Monday, April 16, 2012
What is most exciting is that little man seems to be really taking off with working on vocalizations! I will swear he hugged me and said "I love you" as he squeezed tight. No prompting in the world has got him to say it again.....but I know he did say it!! He has been using "I do" and "I did" this week, in addition to sounds that are clearly efforts to put one or more words together. Yes, I am still in that overwhelmed state but pushed to start The Listening Program with Peter. I decided to go with the least intense to start off with - 15 minutes a day. We made it (by stretching our imaginations) to 8 minutes on day 1. Then none on day 2 and loud NO!! on day 3. So we decided to not worry about time and logs and stress - and let him just listen as much as he wants until he gets used to the headphones which are huge!! And it seems to be working. We have stayed on the first module that is classical music with nature sounds overlaid. He calls out when he hears the birds, and just listening to the music he starts to make sounds - singing, talking, humming - all good! This is complimented by Peter's imaginary phone conversations that he really enjoys.....he opens up our "I don't have a real place to be stored" drawer in the kitchen, takes out John's old phone and walks around conversing up a storm. When he is done, he closes the phone up and puts it away. Today at church he was really enjoying the music and can clearly sing "alleluia". We enjoyed a breakfast at church and it warmed my heart to see Peter playing with the other kids - chasing, waving, dancing and more chasing!
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Things I learned this week...........I am often overwhelmed - and need to get used to it - don't remember what it feels like to be peaceful; I suck at ironing - as told by the vein-like lines climbing my pant legs no matter how hard I tried to get them out; the weekends are never long enough - I could use 3 day weekends every week; just because I am tired doesn't mean the kids are ready to go to sleep - making the house black and staying really quiet doesn't always work; and my favorite is that I am clumsy enough to hurt myself with the seat tray on an airplane.....I was trying to sleep on the plane but unable to get comfortable, decided to lean my elbows on the tray and cradle my head. The warning slides should have alerted me to the danger ahead - I did fall asleep until my arms slipped off the tray and my head came down with a crash broken only hitting the chair in front of me before landing on the tray.
Back from another trip and exhausted! I really could have used a long weekend to get caught up. A decent amount of laundry done and the pantry is stocked so I really should be thankful for what is done vs. what seems to be the eternally growing list of to-do's. I read this week that women need to relax at least 15 minutes a day - quietly - to ensure our body stays in balance. Some chemical I don't remember .....clearly not one that is in balance right now. I guess 15 minutes is something to strive for.....and I could really use it as I sit contorted trying to update this blog and Gretchen is literally screaming in my ear thrilled at the previously unattained pitches. My ears are ringing!
So starting with the little one first - G is doing great despite having a runny nose from allergies. She is energetic 24/7 and talking up a storm. This weekend was exciting as she finally relinquished her old worn out tennis shoes to try on some new shoes. Shoe shopping makes her scream in a non-happy way, but she found her dream shoes - hot pink party shoes! Once she found her dream shoes suggestion of trying on any other shoes brought on the non-happy screaming. Hot pink party shoes it is!! She and Tommy are becoming very close and she can be heard calling out "Thomas!" constantly. Her doll has gained a few more stains and scars ....did I mention she is not machine washable?! So not smart thinking Santa!! At Jack's last wrestling match Gretchen had been eyeing the girls playing with Barbie like dolls. After walking past several times, circling the group and finally getting the courage to try and play with the "big girls", Gretchen proudly held out her doll only to receive an unenthusiastic "she is dirty!". Clearly disappointed she came back to the bleachers to sit with me while hugging her doll extra tight. So this weekend we did our best to give "Dolly" a scrubbing and bought her some clothes to help her look more presentable. So the stains from being well loved are hidden but not lost. Gretchen likes to give her baby positive words of affirmation with at times a scary level of enthusiasm - tonight it sounds like "AH-GRRRR UUUUUHHHHH YOUUUUUU SSOOOOOOO PRETTY AHHHHH-GRRRRRR!!!!!".
Peter is doing great! Still no glasses ....they probably did go out in the trash one night. The replacements are still on their way - delayed by billing issues. No more two words together - but still working on words. Planning on starting his programs this week.....assuming I get a few minutes to read the instructions and get them ready. Having them on my nightstand must count for something - right??!!. My excitement this week as little as it may seem is that Peter is doing a much better job at bending down while bending both knees. Locking one leg as been an issue for a long time. He works on it but seeing him do it more and more often outside of therapy is very exciting. He is still not sleeping well, and is not eating well - but has got so thick on the upper body - big top resting upon his little chicken legs! He is really enjoying the warmer weather and playing outside. We still need to sign him up for swim lessons. In early April we have his transition meeting with the elementary school to prepare for Kindergarten. I am excited to report that this year's school pictures turned out really cute!
Thomas is still loving school - second only to playing with his friend Arianna up the road. He is devastated when she is not available to play.....I think given a choice he would move in with them so they could play all the time! When she is not available he keeps up with Gretchen and Peter. He and G are having more and more fun together, and he will help her with "Dolly" - he makes a great uncle! Ferdinand continues to be his favorite book, followed by anything Dr. Seuss related. I find that hilarious as I admit his books gave me the creeps as a kid - the Hat in the Cat totally stresses me out - I do not find messing a house up to be entertaining! He is still working on guitar although not as focused as we would hope; and continues to count down to summer break and tennis lessons - you're not alone buddy! I can't wait till summer either!!
Jack is super busy with wrestling and football. He is still devouring books like crazy. Thank you for the prayers for Jack - things have been getting better at school and spring break was a much needed break for him. We ask that you continue to keep him (well, all of us!) in your prayers. First wresting match he lost, second one he won beautifully, and third one I thought would leave him injured. For as hot tempered as Jack can be he keeps his cool on the mat and a focus that is inspiring. The kid he was wrestling was the one that pinned him during the finals last year and is clearly very talented. Even though he lost by points, he came off the mat with a smile on his face. The other team's coach told Jack that he had broken his opponents 2 year streak of pinning every one he wrestled. The boys mom then came over to congratulate Jack and share the same story. Suffice to say Jack is still beaming from it! The mom was so sweet to come over - her older son was on Michael's basketball team - and we had talked a few times. Her kind words were the cherry on top for Jack. May we all remember to take a few minutes to lift others up! How awesome to experience defeat and still have something to celebrate.....his determination, fight and never-give-up attitude will serve him well!
Michael decided to quit football. It was emotional as he knew how much John wanted him to do it. But, as the new kid on a very experienced team it was an unsurmountable task. Michael has always preferred basketball as a sport - and will be doing baseball again this summer. He is enjoying school and his friends - so thankful for that! No mocking allowed - but Michael had his first babysitting gig this weekend for our neighbors. From dog sitting to baby sitting! Our neighbors see how well Michael does with his siblings and were thrilled that he was available to take care of their son for a few hours so they could get away for a late movie. The kid slept so Michael enjoyed catching up on a book and some History channel. Phew - we all wanted the first time to go smoothly! With as busy as our family has been with sports, I am so thankful for all the help Michael gives me. So proud of what a fine young lad he is growing into!
Alexandra made the newspaper! She and John were referenced for the upcoming girls golf season. They have been at it hard, and I get very positive feedback on how she is doing. The goal is to consistently shoot under 100 and then work down from there. She really enjoys the sport and I am thankful she and John have that something special they enjoy together. She continues to do well at school and supports John's finance class at church by watching the kids for the families going through it. She is still doing to odd jobs around town - baby sitting, house help and office help - but is hoping for something more stable for the summer. John took her to a job fair and now has a few options to continue to explore. We are also hoping she can get some volunteer time in at the hospital so she can continue to discern her college options - so far still leaning for something in the medical field but leaning towards occupational therapy. Alexandra really enjoyed the down time of spring break including a sleep over and two movies this weekend (October Baby - loved it! and The Hunger Games - good but you can never capture all that is in the book); now time to get ready for testing and college searches - ahhh!
I think that catches us up on all! John is busy with golf and finance and taxes coming up! I am busy with work and home and too much other stuff. Hoping we can find some time to just slow down and enjoy but right now feels like we are going non-stop at neck breaking speeds. Off to fold some more laundry!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Where did November go? It seems like just yesterday we were rushing into Halloween yet here we are with December knocking on the door. Today we welcomed in one of my favorite times of the year - Advent. Father Mark hit the nail on the head today when he talked about the state of our hearts and souls - are we really ready for Christ to come again? He talked about weariness of the heart and amongst the scenarios from the readings today was anxiousness about “stuff of the world”. Well - that is me! I have been so stressed and so anxious and always feeling for the one thing I got done there are twenty that did not! I have tried very hard to get things done ahead of this Advent season so that I can truly just enjoy, reflect and prepare - what a glorious time for Gretchen to arrive! I did pretty good today... a few borderline moments....but overall pretty good - hoping day 1 sets the tone!
As a family we prepared our house by setting out our nativity set - the same one we had out when I was just a child and my parents passed down the year Alexandra was born. One day it will be hers too! We decorated the tree and pulled out photos from last year to determine who was in line for placing the angel on the top of the tree and the lighting - this year it was Peter’s turn to attempt the angel placement (with a bit of help from John), and it was Tommy’s turn to do the official tree lighting. Once all was put up, lit and tied up the kids enjoyed a glass of egg nog with John (I’m not an egg nog person.... so I just had milk).
Just a short post to start the season! I have added pictures to our 2009 Family Album in our new website http://web.me.com/catherinekrause/Krause_Bears
Here we are a few days after Thanksgiving. Alexandra is off at theatre practice for her upcoming high school production of Alice in Wonderland. Michael helped John bring in the boxes of Christmas decor ready to be pulled out. Jack and Tommy are wearing their matching cowboy boots (again!) and climbing all over the swing John set up in the front. Peter and I just got home from the grocery store and picked up (on sale - yeah!) our Christmas turkey to throw in the freezer for a few more weeks. And I reflect on the last week - the ups and downs, the joys and the stresses..... but here are the things I am thankful for with my family -
Monday, November 9, 2009
Well - under T-2 months until our little gal arrives! We continued to make huge progress in getting the nursery ready. After some disappointment I had to give up on my dream of a room with red barns, farm animals, and gingham fabrics. Instead we decided to work with the old bedding we had (I still need to pull out the sewing machine and repair a ripped sheet). We had painted the walls a pretty bright blue sky color. None the less I added some white clouds and yellow stars to match the Serendipity/Noah's Ark bedding. I have to say - I'm really happy with how it turned out! We still have a bit of work to do with the room - hopefully change out the old original 70's carpet (yucky!!), finish trim, put valance up and find a white dresser (please craigslist!!). However, I wanted to share how far we have come - so check out the photos!!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Last week we had awful weather in the Colorado - icy roads, snow, wind, closed schools, nasty roads - just one of those weeks when you need to bunker down by the fireplace and forget the outside world for a few days. But, amazingly, despite what seemed to be a gnarly weather week, the seasons flipped completely and we had a balmy Halloween. Actually in our 13 years in Colorado I think this is the warmest Halloween I can remember having. There went my excuse for staying in doors - but none the less I retained my status as dinner cooker/candy hander outer. Disappointingly we had very few kids come by our house - we are two blocks away from the hopping spot in the neighborhood but I think all the dark houses on our block lead to us being missed. That and the news put the fear in everyone that they would get H1N1 if they went out trick-or-treating. So - you can do the basic math....not enough trick-or-treaters and my large family still knocking on doors. Not only did we have candy left over but they of course came back with a ton. As a result Gretchen is on a Tootsie Roll high right now! [For those of you reading this on the carepages please check out our blog for the pictures www.krausebears.blogspot.com]