We have been busy and it is VERY cold here right now, although I think it is that way just about everywhere these days so I guess that is not new news.
My niece came for a visit and stayed with us for a few days. She is in her second year of college and is home for Christmas. It was so nice having her here. The boys really enjoyed her and were sad to see her leave. I really enjoyed her company too. We stayed up one night until midnight, catching up and just talking about life. It was so nice. She is so easy to be around. So many times when we have company, I end up feeling more tired because of the introverted-ness of me:). When I am around people a lot I just need some down time to regenerate. But when Jana was here, I didn't feel that way at all. She just slips into our routine and is very easy to be with. It was quite enjoyable.
On Sunday afternoon, she stayed with the boys for a couple of hours and let the husband and I get away to a movie. We saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie and we both really liked it and agreed we would like to see it again when it is out on DVD. The dialog is so quick that it is easy to miss some of it. Good flick though.
This morning we had our last home visit for our last post placement report. It went very well and was very low stress for everyone involved, I think. After the boys spent a few minutes trying to show off and gain everyone's attention, they went off to play and played nicely while the dad and I talked with the two ladies from the local agency. This was the first time this agency has done a report for us so they had a lot of questions for us, in order to come up to speed on our history. I enjoy telling our story and remembering our adventure so the questions were welcome. It also makes us think though the differences between the boys and what makes them tick.
After our home visit this morning, we had a real estate agent come by to show our house to a couple of people moving here from Texas. They were OK with us staying here so we got to meet them. They are a very sweet couple who are moving here to be closer to their grandchildren. It was clear they really enjoy kids and didn't mind having the boys around while they looked at the house. I enjoyed visiting with them and hope they find the best house for them.
After showing the house, the boys and I had lunch and then they wanted to take a bath. They have a couple of fish that suck up water and, when squeezed, squirt it out and they are having fun with them lately in the tub so they were asking for a bath. So, they took a very long bath and had a fun time playing. I had to reheat the water at one point and they played until it cooled a second time. They were real pruney when they finally got out.
After the bath, we had our quiet time. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that we no longer do naps now. We have worked our way up to one hour quiet times, which is nice. The boys take turns, one in the library and one in the living room. They can play with whatever they want, as long as they are quiet and stay in their room. I normally hang out in a chair or on the couch in the living room and read. It is a very peaceful time and, although they sometimes complain, they seem to enjoy it in the end.
After quiet time the boys watch a movie. They take turns picking the movie and they really look forward to this point in their day. Some days they get to watch a longer movie (longer than the typical 30 minutes) or they each get to pick one. This tends to happen more in the winter months, since it is often too cold to play outside or we are nursing colds or whatever. We have to be careful not to do it too often though or they start to expect it. They just watched one movie today and then we read a book and then the dad came home and it was time to start dinner.
It was an easy, relaxing afternoon, which was nice after having to-do's this morning. Today was very very cold here. I think it was in the single digits this morning (not including wind chill factor) and I noticed it was around 17 degrees in the late afternoon, when the dad got home. It was a good day to stay at home and play in the bathtub. We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground from our big snow storm on Christmas Eve. This is unusual for Oklahoma and I am really ready for it to go. I think we may have a few 40 degree days coming up early next week so maybe that will be what it takes to melt this stuff away.
I am happy to report that behavior all around (Ben, Nick and me:) has been exceptionally good lately. I think (I hope) we have found our new normal because this is a very good thing:). I have pictures to post. I need to post them. I will. Maybe tomorrow.