Thursday, April 23, 2015

Girl on fire

And so ... three weeks later, I suppose I owe you an update on our little heart patient. I've been meaning to sit down and catch up, but I've been so busy keeping up with this little girl and her newfound energy + stamina + confidence that the opportunity has eluded me. So yes, not only is our youngest back to herself, but she's back to BEYOND herself. I like to say that we got the Joci upgrade.

They did say that she may have more energy after her heart got fixed, but I'd say she's got some more personality as well! Of course, we're 21 months now--that age where their attitudes and preferences really start to shine. It's also that age that can drive me absolutely batty! Let's take this morning, for example, when I was upstairs retrieving the entire roll of toilet paper out of the toilet and picking chunks of wet toilet paper out of my sink drain. Meanwhile, Joci had grabbed the box of rice crisps and was sitting on the stairs, tossing handfuls into the air, yelling, "weeeee!!"

It was one of those moments when I was truly thankful we have a dog.

I'm not always thankful for the dog, but the dog is always thankful for Jon!
Fast forward to an hour or so later, and I thought I'd try to get ready for a yard sale. I'm trying to sort through clothes piles that both girls are rolling around in--pulling out too-small shirts and begging to wear them again--when I notice my pen is missing. Joci tells me she took it in to the laundry room. I go to retrieve it, and come back to find yard sale stickers EVERYWHERE, including both girls, the dog, and all over the front of the TV.

She's distributing garlic powder amongst all the clean measuring cups.
You'd think nap time would be a welcome respite, except Sister hates naps. You should hear her yell "No nap! No nap! No nap!" over and over and over again. Actually, you probably can hear her. I'm sure the whole neighborhood can.

Jocelyn has two ways to fight her nap. The first is to scream, push my hand away, hit my chest, and scratch at my face. This is actually the preferable reaction because I know that if I can hold out for a good ten minutes, she eventually winds down and then WHAM--konks out on my shoulder.

Her other manner of refusal is much sweeter ... and more dangerous. That's what happened this afternoon. I gave up on trying to put her to sleep in my arms and decided to lay down with her. I was certainly ready for a nap, and halfway there when she started crawling over my head. Then she sat on my face, started pulling on my eyelids, and singing some song about "Maaaa-ma, maaa-ma, no nap, no nap ..." You win, Joci. No nap today. Of course, we all paid for it by dinner time.

Despite these recent adjustments, our little girl is doing really, really well! In fact, we tend to forget she's still "recovering." To watch her pull herself up the playground ladder, jump on the trampoline, and wrestle with her siblings, you'd never know she's still nursing a broken sternum. Plus, as of today she's gained two pounds since her surgery. That's quite an accomplishment for our little 1-percenter!!

One of thousands of milk spills this house has seen ... and my children trying to copy the dog licking it up.
We're incredibly grateful for all our wonderful friends that brought us meals these past few weeks. You've saved us from many a run to Chick-Fil-A! And we're also thankful that Jon's command gave him an entire month off of shift work. He ended up taking about two weeks off during and after Joci's surgery, and then just did a few regular-hour days in the office for the other weeks. Which meant lots of time to help me out with our little patient... or maybe it meant lots of time to catch up on house projects?

It was still a bit chilly, but this kid insisted on eating lunch outside!
I was joking the other day that Joci's recovering period felt a lot like maternity leave--me tired from a baby that won't sleep, my parents here watching the kids for a few days, friends bringing us meals, and Jon doing projects around the house while growing a "leave beard." But hey, I gotta admit, my gorgeous new farm table was worth all the long hours I was left alone with a whining, Velcro baby!

He really loves this table too. It's also nice to know we have a safe place to hide if a tornado ever comes through.
We did manage to have some fun this month as well! My parents offered to take Julia back to Pennsylvania with them for "Princess Grandy Camp." You never saw a little girl so excited to leave her mama!

She stayed with them for an entire week and loved every minute of it! That poor middle child, she just needs some attention! They brought her back in time for all of us to attend the circus in Baltimore. This was my first circus experience and it did not disappoint! Although I must admit that while the man kissing lions, dancing elephants, trapeze artists, and acrobats were all quite thrilling, nothing was quite as shocking as the cost of a cup of lemonade--$12!!!

My favorite part was the acrobat girls in the suspended spheres.

We decided to take it easy on Easter this year. Since we weren't sure about traveling with Jocelyn, we made plans to stay home. Then we found out our lifelong friends from the Caymans were coming to DC for a visit. And since they were in town, our mutual friends from New Jersey also came down. And since they were here, Jared and Kylee also joined us. I completely forgot to take a picture of brunch, but suffice it to say we ate very well on Easter and several days afterward.

Notice he's the only one wearing play clothes. He took his nice Easter outfit off the very second we came in the door from church.
And then there were the many Easter Egg Hunts! We're actually still finding eggs out in our yard weeks later! And of course, plastic eggs all over my house because the kids now love to "play Easter egg hunt." And eat more candy than what's good for them. Which is probably why these days have seemed so very long and the nights have been quite short.

It doesn't help that Jon is back to shift work and back to working nights this week. I forgot how much I loathe being on my own too many days in a row with four kids and a dog. The good news is he's cutting weight and packing his own healthy meals for work, which means super-easy dinners for the kids and I. The bad news is no matter how easy or convenient a meal is, my kids can still make dinner time a total struggle. Just tonight, we had two spilled and one "sprinkled" milk. I don't know why I even bother to sit down to eat. As usual, Lia was the last one left at the table. I set the timer for 10 minutes and said "Finish your dinner or get [this consequence.]" She looked at me, smiled, and said I'll take the consequence, thank you very much. *sigh* I think it's time to come up with new consequences.

And perhaps we'll start tonight with an early bedtime. I should probably get a move on that. Because I've been hiding out in the office long enough ... and I think I just heard the sound of breaking glass ...
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