It's been a jam-packed last few weeks- full and busy and fun, and I could itemize them all, but then there have been some very low moments with James realizing he will not be able to continue his swim school into the fall in any pool anywhere, plus some struggles with Landon and figuring out how best to handle his new occasional funks when he has given us absolutely no training along the way. Last Thursday the last of James's potential avenues closed and it just sucked so much I don't really have words for it. Neither did he, and in an act of true love and support, I didn't make him try to find any.
On my end, last week involved a ton of yoga, teaching a lot of barre, and reading Day Zero in the Arcana Chronicles in one long late night (what do you do when you get in bed at 11 p.m. and realize the download you were expecting tomorrow downloaded at midnight eastern time and you're in central? you read it. and it was SO good! still just adore that series), and mostly just didn't open my laptop for many days.
But to do a bit of recapping- Landon did golf camp last week! It's offered through the First Tee Organization and is a pretty amazing deal- $60/week for the half-day camp and $85 for the full. Now that I know it's a real camp and not some front for a sweat shop, I'm totally sending the kids for multiple weeks of the full day next summer. The group also provides the clubs for the kids- you just drop them off with athletic clothes, a lunch, and a ton of sunscreen and water and they take it from there.
Last week was the half-day option, which normally we couldn't do, but one of Landon's friends was also going that week, so his mom offered to pick the Lanman up and bring him home to play for the afternoon and then even included a trip to a big kid water park as a delayed birthday present for L. I feel so lucky to have found such great friends here and it was definitely an excellent week for him. He brought home his new clubs on day 2 and we did some family golf lessons in the front yard.
Cora was super enthusiastic.
Claire couldn't go to the camp because the minimum age is 7 (but she can next year, which is BLOWING MY MIND (and also pleasing my summer camp budget)) so she hung out with a friend one day and then James in the mornings and me in the afternoons. James took her to the Y each morning where she battled on the rock climbing wall and then on one afternoon I took her to get her very first library card. She was so excited and we checked out a bunch of new books, all of which she's now read and hopefully knows where to find to return.
On Saturday we headed over to my parents' lake house. They're in the middle of a kitchen and back patio renovation, so we arrived to a bit of a construction site, but the results are already looking fabulous. On Sunday we had a big adventure on the boat. First we took forever getting ready to go, what with fits over having to wear rashguards and losing sunglasses and securing water bottles for all, but finally we were ready to head out for a boating and tubing extravaganza!
Only to have the boat die a thousand or so yards out from shore. The concept of flagging down another boat didn't occur to any of us, instead we looked to James- you can swim that right?
And so he did. It did occur to me later, when he became a little speck in the water, that he was at some risk of being mowed over by a boat or jetski, and lake open water-swimming without goggles and with a current and tons of boat traffic is not anyone's favorite, but he made it, and came back to rescue us on my parents' jetski in nearly no time at all.
The kids swam a bit while we waited and then we towed ourselves back to the dock.
The kids thought it was the best morning ever.
We spent the rest of the day swimming and playing in the water. Cora refuses to stand on the swim mat and instead pushes herself off it in her puffy life jacket like a baby turtle- as always, she only wants to swim swim swim.
We had a great and early dinner and then James, Cora, and I piled in the car to head home, leaving the big kids behind. Because this week is the newly dubbed and soon to be famous "Camp PapaGigi" and Landon and Claire are spending their first nights sleeping away from us and home ever, ever! I've never been in my house and not had all my children sleeping in it with me. I've traveled for work. James and I had our weekend in NY earlier this year, but the kids have never spent the night anywhere without us and it's super weird.
Cora started sobbing when we pulled up in the driveway in Fort Worth and she realized the big kids weren't sitting in the row behind her (she slept for most of the drive home and I think she just forgot)- her face was pure shock and panic when we unbuckled her and she looked behind. She's never been without them and she was crying, "Want my Yaya HOME" over and over. Then we fed her TJ's spaghettios and a big piece of cheese for dinner and she decided to carry on as an only child.
She seems to be doing okay.
Today when I picked her up she asked if Yaya was in the car. Before I could say no and explain why, she answered herself, with remorse in her voice and a shrug of her shoulders, "No Yaya's all gone now." Then she asked to go to the zoo.
The big kids on the other hand are having a BLAST and I'm so happy for them to have this time with my parents. We pick them up Friday (5 nights away!!) and I can't wait.
In the meantime we're tentatively soaking in the bizarrely low energy atmosphere in our house and watching every minute of the Olympics. Particularly the swimming- OMG the swimming. LILLY FREAKING KING is my spirit animal and I feel a totally unearned sense of kinship with her because I was a 100 breaststroker and she is representing and I love her. While watching that race I found myself standing on the couch (what?) and yelling (yelling!) at my TV with a series of incomprehensible noises and I wondered, amidst the glory and excitement- is this why people watch sports? If only football were interesting and not just a bunch of people falling down over and over while the clock stops for interminable amounts of time. But swimming! And diving and gymnastics and volleyball and everything else on right now- so fun.
Final wrap-ups- our menu for the week:
Monday: Pesto-Parmesan Baked Tomatoes, angel hair pasta sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and herbs (I put two tomatoes halves on top of the angel hair and then we cut them up to mix into the noodles; very good), bread, prosciutto, cheese, olives
Tuesday: Grilled kielbasa sausage, fettucine with zucchini and squash
Wednesday: maybe going out? with only a Cora our restaurant bill would be materially less (that's my justification and I'm sticking to it)
Thursday: Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Friday: pizza after our big kid reunion while packing for the vacation we leave on at 5 a.m. on Saturday (kind of a whirlwind two weeks for the big kids!)
And lastly, a question and a plea- for those of you with Kindle Fire tablets, have you ever successfully ripped a DVD you already own and transferred it onto your fire? All the articles I've read link to programs I can't tell are legit or not- I'll happily pay for a ripper if it's good and not full of bugs but the three I've tried so far either no longer work or pop up with error messages after 45 minutes of ripping. We have a ton of DVDs I do not want to buy again in digital form and I'm hoping the kids Kindles can be their vacation entertainment (2 hour plane ride, 9 hours of driving). Help!
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