Feb 28, 2010

Oneofeach, Volume II

Remember when I last posted one picture of each kid for no apparent reason?

It's that time again.

Gavin is a goofball. He has taken to wearing his sister's clothing and playing with her toys/crib/car seat. What's even more funny is a look at Gavin in the same position just under two years ago. Ironically, I purchased the play center as a containment device for a baby while I was packing to move to Colorado. While we aren't packing yet, I am keenly aware of the similarities between my current life and the one I led two years ago!

Garry and Tyler attended our elementary school's annual teachers vs. parents basketball game on Friday night. (Sadly, Zachary's behavior precluded his attendance.) Tyler had a great time on his date with Dad, which ended with ice cream cones at Good Times. Yum!

Zachary has loved watching the Olympics. Today he enjoyed the overtime portion of the men's gold medal hockey game between the United States and Canada, as well as the men's snowboarding competition (recorded earlier this week). If you haven't read Zach's essay on the winter Olympics, you're missing out!

And finally, Lexi (or Alexis Paiges, as Gavin now calls her) is sporting a new 'do today. The rubber bands matched her dress, but I forgot to take a picture before she "dressed down" after church. So many friends commented on her cute hairstyle and wondered how I got her to hold still. I told everyone that I hoped Lexi would get used to primping, because I'm really enjoying having a little girl!

Feb 27, 2010

Bottle battle

She's awfully cute, this Lexi girl.
So cute, in fact, that when editing pictures
for a post about a frustrating issue,
one might easily forget what is frustrating
and melt into a puddle of mush
over those beautiful blue eyes.

But the photos below spark a memory...
a memory of the fact that Lexi


refuses to take a bottle.
End of story.

But she thinks it's a great {messy} chew toy.

This would be amusing
if a painful nursing issue
didn't make me want to
every time she wanted to eat.

A bottle really would have been a happy solution this week.

Oh, well.

I did capture this fun video the other day
when I gave up the
bottle battle.


Career exploration

People are always surprised to hear what Tyler wants to be when he grows up: a volcanologist. In other words, he wants to make a career out of studying volcanoes. Right now he reads up on volcanoes at every opportunity. The sentence he wrote on his kindergarten reading log after I took the picture below was: "When Mount St. Helens erupted, the entire north side of the volcano was blown away." I'm impressed.

For his sixth birthday, Garry and I gave Tyler a volcano-making kit. Although it didn't get as much applause as some of the other presents that day, I knew Tyler would really enjoy the kit eventually.

This week, Tyler worked on his volcano in stages. On Sunday afternoon, he mixed the plaster and poured it into the mold. The volcano dried for about an hour, and then Ty removed the forms and let it set up completely overnight.

On Monday it was ready for painting. Tyler was very meticulous as he applied the paint. He ran out of red paint and was thrilled that I had more in the closet. I was surprised to see the final product was mostly black. Apparently he did lots of color mixing!

We waited for a nice day to "explode" the volcano. On Friday, the planets aligned, and Tyler and I set up camp on the driveway during nap time. The four-minute video below shows all of the stages of our activity, but the pictures also sum it up. Basically, Tyler mixed baking soda with vinegar and food coloring to make "lava." I noticed a note in the instructions later that suggested adding dish soap and paint to the vinegar for a more realistic effect. Maybe we'll try that next time!

All in all, Tyler had a great time with his volcano. He experimented a lot with colorful lava, so his volcano had a literal rainbow of eruptions. Best of all, if we buy some more plaster, we can re-use the molds in the kit and make more volcanoes in the future. Our future volcanologist is thrilled!

Feb 25, 2010

Great author

The kids watching the Olympics on TV.

Every month, Zachary has a "great authors" assignment in his second grade class. He is supposed to write something about his life -- an event, an experience, a toy, or something he likes. In the past he has written about sharks, army men, our upcoming move, and paper airplanes. This month he wrote about the Winter Olympic Games, and yesterday he read his paper for the class. I enjoyed his writing so much that I thought I'd share it here.

{Note: I will preserve his spelling just for kicks. The assignment focuses more on creative writing than mechanics and spelling. I have to work hard to let go...}

The Winter Olympic Games
by Zachary Bartle

I have been watching the winter olympic games. I have seen Mens short track and long track speed skating, ski jump, womens half pipe snowboarding, and the luge. There are althets from Canida, US, Germany, Finlind, Japan, Norway, Sweedn, Astria, Koria, China, Ukraine, and many other countrys.

The first sport I wachted is luge. In luge the athlets set on a certain kind of sled and then grab these bars and pull back..........forward very fast and let go. To get extra speed they paddle on the ice. They gain speed because they have a specil kind of glove that has little tiny spikes on the end of each finger tip. The spikes grab the ice and pull the athlet forward. After the athlet has let go and has paddled he lays down. During luge the athlets go about 80 to 90 miles per hour. Luge is a very fast sport.

The next sport I watched is ski jump. In ski jump the athlet sits on a bench then stands up, leans forward, and then when he comes to the little bump he stands up and crosses his skis and leans forward. The athlet who goes the farthest wins the ski jump.

My favorite winter olympic athlet is Apolo Ohno. He compets in mens short track speed skating. When an athlet compets in short track speed skating he/she dose thirtine laps on an ice track. Sometimes an athlet wipes out. If a person pushed him/her then the person who push is disqualified. Apolo Ohno is my favorite athlete because he is the best speed skater. Apolo is on the American team.

The winter olympics are only on every 4 years. I am so glad I get to watch this time!!!!!!!

Feb 24, 2010

The picture I've been dying to post

I have been waiting for eleven days to post this picture,
thinking I could come up with a clever reason
or the perfect caption.

But really, the best thing to say
is that the kids were being silly
on the evening of Tyler's birthday
and we grabbed the camera.

I love these kids.
A lot.


I washed the boys' sheets yesterday afternoon. As I loaded them into the washer, I thought, "I should set a timer for the length of the wash cycle so I don't get distracted and forget to dry this load."

Because my good intentions rarely translate into actions, I didn't set the timer. I got distracted with dinner and didn't dry the load. At bedtime, all of the sheets were still wet and in the washer. Once again, I cursed the fact that I don't have back-up sheets for the boys' beds. Bah!

Although I was frustrated, the boys were thrilled with the solution: sleeping bags on their beds.

And later, while Zachary was at his Cub Scout meeting, I ran to Target and bought three new sets of sheets. I'm glad my linen closet has room for a little peace of mind.

Feb 21, 2010


It seems that every day brings a few anecdotes about Gavin -- the kinds of stories I'll tell his fiance on the night before his wedding or over the pulpit when he's a missionary or when he has little rascals of his own. So here's a collection of recent events with this boy.

Oh, this boy!

Yesterday Gavin was especially wired.
Crazy wired. I spent 45 minutes on the treadmill in the basement, and he did laps around the room the entire time. He kept saying, "I'm running in circles! I'm running in circles! I'm running in circles! Look at me!" It wasn't until an evening conversation with Garry that I realized where Gavin's extra fuel had come from: He had swiped Garry's cup of Dr. Pepper (leftovers from a lunch out - maybe 20 ounces or so) from the door of the fridge. Gavin+caffeine=insanity. That's all.

Also yesterday: Gavin drank a bottle of infant ibuprofen. We aren't sure if that was before or after the Dr. Pepper. I called Poison Control. Thank goodness Gavin is beefy -- his weight-to-amount-ingested ratio protected him. At least he wasn't in pain all day!

Also yesterday: I managed to catch Gavin before he removed his poopy diaper. (His new habit is to bring me a diaper full of yuck and present it to me as evidence that he needs to be changed. Sometimes he is very neat and tidy; mostly there's lots of clean-up involved.) During nearly every diaper change, I gently remind him that when we move to our new house he's going to learn to use the potty. This time the conversation spurred him to action; he wanted to sit on the potty for a while. I got him set up, then disposed of the diaper. I told Garry that Gavin was on the potty, and that I was getting in the shower (in a different bathroom -- I figured since he'd just done the deed he didn't need supervision). Five minutes later, I found out that Gavin had pooped in the potty and smeared his mess everywhere. Lovely.

Also yesterday: While driving, Gavin was distressed by the snow accumulation on the roads and sidewalks. He chanted: "Snowy mess! Snowy mess! Clean up the snowy mess!" He was also highly agitated about the fact that Daddy and Zach and Tyler were left at home while Lexi and I drove around with him. He thought Dad and the boys HAD to be in the car if he was.

Gavin acquired the big bruise under his eye on February 9. He walked right into the metal gate at the top of the stairs. He had a giant goose-egg under his eye for several hours that eventually turned into his first shiner. I frequently take note of the guardian angels that must surround this boy at all times. It truly is a miracle that he is not seriously injured on a regular basis!

For example, Gavin runs at warp speed (and not just when he's on a caffeine buzz) wherever he goes. Lately, his head moves faster than his feet, and he often tumbles to the ground because his lower half can't keep up. But more often than not, he picks himself up and continues on his way, hardly noticing the interruption to his momentum. It's also quite remarkable to watch the times when he manages to avoid a fall. This boy has balancing skills!

Gavin loves picking up the boys from school each day. As long as he is awake, he is quite charming when each boy climbs into the van. He will say, "Hi Zachary (or Tyler)! How was your day? Did you have a good day? Nice to see you!" He has the same greeting for Garry when he comes home from work.

Russell the bear is still Gavin's best friend. Occasionally I wonder if this infatuation is healthy, but frankly, Russell makes my life easier right now, so I'm rolling with it. Today's pre-church experience was made pretty crazy by Lexi's urgent care visit, so when Gavin insisted Russell come to church, I was quick to acquiese. Gavin had just spilled a bowl of [my] cereal and milk all over his church clothes, necessitating a head-to-toe change of clothing, and I didn't have the energy to argue. I was quite charmed during Sacrament Meeting when Gavin wanted me to draw Russell's hand print on the drawing board. Russell really is a member of the family!

Gavin has officially reached the tantruming-two-year-old stage, where his fits of completely unreasonable behavior are mine to enjoy several times a day. I recently had the thought that all this boy needs is love. So when Gavin is in his most unloveable state, I whisper, "I love you" over and over...until he calms down enough to say, "I love you" back. That little exchange is a good reminder for both of us.

I love you, Gavin!

Sleepless in the Springs

You'd never know it from this photo, but Lexi has been one sick little girl.

It's been a rough calendar year, health-wise. In the last six weeks, Lexi has weathered two ear infections, cut three teeth (with three more close to eruption), and endured the congestion and searing throat that come with bronchiolitis. Just today we got stronger antibiotics and pain-management ear drops for the second ear infection. The urgent care doctor who helped us over the phone last night also diagnosed tonsilitis in our sweet baby this morning.

No wonder Lexi hasn't been sleeping or eating or smiling.

We're very glad for insurance and antibiotics and Motrin. And especially for Lexi's terrific personality, which happily returned this afternoon.

Get well, little girl!

pass it on!

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