're in the car and she's crying, and she loves them more than anyone else in the world. We wanted our children to be close to one another and it's so wonderful to see them caring so much about each other.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oh no, it's time for NaBloPoMo!!!

I've been particularly slack about writing this year and so I'm making the committment, for the third year in a row, to do National Blog Posting Month. Every day in November, I pledge to post something on my blog. I am, as always, taking suggestions for what you'd like me to write about.

The year has been a year of transitions. Having a third child in general is pretty easy--a lot easier than I was expecting it to be. Ellie as a third child is challenging. She's got SUCH a strong personality. She's amazingly sweet and lovable but never, ever stops. Anything. I have to hold her legs still while she nurses and even so, she's windmilling her arms around when I do that. She flat-out refuses a bottle or sippy cup of pumped milk while I'm gone, which means she nurses most of the night. The idea of her sleeping through the night is laughable. Co-sleeping is saving my sanity.

I'm still sane. Shut up.

The boys are great. Melkamu is thriving in pre-K and loves it. He's learning to write and all sorts of other things, and he loves his class and teachers. He'll be 5 in less than 3 weeks and has been eagerly anticipating his birthday party (which isn't even scheduled yet) for months and months. Patrick is doing well in second grade. He's in the regular gifted program and also the separate math gifted program, and those are keeping him challenged. That's been a problem for him in the past--he doesn't like to fail and so he'll only do things he already knows how to do--but he's really starting to step up and try new things, and be persistent in figuring them out! We're thrilled. They're playing with robots and doing programming in the gifted program and it sounds like lots of fun!

Jason's been in transition all year with regards to jobs. First, his job ended in February. Then he had a temp job in South Carolina from June through July. Then he had a temp job here for three weeks in October. He's starting a new temp job here mid-month. He likes the variety of the document review, which is great, and there's a lot of flexibility with it, so it's actually working out well for us. If it were a steady job, it would be perfect for him. But the temp jobs are doing well enough for us and we're maintaining.

Caesar is in transition--we think. At his annual appointment in July, we were told that he has a splenic tumor and only had 1-3 months to live if it was cancerous. There was an 80% chance that it was cancerous. We elected not to have it removed and biopsied because at his age (he turned 12 last month), it just seemed like unnecessary pain and trauma for him without much gain. He's at the top end of his expected lifespan anyway. So we figured we'd just love on him and make him as comfortable as possible. He started getting skinny and we were watching for signs of pain or discomfort, knowing that we'd have to bring him in if that happened.

He's doing fine. We started feeding him a bit more and he plumped right back up. He doesn't seem in pain at all. He seems completely normal. Maybe he lucked out and has a benign tumor and we'll get to have him around for years to come! (I hope, I hope.)

Anyway, it's required a constant shift around here to stay balanced this year and that killed me for writing blogs. But I'm going to make the committment that BOTH OF MY READERS will find new posts every day this month. And there will be pictures. Lots of pictures.