There's always some cute things happening around here.. and some challenges, too, of course. Cuteness and challenges alike, I want to remember it all, so I feel like a documenting is long overdue!
* Avery, for a long time now, you've been giving us "stickers". I put this word in strong quotation marks because they are imaginary stickers. Your bedtime routine, after I help you dress & dry your hair, is to run to Daddy in the hallway (as he's waiting on Andrew in the shower, to tuck him in) and you cuddle him, then kiss each hand and make a little reaching-into-your-pocket motion and put a "sticker" on each kissed hand. You'll name them, giving a kiss then placing a 'princess sticka', or lately it's been one 'jedi sticker' and one 'darth maul sticker' (thanks Disney Land!). And you'll trot off, yelling back 'don't let your stickers fall off!' I will sincerely be depressed when you stop giving us these stickers.
* Andrew, you went to Victoria today, and you gave me about 30 kisses before you left, and said you loved me a dozen times. And according to your father, you said you already missed me before you guys made it out of the neighborhood. Sigh. Lately, you've been saying how you can't wait to be a Daddy. The reasons range from your confidence that being a Daddy will secure you more chips/snacks, or that you think being a Daddy means you won't have to clean as much. I laughed at that one. I asked if you thought Daddy's didn't clean, to which you replied that KIDS cleaned the most, and I asked well what if your kids did not clean?! And you said you'd let your wife do it. So kind of you. We had a sort of gender-role-expectation conversation following that.
* You both are in swim lessons, and I couldn't be prouder. Not just that you've learned the skills (swim-float-swim) but that you are always in such good spirits. Andrew, you only had to take a week (4 days, 10 minute lessons) and you were good to go, as you retained so much from prior lessons.. so now, you get to just play around in the deep end while Avery has her lessons. You LOVE this freedom, just swimming from bank to bank, jumping in --crazy high/far jumping too that makes me freak a little -- and going down the slide. And of course floating, you could float for days. Avery, you listen to your teacher so well and try so so hard at everything. You are so eager and ready to please. I'm so grateful for these life-saving lessons, and how receptive you two have been. I've never put floaties on either of you, and now thankfully I won't ever have to! So proud.
* Andrew, a couple of weeks ago you broke the iPad. You were closing it in the case, flipping it a little too playfully than you should have, and it slipped out of your hands on the wood floor and shattered. I didn't react too harshly, because the damage was done and I could tell you felt badly. But we did have some conversations about it.. about how it was not just a toy, and how it cost big money, and you were immediately ready to empty out your piggy bank. We did count it all out ($89!) and I think you thought it was all going towards a new one, but we never took it. You learned, and at the end of the first week of swim lessons when you tested out super early, the first thing you said was 'I'm glad I finished quickly so I could save you guys money'..
* Avery, you sit and read books for veeeeery long periods of time. You love big thick books - oftentimes MY books (always always removing my bookmark first thing) obviously with no pictures. You just make things up, random strings of nonsensical sentences, and I could watch you 'read' for days. It tickles me so much. You sometimes do BIG hand motions, theatrically describing some imaginary plot that makes no sense whatsoever, but obviously demands a big hand motion and sound effect. Andrew loves this too. At first, a long time ago when you started doing it, it bothered him. He'd say 'you know, you're not REALLY reading....' but now, as he's evolved into a chiller brother, he smiles so big and just chuckles alongside me.
* You two have been playing so well lately, it's been NICE. I can get a lot done, when I hear you two happily playing...and I even keep getting stuff done when I inevitably hear Avery squawk about something, because Andrew, you play the deal-maker. You problem solve and console when necessary and sometimes I am rendered obsolete for long periods of time. It's nice!
* Avery, you love helping me shave my legs. Sometimes, during the day, I'll just roll my shorts up and sit on the edge of the tub, with you there. You help me dump bowls of water on my legs when I need to.. but other than that, you just watch. You love it, for some reason. And you'll talk to yourself .. 'I'll shave my legs when I'm a mommy..' ha! I tell you it'll be before you're a mommy, but you'll figure that one out for yourself. And the best part is the end, when you get huge globs of lotion and rub them on my legs -- your sensory-loving self LOVES this part and thinks it's a special treat. I just close my eyes and pretend I'm getting a pedicure by someone with really small hands.
* Andrew, since you no longer nap (maybe once a week still, on big baseball game days!) you have to come up with things to occupy your time during Avery's naptime. Screentime is limited, and you know you can play some on your iPod and then later you can watch something on Netflix, but other than that, it's on you to come up with things to do. I'll have things sometimes, but mostly I encourage you to figure it out. You love it when I read out of your new chapter books (Magic Treehouse) and you really love your special ice-cream time. I'll make you a cone of sherbet, and you'll take it to the back porch and eat it by yourself... you look like a little grandpa out there, eating sherbet, enjoying the noonday weather.. it tickles me.
* Avery, you slay us with how you NEVER know what mealtime it is. At breakfast, you'll say 'that was a good dinner!' and before dinner you'll say 'is it breakfast yet?' I really need to google a trick to teaching you when we eat what meal, but whenever you get it right and we make a big deal that YES, YES YOU'RE RIGHT! THAT WAS DINNER!.. then 5 seconds later you'll say 'Oh I meant breakfast.' There's just no point, you know? Your quirks make our days brighter.