Catching up with Spring
It’s already June! My intentions have fallen way behind the draw to lay lumpish on the couch every mid-afternoon. I’m playing the “baby is waiting for…” game and when not collapsing into the cushions I’ve been working hard to get all the possible things crossed off baby’s list….we’ve talked hours over names, patched holes in the wall of the future nursery, washed and folded our gender neutral clothes, had appointments for the kids and turned in paperwork for next year (more to come on that). I finished season 3 of Downton Abbey (my heavens, what drama!), and got the car smog checked and registered. I even spent a few hours wrestling with our car seats to fit three across our sedan back seat (call me resourceful or laugh when we spring for a bigger car in a few months). I’ve now come to the conclusion that baby wanted me to clean off the memory card on the camera and catch up on many un-posted moments from this past spring…so you can thank baby for this update. The last potential hurdle I can think of is Whitney’s preschool graduation party this Wednesday (baby’s actual due date…I know, it’s not like baby’s late or anything, why am I so anxious!?), and the last day of school on Thursday. THEN, baby has no excuses. Or maybe baby already realizes it is a third baby and revels in the attention of being waited for. Oh, baby, you have a lot of love coming your way…no need to drag out the anticipation.
So here it goes…smorgasbord o’pictures.
He’s all about the Legos. “Mom, you love me, so let’s go to Target and buy lots of Legos” (????) It’s a daily request. We build and rebuild. I’m continually impressed with his growing ability to read the instructions (which I secretly love how he mispronounces as “constructions”…mispronounces are my favorite).
All the dinosaurs got lined up on the mantel and have now been an installation for a few weeks. This boy has a few things precious to him and is starting to try to find ways to hide his treasures from sister or other foe — I need to make him a little treasure box or a drawer all for himself.
Whitney is all about drawing on her whiteboard, dressing up, dolls, and “making lunch” in her play kitchen (and bringing me food over and over to eat). Oh, and dare I forget the dance parties. She is constantly asking for music and both kids get really into their white selves with some true feeling out on the dance floor. I haven’t taken nearly enough videos of the pure uninhibited grooving, but I assure you, it’s a good time every time and makes some of my most enjoyable mommy moments these days.
And of course there’s books. Current favorites are Clifford and Berenstain Bears. She’ll flip through on her own and make up the words over and over and over. I can’t wait until she’s able to read on her own someday!!
Speaking of learning to read. Tyler has started to periodically write the kids letters and sneak them in the mailbox…they are so excited to find and go through the letters. Whitney works on reading each letter and sounding out the sounds of some of the letters. Dylan is actually working on sounding out words. Some of the letters repeats each time and he’s doing such a good job and is so motivated to figure out what his letters say!
Another thing we tried that I saw on Pinterest somewhere is making these eggs. You put an ending on one half of the egg (I did -at and -ig) and then you put starting letters on the other half of the egg. I helped him figure out the sound of the ending and then he could twist the egg and try different first letters with the ending tacked on. It’s a good way of working on the sound of the letters, and also good practice with rhyming in general.
Also, since we pulled him out of the last two months of preschool, I’ve struggled to keep him busy as he’d like to be. Sometimes it’s only 9am and he’s begging for iPad and candy (not our groove). “Mommy, can you go take a shower so I can watch iPad?” Well, some days I do have something in mind that I want to put my own attention to, and I started making him a checkoff list where he can a handful of activities that I try to have include something active, something involving holding a pen (he’s not the biggest fan), something building, and something with letters or numbers. He’s been thrilled every time we make a list…it takes him some time to get to the last item (iPad) but I feel good knowing he’s diversified his activities before getting there and he’s been proud of checking things off his list.
Just in time for baby, I’ve seen some glimmers of hope for independence for the kids. Here, Dylan is fixing his own breakfast…he can get yogurt out of the fridge and add cereal on top all by himself.
Whitney is also starting to help herself, and making improvements. Even when sometimes helping herself means she’s putting on my makeup. !! Four going on fourteen? Other big improvements have been that she will sometimes do her bathroom routine on her own. Most mornings she wakes up dry (big deal for us), can take off her pajamas and use the potty, and also pick out and put on clothes. Yes, she’s 4.5, but this is a big deal for her!
We practiced peeling carrots the other day. She loves to be near me when I’m cooking. It’s sometimes hard to let the kids “help” but every time I do I know it is such a good thing to give them jobs, let them try things (fine motor skills!) and give them the pleasure of being near me and contributing in their own little way. The kids can also pick out all the ingredients for their own smoothies. I won’t let them use the blender on their own, but they know all the parts and where to find them in the fridge/freezer and could do the whole thing if I let them. We aren’t yet in a regular routine for it yet but they are able to sort and put away their clothes, and to load the dishwasher and empty the silverware basket when it is clean. They also help set and clear the table most nights. Please remind me at some point to keep working on these helpful acts…I know their eagerness won’t last forever, but oh the hope that these kids will have a discipline of helpfulness!
So we tried the kids in soccer at the Y. I had high hopes that it’d be the perfect way for Dylan to burn off some steam and come home and run around with a ball in our backyard all day. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
Luckily, swimming was a whole different story. But we sorta knew it would be…the kids are highly motivated to swim. I neglected to mention a few months back that I took both kids into the pool briefly before Whitney’s last ballet class. It had been the better part of a year since Whitney had been in a pool. They were loving it and didn’t want to get out but we dried off and put her ballerina outfit on and dropped her off at class. Dylan and I went to have a snack outside. We came back in for the end of class and were intercepted by a lady “you’re daughter’s out by the pool!” ?? Hmm? I didn’t know her, how did she know me and where my daughter was? and by the pool??? Sure enough I turn around and see her out there on the pool deck. A swim instructor was basically boxing her out trying to keep her from jumping in the water but also trying not to touch/pick her up. I run out there and Whitney is pointing and stomping at the pool “Swim Suit!!” she wanted to badly to jump in! I guess what happened is that she ran out the door in ballet class…her teacher followed behind but got stuck when Whitney bolted through the men’s locker room (!) and onto the pool deck. She stood there timidly at the edge (usually too afraid to get in on her own) but when she saw an instructor coming toward her she jumped in. (!) My oh my. I was shocked, embarrassed, relieved she was okay, and felt guilty that I wasn’t sitting there outside her ballet door the whole time just in case such a thing happened. Yikes! Time for swimming lessons. That same swim instructor was our teacher and she did a great job with our kids who loved every minute in the water. We hope to do another round of lessons, or at least a lot more swimming in general, this summer.
(picture from The Day the Ballerina Went Rogue)
Their first lesson….
Dylan’s mission in swimming if you ask him, is to “sink to the bottom” – not to drown, but to hold his breath and basically scuba dive. He’s fearless. Note the lifeguard’s feet standing right at the water’s edge…bless his heart, he stood there caring carefully for our kids each lesson. Another lifeguard was on duty one day and she actually followed an impulse to jump in after Dylan – shoes on and everything! Oops. It took a while to get the hang of holding-on-to-the-wall-when-it’s-not-your-turn. They came a long way…and we’re now on a first name basis with a lot more of the pool staff.
There you go! Perhaps I’ll scrounge up a few more adventures for another post if this baby isn’t satisfied, but most likely keep a lookout for a preschool graduation and the announcement of our long anticipated baby bundle!