Aug 16, 2009

Last lazy summer days

With the start of school looming before them, the boys have been trying to eke out every scrap of sunshine and play time they can. They have spent long hours outdoors and with friends, getting as dirty and as tired as possible. Come Monday, we'll have a schedule to keep.

Here's a little sampling of this week's activities.

The sand pit in the back yard has provided hours and hours of entertainment. Tunnels and forts and ramps and castles were built. Army men were uncovered and buried again. This was all fun and good until the boys got Daddy's shovels out of the shed and left them in the rain, where they got rusty. The sand pit has been banned for a bit.

Gavin has developed a love for puttering in the back yard. If the side gates are closed, he will play contentedly with balls and sticks and rocks and swings for a good long time. If I send him out with a snack, he's even happier.

For more than a year, Gavin has jumped in the contraption we hang from the doorway every day while I take a shower. He's not a huge fan of such confinement, and he's getting big enough that wrestling him into the jumper is a tricky job. So this is our new arrangement: port-a-crib plus movie. If left in this position for long (and without brotherly interruption), Gavin inevitably falls asleep. This has created our household's newest catch phrase: If he stops, he sleeps.

Tyler really likes to play the piano. If you look closely, you can see that the metronome is set on its very highest speed, making the boys' raucous duet even more delightful.

Also indoors: Lexi's swing. She loves it, and I love that she loves it. I noticed the other day how far her legs stick out the bottom now. She's definitely a growing girl! She also moves a lot...just like her brothers. Lexi is three months old now -- amazing!

When they are bored, Zach and Ty go looking for friends. When friends are nowhere to be found, they get into trouble. Or sometimes they get into trouble anyway. This week, one neighbor told me that my kids needed to quit throwing crab apples over her fence; her dogs were eating them and puking in her house. Another day Zach jumped on Tyler's bed and broke half of the support slats under his mattress. Tyler "colored" on the TV with a heavy-duty magnet and permanently distorted the color. At a different neighbor's house, they threw wrenches at a dozen cans of Diet Coke, spilling soda all over the garage floor. Then they shattered a ceramic duck into the mess just for fun.

We are hoping that fall sports will keep our boys busy enough that they won't get into too much trouble. Zachary started flag football this week, and Tyler starts soccer on Monday. For the rest of August, their practices will occur simultaneously at the same park. In September, we'll have trouble -- Zach will have games at a park 30 minutes away, and Tyler will play on the same nights at a different (closer) park. We thought we were being schedule-smart...but our careful planning backfired. Oh, well! Below, Zach is in the green shirt on the right. Gavin is munching on the sidelines.

On Friday night -- the last weeknight of summer -- Tyler achieved the summer goal I set for him. He [re]learned to ride his two-wheeler! After initially mastering the bike last fall, Tyler got a case of the nerves in the spring and refused to ride it. It has lain dormant on the porch all summer. Hopefully there's enough good weather left that Tyler can keep his confidence up after the snow falls.

Here's a little video clip of Tyler on his bike. What a champ!

So long, Summer!
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