Winding Down.

Oh, hey. Remember when I blogged?

Let’s try that again.

It has been a summer, has it not? I’ve got a pretty good love/hate relationship going with the summer of 2015. I hate it because it seems to be either raining or 178 degrees with 400% humidity. I hate it because I miss some of the routines we were accustomed to May 9th and earlier. I hate it because fall (my favorite) is so close, yet I know, still so far. And I hate it because I’ve got some sort of poison ivy thing on my chin/neck that has no known origin and is really cramping my style the past few days.

However, I can’t complain to terribly much, because I also find myself loving it. I’m loving not having a schedule most of the time. I’m loving my big four year old who is transforming herself into a wonderful little girl more and more every sweaty day. I’m loving my little 21 month old who is blowing my mind with an entirely new skill set developed just this summer. I’m loving spending lots of time at the pool, flip flops, painted toes, thunderstorms, hosing down the dogs, family summer outings, BBQs, and baseball in the backyard.

You see, it’s been a very strange summer. It just kind of feels like this is life now. Summer of 2011, I was waiting for Leah and then begging her little newborn self to sleep. Summer of 2012 we were house hunting and moving. Summer 2013 I was waiting for Quinn and waddling around with Leah. Summer of 2014 I had a new crawler and a ‘I can do it myself but if you don’t help me I’ll probably die’ three year old. But the summer of 2015… things have really come together for us. We have arrived.

For one, Leah is proficient in the pool. Back in May, she could tread water and move herself slightly where she wanted to go. She could also spin in circles with water up to her chin (she calls it the “chicken spin”). By the end of June, she started doing some serious under water dog paddling. By the end of July I was not allowed to help her do anything. And with 3 days until the pools close… she is running and jumping into the water, popping back up and swimming back to the side to do it all over again. Of all the milestones, this may be my favorite. One, I don’t have to worry about her drowning. And two, it’s like a flashback of myself. I lived for swimming growing up, and Leah is the exact same. I love love love watching her in the water, her smiles are everything. And Quinn is not far behind. She doesn’t like me to hold her in the water anymore, so I let go, she goes under, I grab her, and she pops up smiling. Over and over and over. We have been water logged this summer, and I am one step closer to being able to sit at the side of the pool and tan while they act like maniacs together.

For two, Quinn is not the baby that she once was. This time last year she was 6,7,8 and 9 months old. And yes, we had passed the newborn stage, but she still couldn’t be trusted alone for very long. She learned to crawl last summer, so that brought on a whole new set of baby challenges. We put up a baby gate. We constantly had to know her exact whereabouts. This summer, though, the baby gate came down and the undies came out! This little baby impresses the pants off me (or herself, I guess). I constantly underestimate what she is capable of or what she learns just through watching her big sister. This morning she counted to 10. She talks non stop and is so very polite. She’s gone potty in public restrooms. She can climb the ladder on the playset and slide down while I watch from the patio with a cup of coffee. She knows some letters, all colors, takes her pants off, sets the table, and drinks with cups without lids. She is still a snuggle bug, but her independence is emerging, and I love to watch what she is capable of.

Do you see where I’m going with this – I love the summer of 2015, because my kids are basically like real people. I don’t have to treat them like babies for the first time since 2011. We can pick up and go somewhere if we need to. We can all walk the zoo together. I can easily take two to the pool. Leah can get herself dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed, shoes on, buckled in the car... without assistance. I can throw them outside with the dogs while I stay inside and make them lunch. I hear conversations such as, “Quinn do you wanna go up in the playroom?” “Sure.” “Okay, c’mon.” And I don’t have to have anything to do with it. We can push bedtimes, and nap times, and meal times, cause darnit, we just don’t want to stop having fun!

It doesn’t get much better in those regards. But it all comes to an end in just one week because…

Back to School.

We met with Leah’s teacher last week and got her year book pictures taken – I guess it’s really happening! I was so excited to send her to school last year, and I think I’m even more excited this year. Her teacher is nothing short of fantastic, 2 for 2. She loves going to her school, and this year she will get to walk into her classroom and see some of her best buddies from last year!

This is a big year for all of us – with a July birthday baby we get to decide if we’re going to let her be one of the youngest in her class or one of the oldest; this year will determine is she will graduate class of 2029 or 2030! (How weird is that?!) One thing I love about her school is that for these special summer birthday kids they have a special Pre 3/4 class – for the really old 3s and the really young 4s. So if we decide to keep her in preschool another year and send her to Kindergarten when she’s a young 6, she won’t have to repeat a class, she’ll simply go to the Pre-4 class next year. Or if we determine she’s ready for kindergarten in all areas we can go ahead and send her as a young 5. I don’t know, this is when parenting becomes a pretty big deal, guys! Scary. Kyle and I are praying for lots of wisdom this year 🙂

As much as I have enjoyed this summer and it’s casual nature, I’m excited to be winding down this week. I’m excited to get back into eating really well (Oh my goodness with the ice cream cones!). I’m excited for earlier bedtimes. I’m excited for a reason to get dressed in the mornings. I have not enjoyed the weather this summer, but I have certainly enjoyed playing with my kids and their dad. It has been one I hope to remember. For now, we begin our descent towards cool weather and pumpkins. School bells will be ringing in just a weeks time.

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