I feel like I am finally beginning to get back in the swing of things, but only beginning.
This whole year, I've felt a bit like I was suspended in mid-air making only a little head-way forward before being pulled right back to where I started...
This feels just like deja vu, me trying to explain here to you why I have been so absent, why I haven't been writing. I wish I had a handful of blog posts all ready to go, but you know what? That isn't reality. You wouldn't get the raw here and now if I did that. So, here it is...
We are doing well. We really are. The kids are generally happy and generally healthy. That said, not each and every day is full of rainbows and sunshine. Addison has a stomach bug right now and we've nearly plowed right through the last package of diapers and have more clothes soaking than will fit in the sink. But, when her tummy isn't hurting, she is her same, sweet, snuggly self who has just started standing on her own for a few seconds at a time. She says Ma and Da, but I'm not entirely sure that she means to say Mom and Dad or if she is just coincidence that those sounds sound like Mom and Dad.
Addison has finally (at nearly 11 months old) learned to drink from a bottle, or rather decided to give it a shot. I was out of town with my sisters and Mom for a girls' weekend for two nights and she just finally gave in and drank, and drank, and drank. When I came home I gave her a bottle because I was so afraid she'd quit taking one again. She now gets at least one bottle every day and it is like someone just lifted a ton of bricks off my shoulder. It's amazingly relieving to know that she doesn't need me to survive. Not that she doesn't need me, but that I can finally go somewhere for more than a few hours and she is going to be not just fine, but more than fine. She's going to be hydrated and not cranky and she can go off to sleep on her own and doesn't need to nurse to go to bed. It's like heaven. She has also recently started sleeping through the night for the most part. She's been sick off and on, so we aren't completely out of the woods yet, but she has slept through the night for a few nights at a time a few times.
Gavin is doing great. He likes school so much and his Pre-k teacher is wonderful. We can literally see and hear him learning. He comes home each week with new little bits of information and skills that just amaze us. He now sits in the house or car or wherever we are and looks around him and notes the first letters of the words for the items he sees. "L for light, D for Drake, D for Dad, M for macaroni, B for bicycle, B for boy, B for balloon, C for car" etc. He recognizes several small words and can sight-read them. It's so exciting to watch him learn! He is also getting more comfortable with after-school care and that is really a huge relief. He started the year out great, but by the third day of after-school care he was crying there and it got progressively worse for a few weeks and then started progressively getting better. He didn't cry at all the last couple of days. I have some theories, but won't get into that here.
He is bored quite a bit at home lately, which I hope is normal at this age and during this time of year. It's just plain cold and icky outside right now for the most part. I don't want to be out there, so why would he? It is also harvest on the farm, which means Daddy is really, really busy, and not home very much. That's hard on Gavin in and of itself, but we also have to be much more careful when playing outside as there is machinery everywhere and not just ours, but our neighboring farmers' too. This means no bike riding, no going for walks, no playing near the fields, etc. Addison is mobile enough to get in Gavin's way, get into his toys, etc., but not old enough to really play with him yet, so he gets a little frustrated. I think this too is normal. I just look forward to when he can enjoy her more. He is so funny these days and is very into jokes. One of his favorite jokes is:
She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes!
and then there are some that I don't entirely get. You see, he doesn't get the concept of the first and second part of a knock knock joke sounding similar. He'll say something like:
Apple I want a Apple for breakfast.
Get it? Yeah... I don't get it either. It's still cute though and then I laugh because it isn't funny and he doesn't get why it isn't funny and he's laughing because I'm laughing and I'm so glad that we're both laughing!
He's funny. He's independent and yet, sometimes very dependent. He's liking band-aids, friends, ninjas, high-fives, and everything Halloween.
This year has been tough with a baby that for 10 months wouldn't sleep through the night and wouldn't even entertain the idea of a bottle. It was tough with both my Dad and Cliff's Dad having open-heart bypass surgery followed by complications that had them both in and out of the hospital repeatedly leading to changes in their lives and in turn our lives. This year was tough with childcare challenges and emotional kids struggling through transitions. It was tough with Cliff taking over the farm entirely and expecting to still have his parents' help during the transition, but then not having as much help as we'd hoped due to his Dad's and now his uncle's health issues. His uncle now needs open heart surgery and this too will change our lives again. His uncle just has us for support and doesn't have a spouse or children to help take care of him. We're glad we can help, but man are we busy. Man are we feeling stretched. We're actually having to schedule time to be together as a family of four and it's still only for an hour or two at most. It's just not the year we thought we were going into with a new baby. It's sure different. Our kids will be resilient, our marriage will be stronger, and we'll hopefully come out of this year with some great coping skills. Right? I'm hoping, and praying, and crossing my fingers that with the change of seasons and the coming holidays, things will settle down a bit. We will get back in to the swing of life. I'm looking forward to it. This year has been a crazy ride!