Jack’s Bowling Birthday Party

Sometimes Jack gets the short end of the stick with birthday parties.  He gets parties, but they don’t get quite the time and effort that Casey’s do.  Of course he hasn’t noticed a difference so in the end it seems to work out for us.  Casey is still asking what kind of crafts we’re going to do at Jack’s party though.
One year we thought we wouldn’t have a big party until all my friends convinced me to have a little playdate party for him.  This is the one where Tugger ate the cake and I had to make a last minute call to a friend to pick up a cake.  Last year we had just moved into the area and didn’t really know anyone.  On Jack’s birthday we went to a Hail & Farewell for Pat’s office and the Captain’s family got him a cake and some sweet people who didn’t even know him brought presents for him!  
This year we were trying to work around friends being in and out of town, so we decided to have an early party.  Jack originally wanted to take some friends to a baseball game but the schedules didn’t work out.  When I suggested bowling, he thought it was great.  So we invited three of his best friends, I grabbed some Star Wars themed plates, napkins and balloons at the store and we planned a party.  
It also happened that Jack’s party was in the middle of Vacation Bible School week for us and after I spent a morning with incoming 1st graders, I was not feeling ready for a bowling party.  But I pushed through, got some brownies and ice cream made, blew up some balloons and Jack was happy.  
As soon as the boys got here, an epic Star Wars battle began and there was a lot of energy in this house.    I was kind of afraid to take that energy to the bowling alley by myself, but once we got to the bowling alley they all settled down and started focusing on getting strikes!  I really had fun watching the boys bowl.  (But I’m going to have to join in next time I go!)

After 2 games of bowling, we headed back to the house to make pizza and eat cake.  Jack was so impatient to open his presents that he didn’t even want to blow out the candles on his cake.  Then he didn’t even eat a piece of cake until after all his friends left.  He was too busy putting Legos together!

Nana bought some great cake toppers for Jack’s Ocean City birthday celebration back in May and Jack wanted to use them again.  General Grievous and Anakin Skywalker battled it out on top of the brownies.
I think Jack was pretty happy with his birthday party.  He really liked bowling so we’ll have to go back a few more times this summer.  And I was happy that everyone seemed to have a good time without me trying to recreate anything from Pinterest.  I didn’t even have party favors – gasp!  
Only 2 more days until someone officially turns 7!

First Swim Meet

Jack and Casey joined the Crocs swim team this summer.  Last week was their first week of practice and their first swim meet.  Casey was able to go to all the practices last week but Jack also had baseball camp and he only got to a few minutes of practice on a couple of days.  
It’s been a chilly spring here (by Memphis standards) and the water has not been very warm.  But Casey has jumped right in and done everything coach has asked of her.  Jack is a little more hesitant and prefers to be the last one in the water and tries to hang out at the back of the line before he has to jump in again.  I really don’t blame him.  I’ve never really been a fan of cold water.  One of my childhood friends always had a swimming party for her birthday…at the end of May, in a lake, in Maine.  I’m pretty sure I never got past my knees at those parties.  But, temps are forecast for the 90s this week so I have a feeling it will warm up pretty soon.  
So far, I have been completely impressed with what a week of swim team practice has done for both of them.  Four days of practice and then they swam in their first swim meet!
This swim meet was just chaos.  The swim coordinator sent out a bajillion emails about what we had to do to be ready for it.  The kids need to be marked a certain way in permanent marker, before sunscreen/bug spray, in a certain place. They need to be lined up and ready to go for their event, in the right lane, waiting for the beep.  Some events are combined so you have to know if you’re event might go a little sooner.  
But, I figured it out and got them where they needed to be and they were so impressive!  What I did not figure out until the end of the race was that I had been putting their swim caps on them sideways.  Maybe this week it will be easier to get it on if I do it correctly.  
Jack and Casey both swam a 25m freestyle relay and an individual 25m freestyle and it was the first time they had ever swum the length of the pool without touching the lane ropes for help.  They did it both times and I’m still so proud of how well they did!  Casey also did a 25m backstroke and did well at that.  She just needs to work on her rudder control.  
You get a ribbon in every event that you swim and these guys were very happy with their ribbons.  Both of their relay teams came in first!  
Jack got his first full practice in today and he was very excited for it.  He is learning breast and back stroke and is excited to swim those events in the future.  I have a feeling that I will continue to be impressed by my little crocs as the summer progresses.

The Blog Returns with the Beginning of Summer !

I’ve decided not to let this blog die 🙂  So it’s back by popular demand…by the only readers…who happen to be the grandparents of my children.

I was writing about Christmas the last time I wrote.  Fast forward six months…summer vacation has begun!  Pat mentioned a couple weeks ago that he felt like the school year flew by.  I told him it was a little different from my perspective; being the homework supervisor makes for some long weeks.  And I just went through a stack of paperwork 2 feet tall that contained all the hard work of a year of first grade.  I also cleaned out a mailbox of email reminders and notes from Jack’s teacher.

After a week’s vacation in Ocean City, we are back home to start the summer routine, or the lack of routine.  We have a big list on the refrigerator of all the things we want to do this summer.  We have started the summer point system whereby the kids get points for helping around the house and after so many points they get prizes, the big one being a trip to Chuck E Cheese.  I just need to find that piece of paper I wrote last summer with all the things for which they can get a point.

The kids are on the swim team at our country club and started practice this week.  Their first meet is tonight.  Jack has been at baseball camp in the mornings and then gets a few minutes of swimming in after.  Casey is watching a show while wearing her bathing suit as I write…she’s been working very hard in the pool.

But so far, this week at home has been worse than the adjustment to the first couple weeks of school.  These kids are tired!  Casey threw a tantrum last night because I sent her to her room.  I can’t remember if she’s ever thrown a tantrum like that.  Jack got sent to bed without stories.  They both broke down crying at the pizza place because they didn’t have any mini make-your-own pizzas.  (The employees had no pity for my plight.  You make pizzas…can’t you make two small crusts and throw it in a box for me?  Seriously?)

And the questions!  I feel like I have two three year olds right now.  I think they must have stored up a school year’s worth of random questions to ask me.  Casey asked me this morning, “How many heads would it take to fill up the earth?”  What?  Maybe Pop Pop knows the answer to that because I sure don’t.  Are they 8 lb heads?  Adult heads or child heads?

Jack has his own stash of questions but then he likes to argue with you after you give him an answer.  I was telling him that the Arlington Baseball Team (where he is going to baseball camp) won the state championship in 2012.  He, of course, already knew that because he saw the sign at the field and he wanted to know when they would take down the sign.  I told him that they’re proud of it and they’ll probably leave it up for a while.  Then I told him about the high school near our house in Virginia that won the state football championship in 2011 and I said that their sign is still up.

Jack:  How do you know their sign is up?
Me:  I saw it when we drove by the high school when we were in the area last week.
Jack:  I didn’t see it.  Why didn’t I see it?
Me:  You weren’t looking out that side of the car.
Jack:  Oh it was on Casey’s side?  I thought it used to be on my side.
Me:  It’s on different sides depending on which way we are going.  It used to be on your side on the way to school and on Casey’s side on the way home.
Jack:  I’m pretty sure it was on my side most of the time.
Me:  It was probably about half and half.
Jack:  Well you don’t know if that sign is still up.
Me:  I just saw it last week.
Jack:  They might have taken it down.
Me: Okay buddy, you win.

I think we will adjust to this summer business soon.  Next week, we have no camps, just swim team, so I think we can have some fun and get some rest and start crossing some things off our list of things to do!  And I will get to researching the surface area of the earth and figure out how many heads will fit on it.