our newest biker

Lilah’s now moving on two wheels!

Gavin learned to ride a bike several years ago through a rather grueling process where I would squat and run behind him while holding his bike up while he practiced peddling and balancing. I tried holding the front instead and it didn’t give him the control and independence he needed to progress. It was scary for him, though less scary than trying without me holding the bike. It took several weeks of that and he got it and has been happily biking since. I have at least once or twice referred to that process as the worst part of parenting because of the amazingly awful pain of running while squatting and holding up a bike with a biker who’s going at good speed. It’s seriously not a good time, though of course worth it for the fun of the kid being able to ride.

Lilah has been riding on training wheels for years and last summer I thought she was ready to ride without them and we tried a few times the same way but it was hard and scary and neither of us were very motivated to keep going.

The weather has just turned the corner on warm enough here to want to be out and so I decided to ask if she’d like to try a different approach that my sister who is practically on a bike most of the time suggested. Lilah kept her feet off the pedals and just pushed along and balanced. She was comfortable with it because she could stop whenever and go as slow or fast as she wanted. It was tough going up hills and not very practical at first even on flat ground but she really started practicing going down a gentle hill at the park by us. Today she begged to go “balance biking” and so we all went and halfway through she started putting her feet on the pedals and going!

She’s so proud and I’m so excited about bike trips together and I’m thrilled that we figured out a less scary way for her to get the hang of it!


Biking and picnics here we come! Gavin asked me to take this picture of his “proud my sister can ride a bike face.”



always moving, sometimes faster, sometimes slowly

We’ve been busy, with all the little things and a few big ones.

We’ve been

swimming with friends in the hot springs

finishing our audiobook The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo

picking out legos from bulk lots

learning about elections in the U.S. and talking about the process and the people involved

playing Minecraft and building and dreaming so many ideas up for it together


playing soccer with Dad

playing Connect Four and Carcassonne and Exploding Kittens and WildCraft and Race for the Galaxy and War

working on making a mask from a doodle crate gift Lilah received recently (I think she’s making a wolf mask) with a plastic mask base you shape, then cover in foil and plastic, then cover in paper mache and finally she will paint the dried paper mache mask


visiting a brand new library just blocks from our house!!! The kids each got their own library card and checked out books. Gavin brought home a Lego idea book and Lilah brought home a book about rocks.

We’ve been celebrating Grandpa’s birthday with Gavin creating a game for him and building it and writing up the instructions with Dad and then trying it out with Grandpa. He made a board out of cardboard and used little plastic army men and a purple die that he got at the skating rink for this very purpose.


We’ve been playing with friends (human and animal) at the farm

practicing gymnastics


cleaning our house

building a house for our cats, refining it, observing the cats in it, adding toys and stickers

creating new lego designs based on books and otherwise

enjoying the first warm, sunny days of the year at various parks and gardens, with and without friends. They’ve been having opportunities lately to play with much younger kids (being the oldest) and that has been both fun and challenging. I’m so glad they have these kinds of opportunities!

We’ve been practicing a play at their scout meeting


doing the important work of playing, navigating challenges with differing degrees of confidence and happiness and enjoying each other and the world.

At the moment I write this, the kids are setting up for a game where each of them has a pillow and an umbrella in their bases and they try to hit the other’s area with a squishy ball.