Hi there, long time no see huh? Did you forget about me? In all honesty, I totally forgot about you... Things here, as usual have been busy. In fact they've been so busy that at times I wonder where literal weeks have gone. I've reported them missing, but alas it seems to be a common issue amongst fellow Mom's. You've heard it all before, not enough hours in the day and that sort of thing.
Enough excuses though, how about the kids! I'm reeling over the fact that in less than 2 months my boys will be 5 years old. FIVE. F-I-V-E. It really makes my head spin... I can't believe that we've come so far! Things have changed SO much... It's totally amazing. Then there's the girls, nearly FOUR! Holy mackeral... It's insane isn't it? I swear to you all I just gave birth to them... Of course I feel like I'm still holding onto their baby days, feeling like they're just slipping out of my hands all too quickly.
We have made some pretty big changes around our house as well. We made a big decision to let our Au Pair Adriana go. She should have been here until the middle of this month, but back around Christmas I made the executive decision that the money that we were spending was just not weighing out... As much as I adored having her here, it seemed so much more financially responsible to let her go and for us to care for our children ourselves. (What a concept right!?) The change finally took place last month, and it has been awesome... I totally adore having my kids all to myself, and have loved getting back into the parenting routine. There have been moments where I have wished that someone was here to help me, but that was usually when my awesome Father in Law Danny would magically show up... Or when Jon would come home from work with a pizza for dinner. I can honestly say that my house is ten times dirtier, there's far more laundry, and Jon and I don't eat nearly as many home cooked meals as we used to... But the time that I'm getting with my kids now is priceless and totally worth every dirty dish in the sink.
Jon and I have been so busy over the past few months with the change in childcare, we have been working really hard just to keep our heads above water at times and keep our focus where it really should be. Jon has been working incredibly hard at a project based in California and has been putting in long hours, as well as many business trips to the area. It's been stressful, but knowing that it will soon come to an end is awesome. It's great also, that it will be ending just as our weather is improving!
All five of the kids are still in our local preschool program and loving every minute of it. It seems that they're really excelling and learning more and more. I can't tell you how impressed I've been with the school system and the teachers... The boys are due to enter Kindergarten in the fall and we've decided to go ahead and send Evan and Jack to the public schools. William is going to stay home with me where we plan on homeschooling him. I would love to keep E&J home as well, but I really know that at this point I'm not equipped to provide a full spectrum of therapies for them. Especially not at the level that the schools can provide.
Evan and Jack have progressed by leaps and bounds this year... Evan is currently reading at what we know to be a 4th grade level. He enjoys chapter books, as well as books with few pictures and enormous amounts of information on a page. His favorite books are the World Almanac for Kids as well as an Atlas of the world that was given to us by our friend Nita. His most recent fascination has been learning all the world continents, countries, and capitals. He's fascinated by animals and can name some of even the most obscure just by sight. He recently went through a three week behavioral period where things were just difficult for him. He was having a rough time just getting thru the day to day. It seemed that everything was a constant battle... When things get like that for him, it's typically an indicator that something is happening. Sometimes he's getting a cold, or something is bothering him, or sometimes it's an indicator of things to come. I usually am able to take heart in the fact though that this is not a permanent behavior. That this too shall pass... And like all other times, this too passed... This time, his behavior was linked to a language explosion. Evan was struggling to communicate with us, and with the world around him. I was finally able to pinpoint the root of some of his frustration and help him to articulate his issues. Since Evan is currently able to express most of his wants and needs, this was a bit confusing to me. It turned out that this time, Evan was having a truly difficult time expressing emotion. He was saying "No" to pretty much anything and everything that was requested of him. He also became very fond of the phrase "go away". Obviously these are both totally negative, and aren't very friendly phrases. They also get WICKED old after hearing them 80 times in an hour. I was able to help Evan understand, that he had more option than just NO, and that Go Away wasn't nice. He now understands the proper use and the appropriate timing for both. Luckily we're also hearing a lot of, I'm so sorry, I'm mad, excuse me, and I love you. I think that's a pretty fair balance. Evan has also been working so hard at potty training... Actually scratch that, I've been working so hard at potty training Evan. He totally gets it. He can do it. He chooses not to. It's just a battle now... I'm not worried, I know he'll get it. Just not sure when.
Our boy Jack is blowing us away more and more each day. His language is developing so much, and while an outsider may not be able to understand him we certainly are. He needs a lot of work on his articulation. However, we'll take whatever we can get. It was less than a year ago that I had come to peace with the idea of Jack not talking. I knew that if he never spoke, it would be ok. He seemed so well adjusted, he communicated with us so well otherwise, I didn't see a huge reason to push the issue. Now though, now that I know that he has the capability, I say GO JACK! You can totally do it... It's going to take awhile, but it's well worth it to hear your sweet little voice. Like Evan, Jack too is reading. He is still enjoying books like Dr. Seuss, and a lot of the Sesame Street Library. Jack is also enthralled with classical music. He will stop whatever he is doing and listen to the music that is playing... Typically we will hear him humming that piece later on in the day if it was something that he favored. He really seems to have a true knack for remembering what he hears... Jack is still going to school 5 days a week and LOVES it. He adores his teachers, and loves seeing familiar faces in the halls. They have been working on potty training Jack at school and they have had SO much more luck than I have! He stays dry nearly all day long, and pees in the potty a few times a day! Once he gets home it's all downhill! I don't know what they're doing there at the school, but I keep telling his aide that I'm going to kidnap her :) I think she'd be just fine here in our house...
As for the rest of the kiddos... They're awesome. They're just growing... They're really the three amigos. The three redheads... As much as they fight, if I try to separate them it's even worse. The girls are devastated to be apart from one another, always wanting to know where the other one is. William loves to have alone time, but after about 10 minutes wants to know when his sisters will be home, or when they'll wake from their nap. He's really too cute... William is really doing great in school, he's a little confused about next year and why the boys will be in school and he won't be. I'm hoping that after the year starts up, we'll settle into a routine and he won't even wonder... He seems very prepared for Kindergarten. His preschool has helped to lay a lot of the groundwork for that. He can write his name, knows all his ABC's and can recognize them, knows all his numbers, can count to 100, knows all of his shapes and colors, he started on basic math last month and really seems to love it, and is proficient on the computer! I'm really proud of him and how far he's come over the past year.
Ok, I think thats enough talk for now. I need to get outside and play!