Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just A Typical Saturday

A couple years ago (gosh, I can hardly believe it's been that long!), right after we returned with Marcie, I posted about a typical day in the life of Marcie. But I never did that for Casey-- mainly because he wasn't home with me. But we're all together on Saturdays. So here's a relatively typical Saturday for us.


Soccer game

Casey plays indoor soccer-- four on four, coed. There's no practice. The kids just show up on Saturday, practice for 10 minutes, and play two 20-minute halves. They really improve a great deal over the 8-week period during which they play games. And no one keeps score, so it's about learning the basics of the game. Marcie likes to go to watch Casey (and get a treat with the players at the end of the game), so unless it conflicts with music class, we all go as a family. Jason assisted the main coach of the team this season, so it was just me and Marcie in the "stands." Here's a quick video of Casey playing:

video

And here's a picture I just really like. (By the way, the netting is what theoretically prevents the ball from knocking the spectators in the head. Of course, our kiddos aren't kicking that hard, but I suppose the guys in the adult league do.)



It gets pretty hot out there, so I'm so impressed with their stamina. And forty minutes is a long time-- especially if you only have five kids show up to play and four are on the field at all times.

Music Class

After soccer, where Casey was named "Player of the Week," we headed immediately to music class. The kids love music class, though there's a new teacher this session, and she's not particularly enthusiastic or engaging. It's not that she doesn't try-- it just doesn't appear to come naturally to her. Which is a shame, because the other teacher has made participating really worth while and this teacher, well, I'm not sure we'd pay to return if she weren't trading off with the original teacher. But she's knew. So we're giving it some time. Anyway, here are the kids in music class:



Toasty Lunch

And darnit, I forgot to take a picture of our next weekly ritual-- lunch at Quizno's. Which our kids happily refer to as "Toasty." It's really become a tradition and something the kids look forward to. We usually eat with one of the kids in music class (who also happens to be a family friend). But no picture of him or Casey and Marcie gobbling up their sammies and anxiously awaiting their half cookie.

Nap Time or Party Time

Now during the summer, there are not a lot of birthday parties. But the spring is a different story. Casey used to nape from 1-3 p.m. And Marcie still does most weekend days. But not this Saturday because we were invited to a birthday party for one of Casey's soccer teammates (whose parents we really like). In fact, before we headed to the party, Jason cautioned the kids: "Now, it's really important you behave yourself because Mommy and Daddy really like Ben's parents and we'd like to be invited to hang out with them again." Normally we don't have this conversation before a birthday party because we don't even know the parents' names. Luckily, our kids were pretty good. They set up a hose at the top of the slide and the kids slid down it into the pool:



And they had a ton of legos to build structures with (Marcie built a traveling zoo!). And they had homemade lego cake. And a pinata. Which one kid actually busted open. It was cool to watch.<
Dinner

After the party, we stopped by Costco and ran the van through the car wash. The kids slept in the car, but we didn't want them to nap too long (or we'd risk them not going to bed at a decent hour!). So after we got home, we let the kids have quiet time in front of the television. Marcie mostly followed me around while I did laundry and tidied up. Jason made shrimp for dinner.


Homework

And after dinner, Casey did some homework for school. He's taking a special (pre) reading class, and we're so impressed with what he's doing so far. He's actually beginning to sound out words! This pleases us greatly. Almost as much as how much he obviously enjoys the tutoring class. This morning, while Jason and I were still sleeping, Casey found a pad of paper and some crayons and wrote "purple," "red," "green," and "yellow" on his own. And he wrote each color in the right color crayon. I know he copied it from the work he'd done, but it was still amazing because he took the initiative to do it on his own.


Dessert

Casey did such a good job on his homework, and Marcie did some a fantastic job coloring the pictures she was working on that we spoiled the kids with a trip to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. Mmmm.


Breaking (and Repairing) Appliances

Oh. And somewhere around dinner/homework time our washing machine broke. Again. I suppose it's been two whole years since the last time it broke, but that doesn't seem like much to me. I was mad because I knew the pump had reversed (I recognized the sound because it was the same problem before). Which meant something got stuck in it. And ever since a pocket full of nails destroyed the first pump, I've been pretty careful to check Jason's pockets. I was not looking forward to the service call (and the pile of wet laundry I was going to have to take to a laundry mat). But my uber-handy husband looked it up online and pulled apart the washing machine himself. The part was blessedly not broken. The pump had reversed because and object got stuck. The culprit? A bobby pin. In my pants' pocket. Left over from wedding weekend hair. Oops. But the washer is good as new and running just fine. Whew. That was close.

All in a typical Saturday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Marriage

Tonight as I tucked in Casey for bed, I went through our typical bedtime ritual, telling him how much I love him. When I went to kiss him good night, though, he had some questions for me:

Casey: Mommy, are you and Daddy gonna get married?
Me: Casey, Daddy and I are already married. Just like Aunt Megan and Uncle Timour (pronounced Tee-more).
Casey: What does it mean that you gonna married?
Me: It means that we love each other and promise to be faithful to each other until we die.
Casey: Die? You gonna die? (Jason enters the room and joins us on the bed.)
Me: (back-pedaling) Well, let's just say that it means that we promise to love each other for-ever and ever. Is that okay?
Casey: (Silent)
Me: Casey?
Casey: (holding up his stuffed ladybug, tucking its legs under) Look at me! I'm a bug with no legs!

Glad that conversation went well. . .

It turns out my nephew Sal recently had a similarly amusing conversation with my brother. This is how my sister Megan tells the story. One important tidbit is that she and Timour have been living together for two or three years now.

Bob: Sal, do you know what it means that Aunt Megan and Uncle Timour are going to get married soon?
Sal: That they're going to have babies.
Bob: No. Not for a while-- I don't think so, Sal.
Sal: Then what's the point?!?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Y Pool and the Sun Pool

Today Casey jumped off the wall of the pool at the Y and turned around to swim to the edge. It was major progress. We've promised Casey that once he can do it, we'll buy him a Transformer. A giant, $40 transformer that makes noise and lights up. It's been quite an incentive.

I think I wrote several months ago about the day Casey fell into the deep end of the pool at a classmate's pool party. Within a few minutes, he calmed himself enough to swim to the edge and get himself out of danger. But not before flailing about for a bit. He was fine during swim lessons for the next couple weeks, then suddenly one day after going into the deep end, he decided he didn't like swimming anymore. At all. In fact, he'd work himself into such a frenzy that he literally gave himself a fever. Two weeks in a row. And only on swim days.

So we decided to stop pushing him into swimming. But our dilemma was that Marcie still wanted to attend swim lessons, and she's so young she has to participate in a parent-child class. So then what to do with Casey? Well, he refused to get into the pool. But then eventually we coaxed him back in by promising he could stay with Jason and Marcie. And he has. Real progress occurred in July when he discovered that his cousin Joey (18 months his junior) can swim by himself. Under water. And so can Lucas, who is only 6 months older than Marcie.

For a while, he just wanted to go in the "sun pool," which is apparently the name he gave my parents' pool. In North Carolina. A bit too far to travel for a quick swim. But now there seems to be some real progress. Thankfully, though, he seems to be overcoming his fear. In tiny steps. He's remained with Jason and Marcie this summer. And he may be ready to return to his own class soon. We're hopeful. It's a good thing he's so competitive.

Casey has also been keeping busy this summer by playing soccer on an indoor soccer team, by participating in music class, by taking a P.E. class at school, and by taking a reading/tutoring class (this evening, he was actually attempting to sound. out. words. I was so proud and impressed). But I digress.

I think one of the reasons he dislikes the Y pool is the attitude of the swim teachers. When he happily cheers about and shouts hello, the high-school-aged boys just give their I'm-too-cool-to-actually-make-any-effort head nods in Casey's direction. Talk about a turn-off. Though I suppose I should be grateful we don't have the swim coach Casey's cousin had the pleasure of experiencing this summer. On the way to the pool in San Francisco (I think it was a Y pool), one of the counselors jokingly said to my five year old nephew, "Just watch out for the sharks." Who says that to a five year old? Geez.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cousins

Yes, it's been quite a hiatus. Honestly, I've been too busy playing with the kids when I'm not working to report about our goings on. It's a terrible excuse. But here I am now.


My sister married the love of her life yesterday. It was such an honor to participate in the festivities, which began last Thursday and had me running more or less nonstop until just now. I'm so tired, we're putting the kids to bed early tonight because I honestly don't know that I will make it past 7:30 p.m.


I have plenty to tell about as far as the wedding goes. But one of my very favorite things about the wedding is that I got to see my entire family. It's been too long since were were last all together-- 18 months, actually. In fact, the last time we were all together, Timour (my new brother-in-law) proposed to my sister Megan. That's how long it's been. So I suppose it's appropriate that their marriage brought us all back together again this weekend.


In the intervening year and a half, we had an addition to the family, Ethan. Who turned a year last month. This brings the total number of cousins (that is, my children and the children of my siblings) to seven. Marcie is still the only girl.


The kids didn't attend the wedding or reception (blessedly). They had a slumber party or two over the extended weekend, though, which was a lot more fun for them-- and for us. But I did manage to snap a photograph of all seven of them before three of my nephews had to begin their long trip back to the Bay Area. Here's the "money shot." And it's not perfect by any stretch. But have you tried getting seven children under the age of 7 to even look at a camera all at the same time, much less smile? I'm just happy they all sat relatively still long enough for me to capture this moment in time:

Gosh, I love my family . . .