Over winter break, Gloria stumbled across This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas. While she liked the song, as she listened to it more it started really affecting her behavior. Gloria was obsessing about monsters being under her bed (something that I don’t remember her ever worrying about before). She even woke Lauren up at 4am to ask what she should do if a monster was in her room, and Gloria was hesitant to go back to bed.
In discussing with her it seemed these two phrases really dug their claws into her imagination:
I am the one hiding under your bed
Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red
I am the one hiding under your stairs
Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair
Gloria was getting more frightened and obsessed about monsters until what seems to have been an inflection point on Sunday. That evening, just as I was getting ready to tuck Gloria in for the night, she lay on the floor earnestly drawing a picture. Upon completion she gave it a good look, and it seemed like she was going to put it under her bed. Then she handed it to me, asked for it back, folded it up, and gave it to me with instructions to “put it in my closet.” When I asked what it was, Gloria informed me it was a “monster attractor.” I guess the theory is that by putting this attractor in the closet and closing the door any monsters would go to the closet and not under her bed.
Here we are a week later and it seems that Boo-boo Boy and his friends are serving their purpose. I haven’t heard any concerns about monsters under Gloria’s bed or anywhere else!
Ezra got Rocket Town for his birthday, but then it got buried in the back of our bookshelf for months. Recently the kids rediscovered it and it quickly became a favorite for both boys when they are upstairs.
Generally they read it to each other on the potty, but this morning after breakfast they set up a “bus” in the kitchen for reading time. I managed to catch them on video in a short clip that does a good job summarizing their sibling interactions at this age. For those unfamiliar with the book, the rocket Ezra is pointing to midway through is the shark rocket (his favorite).
One of Ezra’s highlights at Disneyland was driving his own car at Autopia. Thanks to Grandma Judy and Grandpa Paul for letting us swap cars (Ezzy had been hoping for a red or green car). I love that even though he was tickled to be steering the car, Ezra was also sure to check if I was buckled!
One month into Kindergarten and Micah’s definitely got the hang of drawing his digits. I think his handwriting is much neater than mine already!
It’s been almost seven years since we sat Gloria down for an infant passport photo session. We’ve been much less on the ball to get Micah and Ezra their first passports, but on the plus side it was easy to get quality photos of the kids. Even for sometimes squirmy Ezzy did great, and we had a blast doing line-ups in front of the white kitchen door.
While the tools we used last time to print our own photos are now defunct, there are still online options that will quickly crop and then layout two passport photos onto a 4×6 sized JPEG.
The subsequent appointment to drop off our applications required a bit more patience, but we are now in possession of a full set of passport books and ready for Grandma Judy’s birthday cruise next summer. Look at those punims!
Since we’ve returned from Europe I’ve noticed that Micah and Ezra are playing very well together, including each other in their activities, and initiating lots of hugs (in both directions). It’s especially gratifying to watch Micah play along with Ezra’s imaginative play and letting his brother be “the leader” at times.
“Cooking” at Powell Barnett Park
Musical book time!
Camping together at grandma’s
U District park buddies
This morning I found them playing together with some empty boxes in the office – Micah had put one of his K’nex motors into the box and was flying his “plane.” Fortunately I was quick enough with the video to catch this morning’s action:
All good pilots need to brush before school
Earlier this Spring, they did a Picasso series at Gloria’s school. Their final project was a self portrait. Gloria brought hers home this week, and it’s now hanging in our office.
As part of our bedtime routine, Gloria and I exchange our “favorite part of the day.” Tonight I told Gloria I was proud of how generous she is with her brothers, citing the example of when she gave most of her grape juice to Ezra tonight:
GLORIA: How full was Ezra’s glass?
ME: 3/4, or maybe more like 7/8.
GLORIA: Daddy, what’s an eighth?
ME: Half of a quarter.
GLORIA: So Ezra had 3.5 quarters.
ME: Yes! How did you determine that?
GLORIA: Well, to divide seven in half you take 3 and 3 and split the 1 in half, so then half of seven is 3 1/2, so 7/8 is 3.5 quarters.
I think it’s fair to say she gets the concept of fractions.
Gloria’s Sunday school teacher sent us this end of year feedback on our daughter. I couldn’t be more proud of her:
Gloria is such a great kid. She is definitely the classroom cheerleader. She is the first person to say something kind to a fellow classmate, or encourage their work/answer. On one of the last few days, a fellow classmate was struggling with a project and she went and helped him immediately. It got to the point where she was helping about half the class, because her project was so much more advanced than everyone else’s and she wanted to help them catch up. It was so incredibly sweet and helpful! I have never heard a negative thing come out of her mouth. She is so warm and caring and it’s genuinely such a pleasure to see. If I decide to join in on a project that the kids are doing, she always wants me to sit with her so that we can work together. She loves helping out, and is always willing to clean up (even when it isn’t her mess). She was such a joy and a pleasure to have in class, and her constant sunny disposition was amazing!
As many of my friends and colleagues are aware, I am a huge fan of the techniques covered in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. It seems that Micah’s been picking up on the theory that “when kids feel good, they do good.”
This morning I witnessed Micah deftly avoid a huge blow-up with his brother. Here is the scene:
Micah has just come upstairs, and both he and Ezra want to see Lauren.
EZRA: Don’t go into mommy’s room!
[Ezra puts himself squarely in the doorway to our bedroom and glares at Micah. Micah reddens and looks like he’s about to get violent when all of a sudden he cools down and turns to Ezra with a smile.]
MICAH: Ezra, can I have a hug?
EZRA (immediately): Yeah, I love hugs!
(The boys have a big embrace.)
MICAH: Ezra, can I come with you into mommy’s room?
EZRA: Yes! Now that you gave me a hug you can come into mommy’s room. Let’s go in together!