This girl had her first haircut this week. Her bangs were growing in a V and driving me crazy, so I evened them out (much to Garry's chagrin). She has little wispies in the back and behind her ears that curl just a bit. We're in love.
Tooth #6, which broke through for the first time at the family reunion, keeps popping in and out. Kate has been pretty sad, mostly because with our kids, teething goes hand in hand with diarrhea. (TMI?) She has her first diaper rash, which is such a bummer.
Kate says the most darling "hi" to everyone she meets and sometimes offers a little wave. She opens and closes a sideways fist and occasionally cocks her head to the side. The fist action happens at meal time, too. We usually think it's a signal for more. Kate also smacks her lips when she wants food. She loves summer fruit; cantaloupe, watermelon, blueberries, and strawberries are her favorites. She is finally making progress with a sippy cup. Not so much with the walking.
Lexi is one tired girl these days. She is sleeping very poorly at night, despite sharing Gavin's bed. We aren't sure what prompts all the night waking, but it's very evident that she desperately needs a nap to make up for the lack of sleep. If we drive in the van for more than 10 minutes after 11 a.m., she zonks out. Afternoons are especially trying with a tired three-year-old.
Lexi is really enjoying swimming lessons. I am so pleased that she isn't afraid of the water and will participate willingly. I laughed the other day as her teacher tried to help her do the motions of a back stroke. Lexi was only using her left arm and leg. It was like the other arm and leg didn't exist. Coordination will come in time.
Nearly every day, Lexi asks when preschool starts. I think she is more interested in wearing the new fall clothes we acquired (some purchased, some handed down from friends) than in actually attending school. For now, she's enjoying Child Watch adventures at the YMCA and too much TV with Gavin.
This boy can't get enough of pillows and blankets. At least once a week he puts the couch cushions and every pillow and blanket in the house into a giant pile. Then he jumps and rolls around in the pile. This "game" drives me crazy. But he loves it. Today a babysitter thought he was missing for a while. Turns out he had hidden under my comforter and fallen asleep.
Gavin also assumes that anything he loves is loved by everyone else. It's pretty cute to see him try to give other (bigger) people joint compressions, or play with their hair or rub their feet. He has a pretty tender soul under all that energy. He loves making people happy.
Gavin's clothing choices continue to be a little crazy. I'm really trying to roll with it, but yesterday's baseball-jersey-tucked-into-basketball-shorts-with-a-belt was quite astonishing. He's got spunk. Who am I to give him fashion advice? I certainly qualify for an episode of What Not to Wear.
We took the training wheels off of Gavin's bike at his request. Garry replaced a flat tire and the broken pedals, too. I think it would be so fun for Gavin to achieve the two-wheeler milestone this summer, but he is a bit scared now. We'll see what happens.
Tyler started art lessons with a lady in our ward this week. I think we are all excited about the possibilities! Tyler has some natural ability that these lessons should nurture along. It will be fun to watch him learn and progress. On Wednesday night he explained abstract art to us at the dinner table.
Last Saturday I took the kids school shopping. I had planned to take each child individually, but ended up taking Zach and Tyler together and Gavin and Lexi on a separate trip. Tyler is so good to be content with Zach's hand-me-downs, but he did get a few new things, including shoes, which were about two months overdue. When we got home, Tyler laid out every clothing item he owned and we analyzed each for size and likeability and condition. Some clothes landed in the donation pile, some in the trash pile, and some in the keep pile. Tyler loves to be organized, just like his mama.
This kid is growing up. Despite some major breaches in common sense recently, Zach sometimes shows a mature and cheerful side that I like very much. He is so good with Kate. He often has a good attitude about his chores. He was very sweet on the school shopping trip when I declined nearly all of his morbid/dark/crazy/ugly shirt choices. I like it when we can have more than a "disaster management" relationship.
Sometimes, alas, that is not possible. Last week he and Tyler disappeared for two hours on their bikes. They didn't tell anyone where they were going, and after 90 minutes, I was getting ready to call the police. They came home, having played with a friend, gone to a park, and eaten lunch, all happy and totally oblivious to anything they might have done wrong. Zach was clearly the ring leader on that escapade. This was just a few days after the pool incident where he wouldn't get out, and the day before he pitched a huge fit when refused to leave a friend's house. Zach is a boy who struggles with transitions, and I'm really not sure how to help him....
A few weeks ago we discovered that Zach has completed all of the requirements to earn his Webelos badge. He has also earned enough activity badges for the Arrow of Light award! He just needs to work with his leaders for a bit on a few other things. Pretty exciting!
Some days I feel like I don't do anything at all, and other days are jam-packed. In my estimation, the YMCA is saving our summer. The kids enjoy playing there, and I am increasingly dependent on the endorphins I find in the cardio room. I'm in week seven of my 10K training program. I'm still only "running" 11:30 miles, but I can go 4.25 miles, which is better than I've done in about four years. I'm pleased with the progress in my endurance. And even though it's not showing much on the scale, the fat pants I bought in May are quite loose. Guess I'm moving in the right direction.
I am determined to rescue our yard this summer, but sprinklers issues combined with lots of heat and little rain are all working against me. Parts of the lawn we re-planted, like the place where we removed the front planter a couple months ago, are finally starting to grow in. I am encouraged by that, so I've been de-thatching yellow grass and filling in bare spots with mulch and seed. And praying for rain. Is it stupid to be this emotionally invested in my yard? Probably.
In the last couple weeks I've talked in church, given a Relief Society lesson, started playing the piano for the ward choir, helped in the kitchen at a friend's wedding and reception, helped another friend assemble some wedding announcements, and sewn an upholstery cover for one of the couches Garry is building. Maybe this is why my house never clean. [Or why I
really don't am trying not to care.] I'm glad to be back in the groove of doing things I enjoy.
Garry spends most evenings and Saturdays out in the garage with a saw screeching away. The latest part of the couch project is trim around the bottom of each section. He also completed feet (all 14) on Saturday. He's enjoying his man tools and the noise-canceling, mp3-compatible headphones he received for Father's Day.
This is Garry's super-busy time at work: the end of Wells Fargo's fiscal quarter. He has big jobs to do that require long hours and late nights. He had to work from 8:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. one night and was back at his desk at 9:00 a.m. the next day. I often wonder why, when Garry's boss's boss calls him at home on the weekend for technical support, he isn't promoted to a position with more responsibility. Or given a raise or a cookie or something.
Garry's a great dad, always getting up with crying kids in the night and making hot breakfasts the kids love and teaching Gavin to ride a two-wheeler. I sure appreciate all he is and all he does for our family.