Thursday, February 26, 2015

I don't know why or how it came up, but for some reason the book "The Giver" came up in a conversation with Brennan.  Since neither of us have read it and he'd never even heard of it I can't fathom how its existence came to be spoken about by us, but Brennan was intrigued by what I thought the book was about and checked it out at his school library the very next day, yesterday.

He wanted me to add it to my reading out loud routine, but I have a hard enough time being consistent with even one book at a time.  But I picked it up and began reading it myself while the kids were getting ready for bed and despite taking a break to get some things done, finished it about 1am.  On a work night, meaning I had to get up extra early this morning.  Meh.  Who ever said growing older is the same thing as growing wiser. ;-)  Anyway, the thought provoking concepts were in my dreams and on my mind all day today.  I related several of the characters to my children, and interestingly the character Asher and my own Asher seem to have a lot of similarities, particularly about standing out for being well liked.  I am excited to start quoting now, "Asher, thank you for your childhood", in my case because he's delighted me with his. :-)  I nearly cried for the neighbor boy known for being scattered and disheveled - who couldn't get the hang of all the rules regarding order and "perfection".  I worried for his future, about his label in that community because he sounded just like my dear Brenny.  Anyway, enough book review.  It's just what's on my mind today.

I was started on some new stuff at work today.  Spent a good part of the day watching tutorials and learning stuff about Customer Relationship Management and Marketing.  Cool beans.

So I'm at a sort of crossroads right now about what to pursue, if anything.  Ugh.  Crossroads.  I was more and more liking the idea of pursuing a Master's in Speech Pathology with the hope of working as a pediatric speech therapist in a private practice.  There are many pros to that path, but the cons are the amount of time until completion and the accumulation of more student loans.  On the other hand, I'm already being trained in some skills at my job at Underwater Audio, which means I'm being PAID to learn - the opposite of college.  And I already enjoy what I'm learning and doing right now.  So that sounds good, however I KNOW I can't go terribly far where I am and the earning potential is not as much - we all want to earn more per work hour, right? Not to mention what's the point of working just to pay for the childcare? And I can't be sure what I'm learning at UA will transfer anywhere else.  I may want or need to pursue a marketing degree anyway, putting me back where I started.  What to do, what to do...

I think this is the first time in my life I'm being faced with BIG decisions and struggling over them.  For many it's what college/major (the first time) and who to marry.  I chose the only church school to accept me.  I didn't agonize over marrying Brian, I knew I wanted to and knew he'd be a stable, loving, eternal companion.  Easy peasy.  I didn't struggle about whether or not to serve a mission... I've just gone along in life with the routes that pleased me most.  I mean, I pray about my decisions and tried to be ready should I be warned about wrong courses, but I've never STRUGGLED over any decisions.

Until now.  I'm late in the game I suppose but apparently I'm not getting away scott-free in this life as I was beginning to think.  I've come to realize I don't care much for the tough choices.  (Which is what made "The Giver" so meaningful to me right now, I suppose.)

The kids are all doing very well.  Brennan finished his OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books) competition, which means as a parent coach, so have I.  Whew.  It was fun, but became sort of a bother.  I'm always torn between the guilt of not volunteering at the kids' school, and the guilt of getting friends to babysit so I CAN help at school.  Now that I'm calling in so many more babysitting favors I've started sucking it up and taking the littles with me when I do things at the school.  On the plus side, they're a hit among staff and students alike.  Brennan's piano lessons are coming along.  As the weather gets nicer its harder to get practice time in because he relishes his time with friends outside so much, and I hate to decline his requests to play OUTSIDE like we're supposed to let/make our kids do more of, as a rule.  But he'd doing very well with it.

Asher is doing well also.  Not really anything I can think of to report about him.  He loves his Sunday School teacher very VERY a lot (that's an Asherism).  Not like a crush, he just loves her.  You know, this reminds me of his blankie.  What I mean is, Asher had no special attachment to anything in particular until he was about 3 or so when, in preparation for a trip to Idaho, I planted the seed in his mind that this one blanket was special.  I named it blankie, I talked about it being HIS blankie and he bought it hook, line, and sinker.  From just that little seed I planted he immediately took it as if, "duh", it's always been his blankie.  He still cherishes it as his favorite.  In this case, I only had to suggest how lucky he was to have Sister Neuffer as his teacher, that I liked her very much and thought he would as well.  And bam, a special friendship was born.  Of course he has received special comfort from her during class when he was very upset once, and because he invited her to his birthday party, she stopped by to visit with him on his birthday and give him a little gift.  Those efforts didn't hurt, or course.  And they certainly solidified Asher's feelings!  I just adore seeing him love his church teacher, lol.

Hollyn, dear sweet Hollyn.  She's doing well too.  Knock on wood, but I think the terrible twos/threes are about over.  At least when it comes to messes and getting into things.  As she gets older and more capable she gets more helpful and obedient as well.  Still three, of course.  But I think the worst is over for now.  I am loving the progress she's made in various areas.  When she started preschool - at the youngest age of any of my kids so far - I was concerned because she'd be with 4-5 year olds who can write their names and everything.  She not only couldn't write, she still just scribbled when she colored, she didn't know color names, I don't think she recognized any numbers/letters yet (now I can't remember, she may have known a couple) and I'm not sure she could count perfectly to 10.  Not out of lack of brightness, just out of lack of time from Mama focusing on those things with her.  She started preschool and all of a sudden a couple weeks later I realized she could draw stick figures, she could write much of her name without help, could count to 20 almost perfectly, and knows her colors.  So she's really taking off and I'm enjoying watching it.

Kieran and his ears!  We took care of a pretty bad outer ear infection and he's a happy, chill little dude again.  But the poor guy is always alternating every few weeks between happy, perfect baby and grouchy, pained, clingy monster.  Don't you wish they could tell you when and where their aches and pains are?  Kieran still isn't saying a whole lot in English.  He says Mama and just recently Uh Oh, as well as Ball and Balloon.  And that's about all I can think of.  The rest is still Kieranese.  He has a lot of babble-sounds and sequences that are repeated so they may mean certain things for which I have no idea.  Or maybe they're just his favorite sounds to make.  Regardless, it's cute.  I sure love my little Kier-Bear Snuggle Bug.
I had heard Brennan sleep walk last night, but was still surprised to find him here when I came up to go to bed myself.

Receiving some beads at the Blue and Gold Banquet

 I was in charge of decorations for a YW activity of an Unusual Talent Show.  I bought balloons knowing they'd be donated to my children (particularly Kieran and ball/balloon King) afterwards, and sure enough he cried when I took them to do the decorating.  They returned of course and they're the first things Kieran goes for when he wakes up.  With four of them floating around there's always been one for Kieran to grab as he goes by, especially when I'm carrying him. :-)

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