Closer to home, Clare has made two major decisions about her future. One, she will not have children. Two, she will compete on American Ninja Warrior. American Ninja Warrior is her favorite show. In fact, she has been begging to go to a "Ninja Gym." I'll have to see if I can find one for her.
July has been busy, as summer always is. At the beginning of the month, Ben and I took a trip to Chicago. By ourselves. Without our kids. It was so nice. I wish we had stayed longer, but Ben wanted to be back in Evansville in time to participate in our usual July 4th festivities there. It was so nice to go places without children in tow, though. It was so relaxing. So easy. We drove down on Friday and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant with our friend Brian. We went out to eat at a delicious restaurant Friday night (Boho Bohemian House), went to the Field Museum and walked along the lake on Saturday, and then went to a show at The Second City. We had a blast at the comedy club - the show was funny and the beers were cold. Oh, and did I mentioned there were no children with us? Heaven. I think we will try to take a trip without kids again soon. Our last one was before we had kids, so we were due.
The fourth in Evansville is always a good time. Clare ran in the 1-mile fun run (I ran with her!) and she was awesome. She ran the whole way. She was very proud of her medal. (I didn't get a medal.) Ben did, though, because he came in third in his age group in the 10K. He was fifth overall. Because he is a crazy person, he was disappointed that he only ran it in 42 minutes. I'll do the math for you: that's sub-seven minute miles. I think that's pretty good. He really wants to break 40, though.
We kept our fun traditions of the parade followed by a late afternoon cookout and flag cake at my parents' house. Then came the mistake: we attempted to take Clare to the fireworks. She was so excited, and I thought, well, she's five, she'll have fun. Right? No. Even with the noise cancelling headphones, she. lost. her. mind. I had to carry her, screaming, back to the car. I felt bad that she was so scared. I managed to calm her down, though, and told her she could just let me know when she was ready to try fireworks again. She thought maybe she'd be ready at age 10 or so.
We spent a day at the lake at Ben's uncle's cabin. We had a great time swimming off the pontoon and grilling out. We've had a few other BBQs and picnics with friends, too, which are pretty much my favorite things to do in the summer.
Both kids are in swimming lessons right now, and doing well. It has been a long process getting Clare used to the water, but now she is a fish. A fish that won't go under, but still. It is hard to get her out of the pool. The screaming fits of fear are gone. Christopher is still not sure. He loves the wading pool, but clings to me in the big pool. He enjoys the songs, though. One more week to go, so maybe he'll loosen up a bit.
Clare also took ballet for a week this month, and is still in gymnastics. She really enjoys both, but I am going to make her choose one for the fall. She'll also do soccer, and I don't want her to be too over-scheduled. She is only a kindergartner, after all. It's crazy that she already has swimming, ballet, gymnastics and soccer, isn't it? And in a year or two she'll start piano. And maybe Girl Scouts.
We ran into Clare's teacher in the neighborhood a few weeks ago, and Clare barely spoke to her. As soon as we biked away, though, she asked if she could invite Ms. Angela over for dinner. I think she'll be ready for school when the first day comes, and I know I'll be ready. In the meantime, I am trying to enjoy our time together. It can be challenging, especially now that Clare has decided to become a full time back seat driver. YOU'RE FIVE. YOU DON'T KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD. Anyway. Little things. The big things are that she is funny and sweet and still wants to play with me.
Christopher wants to do everything, and I mean everything, that Clare is doing. He even repeats the words she is saying. If she is wearing her hat, he'll wear his. Otherwise, forget it. He is so happy when she plays with him, and crushed when she (understandably) wants some time to herself. I was hoping to potty train him this summer, but so far it has not happened. I know forcing him into won't work, so I am trying to be patient.
Christopher is so verbal, and I love talking to him. His little gravelly voice and his serious face when he is trying to tell me about the water he got in his eye are both so endearing. That is one great thing about this age - they can finally tell you want they want, and it is so fun to hear his opinions on things. On the downside, he doesn't always use these words, and instead throws massive tantrums. The smallest (and strangest) things will set him off. For example, this morning he became enraged when Clare put her hand in her cereal bowl to flatten out the cereal. Like, out of control screaming on the floor. I just shook my head and left the room, because what? I don't get it.
I think I will have one very sad boy on my hands when Clare goes back to school. It's hard to believe that summer is already more than half over! I am looking forward to August, though. We are going camping (twice) and planning to hit the State Fair. Christopher hated it last year, but maybe some mini donuts and a Pronto pup will change his mind.
|Family runners! (I am not a runner.)|
|Ready for the parade!|
|Proud of the flag cake she made with Meema.|
|Cuddle time, with a look at the nasty bruise he got at the park.|
|My mom came back with me after our July visit, and took Josie and Christopher to look at the animals at the zoo while I took Clare on the rides at Como Town. We had so much fun together, and even went on the huge pirate ship ride.|
|This picture is not great, but we went to the top of the Highland Park Water Tower during Highland Fest. It was awesome to see the Cities from up there!|
|Flying high at Highland Fest.|
|Christopher is about asleep here.|
|My little ballerina.|
|Waiting in the air conditioned car for Clare to finish ballet.|
|Fun with friends in the pool.|