Quick update here on all of us.
Me: In school 2 nights a week and finding it a bit of an effort to get used to college again. I'm studying after the kids go to bed most nights and any other free time I can find in my day. I got my first English assignment back with an A- and my first political science paper got a B+. Which isn't too bad considering I've been out of school completely since Dec 1997. I also had a sinus infection for several weeks but am currently on antibiotics and that's getting better. I did quit the community orchestra because I felt that I would not be able to practice enough with the kids and school work. I'm also on our co-op's board of directors; can't get out of that one.
Allan: The company he works for was sold to an American company based out of Ohio. It looks as though the new owners are planning to keep the Canadian office open. Breathing a sigh of relief that he still has a job, for now anyway. Allan is currently at a conference, so he won't be around for a few days. His dad will be watching the kids for my classes tonight and tomorrow night. So pray for Grandpa because this is the longest he will have had all the M's for; however, I came up with no other babysitting options and simply can't miss those classes. Allan also has been diagnosed with moderately severe sleep apnea and is being referred to a sleep clinic. In addition, his tests have turned up high blood pressure and pre-diabetes high blood sugar. So his health is a concern as well.
Melissa: Doing incredibly well in school and happy as a clam in the classroom setting. She is now reading way, WAY above her grade level. She's into full-length chapter books now and reads several hours a day. Her teacher sent home a form where the parents are to fill out their 2nd graders reading time and sign off on it. I had to laugh because Melissa put in 90 minutes of her weekly 2 hour minimum in just the first day that form came home! I'll likely not attempt to document all of her reading time though.
Michael: Also doing very well in school both academically and socially. He completes all his work at school, so doesn't bring homework home yet. He's really enjoying having PE and learning sports as well as playtime with other boys at recess. A group of them are doing a digging project in the sand pit at recess and lunch. He's reading probably on a 3rd grade level from what I can determine. He's able to read things like Magic school bus, Berenstein Bears, and Little Golden books. He only needs help on only a few words here and there. He is still reading out loud though and is not yet willing to try books with no pictures. He also has grown a LOT and is half a head taller than Melissa.
Maddy: Maddy is loving afternoon kindergarten but she struggling with learning how to write her letters. I spend more time working with her a day than the other two put together. She IS trying though. She has always been behind with motorskills. It is helping some to use paper with raised top and bottom lines. She IS starting to be able to sound out some words. I'm working with her at home using Phonics Pathways, sandpaper letters (for the writing part as well), and Bob books.
Megan and Maribeth: The twins are growing like weeds. Megan is up to Maddy's shoulders and in size 3-4. Maribeth in size 2-3, but is so skinny that pants which are long enough for her legs fall right off unless she has a bulky cloth diaper underneath; but those days are numbered. The girls are talking a LOT now, but are so calm and laid back compared to my older three. For the three hours a day that I have just the twins life is so CALM and quiet and they are fun little people.
The big news is that Maribeth is starting to potty train!! She is so tiny that size 2 panties barely stay on her. She has been dry in the morning two nights in a row and been asking to use the potty throughout the day (but I have to actually take her). Yesterday she was dry until I was preparing supper and than had another accident during supper. She got put into a pull-up and is still in the same pull-up as she was dry this morning as well and has been using the potty this morning. I'm getting the feeling that it's not going to be very long until I have only one in diapers (I've had at least two children in diapers since Michael was born in September 2000 and three in diapers for a total of almost three years!). Megan has NO interest in the potty and does not even tell me if she is wet or poopy.
The older three M's are all taking swimming lessons at the YMCA on Sunday mornings and loving them! Having five mobile non-swimmers was starting to scare me, so we are doing swimming instead of soccer or dance this year and possibly next.