I know, I know, but the years are short. Right now this coming year can't go fast enough for me! I am absolutely worn out with this phase of parenting. Either Arden was the most mellow baby ever born (and I'm sure he was), or else I've just completely blocked from my memory just how hard this age is. At 15+ months, Kenna is into EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. She throws books off the shelf. She empties the sandwich baggie box. She finds the older kids' markers. She dumps over the piano bench and all its contents. She pulls things off the counters. She climbs onto the dining room table. She climbs onto the school table. She climbs onto the couch. She climbs into drawers. She's not content in the stroller unless we are MOVING, and I suspect her very first sentence is going to be "I do it!" She's like a little Energizer bunny in size 4 sandals!
So, besides the fact that I have an indefatigable child, we've got a marathon schedule going on this week and next, with some days being even more hectic than others. Now that we're halfway finished with the two-week swimming lessons session that the older kids are doing at the Y, I'm starting to wonder if there isn't an easier way for our kids to learn to swim! Oh, sure, 45 minutes SOUNDS reasonable. But what no one tells you is that 45 minutes is basically MY WHOLE MORNING!!! The lessons are actually from 9:00-9:45 a.m. But beforehand we have to rouse everyone out of bed (not Kenna or Tobin--they're usually up bright and early, to my dismay), get breakfast, clean up breakfast, find swim suits and towels, lotion everyone up, change Kenna's diaper one last time, pack some drinks, and herd everyone out to the van. It's about an 8-minute drive to the Y, and from there we park and unload the stroller and all the kids and towels and do the actual lesson part. Kenna and I hang out at the playground area, and I have actually enjoyed the opportunity to chat with some long-distance friends on my cell phone with headset so my hands can be free to rescue Kenna when she gets herself into a predicament. Then, when the lesson is finished, we head home with cries of "Mom, I'm HUNGRY!" echoing from the back of the van. (I tell you, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that phrase, I would have been a rich woman long ago!) So upon arriving home, Kenna gets buckled into her booster seat with an early lunch so I can scrounge up something healthy for the older kids before putting Kenna down for a much-needed nap (much-needed for me, that is, not necessarily her!).
But that's not all! No, indeed!
Once Kenna is down for her nap, the rest of us have lunch (because even though a snack was devoured minutes beforehand, the kids are, of course, starving). Following lunch clean-up, we have actually done school 3 out of 4 days this week. I may be crazy, but the kids were driving me nuts BEGGING to start school again. They knew the brand new box o' Sonlight materials was sitting in my room, and they couldn't wait to get started!! Besides, the structure is welcome around here, and I also enjoy the chance to ENJOY my kids after a hectic morning. After a 3-week break, it's been fun to get back into the swing of things, even though our "schedule" is in dire need of an overhaul. For now, though, it's enough for me that the kids are loving school time. I'll figure out an official schedule once swim lessons and our trip to Idaho are past.
Following school time, which ends whenever Kenna wakes up, we then set our sights on the next activities--dinner and taekwondo practice, the latter of which is 3 times a week. Thank the LORD for my neighbor Carmen, who drives Charis and Tobin to and from the studio along with her kids! Other afternoon activities this week have included babysitting a friend's daughter, delivering a meal to a family who recently had a 4-pound baby, and visiting our friend Mr. Mel at the assisted living facility we've adopted as a ministry. Yikes!
I know once the marathon pace we're keeping is over, I'll be thankful for the opportunity the kids had to take real swimming lessons. This is the first time we've been able to do it, and getting all 3 of them in at the same time at a close location was a blessing. They NEED to gain confidence in the water. We've got a beautiful community pool that I would love to spend time at this summer, plus friends who have pools, and I don't want to worry about the older kids. Kenna will keep me worried enough, I'm sure!
In the meantime, I'm thankful that we can take a break the next 3 days. On Monday we'll start it all up again...only next week we also have to plan for my stamp club on Thursday afternoon and getting ready for the Commission youth camp!!