We have survived the summer of 2010! When I say survive I am referring to the heat/humidity. For me, at least, I try to spend as much time as possible inside to avoid the all too common pressure headaches. The kids can't stay out there that long either unless they are in the pool or the sprinklers. So yes, we survived (even if park season isn't for a couple of months). School starts on Monday.
I will try to recap some of the highlights this summer. The best event, of course, was having Connor two months ago. And along with that, I am no longer pregnant! He is such a blessing to have. He has evened out our family and seems to fit right in. He takes almost all his naps in the swing which is in the living room. Kids are constantly running around, banging on the piano, making noise and bonking him with things, which he usually blissfully sleeps through (I guess the fourth child has no choice). A while back I wrote about how I thought he was colicky, but it seems that whenever I write something the opposite happens. He really is a calm baby and has done great sleeping and eating. He has even slept through the night three times in the past week (great, now that I wrote that the opposite will happen). He gets passed around almost everywhere we go, including at home, and usually doesn't seem fazed by it. He is really starting to smile and even laugh a little. How I love this child!One last thing about Connor... two days ago he discovered his thumb. I thought we were in the clear because Marissa started sucking way earlier than him, but no. We just may have two thumb-suckers in the family--and it's the same thumb too (no belly button yet though). Every time I turn around he is sucking it. I woke up to him sucking it this morning. (By writing this I am hoping the opposite will happen.) At least he can soothe himself--I guess there are worse things.Erin and Alex had two sessions of swimming lessons. The first was right before the baby was born and the second just finished. Our city offers one session for free so we took advantage. There were 6 kids in each class but there were a few days with only two and a couple when they were all alone. Talk about personal attention. We even went when it was raining--we are die-hards. This is something the kids just love, especially Erin, so there was no skipping out on the swimming. Poor Marissa. She wanted to have swimming lessons too, but is too little for the group classes. She insisted on wearing her goggles and swimsuit most days. Next summer kid.Jared and I celebrated our 8th anniversary and decided to take a last minute weekend away. We left the three older kids with our friends and drove to New Smryna Beach, which is a small town 4 1/2 hours north of here. We got to stop at the temple, do some boogie boarding at the beach, take a nap, go to a hilarious play and just hang out together. The baby was so good the whole time too so it really felt like a weekend away without kids. We found out that newborns sleep a lot more, and complain and throw up in the car a lot less than older kids. We stayed in a great Bed and Breakfast which was a beautiful 100 year old house right on the water. Somehow they convinced us to stay in the biggest room complete with a whirlpool tub, king size bed, private balcony and a kitchen stocked with ice cream. The breakfasts were fabulous too. I am definitely a fan of Bed and Breakfasts now and a fan of going away every year. Next year's odd so it's Jared's turn.Erin says the best part about this summer has been playing with friends. She's had fun sleepovers, play dates and her birthday party which never made it on the blog due to the fact that it was 4 days after I had a baby (what was I thinking?). We made a butterfly cake, played in the sprinklers/slip-n-slide/pool and had a few friends over. Easy, but still, what was I thinking? Oh yeah, she's the child who would remember how mean her parents were for not letting her have a party for the rest of her life.
Another great highlight for me has been dinners. I have been so spoiled. One of my good friends told me she wanted to make me some dinners for a baby gift, and do all our grocery shopping for the month of June. I thought she would give me maybe 3 or 4 meals, but she showed up with 17 homemade meals and a summer's worth of homemade bread, rolls, muffins, waffles, pancakes and cookies! She is amazing and I'm so lucky to have her as a friend. Definitely one of the best gifts I've been given. Also, I think she might be a better cook than me because my kids ate just about everything. Now, they are almost all gone :( My plan is to make a bunch of those meals once a month and freeze them; that's about how often I feel like cooking. Man, what a great summer of hardly any cooking!
Last random highlight is having the kids I do. All three of the older kids play really well together, but especially Erin and Alex. They are inseparable. They want to be together at quiet time, they do their jobs together, they read together and they play all sorts of imaginative games together. If Alex ever goes to a friend's house and Erin doesn't get to Erin is sooo bored, especially if the other kids are asleep. Alex, however, doesn't seem to mind if she's gone because he is good playing alone or with Marissa. He is such a great link in the family. It always amazes me how much fun they have together. They really are lucky to have each other, and so am I! Happy Summer.