She is still pure joy, except at night. Sigh... Although, the night-weaning/sleep-training is going better! The last three nights, she has given me 5-6 hours in a row of sleep! This is wonderful wonderfulness. She is in the curious toddler stage and gets into (and climbs) everything. She doesn't talk much, but she's recently graduated from "dadda" to "mahm." She also says "shoe," "bye," and her new favorite, "No!" She loves to wiggle her little tushy and sing along whenever she hears music (it's seriously adorable).
He is growing up! He still has his lisp and likes to be babied sometimes, but he's running around with the big boys a lot more. He starts preschool this Fall! He love trains and cars, and his rock collection is getting bigger (while the rocks in the yard are getting fewer). He's a sweet big brother to his baby sister and #2 is his "bestie." She can honestly get him to do almost anything! I really appreciate it, because although he's sweet, he's got a stubborn streak a mile long. He is pretty shy around new situations and people, so I have had to pull out new parenting skills to help him feel comfortable without coddling him too much. I'm working on it.
He finished 1st grade this year and has really improved his reading! He's still a little monkey and climbs everything he can. He also still has the best funny and crazy faces and can make us all laugh. This week he filled his pockets with loose change and bought as many toys and games as he could at some garage sales, including a bat that #4 had an incident with (see #4's update). He's been romping around with #6 more, and I really appreciate his attention to his brother. He also has a deep desire to learn how to play the violin and write in cursive. We shall see!
|Milking goats at Tallgrass Prairie|
He finished 3rd grade, his braces come off next month, and he's practicing the cello as much as he can! The other day, #6 took #5's new metal baseball bat and smacked #4 in the head, creating quite the gash over his eye. Brandon and I weren't home, but #1 cleaned it up really well (and didn't even bother to call us, but that's okay, because she did all the right things). Luckily, it wasn't deep! He's still in love with LEGO and has started reading a lot more. Last week he completed his first Cub Scout Day Camp experience where he made a pretty good bird house! He's making friends faster than almost anyone, and he gets to Skype with his old class in Pennsylvania this week (he's pretty excited!).
|These are his Buddy Holly glasses (nonRx). He's so funny!|
He has had three lawn mowing jobs, but unfortunately one was temporary, one has now moved, and the third is just our house. But it's been good for him to work hard! He finished 6th grade, and unfortunately, he had a really rough last month of school. We had to take away several privileges. His report card was not what it could have been, but when it's only 1 or 2 classes and it's due to homework and honesty issues and not tests, we know it can be fixed. I've considered homeschooling him; we'll have to see. I will say this, though: he's a good kid with a kind heart, and he's making mistakes that can be fixed in a safe place (our home). His misophonia continues to bother him, but he's actually handling it pretty well, lately! He loves to learn how things work, read trivia, and play video games. He's way too good looking for his own good, and despite his struggles, he's a really good big brother and I appreciate his help.
|Reading Sherlock Holmes after building a swing|
She completed 7th grade with all A's (no surprise, there). She had to be re-tested for the gifted program (Kansas law) and the gifted teacher made sure I understood that they only allowed the top 3%. I wasn't worried! #2 is --no surprise, again --in the top 1%. She's still voraciously reading, helps with #6 a lot, and the other day she built a swing for the backyard. She's so bright, fun, and intelligent --we have some interesting conversations!
She is finished with 9th grade! All A's (she worked really hard for her A in Spanish II). In our district, all the 9th graders go to a different campus than the rest of the high school kids, and so this fall, she gets to be on the main campus. She's getting her driver's permit today (hopefully), we've scheduled her wisdom teeth extraction surgery at the end of the month, she's the perfect babysitter, and her art continues to get better. We've started hanging her art up in our house --I figure we can be her gallery until she's older and takes her pieces with her.
Aside from all the personal navel-gazing I already throw your way, dear reader, I'm in the midst of planning all our summer trips. Lately I've noticed that beyond our summer schooling, there's always some kind of appointments (yes, plural) every day. PLUS! The four younger kids are taking private swimming lessons from our friend. That's been fun because she's been able to teach at her complex's pool, and she's allowed all of our kids to come and swim at the same time --as long as they don't interrupt the lesson and refrain from being too loud/boisterous. Needless to say, it's worth the cost to have my kids get private lessons and have a chance to swim for fun twice a week. And we're already seeing incredible improvements --our friend is a great teacher!
He stays busy like me! Lately, he's built garage shelving, touch-up painted parts of the house, helped me hang pictures on the walls, replaced a door lock, went antique shopping with me, made a lot of homemade pizza, started road biking again, and just yesterday, was asked to teach a business strategy course at our local university next year! He's going to be traveling a bit this month (nothing like he used to), and I already miss him.