Day 2-Pool Time

Greta is not quite a water baby. She was. Last summer. This summer she is much more cautious. No jumping in the water for her unless someone is there to catch her. This is good. I am actually relieved at this development. Her brothers by this age would put their vests on and they were off. No one to help them. They made it to where they wanted to go. Unfortunately, Greta is too light still to not be wobbly in the life vest. Hopefully by August, and with a few more weeks of her butter pounding (yes she prefers butter, not bread and butter, just the butter please), maybe she will weigh enough to be stable in the water. But for now she is content. 

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Water Week- Day 1-Progress

As you will probably see from the photos of summertime, swimming is a huge part of our daily lives. If only we had a pool. All week I will post water photos and info. 

I grew up a strong swimmer. My sister and I spent every single summer for as long as I can remember in swim school. We started out as polliwogs then on to minnows, fish, flying fish, sharks, tiger sharks, then you were ready for the final test. Oh, that is after you passed the CPR course as well. The final test was jumping in water, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and treading water straight for a half an hour. Only after this were you certified a swimmer. Needless to say, my kids are not swimmers, well. . . not yet.

This is a constant bone of minor contention between Aaron and I. Well, that and the closet shelves. He did not grow up swimming. He can swim, meaning not drown. But not s w i m. He can only jump in holding his nose because he is convinced, along with at least one of his brothers whom I witnessed doing this same nose plug thing in Mexico, that he was not born with the flap that closes his nose off from water. I have tried to explain to him that we don’t have a flap. But rather we train ourselves to slightly blow out air through our nose preventing water from going IN. He didn’t believe me. And when Gunnar and Sawyer were demonstrating this and encouraging their daddy to dip his head in the water and blow bubbles through his mouth, well, that’s when Aaron took his leave. There was no way his 3 and 6 year olds were going to school him on bubble blowing in the pool. But honestly, that is how they learn. It’s the first thing they do and gets them to put their face in the water and plug their flaps so to speak. 

But I can already see the words Jr. Lifeguard on the back of Gunnar’s shirt. By the third day of swimming lessons he was moved up to the next level. And his excitement was undeniable. My excitement came the following day when I witnessed this.

You are probably thinking, what’s the big deal? Well, my friends, this is a stroke. The VERY first stroke, and one of many to come. We will go from freestyle, to breaststroke, to butterfly, to dolphin kick, back stroke. I get excited just thinking about it! Another huge feat he overcame this day was the diving board. He walked up there and just did it. All the while completely freaking out, but when he jumped in and swam to the edge he had the biggest smile spread across that face. Priceless.

Pinkalicious

Pinkalicious has been Greta’s favorite book since she could say the word “pink”. If you have a daughter, niece, granddaughter, friend’s daughter, you get my point, this book has to be in their library. I will personally feel you are depriving your daughter of literary joy if you do not get them this book. 

So, of course, Greta’s very first party of her entire life had to be themed Pinkalicious. Not only does my daughter view pink as her favorite color, think her eye color is pink, and won’t wear something unless pink is somewhere on the outfit, but I had to indulge this girly party myself. Come on! I have been hosting boy or neutral themed parties for all of our friends children for 6 years. I most definitely can enjoy the benefits of a daughter. 

If you have read the book, then the flower choice was a given.

Pink Peonies 

We had a wide range of ages there so I was a little puzzled at what activities or crafts we should have. When the girls were first arriving they colored these really cute coloring pages from this website. Then we made homemade tutus. I was definitely glad I cut the 160 tulle strips the night before. 

I think the tutus were a big hit, and pretty easy to make, with a little mom help of course. Then we breaked for another beloved pastime, dress up. The girls loved swapping costumes. How cute are they holding hands in their princess outfits?

Then it was cake decorating time and eating. Which, by the way, it is necessary to have a rolling pin when making cookies. This would be a kitchen tool that I do not own. Fortunately, my neighbor is much more baking friendly and loaned me hers. Also, a big heads up, you have to flour every time you flip or roll. Yep, every time, or else it sticks to everything. But we managed. 

And lastly it would not be a true and proper Pinkalicious Party without pink cupcakes. This is one thing I wasn’t going to attempt to make. I know my limitations, especially after realizing the necessity of owning a rolling pin.

While the girls were feasting on the delicacies I took it upon myself to school them on the book itself, a friend took some video. I’m sure you can guess which child has had this book read to them nightly for several months. This was right before each girl was gifted with their own copy of Pinkalicious and a purse filled with girly goodness such as bracelets and makeup. Here is the link to the Youtube video she posted. 

Fish. . .

 

Don’t you just love the water’s reflection on Sawyer’s neck?

Fish. . . that is what I believe my children will turn into by the end of summer. We have the boys in daily swim lessons for two weeks now, and then another two weeks in a month, and then we are off to Hawaii. I believe I am starting to see gills forming near their necks. 

Today I got to watch the boys since I wasn’t working and they are pretty funny. The expressions these boys have in the water, I don’t think you could wipe their smiles off if you tried. Greta will be joining them on the next session. It’s great because they all take their class the exact same times. No shuttling children back and forth or waiting for one to end and one to begin. Gunnar is in a class with 3 other kids, and Sawyer is in a class of 6. I thought I would share a few recent highlights. 

We have lift off

I took these the second day of training wheel free bike riding. The first day had some frustration along with it and we had to have a few talks about not giving up and to keep trying. Get back on that horse bike. I think it sunk in just how grown up Gunnar is getting. He graduated Kindergarten a few days ago and  is entering the realm of full blown elementary school kid. I’m just not old enough ready to have a first grader. 

He is loving basketball right now. He took a 10 week long basketball class at the local park and learned the proper techniques of shooting and passing and with the Lakers/Celtics Finals, he was in heaven. He has been rooting for the Celtics all season, but now that they were up against our home team, he was quite torn. 

I was going through a mental checklist of things Gunnar should know before he is 18 and the list is getting smaller and smaller. Swimming. Check. Bike riding. Check. Reading. Check. Shoelace tying. Check. Multiplication. Check. He totally gets the concept of multiplication and loves learning about it. He wants me to try and trick him, which occasionally I do. He can’t think too highly of himself yet, he is only 6. I think some of the only things left is learning how to drive a car and division. And fortunately for me, a learner’s permit is a long way away. But I would have told you that first grade was a long way away too when he was born, and look at us now. First grade is looming in the future. The big yard. The big kids. 

At least now we can ride our big bikes onto the campus before the bell. 

Ballet

I mentioned in a previous post about my lack of ballet-class-taking desire. So when it was time for Greta to go to her first ballet class, I had mixed emotions. Of course, I wanted her to love the class, afterall she was too adorable for words in her little leotard and tights, oh. . the shoes. The school is very strict, kind of prim and proper, which is probably why I never liked ballet when I was a kid; and so ballet slippers, pink ballet slippers no less, was a must in order to take the class. 

I don’t know if she really understood the whole concept, but the entire way there she just repeated over and over, “I going to ballet cass, I’m going to ballet cass.”  Her particular class is for 2-3 year olds, and moms are not allowed in the room. This will be the first time she has ever left me to go to a stranger, with a wall between us. Honestly, I didn’t think she would do it. I figured we would buy all the stuff, pay the tuition, get there and she would look around and say, no way jose. Oh, how wrong I was. 

This little girl didn’t even bother to wave. She walked into the studio with 2 other little girls, both towering above her by a good 4-6 inches, and never really looked back. The other moms and I had a little 2 by 2 window we could peek in to watch and take pictures. She caught me a few times in the window and just waved as she was flitting by on her little slippers. She loved Teacher Ewizabet, as Greta pronounces her name, and talks about her all the time now.

Yes, my daughter now takes ballet. I can’t believe we’re here already. I used to talk about this day all the time when she was a baby, we would pass the ballet school and I would see all these little girls in their outfits and buns coming out, and I just couldn’t imagine the time ever coming. 

We’re here now.

Snaps from the Big Day

I officially have a first grader. I feel old. Here are a few pictures from the big day’s picnic which they had right after the culmination. I don’t have any good photos of the performance. It was hard to see him behind this other kid and it was a little dark too. They did some songs, a rendition of Start Spreading the News. . .we’re leaving today. . .we’re gonna be a part of it. . First Grade First Grade! It was really cute, and emotional. They had a slideshow prepared of all the kids throughout the year which made you see how little they were when they began and how far they’ve come.