That’s apparently how long it’s been since my last post. Five months. A lot happens in five months and all of it, certainly, is worth remembering. Big things like trips and events are noteworthy and tend to make the blog, and those are great things, but it’s life that I’d rather remember. The little things that aren’t caught on a thousand pictures and become a self-explanatory photojournal. Hmmmm…

Hattie had her five year well-child check today. She got two shots and was very brave. Brad said her eyes welled up and her lip quivered, but she mostly held it together until they got to the car. Then she let it loose and cried. She got a bagel at Panera with dad, and after lunch, her ice cream (her appointment was too early in the day to get ice cream for lunch, our tradition after a shot). She finished pre-school last week, woke up the next day and asked if it was the day kindergarten started. When we said no, she stomped her foot, scowled, and marched back to bed. She still has that bit of diva to her. She’ll do well in k-garten – she already knows most of the teachers in the school and a bunch of kids, including Lola, who’s name she now spells instead of says. “I’m going to do the talent show with L-O-L-A this year! We’re going to do EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!!” She has crazy hair, dresses herself in ridiculous combinations that somehow work, and will talk any stranger’s ear off. Everyone smiles and shakes their head when they say her name. She’s a great singer and we’ll oftentimes find her playing by herself, singing. In tune. It’s beautiful.

Geert is finishing first grade tomorrow. He’s gotten so much taller (taller than Leva at his age!), is just as skinny and still has his roaming laser focus. Today, he’s all-in to baseball and the Queen Mary 2. Recently, skateboarding, which he’s seriously amazingly good at. Sometimes legos, now melty beads. Minecraft or the Titanic. He’ll get a theme in his head and will explore it in all facets (building with legos or beads, drawings, dress up, videos on youtube, pretend play), then see something new and move on. He can’t sing worth anything – when he wears headphones and sings he sounds so bad Brad and I can’t stop laughing. But he can sit at the piano and play gentle melodies that he makes up and has figured out some chords on his own. He has two best friends, Jasper and Adry. Jasper is very quiet and kind of follows along, but is always there. He’s fun because his dad, Oliver, is german, and Jasper is bilingual. Adry is a little more wild and he and Geert will spar a bit, but then continue playing. At field day on monday during lunch, we found the three of them eating together on the lawn. He still has trouble saying his R’s and turns seven a week from today. We had some serious issues with him wasting time at school this year. He’d be given over an hour to complete a page of work, and maaaybe fill in the first item. So he started bringing stuff home that didn’t get done. Then he had a ton of homework. His teacher, Mrs. Garrison, chalked it up to his lack of focus and talkativity (which he were psyched about – Geert’s talking to kids? hooray!!). She tried dumb stuff like putting him in different groups or giving him a timer or putting a folder wall around his desk space. But walked away and never made sure he tried to get anything done – so he didn’t. We frankly let it slide. Hopefully, that was the right thing to do. I’m sure one day that laser focus will hone in to something productive that excites him, and he’ll be unstoppable. Until then, we’ve just got to make sure he can read and do his math and not get in trouble, right? And keep him from breaking any body parts skateboarding (unlike Brad, who broke his wrist a few months ago – skateboarding back to the MINIVAN).

Leva finishes second grade tomorrow. She’s super tall and loves it, and is now, all of a sudden, into soccer. It’s something that we gently nudged her towards at the end of last year, because all of her friends were doing it and we thought she’d have fun. She tolerated it. But somehow, in the last 3 weeks or so, the kid gets it. She talks about Abby Womback and wanting her hair short like hers and being aggressive. She gets on the field and PLAYS SOCCER. This is nothing short of amazing. Leva will look up, play the field and maneuver. She made two goals in her last game and they were real, intentional, good goals. And her friends love her, so when she scores, she gets smothered with hugs. It’s so fun to watch. She still enjoys tennis and she and G will swim for the Grandview Gators for the first time this summer. She draws rather abstractly, and she loves to fill volumes with her writing. Her main writing goal is to write as much as possible, as many pages as possible. Her spelling is horrific and she couldn’t care less. Her art teacher remarked on her last grade card that Leva has an exceptional eye for color and composition. This is true. She also dresses herself and does her own hair with a flare that i’m sure i’ve never had. She’s friends with everyone, boys and girls, but is starting to tell the difference. She’s started tinkering with the piano and loves to play phrases over and over and over at a deafening volume until my ears bleed. She’d much rather play by ear, and is very resistant to reading music, much like she was resistant to learning to read. Every once in a while she’ll ask for a piano lesson and we’ll go over it, but I honestly don’t think it’ll stick. She can sing well and carry a tune, but isn’t sophisticated enough yet to sing a harmony. She’s the best dancer I’ve ever seen.