A Quick Round-up

We’ve had all the usual classes for the kids and myself over the past few weeks. My one class has ended and now I have to get cracking on the other course work-which I haven’t looked at since week one. (Not unusual for me!)

The weather has been wonderful-sunny and rather hot and a bit sticky, but I’m not complaining. I’m not even going to whinge that I’ve hardly had any sleep as it’s been that hot. Or that it’s hard driving a car for 45 minutes in 86F weather without aircon, and with leather seats. No-I’m not going to complain as I’d be too afraid it’ll all disappear! It’s the first taste of summer we’ve had in years, and so long as there is some shade-I’m going to enjoy it!

The kids and I met up with another mom (who started the Morris Mouse journal) and her kids this week at the Oxford Botanical Gardens. We met for a picnic lunch-and it was really enjoyable. We’ve only met at a few of the museum trips, but she and her kids seemed really delightful, so when asked to meet up we all agreed right away. The kids all ran round and had fun together. The moms got to sit in the shade and chat for the whole visit. Hannah is 6 and Sam is just 5, so they are each exactly a year younger than my two, which means they are all about on the same wavelength. Mostly! Sam decided it’d be fun to feed the dropped crab apples to the fish in the pond-I personally thought that was funny-but one could tell Hazel thought that was just not on! I did melt a bit on the walk to the park and ride bus-but I think I prefer that than dodging the raindrops.

We’ve also decided it was high time we got the kids back into swimming. I’m embarrassed at how long it’s been-almost 3 years since I brought them to a pool. It just wasn’t fun back then. There was so much to pack and take with two small kids, the dressing rooms were hard to work in, and the kids kept getting ill. Plus-I’m an outdoor pool fan-I so don’t like indoor pools. But if that’s all we have-then time I got used to them.

Michael took Monday off and we brought them to the morning swim. They were really good and we all had fun. I would prefer a bigger, deeper pool area to play in with them. The pool has a low area-but the main pool is reserved for laps-so we grown-ups are stuck swimming in 3′ of water with the kids.

I took the kids again on Friday afternoon. They decided they were going to learn to swim and surprise Michael the next time they went to the pool with him. That’s a tall order in an hour and a half! Must say though-Kieran’s naturally affinity with the water had him practically swimming with the aide of a water noodle floatation device. Hazel, the one I was worried about taking swimming instructions from me and getting her face wet, was fab. She relaxed enough that she was practically floating on her own, and she also managed to get up and down the length of the swimming area on her own many times. Kieran ‘dunked’ himself quite often, but had no problems getting himself back on his feet. Hazel had a slight distaste to dunking herself, but soon managed to realize she was always going to be ok. Hers wasn’t a matter of getting to her feet again, but a ‘slight’ distaste to getting the water in her nose or mouth! At one point she did it and I was about 8′ away and I just told her in a whisper from across the pool to ‘calm’ and she did-and didn’t need a hug right away. Have to admit-it was 100 times more enjoyable than I had thought it would be. It is great that we just need to pack our shampoo, towels and change of clothes. So much less hassle-they can even wait the 20 minutes to get dressed and home before demanding food or a drink. I think we’ll do this more often!

We’ve had some trips to the library. Kieran is devouring more and more books. Would it be wrong of me to ban them reading in the car? I really feel like a taxi driver-they read the whole time. I’m the only one pointing out the tractors these days-too bad no one’s listening to me. I’ve just order Kieran a whole slew of new books from the Nate the Great series. I’ll look for some more of the Magic Tree House and Magic School Bus as well-though I think he prefers the Tree House series. I ordered Hazel the follow up books for What Katy Did, and Pollyanna and Bed Knobs and Broomsticks. They are two movies I know I’d probably never get Hazel to watch-but I do think she’s right-the books are always better! I think I’ll start her on the Nancy Drew series soon-I used to enjoy those. Anyone out there with any good series recommendations for the kids? They like the ‘series’ style of books-Hazel wants to know everything about the characters-she thinks they’re her friends. (I used to think that too!)

Gardening has also taken up a lot of our time of late. Everything is starting to come together-which is a nice reward for all of our hard work. Everything needed extra watering this past week due to the heat. I’ve decided to change a few more things around-I’m just not patient enough to wait months and months for a cauliflower. Nor to put up with all the caterpillars! I think I’ll replace them with some last minute peas and carrots. Michael also put wire up along one fence so we can train our squash to trail along the wires. It’ll look wild in no time-the squash, my purple sweet peas and my green beans all trailing up this fence. I’m looking forward to seeing it when it all has a few weeks to meld together.

Today was a quiet day. Hazel prepared our breakfast and we all ate out on the back patio. (See-it really has been nice out!) Then we all went to the grocery store early as I needed to pack Hazel a lunch. She had embroidery group today and requested a ham and tomato sandwich on a roll and some grapes for her lunch. None of which I had. Then again-we didn’t have much! We got home with just enough time for her to get her things ready, for me to pack her lunch, then she grabbed an apple and headed off. Kieran stayed home with me and we watched a Kids Song Video together till Michael got back. Then Kieran and Michael made a Solar System mobile together, and I typed out a zillion blog posts!

After Hazel came home she helped me get the dinner ready-we made chicken fajitas. Well-she and I chopped and sliced, made the salsa and guacamole, and Michael actually cooked the fajitas. Very tasty! Now they are about to have their bedtime story-and I’m going to have some tea!

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