Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Return of the Prodigal Blogger

Well, it seems I took a hiatus for most of the summer.  Whoops.  I really didn't mean to do that.

It was a good summer.  Busy, not as organized as I'd like, but good.  Fun.  Over a little bit too soon even.  I know lots of people who were really to toss their kids out of a moving vehicle come the first day of school, but I was sad watching them walk into the building.  I got used to our more free form days, and let's face, I wasn't so jazzed about having to get up at 6 AM for the next 9 months.  But that's neither here nor there, and now that we're settling into a school time routine, I can feel the calm a regular schedule brings.  Or at least "calm."  It's a relative term around here.

Notice I said kids - plural - walking into the school building - singular.  Both kids in the same school, same hours, legit.  This is weird to me.  I mean, they've both been going to school in some form for years, but now there are no more partial weeks or shortened hours or (thank heaven) individual  locations.  I walk them both to the elementary school, hug them goodbye (how long am I going to be allowed to do that?), and watch them go off together to their school.  Theirs.  Together.  This shouldn't feel strange, but it does, at least for now. 

Perhaps it my general, constant state of anxiety feeding itself.  I'm nothing if I don't have something to worry about.

Anyway.  Two kids in school.  Crazy busy summer.  Me, slightly and continually off my rocker.
Seeing as I've been off the grid (well, not really, I suppose I just ran away from this here space for awhile), I think I shall hit the highlights from the summer.  Because everybody loves a rundown of other's people vacations, right?
  • I got especially worried about the onset of 3rd grade even before 2nd grade ended, so I planned all these lessons and projects and reading times for Sammy.  Yeah, that didn't exactly work out like I wanted.  But we did get some things done and I hope it gives him a head start this year.  As much as I detest our state's reliance on standardized tests (and that's a whole nuther blog post, letmetellya), they become a fact of life this year.  And so, I fret.  (Hopefully not in front of my sweet boy, who deserves to have a great year despite his neurotic mother.)
  • Both kids took swim lessons again this year.  But unlike last year, they weren't such a good time.  Sabrina developed a sudden fear of not being able to touch the bottom of the pool and spent several days screaming at the top of her lungs.  The thing is, she can swim.  She just doesn't believe it.  If she forgets herself for a minute, she's a little fish.  Maybe next year she'll be able to get out of her head and just go with it.
No fear here.

  • Sammy is a tall, gangly boy who doesn't quite realize he has arms and legs that he can control.  Sammy's swim instructor was a little bit bowled over by this, given that she was trying to get him to hit goals for Level 4 when he was only in Level 3, but he had fun anyway.  He's not going to be Michael Phelps, but he isn't going to drown, so I'm putting that in the Summer: Win column.
  • Speaking of Sammy (and it's usually one or the other, isn't it?), he started karate this summer.  The studio had a summer special, and Chris was really keen on Sammy trying something athletic having something to occupy his time, so we signed him up.  In the back of my mind, I figured that since Sammy's usual attention span makes a gnat look thoughtful, this wouldn't last too long and maybe not even the whole summer (anyone who saw him play soccer remembers that he never actually knew where the ball was at any given time).  But boy, was I wrong.  He went to class - willingly - almost every day he could (and sometimes twice) and practiced his moves at home.  The instructor told me Sammy was doing everything he asked of him and more.  He even tested for and earned his yellow belt.  He loves it.  He talks about earning his black belt, which he knows will take several years.  Everyone says it's good for him.  And even though he still looks to me as though his brain and his limbs have very little connection, he's trying and learning and engaging.  So it looks like we'll be sticking with this (but oh, my bank account is crying).  It just might be his thing.

  • We took our somewhat annual vacation pilgrimage to visit family again this year, but we changed it up to visit friends and relatives in other parts of the country.  We started off with a bang, by which I got to meet this lovely lady and her husband: 

Internet, I know you're jealous. (Thank you, Internet, for making this possible!)

  • Then we headed off to see my great uncle Larry (that makes him the kids' great great uncle, for those playing the family relation game) and his whole family at a reunion of sorts.  Long story short (too late), my kids are ready to move in.  My cousin Katie (3rd? 4th? 17th twice removed? I have no idea) has three girls ages 4 to 7 1/2 (and a 1 year old boy), and I'm fairly sure that Sabrina thought she was becoming the 4th sister.  Peas and carrots, these girls.  We had a blast at my cousin Terrie's house, where the kids had free reign over a trampoline, playhouse, and  a swimming pool, not to mention several kid-sized vehicles they (ahem, Sammy) drove all over the property.  Sammy also made fast friends with Terrie's husband Jeff (grandpa to the aforementioned girls + boy), who has been waiting patiently for years to do boy things with a grandkid (not too much longer, Jeff - you've to two grandsons growing as fast as they can).  Sammy stepped into that role quite nicely.  Plus, basements.  Oh my lands, do my kids love a basement.  I'm pretty sure they're ready to start digging right now.  Sammy even asked for a basement for his birthday.  And I can't even get into the breathtaking joy that is a riding lawnmower.  Sammy heaven!

  • We spent another few days with the rest of the extended family after the reunion, and you're think that might be peaceful, but no.  Road trips with us are never uneventful.  So for this edition, we were treated to a tornado.  But.  For one thing, it happened in the middle of the night and we never heard it because we were sleeping in a basement.  I love me some basement - the kids come by their fascination naturally - but now I'm just about ready to start digging, too.  Also, by our standard, this was a dinky tornado.  The vast majority of damage was to trees, and it was sad to see such beautiful things twisted and cracked, but no one was killed.  No one was even hurt, as a matter of fact.  The worst was a woman who had a panic attack.  Seriously, this was the news story.  A panic attack.  Perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed, living in tornado country, but no death equals victory in my book. (Also, the nerd in me took great pride in explaining the difference between straight line winds and tornadoes to my relatives.)
  • There was also vacation bible school, lots of swimming, playing with friends, Sammy's 9th (!) birthday, and vast amounts of food, but this is getting incredibly long so I won't go into great detail.  Suffice it to say we did not stop going (or eating) for 3 solid months.
And with that, I shall close.  Just reading all that makes me tired all over.  Are you tired, too?  You should go take a nap.  Or have a cocktail.  Or both.  You deserve it.


  1. Welcome back! I took a long unintentional break this summer too.

  2. Spencer had Sabrina's problem with swimming last year. You know what actually helped? We started spending a lot of time at water parks, so he could practice his swimming in a shallower pool so he COULD touch the ground when needed. Now he does cannonballs in my MIL's regular pool constantly. The shallow pool helped his confidence tenfold. Now if I could get the three year old to have some confidence, but he hates his face going underwater.