1. This week has been a mixture of appreciating getting back into a routine and hating getting back into a routine. Specifically, not being able to sleep in and take my time getting ready in the morning. Hopefully next week will be better. Hopefully a certain someone will start doing better at staying asleep at night...
2. We bought a space heater for Eli as his room is by far the coldest in the house. He often wakes up cold at night and no amount of warmer pjs and sleep sacks have been able to keep him warm (while in just the next room over Daniel sleeps with just a sheet and Zachary sleeps with no covers at all). Last night was the first night with the heater and although the room was pleasantly warm and Eli's little hands were toasty, the thing is rather noisy and emits quite a bit of light. Whether the heater is to blame or it's something else, Eli did not sleep any better last night. This morning was rough. In fact, I'm still in my pjs at 10am.
3. I know you've been anxiously awaiting an update on the playset. I'm happy to report that it's coming along very well and we are on track to finish it this weekend (especially since the weather is supposed to be extremely pleasant for January).
We've been wondering if anyone else has built one of these and whether they experienced the same misunderstanding regarding the time estimate? The instructions say it'll take 4-6 hours to build. It isn't taking 4-6 hours. The above progress was achieved after 3 days of non-stop work while the sun was up. While we realize our time estimate would be longer since we bought the lumber ourselves instead of in a kit (and therefore had to sand, stain, measure, and cut it ourselves, which accounts for the first 2 days), there's no way the thing could be built in half a day by one or two guys. Our only guess is that the instructions left out a bit of clarification in the time estimate, such as "4-6 hours every day for a week" or "4-6 hours for you and your 10 closest friends" or "you and your professional build-team".
4. Zachary is trying to tell time. He looks at the (digital) clock and tells us, "it's seven four four" (7:44. That was this morning. He was trying to convince me it was time for breakfast. I wasn't sure I believed him yet). Sometimes he says, "nine seven one" (9:17. Not sure why he reverses the digits on the minutes. It can be a little confusing.) The trick now is to help him understand what those numbers mean. Oh, and teach him how to read a real clock (analog).
5. Zachary is also identifying the first letter of words he says (sounding it out and naming the sound.) It's awesome. Once in a while he freaks us out when we spell a word to each other and he knows what we said. I suspect he's using context and good guesswork, but still. (Curtis said to me, "How about a s-h-o-w?" as in, "should we let the boys watch a show" and Zachary said, "are you guys talking about a show?" Curtis and I mirrored stunned looks at each other.)
6. Daniel's screeching is getting worse. He's so frustrated that he can't tell us something, especially when his brother is picking on him. On the other hand, his sign language is improving. The speech therapist is scheduled to come to the house on Friday the 20th and I simply can't wait. (The case worker called on Monday asking if Friday the 13th would work and I had to tell her it wouldn't. I was a little surprised that the 13th was the earliest the therapist could come and was even more surprised to hear that the next available spot wasn't until a week after that! I've gotten used to seeing the pediatrician, chiropractor, dentist, etc. right away or in the next couple of days. The exception, as I think about it, is my hair dresser, who always has the next two weeks booked. Which reminds me, I had to cancel my appt. before Christmas and I haven't rescheduled, which means it'll be at least another two weeks before I can see her. Whoops.)
7. Eli is holding his head and feet up during tummy time (looks like a seal) and sometimes pulling his knees under and pushing that cute little bottom into the air. He's rolled from his back to his tummy once or twice but didn't know how he did it and hasn't been able to consistently repeat it. He's gotten very good at tracking us as we walk by and recognizing our faces when we stop to talk to him. He likes laughing at us. Curtis has gotten one giggle out of him so far. He's also cooing quite a bit and reaching for and grabbing toys. He (thankfully) takes a binky (pacifier) for sleeping but isn't terribly attached to it. He is currently napping in his crib and I really think that it's because it's warmer in there. Previously he would only nap in the Moses basket in the living room. I thought it was because he preferred the noise. Huh, imagine that, the kid likes to be warm... (Although he's woken up a couple times and needed me to come in and each time the heater was on. I think it makes too much noise when it starts up. The older boys sleep while listening to music from an iPod. Eli has a speaker-dock in his room and I think it's time we get him an iPod too. Time for a little eBay cruising this weekend.)
8. I think most of you know that I work part-time as an Area Director with AuPairCare. If you or someone you know is considering their childcare options, would you mention AuPairCare to them? I'm trying to grow my cluster here in Huntsville/Madison and surrounding areas, but if you're looking at childcare in other regions, take a moment to learn about hosting an au pair as chances are there's an Area Director is your area who would love to talk with you! You can visit AuPairCare.com for more information about hosting an au pair and you can also visit my local AuPairCare blog here: http://aupaircare-hsv.blogspot.com/. Also, if you're a local business owner I would love to partner with you! (There's even a referral bonus available for you) - contact me for more information.
9. I mentioned in my last post that's I've been reading more since we got the Kindle Fire and asked if anyone had recommendations of books to read. Then a friend on Facebook (or was it Google+?) mentioned a website called GoodReads and I was hooked. The part I like best is that it will generate recommendations for you based on what you've read and liked. Excellent! If you're on GoodReads, look me up! My user name is wjcolion. I've been adding books I've read (and a big shoutout to my sis (in law) Elizabeth who organized our bookcases, making it easy for me to find my books and so enter them in the database!) and adding title after title to the "to-read" section. The only trouble (besides there being so, so many interesting-sounding books out there and so not enough time to read them) is that most of the books are not available in Kindle format. Don't get me wrong - I love the feel of a physical book, but if it's not on the kindle then I have to physically go to the library to get it and that requires patience... That, and it's easier to hold the Kindle while nursing.
10. The boys and I enjoy going to library on Thursday afternoons. Zachary beelines for the computers while Daniel pulls books off shelves and plays with the Lego table in the corner. When it's about time to go I convince Zachary to get off the computer by letting him pick out a DVD. Daniel also gets to pick out a DVD, though he is considerably less picky in choosing one than his older brother. Anyway, earlier this week I had downloaded a book to the kindle and finished it the following day. While the book was certainly enjoyable, I was frustrated that it was done so quickly. So yesterday at the library, I walked along the shelves looking for thick books. Anything 2" or thicker I searched for on GoodReads and if the description sounded interesting, I added it to my "to-read" list. (I was able to do this while holding sleeping Eli, by the way. Two hands are generally needed to pull a book out, read the back, flip through, and determine whether it's a possible read.) I felt rather clever. That feeling soon vanished, unfortunately, when, during my next nursing session at home, I looked up those titles and discovered that not a single one was available in kindle version. Very disappointing. So now I need to either find more interesting titles that ARE in kindle version, or log onto the library website and start using their "hold" feature in anticipation of our next trip to the library.