Monday, 22 July 2013

House Guests

Raise your hand if summer leaves you tuckered out sometimes. That's exactly how we are all feeling today. Zoe came home late Saturday night from a four day trip down to New York State with the other youth from our church. She had a blast, but man, was she tired today. I think yesterday she was still running off her vacation high. And the boys? Well, since Zoe was gone, they spent the week having friends over, swimming, and being their typical rambunctious selves, which exhausted this six month pregnant mama. So, when the morning sunshine came streaming through our windows this morning, none of us were ready to greet her with open arms. Instead, we lounged around until noon in our jammies, nibbled on snacks and Freezies the entire day, watched the movie Up, and then went for a quick swim. That's all we did, and no one complained. Sometimes you just need to take a breather and today seemed to be the perfect day to do just that.

With a long, lazy day under our belts, we are now ready to take on the next two fun-filled weeks with gusto. Last night, two of our favourite coaches from the British Challenger Soccer Camp arrived "home" and will be staying with us for another week since there was only one billet from Quispamsis, where the camp is running this week, to take a coach in for the week. Your loss is our gain! The kids were ecstatic to see Ben and David again last night, and it did not take them long to crank out some Mario Kart action! It was so much fun!

Also, to add to all the excitement around here, this Wednesday Mr. Level-Headed's sister, Christina, is flying in from Salt Lake City with her husband and three girls. Can you say TWO WEEK PARTY!

Man, I love summer!

Mary and Zelda

Oh, and our two favourite critters have come for a visit as well. This summer just gets better and better.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Growing Pains

I can't be your little boy forever, Mom!

I never thought I would hear those eight words being uttered by Elliot. He has always been such a mama's boy and proud of it. Ever since he was born, he has been stuck to me like glue, and because of everything we have gone through together and all the challenges that still lie before him, I have always felt that we have a deep connection. That we need each other. He was going to be my boy who lived in the basement. My Peter Pan, who refuses to grow up. But, that is changing. Elliot is seeking out his independence. He wants to do more on his own and he wants space from his mama. I get it, and part of me is really proud of him for it, but there is a tiny, selfish part of me that really wishes he would stop growing up so gosh darn quickly.

Elliot was uber-excited to turn twelve because that meant he could legally stay home alone. He was almost counting down the days. Unfortunately though, at the same time that he turned twelve a few homes in our area were broken into it, while people were home! This terrified me, and I wouldn't leave any of my kids home alone, including Zoe. I have not been able to tell Elliot the real reason why our date nights have suddenly come to an abrupt halt or why the kids must go with me on every menial errand I run because he is already plagued with a million and one worries, and we don`t need this one added to the list. Whenever he protests that it is because I don't trust him, I assure him that this is not true and simply explain:

Elliot, I trust YOU. I just don't trust everyone else.

For the moment, this explanation seems to work, but he is not pleased with it.

So . . . . . . .

Last week, Zoe was babysitting for a friend of ours in the Rothesay area, but she also tutors another friend`s daughter in math two mornings a week. It just so happened that one of the days she had to babysit, she also had to tutor. We decided that the boys and I would go with her to her babysitting job, and we would take the little girl she was babysitting to the playground, while Zoe tutored up the road. Since this meant we were crossing the river and joining a much more civilized part of the world, where sidewalks exist and the speed limit is only 50 km (man, I love sidewalks!), the boys begged me to let them bring their bikes along. I love my home on the Peninsula! I love the beauty that surrounds us - the trees, the river, and all the birds that call my backyard their home. I love the fact that we own a huge lot and unlike our old home in Saint John, I don`t have five other homes looking into my backyard, but . . . the peninsula is not a child-biking friendly area. We live on a country highway, which means there really is no speed limit and the windy narrow roads are really not conducive to such speeds, but that does not seem to phase anyone. Top all of this off with the countless beer cans I find sprawled alongside the road everyday, I have decided that our road is not child-biking friendly.

Anyhoo . . . 

The boys took their bikes with us this particular day and rode them to the playground. They were so excited and I can`t blame them. I remember the exhilarating feeling of being a kid and riding your bike along the busy streets and biking out of sight from your mom. It`s your first taste of freedom and it is awesome!  After we finished up at the playground, . . . oh, I just have to mention that raising Thing 4 is going to be a piece of cake with these two big brothers. My boys LOVE little kids and they played hard at the playground with the little girl Zoe was babysitting. It warmed my heart to see them so gentle with her and so willing to entertain. So . . . . after we finished up at the playground, the boys begged me to let them ride their bikes back to Grammie`s. My initial reaction was to say no because my mother lives a fair distance away, but then I remembered that when I was twelve, just like Elliot, I would bike to my friend, Anne`s house, almost every day, who just happened to live a minute away from where the boys and I were now. Ugh! I hate parental dilemmas. I looked at Elliot who was giving me those pleading, puppy dog eyes that he has mastered so well, and I could not say no. Really, I had no reason to say no. If I could do it, he could do it too, and that`s when he said it, those eight little words that keep ringing in my ears:

I can`t be your little boy forever, Mom!

You are right, Elliot. Yes, you and Avery can bike to Grammies.

And so I let them go. Well, I let them go as much as I could. As soon as I walked back to where Zoe was babysitting, I hopped into my car and went on the search for my boys. I passed them walking their bikes up a steep hill, and I had to giggle. They looked so cute and so grown-up making the trek up the hill and talking the whole time. I decided to park my car on a side street further up the road to watch for them. After a couple of minutes I saw them bike past me. Elliot was yelling instructions to Avery behind him and they were zooming along. Then I decided to drive to a parking lot further along their route and wait for them there. Sure enough, after a few minutes, they sped past me, but this time I was spotted. They laughed and waved at me. Finally, I decided to let them do the rest of the journey on their own and I drove to my parent`s house. To see their faces when they victoriously turned onto my childhood road was so rewarding for me as a parent. They were ecstatic! They had accomplished a difficult task on their own, and they felt invincible. I am so glad that I did not listen to my inner Nervous Nelly because honestly, she can be a terrible bore sometimes. 

Way to go boys!

Parenting is so hard because it is one of those jobs where your whole purpose is to put yourself out of a job . . . tee hee! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Confessions and Genetics

I went for my sixth month check-up yesterday, and everything looks great, but I have to admit, I am getting very scared. When I came home to jot down all my check-up info like weight, fetal heartbeat, etc. into my pregnancy book, I noticed something that has been nagging me for quite some time. Everything about this pregnancy is identical to Elliot's . . . . . ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! At 22 weeks, I weigh the exact same as I did with Elliot, the fetal heartbeat is the exact same (150), and I was sick at the beginning of both of these pregnancies. Mind you, I was not as sick with Elliot as I have been with Thing 4, but still, I never vomited once with either Zoe or Avery. If this trend keeps going, that means in about four months I will be the proud mama of one, very colicky, albeit adorable baby . . . eeeeeek! 

The other day, Elliot mentioned that it would be so neat if Thing 4 was the same as him, and I nearly passed out. When he is with Zoe and Avery, he feels like the odd man out. Everything comes so easily to the two of them and from his point of view, they excel in everything they do; therefore, it would be great for him to have a kindred spirit, a person he can relate to and impart all his words of wisdom to, but  . . . . is this really a possibility? Would Heavenly Father really send me two special little spirits? Oh man, as much as I love Elliot and would not trade him for the world, I pray that he is one of kind in this household. When I confessed my fears to Mr. Level-Headed via text, his response was:

No worries. Elliot is awesome. You can handle two.

I love how confident he is in my abilities.

Anyhoo . . 

We all know I will love this baby to the moon and back no matter what so I am going to stop fretting now and continue to fantasise about who and what Thing 4 will be like. If there is one thing I have noticed with all of my kids is that not one of them is truly alike. They are all unique, they all have amazing abilities, and they all drive me crazy from time to time.

The other big news at my appointment was that I have gained 5 pounds. Hooray! This makes me very happy since I was not gaining weight in the beginning thanks to round the clock vomiting, but now I am on a roll. I confessed to my doctor that my weight gain probably had something to do with the THREE poutines I ate over the weekend and she laughed. She also assured me that she has heard of worst of cravings and that I didn't need to worry about it. Hmmmm . . . is this the green light to indulge even more? NO!!!

While we were in PEI, yes I tried three different poutines and I have to say they were all very yummy. The first night we were in Charlottetown, we went to dinner with three other families from Zoe's team. As it turned out, I was sitting with the other moms and I was DYING for a poutine and Coke. It had been two weeks since my last indulgence and all I could think about was some salty, cheesy, ooey, gooey goodness chased down by a little black death. After they all ordered their salads and wine, which sounds so very grown-up, it was my turn and I sheepishly turned to the waitress and told her my order. I have never felt so self-conscious in all my life, which is absolutely foolish. I felt like my young self, seated before the priest in those dark confessional boxes of my Catholic Church, confessing all my sins, some made-up and some not so made-up . . . this is a whole other story . . . anyhoo . . . The minute my order left my trembling lips, I turned to the other ladies and confessed to them, almost apologetically, that I am pregnant and that poutine is my craving. The minute I announced this, the whole table erupted in congratulations and laughter. We had a grand chat after that, and it was so nice to finally break the ice with these women, whom I have sat with to watch many soccer games but really never knew well.

Anyhoo . . .

Man, I keep getting off topic this morning. So, here is the run down of my PEI poutine splurge:

  1. Swiss Chalet has AWESOME poutine! They smother it in gravy and the gravy is thick and yummy.
  2. Wendy's makes a very yummy poutine and it is cheap. They use lots of cheese and their new fries are very good.
  3. Ken's Island Fries, a truck parked in the Walmart parking lot, makes alright poutine. The fries were too thick for my liking and Ken was skimpy on the cheese. Seriously, though, what did I expect from a truck parked in front of Walmart . . . tee hee!
Wendy's - Look at all that cheese!


Awesome gravy, but so little cheese!

So, the final standings are:

For franchised restaurants:
1. Swiss Chalet
2. Wendy's
3. Deluxe

For locally-owned restaurants:
1. Kredl's/Poutine Shack at Kingston Market
2. Peddler's Creek
3. Reid's Point Pub

Sorry, Ken

This weekend, my hubby is taking me to Grannan's for my weekly poutine indulgence, and I am so excited. I heard they won the Great Saint John Poutine Challenge a few weeks ago, and I am expecting big things. Big things, folks. Grannan's, please don't disappoint me. 

Since you stuck with this ridiculously long and terribly random post of mine, I am going to reward you with some very embarrassing pictures of me and my belly. The amazon, super-modelesque woman beside me is my baby sister, Emily. She is only two weeks behind me in her pregnancy and for the record, she is not craving poutine and she is thirteen years younger than me and she is carrying her FIRST not her FOURTH baby.

I have titled these photos: An Elven Mama and a Hobbit Mama

I probably won't have to tell you whose who.

I love how her body dwarfs mine and how I had to stick my head out just so you could see me. I guess this is just further proof that although siblings grow up in the same household together, have many of the same experiences, and have the same parents, they all grow up to be unique individuals. Phew! I have nothing to fear then. ;) 

Happy Thursday!

Monday, 15 July 2013

A Quick Trip to PEI

On Friday morning, we packed up the Loser Cruiser, picked up Zoe's friend Jill and headed to Prince Edward Island for the weekend because the girls had a soccer tournament there. It was a fantastic weekend! The weather was perfect, our cottage was adorable, and the U16 girls played some awesome soccer games. In fact, they won 2 games out of three, which won them a spot in the finals, and in the end, they came home with the gold! 

Baby Girl even won Player of the Game for the second game they played! Zoe's game is not about glory. She plays the middle field, and rather than getting goals or saving goals, she sets up the plays. She looks for openings and passes the ball. She stops the opposing team from heading down the center of the field, and she keeps the ball in her half. I imagine it to be a hard position to play. Rarely, are you ever cheered from the sidelines, and rarely, are you ever the star of the game. So, on Saturday afternoon, after Zoe played probably the best game of her life in the baking PEI sun, we were thrilled to learn that the opposing team's coach took notice of Zoe's efforts and skills. He saw what a valuable player she is, he noticed how influential she was in the game even though she never scored a goal, and in the end, he awarded her MVP. I am such a proud mama!

Since the soccer games were in Charlotttetown, we found a tiny cottage twenty minutes outside of town in Stanhope, PEI, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that that we were only a ten minute walk away from Brackley Beach. With Zoe's games being played on Saturday, we were able to spend Friday afternoon at the beach. While the girls jumped in the surf and attracted the attention of a young man visiting from Ontario (tee hee!), Mr. Level-Headed built sandcastles with the boys and I fell asleep on the beach blanket. Sun and pregnancy do not mix well! 

 Later that evening, we met up with some of Zoe's teammates and their families for dinner. Afterwards, we headed back to our cottage, where the boys (Mr.Level-Headed included) became enthralled in a documentary about King Tut on the History Channel. The girls headed back to the beach in the guise of wanting to play beach volleyball, but we knew they were really hoping to bump into the blond cutie from Ontario once again . . . wink, wink. Unfortunately, they had no luck and ended up watching the tail end of the documentary with us. 

The next morning, we woke up early for the girls' first game. Mr. Level-Headed in all his wisdom, offered to take them so that I could take the boys back to the beach. Elliot was entirely off his rocker this trip. He needs time to get comfortable in his new surroundings and to adjust to the schedule of vacation. Unfortunately, a three day trip does not provide enough time for him to do this, and so to help us all cope with his nervousness, his negativity, and his inability to remain in the same place for more than thirty minutes (sounds fun, right?), we gave him plenty of down time. We took many mini trips to the pool (again, never longer than thirty minutes), we took him to the beach, we allowed him a lot of screen time (the only thing that settles him at these times), and we fed him pizza (his favourite food!). When he did have to watch a soccer game, only one I might add, we let him sit in the shade behind my lawn chair and play on his Ipod. It breaks my heart to see him so disengaged from what is going on around him, but, Mr. Level-Headed comforted me by pointing out that our first priority was to help Elliot feel at ease, and if that meant we spent lots of time in the cottage letting him watch TV or allowing him to play on his Ipod during dinner with people he did not know or while watching a soccer game in a place he was unfamiliar with, then that's what we needed to do. Gosh darn it, I love that man!

Apart from one epic poutine binge (more details tomorrow), that was pretty much our trip. On Sunday morning, we woke up and went to church in Charlottetown, where we got to see some good friends we have not seen in a long time. Mr. Level-Headed was not impressed with how many Young Men there are in the Charlottetown church, but Zoe did not seem bothered by it at all . . . tee hee! The boys immediately made new friends and Zoe added lots of new names to her list of Facebook friends. She is very eager to catch up with them all again on a youth trip they are taking to New York state later this week. Poor, Mr. Level-Headed!

On the drive home, as we crossed over the bridge, we all turned and bid farewell to Prince Edward Island. We have so many fond memories of the family vacations we have taken here. Some short, some long, and some really long (thanks to car trouble), but all of them fun. I was a little sad to see this family vacation come to an end, especially since we rarely ever get to spend three whole days with Mr. Level-Headed lately, but I quickly consoled myself with the thought that next time we cross over that terrifyingly long bridge, we will have Thing 4 in tow and will be able to create a whole new set of Island memories. Yippee!

And now here come the dreaded vacay photos:

Movies in the car
Heading over the Confederation Bridge

First Stop: Cows!

For the record, I love Jill! She gave me the okay to share this photo. :)

Let's go to the beach!

On Saturday morning, we had the entire beach to ourselves.

Elliot's ideal vacation!

PEI, you will always be my favourite summer vacation spot!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

They're Here! They're Here!

They're here! They're here! My AppleCheeks are finally here! Of all the baby supplies we have collected over the past few weeks, these diapers have really made it sink in:


Okay, so you have heard me say that time and time again on this blog, but sometimes I just can't help shouting it out. There seem to be these precious moments that occur once and awhile, when all of a sudden it becomes very real to me and my heart overflows with joy. I become overwhelmed with gratitude for this miracle in my life, and all I can do, time and time again, is drop to my knees and thank Heavenly Father for being so merciful. I don't know why He answered our prayers. I don't know why He chose me to be the mother of this baby, and why He gave me another shot at being a mom when I have already been so richly blessed raising the other three children He gave to me. I don't know why so many of my dear friends have not had similar prayers answered. I don't know why so many of us have had to struggle through the pain of infertility and miscarriages. I guess I don't know a lot of things, but I do know this for certain: never give up! Trust that God hears your prayers and that He will answer them in His own way and in His own time. I have seen it in my own life, time and time again. He loves you, and He is mindful of all that you have endured. Please, never give up!

Now that I have dried my eyes, let me present to you my first ever AppleCheeks stash:

Eeek! I can't wait to swaddle Thing 4's cheeks in these adorable diapers. 

Of all the colours, this one is my favourite:

I can't wait to see Thing 4's chubby little legs sticking out from this one.

Here is some of the other baby paraphernalia that has trickled in over the past couple of weeks:

All I need now is a baby . . .

tee hee!

18 weeks to go, but whose counting?

Oh, and if you have baby stuff that you are looking to part with, please let me know. My sister, Emily, is just two weeks behind me in her pregnancy and between the two of us, I am sure we can put it to good use. :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

I Should Know Better

You would think that by now, after fifteen and a half years of parenting, I would know better than to take even one moment to bask in my parenting awesomeness. I should know that whenever I do this, the Universe decides to knock me down a peg or two just to keep me humble and to remind me that I am truly not in charge here. THEY are!

Frightening yes, but true.

Yesterday afternoon, my three munchkins and I decided to enjoy the beautiful summer afternoon by the pool. The kids jumped in, but I was content to just sit, with the warm sun on my back and a gentle breeze blowing off the river to cool me down, reading a book. The sound of my kids laughing and the antics of a nearby flock of finches filled the air along with the smell of freshly mowed grass and a faint tinge of chlorine from the pool. It felt like summer, it sounded like summer, and it smelled like summer. To say I was in heaven is an understatement. 

Like all good times,  though, this one sadly ended far to quickly for my liking. The boys began to fight, and Elliot stormed out of the pool screaming:

Avery, you are such a turd!

This is his latest, most favourite insult to lash out with at his brother. Avery, who loves nothing more than a good scrap, followed it up by yelling:

At least I'm not a baby!

His insults may lack creativity, but when you've got something that works,why change it.

About ten minutes after Elliot left the pool, Avery, who is lost without his brother, decided to go up to the house and join him. It wasn't long before they were both out on the deck trying to wheel and deal some extra screen time out of me.

Mom, if we do a chore for you, can we watch another half hour of screen?

Enjoying this idyllic summer moment in my backyard and knowing that supper was just around the corner and that there was lots for me to do, I jumped quickly on their offer.

Empty the dishwasher and then you can watch a show.

And, then the inevitable happened. I began to feel very smug with myself. I basked in my supreme awesomeness for cracking down on the screen time this summer and for teaching my kids the value of hard work. This was one of those good mama moments that are few and far between, and I was determined to soak up every last morsel of this glorious feeling.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This is the life. 

Unfortunately, supper time was approaching quickly and I had to get the boys ready for their soccer practice that evening. I reluctantly peeled myself  off of the lawn chair, called to Zoe that it was time to get out of the pool, and headed back up to the house. When inside, I was pleased to see that my dishwasher was empty and the boys   were laying lazily (and quietly) on the couch watching an old Garfield cartoon. Again, I gave myself a well-deserved pat on the back. Then, I started supper. I usually get the kids to set the table, but I was enjoying the silence and the solitude of my kitchen so much that I decided to the do the job myself. I opened up the cupboard where we keep all the plates, and I grumbled for a moment about how the boys just seem to toss everything in there willy nilly with no concern for order. A couple of plastic bowls were leaning on their side and the plates, rather than being stacked from biggest to smallest, were placed randomly on top of one another. I laughed at my apparent OCD, and went to rearrange the plates when I noticed that one of the plates still had spaghetti sauce on it. In fact, the closer I looked, I noticed that all the plates still had sauce on them. I whipped open the glass cupboard and discovered that all the glasses were still smudged and a few still had left over bits of  pulp from our orange juice that morning on them.Then, it dawned on me. Yes, I loaded the dishwasher that afternoon, but I never turned it on . . . 

BOYS! You put all of these dishes away even though they were dirty. What were you thinking!

I knew it, mom! I told Avery they were still dirty but he told me to do it anyway. Avery, I told you. I am sorry mom.

Elliot became visibly flustered.

Turn off the TV and come help me reload this dishwasher. Elliot, you know better than this. You should have came out and told me the dishes were still dirty rather than unloading them. 

I know mom, but Avery said it was okay.

Avery, you know better too. Why would you put away dirty dishes?

Avery, who never skips a beat and almost never feels any remorse for his follies, replied:

Listen mom, you never said anything about putting away clean dishes. You only told us to unload the dishwasher. You need to be more clear with your directions.

As a mad as I was and as much as I wanted to wring his neck, I could not help but laugh. What a kid! I definitely see law school in his future . . . well, either that, or prison.  

. . .  tee  hee!

My dirty dishes

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

She's Got a Ticket to Ride . . .

Every time I look at this photo, I hear the Beatles singing in the background:  

She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
But she don't care
My baby don't care.

I can't help it. It just fits. Last night we popped in to visit my parents briefly. Papa Skov is on vacation and, as soon as we entered the house,  he took one look at Zoe and said:

Let's go for a ride!

She tried to back out of it. She complained that she was too tired, but Papa Skov was not hearing any of it.

You're the only grandchild left that has not taken a ride with me on the bike. Let's go!

And with some gentle prodding from her mama, Zoe hopped onto the bike and was off. She tried to act nonchalant about he whole thing when they returned, and the only comment she made was that it was very cold, but I could tell from her big, cheesy grin that she enjoyed every minute of it.This girl looks good on a Harley. In fact, I think she looks far too comfortable . . . tee hee!

She's got a ticket to ride
But she don't care.

Happy Tuesday!

Oh,and if you happen to see me out and about today, you may want to stay clear. This pregnant mama is covered from head to toe in a heat rash, and she is cranky. She went to bed cranky, and she woke up cranky. Look out world, this AMA needs her space!

Please pray for my children. They just may not survive the day. :)

Monday, 8 July 2013

Heat Wave!

It has been hot, and I have been loving every minute of it! Or at least trying to. Being pregnant in 36' C weather is not easy, and although I am a lover of the heat, there were a few times that I may have whispered:

Okay, enough already.

If I stood up for any length  of time, my feet would swell up. I lost my appetite, and lived off of ice water and Freezies the entire weekend. It was so bad, I didn't even partake in my weekly Poutine indulgence! Eeeek! With my growing belly and a room that was consistently 29'C, I had a terrible time sleeping. To top it all off, the heat made all my little munchkins very cranky, and I spent the entire weekend breaking up fights and sending boys to their room. 

But . . . 

I never complained once, and I wouldn't let my kids moan and groan either.  We are so blessed to have a pool in our backyard. We were blessed to have no plans this weekend and a Mr. Level-Headed, who was also free, to spend it with. We are blessed to have lots of good friends to enjoy our pool with, as we did this past weekend, and we are very blessed to have a freezer full of frozen treats. I see no reason to complain here!

Living in Atlantic Canada, I knew the weather could and would change any minute like it did this morning. Hello, rain! Unless it is rain, our weather is incapable of remaining consistent for more than a four-day stretch. So, I made the most of all the heat and sunshine. I embraced my sweaty, swollen self and lived in sun dresses. I spent copious amounts of time floating lazily in the pool, and I put a smile on my face the whole entire time. Summer has arrived, and it is going to be an awesome one!

In all this sunshine, hats were a necessity!

My new best friend. Not as tasty as Poutine, but very satisfying.

How did you make the most of the heat?

Friday, 5 July 2013

Nothing Beats a Hot, Sunny, Summer Day

Can I just say that I LOVE summer! There truly is no better time of year. Thanks to the heat, the sun, the fun activities and the break from school, my one goal each day can be to simply enjoy my kiddos. Sure, we are still doing a bit of workbook review and there are always appointments, endless doctor, dentist, and automotive appointments, but for the most part, our summer is filled with carefree, lazy days, and there is nothing I love more. Yesterday, for instance, was the perfect day. We kicked it off by attending to our real world responsibilities. Baby Girl went to the gym with Mr. Level-Headed (the gym has a great program running this summer where teens get to go for free!), we took the Loser Cruiser (the kids named it, not me) in to get an oil change and the summer tires put back on (I live in Canada. You just never know when winter is finished for certain), and the kids each did a math review and thirty minutes of reading (according to Elliot, this constitutes as cruel and unusual torture). Then when all that was finished, we hit the pool. Oh, how I love my pool, and oh, how I love my hubby for finally  putting it in last year! The kids and I spent a whomping four hours in it yesterday, and Mr. Level-Headed even got off work early and was able to join us. It was heavenly!

The other thing I love about summer is that by the time supper rolls around and everyone has spent the day outside in all the heat, no one feels like eating a big meal. So at 5:30pm, I dragged my water-logged body out of the pool, got my hubby to saute some shrimp in garlic and butter, while I made a spinach salad (I do eat healthy . . . sometimes!), and voila, supper was served. No fuss, no muss, and more importantly, no whining! Then, with Freezies in hand, we headed up to the soccer field for the boys practice, where I lounged on a bench talking to all the other moms and dads. Again, can life can any better?  After soccer, we were still feeling pretty sweaty and sticky, so we went for one last dip in the pool. Normally, after soccer practice, we have to rush home and get everyone to bed, but not in the summer! In fact, after our swim, the house was way too hot for sleeping so we all lounged around the living room watching a documentary on the Bones Brigade. How cool is that? In fact it was so entertaining that Mr. Level-Headed even stayed up to watch! Do you remember the Bones Brigade? They were that skateboarding team, whom we all adored and idolized during junior high school. Nothing screams junior high for me like the Tony Hawk bangs! It was great to see that many of them are very successful men now in both their business lives and their family lives. I love happy endings . . . 

 almost as much as I love spending lazy, summer days with these guys!

Avery tackling a little summertime review.

Elliot taking a stand against his mama's foolishness for setting up early morning appointments during summer vacation by refusing to get up.

Some random fifteen year old girl, floating in our pool. It is definitely NOT Baby Girl because we all know that all photos of Baby Girl must be pre-approved by the diva herself, and this mama would never want to do anything to upset her . . . tee hee!

Enjoy your weekend! It's gonna be a hot one.

Eeeek! I almost forgot that I have an important announcement to make . . .  the award  for being the first person to skinny dip in our pool goes to Elliot! Zoe thought it would be funny to steal his swim trunks, but unbeknownst to her, Elliot decided to embrace the freedom of his nakedness and spent the next half hour trying to give her a hug . . . tee hee! It was priceless watching that white bum swim across the water and Zoe frantically swimming away with a look of horror and disgust. 

Second place goes to Mr. Level-Headed and I . . . wink, wink. We missed the gold by only a couple of hours . . . tee hee! There is never a dull moment here at Shenanigans Inc.