Here it is, the middle of July, and we are truly enjoying the lazier days of summer. The kiddos sleep as late as they want (although usually that means only an extra half hour or so), we're not as rushed in the mornings or after dinner, and I usually only have one lunch to pack in the morning- my hubby's.
We've gone swimming a few times, enjoyed the splashpark, and played in the sprinkler plenty. The boys and I occasionally cuddle up on the couch together and treat ourselves to an afternoon movie. And today, during a rare summer rainstorm, we baked a perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies together.
Earlier in the spring, we started a container garden of sorts. I have basil, lavender, and lemon balm on the deck. Each child chose a veggie to grow and care for- Gabriel planted a tomato plant, Julian wanted to grow green peppers, and Maddie chose a different kind of green pepper along with the cabbage she started at school. Our little garden is doing well; we've enjoyed a tomato, picked by a very proud Gabriel, and one of Julian's big green peppers- dipped in Marzetti's creamy ranch- yum! And I think when Maddie comes over tomorrow, she'll be ready to pick her first pepper. It's been very rewarding to see the kids take care of their own plants, eagerly checking for produce progress. They water, check every leaf for holes, pet, and talk to their plants. They are much more likely to taste and actually eat what they have grown themselves. They surprised me by devouring the mini-cabobs I made them using Gabriel's tomato, fresh mozzarella, and a tiny basil leaf, all speared on a toothpick. You can bet next year our garden will be much, much bigger.
My work hours have been reduced, partly by my request, since most of my pay goes to childcare expenses during the summer. I am thrilled to be getting so much done around here. So much seems to be put on the back burner when I am working more, helping with homework, packing five lunches in the morning, and just keeping up with all the mayhem in general. And since this is our last summer before all my kids are in school (sniff!), I am trying to enjoy as much time with my little guys as possible. The other day, Julian slightly overlapped two hulahoops behind his back and exclaimed, "Look, Mom! I have a Venn diagram on my butt!" Gabriel is endlessly entertaining (and sometimes frustrating)- he corrected Maddie when she said "care-a-mel" (we grew up pronouncing it "car-mel"). Julian jumped in and explained that Caramel was the Jewish way of saying Carmel. I guess that's funny for those of you who know that Batman and Maddie are Jewish, and we are not. We got a good laugh out of that one.
And last night, we saw Gabriel get up to go to the bathroom, which is a pretty common occurrence with him. Instead of going to the kids' bathroom, he went into ours. I thought I better go check on him. When I got upstairs, I could hear him peeing, but couldn't find him. It wasn't till I went around the corner in our bathroom that I found him. He had just peed in the bathtub. He was clearly sleepwalking. I walked him back to his room, tucked him into bed, then went to clean up the tub.
We're getting ready to take a family trip to Connecticut. My grandparents and aunts and uncles live there, and have never met my children. I am looking very forward to seeing them and having them meet my wonderful new hubby and all my kids. Our plan is to take the kids swimming for the afternoon to get them completely worn out, feed them a good dinner, get them in their jammies, and leave around their bedtime. Batman will drive overnight, and hopefully the kids will sleep for most of the trip. We can hope. The swimming strategy should work well, since the last time I took them, the two hours we were in the pool completely wiped out Gabriel. He was so exhausted he could barely eat his dinner. I have never seen such a bouncy child eat in slow motion before!
Lots to do before the trip. I have been really dragging due to some kind of cold virus or something. It's hard to be a mommy, helping everyone else when you feel lousy. But everything is getting done, and soon we'll be on our way. I'm sure there will be lots to write about when we get back.
This entry feels very disconnected and all over the place, but I would say that's pretty fitting for our life right now.