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A really long time. . .

So here it is, January of 2015. I havent posted in 4 and a half years.  I am a terrible mother.  Archer is now 7.  7!  and in First Grade!  He is a wonderful, smart, curly headed barrell of anxiety and minecraft knowledge.  I don't know where the intervening years went, but I regret the fact that I did not record them here.

They are recorded on my phone and on facebook and on the extra terabyte drives we had to by to hold all the pictures and videos, and the banker boxes full or artwork and activity sheets.  But not here.

In the meantime, another wonderful little boy entered our life.  Griffin!  My little squirrel, our ball of sunshine.  My little Griffers.  He turned one on Dec. 13th.  His entire existence has been missed.  The horrible, painful journey that we went through to get him hasnt been recorded.   I am remiss.   I am going to post.  Maybe not here, but I will rework my mommy blog.  I swear it!   I have to catch up.  I don't want to forget everything that has happened! 

My son

We went to the library to play last week. Archer loves to play with the barn and plastic animals. This time, the animals were forced to stand in a line. Arch was proud of his handiwork, so i thought I'd share. That's our organized little guy!

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Undies

We are now a month in to the new school year, and on our 4th week at the new babysitter.   I must say that the new sitter (whose name is Kari) is working out like gangbusters.   Archer had stopped fussing/crying/guilting us at drop off time about 3 days in.  They take some sort of trip every day.  Andrew and Archer are already fast friends, and hug everyday when they part.  Kari has helped Archer overcome his fear of the carousel at the mall.  We picked him up last Wednesday, and and as soon as he saw us, he blurted, "I rode a tiger! A man pushed a button and the carousel started, and my tiger went up and down. Andrew only rode a horse," as if tigers were clearly superior to horses.  She's also improving his interpersonal skills with groups, something that has plagued us.  Archer has never liked to play with groups of children, usually retreating and playing on his own if he is unable to single out one particular playmate.  This is still a battle, but he's improving immensely thanks to a weekly playgroup.  Sleep has improved too, since he's usually worn out after his day of hard play. 

The most exciting thing, though, is her success with potty training.   Last week, she asked us to bring some undies and spare pants; she thought Arch was ready to go for it.  After three days of this, Arch was down to one accident, and over the weekend, he was accident free by Sunday.  I think he is well and truly trained!  He still wants to pee outside rather than in the potty (he doesn't like sitting down) but he is doing fabulously well. In honor of his progress, we went shopping for new undies on Saturday, and he picked out two different kinds

Friday, they went to the Steam Engine show in the next town over, and Arch had a blast.   Trains, tractor, plus a petting zoo! 

Sometimes, it's hard for Mommy and Daddy to compete with these trips.  Saturdays is errand running day for Archer and I, beginning with a trip to the Farmer's Market, grocery shopping, and doing what ever else needs to be done.  We always have a good time and, thanks to readily available treats, Arch is usually enthusiastic about these trips.  But, since he's traveling around so much through the week, he's kind of a homebody on the weekends.  "I just want to sit here and hang out with you," he told me yesterday, when I suggested a walk to see the sheep.  That's fine with me kiddo. 

Archer has also developed a great love of cooking.  I think this is mostly because of eating the resulting goodies, but he'll watch cooking shows with me too.  During last week's episode of Top Chef, he pointed at the screen and enthusiastically yelled, "Look mommy, they're plating!"  I was so proud.  This weekend, we made chocolate chip cookies, with careful placed M&Ms on top.   They came out quite nice, and for awhile Arch didn't want to eat them since it would disturb his thoughtfully constructed cookie pile.  His resolved lasted about 10 minutes, and then we dug in. 

The way things are

So after catching up on Here be Hippogriffs, I felt rather shameful about my total lack of updates for so long.  Sure life is busy, and sure, school is starting again, but Archer is important, and I want to be able to look back at this journal and remember his toddlerhood.  Clearly, I've been totally lazy and must work to get back in the swing of things. 

We have about a week until school starts for B and I.  Arch will be starting with a new sitter at the same time.  I'm hopeful that the transition won't be too rough for everyone.  I think, in Archer's case, it will be a good change.  I really like the new sitter and she will only have her son and Archer.  She emphasizes lots of field trips, which Archer loves, and her son is just a little younger than Arch.  She's a little more expensive than the last place, but right around the corner from our house, so all in all, i think it will be a very positive change. 

B has the course load from hell this semester; 14 hours of upper level chemistry and anatomy, plus a speech class and weight lifting thrown in for good measure.  He's also tutoring and working as a lab assistant, so I foresee horrific burnout by Thanksgiving.  But, i should give him more credit.  I'm sure he'll be fine.  We've only got 4 semesters to go. 

We've had a great summer.  We went to the beach at Gulf Shores for a week in July with my parents and brother and his fiancee.  Arch loved the sand, travel, car trip, snacks, saltwater, crafts at the resort, pretty much everything except the ocean itself.  The waves were too loud and strong "like the big bad wolf" and Arch was terrified they would wash him away.  No amount of reassurance would change his mind.   Still, it was a great trip. 

Arch and B have been home together since then.  I think B is really enjoying his return to the SAHD lifestyle, but I know Arch is wearing him out.  This is such a sweet age, and I don't really thing Archer is experiencing the "terrible twos" to a great extent, but he still can be very draining.  But the hugs and kisses and conversations go along way, and he's a very sweet and enjoyable kiddo for the most part. 

Our biggest issue is sleep.  Archer has never liked to sleep.  For most of the summer, he's been having night terrors and nightmares.  He wakes up 3 or 4 times a night, crying, shaking and choking, sometimes coherent, sometimes not.  Its pretty miserable.  Everyone says he should grow out of it, so we are waiting patiently and giving him chamomile before bedtime. 

Otherwise though,. he's still my wonderful, smart, silly little man, telling stories and playing games, learning to add and write numbers, frustrated that he can't read to himself yet.  Sometimes he's so shrewd, or says something so adult or well reasoned that it scares me.  But then he'll climb on my lap and ask me to hold him like a baby and all is right with the world.

Archer tower


Archertower
Originally uploaded by librarian_cyn
Archer built this awesome tower all by himself! He calls it his "Super Dancing House". The boy loves his legos :)

Undies!

Still proceeding with potty training. Now that Arch is home with B, I'm hopeful we'll finish the process in short order. Arch loves to show off his Thomas underpants!

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Hats

My boys wearing hats. . .

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Tons of Trucks

We went to a Parents as Teachers event this week called "Tons of Trucks". It was a little noisy and crowded for Arch; he refused to honk any horns or climb on any of the trucks. He did, however, love the DNR fishing and rescue boats and the fish they brought with them. We spent most of the time petting very tame catfish and sturgeon and climbing into the boats. He also liked the MU Vet school mule team and got to pet Tim, the lead mule. It was a great event and it's sad to think that it might not happen again since the state cut PAT's funding so badly.

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Tons of Trucks

We went to a Parents as Teachers event this week called "Tons of Trucks". It was a little noisy and crowded for Arch; he refused to honk any horns or climb on any of the trucks. He did, however, love the DNR fishing and rescue boats and the fish they brought with them. We spent most of the time petting very tame catfish and sturgeon and climbing into the boats. He also liked the MU Vet school mule team and got to pet Tim, the lead mule. It was a great event and it's sad to think that it might not happen again since the state cut PAT's funding so badly.

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Making Cookies 2-5-10


Archer loves making cookies at Grandmommy's house. This weekend, he made Valentine cookies to share. He really likes colored sugar. Thanks to Pa-Pa for filling him up with cookie dough, and shaking a maraca during the last part of the video!