Yes, we're alive. I'm just a slacker.
I won't lie, the last few months of 2010 really sucked, mostly medically speaking. The endocrinologist had us test the boys for CAH, since it's a genetic condition, and it turns out that those nice little odds of us having a 1 in 4 chance of a child with CAH were wrong. Porter also has it. His pediatrician wrote us our referral to the endocrinologist but made us (me) feel a bit better by saying that it's not as "bad" in boys as it is in girls, since boys produce testosterone anyways. Dr. Price is actually more concerned about Porter's asthma. Yep, the ped was right in cautioning us that the pneumonia could cause asthma to become active, and now Porter is armed with an inhaler twice a day and a pediatric pulmonologist who's keeping his eye on him. He does fine most of the time, it's the severe weather changes that seem to spark the coughing fits, and unfortunately Arizona doesn't like to gradually change weather, it likes to drop it fast and raise it fast. He's also been referred to an allergist to see what else could be sparking his asthma. All the kids managed to catch pink eye too, around the same time as we were finding out about Porter's asthma and CAH. I caught the stomach flu three, THREE times within a month and a half (stupid flu vaccine did jack squat). Mercy caught some virus or something in the last two weeks of school before break and they ran all sorts of tests and never did figure out what it was. She missed about 7 or 8 days of school thanks to it. And then Santa decided to be a big jerkhead and I got shingles on Christmas! The only ones to make it out relatively unscathed were Jameson (whose bloodwork showed that he does NOT have CAH, woo!) and CJ, of course. CJ rarely ever gets sick, it's not very fair. Excuse my whining, but really, I've never been so glad to say peace out to a year.
2011 so far is doing well, no news is good news, right? Baby girl is doing fine, other than still remaining nameless. You'd think it would be easy to name the fourth one, but not so. So we just keep calling her baby girl. Jameson likes the name Broccoli, but that's not going to happen. Mercy likes to make up names, usually combining some of her friends' names to make one wierd one, and that's not happening either. Porter can't be bothered trying to make up names, he's too busy playing Lego/Transformers/coloring.
Mercy's doing amazing in school, I fully credit our awesome elementary school and her wonderful teacher. She's an accelerated reader now, she tests at a second grade level, we're so proud of her! She struggles with comprehension but it's slowly getting better, when we read we question her on every page and even though it makes reading time really long, it's really helped her pay more attention to what she's reading, not just the words. She still loves numbers, and is fairly fascinated with math problems. It's a bit creepy to me, because I haaaaaaate math. HATE IT. Always have, always will. I can read a book in no time, but I totally use my fingers to count still. Sigh... I'm going to be useless once she starts the hard stuff!
Porter is rocking preschool. He loves it, and I can't blame him. His teachers are so awesome, I'm so glad that I've gotten to know them! He's a funny learner, you won't realize he's absorbing what you're teaching him until one day he just busts it out like he's been doing it all along. Numbers, letters, sounds, all that. He won't show you what he knows until he's sure he has it down pat. He finished playing soccer in November and is now anxiously awaiting the start of t-ball here. We just signed him up today and I think he's asked me when it starts about 10 times already. Considering it doesn't start til March, this is going to get old. He got a bike from Santa for Christmas and he looooves it. It's a bike that will last him awhile (it better...) and we go to the park to practice riding it about every other day (the benefit of living in Arizona, 60-70 degree weather in January). He'll probably lose his training wheels within a few months. Makes me wish we'd gotten him the bike awhile ago, but with so much going on, we just didn't even think about bicycles. Favorite Porter quote as of late:
Me- Porter, your nose is filthy!
Porter- Hmm... I will have to take a closer look at that. Jameson is my thug. Not kidding, this kid is a thug, the most loveable thug you'll ever meet. Just watch, in 15 years you'll be watching him beat the crap out of people on the football field on ESPN. He might be the youngest (for now) but he definitely doesn't take crap from anyone. If anything, Porter bows down to him! He's independent, always wants to do what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. Oh, but the snuggles he gives... I'm so glad he's still such a snuggler. He's a Sunbeam now, and not so happy about it. I think he misses the "freedom" of nursery, how he got to play pretty much the whole two hours. This sitting in a chair, listening to a lesson thing... not his cup o' tea. I walked by his class last week and looked in, his teacher was trying to ask him what color his hair was and Jameson was just sitting there with his fingers in his mouth, pulling the corners of his mouth apart to make that funny face, and saying "I dunno" while doing it. Punk.
CJ's doing well, still loves his job despite the sadness of December. For those who don't live in southern Arizona, we lost a good man in the BP. Agent Brian Terry worked at CJ's station before he started in BORTAC, and he lived in our neighborhood. Mercy sold him Girl Scout cookies last year and even though he lived alone, he bought about 10 boxes from her and her friends. I didn't know him except for the cookies and from running into him around town when CJ was with us, but I remember CJ talking about him when Agent Terry started at Naco. He rode with CJ and I remember CJ coming home and saying that Agent Terry could be teaching CJ more than CJ could teach him anything. His death sent shock waves around the community, and trying to explain to the kids, especially Mercy, what had happened was something I wish we hadn't had to do. She remembered selling him cookies, and would ask us about him or his family often in the days after the incident. I know CJ's job is dangerous compared to a lot of other jobs out there, but I just never really expected it to hit this close to home. CJ and I were able to go to his memorial in Tucson this week, it was a beautiful memorial. Before Mercy went to school that morning we took the kids to see the procession of BP vehicles on the way to Tucson; over 100 vehicles with their lights on. Sobering, but a beautiful show of unity and brotherhood.
In order to not end on a sad note, I will show you Jameson being Jameson.
Yes, that is a pickle in one hand and a Blow Pop in the other. GROSS.
But apparently it totally hit the spot for him.