I'm really busy lately, so much so that I'm really sad I'm not keeping this blog up to date. I feel bad that Iris won't have as good a history written out for her infancy. We are benefiting from the history though, and take glimpses back at what Clark was doing at this age. I was invited to write for our church's women's group's blog (English teachers, Do I need all of those apostrophies?). It is http://womenofstraphael.blogspot.com/ if you'd like to check it out. I don't have that much time to post there either, but I did get one in a few days ago.
I have been having a hard couple of weeks adjusting to having these two kids. It was hard to admit while it was hard. Now I feel better, and I almost can't stop talking about it. It makes me feel better to share, I guess. I've been focusing on eating well, getting sleep when I can, and on Clark when he is awake. He is a very independant boy, but he is at a critical developmental point right now and he needs lots of guidance. Every few months I realize my old parenting tricks won't work anymore. I need to develop a new skill set. I have probably needed to develop this new set for a while, but with the baby and the pregnancy, it has fallen by the wayside. I was being lazy, and everyone said it was ok, but now I need to step up and be the parent he needs me to be. Realizing this has helped me.
We have also been given the gift of a free night. Tom's best friend from high school, Mike Farmer, moved up here in September. We have been spending a lot of time with their family, wife Kathryn, and son Owen. The Farmers (Kathryn) have taken Clark for the night. I had a free afternoon. Tom will be home and we will have a free evening, a sleep in morning, and pick Clark up when we feel like it on Saturday. I am already so relaxed. Having two kids is way harder than one! Even though Iris is as easy as Clark was at this age (see paragraph above) Clark is a challenge for us right now. Plus, he is exhausting, and we aren't getting as much sleep. It is hard to see yourself less loving and patient then you know you COULD be if you just had a little more rest.
Another help for us has been a Mother's Helper. I sent an add out in our neighborhood list serv. I got an 11 year old girl to come over to our house and clean up. She picked up toys and socks and unloaded the dishwasher. It was amazing. Our house looks beautiful. She was just here for an hour, and I paid her $5. Now our house is tidy, and I didn't have to do it for once. She will be coming once or twice a week to help out. She will help tidy, and also play with Clark so I can get some Brio Birth work done, blog, or take a nap! She just came once and I love her already.
On the Iris front, she is fat and happy. She had her 2 month check up and she looks great. She is above the curve for height and weight, just over 14lbs already! She has a spitup/gagging/projectile vomiting problem, but it isn't affecting/effecting (English teachers?) her growth (14lbs!) so it isn't a big deal. I just feel bad for her when she is so visibly uncomfortable, and then I'm covered in spitup. Its a lifestyle issue, not a health issue. I have elminated gluten and dairy and caffiene from my diet (but not chocolate!!! They'll never take my chocolate!!!). and it helps A LOT, but she still has periodic issues.
Clark is happy, healthy, vibrant, energetic. He loves colors, counting, the ABCs, songs, books, trucks, cars, airplanes, helicopters, balls, etc. In some books and for some songs, if I leave out words he can now add them in. He is at a really fun, and also challenging age. Me and some friends are going to start a co-op preschool. We are going to start in a few weeks. We are just going to meet once a week - but we are excited about it. It is a fun experiment. We were thinking of putting him in a sports camp this spring/summer - but with everything else going on, we are busy enough. This fall he might play "magnet ball" (toddler soccer) with his friend Will Clark.
Tom is happy. He got an ipad (Thanks Ray!) and will be "facetime" chatting with family members soon. He is in Physical Therapy for his back, and it seems to be helping. He has had lots of back problems in the past 4 years due to a very tiny fender bender which totally messed his back up. He had been going to the chiropractor, but with our new insurance the PT was cheaper, and they do some adjusting too. He has another publication coming out sometime in the near future. It is the last paper he will be on from his heroin days. When it is published, maybe we can post a link here. He is flying RC helicopters frequently, mostly at the request of Clarkiekins.
I just started running again, and plan on getting a double jogging stroller in the next couple of weeks. It is Springtime, and that means running. It makes me feel so good, I'm excited to be out moving my body again. I will also start teaching my new Brio Birth classes soon. I have one couple due in May. I am doing a private class with them and I hope I can help them have a really good birth experience. It will also give me a chance to review the new curriculum. It is really, really good. Even more exciting, Iris and I are featured in the workbook. There are two pictures of us nursing in it. It is really exciting to be in the book, and to also have this incredible new curriculum that just blows what I had been teaching right out of the water. I have many pregnant friends right now, and I'm glad to be sharing it with them too. I hope I can start attending births as a doula whenever Iris is a little bit older.
My cousin Jordan was here last week. We did some fun stuff in the city and hung out around the house. As I mentioned last year, she is the best house guest. I have figured out why. She doesn't mind lounging around our house and being lazy (unlike our mothers who always have to be busy) and she is highly competent in childcare and she doesn't mind it when I boss her around. So if you would like to be a good house guest for us, please take my orders, play with Clark when I'm not bossing you around, and in the rest of your time sit around and do nothing and enjoy it! no, no, no. please be yourself, but these are the reasons we really love it when Jordan comes to visit! She's the best!
Our future looks bright. We have upcoming visits from Tom's bestie Ian, and his beautiful wife, Kelly. Then I am some one's sponsor for confirmation at the Easter Vigil. Then we are going to Ft. Lauderdale for a BEACH (conference) VACATION! We have a visit from the lovely Monica Janzen, and then Tom's parents will be here in mid-June for a conference and for Iris's (English teachers??) baptism June 19th. All are welcome to join us for the baptism!