Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Catching up on July

We're starting to wind down the summer--CRAZY! All the school supplies are purchased and packed in everyone's backpacks (man oh man that was crazy but it feels so good to have it done!) and we have orientations starting next week. I am torn between being excited to have more of a routine/schedule/quiet and feeling like, are you kidding me? Where did it go?! Did we do everything we should have done?

This has been such a low-key summer (after our big road trip!). I think that's a combination of things--being pregnant and pretty darn tired + feeling like the kids had a pretty grueling school year and just wanting to take it easy in the summer and really relax. We have spent most of our time either in pajamas playing Legos, in pajamas reading giant piles of books, or in swimsuits going crazy in the pool. (And I mean that literally. Every day I come home and think, "Hurray! Another day where Nathan did not drown!" Little guy thinks he can swim and he can't, but he HATES having people hold him so he does his best to sneakily edge away/push your hands away/silently slip into the water when someone else is asking me a question. Basically all my kids have the time of their lives every afternoon and I am ratcheting up my adrenaline levels thanks to Nate the slippery fish.)

Anyway, we went from having two pretty decent swimmers (Jules and Abigail) to both Isaac and Luke being very confident swimmers and the girls spending 90% of their time seeing how long & far they can swim along the bottom of the pool (I still keep an eye on Luke every second, but he can swim across the pool by himself). The girls and Isaac have learned to dive--so has Nathan, bizarrely enough. Luke is probably going to be our best swimmer--he is super fast and can hold his breath for a ridiculously long time! They have all made a TON of progress this year and it makes me really excited for our Florida trip in a few weeks!

Everyone has done really well on their summer reading lists. Abigail finished hers a few weeks ago and loved every single one. Jules is almost done and has discovered so many new favorites! Isaac is pretty close to finishing up as well, but we've swapped out a couple of his when he found that he really really wanted to continue with the next book in the series, etc. I think it's been a success. Always interesting when we go to the library and they check out a bunch of crappy books that they've read a million times (I have strong feelings about authors who churn out repetitive books with the same plot just to make $$...but I guess I'm guilty of also loving my Agatha Christie and Louis L'Amour books, which are basically the same thing), but in a day or two they burn through all the library books, reemerge from the reading cocoon of total ignorance of their surroundings, and are back to the good stuff. And then they get sufficiently sucked into the good stuff that I find them reading next to the front door sidelight at 6 AM. :-) 

Isaac turned seven--almost three weeks ago! I have lots more pictures on my iPad but this is the one I can easily download. (Yes, every photo in this post is a recycled Facebook photo.) He had a great birthday--all the remote control and build-it-yourself-robots one little boy could possibly need. :-) I'm promising myself that I will download those photos in the next week--summer term ends on Friday and grades are due Monday and then I will have a wee bit more free time!

And I'm completely embarrassed that apparently I posted more photos of my own birthday than my son's. Neil and I ran a trail 5k for my birthday that was super fun (so nice that the dates coincided!) and then he indulged me and ran another 5k with me when we finished because I was stressed about only running 3.1 miles instead of my normal mileage. Hah! It was a blast--super fun course with lots of logs to hurdle, streams to cross, and beautiful woods. Could have done without the ankle-deep sand and endless concrete steps but hey, nothing is perfect. :-) It was really nice to see a lot of my running friends in the community that I haven't seen lately, since I've been running mostly on the treadmill instead of the group runs--hopefully once it cools off I can get outside again! It was such a great day and it was so, so, so wonderful to have so much time with Neil. He's been doing a lot of 18 & 20-hr days and "it's been hard" is an understatement. Quite aside from the constantly-being-on thing as a parent, I just really miss that awesome man I married. 

31 weeks last week and the miles are still feeling surprisingly good. This week (32 weeks) so far was 8 Monday, 6 Tuesday, and another 6 with speedwork today. Still trying to average 30 mpw as long as I can. :-) Why do I feel so much better being pregnant at 33 (birthday!) than I did at 29 with Nate? Must be those years off to actually let my body recover!

A little less sweaty here at 30 weeks. :-)

Abigail and Juliet were SUPER excited to make me a treat for my birthday. They decided to make puff-pastry tarts with chocolate, cream, and strawberries. The tarts were delicious but the poor girls were NOT happy with the outcome (the recipe wasn't very well-written and I think we should have blind-baked the pastry before adding the filling, which is what I normally would have done, but we were going to follow that recipe to the letter!).

We've been watching the British Baking Show on Netflix lately on Sunday evenings and they felt like that recipe was akin to a technical challenge. :-) And when I told them that I loved the tarts and they were super tasty (they were! I ate a ridiculous number of them!) they just looked at me woefully and said, "Paul Hollywood would say the pastry was underbaked. And he would be RIGHT."

After-church nail painting. This makes me so sad. Isaac LOVES having his nails painted and always has a super-specific design in mind, but if we go anywhere in public he has me remove the polish because he doesn't want to get teased by other kids. My heart breaks a little bit every time and I don't know what the best thing to do is--we've talked a lot about it and suggested different strategies but he just feels more comfortable without the polish in public even though he adores the bright colors and is SO creative in coming up with his chosen designs and color coordination. It's really hard for me to watch him go through this. 

On a lighter note, we are super-obsessed with making Greek yogurt right now. One batch lasts us one day because that's all anyone wants to eat until it's gone! Soooo yummy, especially when stirred up with a tablespoon of cherry syrup (first jam I've ever made that failed to jell, entirely due to the fact that I had made jam so many times that week that I didn't bother to read the directions again, started talking to one of the kids, and put everything in in the wrong order. Oh well. The syrup is dang good.)


Anonymous said...

love that you don't discourage your kiddo from painting his nails too. you seem like a great mom.

Neil said...

Every time I see you in photo like this, I am reminded just how incredibly beautiful you are.

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