Wednesday, March 25, 2015

11 Months!

August is 11 months old, and has tumbled into boyhood in the muddy footprints of his brothers. He loves playing in the sand and dirt of our yard, is fascinated and interested in animals, collects cars and trucks from around the house and drives them while humming and vroooming.
Only two days after his ten month update, August started walking and talking! He now definitely says Mama, Dada, and Ni-night! And I'm pretty sure that he also says Hi, Bye-Bye and Outside ("Hide! Hide!")
He also makes lots of baby-sounds, especially when holding a phone to his ear!  

August has also started walking, and can walk across the room with slow, deliberate steps- but he still prefers crawling if he has somewhere to go in a hurry. 
He eats  so much (and has 6 teeth to help him do it), and I feel like he's really fat for my babies! But at his last check up, he was in the 20th percentile for weight (at a little over 20 lbs) and the 75th for height. (Big head boy was also in the 85th for head size.) 
He can go up and down stairs by himself, and even scoots off of furniture (like the bed) in a pinch. Sometimes I leave him on the bed when I go to the bathroom, because I know he won't crawl off the edge so he is basically trapped for a few minutes, except that he has figured out that he can slide off backwards- just like going down stairs. So I've lost that ability! He can get on and off the couch, and even piles up the pillows and blankets in his crib to stand on and try to escape- so it's probably only a matter of time before he's uncontainable anywhere. 

In the left picture, August is waving to Grey who is perched in a tree. The the right, he is trying to shut the gas cap on his Cozy Coup. 

August loves people, and I get about 1 million hugs a day. He wraps his arms around my neck so tightly, and buries his face in my shoulder, humming in contentment. He will lie his head on people's laps (even strangers) and close his eyes, so they can't help but stroke his little face and hair- which he loves.  August says Mama and Dada when he sees Travis and I, especially if he sees us and screams in delight, and no one picks him up immediately. Then he's accusatory. MAMA! How could you?!
He can't say Grey, Micah, Brothers or anything of the sort- but will start laughing hysterically and yelling "Hi hi hi!" when he sees them after a nap or something.
August also has mostly stopped giving kisses, but loves to receive kisses. If you hum, he will laugh excitedly and push his forehead into your face for kisses. We always hum when we kiss him, so it's a sweet little game. And likewise, when he snuggles with us, he often hums as he nestles in.

He is a pretty quiet baby, and never screams unless he is hurt or neglected. If we are holding him, even if it's three hours past his naptime and he hasn't nursed since the day before- he doesn't scream or cry. He just gets antsy and frustrated, grumbling and refusing to be set down. He only makes three noises: laugher, baby talk, and a humming/buzzing/singing that is just a long drawn out note.
He is so pleasant. He will cry in his crib or carseat, or if we take him out of the bathroom (his favorite room in the house), but always settles down by himself within minutes. He sleeps from 7:30-5:30 every night, and only nurses about 4 times most days. He eats anything and everything that we eat, and is currently really into Cheerios and roasted sweet potatoes. He loves to drink out of cups and suck on ice, and when he is hurt- I offer him a drink of my ice water and he'll cheer up.
His favorite toys are Mega Blocks (like giant Legos) and cars, which he drives around the house happily, and toothbrushes- which he loves to hold and suck on.
We love this little boy and cannot get enough of him. I didn't know they made babies so nice, and can suddenly understand why youngest children are spoiled. I want to give this sweet baby everything and more and never want him to cry or be sad!  Luckily for us, he almost never cries and is never sad for long.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales"

Lately my kids have fallen completely in love with reading. It's the greatest thing ever, and as far as I'm concerned- I've succeeded as a mother and accomplished almost all of my parenting goals. (Now that I'm done raising my children, I'm looking for some new hobbies.)

The boys each got a big, fat book of fairy tales for Valentine's Day this year (books for Valentine's Day is one of my favorite family traditions.) and I've loved reading them together. (This one and this one.)
The boys will ask to hear new stories and we will read them together, and then they'll ask me to retell them whenever we're in the car or somewhere else without their books.
I've been trying to get the boys to tell the stories to me, but they were so half-hearted! ("Okay, a princess comes to a castle in the rain and sleeps in a bed with a pea. She can feel the pea, so she's a princess. The End.")

Until I had an epiphany! I actually wrote down- word for exact, brilliant word- my kids' versions of their favorite stories. Now we can read their versions of the books instead of Hans Christian Andersen's or The Brothers Grimm. Grey and Micah are so proud of their stories and so am I!

I am amazed by all the little literary phrases Grey put in (like he was reciting from an actual book!), like "a tear ran down the frog's face." And I love the way Micah clarifies through out his story- like when he explains to the reader that the witch has a wood burning stove, and that's why she could be pushed into it and cooked.
So, here you go. Here are some real children's stories for your enjoyment.

The Princess and The Frog, retold by Grey:

Once there was a Princess, and her was playing catch and her dropped it in the water.
A frog appeared and said, "If you let me come to your palace last year, I can get it."
So the frog got the golden ball, and the princess ran away.
There was a knock at the castle door. It was the frog!
The frog was hungry and decided to ate on her plate.
It was dark and the princess jumped on her bed and the frog hopped on her bed too. The Princess throwed the frog at the wall, and a tear ran down his face.
"Give me a kiss!" he said.
"No! You are gross, and I am afraid to turn into a frog!"
"Okay. I will."
So the Princess kissed the top of of his head and PAWALOOP! the wicked spell was broked and the frog was a handsome prince. They happily lived ever after and she married the frog prince, but he wasn't a frog anymore!

And Hansel and Gretel, retold by Micah

Once there was a brother and sister, and the mean stepmother decided to put them in the woods and kill them!
But Hansel put little white stones on the floor and followed it back to their house. But then they followed it to a house made of candy!
"Who's nibbling on my house?" It was a grandma.
But the Grandma was very a witch!*
She put Hansel in a cage. The witch wanted to eat him! She wanted to feel how fat a hand he was getting, so Hansel sticked out a chicken bone (because she ate a chicken.)
She felt how skinny the chicken bone was.
The witch decided to eat him right now! She told the sister to stick her head in the fire and feel how hot it was. Then Gretel pushed the witch in! She had a fire-oven with a chimney!
Gretel got Hansel out by a key by the witch's pocket. And they had gold and candy for them to eat. They got back to the house after that.
The end.

*Micah uses very and really interchangeably, which is adorable. It makes sense to say "I'm very/really hungry!" but less sense when he tells me, "I am very Luke Skywalker!"

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Portraits of my Boys 12 (+ writing)

In the springtime, I remember poetry.
I remember that I love it. I start reading it aloud to my kids. I start sitting out under the blossoms of our apricot tree, hacking blooming branches off our wormy plum tree and displaying them in mason jars around the house. And I sit by them, breathing them in, reading and writing poetry.
And apparently, it's just one small step from reading Mary Oliver aloud to getting up at 5 am to work on writing a book.
The self-same book. The book I've written for six years (though to be fair,  I've taken two two-year long "breaks" each time I've been pregnant.) But now it is spring.
Spring is the time of year for writing and resolutions.
My book is almost complete and I've made a goal for myself to have it finished by my birthday (in three weeks). And I have other books, other chapters, other characters that I've met with my pen in hand- and I'm excited to return to them, too.
But it's hard to write without a writing group (or at least, a critique partner) to hold me accountable, and sometimes tell me that what I'm writing is garbage (or occasionally, that it's not garbage).

I never settled myself into a group in Salt Lake. After moving from Provo, I tried to keep up with my old writing group, but the forty plus minute drive was soon dreary, and Skyping into a room full of people who were actually together was kind of the worst.
But it's really hard to say to people, "I write middle grade books," when you haven't published anything, because then- somehow- you aren't really a writer.
And if you haven't even been published, how good could you be? I mean, Stephanie Meyer and John Green are probably the most famous YA authors around right now, and their books are mostly unbearable.
So telling people that you're an unpublished YA writer sometimes feels like an admission of an ugly addiction you just can't break.
But, turns out, I can't break it.
And I really, really want a writing group.

I've thought of two possible scenarios that I think would work.
The first, is that I find a group of writers (3-4 people?) who live in or around the Salt Lake area and we can physically get together and meet (I'll provide the cookies, and the anecdotes about baby spit up), and talk about our writing. We critique each others work, we have deadlines and expectations for each other. We take blood oaths to write every day, even just two words.  And we become best friends and all get published and our babies grow up and marry each other and etc. You know, normal writing group stuff.

The second scenario is exactly the same, minus the cookies, blood oaths, and actually hang-out sessions. Because I think I could actually bear a long-distance writing group if all of us lived long-distance. If we got together on Google Hangout and talked about what we're working on and read each other's books, and were best friends in different places, and none of you ever got together without me, because I suffer from a pretty serious case of FOMO. (Fear of Missing Out.)
The longer I've had this blog, the less strange these long-distance friendships seem. I have good friends on both coasts and around the world- people I've never met but text with, email, and occasionally get real-life letters from.
It's pretty amazing, and I think it could make an amazing group of like-minded writers.

So here it is, here is my admission and my plea:
I write. In addition to this blog, I write poetry and short stories. But mostly I write books for that age that no one writes for anymore. Those girls who are twelve or thirteen and have moved on from talking animal books, but aren't quite to heart-sick Romeo and Juliet style love stories where one person dies, probably right after they finish losing their virginity.  (Because those books are the. worst.)
And I want friends who write, and preferably write well. (Pretty picky of me, I know, but I love having a better writer than me critique my work.)
So write me an email.
Let's do this.

And now, because, who am I kidding? I'm not writing ANOTHER blogpost today:
Here are pictures of my youths.


Helping gather plum blossoms, while he may.


Because a love of chocolate frosting is something Micah and I have in common.


I don't remember, but I suspect he was watching Lady Gaga strutting around the yard. He's very fascinated by her strange appearance.

(Lady Gaga is a chicken.)

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Alright Parenting

Over the weekend, Travis and I attended a wedding reception. There were only a few other kids there- all about Grey and Micah's age.
Obviously Grey and Micah were the stars of the dance floor, and August (aka: world's most pleasant baby) was watched from afar by a few different people. One of the women who made her way over to say hello had a little girl trailing behind her.  She was four years old and "loved babies."

The little girl played with August while the mom and I made small talk.
Throughout our conversation, the mom was constantly glancing (with that slightly panicked look in her eyes) at all my boys.
Grey and Micah would fall hard to the ground while doing their "very pretty dance" (ie spinning) and she would gasp and run to them. I ignored them.
They got up and kept moving.

August would put his toy in his mouth and she would reach down and pull it out.
I handed him a piece of bread, which he set down on the floor and then picked up to eat again and she audibly gasped.
She could tell that I was looking at him but doing nothing about this floor food, so after a moment (obviously unable to stop herself), she said "He really shouldn't be eating that, should he?"
"Ah, he's alright," I said.

At the time, I thought her panic about my parenting was kind of funny.

Another time, after the mom and I had moved into other circles to talk, I watched August crawl across the room. He was headed towards the stairs- but he has lately mastered going up and down and I was only a few feet away.
"Grey!" I called, "Go follow August so he doesn't fall."
Grey hurried over and sat on the top step of the down stairs, blocking August's path. August neared the stairs and slowed down to happily talk to his big brother, about a foot from the first step down.
From across the room, I heard a scream. (An actual scream!) and the other mom came sprinting across the room and snatched up August.
She stared around the room, looking for me. Finally she bustled over and handed me my baby (who, by the way, I had been watching the whole time.)
"I saved him from the stairs," she gasped. The friend she had been talking to before saving my baby rushed over, too.
"Oh my goodness," she panted. "It's a good thing you have such fast reflexes! You saved that baby's life!"
And both women glared at me, probably furious that I was such a negligent mother (pretty sure Micah was raiding the snack table unsupervised at this time), and awaiting my tearful display of gratitude.

Instead, I took my baby back. Set him down on the floor, and turned to smile at Grey as he ran up with a request to go outside.
When I turned back to the mom to thank her for her help, she was completely dismayed (and August had already crawled a few feet away again.)

We left a few minutes later, as I couldn't stand being watched like a hawk by another woman- desperate to correctly protect my children.
On the ride home, I found that her panic over my mothering style wasn't actually hilarious anymore. It was annoying and upsetting.
And then my annoyance turned to guilt and doubt.
Maybe I was an awful mom.

I should have been there. I should have stopped August long before he reached the stairs. I should never let him put toys in his mouth! And he definitely shouldn't be allowed to eat food that could have germs on it. Food that had touched the ground! And August's hands had been all over the ground! I should pull over and pull out some disinfectant before he stuck his fingers in his mouth.
Too bad I don't have disinfectant in my bag.
What kind of mother has literally never owned disinfectant?!

I don't often have bouts of panic about my ability to mother, since I've been blessed with self-esteem that my husband calls "delusional."

But the days following that wedding I felt really insecure. Maybe I do give my kids too much freedom. (I'm sure many of you reading this agree.)
I mean, really. Kids are stupid. Kids are gross. Kids are too brave.

Outside church the next day, my kids scrambled up the side of a tree to its higher branches. Another dad stood by me and watched his son climb, too.
"I wonder what it is about climbing trees," he said. "I used to love it. It was the best thing ever to be high in a tree."
"I worry about them being up over my head. I mean, I couldn't catch them if they fell," I said.
"Well," he shrugged. "Kids need to climb trees. It's worth the risk. They wouldn't die if they fell."

I want to say, "And he's right. It's worth it. I should let my kids climb trees."

But I need to clarify. It's not right to let kids climb trees. It's alright.
It is right for me to decide how to best protect and watch my kids.
I am not overprotective. That's true.
But I'm not negligent either.
I'm right in the middle. What's the word that means a mother is "protective and watchful, but allows experiences and occasional (but small) harm to come upon her children as learning experiences"?
That's who I think I am. Too bad Websters only has words for poor Mothering, and not competent Mothering.

I asked my boys, "Hey. Who's the best mom you know?"
Grey was quick to yell, "You are, Mom!"
(Micah yelled "Grandma!")

And I'm trying to remember that I'm a good mom, despite what other people might think. And the way that I allow my kids to experience and learn is the reason my ten month old can climb on and off the couch and up and down stairs. It's the reason my four year olds can climb trees and use knives.
And though we've had a few cuts and bruises- we've yet to break any bones or kill any children.
So I'll take that as a win, thank you very much.

And I don't think that the way that I'm parenting is right, or that the way the other mother parents is wrong.
But I think they're both alright. And we can give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.
Stairs and germs never killed anyone....

(Okay. They both have. Almost definitely.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Morning Poem by Mary Oliver

(Please read aloud.)

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches—
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead—
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging—

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted—

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Portraits of My Boys 11

This week has been sunny and windy, basically exactly what one might anticipate in April. (Even though it's March.) I see birds eberywhere. In fact, I am watching two sparrows out my window wight now instead of looking where I'm typing. Whatever I tope, I'm leeping. 
They've flown away. 
Wow! Not too bad, right? I could totally be a lady receptionist in the 50s. I typed that without looking at my keyboard or computer!
I'm not sure how leaving turned into leeping since those letters aren't even by each other...  but nonetheless. I guess we can just add "typing" to that extensive list of things I am barely capable of doing.  Right along with, getting dressed in the morning and overcooking oatmeal.  (Not to brag, but I'm very proficient at overcooking oatmeal.)
This week has been really good. I made a discovery that is making me feel really proud of myself and my family- more on that later this week... (probably? Let's be real. I'm not so hot at blogging lately. Let's blame my kids for needing attention, and my house for being messy, and homemade crackers for being so delicious that I need to bake them a couple times a week.)
But the sun is shining, I cleaned out my microwave, and I have flowers in my livingroom. So basically: SPRING!

And along with spring, here are some pictures of my cute kids. 


 Just practicing cutting out shapes. It's surprisingly difficult for me to teach  him to do basic things like this- because he's left handed and I'm not!


I'm pretty sure that this was the face of a "Star Wars monster." We're all Star Wars all the time now.


This week, August discovered sandboxes. Let's just say, it was love at first play.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015


Sometimes I feel like I capture pictures, I capture words, and I forget to make videos. I love the way these boys talk, move, and interact- and I want to remember it!
So I asked the boys to take turns sitting and "interviewing" with me. They had so much fun and love to watch and rewatch themselves.

(For some reason, the still frame picture is the same? They're different videos. I promise.)

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Conversations with FOUR year-olds!

Now that the boys are four years old, they are quick to assure me that "Four year olds can do whatever they want," and "Four year olds aren't afraid of watching Star Wars," and "Four year olds are even smarter than everyone."
Although it's annoying, it's actually proving to be awesome for me, because I am not so bad coming up with those myself. "Four year olds never whine," "Four year olds always finish their dinner," and "Four year olds don't need any help getting ready." And even though I'm not as smart as your average four year old, my kids occasionally listen and obey.

This is a picture of the boys with their requested birthday cakes. Long ago, I decided that I would never throw the boys individual birthday parties, but at least I could let them each request their own cake.
Months ago, Grey announced that he wanted a strawberry cake and has adamantly held to that. For a few weeks, Micah wanted a chocolate cake- and then, flipping through my Smitten Kitchen cookbook, he saw a picture of that cake.

Micah: What is that?
Me: That's a s'mores cake.
Micah: Please, please, please make me that cake for my birthday.
Me: I thought you wanted a chocolate cake.
Micah: That is because I didn't know about s'mores cakes. But now I do. So I really, really want it.

(Note: The strawberry cake was actually a bigger success and so delicious, here's the link to the recipe I used. But I used frozen strawberries (thawed) and about 5 times as much strawberry puree in the frosting, which tasted unbelievable.) 

Grey (snatching up a valentine): My love! My love!
Travis: You mean, your heart?
Grey: No. This is called "my love."
Me: Did your love give it to you?
Grey: Just my friend Elanor did.
Me: and is she your love?
Grey: Hmm. I like her, though.

Micah: Maybe you could read me a poem. Or two poems! Or three poems!
Grey: Or four poems!
Micah: Ah, no. Four poems is too many.

**Driving on a dark mountain road**
Micah: Whoa, are we in outer space?
Travis: No, but we can pretend that we are.
Grey: Hey dad. I have a secret for you. The whole world is in outer space. So actually, yes. We are.

**Grey laughs hysterically**
Micah: Stop Grey. It's true.
Grey: That's funny!
Micah: Sure, it's funny. But it's also true, so don't laugh anymore.

Grey: I have a question mark for you.
Me: Um, what?
Grey: What is for lunch, question mark?

Grey: My dear mother, can we go to Grandma Pitcher's this evening?
Me: Not today, honey.
Grey: But I want to go there so FREAKING bad!

Me: Grey! You are not allowed to touch my sewing machine. It's not a toy, it's a tool and you screwed up all my settings.
Grey: Well, I promise not to do it again, if you think you can forgive me this time.

**Watching the beginning of Pete's Dragon**
Micah (yelling): What is happening?!
Grey: Calm down. I will watch and find out. Soon we will know what's happening.

**Holding a toy phone in his hand and pretending to type with his thumbs, speaking slowly.**
Micah: Don't worry... Batman... the evil Dark Knight... is protecting... Gotham City.
Me: What are you doing?
Micah: I'm just texting commissioner Gordon.

Micah: Darth Vadar is really mean and I do NOT want to go to his home. But if I did, I would bring my special sword.
Me: Your light saber?
Micah: (scoffs) Ha! No! I would bring a real sword that was hard and sharp. Then I could actually fight him.

Micah: I am Luke and Grey is Han Solo and you are the Princess and Baby August is Chewie. Stop folding laundry RIGHT NOW. Princess Leia never folds laundry, and stop singing. She never sings baby songs to Chewie. Now, wait here in your room and we will come and rescue you. 

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Portraits of my Boys 9 + 10

Two weeks worth at a time. This week and last, we had snow and sunshine - only a few hours apart. When it snowed last weekend (and again on Wednesday) I started to panic. I'd made a huge mistake! I'd invited ten toddlers to come over for the boys' birthday and if the weather was like this, we'd have to be in my house! Ten kids, (all between two and four years-old) crammed into my house might be a nightmare I've had.
But by Saturday, the day was beautiful enough to be outside without sweatshirts! Children ran in our yard, collected worms from our garden, climbed our big tree, chased our neighbors chicken and no one even went inside to pee! It was basically a perfect birthday party.
These pictures are actually almost all from this past week, too. But we'll pretend that they are from a longer period of time, shall we? Without further ado:


Travis and Grey headed out for a springtime ride on the motorcycle.

Grey requested "a funny book" for his birthday.  I love how he loves to read. (He got The Day the Crayons Quit)


My little man outside in the snow. We've had such a warm winter, it's hard for me to remember that it's usually cold this time of year. I'm glad Micah wasn't annoyed by the snow, but delighted.

 Micah was pretty sad that I didn't get a him Batman "that can fly up all by itself, and then come back" but he still loves the bendable Batman that he got for his birthday.

 August watched his brothers play in the snow. He loves being underfoot and observing everything they do. If we had snow clothes for him, he would have been out there lying face-down in the snow, licking up that frosty ice like his brothers.

Sometimes he escapes, and he brings the Wii remote, because it's his favorite toy in the house.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Four Years Old

Four year olds.
Recently, a friend with a one, almost-two-year old texted me, asking for advice on dealing with whiney, cry-baby, terrible-two children.
My advice (obviously) was to lock herself in the bathroom and watch 30 Rock while eating secret candy. Because terrible-twos are no joke.
And the terrible-threes are so much more terrible than even that. And all you can do is wait it out.
But four? Four is good. On pretty much a daily basis, I find myself watching my children and feeling so overwhelmingly grateful for them, their kindness, intelligence, humor, and actions. I cannot believe how good Grey and Micah are lately.
Yes, we still have occasional tantrums or violence, but not every day- and certainly not every half hour!
At four, Grey and Micah are best friends. They are finally the friends I'd always imagined twins ought to be. They play all day long, they share, they imagine together, they take turns! But my favorite: they discuss ideas and try to understand things together. I overheard the greatest conversation a couple weeks ago.
Micah said, "Jesus has all the power because he is God." And Grey said, "No, Heavenly Father is God. Jesus is the SON of God." That's right, people. They were discussing (with understanding!) religious doctrine. They talked about it until they came to an understanding themselves, and then moved on to other important topics (like which kind of donut is the very best kind of donut.) They play pretend all day, (and make huge messes all over the house) and I also overheard the end of this conversation yesterday while they played "grocery shopping."
"Thank you so much, sir!"
"You're welcome, young man!"
And when I said, "I'm sorry, Micah, I didn't hear you." He immediately corrected me, "If you didn't hear what I said, you should say 'I beg your pardon.'"
They are so polite! They are so smart, and kind! They are so sweet, and I love them. I am so proud of the boys that they are becoming.

So here are some individual little things about each of them:

Grey. Grey is so calm.  He allows himself to be reasoned with, and likewise expects that we will be reasonable when he has requests. If he can explain why he wants or did something, he expects that we will understand and accept his choices. (Even if his explanation is "I just hit him because I was very angry and felt like I wanted to hit him. If you can forgive me, I won't do it any more.")

His favorite color is pink, and he immediately picks out pink things whenever they have choice in anything. Balloons, donuts, toys, cups? All pink. It is very upsetting to him that there aren't a lot of pink clothes for four year old boys.

He is so loving to littler kids, and especially babies. He's genuinely interested in helping and entertaining them, especially August- although he has a really hard time grasping the concept of being more gentle with them than he would need to be with a kid his size. A few days ago, we saw a friend's newborn and he begged to see the baby up close. Then he just whispered to her in the sweetest baby-talk voice, "Hi, little one! Hi, little girl! How are you today? Are you looking around at the big world?"
And later when we went to the dinosaur museum with friends, he talked to and played with their one-year old, trying to show and explain exhibits to him and trying to catch him when he toddled off. (But Grey shoved him down when it looked like the baby was escaping, because he seriously cannot figure out how to gently do things!)

He tends to be scared more easily in movies than Micah, and ends up on our bedroom floor most nights (we have a no children in the bed rule that is semi-enforced). But once he has decided that something is not frightening, he isn't scared anymore. Once he decided that he wasn't worried about climbing trees, for example, he happily spent 25 minutes scurrying up and down the big maple tree in our yard- going to extremely high and uncomfortable (for me) heights, and then figuring out how to get back down.

Grey is also my book-devourer and story teller. While Micah likes to read, lately it's all Grey ever wants to do.
If I would sit and read to him for three hours in a row: he would sit and listen. He can recite many books by heart and often tells me stories in a very book-like way. (He uses literary phrases and sentence structure, he is a story teller!) and he will often open heavy books without pictures and say "Should I read this to you?" And then begin talking, adding in bits from poems or songs, lines from stories, pieces of fairy tales. He'll continue this until he notices my attention waning. Sometimes ten minutes or more!

Micah. Micah is my entertainer. He is so passionate and expressive, and he doesn't always have a reason for doing things except that he did them! His feelings get hurt easily, because he's such a lover. He wants everyone to play with him and love him and think he's the funniest and fastest (or smartest, coolest, best jumper, etc).

With Micah, it's all Batman- all the time. In fact, he regularly tells me, "I'm really into Batman." He watches the Batman cartoon, which I think is scary! But he loves it. He knows tons of information about Batman (somehow) and gets so frustrated with me if I don't know who villains are, or what equipment is in the Batcave.

He is obsessed with telling jokes, but doesn't understand the format- he just wants to make us laugh. If he tells what he thinks is a joke, and no one responds, he yells "JOKE!" until we all laugh!
He has a book with the knock-knock joke "Dishes... (Dishes who?)... Dishes a nice place to be."
He tells that joke all the time, but he tells it like this:
Micah: Say Knock Knock!
Person: Knock Knock!
Micah: Dishes a nice place to be! JOKE!
Since he usually gets a (confused) laugh, he is satisfied with this delivery.

Micah loves to dance, and asks me every single day if we can have a dance party. We especially like to dance to Shake it Off by Taylor Swift, I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra, and anything from the Disney Pandora. (And he knows all the words to those songs and sings them regularly.)  He also plays Just Dance all the time, but I think it's partly as an excuse to have the TV on, since that's the only game we can play on weekdays. He loves video games and recently invented a new game for he and Grey to play, wherein they pretend that they controlling each other in a video game. One boy will sit on the couch, punching an imaginary controller and the the other boy will run, somersault, jump, and crawl all over the room being "controlled" by their brother. It's so funny to watch and listen to!
("Hey, I'm not pushing jump, I'm pushing roll! Start rolling!")

 Micah also loves doing his chores and getting them checked off the chore chart, so he is happy to get dressed, make his bed, and brush his teeth and hair himself most days!

These boys are so fun. There are so many things they do now that I'm so proud of and impressed by (like they finally learned how to clean up after themselves!)
I love the good boys they're growing into and am proud of them, and excited to see how they continue to age and grow and change. I love my silly, crazy, amazing little men. Being their mom is the best ever.

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