We're in Week 3 of Andy's football season. As I mentioned before, we go 4 nights a week for the entire month of August from 5:30p to about 8p. I knew what we were getting into and I'm not complaining. I'm very excited for Andy and his team! They're looking good and have their first game on Sunday! It did take me awhile to get used to the schedule though and (somewhat) build a routine around it.
It seemed like we had a lot against us Weeks 1 and 2. The first week, we had swimming lessons for over 3 hours everyday. This meant we got home just in time to take a short break and then we were out the door again. Oh, and yes, all 5 of us were doing all of this. Dave has been meeting us at the park where the practice is after work/commute. By the time he catches up with everyone, plays with the kids and eats whatever dinner I packed for him, it's usually time to go home.
Dinner was happening afterwards during the first week since I didn't have any time or energy to feed the kids more than snacks after swimming lessons. Let's just say, the kids were up REALLY late.
Last week, Andy developed swimmer's ear which peaked on Monday. This, coincidentally, was also the first day they played with all of their gear on. I can't imagine his discomfort putting his football helmet on when his earlobe was so tender to the touch! Tuesday, I picked up some drops that the doctor prescribed over the phone. The ear got better as the week went on and so did Andy's attitude. The good news about last week is that I did get to feed the kids some semblance of dinner before we left only to find that they want another FULL meal when they get home. So, STILL UP REALLY LATE! We gotta fix that FAST since school is starting in less than 2 weeks!
This week has actually been fun! It's still hectic to go almost every evening, but Andy's much happier, less tired and no longer in pain. Plus, I think I've got the hang of packing equipment, kids, etc. All of this makes for a WAY easier time for me!
So, we're hanging in there. Karate classes have been a bit of a challenge to attend with everyone's schedules (including picking up Lilly from camp and then going to football right afterwards), but that's also slowly coming back on track.
As always, I'm having bittersweet thoughts about the end of the summer. As much as parts of this summer have dragged on, the kids have been bored and I've been too tired to motivate us to get out and do something about it at times, each year I never want to succumb to the fact that once school starts, our days will no longer be carefree. I like the promise of telling the kids, "Maybe we can try to get there next week.", meaning it and then DOING it! We are also resigning ourselves to the fact that it's just going to get colder and darker with each passing day. You just don't feel that way in July! You feel like summer is going to last forever!
Alas, there is nothing anyone can do about it except enjoy the seasonal moments we have left. So, that's what we've been doing! I've been feeling so much better physically and not sleeping nearly as excessively. My doctor is waiting for me to do one more bloodtest before she makes any conclusions about why I've been so fatigued, but she doesn't think it's anything serious.
We had a wonderful time with some friends over the weekend. We went blueberry picking and all 6 of us got over 25 lbs of berries! Before we got to the berry farm, we rode in the back of our friends' pickup truck! Yes, this would be illegal if it wasn't on their private road (for all of one block, going about 10mph on a clover-picking mission prior to the legal, seatbelted drive to the berry farm on public roads). Did I mention our friends live in the country?
Dad flanked by Harry...
and Malcolm (takin' it all in).
Here's Malcolm selecting yummy clover to feed to the animals at the berry farm prior to our journey. The donkeys, goats and rabbits who were there were very appreciative!
Uh-oh! Looks like Dave took over photographer duty with his camera after we got to the berry farm! I'll get "The Berrypicking Collection" off of his camera and get some of those photos up since his camera intimidates me.
Yesterday, the 3 boys and I went to our local Aquarium to meet a friend who was in town from Canada and staying nearby. (Lilly is at camp this week.) It was a very last minute visit but we had a wonderful time! I got to meet her baby who was born in February and the boys are STILL talking about the stingrays, sharks and penguins.
I love that all of my kids are at the age now where we can go places together and explore things as a family. Last summer it was just starting, but this year it's really taken off. As much as I adored when my kids were babies, toddlers and preschoolers, it's great when they can listen and follow directions, look at things, ask questions and understand the answers.
They also can last longer than they could before so we can make a real day out of a visit like that! I also found out that Malcolm knew what sea anenomes are, could identify them AND pronounce the word! I had a TERRIFIC day! This is the same aquarium that Lilly and I slept over at in January, so I felt like it was OK that she missed yesterday. See http://somanykidssomuchfun.blogspot.com/2010/02/marine-life-encounters-and-other.html
Seal tank. That's a big rock in the middle. Andy, forever wondering how things work, is trying to figure out what's going on under the surface of the water. (Harry, middle. Malcolm, right...and stri-ped! My word, not his.)
Malcolm finding out what a starfish feels like. (By the way, when did they start being called "seastars"? Is that more politically correct? I guess they must have protested because they're "not fish"...but I still call 'em starfish. I'd better not since I may offend cephalopods as a group.) Verdict: "It feels squishy."
Lilly had a 24-hour playdate and sleepover with one of her best friends on Saturday/Sunday. I love having her friend here. As usual, the girls had a blast together and Lilly was tired the next day, but still able to pick lots of berries.
She started another week of camp on Monday. Because she's over 9 years old (she's 10, actually), she can do this special field trip camp where she goes to all kinds of cool, local attractions (including the theme parks with the scary rides that she loves and I don't). See http://somanykidssomuchfun.blogspot.com/2009/09/emotional-rollercoaster.html and forgive me for linking to it AGAIN! Needless to say, she's in her element! I must admit that the big water parks she visited sound like fun though.
She is very cooperative with going to Andy's football practice so often. It helps a lot that she has made a new friend that she can hang out with. This friend has two siblings involved with football and cheerleading respectively. Oh yeah, the cheerleaders also practice Mon-Thu in August!
They'll probably be more Lilly news next week since I haven't seen much of her this week!
In a word, FOOTBALL! Have you noticed the pattern yet?
That's him in a huddle with the black pants. He looks enormous in those shoulder pads!
Andy also enjoyed chilling out on Saturday and berry picking on Sunday. He picked berries and clover like a machine and in a two-handed fashion. ANDY LOVES TO WORK!! He rakes, shovels and pretty much does everything chore-related usually totally voluntarily! Sometimes I still worry that one of my neighbors will call in the authorities because they think we're doing child labor over here! We're not! Just that I can't keep the kid from working! We're talking about the boy who comes home from school on a warm, winter day to find the snow has melted and is upset that he can't SHOVEL what was there when he left in the morning.
The downside of that is that when I really WANT him to clean his room or other specific chore, it can be a struggle since he's either tired from doing all kinds of BIG chores or he simply is not motivated to do what I ask when I ask. We've been chilling most of the week other than the aquarium and a playdate later this afternoon.
Dad returned home from Washington DC on Friday evening. Everyone was glad to see him of course! His car is having muffler problems (as in, the muffler is no longer attached; as in, the car is REALLY loud). It reminds me of a long time ago, same car, when he called me on his way to work.
Dave: "Something's wrong with my muffler."
Me: "What makes you say that?"
Dave: "It's in my trunk." (it fell off while he was driving then he pulled over and retrieved it)
Similarly, he called me yesterday while driving home.
Dave: "Wow! Can you hear that loud truck passing me?"
Dave: "Well, it's not a truck, it's my car!"
Me: "I kind of suspected that's where the conversation was going!"
We're going to get it fixed tomorrow. The 16-year-old workhorse is up for its state inspection this month so we're going to have them take care of that too. I'll keep you posted on its pass/fail status! God bless my husband for driving this non-air-conditioned jalopy so I can stay home with our kids! Love you!
He just came up to tell me that the mail came and that the boys took the liberty of opening their letters that say what teacher they'll be having this year. Apparently, the fact that the letters are addressed "To the Parents of _________" means NOTHING! The twins will be separated next year but unfortunately, neither of them got the teacher I was hoping at least one of them would get. That's OK. We'll make the best of it.
Andy's 2nd grade teacher is teaching 3rd so he will have her again. We did have a choice in this matter and I'm happy with that outcome. The boys had the decency NOT to open Lilly's letter because she's not at home. I gotta give them that! I told Harry to bring all of the papers inside while I finish up this post so our school supply list and who-knows-what-other-inserts-since-I-didn't-open-the-letter don't blow all over the neighborhood!
What did this week look like for Malcolm? Berries, clover, swimming in our pool and going to the aquarium. Maybe when school starts I'll have different stories for each twin. Sorry guys, but you're inseparable! By the way, WHO PEED IN THE TRASHCAN?!?! I've narrowed it down to a minor-aged MALE and suspect that it's Harry, but it could be Andy who just didn't want to head to one of the other TWO bathrooms! See
I'll get to the bottom of this. EWWWWWW!