Here's a very grandparent-friendly post-a little synopsis of what my kids are up to right now. (read: you may be wise to have a little shot of caffeine before you read on).
Margarita (11 1/2 years old)
She is adjusting to life in middle school- lots of things to remember, assignments to turn in, etc.
She's getting great grades- we're almost at the end of the first quarter and she's got all A's.
She's learning her FOURTH language- French.
She still loves animals, especially cats.
She still fills my water bottle every night.
She is taking piano lessons.
She is on the middle school basketball team. I'm so proud of her, she is one of only four 6th graders that play with a bunch of much bigger girls (practically women, I tell you) who have played together for years and she never gets discouraged.
She is doing Destination Imagination again this year, despite the fact that her best friend isn't doing it with her.
She gets Pedro ready for bed almost every night.
She doesn't care if her clothes match at all, she has taken a dislike to normal white socks, and she avoids brushing her hair at all costs. It's (mostly) fine with me (except for the hair part), the longer the boys don't notice her the better. We lovingly refer to her as "Punky" (as in Punky Brewster).
Julio (almost 9 years old)
Julio is my non-tween tween.
He would live with his ipod going 24-7 if I let him.
Sometimes I have to go into his room to tell him to "TURN IT DOWN!"
He likes all of those Disney singers-like the Jonas Brothers and Demi Levado, but he also loves John Denver (?).
He takes awesome photos with our good camera (this irritates me to no end).
He is taking piano lessons. His teacher is teaching him some Star Wars songs and the Indiana Jones song. His favorite place to practice these is during Primary at church (much to my chagrin).
He cares what he looks like and his clothes are always matching.
He plays soccer and tennis right now.
He must be bouncing, kicking, or throwing a ball at all times.
He is doing GREAT at school. Does well at every subject (not to sound braggy-but it's true!)
He has a big heart and loves his family very much.
Juan Carlos (6 1/2 years old)
I picked up my copy of So You Want to Raise a Boy by W. Cleon Skousen (yikes-what a name), which I've never actually read cover to cover, but pick up occasionally just to see if my boys are within the range of "normal". I was cracking up reading about 6 year old boys-it fits Juan Carlos to a tee (keep in mind this book was published in 1962):
"First and foremost he appears to be a wiggle-worm. He acts as though every part of his anatomy were attached to springs or someone had put itching powder in his breeches. Even when he's sitting he puts out more energy than a whirling dervish...He wiggles and writhes. He is so uncomfortable in one position that the teacher may see him pulling faces, jerking his arms about, striking some nearby boy or girl just to get a rise out of them. He wants to wrestle, run, jump and holler...he talks incessantly...With all this loose energy being thrown around, parents may get the idea Junior will accomplish something. Unfortunately, this is not the way he feels about it."The kid is ALWAYS in motion.
He does what he refers to as the "Happy Dance" where he moves his feet so fast you can't see them. It looks like he's samba-ing.
He is happy with his teacher and his friends.
He was recently a fireman for his career day at work.
He takes a tennis class once a week.
He still resists going on playdates without me, and I don't push him.
He loves reading and has, on his own, started reading "chapter" books at home.
He was a proud owner of some sea-monkeys. Now he's grown bored of them and wants to take them out to the lake and set them free.
He still hasn't lost a tooth. (hehehe)
Ever since we went to Disneyland, he does this weird thing where he puts sunglasses on and says, in a very creepy voice, "Do I look like (pause) Micky Mouse?" He's got Pedro doing it now too.
He still loves me, but sadly (for me), I see him wanting to spend more and more time with his dad. This is another thing that book says happens between 6 and 7 with boys.
Pedro (2 1/2 years old)
Where to begin?
He is, for the most part, a very sweet little boy. However, when things don't go his way, he turns into a monster child in a matter of nano-seconds.
When he's mad he kicks, screams and hits. Today he pulled my hair in the checkout line at the store. When I put him down so he couldn't reach my hair anymore, he kicked me in the shin.
He eats only with his yellow fork and spoon.
He talks like a trooper.
He takes a nap in his crib (2-3 hours, yay!), but sleeps at night in the big bed.
He's taken to getting up before dawn and playing with his trains while the rest of us sleep on.
When I answer "yes" to whatever he is asking ("Can I have a pickle mom?" "Can I set my train down here?" "Can I watch a train show?") he responds with an enthusiastic "Yipee!"
When I tell him to do something that he doesn't want to do he says, "No fair!"
He likes to play "squeeze the lemonade" where he squeezes you or you squeeze him.
We sing Primary songs every night before he goes to sleep; if a song has the word "spirit" in it, he immediately stops me and says, "Mom, it's 'spirick' NOT 'spirit'".
He refuses to go on the potty, but tells me exactly when he's pooping (and asks me to leave the room) and when he wants me to change his diaper.
He is always a big hit with the ladies. Here he is with Margarita's basketball team (I am so kicking myself I didn't have the right lens on when it happened).
He loves all things to do with transportation, but especially trains and airplanes.
My kids are all healthy and happy-so I feel extremely blessed. :)