Sunday, May 30, 2010

Where the Grownups Are So Nice

We kicked off summer vacation with a fun and spontaneous start by heading to Lake Martin for an overnight stay. We're planning to head back in another week or so, but since there weren't any "reservations" at the house for our first couple of days of our vacation, we opted to take advantage of Jennifer's invitation. We also brought Allyson, Sophie and Jack with us and indoctrinated them in lake living.

As soon as we arrived, we packed up a lunch and headed out onto the boat. Jennifer's cousin, Zac, was also visiting, and he was a huge hit with the kids. Probably because he tirelessly spun, threw, pulled and did a variety of other tricks with them in the water for two hours. This made it very easy for we moms to kick back and relax. So on the rare occasion when Clare would ask me to swim or do something in the water, I had no problem saying, "Sure!" Which prompted her to say, "The grownups are being so nice today!" Yes, a relaxing day at the lake will really mellow a mom out.

All was not 100% peaceful, as I discovered an extremely flat tire on the van while Allyson and I were grilling dinner. However, the entire experience introduced me to the extremely friendly, if not expedient, culture of Dadeville, Alabama. I got my tire fixed and it didn't even cramp my schedule of boating and beaching. All in all, Jack was spot on when he referred to the getaway as the "lake party." And summer has only just begun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Field Day

Clare has been counting down the days until Field Day for approximately two weeks. Field Day also happens to be the last day of school, but that isn't what Clare was looking forward to. As a matter of fact, she will tell you that she is only "kind of" excited that it's summer vacation. And, aside from daily trips to the pool, she has so far spent her free time working on all the pages in her school workbooks that they did not get around to completing in class. So there you go.

Due to a last-minute plea for volunteers, I found myself in the thick of Field Day this year. I can see why Clare was excited: three-plus hours of games and stations, many of which involved water. Thankfully, I did not have one of these aquatic duties, although in retrospect I would have gladly taken one in exchange. Instead, I was assigned to the parachute. This involved a giant, rainbow parachute wherein we would call out colors, and if a child was holding on to that color they had to run underneath the parachute to the other side. As group leader, I was also part of this activity. Did I mention this was three hours? As I write this, I am merely biding my time until Danny heads in for quiet time and I can take a nap.

Clare was in the very last group to come through my station, which was a nice pick-me-up. She was obviously having a blast, as were all the other kids. In the end, that's what it's all about, right?

The top picture is of Clare and Molly, her "new" friend. Molly is another first-grader, but from a different first grade. Evidently they recently discovered each other during recess, and Clare is very hopeful that they will be in the same second grade class. As we figured out today, we'll know in about 75 more days. And we look forward to second grade very much - but I think we'll all enjoy our summer vacation first!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Almost Summer Vacation

That's what Clare suggested I title this post when I took out the camera. I guess she knew I was taking pictures because (according to a certain mother-in-law) I needed to blog. This is our second trip to the pool since its opening, and one thing is for sure: "Mommy, look at me!" season has arrived.

While they will no doubt expand their skills and regain their confidence over the next several weeks, our return to the pool instantly reminded me how much Clare loves to swim. She is at her most animated, imaginative and active at the pool, even if her form isn't perfect. As a result, I'm more than happy to fulfill her daily requests to "go to the pool!"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why We Have Kids*

One day last week, Clare asked if she could do the dishes. I overcame my inner control freak and realized that this was a great offer. After all, this is a job I have been looking forward to farming out to my kids for close to seven years. It's a job that I did diligently, if not cheerfully, for ten years or so before moving out of my parents' house. Sort of like the circle of life, right? Regardless, it's bliss. I'm certain that the novelty will wear off for her very soon, but my delight in not doing this chore myself will most certainly not, so...she's stuck.
(*credit to Amy and her dad, Skip)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Double Portion of Ham

I love this picture. According to Crystal, when she arrived at the playground for Danny's party, he happily exclaimed, "This is Parker!" Their delight in each other's company was plain as day. So, she asked the boys if they'd like her to take their picture. Evidently yes! I would like to know what magic she wields that gets results like this, as opposed to the endless photos I have of Danny looking anywhere but the camera. But since she so generously shared, I'm not complaining!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Four Times the Fun

Danny was pleased as punch to wake up yesterday and discover that the birthday fun just kept coming. The first thing he wanted to do was open the rest of the presents from his party. (This is why I stick to my every-other-year rule for parties - too many presents!) After he ripped through them, turning the living room into an absolute disaster area, I popped applesauce muffins into the oven and tried to be zen about the mess. (Going for a run helped in that department.)

Later in the morning Danny had a soccer game, which was a welcome diversion for both kids, who were exhausted from the previous day's festivities and yet had woken up far too early. By the time we got home from the game, it was time for lunch, Danny's nap, and cake creation. I was very relieved once that was accomplished!

Since we hadn't given Danny any of the family presents, we decided post-nap would be the time. It was the last thing he needed, and he was surprised to discover he had more presents, but I was gratified by the fact that he was genuinely delighted with each one. Legos, Playmobil, Star Wars, oh my!

We gave him some time to play with them, and then it was show time: Return of the Jedi. This turned out to be a bit long for the kiddos, but between burgers (and may I interject that Clare ate a burger!!!) and a cake break, not to mention the ability to play with new toys while watching the movie, it was a terrific family evening. This was confirmed this morning when Danny woke up and told me, "That was a great birthday!"