Wednesday, August 31, 2011

5-minute post

Just a few things because I'm going to bed in a few minutes but it's been a while since I've posted.

My brother came to visit last week.  It was great.  He hadn't made it down here since Patrick was just under a year old (though we've seen him when we go to NY) and it was so nice to have him visit.  The kids just loved having him here.  Well, Ellie took a couple of days to warm up but the boys had a blast playing soccer and reading and generally being insane with Uncle Sean.

My camera's flash card is missing.  I am freaked out because my regular laptop has already died and ALL of my digital pictures are on it.  I know those can be saved, so those don't worry me too much, but every baby picture of Ellie since about 3 months on is on that flash card and I have no idea what happened to it.  I'm about to conduct a completely throrough search that involves moving major pieces of furniture and/or appliances as necessary until it's found.

Melkamu loves loves loves pre-K so far.  He gets to play with his friends everyday again (he's been out of daycare since shortly before Ellie was born) and is so proud to have little homework assignments to do.  Yesterday he got to fill in a page all about himself and he drew pictures of our family, glued on wooden beads, and wrote his own name.  It's awesome to see how much he loves school already!

Ellie's decided that moving is fun.  She actually decided it months ago when she started rolling but now she log-rolls, wiggles, army crawls, and squiggles until she gets where she wants to go.  It's surprising how fast she can move when she wants!  Today, for the very first time, I watched her pushing herself up as high as she could on her arms and also trying to raise her bottom at the same time.  Since she can get her knees under herself and push already, once she manages to get her bottom up with her arms also, she'll be off and crawling.  I hope I'm not off on my crawling estimate of 7 1/2 months but I'll be surprised if she's not crawling by then.

OK, bedtime!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Awesome things about being a parent...

1. Indoctrinating your children to be the next generation of fans to your favorite sports teams! Oh yeah, they're all wearing their Dolphins shirts! Are you ready for some football???

(And yes, they all also have Red Sox shirts.  They may also get Falcons shirts.  They will not, however, be getting Braves shirts.  I grew up too much of a Mets fan for that.)

2. Seeing your oldest child so excited to start second grade, and to know he's off to a really good start! Patrick has a new teacher who seems great so far.  We're hoping for a great year for him and know that he's going to learn a ton!

3. Watching your middle child write his first words on his own, without any help from Mama or Daddy! Melkamu's really wanted to learn to write for the last few weeks.  We've been trying really hard not to push him until he was ready but, like he often does, he decided he wanted to do it and is figuring it out.  He's been working on the letters of his name and has that pretty well--needs a little help but can write it entirely himself.  Today, though, he was watching Elmo's World on Sesame Street and, after the intro was over, he went and got a piece of paper and a crayon.  He wrote the "ELO" part and then asked me what it said.  I knew where he was going with it and said "If you put in an M, it will say ELMO."  And he did!  I could not be prouder of how much he is learning lately, and can only imagine how he will blossom when he starts Pre-K in 10 days.

4. Realizing your youngest child can sit on her own for 20 seconds or more at a time!  Ellie's been pushing up so high on her arms and I knew she could hold herself up with minimal help but I discovered today that she really doesn't even need the minimal help as much as I thought she did.  I am constantly astounded by how strong my daughter has become!

It's been a good week for us, in case you couldn't tell :-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ellie at 5 months

videoI love watching my kids growing and turning into the people that they become.  It's one of the most awesome things about being a parent.

Eleanor turned 5 months old yesterday and is such a unique little person in this family!  She is such a big girl, so long and perfectly chubby, and is so strong.  I don't think I posted that at 4 months, she was 16 lb 7 oz (93rd percentile) and off-the-charts for height...but she has my little pinhead in the 40th percentile.  Those are exactly the same percentiles as when she was born, so she's staying the course! 

She was holding her head up briefly the night she was born and has continued to have fast muscle development ever since.  She rolled front-to-back at 5 weeks 6 days old old, back-to-front at 3 months 12 days old, and is currently working on pulling her upper body into a sitting position (and I really mean currently, since I'm typing one handed with her on my lap).  She can stay sitting without support briefly and is getting better at balancing like that every day.  She pushes up so far on her arms while she's on her stomach that she can get her whole upper body off the floor and can also get her knees under herself and tries to push.  If she puts those two together, we're in trouble ;-)  I'm predicting 7 1/2 months for crawling for her.  Let's see how close I am!

Jason and I have always subscribed to the belief that babies can't do everything at once--they'll develop physical skills for a while, then hold constant at that level of physical development while they work on verbal skills, and so forth.  Ellie kind of does everything at once.  She's doing wonderfully on physical skills, and is such a talker!  She babbles all sorts of sounds--dadada, bababa, nanana, mamama--and recently has taken to blowing raspberries.  The other day she was babbling "Dadadada" and then blowing raspberries.  Jason said "Oh great.  She's waited 5 months to tell the world that Daddy is gassy."

Here she is with Jason and her crinkle lion.  She also has a crinkle elephant and crinkle dog, and they are her absolute favorite toys.

She also recognizes certain words.  One of her all-time favorites is "nurse", as in "Do you want to nurse?"  It calms her instantly if she's upset and frequently she'll use her "na" sound when I say that.  I don't think she's *quite* to talking yet but she really, really wants to.  Who would have figured that we'd have another chatterbox in this family?  I figured she'd be very close-mouthed and taciturn like her brothers.

I think I just cracked a rib trying not to laugh.  BWAHAHAHAHA!

Anyway...

Speaking of her brothers, nothing--and I mean absolutely nothing, not even nursing--makes her happier than Patrick and Melkamu.  She lights up as soon as she hears their voices, turning towards them and smiling and babbling to them.  She grabs for them (especially Patrick's hair), smiles and laughs when they give her hugs and kisses, and tries to get to them if they're not right next to her.  For their part, they are awesome big brothers.  Patrick sings to her whenever she's upset and Melkamu always wants to give her hugs and kisses.  They both adore her and the level of hero-worship that she has for them is impossible to resist!

Ellie still doesn't nap much or sleep through the night but we do think the napping is improving in the last two weeks.  She's actually started falling asleep during the day and, as long as we don't move her from where she is, she'll stay asleep for a while.  Unfortunately, as she usually falls asleep in some inopportune place (the couch, the floor, our waterbed), we can't leave her there to sleep unattended and trying to put her in her crib generally wakes her.  Since she's nursing, we co-sleep a lot at night.  We usually start the nights in our own beds (her in a crib, of course) and then when she wakes up hungry, I'll lay down with her, latch her on, and go back to sleep.  She does sleep for one or two 4-5 hour stretches most nights, along with some shorter ones, and stays asleep until about 7:30 a.m.  Because we co-sleep, I don't feel particularly sleep-deprived.  It's not much interruption in sleep to grab her from her crib and lay down with her nursing so the fact that she's not sleeping through the night really isn't a problem.

My Ellie-bean prefers draft exclusively--straight-from-the-tap or not at all, in her mind.  And hey, who doesn't prefer draft to bottle?  It's made things a little tough for her at times when I've had to teach in the late evenings but up until now hasn't really been an issue.  It will become more of one when I go back to work in the days next week.  Jason will be home with her but since she won't take a bottle and won't start solids for another month, she may be hungry quite often.  I suspect they'll take some trips to my office so I can nurse her.  We've also got some new sippy cups and are going to see if she will drink expressed milk from them.  If not--well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  I have heard about reverse-cyclers who won't take a bottle during the day while the moms are at work but nurse a lot more at night to make up for it and suspect that's probably what will happen.  It's also the reason that I haven't worried about her not sleeping through the night.  Why try to get her to sleep through now when she's going to need more nursing time then if she still refuses to take her milk any other way?

She's changing so much every day.  Her eyes are still a pretty blue-gray but are showing a little more brown, so it will be interesting to see if they stay blue-gray like Jason's or turn brown like mine.  Her hair is definitely blonde and is starting to get longer.  Poor baby is going to have a mullet for a while.  We're about to switch to 9-12 month clothes (hello fall consignment sales!) and are getting a highchair so she can sit with us at meal times (since her current mealtime position, sitting on my lap, is harder to maintain now that she can reliably grab my plate and try to pull it off the table).  She likes to be in the middle of everything and doesn't want to miss a minute of the excitement.

I love getting to know Ellie and finding out who she is!  The first term I used to describe her is always "sweetie", closely followed by "strong-willed".  Both of these are good qualities to have and I can't wait to see what she does with them in the future!

Friday, August 5, 2011

*Tap tap tap*

Is this thing still on?

Ahem...

You may have noticed that I disappeared for awhile.  I know you were anxiously awaiting another installment of The Morrey, The Merrier's antics because it is such a shining beacon in an otherwise dreary day.  I'm sure that this blog signifies hope, love, light, and courage that brings you joy and happiness.

The silence coming from your end suggests that I might have been mistaken.  How embarrassing.

It's been an interesting summer at Casa Morrey. Jason was gone for 7 weeks. It was a tough 7 weeks, though I have to admit that I feel something of a sense of pride that I managed to hold everything together on my own.  We saw Jason several of those weekends and I did have a lot of help.  Jason's wonderful mom came in to help me during a week when my babysitter was away, other friends helped when I had meetings, and my dad came to help during finals--but all of us were surprised and thrilled when Jason was able to come home for good at the same time!

Despite being insane with work (3 classes, 2 of which I'd never taught fully online before), I survived the summer home with the kids by not sleeping much and consuming copious quantities of sugar and caffeine.  The boys say they had a good summer and that's really what matters--they were already going to be dealing with enough with Jason being gone, so I didn't want them also to have a mama that was always working during the day.  We had fun with playgroup, lots and lots of playdates, trips to Charleston and Florida, and canning.

OK, *I* had fun with canning.  I can't vouch for the kids.  They had fun with the berry picking and the farmers' market outings to get the things that went into the canning process, at least!

I'm sensing thoughts of "Where are the damned pictures?" from your end of the computer.  I'll just get to them, shall I?

The trip to Charleston!  We spent a day on the beach. Kamu got knocked down by a wave within the first few minutes and decided he didn't like the ocean, so he spent the day building sandcastles.  Patrick was in the water, out to build sandcastles, back in the water, out to eat some snacks, back in the water, bodysurfing, out to play catch, back in the water...

Ellie looks adorable but hated the beach that day.  This was about the only time she was out of my arms and not crying.  But check out the hat!  I am not a girly person except for accessories.  Ellie's hat collection is awesome.  Sadly, she's growing out of them.  Happily, that means I can buy more!

The boys were worn out after the beach.

We took a trip to the USS Independence the next day.  The kids were awed by the size of an aircraft carrier!

I talk about how big Eleanor has gotten but it's hard to put that together with how tall she really is.  She'll be 5 months old on Sunday.  I took this picture about a month ago.  She's wearing 6-9 month clothes in this picture. By now, that outfit is *almost* too small.

Patrick, age 7 1/2, self-portrait.

Ellie gets some quality time with Patrick's favorite stuffed animal Shamoops while laying on Kamu's bed.

All three of my munchkins!

Ellie meets her Great Grandma Lore for the first time.  I hope I look half as good when I'm 3 months shy of 90!

The whole family (plus an astronaut) at Kennedy Space Center.  Ask Patrick about the Saturn V...but only if you have LOTS of time free!

And peach salsa, pre-canning!  (I couldn't let the whole post go without a picture of it ;-) )  Isn't it pretty?