I have turned into a terrible blogger. SO many things have been happening I should have tons of fodder and yet I sit on the couch at night like a hollowed out shell of myself, barely tapping my finger to flip pages on my kindle and wishing I was already in bed. I know I already said this about last week, but it was another WEEK, all caps, and I am so excited to have this weekend to just chill out and recover. At least now that we're done with our "wake up at 5:30 a.m. to drive an hour for the kids' swim meet that had a warm-up time of 6:50 a.m.". But we are done with that, and tomorrow we will rise after the sun and poor James can maybe spend at least half his day out of the sun's rays. Summer is kind of rough. Fun, but rough.
I am clearly never going to write the posts the events of the past two weeks deserve, so we'll hit the highlights:
(1) Claire had her 5th birthday party.
We had a "Tea Party Pool Party" with of all her preschool friends.
There was swimming, then crown making, and then the eating of tiny foods, including cheeses I'd used cookie cutters to shape into crowns, tea cups, and flowers. There was pink lemonade for the "tea" and grown-up pink "tea" for the 21+ crowd.
I had an excellent time planning it and the kids had SO much fun.
That Sunday was the first day in OVER 40 DAYS that it did not rain. I have never checked the weather report so often as I did the week leading up to it. From epic flooding to gorgeous sunny skies. The universe smiles on the Bear.
(And the rest of us; I did not have a backup plan.)
(2) Claire actually turned 5.
Her real birthday was on Thursday and I put out the traditional birthday pig, birthday place mat (originally purchased at the Dollar Spot for a Valentine's Day; things get sucked into traditions so easily around here, I love it), birthday champagne/milk glass, and birthday donut with dad.
I adore that she is old enough to be THRILLED over a bag of new maxi dresses and coordinating shoes from her Gigi.
...and young enough that when her brother, who had earnestly and secretly worked on her card while I was making the birthday dinner of "pasta with sauce," presented her birthday card and read it aloud, her face lit up and she asked, "wait, am I really a princess?!"
(3) Landon read all the words.
Also on Claire's birthday, we had Landon's 1st grade awards ceremony! He got every award there is to receive- perfect behavior, attendance, grades, etc. But the most fun was the certificate each kid gets for how many words they've read for the year through their library books. Apparently the computer tracks the word count of each book they read and pass the reading comprehension test for, and the kids get a certificate with the total at the end of the year. Most kids in the 1st grade classes read between 8-10,000 words, which sounded awesome and made them all smile, and then we finally got to Landon's class at the end and his best friend read almost 45,000 which was amazing! And then the teacher read Landon's and it was 92,466! The principal's jaw dropped and Landon had this little flushed face and grin and it was all adorable.
He's a great kid.
(4) Landon had a birthday party!
He doesn't really turn 8 until July, but we'd promised he could have his party before school got out so we wouldn't have to track down his classmates over the summer.
He really wanted an "animal party," but they needed to be "real animals mom, not like cartoons" and that is shockingly hard to find. Everything was either too cartoony or too adult (zebra with hot pink; cougar print with gold filigree and red kiss prints (seriously)), but I finally found a few jungle tablecloths, some animal print cups and bowls, and borrowed some solid color serving dishes and a bunch of Landon's animals from his toy bin. I served three kinds of animal crackers and beverages + cookie cake.
I've learned to keep it simple because really, the kids are just going to swim and we don't want anyone throwing up. And everyone swam for two hours, I forced them out for cookie cake near the end, and no one threw up! Everyone walked away with tired bodies and a jungle animal bookmark and bracelet. It was a great day.
(5) My grandparents stopped over for a visit!
My grandparents drive up to Wisconsin every summer to spend a few months at their lake cabin and this time, they stopped to stay with us overnight along the way. The kids were so excited and loved showing off their swimming, reading, and coloring skills.
The kids swam and we sat outside and chatted, I served dinner, books were read and balloons were volleyed, and everyone went to bed. They hit the road about the same time I was leaving for work (to give my big presentation on my biggest case!), which was also the time to take Landon to his LAST day of 1st grade and James had to head to the pool for his FIRST day of the summer session at the new pool with new coaches and lots of new clients.
It's like for the past two weeks we can't just have one big thing on the calendar. It needs to be six things. All the things! Everyday.
(6) Pool time.
Luckily, we finally stopped having parties and major life events happening at the same time and have spent every night this week in the pool. And by "we" I mean Landon and Claire, though I did actually put a suit on one day and try to get in with Cora, but she started sobbing and clinging to me like a terrified spider monkey.
I could barely even take a selfie she was holding on so tight. It was traumatic for both of us.
It was a surprising turn of events, but then I remembered she'd had her first swim lesson with James last weekend and it had not gone super well.
In the words of Landon, "Mom, she just needs to spend a lot of time around the water so she can lower her anxiety." It's like the's the child of a swim instructor or something.
At least maybe she'll now less inclined to throw herself in the water every chance she gets so I can enjoy more chatting with the various friends we've been inviting over nightly.
(7) Summer time!
So we're in full summer mode (first swim meet this morning!). The big kids were home with a nanny last week, and are both off to summer camps for the next three. Claire is very excited to join Landon on his summer adventures, and James loves picking them up during his late lunch break and bringing them to his pool for swim practice and dad time. It really all works out rather well, it's just always a little rough getting into a new routine. Next week will be easier, I feel sure of it.
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