Monday, May 22, 2017

Climb Mountains. Fear Sharks.

Last week was a blur of end-of-school craziness. I can't complain because James handled 90% of it, but I felt busy just receiving all the text pictures. We left off at Battle of the Books on Wednesday, with Landon honey-badgering about wearing jeans, but looking darn cute and smiley in them when we saw him at the competition.

It was quite an affair. 36 teams in his grade representing elementary schools from all over town. The first round consisted of 20 questions. It was super tense. I couldn't believe how nervous I was! I'm never nervous when he races- I think then I just trust he'll go as fast as he can and if another kid is faster, then they're faster. I'm not nervous about that. But here, he was the captain and I didn't want him to miss a question he otherwise knew or make a mistake that disappointed him after so many months of practice and work.

They did great though. Overall, his team missed 2 (making them maybe 6th overall?), which based on their faces, I think surprised and disappointed them, but we were so proud. And he's got a few more years to try again.

Since I'd taken off the whole day, I got two luxurious hours at home with James who kept trying to do work while I did not and then I got to pick the kids up from school. In celebration of the non-working, I invited other friends who'd also taken off work for BOB team to come over with their children so they could swim and we could day drink. It was perfect. It became very important to me that I not be productive because I'm always productive with my time off and sometimes you need to revel a little.

Then I pulled myself back in line and ran a bunch of errands with the kids that I regretted not doing earlier and ended with a happy hour dinner at a new taco place that somehow resulted in a bill for $15 for two orders of queso, 8 flour tortillas, 3 tacos, lots of chips, and a prickly pear swirl margarita. That seems like magic, but who am I to question?

Officially we were eating out to celebrate Landon's last meal before braces, but unofficially we were eating out so I could drink a margarita and not make dinner on my big day off. Burning 8 hours of annual leave for a non-vacation requires a LOT of vacation-like add ons.

Thursday began with Landon's Field Day. James observed, sending me pictures along the way which made me feel like I was there and also warmed the cockles of my heart because he NEVER texts me and I always feel like maybe he should.

Landon won the hula hoop contest for the third year in a row, which is surprising for a hipless child of mine. I am useless with a hula hoop and we don't own any so he can practice.

He was then barely beat out of a repeat victory in the 50-yard dash by his good buddy. They're going to have quite a track team come middle school. And then, after Landon's class won the Field Day trophy and James go to go home for maybe 30 minutes of work, it was braces time! He was SO EXCITED he made me set the appointment while school was still in session and was totally thrilled with his rubber banded results.

On day 2 he decided braces were a little "less awesome," but overall I feel like it's gone very well. Especially once we filled the fridge with jello cups.

Friday was Claire's Field Day, which James also attended because he is the best and also works 1/2 mile from school. Claire also won the hula hoop contest, tying with a friend, but seriously- how do they know how to work hula hoops? I'm weirdly proud of this because they are a mystery to me.

Cora did not have Field Day, but has spent a lot of time "fancy dancing" with Claire in our living room.

It is the best thing.

She also will spend a very long time alone in the play room, singing and dancing by herself. Cora enjoys others- particularly her family- but she is by far my happiest child when left alone. Claire actively hates being the only person in a room and Landon never prefers it. But Cora? Cora is totally fine. For hours. Talking to herself, singing to herself, playing intricate and complicated games with imaginary friends- she narrates everything and I love it so much.

I would have thought thirdbaby would be the least adept at playing alone since she never really had to entertain herself, but while she still never has to, she does often prefers to.

Like on Sunday. Landon was at a birthday party, so I invited Claire's friend over (apparently now her "boyfriend" for whom she left love notes stashed all over the house) and his little sister who is one of Cora's besties. The arrival time was 1:00, but since Cora misses her nap all the time I figured she'd be fine. And she would have been, but I forgot that when she can sleep, Cora very much prefers to do that. When her friend came over Cora was super excited for 10 minutes, giving S a tour of all her princesses and gowns, then, having ensured that S would be adequately entertained, she made a pallet for herself on the playroom floor and tucked herself in bed. I desperately wish I had a picture.

Later, I overhead S declare, "okay, you chase me now!" and heard Cora reply with a regretful but very firm, "No. I not do that."

Ten minutes after that I found Cora in her real bed while S tried on all her princess dresses in her room. Both toddlers seemed totally happy with the situation, so I let it be.

Back on Saturday (we're out of order, but it's working for me) I finally purchased a strapless bra just so I could wear a new shirt to a benefit concert our friend's band was playing in. A band also made up of our Vice Principal on drums, so obviously we had to turn out in force to cheer them on. They were so good and the venue was awesome as was our weirdly cool and pleasant late-May weather.

In between bra purchasing and outdoor venue band listening, I played a lot of rounds of Memory with Claire and lost all of them. And I was trying. Like really hard. She doesn't have any teeth, but she's fierce on the Memory field. After destroying me once again she said consolingly, "it's okay mom, you're really good at War." War. A game of complete and utter luck. I need some sort of memory app I can do on my phone to get better.

Today I taught my 4th barre class in 8 days so all my muscles are exhausted and happy and I'm having serious doubts about my Orangetheory reservation in 8 hours. But when I got home from teaching, all the kids were home with Tara and everything was happy and Landon bounced up to me (sometimes he seems to travel by bouncing, like a puppy with his giant puppy feet) with a folder bursting with all his GT work from the year. I loved all of it, but this poem with self-portrait is my favorite.

I love literally every line. He loves swimming. He can climb mountains. He cares for his family. When asked when he feels happy, he said when he's reading. Because he's super athletic and social and contains endless energy, but he is happiest when he's reading and I love that so much. I love that he dreams of exploring different habitats. Not just different places or destinations, but habitats. It delights me.

I'm just generally feeling delighted. Tired, enervated, and concerned that I didn't cancel my OTF class while writing this post because I'm now outside the free cancel window and I don't know how I feel about the fact I'll be on a treadmill in 7 hours, but also delighted having read his poem for the dozenth time.

Climb mountains, love reading, and fear sharks everyone. Have a fantastic week.

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