I've been up to my elbows in childcare and new house affairs for the past couple of weeks and have simply not had the strength to either post on my blog or read the blogs of others. So if I haven't posted on your blog lately, it's not because I don't love you. It's just that I've got other things going on at the moment.
Here's the run-down of our little family's activities during the past few weeks:
-The first week of this month, through no real fault of his own, Soren single-handedly delayed the conception of his next sibling ("by a year," is what I would have said earlier this month. But now it's been cut back to a couple of months. They say that women's brains are programmed to forget negative child-related things so that they'll continue to produce offspring. I believe it). How did he do this, you might ask? He developed a nasty case of croup. Every experienced mother that I've told this to has sighed sympathetically and said, "Oh. That's the worst." And it was! It was miserable. I was certainly grateful that it wasn't a life-threatening illness or anything like that, but it was hard to have him be so miserable for so long. And it reminded me of what it was like to have a newborn: lots of midnight wakings, inconsolable crying, and a general excess of neediness.
-And then, after Soren got over his illness, I came down with a nasty cold of my own. I have never, in all my days, experienced so much sinus pressure for so long. I even tried taking a nasal decongestant, a thing I have never done before, but it made no difference. My daddy-in-law suggested snorting up a bunch of hot water while I showered, but I was afraid I might drown myself, so I didn't try it.
-All of this occurred in the midst of the painfully drawn-out closing process on our house. I had no idea that buying a home would be such a convoluted process. Abe and I have developed strong legs from jumping through so many hoops throughout the past several months. Would you believe we've been actively working on this process, beginning with our loan application, since August 2007? Yes, that is six months. Six months! Just to buy something!
-But the good news is that we're drawing near to the end of this whole process. We finally own our own home and, for the past week, Abe's dad has been here, helping us get the house all ready for us to move into. They, with a little help from my own dad, have been making walls and banisters, tearing up floors, painting, insulating, repairing, plumbing, and wiring. I'll be posting "before" and "after" pictures on our blog soon. They're sure to be impressive.
-It's been great to have Daddy Skousen visiting for the past several days. He and Abe have been able to spend one-on-one time together that they haven't been able to enjoy for years. And it's been fun for Soren to have another adoring fan on hand. For me, it's been a constant source of amusement for me to observe the parallels between Abraham and his Dad. The ways in which they talk, act, and think are remarkably similar. Abraham is unmistakably the genetic offspring of his father. No doubt about it.
-Soren has been a mister whiny pants lately. Especially around me. He'll be perfectly happy, then I'll walk into a room, and he'll start fussing. I'm all paranoid that I've been doing something wrong. Do I pick him up too much? Have I been giving in to whining? Am I responding to needs or giving in to manipulation? It's so hard to know...
-Another worry I've got is that Soren's not using words yet. Not even really "mama" and "dada" in context. He does talk to himself in Sorenese a lot, wherein he makes all kinds of difficult sounds, like "s" and "t" and "r." And he does say "hi." But beyond that he doesn't seem to match words to objects or circumstances. Again, I wonder if this is my fault. Have I not been prompting him enough? Should I be making a conscious effort to teach him words? Or was it the nitrates in the hot dogs I ate when I was pregnant? Have those affected his brain development?
-A cute Soren trick lately, though, has been clapping. He picked up clapping lately and just can't stop. He claps in the high chair. He claps in the bathtub. He claps while playing. He claps when I sing the pat-a-cake song. I'll go to pick him up out of bed and he'll be clapping (sometimes even clapping and crying simultaneously).