Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fun Times

It is my favorite time of year....SUMMER!!  So much has been going on and fall is sneaking up on us, but we are loving these warm (ok, hot and extremely sticky) days before Evi starts school at the end of August.
What has been happening since I last posted in March??

Me:  I started teaching Aqua Zumba two nights a week, in addition to the Aquacize class I had been teaching for some time.  I like the challenge and the class has been very popular, which ended up making both of my classes pretty big....which is great!  I've also continued as the coordinator of the swim lesson program on Saturdays during the year, and also weekdays during the summer.  My kids are the pool rats....and amazingly comfortable in the water, and that can be good and bad!
I love the beach and have been lucky enough to have gone on two beach trips this summer (more below).
June 5th was the 3rd anniversary of my dad's death.  I miss him and sad without him, but was able to do a fun activity with my kids in honor of him--Papa Day!  We went to the National Harbor and played on the Awakening Statue with our friends.
We spend a lot of time with our best friends/family Evin and her girls, and have tried to have regular Adventure Days, where we explore local areas together.  Our kids are always asking for each other and for the time being, they feel like sisters :).  It will be a sad, sad day for all of us when we don't live 2 minutes apart.

Evi: Finished her 2nd session of dance classes; Graduated from Pre-School!; Did some more swim lessons and is a fish in the water. She is now able to do front crawl WITH her arms and side breathing, AND recently started doing backstroke.  It is so awesome to watch her!!; she has gotten really good on her bike (with training wheels still though); AND hasn't broken anything (knock on wood!!).  After at least SIX x-rays of her leg since breaking it in December, she got the all clear that her leg is healing how it needs to be, and no more x-rays ( AND she had an x-ray of her collarbone AND a CT Scan in February after falling out of her bed).  WOOHOO!  Here's to a happy and healthy childhood, my sweet!  Evi is generally a great big sister and it is really great now that she and Jamie are playing pretty well together.  She is growing up very nicely and I have seen her mature over the months.  She still gets into things she shouldn't and still has outbursts, but not as much and I am finding that I can trust her more.  When did I get this big kid on my hands?!!  She starts kindergarten in less than a MONTH!!!!  ACK!  Oh, and she cut her hair again.  This time it was just bangs and she didn't do a terrible job.  The bangs actually look normal (after I helped even them out a bit), but she went a little too far back on her head so it's a bit choppy.  Her excuse was that she was doing her ponies hair--her my little ponies now have some interesting hair styles.  At least I got to her before she ended up looking like them!

Jamie: Turned 2 in May!  Is generally living up to the nick name "Happy Kid", although she is also coming into her own as an independent 2 year old!  She is communicating quite well; loves to sing "kinkle kinkle yittle car" (or twinkle twinkle little star); won't go to bed without a "big hug and big kiss" and a "baba kiss" (pacifier = "baba"; baba kiss means I have to kiss the baba rather than her mouth!), AND a butterfly kiss.  She has a great way of saying it, but I can't quite spell it :).  She used to call her blanket her "piggy", and this week she started calling it a blanket, and won't let me call it a piggy anymore, which is sad because I loved that nickname.  ALSO, she finally started saying "Evin" instead of "Emma" and "Shelby" instead of "Cubby".  The nicknames were really cute, but my girl is growing up.  My boss taught her to say, "No Way Jose" and she thinks its hilarious (so does he!).  I took the side off of her crib so she is officially in a big girl bed.  She still falls out sometimes or simply chooses to lie down on the floor, but I have pillows there to catch her if she does.  I just read an idea today to keep kids from falling out of bed--put a pool noodle under the sheet so it keeps them in.  Totally trying that!!!  She really is a mellow and happy kid!  OH, and CAN'T FORGET......she is amazing in the water.....such a fish like her big sister.  For awhile she would put her face in the water, which, don't get me wrong, was great.  But then all of the sudden, I would say, "Jamie, put your face in" and she would dunk her whole self underwater.  She opens her eyes and looks around and is just so comfortable in the water.  People at the pool are generally amazed to find out she is 2 and doing what she does, and I can't hide my excitement about that.  I may not get her potty trained anytime soon, but she will be a swimmer!!  I am happy I have two little girls who love the water.

Family: Went to Assateague for 5 days with friends in June.  LOVED IT!  The plague this year only seemed to be terrible wind (that almost blew our tent over!), and a little bit of rain with resulting puddles in our tent (air mattresses kept us pretty dry!).  All that aside, we had a BLAST.  I love camping with friends there, because really its like everyone is family, and all the kids play together all day.  No wonder College Park ward families went there year after year when the kids were young.  It's THAT fun!  I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much if I hadn't gone with Evin.  Camping alone with two kids seems like too much, but camping with my best friend and our four kids worked out quite well.  You know, looking back, it seems that this time was the year of one parent camping families--out of the 7 families camping this year only two of them had a husband and wife team!  That was Mama Kelley and Father Cal (whose kids are all grown), and Steve and Wendy!  Funny that I am just putting that together :).  See, one big happy family at Assateague :)!

Two weeks later, we got to go to the Outer Banks, North Carolina with ALMOST my entire family.  Missing were: My DAD (in body, not in spirit though), my oldest nephew Sam who is serving a mission in Guatemala, Amy's husband Christian who is deployed in The Phillipines and his two daughters Merynne and Jessica.  It was WONDERFUL.  WONDERFUL.  I can't say enough good things about it.  I love my family.  They are a wonderful band aid when things get tough.  We had beautiful weather, made shirts, played games, fed birds, went crabbing, HAD A POOL, did some zumba in the pool (where my wonderful sisters laughed at ME!), beach bon fire, glow sticks, sand castles, boogie boarded, laughed a lot, laughed at the 4 teenage boys trying to hit on any teenage girls who happened to walk past our spot on the beach, found 2 pairs of glasses on the ocean floor (one found, one lost and then found!), and many more wonderful things.  You know, the day we went crabbing, I wasn't going to go, but thought Evi may enjoy it so we did.  Turns out, she says that was her favorite part!  The first day or two Jamie was a bit shy of the waves, but warmed up to it and then was splashing in it and shouting "WATERRRR" every time a wave came in.  Have I mentioned that it was wonderful? 
If that wasn't enough, most of us stopped in Williamsburg on the way home and continued the fun.  We bought very reasonably priced multi park passes which were good for 7 days at Colonial Williamsburg, Water Country USA, and Busch Gardens, including free parking.  A great deal, and well used with our in's and out's of each of the parks.  LOVED IT ALL.  My kids loved getting to go and I am so so glad they had the opportunity.  Really, Evi LOVED it.  She is still talking about some of the rides and how cool it all was.  I wouldn't take them to an amusement park by myself, but it was so great to have family to switch off with and watch each others kids, so everyone could ride the fun stuff they wanted to, and so could the kids (Everyone except Amy, who is 6 months pregnant!).  Since it was leading up to the 4th of July (I assume?), Busch Gardens had a firework show every night, so we had 3 nights of getting to see a great show, since we ended each night there.

If THAT wasn't enough, Erin decided to make the trek from Williamsburg up to DC with me to see the fireworks downtown on the 4th!  More cousin and sister fun was had and we got a great spot right by the Washington Monument to watch the show!  Everyone was exhausted, and crashed well when we got home.  The catch was they had to get up at 5:30am to drive 4 hours to the airport in Norfolk!  WHEW!!  But was it fun?  YES.  Worth it?  Erin says yes! 

Now, vacations are over, and we are back to normal!  I am back at work with swim lessons and my kids are in their groove at the pool, running around like they own the place (unfortunately).  I am hoping to fit some more fun into our remaining days of summer before my baby starts school.  I am SO not ready for it, but she most certainly is.  Whew. 

That's my catch up for this time! 


hdknowles said...

You guys have had an incredibly busy summer. No wonder I haven't seen you much this summer. I love the photos of your family before and now. And all the wonderful beach photos. The beach is the greatest place to relax, particularly in NC. Nice that so many of your family could get together for vacation.

Molly said...

Michelle- your girls are so big and adorable!!! I love that they are fish like their mom:) Your beach vacations look and sounded wonderful, I love big family vacations. We just had our annual family vacation to Maine and it was good for the soul!! We definitely do need to get together one of these days :)