Note: I actually started this post two days ago and am just getting a chance to finish it now!
Why, hello there. Helloooooo? Hello? It sounds very echo-y in here. No one around for miles. Well, then no one will mind if I just talk to myself a bit.
So, self, whatcha been up to this summer?
Well, self, I went on a trip to Quebec with my husband, and since then I've been home with the kids doing not much at all. Except, doing so much that I've been too busy to visit this here blogger homepage.
We are ALL OVER this summer thing, yo. We are doin' it up right!
SO RIGHT that I haven't had a chance to write anything. (I have been reading blogs, though. Love to read 'em while I eat my cereal.)
Grandma visited (and we took off for Quebec).
Then my Mother-in-Law visited (and we swam in the pool and sat in the sun every day). Oh, and Hubby and I went to see Iron Man! A movie! In a movie theater! Whoop, whoop!
My brother and his wife moved to the LA area. A very different part of the LA area than mine, but it's much closer than Massachusetts! We have seen then about once a week so far. It remains to be seen how much we'll manage to get together as time goes on, but we are all so excited to have a family member within 400 miles, hurrah!
Middle Girl lost her second tooth! It was really wiggly for a pretty long time, and when it finally came out we saw that the big tooth didn't come in directly underneath. It came in behind the baby tooth. So, a)no wonder it had trouble pushing the baby tooth out, and b)oh dear; this girl's going to need some dental work someday...
We've been doing lots of swimming! With kids ages 3, 5, and 8, that definitely means I'm in the pool with them, hence the difficulty finding time to sit at the computer. Middle Girl and The Boy are coming along with their swimming. Middle Girl started out the summer by staying on the big step, then started swimming around wearing a floaty vest, and now is working on her dog paddle with no flotation device! The Boy started out the summer by staying on the big step, and now he's using the Turtle Floaty to JUMP IN and motor all over the pool! He extends his legs behind him and kicks those little-boy feet, kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick, and looks like a little motorboat! It is so adorable. Big Girl's goal right now is to figure out how to retrieve toys off the bottom of the pool. She's still working on it!
Along with all the swimming, we've had lots of friends over to play and swim with us! I've been providing lunch for lots of our buddies, and sometimes dinner as well. We even had a visit from our friends from Sydney!
We also have been playing with the kids next door. If both families are at home, the kids are probably playing. It's great living next to them!
We went over to the beach to visit some friends and had a really fun day. The kids loved playing in the sand and running from the waves! We have not done this with them before, but I think we will try to do it more often now that we have people to visit over there.
Big Girl has been going to the theater camp she begged and begged us to let her attend. It is 5 days a week, 9 am - 3 pm, and they have finished the second of the three weeks. They are putting together a review of scenes and songs from "Hairspray," and we'll go see the production next Saturday night. She is thoroughly enjoying it, although she had a few days of frustration last week over the assignments of solos. But we had a good talk about it, and things are looking up. At the end of the first week, she was given the part of "businessman" in one of the numbers. Breathlessly, she told us "I get to wear a suit and a hat and carry an old-fashioned briefcase! I'm so excited I get to be a businessman because it's really playing a different person from who I am!" She told everyone we saw that weekend or talked to on the phone. It was SO CUTE! It's fun for her to be able to do this with her best friend E., since they don't go to the same school and don't usually get to spend this much time together.
Middle Girl and The Boy are still attending their preschool's summer school, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This is The Boy's first session of preschool, and he is so proud of himself! He tells people, "I go to school now." And extra bonus is that his favorite friend S. is in the class with him and they have a ball together.
You may wonder what I'm doing with my time now that I actually have a few hours when all three kids are at their summer activities. Well, I'll tell you: it's very exciting. I got some fillings at the dentist and went to Home Depot for some errands. Wah. Hoo. I'm also trying to finally work on our finished basement and have made some progress. But like most projects of this nature, it gets more messy before it starts looking good. It's quite messy right now. (It's going from "place full of the boxes still unpacked from the move (Nov. 2006)" to "guest room/office.")
Middle Girl and The Boy and I have also been busy during the time when Big Girl's at camp. In addition to the playdates, we've gone to the zoo, the aquarium, and the Hollywood Bowl. The aquarium was strange for me, since I used to work there six years ago. Many things are the same, several things are new, and the people I used to work with have moved on to other institutions. It's weird to go back to your old stomping grounds and feel like the place doesn't know you anymore. OH! and there was this one volunteer who was making me a bit crazy with his misinformation. He told Middle Girl that "blue whales eat little fish named krill." "That's right, honey," I said, "they eat tiny shrimp called krill." Then later, that same volunteer was at the bat ray touch tank speaking on the microphone and said "Do you know what we call animals that breathe air? We call them mammals." (Cough) (Hack) (Cough) Oh, brother. So birds, reptiles, insects, etc. are all mammals, then, genius?
Summer Sounds at the Hollywood Bowl is probably our favorite activity each summer. This is my eighth year in a row! It's a musical performance for kids, and you can also buy a ticket to do an art project related to the theme for that day. Unsurprisingly, since it is the Hollywood Bowl after all, the talent is top-notch. Back when I started attending with Big Girl, you could show up and buy tickets for that day's performance. Each year, it became more and more popular, and for the past few years it has sold out in April a day or two after tickets went on sale. This year, they changed it so that weeks 1-2 are the same, 3-4 are the same, and 5-6 are the same. Good News, there are lots more tickets available; Bad News, only three shows to go see instead of six. Oh well. Middle Girl, The Boy and I had a lot of fun at the first show, which featured Incan musicians and dancers from Peru, and at the art workshop we made small mosaics after looking at Peruvian examples for inspiration. Next week, Zimbabwe!
One night, the kids went over to TK's house for a sleepover! The Hubby and I got to enjoy dinner out together, then we went to pick up The Boy and bring him home to sleep in his own bed. I think that night was a treat for everyone!
In addition to all of the summer-special activities, the girls have continued their gymnastics class and Big Girl has been taking private violin lessons. She is progressing nicely! She is working on rhythms that mix eighth notes with quarter notes.
So what's coming up?
Big Girl finishes her theatre camp and we'll all attend the performance, and Middle Girl and The Boy have their last week of summer preschool (a full T & Th, with Water Day and BBQ Party).
I have rehearsals with my band for my August 3 Music in the Park gig (the wedding that hired me as a soloist for Mass was today, so that's over).
We're going to the zoo for dinner and World Music Night next week.
More friends coming over!
And then, at the end of this next week, we leave for Oregon. Every summer, the kids and I spend a month at my parents' house. We'll see lots of family, including a new baby cousin/nephew who will be born on Wednesday. The main item on the Oregon agenda is Quality Time with Family. I'll wait until we get there to figure out the specific activities...
But I've got one week to get us all packed for the visit and the car trip up there (and figure out what to sell to earn some gas $$$?)! I've already done most of the Back-to-School shopping - there are only a couple errands left, so we'll be ready to get home and start school one week later!
(Oh, BTW, I'm flying home for my August 3 gig. I will leave the kids at Mom's and be home alone with Hubby for two days before I fly back up there! LOVE IT!)
And now, the reason for the title of this post:
We have beans!
The Boy's bean plant made beans!