It’s very early here. I’m up…and the only one at the moment. Pumpkin will be waking any minute for his next feed. But, I thought I’d write a quick update. This list is not in order of importance…rather what comes to mind over the 2 hours it took to write this.
- Today will be Cadet’s last session of ABA therapy…forever. His therapists have re-administered a few assessment tests, and he’s solidly in the “normal for age-range” categories in everything. Seeing the leaps he’s made in the last year is just tremendous. It’s like he’s a whole different kid…talking up a storm, playing, making observations, and asking a few questions. Sure, he’s still dealing with sensory issues, but we’re working through them.
- Pumpkin is doing well. Thriving, actually. We switched formulas and bottle types, and both have helped quite a bit. He still refuses to sleep anywhere but in our arms (or, if transferred carefully, the swing). He’s up every 3 hours for a feed, and seems to be doing just fine. We’re all exhausted, but that’s to be expected.
- We took Pumpkin in to be evaluated for a tongue tie. He has one, but the ENT doctor said he was reluctant to take care of it. Despite the tongue tie, Pumpkin has a very strong mouth and his suck/latch is good. The tongue tie is no longer just a web of membranes…it’s got substance to it. The doctor was concerned that there would be lots of bleeding and it may not heal quickly. Since it’s not really interfering with his food intake (Pumpkin is a good eater), the doctor suggested waiting until we know the tongue tie will cause issues with speech. I’m getting a second opinion after the holidays. Not that I don’t trust the ENT, but this is something that I really want to be looked at and evaluated.
- I had a brief conversation with MsJ earlier this week. She’s back at work, but things are still financially hard for her. She said she’s doing well, and that she loves the pictures I’ve been texting her. MsJ always wanted Cadet to have a sibling. She wanted to hear all about Cadet’s successes and our plans for the holiday.
- I’ve been in daily contact with MsV. She continues to have medical problems, which seem to stem from a previously undiagnosed disorder (bleeding/clotting related) and high blood pressure. She has been on bed rest for most of the last 5 weeks, which has been really rough on her. For Christmas, McRuger and I decided to send her a few little things…along with some art supplies for her kids. Hopefully that will cheer her up a little. We’ve had a few good conversations about adoption in general and how she’s feeling about everything. She’s honest about how incredibly hard this is, but she still maintains that this was what was best for her and Pumpkin.
- After an exhaustive search of local tree lots, I finally brought home a Christmas tree (McRuger watched the boys). It’s currently undecorated…but it’s a tree and it’s up!
- The last week has brought a ton of rain to our area, and it’s been wonderful! After a year of a bad drought, every drop helps. Plus, Cadet has been enjoying stomping in puddles.
- My mom is flying into town in a few hours. She’ll be here until my father drives down for Christmas, then they will drive back together. It will be really nice to have a bit of extra help. I’m looking forward to (perhaps) getting more than 5 hours of sleep at a time…or at least taking a nap.
- Today I interviewed a potential new babysitter. I can’t tell you what a rough road finding a new sitter has been. Today’s sitter interviewee at least showed up (45 minutes late, but she was here). I’ve had several candidates just NOT show up. Today’s interview went well. The young woman is nice, but young (21) and I’m not sure about her maturity level. We have “trial run” set up for the week after Christmas. But, the search continues….
- After weeks of dealing with a dishwasher that only worked every few days (i.e. randomly), our landlord finally got someone out to inspect it. Turns out, it is actually in need of repairs, but we’re unsure when those will happen…but I’m hopeful that it will be before Christmas.
- Christmas shopping is done, which is a relief. Instead of wrapping paper this year, we’re “wrapping” everything in reusable bags (made from up-cycled Christmas tablecloths and dish towels). I’ve always hated all that waste on Christmas morning, so this solves that issue. McRuger and I aren’t technically exchanging gifts. Basically, I got him several things that he wanted…and vice versa…and so we’ll just put them under the tree. He got some new headphones, some shoes (already wearing them), a few books, and a new computer bag. I’m getting some new shoes (already wearing them), a piece of artwork I’ve been lusting after, some linen towels, and a new purse. Cadet and Pumpkin each have two nice presents (Cadet’s getting a whale-shaped rocking chair!!!), a clothing item, and a few books. Their “experience” this year will be a trip to the mountains (snow) later this winter.
- After a HUGE debacle (for the second year in a row with the same company) with our Christmas cards, they finally arrived. I, in my sleep-deprived haze, ordered too few of them and didn’t realize my mistake until halfway through addressing them…so only 35 cards are going out this year (last year it was 50). I got all of the family done, some friends, and a few professional contacts. But, I’m sad that I’ll be skipping some people.
- McRuger and I have been making plans for the years ahead. Nothing huge on the horizon, but we’ve been saving to buy a house. And while, it’s probably another year off or so, we’re starting to seriously talk about what we’re looking for and what we need to do. As I’ve mentioned before, housing prices are insane here and bidding wars are very common, so it’s going to take a while to find the right place. But, we’re solidly working toward that goal. We, most likely, won’t be able to afford to stay in our neighborhood. One of the houses (similar to ours) down the street just sold for 850K (that’s a 11oo square food house with one bathroom, folks…nothing special). A house which McRuger and I both love recently went up for sale at 995K…which is a crazy amount of money…and sold within two weeks. So, we’re looking into different cities/neighborhoods which might be more “budget friendly”, however, the entire area is similarly insane.
- It’s been amazing to watch Pumpkin’s personality emerge. Cadet was always a very serious and contemplative baby. He didn’t make much noise, and did a lot of looking around (often with a scowl). Pumpkin is much more noisy. He grunts, squeaks, coos, hums, and (of course) cries. Unless he’s asleep, Pumpkin is making noise. Pumpkin is also a much more smiley baby. We’ve already gotten a some social smiles, a few giggles, and lots of cooing. And wow, Pumpkin is very excited by Cadet. Every time Cadet is around Pumpkin, Pumpkin is staring him down….following him with his eyes. The brothers are bonding already.
- We had read about it…knew it was coming…and weren’t entirely prepared: Cadet trying to “regress” back to being a baby. That’s right…my 40 lb 3 year old wants to be rocked, burped, and fed like a baby. And, while, it’s lovely to have the snuggles…it’s not always fun. Because, Cadet also cries when he doesn’t get what he wants. And, when I’m home alone, two boys who are crying is a lot. We’ve been doing our best to give Cadet concentrated “mama/papa time”. Snuggles in bed in the morning, extra walks with papa, more story time with mama, getting to go on errands to the store (and getting a little treat here and there), and lots of extra hugs and snuggles. We’ll see how things progress.
- Last week, one of my local-ish bloggy friends, noemi, sent me a box of some toys that her children were no longer using. The toys are beautiful wood (and a few plush) toys. I must say, it made my entire week (and Cadet’s too). That box arriving felt like a lifeline on that particular day, and made me feel just a bit more connected to the outside world. And, seeing the smile on Cadet’s face when he got to play with some new toys was so wonderful! Thank you so much noemi!!
- Another local bloggy friend (you know who you are) stopped by and held Pumpkin for 90 minutes so I could focus on Cadet. It was wonderful to have that time with her…and with Cadet. Thank you!!
- Someone asked me for the link to the crochet stars I’ve been making. HERE is the link I used (scroll for very helpful videos). They crochet up quick once you get the pattern down. I’ve been experimenting with different yarn weights and needle sizes. No matter what combination I’ve used, all the stars have been lovely. However, a warning, the stars have a tendency to curl up at the tips. So, if you want it to be flat, soaking it an a diluted glue solution and letting it dry is useful!! I will also mention that I looked at several different star patterns, and this one was the easiest. The points are all made generally the same way, but the inner circle methods vary wildly. This is the only one which didn’t require too much chaining/counting.
Since starting this post (almost two hours ago at 3am): Pumpkin has had a feed and a diaper/clothing change, Cadet has had a crying fit because I wouldn’t let him have gummy bears or carrots (he’s now back asleep), and I’ve tussled with the heater to get it turned on. Oh, plus a rather long Facebook convo with a new friend I’ve made…she was up feeding her son as well (two weeks older than Pumpkin…and has the same name). Now I’m going to try to catch a few minutes of shut-eye before I have to go pick my mom up from the airport (in 2 hours). Sigh.
Hope you all are doing well. I’m reading everything…but rarely have time/thoughts to comment. Thank you all for keeping me sane!