Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Mother of All Updates

Life is full of twists and turns and ups and downs. Honestly, that's not the reason I haven't been posting. I like to post from work and it's hard to get pictures. I wanted to put pictures in this post because it's so important to me to document how much the kids are changing. Evie looks like such a big girl. Andrew is such a little boy as opposed to a baby. I also warn that this post is going to be extremely long because SO MUCH has happened. I don't have pictures for everything because, again, it's so hard to get them here, but I still have a lot to talk about since my last post in March!

I'll start with Evie because her picture is at the top.

Can you believe this child? Look at her. Look how she's grown. Do you know she's wearing size 6 clothes? In girls'. No more toddlers, though I can get her in a 5T if I need to. She's something like 44 inches tall right now, too. I'm sure that, like me, she'll always be the tallest in her class. She is going into Pre-K next year, and they're working with her on her pencil grip. Her fine motor skills are still not great, but she's finally getting the pencil grip. She traces letters and numbers perfectly. Her teacher and I are certain she could just flat out write, but she doesn't have any confidence, so we're working on that. She's doing phonics... letter sounds and things. She knows all her letters and numbers, and is working on putting them together into words. She's also doing basic math. I've been told to stop worrying about teaching her academics because she picks them up through osmosis lol. I'm supposed to work with her on listening and understanding directions because her ADD is so bad things move out of her brain before she has a chance to comprehend. It's a work in progress, but she's only 4 and so, so smart. We'll get there.

Her imagination has turned into this bottomless pit of scenarios and people and characters. She's always someone. "I'm not Evie. I'm Officer Judy Hopps Bunny"! or Owlette or any number of people. She has whole conversations with the other characters, and if she doesn't have actual figures, she pretends her fingers are the characters.

She has always got me laughing about something. Everything that comes out of her mouth is hilarious, whether it's insisting that I say goodnight to her butt, or a story about school, or inviting herself to be the third wheel on a date with her 22 year old cousin.

My mom and I took her to her first movie this weekend to see Finding Dory. She was actually pretty good, and she loved the movie. She wants to go back every day. She's still super into swimming and playing outside, and wears me out like I can't imagine any other child on this earth could haha. She loves PJ Masks, Zootopia, The Lion Guard, and Bob the Builder. She's got a huge sweet tooth that we are having trouble overcoming without setting her off on a sweets-only adventure when she's old enough to decide for herself. She loves to eat ice cream and watch Bob with daddy, but we try to make sure that's only 2 nights a week. Sometimes we fail.

She's got an attitude. Partially because she's 4, and partially because she's mine haha. There's a lot of "You'll have to go to your room if you don't listen" going on in our household. But she's also so sweet and loves to cuddle and sit in our laps and she needs someone to lay with her at bed time, which can be annoying, but sometimes is just the sweetest thing. I love laying with my girl and playing  and talking about our day.

She is still not potty trained, and it's so embarrassing. She can go by herself, and poops on the potty, but she just does not want to pull herself away from what she's doing to go, so unless we offer some sort of reward she just doesn't care. It's frustrating but at least she knows what to do and does it sometimes. I mean.. that's something... I think.


Next up is Andrew.

Andrew was a huge surprise for us, as you all know. Looking back on my older Facebook posts around this time is funny to me because I was writing about how tired I was, or throwing up, etc. and I found out it was because I was pregnant. It never ceases to amaze me. Life with two children is definitely more difficult, but I don't think I ever could've felt complete without Andrew. He is such a special little boy.

We took him to a geneticist a few months back. We didn't learn anything, and are waiting on some test results. She said he has a couple of dysmorphic features which could indicate something genetic, but nothing really stood out to her, so we're just going to run the battery and see what happens. The test we really wanted isn't covered by insurance so we're going to see how we can get that one done and wait on the results from the others in the meantime. Unfortunately he's still not speaking, but we did decide to seek extra therapy, so he now sees a private speech therapist twice a week. We're working with him on signing, and just understanding that he needs to "ask" in some way before receiving something. He's starting to pick it up slowly. Sometimes I swear he's saying words. His state-provided therapist even said he said "go". Sometimes when I ask him questions I'm almost certain he says "yes" in response. I really don't know what's going to happen in the future, but we're trying. They also do feeding therapy and hopefully that will help because he still won't eat solids. Can. But won't.

On the up side, he's definitely learning. He helps me get him dressed and tries to hang up his coat when he comes in (though he's too short to reach). He's starting, albeit very slowly, to understand utensils. Andy has been working with him on that and I'm really proud of their progress. With learning also comes the terrible 2s. He's climbing over everything, getting into everything, and currently obsessed with closing doors. He's stealing toys from his sister and throwing little tantrums like any other 2 year old. It's kind of silly how happy those things make me, but he's expressing himself and interacting with her, and that's progress. I think at times he still sees her as an obstacle. He doesn't snuggle with her like he does with us, but I think that's because he sees her as "the one that takes my toys" or "the one that won't stop touching me" haha. She loves him so much and I hope he opens up to her soon.

He's doing so incredibly well in daycare. He doesn't cry or anything. He just goes in and starts playing. He's starting to interact with his teachers and school friends. Not a ton, but he is making eye contact, and he always wants his teachers to hold him (really, he wants any and everyone to hold him. He was in his new speech therapists' lap after 5 minutes). He comes over to the mat for story time and sits with his friends. It's just been a great experience for him and to see him interacting with other kids is really nice. He has interacted with Evie. He'll roll around on her and take her blankets and things. I just want them to be close. They're so close in age and she loves him so much. I think he's just not sure what to make of her. She can be overwhelming.

He's also very, very attached to me. It doesn't matter where he is or what he's doing or who he's with. If he sees me? He wants up. He runs to me and throws himself into my arms. He follows me around the house. He stands and watches TV between my knees, and climbs up into my lap and back down about a thousand times a day. He snuggles with me, and the last two nights, he's given me real kisses. Like... lean in, plant one right on me, unquestionable, undeniably... kisses. It can get tough because E needs me, too, but usually she's pretty good about understanding that he's a baby, and she's also not nearly as touchy as he is. She loves hugs and kisses, but just not constantly.

And for the most part, he's still just the sweetest thing. Sleeps like an angel, rarely gets upset (aside from the tantrums since he's 2!). He just adds something to our lives that was missing. It's impossible to be sad with him loving on me all the time!

I got pictures done for Andy for Father's Day, and this is the one I ended up framing. Andrew was MISERABLE the entire shoot, so we did the best we could.

So that's the kids, but what about Andy and I? Well, we'll talk about Andy first.

I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but he got a new job. He started working at Paypal at the end of March, and last week was his first week on the floor. He's trying to adjust to his new schedule. He works 4 ten hour days, 12-11 (including lunch) so he's home really late. He is off weekends though and that's been nice for us to be able to plan things to do together. It's a big change though working such long hours, so he and the kids have been missing each other. The good news for me is he's taking them to school in the morning so I can go straight to work. And the money helps. He makes way, way more than he did at Wawa, and gets overtime and holidays and vacation and such. It's just really nice to have a little security. He has benefits and a 401K and stuff, too. And I think he's happier. All he's wanted to do was just contribute more financially and he's doing that now and he feels good supporting his family. I'm just so glad this happened for him, and there's so much room for growth.

And me. Well, it turned out that my brother is a match for me for a transplant. He's on the second round of testing, and we're hoping for a Fall transplant. We were looking at September, but he's been out of town a lot so it may end up being October. The kids and I are going to have to stay  with my parents for a while because Andy's schedule is not conducive to my recovery. I'm thankful they have agreed to help me because he can't be off that long and I can't lift or drive or anything, and I can't tell a 2 year old not to roll around on mommy. I mean I can, but he doesn't get it. So they're going to help me wrangle the kids and get them to school and stuff. I just can't wait for all of this to be over! 

Andy and I are looking to buy a new house maybe next year, too, so I'm trying to cram in a bunch of house projects and he's being a pain about it, but we need more space, and he at least acknowledges that much. There's so much going on I feel like I never have time to sit down, but in all honesty things are pretty good. I just pray every day that God keeps giving us strength and helps us to make the right choices because sometimes I'm just not sure. What I do know is, as always, I'm blessed.