I have indulged in lots of silly, selfish blogging lately with all the letter-writing and whatnot. Since I intend to spend the evening updating the kids' digital scrapbooks with the proceeds of this here blog, I feel compelled to provide a post of substance.
Tyler is generally a boy of a happy, helpful disposition. I sure appreciate his even-keel nature when the rest of us are exploding like firecrackers. Last night he was humming to himself as he vacuumed goldfish crackers off the kitchen floor and graham cracker remains from the van's passenger seat (don't ask). What six-year-old does that?
Ty's music class is turning out to be awesome. Tyler really loves rhythm and movement. He is quick to memorize the songs and happy to complete the homework each week. Once again, I am contemplating piano lessons. I think he is ready, but I'm not sure I can handle the commitment.
Tyler is also terrific when it comes to scholastic homework. I never have to ask him to do his assignments after school. He is quick and independent and quite accurate! His handwriting is adorable. I often find him lounging on the couch with a book or a magazine. He especially loves the Highlights subscription he received as a gift last Christmas.
I have long worried about Tyler on a social level. His friend opportunities in our neighborhood aren't terrific, and he hasn't connected with anyone at church. But when I asked Tyler about school today, he said, "I'm friends with at least half of my classmates! I just like everyone, and everyone likes me!" I guess I can cross "friends for Tyler" off my worry list.
Miss Alexis is becoming a girly girl. She will keep "pretty things" in her hair for long stretches. She likes dresses and socks and shoes. She likes to wrap a blanket around her precious Betsy (her doggie buddy). She loves phones of all kinds. I already have Christmas gift ideas percolating for the growing girl in our house. What fun!
Lexi is also discovering toys...and the need for her mother to play with her at all times. She likes wooden blocks and Mega Bloks and anything that stacks into a tower. She enjoys books, but only to look at on her own; she won't sit for a story or turn a page. She likes wooden puzzles. To clarify: she likes taking the pieces OUT of wooden puzzles and watching me put them back in. I spend a lot of time playing with the Littles, which is fun, but I never get anything done anymore.
Lexi has been sick this week. On Monday she started with a goopy green nose. I actually quipped to a friend, "Do you think the ear infection will show up Wednesday or Thursday?" On Thursday at 4:30 we were in the pediatrician's office because Lexi had been inconsolable for the better part of two days. Much to my surprise, her ears, throat, and lungs were "perfect," so it seems a virus was responsible for the fever and the rash and the funky attitude. She is much better today (under the influence of ibuprofen).
We are experiencing a season of calm with Zachary, which I certainly appreciate. He has been much more agreeable lately! His happier attitude is a breath of fresh air. I attribute the transformation to the significant restrictions we have placed on video games. Victory! (P.S. Did anyone else stand and applaud when Elder Lawrence gave counsel on sleepovers and video games during General Conference on Sunday?)
Zach practices with his football team from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Playing football is a lot of work! I am thrilled with the exercise and the team camaraderie Zach is enjoying. The season has been terrific. Zach always eats dinner when he comes home from practice -- usually a re-heated plate of leftovers. But occasionally Garry will pick him up after a long day at work and the two guys grab fast food on the way home. Sometimes I join them at the table. It's funny to watch and listen to Zach. He is so exhausted by then! Last night he was too tired to eat all of his dinner. I was surprised when he told me he wasn't interested in a season of basketball when football is done. Maybe he's tired of being tired.
Zach and Tyler walk part-way to and from school every day. I devised this system on the afternoon of the first day of school. The boys are thrilled with the independence and the time together. I love the additional flexibility I have by dropping them off a few blocks from school. My school transportation time commitment is a mere fraction of what it was last year. I love watching them walk off together in the morning and walk home together in the afternoon. Ah, brotherly love...
Zach is anxious to turn nine in a couple of weeks. He made a lengthy birthday wishlist and tacked it on the fridge where I can see it all day. What a funny kid! The best part for me is that I had chosen several of the smaller items before he even asked for them. I guess know my boy!
Gavin is still the resident crazy man. Right now his passion for Go, Diego, Go! cartoons keeps me sane. He watches way more TV than is appropriate for a two-year-old, but it is the only calm activity that consistently engages his interest. I was pleased to discover this week that we had a 24-piece Diego puzzle in the closet. Gavin takes it everywhere, and we assemble it several times a day. Puzzles and blocks and cars can be great toys for kids who will sit still long enough!
I can't seem to keep Gavin out of the backyard tree. He uses anything and everything as a stool to help him reach the branches. I've mostly given up. That kid can climb anything. Yesterday at the doctor's office he was jumping out of the window sill in the waiting room. Today he was on top of the van. I am laughing to myself....but I realize it isn't really funny.
Gavin has been a CHAMPION potty-trainer. I have heard of kids who potty-trained themselves but never believed. I'll tell you now: I'm a believer. I have done nothing but hand out candy corn for success and offered the occasional reminder/suggestion that he should use the potty. It is truly remarkable. He is almost completely independent already. Gavin is dry every day while he naps and was even dry overnight once this week. In almost two weeks, I can count his "accidents" on one hand. My mom told me today that I deserved something easy with this kid. I guess I got it!
So there you have it: our kids' recent history in a nutshell. You may now return to your scheduled programming (and I to mine).