Summer is here! I haven't posted in almost 5 months so I thought I would give a quick update while I can. We are doing good in Virginia and its finally starting to feel like we are part of a community. My life pretty much evolves around my kids at this stage of my life so here's an update of each kid:
Noah is still doing good but has reflux. He vomits lots when trying baby food/rice cereal and we've given up for a week until his doctor appt. We are still nursing and he is up at least twice every night, which makes for one tired and exhausted mommy. He's not a big fan of his car seat and being hauled around everywhere for the other kids activities. But besides this, he is a good baby and definately has a preference for mom and loves being held a lot. I think he's figured out that if he cries when I set him down, I'll pick him up :)
Four kids in general is a lot of work...especially all under 8 and a newborn that doesn't sleep at night. I have a newfound respect for all of those in these shoes. Some days I have to dig deep for strength and pray to God to give me strength to get through the day or at least until Mike gets home to help out.
Ryan is definately my hardest kid. Good news is he is now potty trained and is he's really cute and fun at night-time when he is stalling from going to bed. As most of you know, he still has speech delays and some sensory issues and is more active than your typical 3 yr old. During the school year, he went to preschool for his speech 5 days a week, for 4 hours a day. And although I had to drive for 3 hours a day, he was getting help and it was giving me a break from him. Now he's is a wild kid in the afternoons due to his sensory needs and he's only getting 45 min of help a week for his speech. I got a water table for him and going to get an indoor trampoline and ipad to help him. I'm also working on getting more help privately in my "down time"--if this exists :) Good news is he is trying to say sounds and making some progress. His speech specialist said he's one of the worst cases of speech delay kids she's seen. She wasn't being mean--just honest and blunt. He still has 2 more years of preschool so we are hoping he makes lots of progress before kindergarten.
Andrew and Katie are doing great! They are on the neighborhood swim team, which keeps us all very busy. Practices are M-F for an hour at 8:45am--I have the get all of the kids up and ready in the morning to get there. They also have meets on Wednesday nights and Saturdays, if they are good enough. Katie just had her first Saturday meet in the 6 & under group doing backstroke--she was excited and did good. We go to the pools a lot lately--we have 5 association pools we belong to and they are awesome! It's been so hot here, its nice to get in the water but it gets difficult with a newborn that I'm not comfortable taking in yet and that needs to be nursed frequently. We've been doing activities off of our "bucket list" with them and went camping with Andrew's cub scout troop--first camping trip ever with kids. Mike actually took the older 3 kids and I went home late at night with Noah and returned in the am with McDonalds breakfast. Andrew is pretty much "caught up" in his reading delays and we have a summer points system in place where they get rewards for doing reading, math, and spelling, faster swim times, etc. It's going good so far.
I've met a couple friends that I'm close with here in Virginia and we are actually starting to feel part of a community. I just started last week doing bootcamp again and am on the road to losing my "baby weight" again. It's been a long road here in Virginia, much harder than I ever expected but we are doing good now and in a good place. Mike's job is okay...its not the job description he expected and his boss and co-workers could be better but we are thankful he has a job and he is getting lots of good experience. We still own our home in Chaska and taking a big hit every month in renting it out but at least we have renters now. Our A/C went out last night in our Chaska home...thankfully it was fixed with a service call and we didn't have to replace it yet. We are here for at least another 8 months due to our work and lease commitments and will probably be here until school year is over at least. Time will tell and we are finally content with that and won't make a decision until Christmas time.
We are coming to MN end of July! Leaving VA on the 27th, arriving late on the 29th (stopping at Dells), there until Aug 10th. Mike is working from home during the weeks and we will be staying at his parents again. I am so looking forward to catching up with friends and family! Gotta go--baby is crying and family needs to be fed. I would love to hear from my MN friends if you have time and would love to hear how you and the kids are doing--send me an e-mail if you have a chance :)