Life has been busy and stressful around here lately. A lot has happened within the past month and I haven't said much regarding it on the blog. We withdrew Madeline from the parish school right after Christmas break. The school turned out to not be the best fit for her. She was bothered by the cliques and she was unimpressed with the school when compared to the middle school. Bryan and I witnessed many things while over at the school for various school events that led us to the conclusion that marginally better academics were not worth keeping Madeline [or Ellie] at the school beyond this school year. We originally withdrew her from the school with the intent to homeschool, but we quickly came to the realization that the dynamic of sending one child to school and homeschooling the other was not going to work for us. So she's back at the middle school and we're very happy with how wonderful the administration was about making sure Madeline's transition back to the middle school as stress free as possible. We were able to pick her core teachers and our requests to place her in a homeroom with one of her good friends was also honored. Madeline's very happy to be back with her friends. When I find some spare time I'll try to write more about the mid-year school switch.
Ellie is doing a project on Laura Ingalls Wilder for school. I think I might start reading the Little Housebooks with her while her curiosity is piqued. I've tried to convince Madeline to read them several times over the past few years to no avail. However, she did just start reading the Narnia series.She has to write a book report for school since one of her classmates was caught mocking the teacher. The kids are thrilled about the book report, but Bryan and I are pretty happy that Madeline is finally being asked to write a book report for the first time.
I think I need to ask family members to limit their Christmas gift purchases for the kids to no more than three gifts per child going forward. Even with Bryan and I giving the girls just three gifts each plus a stocking and small Santa gift, they were still overwhelmed with gifts. Three weeks after Christmas and Ellie still has several gifts that are sealed in their packages. One of them is one of the three gifts she got from Bryan and I. Neither of us are thrilled to see that her Lego beach househasn't been touched.
Katie had her 15 month well visit with the pediatrician on Monday. She actually lost a bit of weight since her one year visit, but she grew about 1/2 an inch. So she's now 30 1/2 inches tall. The doctor didn't say anything about her weight loss, so I suppose she's ok. Still, I'd prefer to see her gain weight. I guess all of her running around has her burning off a lot of the baby fat. I'm just amazed that she's lost weight considering that she often eats more than Ellie does.
Much like Ellie, Katie does not like to sit still and listen to stories. She wants to be the one holding the book and turning the pages and she does not want anyone reading what is in the book she's reading. I've tried to sneak stories in by giving her one book and reading another but she usually grabs the book I'm reading and runs off with it. So I decided to take a new approach. When she sits in her high chair to eat breakfast and lunch I have started sitting next to her and reading a small stack of stories to her. She's more than happy to listen to me read book after book to her as long as she has something to eat and drink. I'm hoping that she'll eventually be content to simply sit and listen to a story. With the new approach she's now happily listening to somewhere between 5-10 books a day.
The girls have started soccer training for the spring season. So our Saturday mornings are consumed with soccer. Bryan heard there is a Monday night session that might work for both of the girls so he's going to look into that when he takes them to training tomorrow morning. Right now the girls are doing sessions that are back to back since they don't have sessions for both Madeline and Ellie's age groups at the same time on Saturday. If he can switch them we'll get to reclaim our Saturdays for about five weeks before the spring soccer season begins.
Ellie is getting ready for her first penance. She's been practicing everything she needs to say for confession and we're getting her mentally prepared to go one on one with the priest. We've discovered that Ellie is a little bit scared of priests. Bryan says she gets that from me. She's been asking if there's any way she can do her first confession from behind the screen instead of face to face like they want the kids to do. I'm going to have to see if they can accommodate her request and explain her priest phobia.