An excerpt from an email from me to a mom friend asking how I've been doing lately:

I've been very well. I really enjoy my job right now, enjoy my time at home w/ kiddos, and love this Spring weather. I am working full time now and work is keeping me very busy but in a good way. Other than that, not much new to report. Oh, we are talking about buying a new play set for the backyard this spring. THAT will be exciting. We can finally afford to upgrade. How are *you*? And how is Jensen? Is he a big talker these days? Elliot is doing good going to day school at Glen Hollow 5 days a week. He enjoys it and comes home hungry and with stories about his day like "Sophia took my crayon" and "Jayden pushed me into the trash and I laughed" and "I heard the lightening and the thunder BOOM! at the school!" And Elliot's got a HUGE obsession with Wall-E. I swear we've watched that movie 2 dozen times!

In other news, Joshua recently went to the pulmonologist for a check up. He's doing fine with his asthma. He weighs 44 pounds and is 44¾ inches tall. I've started buying 5T shirts and shorts or size 5/6 depending on the brand. He also got new shoes recently, kids 11. Joshua is growing like a beanstalk! I asked him the other day what color car he wants to drive when he grows and he said "Orange with stripes of color so everyone will know my car."

Gotta love his creativity!

One month after Josh left karate I have to report he has improved remarkably! It could be a number of other influences, but the timing is uncanny. Here's what got better:

He's doing school work- 2-4 pages of writing letters/numbers each day
He's helping more at home with less complaint
He's having fewer "accidents"
He's less punchy

Now, we did have a stern word or two around the time he was taken out of karate. Perhaps it was the impact of our schpiel and being removed from karate that sunk in.

Now, we have introduced some new brain exercises to promote further development. By the advice of Donna Bateman (a development brain specialist who also raised 8 kids) we're now having him crawl around, smell things, listen for the location of sounds, and occasionally stimulating his fight-or-flight response. All of these are supposed to stimulate areas of his brain that are slightly lagging behind such as the mid-brain, pons and amygdala. She has a program that involves lots of stimulation each day but honesty we only have/make time for some. I figure some is still better than none.

Speaking of time (which I'm almost out of because the kids' bedtime is quickly approaching) I am now working full time at work and still enjoying it. My pay increased, I got benefits and I got new responsibilities. The drawback of course is I'm home less than before. Rusty is now Mr. Homemaker as well as his more-than-full-time job at Bank of America. He cooks, cleans, makes dinner and still manages a day of packed with conference calls and other tasks. He is super awesome and I don't tell him often enough. (But I did today via text message.)



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