Gavin, in early April I had just completed a memory book of your second and third years of life. It was an exhausting endeavor, not because the work was difficult, but because reading about those two years was a harrowing experience! You had been such a busy, crazy child...but oh, how we loved you and your fun personality.
Of course your mischief and mayhem continued. You were more physically capable than ever before, and it was also clear that your intellect was growing. You were discovering new ways to make messes and test my limits! Your favorite escape hatch was the garage door. You would drag a chair to the inside door, unhook the "child-proof" latch, open the door, reach up and open the outer door, and run down the street. It took about 20 seconds for you to complete this operation, and of course Lexi always went with you. If I sent you to time-out in your room, you destroyed it.
You also discovered you could operate the microwave. One day you melted a cube of butter that went everywhere. Another day you climbed on top of the fridge in search of candy. Another day you got outside and started messing with the neighbor's hose and sprinkler. You liked to bang on another neighbor's real estate sign. You LOVED to climb 30 feet up the backyard tree. You couldn't always get down without assistance, but going up was no problem! I absolutely could not turn my back without losing you to the outdoors or finding a mess when I turned around again. It was an exhausting lifestyle.
When I was terribly sick with my pregnancy, you spent three hours every weekday morning at the home of a ward member. On those excursions, you carried snacks and clothing changes in your backpack. After more than a month of this routine, it was understandable that you would develop an affinity for your backpack. Even when you stayed home with me every day, you carried your backpack everywhere. You carried extra underwear, a sippy cup of water, and your favorite stuffed animal, Bandit. You also wore a ball cap almost every day.
You had a new ability to say the "th" sound, which matured your vocabulary overnight! You were very deliberate when you said words like with, bath, teeth, this, there, and that, along with a host of others. Your vocabulary in general was mature beyond your years.
We had a new CD called "Here Comes Science" that we played in the van when we drove. You thought it was fantastic. Your favorite song was called "The Bloodmobile," and over time you began to memorize its words. Hearing you and Lexi sing that song made me laugh! Your favorite Primary song was "Book of Mormon Stories," and you especially enjoyed belting out the last word: "righteously!!" You sang that word at random many times a day. You loved to dance to fun music, too.
I had avoided running errands with you for months, but in March I cautiously attempted outings again. You were suddenly willing to sit in the stroller! You weren't always willing to be buckled in (and you could get out anyway), but you generally stayed in the stroller and sometimes a shopping cart. Your confinement was seriously liberating for me! And I think you enjoyed finally leaving the house again. It wouldn't be long until we had another baby in tow. I hoped that we could enjoy lots of outings before we had to figure out a new way of getting around.