Wednesday, October 19, 2011

now he is six

Andrew turned six on Tuesday and I believe this was the most emotional I have been about a birthday. It is probably not a coincidence that this is also his first year of full-day school. It truly is a new era in our home and while Andrew is learning and growing and all that he is doing is good and appropriate, we miss him pretty terribly. I still can't believe that his years of being very young have passed. It all went so quickly! If only I had known just how fast it would be over.
At six, Andrew is an extraordinarily helpful and mature little boy. He takes wonderful care of Porter and is a reliable friend and playmate to Will (though their relationship can, and has once done so during Sacrament meeting in front of a very stern member of the congregation, disintigrate into a fistfight.) Remembering that Wednesday is Will's class at the National Botanical Gardens, his first question upon entering the car at pick-up was to inquire of Will how it went. Today when another physical altercation erupted and both boys had to cool off in their rooms, I overheard them apologizing to each other and making up over their walkie-talkies.
Andrew has risen to the very real challenge that Kindergarten has brought on; he is reading wonderfully and is working hard on his handwriting. He says that math is is favorite subject, recognizing that it is an important skill for his current ambition of becoming a pilot/astronaut. He writes his 7s backwards extremely reliably. I find it endearing.

He loves to ride his bike in the cul-de-sac with our neighborhood friends. He prefers showers to baths, now, but he is not showering solo just yet. He now enjoys the "shower-bath" with his brothers. He initiated a pattern in our home of turning on his Christian rock music (from the Bible camp he attended over the summer) after bathtime when we are getting ready for bed. Porter loves to dance to it so much that Andrew calls the music his "Porter Magnet." He loves to build with legos, trio and magna-tiles and to play with his helicopter. He loves listening to Harry Potter each night before bedtime. He still likes being around us (his parents) and even informed us point-blank that he was "jealous" that we were Will's primary teachers and not his.

Andrew has always had a silliness to his personality and a love of fun. Recently his class was cutting pictures from magazines of items they needed for their wagon trip were they to be pioneers. Andrew glued toilet paper, a tv, a cell phone and a few other gadgets and fun things to his page. He thought it was hysterical. When I asked him what he would really bring, he told me food, a blanket and a hatchet.

We still do "songs and rubs" every night. Brigham sings him some missionary songs, but I have stuck with my original three: Amazing Grace, You are My Sunshine and As I Have Loved You.

I have more regrets about how I have parented Andrew than I do about Will and Porter. I am a better mom now than I was, and I wish I could re-do many, many moments in his little life. He is a sweet, very sensitive, funny and energetic little boy and I love him so much. He was my first little companion, and he has only gotten more and more companionable as he has gotten older (well, most of the time).

A month or so ago, Brigham and I had the following email exchange about Andrew:

From Alexandra to Brigham:
Brig, Maybe it was a good thing that i crashed the mini because I do not think it could have navigated the extensive flooding on the way home from Reston just now. It was really scary and at one point it felt like we might not make it through one of the big lakes on rt 7. Finally home. Also fortunately, though I had awakened porter to go, he was so tired he fell asleep again on the way and did not wake up again until a few miles from home.

Andrew was in a great mood but then began verbally abusing me when I told him that he could borrow, but not have, my small point and shoot camera. He is in his room blasting Christian rock as we speak.

Love you and I am worried about your travels home tonight. Be so careful.


From Brigham to Alexandra:
Soon that Christian Rock will be Megadeth, and Andrew will be strong enough to punch holes in the walls. We have so much to look forward to.

Andrew had a wonderful time at his birthday party and was filled with joyful avarice about his presents. He told me today that the coolest gift he got was the walkie-talkie set from my parents. He then told me that the helicopter I got him was "the kindest" gift. Porter had broken the one he received when he was 2 (!!) and had played with reliably over the last four years. He was heartbroken when Porter broke it, so I replaced it with the version Costco puts out now and waited for his birthday to arrive to present it. I loved that he felt that it was so kind of me to replace it.

While it is honestly hard for me to believe that he is as old as he is (I feel like he should be 4), from the things he says and the observations he makes, I feel like he should be a lot older than 6.

Monday, October 17, 2011

haunted house

My first step was to look up Martha Stewart halloween decor so that I could copy. I liked the idea of the witches brooms forming and X across the door, so when I saw such brooms at the thrift store last week, I was sure to buy. They were a serious pain to hang and I think I should get credit for my resourcefulness (I untwisted wire hangers). I repurposed some items from last year, moving last year's mantle display of the bat and associated cave to the door frame. I was going to hang some of the other bats we cut out from MS templates but it is supposed to rain later this week and I can't go to all the trouble of hanging them and taking them down again. They will appear shortly before the wicked night itself.

Will declared the porch "not spooktacular at all!" and we decided to do more. Some might say that this is where we got sloppy, but I say let the children decide what is truly in keeping with the spirit of Hallow's Eve. So we made two spider webs, one on each door frame. Will placed the plastic spiders in it.

Do you see the white pumpkin peeking out of the basket? So sppoky.

I am torn between believing in utter restraint in Halloween decorating and getting totally crazy and in the spirit. Sure, less is cuter, but is that what the season is all about?