Hey, Wonderfriends, remember that awful violin lesson I wrote about here last week? Well, I am so happy – no, ecstatic is more like it – to tell you that we found an amazing teacher who manages to combine learning with FUN and teaches in a completely developmentally appropriate way (I KNOW!). Lyle loved her from the first moment he met her, and at the end of his lesson whispered to me, “Violin is actually pretty fun! Miss Heather is really fun!” He learned an enormous amount in his first half hour alone and even, get this, got to compose his first piece of music. On the easel, Miss Heather made little lines for him to fill in the names of each string and said he could arrange them any way he wanted. She also encouraged him to name it. What a great way to get kids started early with reading music! (So far, his compositions in lessons have been called “Lyle’s Pizza” and “Blue and Red Mouses”.) Since he is almost-but-not-quite yet at the point of actually getting that bow on the violin strings, he is plucking the songs.
Tonight at home he asked if he could write a song when we were practicing – who could say “no” to that? I know he was proud because he let me videotape it; lately he doesn’t want his picture taken at all (only he’s allowed to take them, apparently). And, yes, I do know that we need to work on getting that instrument up onto his shoulder, but I wasn’t about to interrupt the creative process tonight!
So, without further ado, here is my sweet, stuffy-nosed and tired but deeply-into-it guy composing a little ditty (you’ll love what he names it!) – and I apologize profusely in advance for my coughing fit in the middle:
And then, here he is, playing it for the first time:
I don’t think it would be possible for me to be more pleased. I’m so proud of this little guy for persevering after his first awful experience and doing such a great job!
Today when we biked the Lake trail I actually remembered to bring the video camera. I’ve compressed this into lots of small clips that show Baxter riding his 2-wheeler, Lyle tearing up the path on his trike, and some brief shots of our neck of the woods to give you an idea of our neighborhood. Which rocks. Especially at this time of year. I got it down to just two minutes – hope you enjoy it…and don’t miss Lyle’s brutal honesty with me in the last bit!
The melting snow drip drip dripped from every rooftop and awning so steadily that it was possible to believe it was raining when I was out on the sidewalks of this city early today. The shining sun and singing birds, the joggers and bike riders, reminded me that spring really is here, emerging again after the recent snowfall.
The boys rallied for the egg hunt this morning – you’d have never known how feverish Lyle was if not for the bright pink cheeks. And although Baxter ventured so far as to say, “I think there really might not be an Easter Bunny after all – I think you guys might put out all this candy,” he carefully avoided eye contact as he said it so I knew he didn’t really want me to agree. My answer (“All I know is that I never touched an egg or piece of candy last night and yet they’re all over the house this morning”) was the truth; Matt played Easter Bunny this year.
Here is a 5-minute video of the egg hunt highlights. It may not be interesting to anyone besides the grandparents, but if you’d like to hear me making a total dork of myself acting surprised about everything, you won’t be disappointed! We have watched last year’s video quite a few times, the kids and I, and we love it – especially Lyle’s adorable 2-year old ways and both kids looking so much smaller. Makes me wonder what next year’s vantage point will be.
The boys have had more and more periods of delightful interaction lately. Last night Lyle pulled out this Blokus game and started to use the tiles to configure letters of the alphabet (accurately, which I found somewhat shocking). This drew attention from his big brother, and the two of them lay companionably on the rug, head to head, putting tiles into the board and talking complete and utter nonsense to each other. I paused in my dinner-making activities to take a minute-long video of the brotherly bonding.
Anyone who has spent more than about 15 minutes with me in my life will recognize that these random dudes could only be my children:
We tried to go out to play today. Really, we did. Matt was able to take a little holiday time off this morning and we all bundled up to get some fresh air and attempted to go to the neighborhood playground for some exercise. However, once out in the below-zero wind chill, Lyle didn’t make it further than the corner ATM. To Matt and Baxter’s credit, they spent about 15 minutes at the playground, and had a rousing game of catch with an ice ball. (Don’t you just love hearing about life in the midwest, those of you who live elsewhere?!)
Once both boys were back at the house, they made up this fantastic game which served the dual purposes of a) burning off some energy and b) making their mother very happy to see them getting along so well. Believe me, not every interaction between my sons looks like this; if it did, I would not have pulled out the video camera. But they’re able to play together well more and more often these days, and they remind me of a couple of energetic little puppies.
The fun continued when they were called upstairs to lunch and Baxter agreed to help Lyle wash his hands (often a bone of contention). As I passed by the bathroom door I heard Lyle declare happily, “Baxter? You are my big, fancy brother!!”
Here are the two fancy brothers having a great time together in the play room (adult supervision highly recommended):
Some fantastic combination of dessert, XM Radio’s Christmas channel, and pre-Christmas insanity took over all three of my guys tonight. Thankfully, the video camera was handy. Enjoy!