Tuesday, July 22, 2014

She Swims

Ever since the first time she went to the Aquatic Center, Eva has been calling the pool "Swimming Lessons."  Last year she climbed on the playground equipment and covered herself with sand and hung on her mommy while Sam completed Level 1 swim lessons there twice.  And this year Eva got to play in the water a few times during family trips and daycare trips.  So when I told her I had signed her up for real swimming lessons, she jumped up and down and clapped and squealed that she was going to go down the big slide at her lessons.  Three years ago I spent many days in the hot sun redirecting Sam to the water when he did pre-school swim lessons, so I wasn't sure what to expect with Eva.  She has never been afraid of the water, but she's also never been in a class of any kind, never been expected to sit in a circle and listen to directions and take turns.  During the last few days every time she told me she was going to go down the slide at swimming lessons I told her she needed to pay attention and listen to her teacher, do what her teacher told her. 
Aside from the weird peeing-on-the-cement-while-waiting-for-class-to-start incident, Eva's swimming lessons were unexpectedly delightful.  She sat in the circle on the cement as the instructor told them the rules and they all shared their names.  She followed the children in front of her as they lined up like ducklings along the side of the pool.  She raised her arms and pretended to be a tree as the instructor chopped her down and lifted her in to the water.  And when they gathered in a circle to listen to instructions on the proper way to make scoops out of your hands, Eva stepped in to the middle of the circle and faced the instructor and paid close attention as if she were the only child in the class.  She laughed through the bobs and kicked her legs fast and slow during red light green light and yelled for Sam to watch this watch this watch this as she collected the rings tossed out by Mic The Pirate.  When we got in the car at the end of the evening she was sad it was over because she wanted more lessons and she couldn't believe she had to wait a whole day until she could do it again.  "Did you see me Mommy?  Did you see?  I listened to my teacher.  I was a good listener. I listened to me teacher."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Door County 2014

Photos coming soon, but here are the pictures from LAST year.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Annie's Visit

Photos coming soon

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4th of July Weekend

Every year on the 4th of July weekend, I expect to feel sad and think about my dad a lot.  But every year the kids keep me so busy playing and having fun that the weekend flies by and I hardly have time to grieve.  This year's long 4 day weekend was no different.  The neighbors promised a big fireworks show which I thought couldn't possibly compete with the shows we'd had in Trempealeau, but it did not disappoint.  This show was even bigger and prettier and louder, and we all sat even closer.  We spent the early evening wandering from bonfire to bonfire, checking out the new kitties in the Murphys barn and bouncing on the trampolines and splashing in the creek and watching the boys run in packs.  And when the show started at 10pm Sam and Eva were ready to settle into my lap and cover their ears and open their mouths and ooh and ahh.  And that was just day one of 4 wonderful days of playing with friends and splashing in the creek and watching fireworks.  We are truly blessed to have found this neighborhood which sometimes feels like a little slice of heaven.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Two and Two

The plan was for her to arrive at 10am Saturday morning, and when Sam found out she wouldn't be here when he got home from the Y on Friday he burst into tears.  "But you told me she was coming today.  You told me.  You lied to me!"

This happens a lot.

But when Kelly's Summerfest plans changed unexpectedly, she messaged that she'd be here Friday night instead, "but don't tell Sammy."  It was supposed to be a surprise.  And surprise it was as she walked up to the door moments after Sam and I fought over the placement of the couch on the hardwood floor.  Kelly walked into the chaos of the life we lead, one kid screaming and crying and demanding an ice pack for his scraped ankle while the other kid repeatedly tried to open the front door that is locked just above her reach.

Thankfully, after we took some deep breaths and realized how awesome it was to have her here, we all enjoyed an amazing weekend together that did not involve any more meltdowns.  (Or if it did I don't remember them.)  With adults and children in equal numbers, going to the aquatic center and the beach and a fundraiser for a colleague of mine were no longer terrifying undertakings but downright enjoyable adventures. Kelly and I tag-teamed through chicken Q's and dancing to live music and swimming with fish and chasing children in the pool and multiple sudden i-gotta-pee trips to port-a-potties.  Two adults and two kids.  A nice ratio.  And you have to know there was lots of good food.  And wine.  A lot of wine.  And when the only wine that was left was an old opened bottle of Menage a trois Cab, we dumped in some sugar and watermelon juice and oranges and peaches and fresh strawberries and declared it perfect sangria.  Turns out that when you go with the flow and let things fall where they may, things sometimes turn out perfectly... especially when it's two against two and one of the adults is Kelly.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mommy Time in Duluth

Coming in strong with my second PR this spring
The planning for the weekend started back in the deep dark cold of winter.  And the first thing I did before getting a hotel reservation or coordinating with the other 5 group members who wanted to register in the lottery was check with Jamie to see if she could watch the kids.  I plan nothing without figuring out where my kids will be first.  And when I dropped them off on Friday morning with their pajamas and Ipads and sandals and the epi-pen, they hardly noticed that I was disappearing for a few days.  But after months of planning and some last minute drama related to hotels and transportation, I walked out to the curb in front of Jamie's house and exhaled and allowed myself to be excited about the trip to Duluth. 
What a weekend.  What a great group of people.  I can honestly say that this is the most fun I've ever had running.  And I even thought that during every single mile of the half marathon leading in to Duluth.  The fog kept us from seeing much of Lake Superior during the run but the course is flat and the local fan support was amazing.  I laughed at the signs and the people offering bacon and beer shots and watermelon slices and pork chops on a stick.  And as I approached that last mile I felt like I could easily run another 5 miles so I kicked it in to gear and came in strong for another PR.  What a treat to see Tif and Korbin near the finish and then to find my friend and partner in crime Sarah in the gear check area.  We had just enough time to walk around and sample some of the post race food and shower at a friend's hotel before all our friends who were tackling the full 26.2 came in.
Truly blessed to not only have this amazing community to inspire and entertain me, but to have an amazing friend who was taking care of my kids so their weekend was as fun as mine. 
A photo Jamie sent while I was in Duluth
Pasta and a Beer at Grandma's Saloon
Waiting in the race chute with garbage bags to keep us warm
LOVING the run
Another awesome race with my friend Sarah
Hanging out with Tif and Korbin and Willie and Jake while we wait for the marathoners
 Mike coming in strong
Carol and Scott happy to know the end is near
Coolest running partners ever, crossed the finish line holding hands
Lisa, Carol, Scott and Sue
Having our traditional post-race bloodies at Grandma's
 Scott and Lisa at Lake Avenue CafĂ© where the whole group caught up