Sunday, November 22, 2009

okay, that's it. no more ignoring my blog because my camera's broken.

nothing too earth-shattering has happened over the past few weeks. josh got a bump up to full time and a 75 cent raise at work. he's still enjoying school, and is planning his classes for next semester. he doesn't have much time for his hobbies lately, but he and i are excitedly planning a vegetable garden for next fall, and he plans to start bicycling every friday night with our neighbor, poncho, at white rock lake. he really needs some "him" time in the midst of work, school, family time, and making sure i get a break on the weekends. we're hoping he gets a drafting job after he completes this semester. we're looking forward to being able to get the jeep running, pay back some family members who've so generously helped us out over the past several years, and get some things for the house that we've been wanting for a while.

micah will officially be 4 and 1/2 on saturday. she's really turning a corner as far as her obstinate and defiant behavior. she seems to be channeling her fierce will and determination into learning new tasks. she incorporates it into her pretending, too; i hear her playing with her dolls, and sometimes she sounds like a drill sergeant! but i prefer her ordering her dolls around to her being bossy and demanding with me or rowan. and she doesn't seem to act that way with her friends, except on occasion, and then we talk about it. she's quick to correct it when i explain that her friends won't enjoy being around her if she's bossy. her tantrums and meltdowns have almost disappeared. when they do happen, they're over quickly, and she's able to talk about it immediately after. i'm so amazed at her ability to understand why she's feeling a certain way. she seems very self-aware for her age, to me. her letter and number recognition is moving right along; we don't sit down and actively teach her with flashcards or anything, because so far that has not been enjoyable or effective for her... and results in the teacher (me) getting a little impatient and frustrated. i've just been following her cues as to what she'd like to learn, and how she'd like to practice it. she now recognizes letters and numbers on clothes, signs, buildings, packages, anything. she randomly surprised me yesterday by spelling her name out loud - something i'd been trying to teach her for a while, and had been getting very irritated about her refusal to even try repeating the letters after me. turns out, she was listening and taking it in the whole time, she just needed to show me on her terms. we've also been doing simple adding and subtracting, using tangible objects like blocks, spoons, hot wheels, etc. she really seems to enjoy this, and asks to practice sometimes. maybe she's going to be one of those people for whom math comes a lot easier and more naturally than reading and writing. she does not seem to be at all interested in arts and crafts. we decorated christmas ornaments with our friends a few days ago, and she enjoyed painting and decorating her little wooden stockings and wreaths, but she goes for weeks and weeks without touching paper, paint, brushes, stickers, markers, or anything of the sort. she occasionally asks to paint, but hardly ever wants to color or draw. her favorite activities lately are reading books, pretending with her dolls and playing dress up.

rowan celebrated his 2nd birthday a couple of months ago, and he is an absolute joy. he is a climber (just like micah was/is), is into everything, and the word "no" does not yet register in his big, beautiful world! he is very active, playful and outgoing, as was demonstrated for me yesterday morning when i took the kids to one of those bounce house party places for a friend's birthday. rowan practically leapt out of my arms, disappeared into the array of bounce houses, and never looked back to see if i was nearby. ha! he can count up to two things, brush his own teeth, kick a soccer ball around with me, and ride his tricycle. he's had a huge language explosion over the past week; he can say all sorts of things, and seems to learn a new word or combination of words every day. right now he adores hot wheels, his little farmhouse and animals, and playing dolls and dress up with his sister. he's not too crazy about books; when we do sit down to read, he wants it to be short and sweet. if i drone on too long (more than two pages) he takes the book, flips to the end, and hops up to find something else to do. i have dreams of reading "the hobbit" aloud to my kids every night at bedtime, so i hope a love of stories grows in rowan over time!

i've been staying really busy with the kids, knitting, volunteer work, and typing home study reports for my dad. the extra money i'm making working for daddy has been a huge help! i also really enjoy the work, and getting to chat with my dad just about every day. : ) five of my good friends are expecting babies right now, so i've got baby fever to the max. josh has agreed to keep the subject open, and to talk about it more in the future when he has a good drafting/designing job and we're not struggling so much with money. sounds like an excellent compromise to me.

today was thanksgiving! i loooooove this time of year. we went to josh's dad's house in rowlett this afternoon and had turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc., including these awesome sweet potato empanadas josh's stepmom makes. i ate... oh, i don't know, twelve of them. i was kind of embarassed when ellen (josh's stepmom) went to send the rest of the empanadas home with her mom and grandma as they were leaving, opened the basket and exclaimed, "oh my god, they're all gone!" i didn't say anything; i'm hoping she took it as a compliment. anyways..... i'm excited about the kids' christmas presents this year. i think they're going to love what we got them. i'm also excited about decorating the house for christmas. this upcoming saturday we're celebrating thanksgiving with my dad, vesta, jo ann & sheridan. the day after we plan to put up our tree and lights. i'm hoping naomi will come over and help out, so we can spend some extra time with her.