Our family of 6...in stockings that is.
We're trying to get back into the swing of a routine here. Two and half weeks off for the holidays proved to be a challenge beyond writing about for Eliza this year. That's for another day. She is settling back into the structure of school and that is a good thing for everyone. She has grown up in so many ways, but that is also opening up her frustrations over communication and the stims/ocd's to a greater extent as well. It's been a tough month and emotionally difficult for me seeing some very aggressive behaviors come out of her. We have finally conquered the sleep disorder and she has now been sleeping thru the night solid since December 18!!
Grandma and Eliza
Eliza on Christmas morning w/ a mouthful of cereal.
Ava is doing fabulous. She has really blossomed. She finally got to meet one grandma (my mother) and sincerely told her "I love you Grandma". She got earrings put in a few days before Christmas and didn't even cry...said "ouch" and then "pretttyyy". She laughed so hard when she heard me say to the store clerk, "Thank you for making my daughter ouch." She's been laughing at a lot of things these days. She exchanged phone numbers with some classmates on the last day of school before the break so we could arrange some playdates. The first time the phone rang and it was for Ava, I think we all held our breath as she put the phone up to her ear. She did wonderful though and her english is coming along fast and furious lately. She did end up having some playdates over the holiday break both here and at their homes and had a wonderful time. It was so good seeing her play with peers.
Ava's hair is growing long again already.
Ava on Christmas morning.
Brendan turned 18 in December and is in the final stretch of his senior year of high school. He moved back home with us from his mother's just this week, feeling the need for more support and structure in these final few months of "make it or break it" (graduate, that is). Of course, we're so thrilled to have him home. I know Derek likes having another guy around again...he was feeling lonely in this house of females.
Allie turns 14 next week and she started the new year off with Mono and Strep (yes, at the same time). Poor thing. She's such a social butterfly so it's been hard for her to give into her body and rest, rest, rest. She cracks me up how she'll be playing a game with Ava one minute then complaining to me about Ava the next. She forgets how "annoying" she was when she was 7. In the car this afternoon, Ava had to tell us that she *farted* (Ava pronounces it "folted") 4 times; and then she cracked herself up. At which, Allie sitting up front next to me says, "See, she just doesn't stop. I mean is that really necessary." I laughed so hard, at Allie, more than at Ava's 7 year humor. Ahhhh, you're growing up Allie and I'm feeling very, very old!
Allie and Tux...Allie has grown into such a beautiful young woman!
Tux-the-cat (remember the adorable kitten from this summer) came to spend his Christmas vacation with us as his mom and dad went away. He enjoyed being back on the farm, seeing his mama-cat again, rubbing up against Hogan, and sharing bedtime baths and story time with me and the girls... Enjoyed it all so much that when George and Judy came home, they decided Tux should stay with us. They felt he needed Hogan and all the kids and activity. He's more of a dog than a cat. Quite a personality he's turned into. So, I'm on a quest to find George and Judy another pet! JK, sort of...
Tux, no longer the tiny kitten from this summer
So, my days are pretty much filled up with getting kids off to school, running to doctors and filling prescriptions, grocery shopping, menus, animals, cleaning the house...oh and enjoying Redbox movies in our surround-sound theatre room when the house gets quiet after 8:00 p.m. now! If the weather would warm up, maybe I'd find some time to get a walk in again.