Though we thought about going out to the library today, we took one look at the cozy grey morning and decided to spend the day warm in our house. While Eric took his morning nap, Katie and I discovered that we could tap into the library’s online stash of educational computer games from our home computer. COOL! We spent about forty minutes playing word and number games in English, French, and Spanish. The Temecula Public Library rocks! Another reason I am happy to raise our children here…

By mid-morning, we had a fire going and Katie and Eric played “house” together. It was cute, because I was cleaning the kitchen, and it was the first time I’ve had the sense of “my children are off doing something together”—and both were equally content. Katie used one of our baby gates to make a pretend “house” and brought over some pillows and toys. At one point when I was peeking on them, Eric started crawling back toward the family room—and I saw Katie take both his legs and gently drag him back to play with her, saying, “Let’s play house, Eric!” Eric, for his part, thought this was hilarious and as Katie was being gentle about it, I stayed out of their way. Oh, sister and brother!

I sneaked a picture of the “house” game. This is the first time they’ve really done something on their own without my involvement/suggestion. Cute.

Later, when we were cleaning up “house,” Eric made his way to the staircase and started to paw the first step like he had…ideas. I was putting a toy back around the corner and I heard Katie say, “I don’t think you should do that, Eric.” I loved two aspects of this: 1) I love that she was watching out for him; and 2) I absolutely ADORE the words and tone she used. It wasn’t bossy or aggressive. Just factual and caring. “I don’t think you should do that, Eric.” A good precedence for their teenage and adult relationship: advisory, yet respectful that it is his choice.

Today was also the first day that I have considered Eric officially mobile. And he was EVERYWHERE. He can army crawl across a room in seconds, and he had several pockets of actual crawling. He also sat up on his own for the first time, without using my knee/leg as a pushing-into-position device. He is Mr. Speedy. Today was the epiphany day for me: having two really adept and young movers changes the game completely. Our routines are getting ready to adapt again, as a result. I am never ceased to be amazed that things work out with children…each new milestone is such a blessing and a challenge as we learn how to incorporate their new abilities with our own.

Thankfully, since I was tired out myself after lunch, today was one of those completely rare days when both Katie and Eric napped at almost the same time. Their overlap didn’t last all that long, but it was a few moments of downtime. Never to be taken for granted. I did a bit of cross stitching, sipped Yorkshire tea, watched Bogie and Hepburn, and had a moment to let my mind wander. Ah.

We did most of our pre-school in the afternoon today. Katie worked through some pages in several workbooks, and we are seeing the emergence of her phonics awareness now. The drills and practice are working. She likes her workbooks and using our special pencils for them. We also worked more on scissor use. I have a book of cutting lessons, and it is easy to xerox a page for practice. She loves the “snip strips” made on bright pink paper. Her work was precise, and she seems to be getting the hang of scissors…I wish I would have started this maybe a little earlier, but she is getting it.

Katie and I started our new art class before Toastmasters yesterday morning, an Abrakadoodle class. We took a few sessions through the city last year, but we haven’t signed up for any since Eric was born. Oh, she was glad to be back! We made masks yesterday, and Katie chose to make a puppy dog mask from cut paper. Really fun! We started our morning with a special trip to Starbucks for breakfast, and Katie expressed delight that it was “just like old times.” We have art class every Tuesday morning for awhile, and she is looking forward to it. We don’t want to overschedule her, but we figure music and art classes are good supplements for what we can give her at home. She has also expressed an interest in returning to gymnastics—after asking for a break—and she is fairly clear that she wants to return to the version of it put on through the city, versus the competition gym we had been attending. She expressed that she likes the teaching/teacher better at the program through the city. It’s hard…while this could be a lesson about embracing different teaching styles, I don’t really think there is a point in doing that at age three. Right now, life needs to be fun and non-stressful…and so does the learning. We are currently signed up for the city program session that begins in a few weeks.

Finally, we got out my childhood Lite-Brite this afternoon, and Katie played with it for the first time. I have so many happy memories of playing with the Lite-Brite with my parents. We’re keeping it old school here at the McGaugh House!

Because Katie napped, she knows she gets to stay up with me a little past bedtime tonight for “girly time secret cuddles,” a.k.a. American Idol and dessert in the cozy chair. I think we’re both excited!