Happy Birthday to Me!

I turned 36 on Friday! We had some low-key celebrations and I tried to stretch the birthday perks into sleeping in each morning all weekend and getting a big fat nap today, which worked out pretty well for me. I never thought a nap would be such a cherished gift, but I can’t think of anything I want or need more.

Yesterday was great, we went to the temple, had dinner together after we put the kids down, watched LOST (we’re one episode behind still), and I finally “caught on” to Guitar Hero. (I wrote more on this new development in my life here.) I finally beat Tom Morello in battle–it only took me 10 times!


Lucy had some assessments this week. She is performing well on problem solving and cognitive skills, and physically is developmentally doing well. She’s language-delayed, though. As part of this, both her teacher and the assessment person tell me Lucy’s strong personality makes her difficult to work with and get to do things! She clearly knows what they want, but will stare them in the face, take the materials, and throw them on the floor with smug raised eyebrows.

Lucy and her teacher, Anaika, playing with curlers

The fact she’s the baby of the family, our family is large by today’s standards, and that she started out sickly they said often leads to this–she’s spoiled! We also apparently infantalize her, even though she’s almost two, because she’s so small. We don’t talk to her and interact with her like a two-year-old, but simply tote her around and live life around her like she is a baby.

She gets read to simply because she’s on the lap if someone else is being read to, but there is no special time where we just sit with her and a book and ask, “Where’s the ball? Show me.” Honestly, when I saw the teacher trying to get her to do this, I thought, “That is ridiculous, how come they are trying to get a baby to do that?” Which tells you how duped we are.

She still wakes to nurse 1-3x a night like a 4 month old, that’s how duped I am. I worked with my other kids to train them to be great sleepers by age 1 at the very latest, and we’ve all been the happier for it. How did I get here?

I think it is remarkable that I haven’t noticed that she’s hard. The teachers tell me that this is a credit to me, that I’m not high-strung, I am used to not getting enough sleep, I am juggling a lot of things and people, and that my idea of “hard” has adjusted since I have other children that, we’ll say, are “challenging.” (Meaning that they care always challenging me!)

They say that if I were a first-time mom and Lucy was my only one, I’d be pulling my hair out over her. Which is funny, because as far as parenting goes, this is nothing in comparison.

I’m glad to have this perspective, though, and after we move (we all agreed we should wait until then) I need to teach her to sleep and welcome her more to the independence and excitement of toddlerhood, along with more age-appropriate books and materials.

It’s so funny how overprepared I was with my first, and how behind the ball I am now. I think some middle ground must be the best place to be. I see people at the store stressing out over their toddlers’ behavior and I just think, “Oh, honey, let it go, you have no idea what’s ahead of you if THIS freaks you out.”

Anyway, so there’s Lucy.

Noah needs Joyschool or something. I need to figure out how to occupy him in the next month. He still has that half-sick, out-of-sorts thing that comes and goes. Sweet as ever, and into everything.

Ben is doing great on his schoolwork. We are really drilling math facts right now, and we won’t go on in our curriculum until he can do 100 multiplication problems in under 6 minutes. He is now doing 50 2-digit plus 2-digit addition problems in almost 5 minutes. We use this website to drill.

Sophie is actually really excited about what she says will be her “whole new life.” I know there will be apprehension with the upheaval, but she seems to be going forward with a really great attitude. She is surprisingly unattached to school, although she’s going to miss 2-3 of her friends.

David has more long-distance work coming up, but, in today’s economy, I’m starting to feel grateful for a job that actually grows more secure with the economic problems (foreclosures can increase his workload).

David sent me this great article that I found very motivating about the potential of frugal living. Now is definitely the time for it!

And now for a very small soapbox:

I have found myself getting more involved in the election process this week, and want to encourage all my friends and loved ones out there to not let the talking heads do all your thinking for you. Seriously, the talking heads should never be your primary source of information on anything.

Get the facts about all the people (not just your people) from the people themselves. If you want to hate somebody, do it smart by knowing what it is you don’t like about them.

Here’s your assigned reading for the week!

http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/
http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

And, as I said before, let hope direct your vote.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Tim. 1: 7

PS: Finally we’re back into our Sunday routine of chore charts and blogging, so blogs for Ben, Sophie, and Suburban Harvest are updated.

5 replies
  1. Suzy says:

    Happy birthday Valerie!! And thanks for the comment–I do so wish we could have hung out. One day we will.

    I’m tagging you! Please visit my blog for the details.

    Reply
  2. Suzy says:

    Happy birthday Valerie!! And thanks for the comment–I do so wish we could have hung out. One day we will.

    I’m tagging you! Please visit my blog for the details.

    Reply
  3. brieanne. says:

    HAPPY BELATED BDAY! it’s amazing what a good nap can do and I hope you get many more in the year ahead 🙂 I have no clue how you keep up with all that you do but you should def. be giving yourself a pat on the back every single day. you are an amazing woman!
    ps – thanks for the links to frugal living & election run-downs!

    Reply
  4. brieanne. says:

    HAPPY BELATED BDAY! it’s amazing what a good nap can do and I hope you get many more in the year ahead 🙂 I have no clue how you keep up with all that you do but you should def. be giving yourself a pat on the back every single day. you are an amazing woman!
    ps – thanks for the links to frugal living & election run-downs!

    Reply

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