Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Summer-y

Ha.  I'm not usually one for puns.  I should probably stick with that philosophy.  I seem to make exception for blog post titles.

These are some pictures of Pierce from early July.  You can see that his cheeks have come in.  He is our big boy, weighing in at 14 pounds at two months (99th percentile) and 16.8 pounds at four months (90th percentile).  These are not numbers that this family has seen before.

 He is really a great baby.  He has a sweet manner and loves attention, which is good, because he gets a lot of it around here.  His siblings love him and shower him constantly with attention.  He just eats it all right up.  Of all my children, he is the most content (as a baby) to just sit and play.  He won't do that all day, but at least I get some moments out of him.

Last night, I began serious sleep training with him.  It was pretty rough through the night, but today I have laid him down for all his naps without nursing or bouncing him to sleep first.  I just tell him that it's bed time and that I love him.  I pat his head a pet his squishy cheeks and then off I go.  He has taken it like a champ, just curling up and going to sleep.  This makes me feel like a rock star.
 Curie is growing right up before my eyes.  She recently turned three (party post to follow) and has adopted some maturity with that new number.  She is still my most passionate, manic child, but I love a lot of that energy.  We just need to channel it in the appropriate direction a little more often.

Curie loves to snuggle and whisper together.  I wish a could find more time each day for that.  Sometimes when I am busy nursing or working on something with another child, she finds and brush and quietly begins doing my hair.  She also loves to have her own hair done.  This may be due to the curls, which are as manic as her personality, being either an afro of hay or laying in pretty ringlets, with not much middle-ground.
 Rigby's personality holds strong.  He is tenderhearted and works so hard to be brave.  And he wants to be just like his dad.  In the picture below, he is preparing for a day of MiniHawks sports camp.  I was so proud of how hard he worked there to improve in basketball, baseball, and soccer.  Each day he was excited to show us all his new skills.

During my pregnancy, I somehow managed to paint both his room and a bunk bed in a Star Wars theme.  He loves it.  He knows that the other bunk is for Pierce one day, and that's about all he can think about.  Until then, Curie has moved into it, and he is so happy to have her there.  What a great little man to have around the house with me!
Bethelle is now seven and a half and is really blossoming.  She wants to learn and do everything.  I have unfortunately had to say "no" to her too often, as I have been so busy with the new baby.  She is a good sport about it and we try to make plans for how to do what she wants, just slower than she would like.  She is smart and kind.  I would love to be her best friend if I were seven, but it's even better to be her mom.

Over the summer, she was incredibly helpful with Pierce.  She could hold him and calm him down when he cried (he's almost too heavy now!).  She likes to change his diaper or to entertain him when I am bust with someone else.  I can't imagine life without her.
She's so crafty, and went through a clay-phase this summer.  Here is one of her creations.
Bethelle also participated in a couple sports camps this summer.  The first was a basketball class.  The ages ranged from seven to twelve years old, and there were only three or four girls.  Needless to say, she was the smallest camper by a long shot.  They played ball for six hours each day.   I was worried that she would not want to stay and participate, or that she would feel bad about not being physically able to do some of the things that the bigger boys could do, but my fears were smashed!  She had a fantastic time, even wanting to get there early each day so that she could shoot some hoops before classes started.  Next was golf camp.  This was only three hours each day, and she was in a more similarly-sized bunch this time.  On the last day, they had some competitions with points.  Bethelle got second place over-all for the day!

Many summer evenings were spent like this:
We call that ottoman "the cupcake," by the way.  They gather around it and play Go Fish.  I am impressed to see how much patience the older two have with Curie in teaching her to play.

A summer's day at church:
 Pierce has a matching tie to go with all that blue, but I couldn't find him a collared shirt until he started wear nine-month clothes (yes, he's only four months old).

Our neighborhood has some great, public trails that we had not sufficiently explored.  So out we went!
 Pierce is awfully cozy in his Baby Bjorn.

Phew!  And that's the general wrap-up.  I still have a few more summer specifics to blog: a couple staycations and a couple birthdays.  I assumed that after Pierce was born, I would fall naturally back into my old blogging patterns, but that hasn't happened yet.  This blog is important to me, so I will just keep fighting to keep up until posting becomes natural again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Bethelle sat down for a "favorites" interview with her siblings.  Here are the results.
 Her favorite place is college?  And she likes to do the dishes?
And he has no favorite activity to do with Mommy.  Great.  I guess I have nothing to do with Star Wars.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Swimming LESSONS

Like many of you who have children of similar ages, this summer saw mine in a few swimming lessons.  Rigby took two sessions; Bethelle just one.

We go to a great pool.  It is small but very nice.  They host just one class at a time with just three students.  They can all be taught at different levels, meaning that I could have Bethelle and Rigby in a  class together.  For Rigby, swimming was new and scary.  He had spent some time every summer in a pool, and our San Fran apartment had one that we went to frequently, but Rigby always preferred the shallow steps or the hot tub.  Lessons meant venturing far beyond his comfort zone.

I was so impressed to watch him try to expand his horizons.  Even though he was so scared, I never had to push him.  He always wanted to get in and to try to be brave.  His teacher never had to fight him to swim out with her away from his comfortable steps, even though he explained clearly how scared he was.  When doing the very hardest things, he would practically cry, but only while doing what he was told.  I am so proud of him!

Bethelle, on the other hand, will do anything.  She is eager to take on the world.  She is all confidence.  Because of this, she progressed much more quickly in her swimming strokes.  In two weeks, she went from barely being able to stay afloat to knowing many ways to confidently move herself across a deep pool.

Watching them and their learning differences, I realized that although Bethelle progressed so much faster, Rigby was mastering other skills.  He learned more than to swim.  He learn by practice to put his mind over matter and to get something done that is hard.  He learned that pushing yourself can be fun and rewarding.  He learned not to give up, but to believe in himself.

Bethelle will now be safer in water as a result of our time in the pool.  Rigby, I think, will be more fulfilled in life for the time he spent.  He will be better able to tackle the challenges that will face him in the next year or two as he begins school and finds himself further and further from me and his many comforts.

So that's why I put those caps in the title of this post: for the double meaning in swimming LESSONS.

Now that's DEEP.