Sunday, April 27, 2014

3-on-1 Saturday

Yesterday was the first Saturday of JP's summer season. The indoor pool he uses from September to May is used for summer camps in the summer, so last year he set about finding summer space he could rent. Pool space is at a premium, so in order to use a very nice outdoor pool in our area, he had to agree to be pool manager, a relatively thankless job involving monitoring and balancing the pools chemicals, hiring, scheduling, and managing payroll for the lifeguards, dealing with pool member complaints, and maybe best of all- cleaning out the trashed, overgrown pool area at the start of the summer to get the pool ready for filling. So yesterday he headed out at 8 a.m. with his weed whacker, lawn mower, scrubber brushes, and a lot of bleach. A few of his lifeguards met him there and they cleaned out the whole 50 meter pool, bathrooms, and large grassy area. Operating a swim school is not nearly as glamorous as the movies make it seem.

So, while JP was scrubbing toilets and fighting a 6 inch live (and probably radioactive) crawfish that grew in a pool filter, the kids and I planned our first solo Saturday. We began with Cora napping, mommy doing a barre video, and the big kids playing outside. While Landon was pulling out all the wheeled vehicles from the garage, I couldn't help but pause my workout to snap this picture through the window of Claire singing to the Frozen soundtrack I was piping to the jambox outside. She always stands 3 inches away, cracks me up.

Wheeled vehicles extracted, an elaborate game of cozy coupe house/camping/doctor(?) ensued.

He got that coupe for his first birthday present.  Fits just the same.

A neighbor gave us their hand-me-down coupe last summer, so the kids were able to have what looks like a serious rooftop conference.

After my workout was over, we decided to write down a set of House Rules. With Landon this was never necessary because he had an innate understanding of rules and limits and never pushed them. Claire... Claire needs them spelled out. Frequently. So I asked the kids what they thought the rules were and should be and we created this list:

I'll edit and finalize later. Landon has volunteered to illustrated because he's concerned Claire won't be able to read them and he's the one who usually suffers for her not knowing them (not that she totally doesn't already know them but she plead ignorance while these were suggested).  She contributed "eat all your chicken"- for reasons we can't figure out, she hates chicken (and loves all other meat and fish and strong flavors) and sees the necessity of eating it as her greatest burden in life.

Also burdened by a timeout for immediately breaking all the rules centered around "being nice"

Cora woke up from her nap delightful as always. This baby is really only a value-add. She changes none of our plans and just adds a smile to whatever we were going to be doing anyway. I'd have 6 of her if I could.

Next on the schedule we created was to bake S'more Bars from a recipe magazine I'd picked up a few weeks ago and let the kids flag with post-its for things they wanted to eat. They flagged the entire dessert and breakfast section and nothing in between. Unfortunately we were lacking pretty much all of the ingredients, so we piled in the car for a Kroger adventure, with a second stop at Sonic for refreshments. Lunch was a picnic on the back patio, s'more bars were made and eaten, and Cora went back down for a nap. Post-lunch entertainment was provided by the big kids and mommy video'd it for potential playback during Landon's senior year slide show:

Cora woke up again (so happy!), cozy coupes were reintroduced (now with helmets for maximum safety), and much fun was had while I watched and talked to Cora.

I prepped dinner while Cora ate an elephant.  It's important to stroke the elephant first to make sure it's at the desired state of tenderness.

The big people ate an assortment of Trader Joe's pizzas with raw veggies and ranch and an extra s'more bar before being sent back outside to play. I'd planned to watch a movie at the end of the day, but the weather was so nice and the kids so good we didn't end up needing it, so now I can keep a double-movie day in reserve for the future.


JP came home, exhausted and dirty, just in time to kiss the kids goodnight. All in all I'd say my day was considerably better than his and I'm no longer dreading my solo Saturday summer. I'm sure there will be long days, but the pool should warm up soon and that will help too- partly because nothing wears kids out like swimming, but also because I can keep a steady stream of friends visiting with their kids to play with us. And speaking of the pool and swim suit season, I'm off to barre! I snuck a s'more bar for breakfast this morning (goes great with Earl Grey tea) and Landon caught me and I had a moment of rambling excuses before I realized that hey! I'm a grown-up and I can eat s'more bars for breakfast if I want to. It comes with having to pay taxes. Do as I say and not as I do child and be gone!

But yeah, off to barre.


  1. Is Claire no longer napping? I was curious how you'd manage with a twice-a-day napping infant and the two older kids. Sounds like a lovely day!

    1. Claire is pretty much done with naps. On a particularly exhausting day (like if we hiked or swam all morning) or if she's had several late nights in a row, she might still take one, but there really isn't any change in her evening behavior if she naps or not, and she has a harder time falling asleep at night if she does take one. Landon, on the other hand, I think would still be happy to take a nap each afternoon, much like his dad :).