Thursday, June 30, 2011

My how they've grown

WAY back when, we lived in another city, just the two of us. When we were expecting Beth, we attended good ol' Lamaze classes. In that class were lots of other first time mommies. After the babies were born, a bunch of us started a playgroup. Even when the kids couldn't really play with each other, we moms sure needed it. The comraderie, being able to talk openly about the struggles of this first time mom thing, developing friendships. It was fantastic! Eventually, the kids started playing by each other and then together. Our first gathering was when the babies were 4-6 weeks old. We got together about every other week for a couple years, including Daddies for special events.

June 2005- They were around 1 year old

Over the years, as the kids have grown and headed off to school, as some moms went back to working, as some moved away, as families added 2nd (and even 3rd) babies, we have stayed in touch. We have encouraged each other through job losses, big moves, job changes, loss of parents and miscariages. Recently, an extended stay with my folks provided an opportunity to get together with our old playgroup. The kids jumped right into playing together while we moms sat and reminsced about the early days and the treasure of our friendships.

Beth may not remember them, and Jacob certainly doesn't have a connection, but they will always be precious treasures in our life.


Our kiddos have been growing by leaps and bounds. Did you notice the pictures of them riding bikes- nearly eating their knees. Well, we were planning on bikes for Christmas, but then we decided to surprise the kids early. They had absolutely no idea. It was priceless! Kevin got home from a work trip, ran to pick up Beth's bike. I had picked up Jacob's about a week earlier. Kevin got them ready and set in the garage, then we had the kids go out to see "something strange". Beth was first out of the door, and she was speechless. Let me tell you, that's really saying something. Then Jacob saw his and couldn't get his shoes on fast enough. He was beside himself that it was just what he wanted. He'd tried one out at the store just a couple days before.

We tried them out in the garage, adjusting seats and handles a little. We taught Beth how to use the kickstand and Jacob how to "ding" his bell. Jacob learned that pedaling backwards is a brake. Beth had to learn how to get on the bike safely. She was so tall for her other one that she easily swung her leg over- this one, not so much. After all that, we headed over to the park where the parking lot is flat and big enough to practice.

It was a tough start, getting used to the size and weight of the new bikes, but it didn't take long. Jacob wanted to make sure I took a picture of his bike seat. He's super proud of his Lightning McQueen "Kachow Kick-a-pow" bike. Beth is pretty proud of her not-pink (it's purple), bigger bike. I'm proud of her for riding a two-wheeler.

After we were back home, cooling off, Jacob said he couldn't believe it that they got new bikes. Beth was still grinning, then asking for dinner. They were both very thankful and appreciative. I'm thankful we were able to surprise them.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What a day!

Today, Kevin and I are celebrating 11 years of married adventures.

Today was the last day of swimming lessons. We have swimmers! Big progress in the two weeks! They can both swim unassisted!

This morning, while I went to exercise, Kevin took the kids to practice bikes at the park. After a little lesson and encouragement, Beth is riding two wheels with confidence! She's grown a lot and will need a new bike soon, but it worked great for today! Jacob, of course, is Jacob. I got to see all the fun for myself this afternoon (when it was 99* outside!)

Kevin is currently grilling steak and potatoes. We're looking forward to a great evening as a family, celebrating our life!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Just keep swimming

The last two weeks, we've had the kids in swim lessons. They're having a blast and are worn out come bedtime. It's been great! We signed up for group lessons and ended up with private lessons. Pretty cool for the kiddos!

Beth is learning swim strokes and leg moves. She's so much braver than she was last summer. I guess it's because she's 7. She does really well with the back stroke. While she's doing better, she still need some self-confidence that she knows what to do. Her instructor had us get goggles, thinking it would help with the under water stuff, so Beth wouldn't be so worried about where she was going. It helped a little today.

Jacob is such a nut! From the minute he gets in the water, he's grinning. He wouldn't swallow so much water if he'd close his mouth! He doesn't like to go under water, but he's learning to handle it. The teacher makes him go under water a few times before he gets the noodle he's anxiously wanting to play with. He can swim a little on his own, doggie paddle style, but he "whines" the whole time. He's learning some moves with his legs. His favorite arm move is "chicken-airplane-rocket".

Hopefully we'll get lots more water time this summer, building their confidence and practicing skills.