Sunday, July 19, 2009

Connor Brag

I'm so proud of my oldest son that sometimes I could just burst with want of sharing his awesomeness. This week was a big week!

Earlier this week, I was taking the kids for a normal day at the pool when Jane offered to watch Chase so I could get in the water with the kids. I love when I can go to the pool without Chase...I know that's terrible for a mother to say but when he's with us I have to sit at the wading pool with the girls and Connor can roam around the smaller pools or the slide. But inevitably, the girls start begging to go to the big pool and I have to decline because I have the baby (which has become a very regular phrase around our house).

So when Chase doesn't go with us, I can take the girls to the big pool AND I was able to test Connor in the diving pool which he's been asking to try, but my response has been I have the baby. I hopped into the 7 foot of water and had Connor jump from the side of the pool into the water and then swim to the edge. He did great! So off he went to the diving board. I stood by the lifeguard, not because I was concerned but because her umbrella was shading me from the glaring rays.

As Connor climbed the ladder of the low dive board the lifeguard asked, "Is he going to be OK? Should I be ready to go in?"

I explained that I tested him and thought he'd be OK, but it wouldn't hurt for her to be ready. So she leaned forward and cocked herself for a quick dive, if necessary. Connor walked to the end of the board, well he sort of bounced like an unsure Tigger...testing the spring in the board. He bounced a little at the end of the board unsure when to jump off. Then centered himself and went for it!

In the water......waiting for him to come up......waiting.....there is his head!!! Then he started swimming as perfectly as any mother, who has just spent hundreds of dollars on swim lessons, could possibly ask for. And the lifeguard justified my feelings when she stated, "Oh, he's fine" and relaxed into her chair again.

Then they announced it was adult swim and all kids needed to be out of the pool for 15 minutes. During this time, Connor called Daddy to share the exciting news and to decide to try the high dive in when the 15 minutes is up.

I spent a few minutes discussing some basic physics...if you jump from a greater height then you're going to go deeper into the water which results in swimming further to reach the surface and further to reach the side of the pool with the ladder. So when it was announced that kids could go back into the water he headed off to conquer the high dive!

He climbed all the way up........he walked out on the board........he walked back toward the ladder.....then back to the end of the board......bounced a bit.......walked back a few feet......bounced a bit more.......and then made his final walk to the end of the board.

Bounce, bounce, bounce, center.

Bounce, bounce, bounce, center.

Bounce, bounce, bounce, JUMP!

He did GREAT!!! I was so proud of him....I wanted to tell everyone, "That's my son, he's 6 and he just took his 2nd dive ever and it was off the high dive!"

The week didn't end there. Connor has been taking piano lessons for almost 5 months and this last month or so he has been working on a primary song as well as his regular piano book. Recently our primary presidency announced that kids who wanted to perform appropriate music could do so during the beginning of primary. Connor has been thinking about this for the past month as he's been practicing.

Two weeks ago Connor announced he was ready to perform and asked me to set it up for him. I made the arrangements and today was the big day. We tried not to make a big deal out of it in case Connor got nervous and wanted to back out. I reminded him he was performing today and asked him if he'd like to practice. He said, "No thanks, I want to read my book." He did eventually practice, but I was pretty excited to hear he was choosing to read :^)

At the beginning of church, Connor leaned over his chair to the family behind us and said, "Did you hear about primary today?" Of course they were confused. I explained Connor was playing the piano in primary. He was telling me what a special day it was for him. I agreed but did not want to get too excited and get his nerves worked up because he still had 1.5 hours before performance time.

So sacrament ended, primary started and Connor's name was called to play I Hope They Call Me on a Mission. He proudly marched up to the piano, sat down and my stomach was full of butterflies. I was so nervous for him! He calmly sat down and began to play....perfectly! Well, later he recounted that he had one issue....he played a 4 when he should have played a 2. There's his perfectionist father coming out in him.

He did a really great job and I had so many people come up to me and tell me so....I am such a proud momma!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book Clubs 4 Kids

My sister-in-law is hosting an online book club to encourage kids to read. I wanted to encourage Connor to work on book reviews, participating in book discussions and enjoying dialogue with his cousins in Hawaii.

We began reading the book, MVP: Magellan Voyage Project by Douglas Evans. Connor has really enjoyed it! Al and I have enjoyed the story, as well. Two nights ago, after having reading time with Connor, we sent him to bed and then Al and I read MVP to one another in bed until I couldn't stay awake any longer. Al stayed up to finish the book.

My sister-in-law also has awesome weekly prize drawings. Connor has won 2 of the prizes. One was a monogrammed backpack, like the backpack the main character in MVP has. Another was a bookmark with a timer on it for keeping up with your reading time. One week she gave away a book and CD set for learning French, because the main character was impressed by a girl he met who spoke French.

This book club has been tons of fun for our family, check it out and share it with anyone you know who would like to encourage kids to read.

Skateboarding 101

So I talked to Connor about participating in a skateboarding clinic as I'm trying to get him interested in some kind of sport, other than swimming. Not that I don't want him to swim because I really do! I would just like for him to have a sport he enjoys that doesn't require me to pack up the family and a ton of gear to go and do. He has shown some interest in skating as he has watched some videos on the internet with Al of extreme skateboarding.

Connor was SUPER excited and wanted to know when he could start classes. I explained that I needed to talk it over with Daddy and discuss the expense because we would need to purchase equipment as well as pay for a class. Connor offered to purchase all his own equipment. I did not hesitate to take him up on the offer.

For those of you who don't know Al all that well, he was a dedicated skateboarder as a kid....he spent at least 10 hours a day skating. His parents built a half-pipe inside the house and it took up an entire room....just for him to skate. So Al has been waiting a long time for this day...he kept saying, "I want to get a board for me, too!" However, he refrained from purchasing a board for himself...he just borrowed Connor's :D

Here are some photos of the first lesson:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God Bless America

Here it is, 11:39 PM and my kids just got to bed...does that tell you how our 4th of July went?

Let us begin at 6:00 AM when it all started. The girls woke up as usual, ready to roll full-force. We had a slow morning with no plans to do anything....avoid the crowds and stay out of traffic, that was the only game plan. Then the phone rang....

A friend of the family called to invite us all over for a BBQ in the evening and since we had no other plans, we agreed. So the rush began, now I had to think about food, when to cook since we had swim lessons at noon and how to work in a nap for Belle and the babe, just in case we decided to stay for the fireworks (this was a very slim chance). My dear, sweet mother-in-law offered to go to the grocery for me since she was headed there anyway. So I prepped some food and then got everyone fed and ready for swim lessons.

Final swim lessons for the summer complete, the girls and I stick around the pool for an extra 45 minutes while Al and Connor take in a movie (Night at the Museum I am so jealous) and then home to prepare and cut fruit for my fruit salad. Rush to get it all done and out of the door on time. We made it :)

At the BBQ, Belle got whacked on the cheek with a wooden support from a hammock, instant bruise. Lillee was run over by a scooter which resulted in road rash on her cheek, upper lip and nose. Everyone survived without much complaint. So we decided to try taking in the fireworks.

We arrived at a nice spot, set up the chairs and our kids found some other kids to play with. A large group of really nice kids with those glow-in-the-dark necklace/bracelet things. Before I knew it, all my kids had been given a bracelet to play with. I thought that was super nice, considering my kids had never met any of these other kids and were a few years younger. All the kids were using nice manners, playing gentle...just a really good situation and everyone seemed to be having fun.

The warning firework went off! We gathered our kids to the blanket and as Connor was coming over he started screaming....REALLY screaming, he was in tremendous pain and couldn't talk to us. Fortunately, a girl he was playing with came to tell us that the glowing stuff in the necklace can come out and it can hurt when it does....yup, Connor broke into his necklace and it squirted right into his eye.

There I am, sitting peacefully nursing the baby in public when I realize what has happened. I immediately put the baby down on a chair, latch up my nursing bra as discretely as possible, not really caring because my other child is in trouble. I ask for a bottle of water to flush his eye with and begin pushing him to the ground trying to restrain him so we can flush his eye. My husband restrains his lower half while I restrain and arm and begin to pour the water....Connor is SCREAMING! I mean, really SCREAMING. I'm instructing my husband to check on the baby I left in a chair...yes, a moblie and active baby. Not a smart move on my part but I guess, given the circumstances, my brain was not processing quick enough to figure out it was a bad idea.

We were very fortunate to have two friends with us that happen to be Drs. How often does that happen in an emergency? So Dr. John was helping to hold Connor's eye open while I poured and Al restrained. No good...he kept screaming. Meanwhile I hear people saying, "Should we find a Dr somewhere?" Others were really getting concerned because the screams were so loud and piercing and continuous.
I looked up to do my normal scan....Where are my kids? There's 1.....2....someone grabbed the baby....where is Lillee??? Oh boy, while attending to one child another one decided to wander off and no one saw where she went. My social butterfly had found the parents of the group she was playing with and decided to settle in their compound rather than ours. Fortunately, she came back without complaint....which is shocking for Lillee, she can argue with a wall.

For the next 10 minutes or so we listened to Connor screaming and rubbing his eye and screaming more. Al finally explained to him that we needed to get water into his eye to flush it out and he would have to open his eye while we poured water into it. Connor actually understood this. He was on the ground, on his back and held the lower lid down while Al lifted the upper lid and flushed with water. Viola!!! It worked, crying instantly resolved, Connor could open his eye and people stopped staring at us. He was such a big boy and even in extreme pain was able to step up and realize what role he needed to take in order to fix the problem....that's good stuff!

So we survived, again...WOOOHOOOO

We made it back to our car without incident and then got stuck in took us an hour to get home from a place that would normally take about 7 minutes. Al was in a bad mood from the traffic which put me in a bad mood and Chase was pretty cranky because he just wanted to sleep.

When I got home...I was out of diapers for the baby so at 11:00PM instead of crawling into bed and going to bed after such a long day, I had to take the baby to the store to get diapers. When I got back home at 11:20PM the girls were in bed, playing with glowing necklaces and arguing with one another. And here it is 12:15AM and I'm still awake, writing, hoping to get over my frustration and listening to at least one girl still playing with her necklace and now is complaining that daddy forgot to bring her something to drink over an hour ago!!! Come on, go to sleep already.

And tomorrow is Sunday, which means between 8:00AM and 9:30AM there are 8 people who will want to take baths and showers to get ready for church. And guaranteed, Al will decide in the morning that he needs to cut his hair and shave which makes the bathroom inaccessible to anyone for about an hour.
As much fun as we had, I now wonder how we strayed from the single plan of avoiding crowds and traffic. LOL
Happy 4th of July, I hope you enjoyed the celebrations and remember the reason this day is set aside as a holiday. Thank you Thomas Jefferson for the beautifully written Declaration of Independence, our first step of freedom. And to all the service men and women who continue to take steps daily for our freedom. God has truly blessed America and thank goodness he has blessed my family, too.