Zach has been learning about plants at school. This week he was excited to spot some growth in the sunflower seeds he planted in his classroom and on the playground. He has been busy rehearsing for a class play (which he valiantly asserts he will not participate in on performance night due to stage fright). Homework efforts are generally positive these days, a fact for which I am most grateful. Zach particularly enjoyed making some number flashcards and a bookmark this week. I also heard him reading bedtime stories to Tyler one night.
Our Smart Cookies group toured the Hillsboro Police Department on Wednesday. The highlight of our visit was exploring a police car (an SUV, actually). Zach also thought the holding cell and sally port (the garage where criminals are transferred from squad car to holding cell) were pretty cool.
The weather permitted one tee-ball practice this week and Zach had a great time. After watching a practice, I have to wonder how a game is going to go...the kids just don't know what's going on and very few of them can catch or throw very well! Games should be very entertaining! Team pictures happened Saturday. The day happened to be very cold and blustery, so I expect Zach's expression to be pained and frozen-looking in the photo. All of the kids were miserable.
Our trip to the police station spawned many cop-and-robber role playing games at our house. Tyler will "pull over" a playmate, ask for his license, and send him to a judge to pay a fine. Or he'll put the criminal in a holding cell or send him to jail. When we were at the police station, Tyler was eager to answer every question that the tour guide posed, but his answers inevitably involved robbers (which apparently are the only kind of bad guys).
One morning I woke up to find two tattooed boys leaning over the edge of my bed. It took me a minute to process what was going on, since Gavin had had a rough night and I was rather sleep-deprived. Apparently the boys have been hoarding temporary tattoos collected from various venues -- birthday parties, kids' meals, cereal boxes, and, most recently, the police station -- and decided to plaster their bodies with them. Zach's arms and hands were covered, but Tyler opted to cover his belly. (Tattoos definitely aren't my favorite thing, and I particularly have issues with the ones that Subway currently includes in its kids' meals. They say "Naked Brothers Band." Apparently this is a Nick Jr. TV show, but do my kids really need encouragement with anything to do with being naked???) I swallowed my pride and allowed the crazy pictures to adorn the boys' skin for one day, but Ty and Zach were scrubbed clean in the shower that night.
Tyler spent a lot of time creating sculptures with play-dough and "inventions" with K'nex this week. He attended a kick-boxing class with me on Tuesday and played superheroes with the other boys. On several days he also played in the back yard with Zach and our neighbor, Kyndayl. They came up with lots of fun things to do. I love watching Tyler's imagination at work.
Gavin is trying to roll from back to belly. When he gets really excited, he'll rock his hips to one side and crane his neck around, but he hasn't figured out how to complete the revolution. I looked up past issues of The Bartle Bulletin and discovered that Zach and Tyler both figured out rolling at the same time: the week they turned five months old. If Gavin holds the pattern, he's got another ten days or so. This video doesn't have rolling footage -- it's just a clip of Gavin being cute (with plenty of big brother background noise). I love this kid! (Please ignore my cutesy Mommy voice.)
We have noticed lately that Gavin really likes to observe and interact with the world from an upright position. We have adjusted his stroller and swing seats so he can sit straight up. That has made him especially happy in the swing. The Bumbo seat we borrowed can be fun at times, since it helps him sit up, but he arches his back in an effort to get out of it, too. He continues to bat at toys and put his fists in his mouth a lot. This week he was sitting in my lap while I typed an email and he banged on the keyboard for the first time.
Gavin is also a screamer. Particularly when egged on by his big brothers, Gavin will shriek and giggle with happiness. He also blows raspberries and makes other loud sounds to express himself. I just love it when he "talks" like this! Occasionally it can be distracting, though. Gavin is often very happy first thing in the morning and will talk to the family when we are trying to read the scriptures together over breakfast. This week he was also very loud during piano lessons. One of my students played a song called "Chromatic Polka," which involves lots of fast and bouncy scales, and Gavin was just thrilled with it. His reaction made me laugh, but it was pretty distracting for the student!
So that's what's going on with the kids. They are doing great, driving me crazy, making me laugh, and just being little boys. And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming (aka me and my house drama...)!