Anika, Sam, and a Teeny Tiny Bit of Relocating ME.
Ok wow. I did not mean to let so much time pass without updating. Totally one of those situations where TOO MUCH HAPPENED in too short a period of time, and I couldn’t write about THIS without first acknowledging THAT, and then….spiralfaceplant. Mpph.
It’s complicated being me. Needless to say this might be kind of a long update and I AM SORRY.
Also, do you ever start an update and realize it’s getting too long and slog-like for you to write it (never mind for anyone else to READ it)? That totally happened here so I am giving up and doing a separate post about the babies later. Right-o.
So I think I’ll start this post by chatting about each of my crazies, and doing some general catchup before diving into the stuff I’m really thinking about. Sound good?
First up, my lovely Anika.
Anika is 7. SEVEN. ONETWOTHREEFOURFIVE….you get the idea. She’s a total kid now. No more messing around with this little kid nonsense – she is a full on girl. It’s kind of mind-blowing.
She’s in Grade 2, and so far so….interesting.
She’s doing fine; not necessarily burning up the charts academically but she’s doing it the way she’s always done it – she tends to go a bit slower for the fall and by the spring she builds up her confidence and does much better. It’s a bit conflicting, because on the one hand you ALWAYS want your kid to do really well (and be recognized for the gorgeous brilliant wonderful person they are, in EVERY arena). But on the other hand, when I stop and think about it, Anika is really learning exactly what I want her to learn at this stage in her life. She’s learning to work hard. She’s learning that if she doesn’t get something instantly it’s perfectly okay to work at it; to speak up and ask for clarification; to figure it out – and that if she does keep working at it, she CAN figure it out.
It’s a lesson I don’t think I understood until I was older really, and I actually really like that she’s learning that now. As long as she’s not giving up, I am happy.
Dance is….well. She is dancing ALL THE TIME.
I guess compared to a lot of kids and the competitive circuit she’s not really dancing all the time, but even when she isn’t dancing she is totally dancing. She LOVES it. Thrives on it. The number of times I have had to say this year “Anika, my oven handle is NOT A BARRE AND I AM COOKING DINNER.” Or tripped over her working on the splits in the living room (which she can totally do now and it’s FREAKY).
She’s maturing there as well I think. She’s getting better and better at it and the more she does the more committed she is to loving it. I always expect that by the Christmas break she will be ready for a break but she really isn’t. She couldn’t wait to get back to it. She’s doing ballet, tap and jazz this year, and while she really likes tap I think her first love is still ballet and jazz. So we will see what next year brings – she wants to start working to the RAD exams in ballet, so….I guess we will see.
Her creativity amuses me to no end – she reads ALL. THE. TIME. now, which is fantastic – it’s gotten so that I have to actually go and drag her out of her room in the morning to get her to put her book down and get ready for school. It’s so familiar to how I was as a kid, and really fun to see.
Talia is especially besotted with her big sister – and Anika figured out before Christmas that as long as Talia could SEE her she would be happy.
She also started reading to the girls a little bit, so that’s fun too.
One other thing that I think is interesting about Anika is how well she and Sam get along. There’s the usual sibling bickering of course….but they really seem to love each other and they play well together – she can be eyerolly and huffy and whatever but she will always always help him. I love that about her. She’s a great sister to all of them.
(Except maybe Lucy but in her defence, picking up Lucy is always a gamble – that girl’s reflux is an adventure and Anika does NOT hold truck with babies spitting up on her.)
Sammo is doing well too. He’s predictably “boy” and “three”, which roughly translates to “kind of a handful” from time to time…but overall he’s great.
We had a really nice Christmas holiday with all of the kids, but Sam in particular was just SO happy and relaxed. He spent hours hanging out and doing puzzles (still his favourite thing ever) and just…being with his family.
The other day I asked him if he’d like me to find someone to stay with the twins one day while Anika was at school so that he and I could go swimming as a special date. He said he would really rather go on a special date all together with Mommy and Daddy and Anika and Lucy and Talia. He’s really just happiest when we are all together.
One thing Sam managed to do around New Years was to BURN THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of his hand on the fireplace. It’s a gas fireplace with a glass front on it, and we didn’t really think anything of it – he knew it was hot; the kids were careful – we weren’t worried about it. But he managed to just graze the back of his hand along the glass and whammo – blisters the whole lengths of all four of his fingers and onto the back of his hand – a complete mess.
(Yes I do have a picture – but I will spare you.)
We treated the burns and wrapped him all up in a gauze bandage for the better part of a week, trying to give them time to heal (can I get an amen for kid skin that heals super fast??). He was SO GOOD about it. It was kind of crazy – I mean, burns hurt right?? He insisted up and down that it didn’t hurt; he was fine; he just needed to wear his special mitten until his hand healed. The funniest part about the whole thing is that it was his right hand and now….now it’s been a month and he still does certain tasks with his left hand. Like eat soup. I have no idea why.
I feel like in general life is starting to get a bit easier. I’ll share more about the babies in another post but….I really do think things are slowly easing. Nights are getting better (the girls are generally only up once or maybe twice, and usually at the same time which is a HUGE improvement). They are better able to entertain themselves when they are awake now, and it’s given me some bits of time here and there to catch my breath a bit and evaluate where we are – and where I am.
We recently decided that we need to hire some help for a couple of days a week, and have been SUPER blessed that our friend and long time go-to person to look after our kids when we go out is available to help us. She’s one of those people who just makes things easy – “Nope, you guys go, I got this.” And it might not be totally smooth and awesome for her but she figures it out, doesn’t make us feel guilty for going out, and loves our kids in spite of the bumps. It’s the best situation I can think of.
She’s going to come one full day and two half days per week for now – the full day will be on a day when Sam is home, which will let me spend some time with him (rather than fitting him in around the babies). The half days will span the after school homework/dinner/CRAZY hours and hopefully help things run a little more smoothly – and allow me to spend some better quality time with all of the kids. I hope.
I’ve slowly been getting back into the things that I love. I made Lucy this sweater in December, and am working on finishing Talia’s.
The pattern is Welcome to the Flock by Julia Farwell-Clay and it’s SO FRICKIN CUTE I just can’t even. If you don’t mind messing with colour it’s a pretty easy knit, and quick too.
As anyone who has read this blog for awhile knows, working with my hands makes me SO happy and knitting is a good compromise – doesn’t typically require the overhead or effort that sewing does, and I can haul it out, knit one row, and then go deal with whatever else I have to do.
That said, I finally finished a couple of character skirts I was making for Anika and a friend for ballet class….and I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt to sew that first seam. It sounds so silly but I was so. much. happier for DAYS after doing that.
They are not exactly complicated sewing….but it was great to get into it.
I’m really hoping to be able to incorporate more of that into my days in the coming months….I’ve promised Sam a “mater” shirt, and I’ve got some LOVELY fabrics to tackle a washi dress or two for me. I’ve promised to make Anika and her friend Scirocco dresses for the summer, so there are things!
And you know, it’s REALLY REALLY nice to have “things” that are unrelated to looking after babies.