This week I captured a few images that speak volumes about our family life.
First: None of our children like playing with toys. In our almost ten years of parenting, we have NEVER found or purchased or happened upon any sort of toy (besides video games, balls, and bikes) that will entertain our children for more than a few minutes. Legos, cars, race tracks, trains, blocks, puzzles, play tools, art supplies, science kits, dress-up clothes -- you name it, we've tried it. We have a closet full of board games and shelves of toys that are exciting for a day or two after Christmas and birthdays, but otherwise collect dust and take up space and make a mess (for the five minutes they get pulled out).
For the big boys (especially Zach), the one exception to this rule is small items that can be prized as a collection. He likes Tech Deck skateboards, Lego people, Bakugan figures, and, lately, Go-gos (also known as Crazy Bones). He rarely plays with his collections, but rather enjoys owning the collections.
Zach became obsessed with these tiny little creatures during the school year. Thanks to his friends' toy-trading ways, he managed to slip toys (nice, bigger toys!) out of the house to trade for Go-gos at school and in the neighborhood. He and Tyler have now amassed quite a collection of these guys, which they use in battles against each other. I hadn't seen Zach actually play with Go-gos for months until he brought them along to Gavin's OT appointment the other day. While we waited, the boys battled with Go-gos, even letting Lexi in on the game once in a while.
Second: Every day, in addition to filling Gavin's sensory-seeking body with high-impact, thrilling activities, I try to help him develop his fine-motor skills. He doesn't always love to cut and color and trace and practice letters, but one day our activity really captured his interest. Just before nap time, he spelled his middle name, D-r-e-w, asked what a W looked like. He wasn't satisfied when I traced it in the air, so I promised that when he woke up we could make a sign for his bedroom door with his middle name. Gavin held me to that promise! I wrote out his name in bubble letters and asked him to color them in. At first all the empty letters were intimidating, so I colored one in every time he finished one. In the end, Gavin was completely thrilled with the finished product. He was excited to show Dana, his therapist, what he had accomplished! For the boy who couldn't properly hold a crayon a few months ago, he has come a long way.
Third: One night this week we redeemed one of the boys' library reading program coupons at a little yogurt shop. Since Zach and Tyler got free yogurt -- as much as they could fit in the cup -- they went crazy with flavors and toppings. Just looking at their flavor combinations made me a little ill, so we requested that each boy save at least half to eat later. They promised...and then, on the way home, gobbled up every last bite. Tyler was crying from a stomachache within 30 minutes. Both boys went to bed with puke bowls, but thankfully, did not require them during the night.
Fourth: Lexi has taken a liking to a little Hello Kitty purse and likes to stuff it with random items. One afternoon when I needed to calm my stomach in bed, she played happily next to me with all of the accessories she had collected in her purse. The lighting is terrible in my cave of a bedroom, so the cell phone picture I snapped doesn't quite do her justice, but it was a fun moment to capture anyway. It's still fun every day to experience a little girl in the family!