Blogging feels like a chore lately, but I can't quite let it go. I feel an obligation to our family history. I am sure I will be glad for the effort down the road when I am reading our memory books with fondness. Perhaps this is how I will become the grandma who is kind to mothers struggling in grocery stores and wrestling children at church. "I remember those days...let me give you a hand." Yep, that's how I'm going to be when I grow up.
Speaking of growing up...these children of mine get bigger every day. I'm not quite sure how that happens, but the boys' pants are too short and the girls' hair is below their shoulders, which is an obvious mark of the passage of time. Oh, and Garry had a birthday, and mine is coming up, and those days surely affirm a fast-spinning globe, because there is no way I'm old enough to be this old.
So. Here's a little run-down on our hooligans, from first to last.
Zach is now 5'6" tall. Yep. Four inches taller than his mother and taller than all of his friends. OK, not all of them. But seriously: tall! He recently attended the Priesthood session of LDS General Conference with Garry, and then enjoyed their now-traditional burger and shake after the meeting. Zach is quite fashion-conscious, and recently spent a month and a half of paper route money on the perfect pair of Nike shoes (which were on clearance). Zach has some good guy friends (one in particular), although I sure wish the silly girls at school would leave him alone! The other night Zach was struggling with a math assignment full of quadratic equations. I sat down to help him and he explained the concepts to me. Then he realized he knew what he was doing and finished quickly. He's a smart kid but doesn't believe in himself all the time.
Tyler is doing a science fair project that studies people's favorite color of soda pop. After pack meeting last week, he collected data from most of the attendees when they tasted a variety of colors of soda (all lemon-lime, dyed with food coloring). He's also excited that he is finally invited to a birthday party. We'd really love for some boys to move into the neighborhood so he'd have more friends! Tyler continues to be very sensitive and affectionate. He is also excited to start making plans for middle school. He's a little smarty pants and is happy about his math and reading placements next year. He wants to join the band. I'm trying to convince him to take up the piano again. This week Tyler was my date to a high school musical (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) and we had a great time together.
Gavin is ecstatic to be running in the Landsharks running club. It's finally his turn! Having practices and meets on Monday is a real pain in the neck (Tyler has scouts and Zach has swing dance lessons on Monday afternoons, too), but it's only for a few weeks. Gavin's reading is improving, although I don't spend as much time reading with him as I should. He is a very conscientious student and loves to please his teacher. During General Conference we pulled out a big box of LEGO blocks that has been in storage. He really likes building with them, so I'm glad we have held onto them. This photo says so much about Gavin: his adoration for snow boots, his desire to take stuffed animals outside, his need to snack outdoors, and his dirty face are all quintessential Gavin traits.
Miss Alexis has been very spunky lately. Lots of attitude and drama...so she's taking naps sometimes and going to bed early sometimes...more sleep is always the answer, right? Lexi loves playing with her friends. Having Lucy and Kaela in the neighborhood has been so fun for her, and having Lucy sleep over while her mom had a baby was extra fun! She continues to love school and is making progress on her reading and writing. She loves to color, play "family" (it was called "house" when I was little), dress up her dolls, and ride her bike. Oh, and fix her hair. I am not allowed to do that unless it is Sunday, and even then she is very particular. It's not a battle I fight anymore.
Kate. Oh Kate. She makes me laugh every day. Her latest adventure is wearing "unnerwears" and refusing a diaper. So far she is 100% consistent; she always pees in the potty and she always poops in her pants. So we are going through bags of M&Ms...her reward for successes and my consolation for her accidents. Also, Kate is obsessed with wearing leotards. We have four, which last about 2.5 days because she can't keep anything clean. I only do laundry on Mondays, so when they are all dirty she asks approximately 67 times if her leotards are clean. Last time I pulled one from the dryer, she put it on immediately, wore it the rest of the day, overnight, and all the next day until she spilled cereal on it (afternoon snack...haha). Leotard 2.0 emerged shortly thereafter. Just as a side note, leotards and unnerwears are a tricky combination, but the bike helmet she wears all the time is an awesome accessory.
There's not much to report about the grown-ups in the house. This was Garry's super busy week at work (end of quarter). He continues to lose weight, which is why I gave him a new shirt and slacks for his birthday. And also he has spectacular bed-head.
I'm practicing accompaniment for an Easter song that a friend is singing at church. My resolve to avoid dairy is weakening since my skin hasn't improved one tiny bit in two months, except that I am losing weight, and breaking into my stash of smaller jeans is a great motivator. (Sorry, no pictures; she who holds the camera chooses the subjects.)
So there ya go: the Bartles lately.