Party weekend

We had a party-rific weekend! Friday night was movie night at school. The kids crowded into the library to watch Wreck-It Ralph. Half way through they paused the movie for intermission and the kids got free popcorn and juice boxes, and could buy cookies and cupcakes and brownies for a quarter. Good times, right?! I volunteered to bring cookies and at the last minute ran out of time so I bought them from the grocery store! I felt guilty, how’s that for lame! :) They were delicious, though what all the kids flocked to were the chocolate frosted cupcakes with sprinkles on top. Those went fast!

We got home late, of course, and the kids went to bed exhausted.

Saturday Eve and I went to a Good Beginnings party at the bouncy house. They host this party every year for staff, volunteers, and recipients with kids five and under. Eve just squeaks in this year! :) I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it’s sometimes surreal to go back to a place we frequented when they were young and see my kids now as the big kids. I didn’t even bring Lex this year. I also didn’t take any pictures but just imagine a room full of little kids running around, Goldfish crackers everywhere, parents trying to socialize and monitor their kids at the same time, you know, life with kids! It was kind of nice to have just one big kid though, no strollers or diaper bags. On the way out a woman was holding a one year old on her hip and trying to prevent a toddler from escaping. I remember those days very well!

While Eve and I were at the party, Lex and Alan took their first bike ride of the season. I was nervous for them and made them both listen to my worry-wart-mother safety warnings. They both humored me nicely and came back alive. What more can I ask for. :)

Saturday evening we went over to Popcube’s house for dinner and family visits. Greg made a delicious meal and the grownups sat around the table chatting while the kids played on the exercise bike in the basement. Good times all around. Once again, no pictures.

Today was a pool day. Eve was invited to two birthday parties, which conveniently were both at the pool, both today, and at overlapping times! One was from 12pm-2pm and the other from 1pm-3pm. I thought it would be great. Mostly it was. I let Lex invite a friend to play as well, so I found myself split a few times between watching the boys in the water and being with Eve at a party. They parties also didn’t follow the same format, so while one had pizza then swimming then cake, the other started right with cake, which resulted in Eve having pizza then swimming then cake then cake then swimming. She was exhausted! It’s hard work being popular! :)

We had a little quiet time when we got home (I needed it!) and then Alan wanted to have pizza and a movie night, but the kids both opted for pizza, stories, and bed. I had lights out by 6:30 and they were both asleep by 7:00pm.


Lex tried his hand at pool basketball for awhile. He’s got some growing still to do!


Both parties had doll cakes. The other one had a fondant dress and this one had beautiful edible butterflies!


Tired happy children having fun.

big slide

Lex is finally big enough for the big slide and boy was he happy.




Lex dropped his towel in the shower (don’t ask, I don’t know how he managed that) so when it was time to get out of the pool Eve shared her towel with him. :)

This week we have a week of swimming lessons at Dartmouth. Normally I go for the 4:30 time slot, but parking on campus totally stresses my out, so this time I’m trying the 5:50 time slot hoping that the parking will be better. We’ll see! I think I’m going to feed them before lessons, and probably give them a little snack and straight to bed after lessons. Hopefully the kids (and me!) are not totally cranky by Friday. Then next weekend it’s Easter and Eve’s birthday! We’ll rest again in April. :)

“The best day of this year,” said Lex.

Today the kids celebrated 100 days of school. Each class counts the days as they go by, as part of their lessons on dates, counting, math, etc. It has been interesting to see when I’m in the classrooms. Today was day 100! Everyone was celebrating. Lex’s class celebrated with a pyjama party. They wore pjs all day, including the teachers. They brought blankets, pillows, and lovies. In the afternoon they got to cuddle on the floor and read books. They made necklaces with 100 Fruit Loops and ate Oreo cookies and milk. Sounds like a great day!

Eve was sad that she didn’t get to have a pj day too. She came home with a special 100 day crown (or headband, as she insisted it was called) and a cereal necklace as well. She complained that they didn’t get any special snacks at all, but later in the evening she said they had hot chocolate and marshmallows. I think she probably had a perfectly fun day too.

After school Lex had his final swim lesson with his classmates. The instructors let them go down the big yellow slide, and HE DID! Four times!!! He loved it! I was shocked that he was tall enough. And brave enough. When did he grow up?!

Eve decided that instead of swimming she wanted to play at the KidZone at the aquatic center, so I dropped her there and I ran two miles on the treadmill! I haven’t been able to do that in awhile!

When I picked him up they were eating their normal after swim snack, with the special treat of mint Oreos! That’s twice in one day that Lex had Oreos! We picked Eve up from the KidZone and on the way out Lex says, quietly, “Did you remember that I like milk now?” I can’t remember the exact quote, but it was along those lines and it cracked me up! He hasn’t drank milk in probably a year. He just quit one day for no apparent reason. Apparently today was the day to drink milk again. He said he had milk with his cookies at school. Maybe I should have fed him Oreos sooner! Crazy boy!

In bed tonight he told me that today was “the best day of this year!”

Off the board!

I grabbed a few photos right at the end of his lesson today. I also chatted with his teacher (and forgot her name moments after I asked, I need to work on that bad habit!) and she said that he is growing so strong and confident, compared to when she had him for lessons last summer. She was impressed with the changes from then to now.

ready set

Ready, set…

cannon ball

cannon ball!


I love this kid!

Into the BIG pool!

Did I mention that Lex is taking lessons now as part of a free deal for 2nd graders? They bus the kids over after school. They play for an hour, then have a lesson, then have a snack. Not the order I would have done things, but I’m not in charge. Anyway… Eve and I have been going over after school as well and swimming. The first day of lessons I noticed that two of his classmates, boys that he really wants to play hockey with, were having their lesson in the competition pool. I watched for a few minutes and saw that Lex can swim just as well as they can! During the following week I put on some mommy persuasion and encouraged him to try the big pool with his classmates. I reminded him that he can’t play hockey with them because he can’t skate well enough yet, but he certainly can swim as well as either of them! I guess he was feeling brave at his second lesson because he did it! He got right in and swam in the big pool. The staff there is pretty amazing and I had talked to them about it ahead of time. They had tried to take him in that pool a year ago when he was doing lessons last time, but he wasn’t up for it. They are kind and encouraging with him.

He has since done two lessons in the competition pool and seems pretty confident! Another mother told me last week that he was jumping off the start boards! I wasn’t there as Eve and I took the week off to stay home with a recovering Alan. When I asked Lex about it he was all nonchalant, like of course he was jumping off the board, why wouldn’t he?! :) He told me they were comparing splash heights of their cannon ball jumps!

Today we went swimming and I was eager to get pictures of him in the deep pool and jumping off the board. Sadly the lifeguard said you’re not allowed to use the start boards during free swim, so he couldn’t show off that skill, but we did have a great time in the big pool! Lots of jumping in, not a lot of lap swimming. Eventually the lifeguard kicked us out, claiming the lanes were filling up. I think he thought we were bothering the actual lap swimmers. Oh well! We moved back to the kid section and met up with some friends and had fun there too!

I’ll try and get some pictures of him jumping off the board during his lesson this week, but for now… into the big pool!

into the pool

Easy peasy, right into the pool. It wasn’t even super cold today!


I talked them into doing laps. We made it to the other end and they were done with laps.




Lex, doing the crawl stroke.

We spent the rest of the time jumping into the pool.  It would have been a fun day to have an underwater camera! :)

We spent the rest of the time jumping into the pool. It would have been a fun day to have an underwater camera! :)


Ready… set…



post swim

We got home and they were drawn to the tv, like moths to the light. I let them watch Colbert with Alan while I made lunch for everyone. I took this picture just because it’s so cute how they’re sitting together.

Real quick…

I’ve been working full-time lately! I just finished my 4th day as the art teacher at school.  It’s fun, but this working full-time thing is for the birds! Here is a quicky of what we’ve been up to:

  • Lex started swimming in the big pool today! Two of his classmates have their lessons in that pool and today he joined them. I’m super excited that he got over his fear of the big pool because he is a great swimmer and the big pool is necessary for continued development. Today he took the plunge and loved it!
  • Eve has started reading to me! I’m so excited! She read all of Runaway Bunny last night, and Hop on Pop, and Freddie and Flossie books. She caught on recently that if she reads to me she gets to stay up a lot later. :) I’ll take it!
  • Alan is prepping for his hernia surgery next week. Logistics are difficult, but it will happen and we’ll all be happy when it’s over. I’m secretly looking forward to a few forced days at home to take care of him.
  • I have decided to apply to the Upper Valley Educators Institute and get my teaching certificate!! I’m really enjoying substituting (some classes more than others, of course!) and the more I think about it the more teaching feels right to me. If all goes well I’ll start in August.

That’s it for now. I’m not working tomorrow, but I am spending the morning with my volunteer family and trying to figure out which of the six things that need be done can I fit into the afternoon before picking up the kids.  Working again Friday for a few hours.  Life is busy, but good!

Back in the pool

I have some tired fishes tonight! The aquatic center offers free lessons for 2nd graders. One session, six weeks, not the whole year! The kids get transportation to the pool, free swim for an hour, then a lesson. Eve and I went over after school and swam as well. I renewed my membership on Monday. Me and the rest of the developed world, re-upping gym memberships in January! I’m back at the gym and we are planning to do lots of swimming now.

I realized tonight that I missed my boy today! I left him at school at 8am and didn’t get him back until 5pm! I guess that’s normal for some folks, but not me.

If anyone wants to come swim with us, now’s the time! :)

Last day of swim lessons

We survived our busy week! Pancakes for dinner and an empty weekend ahead. Yay!

This week Lex worked on side breathing with his crawl stroke. He also learned the breast stroke. They both practiced diving off the side and Lex learned something along the lines of race diving. Kind of diving in at an angle. It’s cool.

On the last day of swim lessons the kids get a chance to jump off the diving board if they want to. Lex has yet to try, but Eve gave it a shot this past spring and she decided to do it again this time. Lex chose not to again. I signed them both up for lessons again next spring, at the same level. When they came up with their report cards though Lex surprised me by moving up a level! He was super excited! I’m so happy for them both.


There’s a long line at the diving board. Most of them are lined up for the low board, not the high board!

in the pool

Last year Lex’s teacher ended his lesson when the kids lined up for the diving board, but this year’s teacher kept in the pool until the end. I appreciated that. He kept swimming and they played a silly game while the other kids went off the diving board. He was almost the last kid out of the pool.

Swimming again

I bet each and every one of you are sitting there thinking to yourself, “Hm.. I wonder what Tessa did today. I wonder if she had a good day or not?” Right?! Admit it, you know you are! Well the answer is…. yes! I had a super busy, but surprisingly good day.

I started volunteering for Good Beginnings again, for the first time since before I had kids of my own! After dropping off my own kids at school today I met my first family and spent the morning holding a 6lb baby who slept peacefully in my arms the whole time. Heaven.

Then off to the photo studio to review our family portraits. I forgot to snap a cell phone pic of the pics, sorry. You’ll have to wait a bit longer. I had low expectations, as you know, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a few nice ones. The woman tried to sell us on everything under the sun (hope no one wanted a stand-up cut-out portrait or a metallic photo book of my family for Christmas this year!) but Alan and I stuck to our one free 8″x10″ and went on our way.

Then it was off to school to volunteer in the library. I was worried this year because the kids both wanted me to volunteer on their library day (as I did last year for Lex) but they have library on different days! I lucked out that it works out best to go on Eve’s day and Lex decided it was fair since I went on his day last year. He is really maturing. More on that below.

Then I picked up the kids and we went to the farm to pick up our CSA share. They ran around like crazy people for awhile. Then home for a quick snack and to pack up the swim bag for another round of swimming lessons! I was worried at this point because we were home and they were tired. This is the one point in my day that could have flipped it from good to bed. But it didn’t! Hurray! They both hopped back in the car and off we went for swim lessons!


Did I mention I let them have ice cream with chocolate syrup for snack?! Good to the last drop. I was just tempting the fates today!

We’re back at Dartmouth for their semi-annual lessons. We’ve been twice before (this spring and last spring) and each time it was a challenge to get Lex into the pool. He loved it, eventually, but day one was always tough. I braced myself today, but he surprised me! He cooperated the entire time. Happy boy all the way there, getting changed, googles on, and down the stairs with the rest of the kids. Happy boy. I saw him sitting on the edge of the pool talking to his instructor for a few minutes while all the other kids were in the pool and I started to get nervous, but it wasn’t long before he was in there too! Showing off his freestyle and flip-turns. I’m so proud of how grown up and mature and brave he is getting. Not always, but more and more often these days.

by the pool

Waiting by the pool for lessons to begin.

Eve hopped right in the pool with her instructor and had a happy lesson. She told me later that she didn’t learn anything new, because she knew how to do everything, except the side breathing that she needs to practice. :) She is a confident girl!


Kickboard girl! It’s hard to take good pictures from the bleachers.

After lessons we headed home and faced another potential turning point, but we all survived. Pancakes for dinner, no showers, pjs, stories, snuggles in bed. Happiness is! Here’s hoping we can manage at this pace for four more days!

reading 1

Lex was apparently in the middle of a good book when I made him pause for lessons. Once he was dressed again he immediately picked it back up.

reading 2

Hahah… he cracks me up. Good thing I was watching where he was going!

Back in the water

After our favorite lake beach was closed due to Hurricane Irene we were forced to find a new swimming place this summer. We did! A real “treasure of an island.” :)


Lake Fairlee


Little fishes


The beach


Elizabeth and Alistair on the floating platform there (totally blanking on the proper word!) Eve and I swam out once too.


We finally got to put our snorkels to good use!


We did a little exploring on the little island nearby.

horse shoes

We found a horse shoe pit. Lex was the only one to …. get one. No idea what the proper wording for that is!

silly kids

Silly kids on a stump.


Tired, sandy kids.