I took my Ecuadorian friends to get some shoes for their daughter, this is Lia, and found the pink angry bird hats on sale for $1.50.... couldn't resist.
We have been so busy that we decided to rest Saturday. We took the kids to Cherry Hill park and went sledding. It was Seth's second time sledding. Last time he just pulled the sled around, this time he loved Daddy taking him but still didn't want to go down on his own. He was super cute.
I'm always so impressed with this man. He plays so well not only with his own kids, but also with his nieces and nephews. He makes my heart happy. Last time I went sledding, I found it was really painful. I cracked my tailbone at 21 (by sledding), and after 4 births moving my cracked tailbone around.... sitting on the sled and sliding on it really is very uncomfortable. I did walk up and down the hill with baby Seth though. He thought that was great.
Look at this happy girl! Evelyn has been excelling in reading. She is the farthest reading level in her class, but I don't want to push her.... unlike Ada and Sam that wanted to reach higher levels, Evelyn purposefully leaves her books at school so that she gets a break every so often. At least she isn't fighting me. I fought my Mom like crazy when I was learning to read. It was just so hard to work through the hard part and get to the fun part. She's playing the piano with me at home and has just started learning to read the staff notes instead of the big notes with the names inside. She's my little helper in the little kid fencing class that I teach and is catching on pretty good even though I don't think she enjoys it as much as the other two did at this age. She tolerates it so that she can help me.
This Ada has grown so much in the last year. I look at pictures of her and wonder where my baby went. She is a great big sister, especially with Seth. She's been able to find new friends in both the ward since our boundaries changed and at school. Our current struggle is her conflicting schedule. She's not doing a lot, but her stuff is always at the same time as other people's stuff. Piano lessons are when Evelyn has a class. Activity Days are when fencing classes are. She's also working on separating consequences with self esteem. Every time she's been in trouble lately she goes off on how she's a horrible person. We're working on the application of repentance instead of the theory of it along with knowing that everyone makes mistakes and can change the mistakes... and that doesn't mean that we are horrible. That also applies to her. She can make mistakes and choose better next time instead of dwell on "I'm horrible". She's still doing basic violin. We've been busy, so she doesn't practice that one more than once a week. She loves sledding and skateboarding. She is doing very well in piano and the fencing coach is glad to have her. She enjoys playing with the people there, but it seems like she's more there for the people, not the sport. I think she's beginning to get to the point where she's going to learn how to get past the "bored" or "hard" parts of things to get to the results that she wants. She always tells me these goals that are great, gets started on them, then she relies on Mom to make her get through them, then loves that she completes them. I know that's common, but I'd like to get her to where she can rely on herself to get through most of them at least.
Seth is showing interest in the potty. He likes to take off his diaper, go sit on the potty, flush and wash his hands... then he'll come to me and say that he went potty. He's just missing the actual main reason for sitting on the potty. I decided to actually try potty training him for reals. I bought a toy phone and taped it to the wall and told him that he could have it when he pees in the potty.... of course he decides that he now wants nothing to do with the potty. So we'll wait. It's so weird knowing that this is probably my last potty trainer. I'll miss my baby, but I won't miss the diapers.
Sam is in a very independent stage. No one can tell him what to do.... he's in charge... We've had lots of discussions about the difference between listening and working with someone (like your parents)and having your own choices to make. He's stopped talking back to me and Jer, but he still doesn't do well if Ada tells him to do something. At church on Sunday, we get there 20 minutes early so I can play the organ (which I love doing), Jer is usually running around making appointments with people for the Bishop.... so our kids ages 2-9 sit in the pew by themselves for the first 20 minutes. Seth likes to get up and walk back and forth down the pew unless we give him a bunch of cars to play with.... then he sits there playing cars in one spot. Evelyn sits but doesn't get the whole need to be at least a little quiet. She usually does okay if we give her something to draw with. Ada is usually pretty quiet and is a great helper with Seth unless she sits by Sam. Sam sits and complains loudly about being bored. Every time he tries to play with Seth (which I'm not okay with because they always end up wrestling), Ada tells them to stop and Sam starts fighting with Ada because she's not in charge and can't tell me what to do..... even though I do leave Ada in charge to tell Sam not to wrestle with Seth. This last Sunday I ended up having Sam come sit by me behind the organ. That kept the peace, but I had a 7 year old whining at me that he didn't want to sit up here and why couldn't he just go sit with everyone else. For all his analytical mind, he doesn't quite understand working for the good of the entire family instead of just himself yet. He's loving the bigger kid fencing class, though I can't bring snacks or else that's all he wants to do is sit and eat them. We took a break from floorball because of crazy schedules, but he very much enjoys it and I'd like to get him going again. Sam is loving his piano teacher. He's learning the Star Wars easy piano songs. It's fun to hear him. He hasn't fought at all about learning piano.... he just does it. It's so fun.
I've very much enjoyed having my brother Seth live with us while their house is being built. He was one of my best friends all growing up. He still is. I enjoy the extra time to say hi, talk about silly things, play games, watch him care for my kids.... he's an excellent uncle. Baby Seth and Evelyn especially enjoy when he reads books to them. I love that he's willing to pitch in around the house. I've done half as many loads of dishes and it's been a nice break. He's always willing to help with the hard things too. I'll miss him when he moves, but I'm glad that we have right now.