J antics for the week: One morning I put on the Pink Panther for him and danced a little to the music while it was warming up. J looked over wearily and said "Go away, Mommy." Recently, J kept saying "Ya YA!" at odd times. Then he said it most enthusiastically into the husband's microphone. Finally, the husband was reading a book treatment of "Deck the Halls" to J at bedtime and all of the sudden J said brightly, "Decka halls! Ya YA!" while doing a little dance with his arms outstretched. This was him singing all along! He is also fond of Jingle Bells, though just that much of the song, over and over, as well as Itsy Bitsy Spider, but he won't sing along with you or mimic what you are singing without MUCH encouragement.
E update: we have reached the social smiling stage! E is willing to engage in lots of smiling behavior if you happen to look his way for a second or two, particularly in the morning hours. He is becoming a very predictable child: when he wants to sleep, he cries a certain way to let you know and then falls asleep almost immediately once you wrap him up and rock him. When he wants to eat, he cries another way, quite loudly, until you give him a bottle. If you meet these needs, he is happy. If not, he's upset, simple as that. UNLESS you try to take him anywhere in the car. Unlike his brother, E is NOT soothed by the car and his hatred of the car seat is infinite. If it's close to a nap time and we have to go somewhere in the car, E will not fall asleep, lulled by the motion and sound. Instead, he will become more and more agitated, crying louder and louder and more and more frantically, particularly in the afternoons. As he gets more and more tired, his already tenuous hold on sanity loosens and he reaches a fever pitch. I have begun to examine the necessity of our car trips VERY carefully! It's a good thing he is such a sweetie otherwise!
In other news: it's been a difficult week or so with church. We have had several congregation members fall ill (complications from gall bladder surgery and a stroke--ouch! close to home, much? as well as assorted other infections, surgeries, and even a death leaving behind a very distraught widow) and our women's organization has been dealing with helping fill the various needs of these members. Only some people are apparently treating our obligations here as optional, which is driving me crazy, since we are all first and foremost called to help each other in times of need, if we are called to do nothing else. So a certain laissez faire attitude has been frustrating me to no end. However, help is getting out, albeit in a more adhoc fashion than I would like, and for that I am grateful