Sunday, December 1, 2013

Update Time

Is anyone still out there? I can't believe I haven't posted since October 14th. It wasn't intentional. Life got busy. And a certain three year old decided he no longer needs naps. Yes, we are going through the dreaded transition of not napping. My typical time to sit down and read other blogs and update my own was beloved nap time. That only happens a few days a week and it seems I have twenty things to get accomplished during that precious free time. Here is a quick update of the past 6 weeks and hopefully I'll find new motivation to blog at night because I do miss this space.

*I got a job!!! Oh yeah, another big reason life got busy. Well, it's a super part time job. I work for a non-profit, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS), and am part of their after school tutoring program. ETSS started out as serving the Ethiopian immigrant community in Columbus but have expanded their services across the city and serve a wide variety of immigrants and refugees. I know the director of the non-profit because of some volunteering I did for ETSS a few years ago. I emailed him to let him know I was interested in applying for any positions pertaining to teaching English as a second language. He let me know those positions had been filled for the school year but he would keep my resume on file. That was ideal because I wasn't really looking for this school year but wanted him to know I was still interested for next year. About a week later, I got an email from the manager of the after school tutoring program and he said he needed to fill some positions and asked me if I was interested. I decided it didn't hurt to interview and see what they were looking for. I wasn't sure we would be able to make it work in terms of child care but wanted to get my foot in the door. I interviewed and it couldn't have worked out more perfectly. The position is only 9 hours a week and 6 of those hours are spent on site twice a week. The other 3 hours are for prep time that I can do at home. I work at their East side location which serves the children of Ethiopian immigrants! The other great part is that the site is about 5 minutes from D's office. So twice a week I drop off LB with D at his office and then I head to work and they head home. I started a few weeks and so far I love it. I did get puked on by a kindergartener on my third day and also caught a cold from one of them but I guess that is what you expect when you work with little kids. But I love being surrounded by kids who look like mine and share his culture. I will probably learn a lot from them as well. I'm enjoying meeting their parents and hopefully I can be of some help in terms of communicating with schools and providing tutors with extra resources. It's a good outlet for me and I feel really lucky. I also feel like LB is in part responsible for this job. I love how his adoption has had ripple effects on our life.

*LB is going to be 4 years old in two months! I can't believe it. He continues to go to school twice a week and it's been going well so far. There have been a few mornings when he's said he doesn't want to go but he eventually comes around and drop offs have been tear free! I had my first parent teacher conference about a month ago. I was nervous! But it was fine. They have him nailed to a tee! His teachers described him as joyful, social, smart, easily distracted and a bit wild. He also struggles with "walking feet" in the classroom. No shock there. But I love that he has some favorite friends and that they get excited when they see each other. It's especially great when we run into these friends outside of school and they go nuts with excitement. I worry a bit (a lot) about how small he is compared to the kids in his class and most of these friends are actually several months younger than him. But for the moment he seems to hold his own and doesn't let it hold him back. I've been happy with his school. I wish there were more diversity but his teachers have been working with preschoolers for a long time and seem to do a great job with the kids. He comes home with cool crafts and stories of looking at bugs on the playground or pretending to be rabbits with his best buddy. The teachers send me a photo about once a week of LB doing one of the scheduled activities and they post their lesson plans online as well so we can see what they are learning. I'll say it again. I wish there were more diversity. I suppose no school is perfect. Here's his school picture.

*My mom came to visit Halloween week and we had a lot of fun. I hope to do a separate post on Halloween. The timing of her trip was great because D was in California for work and it also ended up being the week I had my interview so her help was a huge gift! We went to the zoo, the OSU airport and she bought LB a new bike. A few weeks before her visit, I was backing out of the garage and clipped the side of his bike. It was officially broken. I felt like the worst mom EVER! LB handled it pretty well. Thank goodness Meemaw came to the rescue.

*So back to this no napping nonsense. In a nutshell, it sucks. The silver lining is that he goes to bed at 7pm on the days he doesn't nap and it's nice to have a full evening to relax with D. One of the first nights he went to bed to 7pm, D and I looked at each other around 8:30pm and couldn't believe how early it still was. I also like not feeling rushed to get back to the house around lunchtime so he can be down for a nap by 1pm. He'll go about 2 or 3 days without a nap and then be in desperate need of one. That seems to be our current pattern. The days feel long that's for sure. I'm working on implementing some quiet time to replace the nap so that I can still get a little break mid-day and he can do something restful. I recently tried to explain quiet time to him and we were brainstorming activities he could do. One of his suggestions was "playing my drums." Clearly, the concept went a bit over his head. We're still working on it. LB has always been such a good napper and I was convinced he would be a regular napper until kindergarten. Sigh. But I should be grateful he lasted this long as I know some kids who gave up their nap at 2. I'm trying to count my blessings. Here he is asleep on the way to the grocery store on a no nap day. It's tough being 3.

*We continue to do music class weekly and we both absolutely love it. The final session for the year was the week before Thanksgiving and I am not sure how we will make it to January. Music is becoming a really big part of his life. I found out about a marching band competition going on at the high school in our neighborhood a few weeks ago and we took LB. It was cold that day but he loved it. We sat in a stadium for 2 hours watching marching bands and he still talks about it. We kept asking him if he was too cold and wanted to go home but he insisted on staying. On Thanksgiving, we were watching the parade and sadly they didn't show too many bands but when he got a glimpse of one he would get really excited and he kept asking us to "check and see" if there were any bands we could go see that day. I'm constantly scouring the internet for cheap and/or free musical events going on around town. I'm excited to take him to Tuba Christmas again in a few weeks. I also can't wait to see how this love of music continues to develop and what it means for him. Maybe nothing. Maybe something big.

That's our past six weeks with a few holes that I plan on filling in soon! I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! One more picture before I let you go.


  1. I'm always here! :) Congrats on the job! Very exciting, and what amazing opportunity to be so connected to LB's culture and heritage. And I'm glad LB is doing well at school. Such a relief! :)

  2. I'm still here (although super slow to read and comment!) Your job sounds simply awesome and perfect. I love it! I hope it continues to go well. Love the rest of your update, too, except for the no napping.

  3. Hi,

    I've been reading your blog for awhile (I have a son a similar age), anyway- I always enjoy your posts. Two ideas- my son doesn't nap anymore (sigh), but he also loves music and we have "music" time where he gets in his bed and I put a 40 minute mix (via YouT.) of his favorite music, with the agreement that he's quiet and listens to music the whole time. Afterward, we sometimes have "quiet cuddle" time, where- just during nap time he gets to get in our bed with me and rest/listen to more music. I don't get much "me" time, but we both do get to rest a little. Also-- check out local colleges/universities for free music events-- they often have a lot that are open to the public, but they don't advertise much of campus.

  4. Know how hard it is! So wonderful to catch up. Thanks for the post.