Lately and Uncle John

I can't believe that we are already well into July. Virginia is doing well- no more seizures- and she isn't sleepy from the medicine either. Here's a little bit of what we've been up to lately.

Wills is always doing one of two things. Drawing or building. Actually, he's always either talking while drawing or talking while building, but you get the idea.

Very patriotic...

While Findley and I were on our trip, my mom brought Wills a Sound of Music pop-up book. He's been experimenting with making his own pop-up book-

And his own Sound of Music book

The only problem is that we have to carry most of his works of art with us when we go anywhere and it is getting to be quite an ordeal.

Trying to be as tall as his tower...

Wills is one funny kid. Every night when I put him in bed, I have to promise that Findley and I will both check on him before we go to bed. About a month ago, as I was tucking him in, I could tell he was really thinking about something.

"Mommy," he asked, "How come I never remember you and Daddy checking on me at night?"

"Because you are sound asleep."

"I have an idea," he said. "See that piece of paper over there on my desk? Tonight, when you come back to check on me, sign that paper. Then in the morning, I'll know that you were here."


So for a couple of weeks, Findley and I would both sign the sheet of paper every night when we checked on him, but then Wills got a better idea.

"Mommy, I think it would be nice if you wrote me a letter at night while I'm asleep. Then I'll have something to read in the morning."

"What do you want the letter to be about?" I asked.

"How much you love me," he replied without missing a beat.

So for a few nights I diligently wrote him a (short) letter and left it on his bedside table, but then he changed the stakes one last time. On Thursday he announced he would prefer a poem. So tonight I will write my fourth poem- hopefully he will move to something else soon because I am running out of rhymes!

Eliza is a mess. Wills never went through the terrible two's, but she's making up for that and she's not even two yet. She challenges me on absolutely everything. When I go to get her out of her crib in the morning, she is so happy to see me. "Out, out," she demands. As I approach her crib, she raises her arms up, but when I reach the railing, she sits down and says, "No, no."

"Ok," I say, used to this game by now. "Mommy's going downstairs to fix breakfast. Call me when you are ready to get out." Before I can reach the door, she is screaming and asking to get out again. But when I walk over to the crib, she refuses to get out again. Usually at this point I just get her out and carry her screaming little self downstairs. I have no idea how long the game would go on if I played along.

She will do this with anything. She'll ask for juice, I'll give it to her, she'll throw it, I'll pick it up and put it away, and she'll ask for it again. She's going to be trouble. But she sure is cute.

Joined us at the table...(I need to get her a booster seat)

My brother has a clerkship in Birmingham so he has been living with us this summer. He is actually a huge help and it has been so much fun having him here. I realize this is special time because I doubt we'll ever live under the same roof again, except for maybe if we pick the same nursing home.

The kids want to do whatever he does.

We like to challenge John and make him work harder.

(We are thankful he is teaching them about exercise because their parents obviously aren't!)

I am a little scared he won't want to have kids after all we've put him through. This picture just about sums it all up. Eliza is requesting something from the refrigerator, Wills is trying to show him the American flag he made, and Sawyer wants his belly rubbed. (John is the first person to pet our dogs in almost eight years.)

Virgina has loved being out of school. I have been reading longer books to the older two when we can find something else to keep Eliza occupied. We have finished From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Peter Pan, and a lot of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. Tomorrow we start The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I really hope she likes it.

She has read so many books, she's been able to pick out a few new ones to keep through the library's summer reading program.

Here she is with her latest selection. Proud! She loves Amelia Bedelia, which makes her mommy very happy because it was my favorite when I was little, too.

Eliza makes reading time a little more complicated...

But it hasn't been all books around here this summer. Findley and I took Virginia and Wills to see Cars II on Sunday afternoon. She was just a little bit excited...

And I saved the best for last. For all of you who wonder what it is really like to live in Alabama, this just about sums it up! (I am really swallowing my pride to post this...) Happy summer!