It’s been a very busy few weeks, but not all bad. Frankly, things have been pretty decent for a while (of course, we could all use more sleep….but…). Life is humming along, with the occasional bumps that keep us on our toes. Isn’t that they way….?
1) Cadet got bitten by a pit bull a while back. Yeah, a pit bull. Cadet got too close to a fence, the dog reached through and nipped his finger. The wound was small, and it could have been MUCH worse. The dog’s owner got in McRuger’s face about being a bad parent for letting Cadet close to a fence, and finally the police were called. Got to hand it to the local FD and PD…they arrived within 5 minutes of McRuger’s 911 call. The fire fighters were wonderful in handling Cadet, and even let him ride in the cab of the fire truck. The dog is currently under quarantine, and the owners were cited. Since the owners couldn’t produce any medical records for the dog, Cadet had been on a pretty strong anti-biotic, just in case. Right now, Cadet’s still processing the event, and he talks a lot about it. We talk about how dogs are mostly friendly, but we need to be careful. Thankfully, it hasn’t dampened his love of Em or other dogs in our neighborhood (most of the local dogs LOVE Cadet).
2) We’ve hired a new babysitter, whom I’ll call Verbena. Verbena is 19 and lives just a few blocks for us. She’s had a very rough background and has seen quite a bit. However, Cadet loves her and she really tries hard to learn about Cadet and what HE needs. We had a bit of stumbling block early in her employment, as she was always on her cell phone. However, she and I talked about it, and she’s much better now. I mostly use her as a “Mother’s Helper” so I can run errands with both kids. But, I’m slowly letting her be alone with Cadet more and more…and she’s done a great job.
3) Easter at my parent’s farm was a good time. My parents let us have the house, while they stayed at Bro’s guest house. It was my mom’s 65th birthday, which we celebrated with pizza and cake. It was nice to have all the cousins around the big outdoor table. We used the time to go through a whole bunch of family heirlooms. After my parent’s house got hit by power surges, they had to re-wire the whole house. In the process, they emptied the entire attic…some of the stuff had been there since they moved in in 1979! They loaded an empty shipping container and Bro and I went through everything in just a few hours. Overall, we handled ourselves well…no fights, which was a pleasant surprised. We even put down a few rules for how we handle family heirlooms in the future.
4) After 15 years of sleeping in the same bed (only 7 of those with me), McRuger finally agreed that we needed a new bed. I’ve been hinting at it for the last several years. Due to McRuger’s history with back issues, we decided to get a newer version of our old Sleep Number bed. Despite some serious off-gassing issues, we are both sleeping better. And, of course, it helps that we moved from a queen to a king sized bed! It allows the whole family to sleep together if we need to, which is helpful!
5) Grams has had two falls at her living facility. And, she’s having some aggression issues towards the staff (stemming from her memory loss). There’s a big meeting next week to discuss how to best handle her in the future. My best guess is that they want to medicate her more, which most of the family is against…but we’ll just have to see. No one expected Grams to live this long, and so most people are at a loss as to how best to handle her case.
6) Pumpkin is doing well. He’s been growing like a weed and is now in 9-12 month clothing (at 5.5 months)! He’s smiling and coo-ing and starting to do some teething. He hasn’t really rolled over yet with purpose, but he’s getting there. I’m still in daily contact with MsV, and she seems to be doing fairly well. I know Easter was a hard holiday for her to face without Pumpkin, and Mother’s Day will be even more challenging. We’ve been sending her plenty of pictures, per her request, and keeping her updated on Pumpkin’s progress. She says she loves hearing about what we’re up to.
7) Since I now have help during the days, I have been able to get more stuff done. I finally (after what seemed like an eternity) organized a formal home schooling space. It’s tidy, organized, and perfect for quickly getting “lessons” together for Cadet. My next task is to re-organize the guest/craft room to make it more useful as a space for guests and for crafting.
8) Speaking of Cadet, it’s such a roller coaster with him these days. His language has gone through another “spurt” and he’s talking up a storm. Complete sentences, lots of questions, and tons of observations. Just this morning, he came up to me and said: “Mama, I need a big bowl of cheerios then I want to go outside”. So, yeah…he’s talking! Plus, he’s learning manners and says “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, and “excuse me”. That’s wonderful and so amazing to watch. But, at the same time, he’s been having terrible tantrums. Awful, horrible, long, and painful tantrums. We had one last week that lasted almost 45 minutes, and McRuger had to have Cadet in a safety hold to prevent him from hurting himself or the house. Thankfully, that caliber of tantrum isn’t regular…but it’s so tough to see Cadet struggling. I need to remember that he’s 3.5 and has big emotions! I’ve been working very hard to help Cadet find his calmer self…and sometimes it works. He has a finger labyrinth to calm him down after a busy day, we have a deck of yoga cards he loves to work through, and of course a book to help him calm down (Breathe by Scott Magoon). All those things seem to help, but we still have the bad days of constant melt-downs.
9) Our final post-placement social worker visit is next week. There’s a few more bits of paperwork to complete, and then we just wait for a court date. It’s exciting to know that we’re that close to having our family building complete. My friend Robyn has offered to throw us a “Baby Welcoming Party” sometime after finalization, which is so generous of her. I can’t wait for some of my extended family to meet Pumpkin.
10) With the severe drought in our area, I’m constantly searching for ways to save water. It’s hard with a child who loves water and a baby who has bottles which need washing daily. Next week, I’ll be speaking to our property manager to see if I can replant some of the more water-loving plants the original owners put in. Plus, the expectation last year was that we’d be keeping the lawns green…which is insane. So, we’re going to have a little chat about that as well.
11) Probably the best news thus far is about AE. After about 6 months of her department going slowly down the tubes (result of a bad management change), AE finally landed her dream job. That alone is worth celebrating, but there’s more! For the first time since high school, AE and I will live within an hour drive of each other! Her job puts her closer to almost all of her family and friends! YAY!!
12) McRuger and I have been having a great time in our marriage. Like, serious fun! Despite being tired most of the time…we’re enjoying our time together. It seems odd to me that just last year, we were having rough fights and discussing counseling (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But, we’ve made a few changes to our relationship dynamic and the results have been amazing! Fights are now smallish and relatively minor. And we feel really close. I’m not sure how to write about it, without going into some intimate details of our marriage, but I might find the words.
13) I’m making a real effort to expand our friendship circle (as a couple). We have “Rain’s friends” and “McRuger’s friends”…but we have just two “couple friends”. So, I’m working on that.
14) Our plans for the summer are starting to firm up, which is nice. Lots of family visits, a U2 concert for me, and at least one mini-vacation. Verbena (the sitter) has agreed to help me on any trips I might want to do with the boys, which is awesome! With late spring/summer being so busy for McRuger, I’d love to get away for a while. Plus, there are two families moving to the area for the summer, which will be nice for play dates and perhaps a few extended trips.
15) Okay, last thing…I think. Homeschooling. Loving it. Seriously. Can’t imagine sending Cadet off to school for several hours a day. We have so much fun learning together. We do lots of outdoor time, music time, and reading time. Fine motor skills are always a focus, but with the help of Pinterest, I’ve got some great ideas for that! My mom gifted me her mountain dulcimer (which she used to play when I was a kid). I got it cleaned, tuned, and polished…and Cadet loves learning on it. I used to know how to play basic songs, but I’ve forgotten most of it. So, I’m re-learning as well. Right now, Cadet is just fascinated by the fact that he can play notes on it. We were also gifted some amazing art supplies from a friend, so Cadet has been having lots of art time. He’s thrilled. I’m thrilled. It’s all good.
I’m hopeful that I won’t be going so long between postings anymore…but we’ll just have to see. Hope you all are doing well.