Wow! Have I really not posted in nearly two months? That's kind of sad!
At the moment, Carter is flying a helicopter beside me on the couch. Madelyn is laying on the floor watching Sid the Science Kid. The past week has been a little rough with her especially. We got the kids a new bed last weekend. It has been more than a week since she's been asleep before 10! It is a combination of things, really. I thought it would resolve itself when she was back to school, but so far it hasn't. Therefore she has been very defiant and difficult (I mean... for her anyway). She's also been moving VERY slowly whenever I'm trying to get her ready or do something time sensitive.
I've tried sending Carter up to bed first, as their new bed is a bunk bed and they keep each other up. I've tried to let her fall asleep in my bed. I thought maybe she wasn't tired enough, although her little purply-red eyelids beg to differ. Yesterday Josh played out in the snow with them for a good hour and she still fought sleep until after 10. I thought they were asleep and went up to check on them and saw her and Carter snuggling in the playroom, watching Nick Jr. We gate that room at night so they can't do exactly what they did, but they knocked the gate down.
Its enough to almost make me ready to go back to school next week, not that I have much of a choice in the matter. The kids do seem to behave differently when I've been at their beckon call 24/7. For the first couple weeks, Carter was SO clingy to me. We went over to Teresa's house one day and he said, "Mommy go too?" I know he was afraid we were going to drop them off and leave. We went to my dad's and he wouldn't go to my dad or Edie, which was very unlike him. It's definitely good for the kids for me to be out of the house some... of course for the next year I'm going to be out of the house a LOT.
Anyway, we had great holidays, and I hope everyone else did as well. The kids got way too much stuff! That is what inspired us to get the bunk bed and put them back in the same room, therefore making room for a playroom. We kept the extra queen bed so that aunts and uncles can stay here when they visit, if they want to. Of course they have to sleep among the toys, but that is to be expected in a house with kids. In the process of creating a toy room I organized the toys pretty well, which made a huge difference. Also, just distributing the toys throughout the house has made a huge difference. They don't have many toys in their bedroom. Madelyn has some dolls in there and then they have their books, and that's it.
It's just more of the same in other areas of the kid's lives. Madelyn's drawings are getting better and more detailed. She is drawing houses and buildings and sunshines and rainbows. Her people have fingers now (not the right amount of fingers, but fingers!) and some times rollerskates and knee/elbow pads. She is able to write her letters smaller (for the most part). She is learning to sound out words to write them. Yesterday we were doing words with the -all family. She is very hesitant to try to spell things herself though. I'm trying to encourage that because she always wants us to tell her how to spell things. Last semester I talked to one of my teachers about how I can encourage it, because inventive spelling is such a great thing for kids to be able to do. She said some kids just do not like it because they know it isn't right. While Madelyn doesn't actually know what a vowel is, she seems to know that they go between other letters in words. Yesterday, "ball" was the first -all word she wrote. She first wrote "bll," which is a stage of inventive spelling. Young kids often only hear the beginning and ending sound of words. She asked if it was right and I said it was really close but it was missing one letter. She said, "Is it an a?" I told her it was and asked her where she thought it went. She said, "In the middle before the L!"
We got a Biscuit book for Christmas. It has probably 10 Biscuit books in it. She read the first book almost all by herself the first time we opened it. After I've read some of the others once or twice she can basically read them herself too. So she is doing great. She's just amazing. I have no idea how she is able to read some things as well as she can. Oh and she loves the snow, by the way. Last year she still wasn't much of a fan. Carter, of course, loves the snow because Madelyn does. He tries to be exactly like her. Some days Madelyn tries to be like him too, which is kind of annoying. She'll say things like he does and this drives me a little nutso.
In the past couple of months Carter's vocabulary has really grown a lot. I understand almost everything he says, and he almost always talks in complete sentences. Occasionally I'll not understand what he says correctly, but Madelyn (or Josh) almost always knows, even if I don't. A week or so ago, I poured him a bowl of cereal and it made a mound that was higher in the middle. He said, "It looks like a pile!" At first I thought he said it looked like a pillow but Josh knew what he said. I said, "Wow! It does look like a pile." He makes his toys talk to each other and plays pretend and follows semi-complex directions. He's not a baby anymore. He cannot WAIT to go to preschool. Ever time he comes with me to take Madelyn he tries to stay. One of Madelyn's teachers just loves him too. She asked me yesterday if he is going to come to the school when he's old enough. I told her he most likely will, but that he has another year before he's old enough. So, when Madelyn has moved on to kindergarten, Carter will be ready to start preschool. Aren't they lucky? They have the potential to get 4 years with our family. :) The teacher said that it was nice it worked out that way for my sanity. I told her it was probably better for their sanity than my own. Some days the kids get along really well. Other days, not so much.
Carter is definitely understanding more colors and recognizing more letters. If you ask him to identify a letter, everything is D. But... I know he has a general idea because he'll tell me a keyword that we've told him starts with that letter. For example, if he sees and M he'll say, "D for Mommy!" If he sees a B he'll say, "D for Ball." "D for Daddy." "D for Carter," and so on. He also is identifying more colors. Red was a new one for him yesterday. So now he gets red, blue, and green more often than not. With colors and letters though, if you ask him "which one is ___" he can usually get it right. It's just when you ask him to actually tell you the answer that he may or may not give the correct answer.
Ok well I think this is long enough. Back to school for me on Monday for what will be the longest, hardest semester of my college career (well, at least my undergrad career!).