Big boys have completed their first two days of soccer camp. Because of World Cup soccer, it's an exciting time to be involved in 3 hours/day of soccer. The camp is "British Challenger Camp" and each instructor is a young adult from England, here for the summer. They did it last year and found the coaches to be fun and funny, very engaging; the games and drills were new and interesting and they learned a lot.
This year, we signed them up again (it meets in the next town over) and then heard a week later that some local people were bringing in one of these camps to OUR town. The boys really wanted to do both, for various reasons. So, this week is the local camp. The coach for this year, in this town, is, welll... a bit different than last year. She is, to begin with, a she. They were all guys last year. Secondly, she is harsh. Just rough stuff, not soft, not sweet. She's not really all about fun, although they are *having* fun with friends and learning new things. The biggest problem, I think, is that Jamie goes in the morning for three hours, and then we go back with Jeremiah for his group in the evening 5:30-8:30. It's a lot of soccer hours.
Jamie has come home thrilled every day. His soccer just improves so much all the time. I can see how just watching all this TV World Cup has energized him! Unfortunately, right before bed (why is it always just before bed?) he told me that he'd been very anxious for the first half of camp yesterday, and wanted to touch base with me. The coach, however, told him he couldn't call me. It always amazes me when I specifically ask coaches/instructors to allow my children to call at any time, and still they say no. It keeps happening. It drives me crazy. We've brainstormed some ways for him to feel more comfortable today, primarily involving me staying there for longer. It's not an easy thing to do right now - hot sun, running Ryan, big belly. I decided it was worth a chance to ask for a last-minute help from Dorothy, who has generously agreed to hang around with Ryan so I can take him over and stay a while.
Jeremiah also found the style of the camp to be very challenging. I don't think this is the type of "Challenger" camp any of us had in mind. He is mixed in with a group of 11-14yo girls plus 3 other young boys. It's an odd mix, and these girls are very talky, which brings out the not-nice in the coach. Jeremiah is just not loving that. Last night, Evan stayed with him for the duration (he goes in the evening) and he seemed to have a good time.
I wish this weren't all happening right now, to be honest. Getting out the door by 8:45 am for camp, and arriving home at night at 9pm at the end of the other boy's camp... it's a long day for my slow-paced self.
Plenty of contractions the past 24 hours. They aren't painful or close together, but definitely more abundant than before.
First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEREMIAH! At this time, 9 years ago, I was not an especially happy mama. In three hours it will be the time of your sweet arrival.
Here's a look back at some favorite Jeremiah shots.
Speaking of arrivals, I know Ryan was born a tiny bit before his due date, but I don't know
about this baby. I am thinking he could stay put quite a bit longer.
If not, that's great, but I just don't know...
Last night we went to an open house/party and saw lots of people we enjoy seeing, and the kids ran around outside for hours in a pack. Ryan had good food and was amused by a couple of lovely teenage girls with a big station of bubbles and bubble pipes, etc. It was a nice longish walk to and from the party, and a fun time in between.
This morning, I took Ryan to the toddler park for a little playgroup someone invited me to. He didn't hurt *anyone*! He had a particularly nice time playing with a little girl a month older than him, named Elizabeth. All the other moms were very friendly and it seems like a nice group. Should I still be pregnant, I'll go next Sunday.
A Lion in the House is a documentary created by two lovely local people. I can't tell you how it is because I can' t bring myself to watch it, but as soon as I'm past the late-preg, early-newborn stage, I plan to see it. I love the village where I live and it's always exciting to see my neighbors achieving cool things like front-page PBS.org status. wow.
Speaking of PBS, Jamie is up early on this dreary rainy day, sitting in Evan's chair watching this episode of Nova, Newton's Dark Secrets. It's a pleasure and relief to see that, even in the face of a rigorous and structured academic curriculum, he has retained his natural curiousity about other thinky things. Other things going on with Jamie: reading The Secret Garden, watching World Cup Soccer, drawing drawing drawing, in PhotoShop and on paper, hanging out with friends Kira and David, pitching in on housework more and more with very little complaint. What. a. guy.
Jeremiah's occupied by lots of trampoline jumping and Ryan-duty. He's patient and indulgent with Ryan and his very unfair toddler rules. Jeremiah is blasting through the Dragonball graphic novel series faster than our library system can possibly keep up. He has a couple of standing weekly playdates - Nathan and Daniel/David - and usually sees friends at least 2-3 more times each week. Soccer camp begins next week for both big boys.
There's no shortage of Ryan content on this blog, but a few new obsessions: the hose (to do list for today: babyproofing gadget for a faucet) the doorbell (known is the "beep") 3 and 4 word sentences (woot!) Raffi, on the toddler tape player with headphones lip-synching to They Might Be Giants, which is acceptable enough to the brothers that it need not be limited to headphones. helping with household chores - he is a very good clean diaper stacker
Evan: World Cup watching, in very sane moderation (thank you!), almost daily evening walking with the family, regularly accepting 3-boy duty while I take time for myself, sometimes for shopping and errands, sometimes for leisure.
With the other boys, we didn't find much use for a porta-crib/pack-n-play thing. We did have one which we occasionally used on trips, but otherwise they were just space hogs with no good purpose for our parenting style.
This time, I looked ahead and thought baby4 might need a safe space to be put down now and then. It's difficult to know how Ryan will react to him and whether he'll be consistently gentle. I have my reservations. So, when I saw a used pack-n-play for sale at a fair price, I decided to go for it. This type also had a built-in changing station type thing, which allows us to change diapers in the main living space instead of only in the bedroom. So, great. The thing arrives, Ryan likes to play in it for a few minutes at a time but mostly ignores it.
Until this evening, at which point he's decided climbing it looks fun. And that he does, very easily. In and out, in and out. Bye-bye to the safe space for baby4. Up on the counter or table seems worst of all, as Ryan could pull him down.
I can't hold the baby every second, but I'm starting to think that's the only way he'll truly be safe.
Also, a few new albums of the past couple months have been posted to the left.
Jamie took some pretty artistic photos at the park. Maybe he'll post them on his blog soon. Jeremiah was pretty bored. There was a VERY big school/camp group at the park and it was pretty overwhelming.
Rainy Saturday street fair: Katie and Audrey discovered their canopy wasn't waterproof :-( Brought Katie a poncho, wished her luck and bought veggies from farmer's market. Oh my, the strawberries around here... we cannot get enough.
Brenda came, defended her supplies against the curious hands of Ryan. She said she thinks I need to eat and drink more regularly - I know, but my appetite is just weird. One day, I eat; the next day, nothing sounds good and I'm just not hungry. It doesn't help that the baby seems to have stretched out into my lungs. Could I just carry my digestive organs around in a backpack? Because then I think I'd have the space to carry this baby AND nourish myself. Everything else looks good, and we spent so much time talking about other things that I forgot to ask her some sort of obvious questions about birth supplies. There is surprisingly little required...
Went back to Street Fair with all boys except Jeremiah, who was playing all day at his friend Nathan's house. We watched the belly dancers, trapese girls, got firefighter hats, balloons, and went to the bookmobile sale. Jamie and I helped pack up books after the sale, and Jamie spotted a couple of reference books he wanted for his writing/drawing. He's been amusing us by reading from his new book of quotations.
Katie stopped over on her way home. Audrey is just about the sweetest thing, geez. She's got this nose you want to grab and the softest head, I just bury my face in her fluff. Ryan, apparently, agrees, and cannot - CANNOT - stop touching her. I know it's funny, but seriously, I think I might have to never sit down with our new baby, because he was not to be distracted from the baby. At all. Wouldn't let her nurse, etc.
Sunday. Groceries and World Cup Soccer. Grammy and Grandpa came for dinner, strawberries for dessert, of course.
OTN: finished two MDK warshrags, starting the MDK kimono. I saw someone did it sleeveless, on the MDK knitalong website. That sounds good - I may do some short sleeved or sleeveless for summer. Right now, I'm using some very badly self-spun yarn and bigger needles than the pattern calls for - hoping for a size to fit when baby is mid-winter, not newborn. The wool is soft, but not on-baby-skin soft.
These goodies came in the mail: Beautifully embellished soaker sweet little socks in nice bright colors Sleep sack/soaker combo, which appears to be knit in hand-dyed yarn, and these blues are GORGEOUS.
I was just positive that I'd posted about this adorable sweater and squirrel that were sent to me by Stefaneener but now I can't find it anywhere! So, here is the lovely and incredibly soft little sweater, its perfectly-placed buttons, and the baby squirrel to match.