Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 14 - Betsy Gliding in Pink

Betsy is a spirited, intense girl and I love the action photo of her gliding to summer camp for the first day. She rode all the way from our house to Middlefield Road. She was slower than the boys, but would not give up, even when I offered to have her jump in the trailer with Ruby, she would glide faster. 

What was even more surprising was when I showed up on my bike to pick them up and ride home and they were gone. I missed them at the place I thought I was supposed to pick them up and by the time I went to the gym, their classrooms and back to the pick-up, I had missed them. Betsy's teacher saw me asking about where my three kids were and said they had left together on their bikes. They had told the teachers they were just supposed to ride home by themselves. I caught up with them when they were almost to College, our street. Gabriel was standing by Betsy. When I rode up to them he said, 

I bet you're glad to see me with Betsy. You probably couldn't tell that most of the time we went way ahead and didn't see her. But now we are together. 

Honesty. Those are not the busiest streets in Palo Alto, but there's so much traffic everywhere and stop signs that Betsy doesn't understand the rules to cross through safely. We were watched over that day. Betsy in her favorite outfit - all pink and the long-sleeve cowgirl shirt, was blessed with safety.

June 14 - Needs to go in injury book

For a long time I've been meaning to start an injury book. If someone gets hurt, we take a picture, write the story on the back, and put it in a small photo album. It would be so helpful for my kids since a lot of injuries happen and it would have some good stories. 

They are each so active that I sometimes show up to the doctor's office and am shocked/embarrassed to see bruises, scrapes, bug bites, and dirt under nails when the doctor is doing the physical exam. What happened to them? Who's taking care of these kids? 

June 15

This was the second day of summer "camp." It's more aptly called summer school, but that doesn't sound as fun. Jordan Middle School - Math Enrichment. They go over next year's curriculum for math, reading, and writing. I presented it to Gavin as a great camp I found for him because he does so well with coming up with stories to write and loves reading. I told Gabriel I found a camp I think he'll love because he picks up math quickly and likes to do math problems. Betsy was an easy sell - she's excited about all things school and wants to be there. 

When they got home they had a great afternoon playing together. To my surprise, the boys did the girls' hair. This was a first and I had to be sure to record this. They put a ton of bows in their hair, which can slightly be seen on the side of one of the photos. And then Betsy and Gabriel proceeded to dance. It was very enjoyable for me to watch. 

The way the boys usually play is in the picture with them wearing life jackets and using a hockey stick and the coveted bow to fight. It usually ends poorly, so I discourage physical and encourage pretending. 

Cookbook Club at Natalie's

Probably my last one. Such a great idea and so much fun with these ladies. And such a beautiful evening.

June 17 - Shopping/Playing at Cheeky Monkey

June 29

It's so hot today. Fan is going. No a/c. Summer's in California are warm.

While reading in the evening Ruby asked if she could brush my hair. She has done this since she was a baby, starting with her fingers as I held her or put her to sleep. Betsy and Gabriel soon joined. Gavin continued reading his Lego Chinma book that Ms. Tamar gave him. Betsy was brushing one side in the back and Ruby was brushing the other side. Gabriel wanted to practice braids, so did two in the front. This was going on while I started All-of-a-Kind Family. We just read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, which I was expecting to be boring, but ended up liking it. I love sitting together on the couch reading. I was definitely not a reader growing up, so I never spent time reading in the evenings or to relax. There are pros and cons to that, but I love having reading time with my kids and experiencing these books for the first time with them. Chris chooses books like The Hobbit, while I am more drawn to classics like those in the Mensa list (thank you, Amy Brinton!). Maybe The Hobbit is a classic to some, but it's also in the sci-fi genre and I could pass, but it fascinates the boys. 

June 28 - playing at home and with Coehlos

I can't wait to leave our apartment, but I want to remember it, too. The challenge of living in 900 square feet with a family of seven is somewhat ridiculous, but there are probably many people who do it and do it with much more grace than I have shown. Our eating area is also our project area, game area, homework area. So I love this picture of Gavin because it shows what we lived like during this time. And our kids have taken it in stride, with a few tearful moments as the remembered things in Wisconsin, like a basement. One time Betsy, out of the blue, said, 

Remember my friend Morgan in Wisconsin? (Yes.) I wish I could go over to her house and I would bring Gavin and Gabriel and you and dad, well everyone. Except her family wouldn't be there, it would just be us. Because they have stairs and I like their stairs. 

Our kids still have so much fun together some days (and fight so much in between). They put Abby in the blanket and carried her around while each holding a corner. She liked being dragged on the floor on the blanket more, though. And the dragon costume is still going strong, as are all the dress-ups. I have put some away, but can't bring myself to get rid of them because they are used all the time. Just today Gavin drew a picture of a little gadget we found after moving here that had a bunch of little tools on it and made a spark. It was the weirdest little thing and we couldn't figure out a use for it, except our kids loved to carry it around and act like they were doing stuff with it. I threw it away eventually because it seemed dangerous and not useful. This was months ago and today Gavin asked me where it was. I couldn't remember what he was talking about, so he drew a picture. I sadly explained what had happened and he started crying asking, Then what am I going to use for electricity so I can do my scientist work?

Simony was so nice to watch our kids while we went to children's health council. They love being with Simony and all of her kids. Sarah usually asks me if she can come over and this time they got in the back of the car so they could come home with us without my knowing. Betsy also asks when she can go over to play with Daniel. I'm sad they won't be going to kindergarten together next year at Escondido. And will miss their family a lot!