Today I actually made it to see Gabriel in gymnastics class. I got a report from Gavin's dad (thanks, Scott!) that Gabriel is indeed pretty good at it, and has a great time too.
Perhaps too good a time, as happened in his last class. Once he gets too familiar with it, he stops paying attention and starts becoming a problem. Gymnastics is just about over, and I'd like to keep up some activity for him on Saturday mornings. I'm not sure what though, and he's very unreliable when I ask, and the next level of Tiny Tots gymnastics is in the inconvenient afternoon. Hmm.
We had fun in the playgrounds outside afterward. Katrina tried out a swing for the first time (she was so-so on it), and practiced sitting up with Dad's help.
I had fun running and playing keep-away with the boys, which it turns out, I can do. Their reflexes are fast and they can turn on a dime, but it's still pretty easy to fake them out and outrun them at a trot. But I can see clearly to the day when Gabriel will be able to outrun me.
Julian doesn't like the game for long and starts to cry. I guess that can be expected of a 3-year-old when his mommy runs away from him!
He's a lot better at climbing than he used to be, though frankly he doesn't strike me as a natural athlete.
I finally completed a simple home-improvement task: putting up "pajama pegs" for the kids. Yay, finally, I'm decorating!
Katrina's is a green flower, and the boys' are blue and red stars ($10 each from Land of Nod, with a high cute-to-cost factor!). The idea is that they can hang their pajamas on the pegs for the next night, as PJs around here get worn a few nights in a row.
This afternoon, our plain stairwell got quite the colored light show from our stained-glass window. I'm wishing again we'd asked for more color in the window; I was definitely too conservative. Still, I love it, and it's so fun seeing something different every time I go up the stairs.
Today during Julian's nap and Katrina's non-nap (a far-too-awake baby today), Katrina hung out while Gabriel worked on a birthday card for Gavin's party tomorrow. At first, I was going to just have him sign it, but then thought I'd see how far he'd get writing the rest of it. I was really surprised, he tackled this project with enthusiasm, if slow meticulousness. Of course, his favorite part was coloring in the "5" that I freehanded. For Gabriel, the number is always the reward.
Meantime, Katrina hung out on the floor and took in the activity. She isn't scared of the scary-chicken toy, and actually really likes it. I notice that she really likes the crinkly parts of "multimedia" toys (like the wings on the scary chicken), which the boys never really noticed much.
Here's Katrina making cute sounds while almost cuddling with the chicken toy. (I wish I had a way to edit AVI files; only the first few seconds of this is worth much.)
An occasional party favor item is "Bloonies," a new name for a toy that I recall being a childhood staple. I opened one today for Gabriel, mostly to distract him from kissing Katrina to the point of suffocation (on the whole, a good sibling problem to have).
The Bloonie is a tube of gooey, smelly, toxic and flammable stuff that you squish onto the end of a straw in a ball shape, then blow up into a fragile, sticky balloon that you can't play with. And talk about a baby smothering hazard! I must be forgetting something; I remember this stuff being fun. Then again, as Dave pointed out, in the classic 1902 book Peter Rabbit, Peter's father is caught and ends up in a pie. That never bothered me as a kid, either.
Speaking of kid books, Dave just reported that Gabriel read the entire book Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish," with only a little bit of help from Dave. He's memorized much of it, but these days he points out so many words I know he's never seen in a book that I do believe he's actually reading. And he really, really wants to read, often sitting with a book and studying it with furrowed brows. It reminds me of the intense unrelenting struggles in his toddler times, and now I see him unleash that same remarkable determination and focus on more positive pursuits. It's fascinating seeing that power now put to good use in a five-year-old.