Sunday, December 19, 2010

What a difference

I know it's a cliche, but what a difference a year makes.

Last year at this time, I was recovering from thyroid surgery, working at K-State. Now, I'm healthy, still not needing thyroid supplement (the half left is carrying the load), and halfway done with my LPN degree. I miss many aspects of K-State, but I also believe if I had stayed, the job would have drained me and I would have drained those around me. I am happy and scared with my career change, and hoping the next year and a half go quickly and smoothly.

It was a big year for our family. Last spring, Jay was laid up with osteomyelitis. His foot doesn't hurt him now, which I think is amazing, considering how significant the surgery and infection was. I just think how grateful I am for my cousin, who convinced us to get it check out. The "what if's" if we had waiting another week or two or three..... I shudder to think.

Lainie continues to make big progress. When she started speech at K-State, she was 2 years 10 months and her expressive language was assessed at 1 year 10  months. Now, she at 4 years 7 months, her expressive language is at 4 years 2 months. She's worked hard to get to where she's at; we all have. Her articulation is still in the 6th percentile and will be the focus for the next few years. But, she's doing well and can now communicate with us, when she wants to.

Maggie has matured so much this year. She is still boisterous, exuberant Maggie, but she has learned how to control herself in most situations. She is still naturally loud, but can be quiet if need be. Her speech, too, has made incredible bounds. She can now make the s and sh and ch and th sounds on command, even though she still slips up in conversation. I continue to be amazed at the power of speech therapy!!

Natalie-new is almost two. She is onery, to say the least. She came in the kitchen the other day, mad at her sisters, with her little arms crossed and her lip out. She stomped her little foot and pointed. Maybe I'm grateful she's not talking, because she had nothing nice to say that day! She is talking, when she wants to. She skipped saying individual words and jumped right now 2 and 3 word phrases. I'm not sure if it's 4th-child-itis or a speech delay, but I think we have enough IEPs to carry us for now. Besides, as the story above shows, she communicates her wants and needs in her own way.

And little girl is becoming a pre-teen. Someone told me that adolescent girls where high-heels in the daytime and cuddle their teddy bear at night. That pretty much sums up what stage she's in, half-little girl, half-grown. It scares me to realize how quickly she's grown. SLOW DOWN, I want to scream. But time doesn't slow, so I best make the most of the time I get with her. It feels like if I blink, she'll be too old to bother with annoying mom anymore.

What else happened this year? Buster, our chocolate lab, died. A few months later, we got Sadie. She has been a really good dog. She still jumps, but that's to be expected out of any 5-month-old dog with lab and weimaraner in her. We also finally managed to keep some cats around, with four yellow cats taking up residents near Sadie's pen.

The garden business continues to grow, literally and figuratively. Jay bought a greenhouse and has it mostly installed; it's just lacking one more set of supports and plastic. That brings the total to 1 greenhouse, 3 high tunnels, and 2 mobile high tunnels.

And I'd say that about wraps up my version of a Christmas letter this year. Some day this week, I hope to get the girls to sing a Christmas song, but since I lost my camera, that might be a bit trickier than usual. You might have to settle for their picture, instead.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good year!

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