Saturday, July 23, 2011

This Summer (Updated)

It feels like it has been a crazy summer. There's only 3.5 weeks until school starts for Zach, but it feels like it should still be June. July has gone especially quickly, I think because the boys and I were in Colorado and then home for just a few days before Mike and I were in California for a few days. Throw in activities like swim lessons and VBS, and the days really go quickly.

The boys had swim lessons at the end of June. Zach seemed to have lost some of the skills he had acquired at the end of last summer, but I think he is gaining them back. He definitely has more confidence when he's swimming in an area where he knows he can touch the bottom. He had fun with lessons and enjoys swimming, so that's the important thing.

Mike and I weren't sure how Drew would do with lessons. This was his first activity that didn't include me, Mike, or Zach. I signed him up with Mary Frances, who was Zach's teacher last year, because she is great and Drew already was familiar with her. Drew surprised us by really doing great with lessons. In fact, I'm pretty sure he was the only one of the 4 kids in his class who didn't have at least one day where he just cried and was uncooperative. There were a couple of days where he was somewhat crabby, which was due more to the fact that the temperature outside was about 60 degrees (no joke), so I couldn't blame him for that.

Drew is much more comfortable in the water right now, which is good because when we are all at the pool, I have to hold Jake and can't hold Drew very well at the same time. So at least this way he has enough confidence to have fun in the water where he can touch. He was afraid the first week of lessons to put his face in the water, but then basically just made the decision to do it, and since then has no issues with it. And, despite the picture below, Drew did really well with his back float as well.

If you've read this blog much or know Drew, you know he is a huge fan of the movie Cars and of Lightning McQueen and Mater the tow truck. The boys were excitedly awaiting the premiere of Cars 2 in late June. There was one catch, though- in order for Drew to see the movie, he had to fill up his sticker chart for bike riding. I'm not sure if I've written about this before or not, but Drew had worked up a big fear about riding his bike that was pretty ridiculous. I don't mean a 2 wheel-bike- well, I guess I do, but with training wheels. One day he'd have a good ride, and the next day he'd either refuse to get on the bike or he'd get on and scream like we were torturing him. So I decided we would do a sticker chart, and he'd get a sticker for every block he rode on his bike, because I knew all he needed was a little more practice and he'd have the confidence to do it. He has only fallen off his bike a couple of times, and I don't know if he's ever even drawn blood, so I don't know what the initial fear was. Either way, he managed to get all of his stickers in time for opening weekend of Cars 2, which was great because we scored 4 free tickets from a friend of Mike's. The movie itself was only ok, but the boys liked it, and they really liked the popcorn.

I'm trying to be good about working on reading, writing, math, and other stuff this summer with Zach so that he is ready when school starts. One day recently we worked on math stuff at snack time. Zach did addition and subtraction problems with Goldfish crackers.

Drew worked on counting and identifying numbers with Craisins and dried blueberries.

One day Drew talked me into buying some watermelon at the grocery store (didn't take much convincing). That kid loves fruit, but watermelon might be his favorite of all foods. After cutting all the fruit out, the boys made sure I didn't miss anything.

We also celebrated Grandma Cynthia's birthday right before Mike left for California a couple of weeks ago.

Jake turned 7 months old on July 10th, but since I've been so behind on blogging lately, I'm just now getting around to posting the pictures.

Jake continues to get faster and faster at army-crawling, but I wish he'd just pull those legs up under him and crawl normally, because it's kind of gross to pick him up and see all the dog hair all over his tummy. Guess I could just sweep and vacuum more, but who has time for that? He is now nursing 4 times a day and eating 3 solid meals a day, and I'm trying to wean him off of his 3rd, late afternoon/early evening nap and into just 2 naps a day.

One of Jake's new favorite games is grabbing my fingers and pulling up to a standing position from sitting, so I suppose we should move his crib mattress down since he'll probably pull up on his own any day now. This morning I was in his room and he was able to get himself from laying down to sitting up, which I've never seen him do before. He also can get his own pacifier in his mouth now, which is nice. He's just such a good tempered baby; he still really only fusses when he's tired or hungry. I gave him his first finger food a couple of days ago- just a little puff that melts away. He struggled a little with picking it up, as his pincer grasp isn't really in place yet and the things are so sticky they get caught in his palm. But, once he got it in his mouth, he did ok. I'm not offering them a lot- just one or two at the end of a meal while I finish eating or something. Zach has told me a couple of times that while Mike and I were in California, "Jake learned to express himself." He does love to babble, and it's so sweet to listen to. He makes some silly faces sometimes, which reminds me so much of Drew's silly face that he used to make. I love it!

Here's to hoping that the last few weeks of summer are as fun (and maybe not quite so busy-feeling) as the first part!