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Friday, November 4, 2016

Updates


I've really been an absentee blogger lately, and I know I've admitted this faulty behavior before. I won't even bother trying with half-hearted apologies this time; my loyal readers know it won't change the frequency of my posts. But since it's been so long, I promise to fill this one with great details about the babies and their recent adventures.


We're all just trying to keep our heads above water right now. With another school year came quite a few changes in our house. Given that Lucy and Quinn attend one school with relatively short hours (as far as preschools go) and Atticus is now in 1st grade at our neighborhood public school, the logistics of getting everyone where they need to be in the vast sprawl of Houston became impossible and I decided to teach part-time. I honestly though the transition would be a smooth one. I'll finally get to see my kids' teachers every day! I'll have so much extra time to run errands and make lunches and do laundry! I'll have less grading and an easier schedule! To be fair, all of these things are true, but it doesn't truly make my new schedule any easier than my previous, full-time schedule (which, I should add, was only feasible thanks to help from our nanny extraordinaire, who I'm missing terribly these days). Turns out, I'm a better teacher than chauffeur. The 60 miles a day I clock driving everyone where they need to be is taking a toll on my sanity and, in the end, the hours available to do all my other chores are just as meager as they were last year. I won't even touch the topic of part-time teacher pay...I'm pretty sure I could make more money flipping burgers. That said, I am a more present fixture in my kids' lives, which is the most important part of this change. And the joy I see when I pick them up from a school, a rare privilege in years past, makes it all worthwhile.

So enough about me...you guys are here for the kids and I like to give the people what they want...


Lucy:

Little Miss Sassy Pants
Ah, Lucy. She is simultaneously my greatest joy and my biggest challenge. This girl's got OPINIONS. And she insists on keeping up with her brothers, so there's no slowing her down. Her personality and intelligence, coupled with her doe eyes, dimples, and curls means that this is a girl who will know how to get what she wants. And that's utterly terrifying if she's anything like I was between the ages of 16 and 22 33. Despite these fears, I also don't worry too much about her. She's a smart and fierce little thing, and will stiff-arm her brothers if they get too close. Her language is emerging ahead of schedule and one of her favorite activities is to walk into a room and point to and list all the items in it. But her absolute favorite thing to do is to bring me a stack of books, cuddle up in my lap, and insist that I read each of them at least 20 times. I have a sneaking suspicion that she'll be reading them to us before too long.

Quinn: 

Paging Dr. Quinn
Mr. Indepedent. This boy doesn't want help from anyone and that includes when he's running full speed across a busy parking lot, strapping into a carseat, or pouring his own juice. His speech is slowly but surely improving, but he still has a long way to go, so he gets frustrated when he can't communicate his needs or wants. This has taken quite a toll on the entire family, to be honest, as his defiance is both very loud and very time-consuming. But I can't be frustrated with him when I witness him becoming so frustrated with himself. We had a speech therapist for years who moved away last December and we never replaced her. Therapy is expensive and we didn't feel it was a good use of our time or money for what we were getting, but now that his speech is so severely delayed, we're back into looking at our [very limited with my terrible insurance] options. This time, though, we want to find a therapist who can focus on his oral motor development. Quinn's vocabulary is rather extensive, but his low muscle tone makes it difficult to understand him. For example, "juice" is "oos" and his favorite tv show, "The Lion Guard" is "gine gad". No one outside of our family would understand him, and that's a concern, especially as more language emerges. We need to find a therapist who can work on helping him develop the muscle tone and proper tongue and lip placement to make intelligible sounds. Hopefully we find someone soon and, when we do, I'll report his improvements here.

Atticus: 

It's been fun to watch Atticus's talents emerge this year and we've learned that he's a math whiz, a reluctant reader, and has blossomed into quite the musician. He  started piano lessons this summer and is learning to read music and can play a song independently with only the sheet music in front of him. It's pretty impressive, to say the least, and something I'm so glad we're encouraging. Music is always playing in our house, whether it's vinyl on a Sunday morning, a mid-week dance party fueled by Spotify playlists, or Mom, Dad, and a guitar. It's so exciting to add Atticus behind a piano to that domestic soundtrack, and I'm looking forward to the day when we can all play together. Here's a glimpse of him practicing his "Halloween Song." I love the way he sings the keys names aloud as he plays.



All in all, we're hanging in there and ready for the chaos of a new school year to slow down (you know, just in time for the chaos of the holidays to ramp up). Thanks for stopping in and I'll be sure to update more often. So tune in next time, same bat time, same bat channel.