Thursday, May 17, 2012

The napping baby

Ellie is asleep in her crib (can you hear the angels singing too?) and I'm between semesters, so I thought I would catch you up on our family! I know I haven't posted in 6 months but it seemed like time to try to resurrect this blog. There has been some guilt-tripping about it lately and about how no one gets to see the pictures of my kids or hear about how they're doing. Unless, of course, they're on Facebook and read about them everyday. Ahem.

Our family has grown again! You might recall that we had Nietzsche put to sleep on Valentine's Day 2011. He was 11 1/2 and could no longer go up and down stairs. It was devastating and we miss him every day. His brother, Caesar, was really lonely. They were littermates and had always been together. In January, for my birthday, we got a new beagle named Austin. He's nuts. He is the sweetest little (and I do mean little, he's only 20 lbs as opposed to Caesar's almost 70) dog but man, he can chew through anything. He's very clever and wants to play all the time. It's strange having a dog with lots of energy around again! He likes to sleep on the bed with us and we often find that he has slowly and stealthily wormed his way up between us by the time morning comes.

Jason started a new law firm in February. The first two weeks, he got three clients. "That would be a good rate," he said. "If I can get three clients every two weeks, I'll have about 70 a year." Then his marketing started working and he got 24 clients the first month. What a surprise--but a good one! He's been working hard and it is really nice to see him fulfilled professionally again. He's also been able to keep up with the family and managed to do all of that with Ellie home all but one day a week. It's been really special to see the bond that they have together. Jason's been really busy with the boys' soccer, as well. Now that the season's over, I'm sure we'll find other ways to spend that time.

 Patrick underwent some major changes in the last six months! He'd been growing his hair for four years and decided to donate it to Pantene's program in which they make wigs for cancer patients. You can see his hair on the left, right before our wonderful hair stylist Royer cut it. (FWIW, Royer almost cried. He loves Patrick's hair. He's done every haircut Patrick has ever had. If it hadn't been for a donation, I almost think he would have refused to cut it.) Anyway, now he looks like this:

It took me a week to get used to it--I'd look at him and think "Who is that?" He got it cut right after his 8th birthday. He wants to grow and donate it again. It looks so much lighter when it's long.

Patrick is just about done with second grade. He has less than a week remaining! He's gone through some struggles this year but all is turning out really, really well. He is an incredible kid. Aside from being sweet and kind and an awesome son and brother, he's also super smart. His teacher says she's never had another student in such a high reading group (mind you, she hasn't been teaching for long but we'll still take it). It can be challenging to find age-appropriate books for Patrick that still keep his interest. He's in the regular gifted program as well as the gifted math program, which is culled from the regular gifted program for extra math challenges. He and his partner won the second-grade math competition! They went down in the first round of the whole school competition but they were up against fifth-graders. In soccer, Patrick's coach really praised how much Patrick "gets it" with regards to moving the ball around, and how aware he is of where people are on the field. He scored a couple of goals this season and had some incredible defensive plays! He just finished his first year of Hebrew school on Tuesdays and can recognize all the Hebrew letters and vowels, and read some simple words. We are really proud of how well he's done.

Melkamu is, in a word, amazing. He has one of the most incredibly sweet personalities I've ever met. He has grown tremendously in the past bit and since he was already tall, that's saying something. I've taken to moving clothes that Patrick has outgrown directly into Melkamu's drawers. At 5 1/2, he's about 3 inches shorter than Patrick at 8 1/2. He's kind and smart and friendly, and obviously quite handsome. Last week, he finished up pre-K and is incredibly excited about going to kindergarten in August. His teachers told me that out of the fifteen boys in the class (out of 23 kids--yikes!), he was one of the few that really listened and followed directions well, though he could be swayed into some mischief sometimes ;-) He's now recognizing most of his letters, can write his name and count most of the way to 100, and I think he's starting to recognize some simple words also. For the life of me, I can't figure out how he's growing so well when it feels like he never eats. Breakfast is usually good. Lunch is good 2/3 of the time. Dinner is good maybe two nights a week. He's a bit on the picky side.

Kamu is an awesome brother for both Patrick and Eleanor. He and Patrick play together every day. Right now, he's waiting for Patrick to get home because quite frankly, being home with Mama is boring! He and Patrick play all around the neighborhood and it's rare to find them inside on a sunny afternoon. They helped me plant bean seeds last week, turned the front garden patch, and are going to be planting their own little plots out there later this week. I'm expecting that they're each going to keep quite busy this summer. We're joining a pool and I know that we'll be there a lot. I'm sure Kamu's swimming will be awesome by the end of the summer!

And now we get to the Wiggle Worm, little Ellie bean. My sweet, challenging, beautiful little spitfire of a girl. As you might remember, Eleanor has been a handful from the beginning.* She doesn't really sleep much, she never took a bottle, she is something of a picky eater, and she's incredibly smart. Her first word was around 4-5 months and was "Na", or "Nurse me NOW, lady!" She now has a distinct vocabulary of over a dozen words and seems to be adding new ones everyday. We hear "Num-num!" which means she wants food but doesn't want to nurse. "Uh oh" is another favorite. "Tatick" is Patrick, and "Damu" is Kamu. She says yes and no and up and down and Mama and Dada (it's rapidly morphing from Dada to Daddy) and dog and brother and a bunch of other things. She'll let you know right away if there's something she wants, and you'd better get it for her quickly! Oh, and she'll let you know if you don't or how she feels if you say no. We've already entered the tantrum-phase. They're pretty short-lived so far. On a sweet note, she hugs and kisses all the time and loves to laugh and giggle. Bathtime is one of her favorite times of the day. More splashing = more giggling and fun! She loves, loves, loves her baby dolls. "Ahbay" is her word for baby and there is usually one within a few feet of her.

Eleanor is never one to sit still when she can climb onto or into something (she's in the cereal cabinet in the picture here. Naturally, she had already removed all the cereal and rice). She stood at 8 months and now, if you come to our house, you're likely to find her standing on the coffee table or a chair or the fireplace. She knows how to safely climb up and down stairs. She started walking independently shortly after her first birthday and is trying desperately to run and jump now. Although she never took a baby bottle, she's mastered sippy cups, sports bottles, and straws already. Her favorite food remains black beans, and her ideal meal is black beans, strawberries, and some sort of bread. Yogurt is also good. She's meh on eggs and meats and cheeses. Peanut butter is a staple--she loves it. Unfortunately, she's never been a big fan of trying new foods and is iffy on a lot of vegetables. She still sleeps with us but has taken two naps in her Pack N Play in the last week! It's astounding how much she has learned to do already.

This is absurdly long already, so I'll just say that things are going well for me. It's been a very busy time lately but time does seem to be like that more often than not. I'll try to blog this summer and keep you up to date on the antics of the Morrey kids!

* FWIW, when people see me with all three kids and say "You have your hands full!" I always reply with "That's just how I like them." Because I do.


Seestor said...

Oh my god, you actually WROTE something! Jeez, it's like you've been busy working full-time, raising three kids and making huge amounts of organic, fair-trade food and stuff.

Slacker. ;)

Seestor said...

P.S. Reading this made me so happy. I miss you all so much!

Wendy said...

Welcome back!

trmills said...

I'm so glad I checked in here and got caught up, Erin! Loved hearing an update on all three of your beautiful children, plus their very busy mama and hard working daddy.