Sunday, July 10, 2016

So Much Swimming, plus a Pool Party and ALL the Cheese Balls

The good thing about having a Saturday that is 35 hours long and full of all the things is that a Sunday bookended by hot yoga and a date night with just a few quick errands in between seems utterly luxurious. I've been sitting on this couch for so long I'm on my 3rd episode of Property Brothers, Landon is on his millionth rainbow loom bracelet, and it's possible I even nodded off for a bit. James is at the pool, Claire is at a friend's, and Cora is napping her beloved naps. I love today.

Yesterday began with a 5 a.m. wakeup call to drive to our last regular swim meet about an hour away. Cora tried to put herself back to sleep multiple times while we tried to get out the door, but we ended up at Granbury City Park just before sunrise, as bright eyed and bushy tailed as we could be with the sun literally rising behind us. 

The meet was really fun. They always are. Granbury was the first swim meet we ever went to, back in 2014 when I was by myself with a 6 year old, 4 year old, and 6 month old in a never-used baby carrier. I hung out in the wrong team area for a while before finally realizing we were the Rockets and not the Seals and oops now we missed warmup. But I mentioned James's name and next thing I knew I had friends and helpers and the morning turned out to be so fun. We haven't missed a swim meet since.

The big kids learned how to make those rainbow loom necklaces, continuing our tradition of catching on to fads several years after they've blown through. They're now obsessed, and we ran to Michaels this morning to buy supplies with their birthday moneys in hopes of some non-UV-laden inside play time. There were also some older girls painting nails, so Claire jumped right in on that action, and then painted a friend's nails too.


James swam with his Frankenfoot wrapped in saran wrap and waterproof tape and a promise "not to kick much." I made no comment on this terrible idea.

The meet started out breezy and surprisingly nice but got pretty hot and stagnant around noon. We finished up at 1:30 (because James and Landon swim the last two events, yay) and then yelped our way to a delicious restaurant in the Granbury town square for lunch. Cheeseburger with avocado and a fried egg, french fries, plus a funnel cake and a giant cup of thrice-refilled iced tea? YES PLEASE. Our far flung meets have led us to some super cute and tasty main street type restaurants in neighboring towns, so that has been fun. We need some sort of passport book.

We got home about 3, sweat-dried and mildly delirious. Cora fell asleep in the car and then immediately asked to be put in her bed when we pulled up the driveway. She napped until we woke her up at 6:30. Literally no one likes to sleep like Cora likes to sleep. Claire insisted she was not tired, and then pulled out her old preschool napmat- the one I bought in 2011 and constantly wonder if they've outgrown so I can give them away- and stretched out on our living room floor.

not tired

James had to go out to his summer pool to check chemicals and lifeguards and whatever else he does for his endless hours out there and I took a nap cleaned the house and got ready for Landon's party. Because oh yes, in two hours we were hosting Landon's 9th birthday party! Who's in charge of scheduling around here?

Actually, it wasn't too bad because I kept things SUPER simple. He had invited over his 6 closest friends, 4 of which could make it, for a faux sleepover that involved the boys coming over at 5 to swim, play, eat, swim, play, eat, and watch a movie, and then go home about 10:30 when the movie would end and everyone would (or should) go to sleep anyway. I did this mostly because I wanted to wake up on Sunday morning and be lazy in my bed because my kids are old enough to fend for themselves and I'm still not done soaking up that little miracle, and also because I wanted Landon to sleep (and sleep in!) after the swim meet, but really mostly because of the lazy morning thing. We didn't even shop for the party until Friday, when Landon and I went on a date to party city to pick out the decor- he went with a ninja theme which I found surprising until he explained, "Mom, it's because the party is at NIGHT."

I also let him loose in the Target snack aisle. He was cautious at first, not really trusting my promise that he could pick out any five things he wanted, but soon we were loaded with gushers, fruit by the foot, gummies, fire balls, and this monstrosity.

totally organic

He agonized over selections that each of his friends would like, and finally I promised we could open up the bowels of our pantry should anyone need something outside of what our cart provided. And then we added a watermelon. For balance.

We had some thunderstorms around the party's start time, but with only 4 guests and a whole night ahead of us I wasn't worried about it, particularly since we've been SO lucky with all our other pool parties. The boys shot nerf guns at each other, then swam when the skies cleared, and then ate Costco pizza and swam some more. And did water balloons, and swam and swam and swam, and then mixed it up by swimming after dark with glow necklaces.

At 8:00 Claire had to come inside to go to bed, as the evening portion of the party was just for the birthday boy and his guests. She was VERY upset about this as she stomped and harumphed her way inside, telling me, arms crossed, "I just want to be Landon right now. Except still a girl. And still named Claire."

They came inside about 8:45 for dessert- brownie ice cream sundaes with all the toppings, though Landon was the only one who actually had the ice cream. We sang Happy Birthday and I chose not to linger over the fact my baby boy is turning 9. We'll leave that for the real day on Friday. At 9 we had them adjourn to the TV room for a candy buffet, terrible snacks, and Landon's carefully chosen movie- the 1994 classic (ish) that I recalled fondly from my own elementary school years and have only now realized... is really not very good. Thrillist breaks it down for you. But its harmless and the boys loved it. At 10:30 I drove them home.

It was so fun and they were all so good and so cute. The picked up every single scrap of water balloon, said please and thank you, and just generally were so good I almost wouldn't have minded having them there in the morning. The only downside of the party was that two good friends couldn't make it and Cora discovered a deep, borderline obsessive love of cheese balls. I might have to keep those around for potty training.

Today the girls were up at 6:30 as usual, but Landon slept in until 8:30!! I left for yoga at 8:15 and came back to the kids running around the front yard in the "cool" low 90's morning temps. James told me Cora had a new trick - biking over obstacles just like the big kids!

She kills me. Sometimes almost literally. 

It is now 11:00 p.m. and I'm doing Orangetheory in the morning (lol, my morning self promising I'd go to bed early tonight), so to wrap up- at some point in the afternoon I had to get off the couch and turn off Property Brothers to be a parent, wake up Cora, and supervise Claire and a friend in the pool. And then James and I got to go on a date! It was lovely and full of all the food (7 dishes; 2 apps, 1 salad, 1 pasta, 1 pizza, 2 desserts), drinks (3; we had to be reasonable somewhere), and chatting. We got home right at the sweet spot, just after bedtime when the house is clean and quiet and we get to give snuggly kisses to sleepy children and continue on with our grown-up evening.

It was a full, fun, and very tiring weekend, but with three kids they pretty much all are and I love them. At one point today, when I was coming home from running a quick errand with the big kids, I could see Cora run through the playroom wearing a pink superhero mask and James racing behind her in a ninja mask. And it was through the windows, so I couldn't hear anything, but I knew that when I opened that door I'd hear happy screams and giggles and the sounds of joyful chaos. And that's what our house sounds like much of the time. And I love it even more than Cora loves cheese balls.


  1. So how did the family do at the meet? Did James win even "without kicking too much"?