Monday, May 1

The Cubs

Egan is really working hard on crawling. He's exploring the ways his legs and arms can actually work together to get him from one position to the next. Last night he showed Grandma T his ability to be on his tummy, scoot backwards, then finish in a sitting upright position. Not only that, he'll get to his all-fours stance, look up at me, smiling, and rock. He's come a long way from his wrestling cheerleader stance, if you can visualize that. That remains a constant and familiar position.

Speaking of last night, my dear, dear mother-in-law invited us up for soup and conversation. Although she admits it's nothing, I appreciate her kind simplicity more than she will ever know. This of course does not even begin to scratch the surface of all that I could say about this woman, as well as my own parents. I just hope she can put up with my depleting golf skills this spring and summer...

Egan...his babbling and voice inflections cause great hilarity in our relationship. He's funny and I think he knows it at his 10-plus months of life. We often exchange warm smiles without saying a word. Requesting a kiss from him makes him come at me with an open and, more often than not, slobbery mouth. Usually followed by jubilant cheers and clapping on his part.

Gilmore is four. I remember my nephew Ethan going through the same stage...whining. I've announced my zero-tolerance policy on whining. When Gil begins to whine for this, that, or the other thing (it could be ANYTHING, people), I say, "Gilmore that's 1." He knows by his fourth-plus year that he doesn't want to get to 3. Although the ultimate consequence is going to his room or taking a break on the couch or stairs.

Gil falls beneath Allie's shadow, yet continues to fight for his own identity. This cannot help his self confidence. He's such a good kid. I find myself consistently providing Gil with words to use to empower himself. I'm hopeful he will begin to figure it out on his own sooner rather than later. My sister and I were far enough apart I knew I didn't want to be her, yet I admired her. Gil and Al are close enough that when Allie says she's wearing capris, Gil wants to too. Thankfully a part of his summer wardrobe consists of longer shorts. He considers them capris.

Soccer's over, so now we wait until next month for t-ball. Gil will be on the same team as his buddy Harrison.

As I did before soccer began, I will answer Gil's relentless question:

Gil: When does t-ball start?
Mom: June 15th
Gil: Tomorrow?
Mom: Nope, June 15th
Gil: The day after tomorrow?
Mom: No. Today is May 1st. June is in 29 more days. Then we have 15 days after that. 45 days, Gil.
Gil: That's not too long.
Mom: Nope!

Meanwhile, Allie concentrates on making eye contact with me to see that I approve of her annoyance, shaking her head at her little brother.

Gil is reading more and more every day. His abilities to sound out words is amazing Jon and me. He'll insist on reading whenever we sit down with a book. When it's 8:45 at night, we're all yawning and rubbing our eyes. Yet he continues to push through each word, with my sleepy pride congratulating him at each appropriate pause. His teacher was adamant about him following practice books in sequence: short vowels and now long vowels. He gets it and I am so proud of him!

Allaire is quite the 7-year old. All her life Jon and I have encouraged her to communicate her emotions and thoughts. We've made a commitment to allowing her to be heard, that her voice means a lot in this house. All the kids' do. The responsibility of educating our daughters to have a voice while knowing how to control it is massive. Awesome. Unbelievably hard work. One of my family members deemed Allie "charismatic." Oy.

She will begin softball in June. Her "best friend" Grace is already buddied up with another friend, so the chances of them being on the same team is left to the divvying of the teams. I don't think I was as young as 7 when I started softball, but I LOVED the Iowa City girls' softball season. I met a lot of girls that I wouldn't have met in the safety of my own school. That was a good experience. This will hopefully provide Allie with the same opportunity.

Allie told me through humongous tears after gymnastics a coupla weeks ago that it was too hard. That she wasn't as good as the bigger girls. A month or two ago she advanced to the next level and felt super confident about it. The boys and I watch her practice from time to time and I'd notice Allie not getting the same one-on-one treatment as some of the other girls. She'd gear up for her roundoff or back hand spring, observing the other girls. Running to the coaches, her speed was not enough for the power needed. They'd awkwardly spot her, praising her when she was done. She'd look up at me with great uncertainty. This is what sparked our conversation the night of the tear flood. We agreed that I'd talk with the coaches to let them know how Al was feeling...and according to Allie, it worked. As a parent, one of the toughest challenges is to know when to encourage and push something, or let it go. At the beginning of gymnastics, Allie told me she was going to get a trophy. I continue to remind her of this goal.

Reading is big with Allie too. She's doing so well. Working so hard. Speaking of "work," that is one of her spelling words today. She's tried, wirk, wrok, rock. As we went out the door to school this morning, I heard her mumbling, "w-o-r-k" over and over. She'll nail it.

And as for my handsome partner, Jon and I continue our dialog regarding our current living status. We both try to be so supportive of each other, while struggling to appropriately and succesfully communicate our needs. Respecfully recognizing each other's needs has been a challenge when we're both left feeling sorry for ourselves. We constantly remind each other that we are on the same team and wish the same happiness for the other. It's tough though. I'm not going to lie. But I can honestly say, it's getting better with each weekly arrival. Thanks for everything you do, Jon. And all while studying to become a pilot. My beloved, the over achiever.

Time to change laundry loads.


The Hansens not in Germany said...

I see you got the pixi! Looks great...and cold there...brrr!

mamafitz said...

you guys have such a happy lovely family. love all the pictures!