Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Algae Blooms and Bruschetta

The last few days around here? A little hectic. Monday afternoon, I was expecting my friend and her 5 boys to come over and swim with my little guys, so after lunch I went outside to take off the solar cover and give it a good vacuuming. Holy algae bloom, batman! Wow - that never happened before! Blame the combination of lots of rain so far this summer and a bit of lackadaisical pool management, but nevertheless, there it was. 2 hours later, I had the whole thing brushed down and shocked, but it was still very cloudy. The kids came over, everyone swam anyway. Not a horrible day.

Then yesterday, water was still cloudy, so we put in some chemical to help that - it helped a bit, but was still cloudy this morning. More kids over to swim yesterday afternoon. By the way, did I mention that Match Box cars sink VERY quickly to the bottom of the pool and are very difficult to fish out with a skimmer net?

ANYWAY, this morning, we still weren't happy with the water clarity, so I was going to re-treat with the clarifier, but when I went out there, I noticed that the dead algae had settled on the walls. I vacuumed again, then brushed down the sides, and immediately, the whole pool started to clear out. Good, good sign. Back in business, almost. I added a maintenance dose of the clarifier instead of the heavy-duty dose, and was putting away my hoses and equipment, when I notice a small child submerged in the shallow end....ummm....that would've been Matthew! Fully clothed and with no flotation, he somehow fell in - and I never heard a sound - splash or anything. Thank God he was bobbing himself to the surface and never even seemed to swallow any water...I fished out the poor little guy and thanked my lucky stars it wasn't any worse.

But enough about pool mishaps - and onto the bruschetta I'm about to make! We have some fresh tomatoes in, and it's way too many for salad - so I'm giving bruschetta a try. Crushed tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Smeared over some nice bread brushed with olive oil and toasted. And if I have enough leftover, might heat it a little and put it over angel hair for dinner with some grated cheese on top. Yum - is it dinnertime yet?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Breaking the News to the 5 Year Old

So with all the talk about "#3", and all the doctors appointments, and all the discussion about baby items, etc..., you'd think Jonathan would've caught on by now. But he hadn't said anything, so we weren't sure. The other night at the dinner table, Mark and I were going to say something, but he got distracted and ran off. We tried to call him back and told him we had something to tell him, but no dice. We gave up. Save it for another day, we said.

Well, that other day came last night. Mark and I happened to both be tucking him into bed last night, and I was still wearing my swimsuit from the day's activities, and my sarong tied like a skirt had dipped below my growing belly. Jonathan was rubbing my belly for whatever reason, and then started patting it. Mark, ever the eloquent, says something like - "isn't Mommy's belly getting big?" To which Jonathan responded by patting it more. Then I said "Careful, you don't want to beat on the baby...." He stopped. He paused. He looked up slowly and shyly, and with wonderment in his little eyes and a huge smile on his face, he says "Mommy, are you going to have a baby?" Despite me wondering how on earth this got by him the last few months, I almost melted with the charm of the whole thing - he was so intrigued, so delighted.

A few minutes later, Mark had kissed him and left, and I turned out his light and said prayers with him, then snuggled a bit and asked him if there was anything he wanted to talk to me about. Yes, he says. "What is the name of that fishing boat on Deadliest Catch?" I'm serious - that's the question he had for me. So we talked about names of fishing boats for awhile - and for those of you not initiated - Deadliest Catch is the cable show on Discovery about the Alaskan King Crab fishermen. Jonathan loves the show, is addicted to it. It can be a little rough around the edges, but we let him watch it anyway. So we continue to discuss fishing and crabbing for a bit, when he reaches out a tentative little hand and pats my belly again and says "I can't wait to see it." I told him it would be awhile, but he would eventually have a new little brother or sister. Then he reaches down, pulls up his pajama shirt and pats his own belly and says "Someday, I'll have a baby in my belly, too."

Oh my. Well, I hope not! I'll spare you the rest of the details of THAT conversation, but all in all, I think the news breakage went well. Now lets hope he responds even half as well when we tell him he'll have to share a room with Matthew to make room for whatever's in Mommy's growing belly!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer of Freedom

Okay, so the 4th of July is over, which usually means to me that summer is half over. Yes, I know, technically it's only a 1/3 over, but after the 4th, summer seems to fly by. And with Jonathan starting full-time kindergarten on Aug. 27th (!), there's not that much time left to enjoy all the things we thought we'd enjoy.

First of all, the weather has been pure crap so far! One week of hot weather where we've been able to swim. Then it went back to cool-ish days and downright chilly nights, making the pool water colder, making it not even worth it to pull off the solar cover and go for a swim. It's finally looking like we'll be getting some warmer weather now, so we're counting on that!

And of course, there's vacations (upcoming) and long, long weekends at Grandma and Poppy's house (already did one, still more to come) and day trips and hikes and visits to the zoo and maybe even a baseball game or two. We still have lots of stuff planned for the summer!

But then what? Jonathan starts full-time school. Is that the end of our freedom, our autonomy? Whereas before, we were used to just picking ourselves up and heading anywhere we wanted at anytime. Cancun in February? No problem, just find a cheap flight! Long weekend in Pittsburgh for some shopping, some micro-brews and a visit to the Carnegie museums? Go for it. An overnight at Grandma's, just...because? Just pack an overnight bag and get in the car. Vacations anytime we want, and not when the rest of the world takes vacations? You betcha.

Eek. So now what? 5 days a week. Get up early, pack lunch, get him off to school, pick him up sometime in the afternoon, do it all over again the next day. Sure, we did it last year - for pre-k, but for one, it was only 3 days a week and 1/2 days at that, and he missed quite a few days because we had things to do and places to be! And it really didn't matter much. But kindergarten is mandated. And I believe the school's policy on kids missing days is "strongly discouraged." Meaning, you might get away with it once a year or so, but anything more than that could be troublesome. He may not be allowed to make work up or make up tests (in later years). And although I could certainly write a note saying "Jonathan was 'under the weather'", well, that's like, lying, right? And besides, once we have Matthew in school (the same school) and perhaps #3 in later years...well, they all can't be sick at once, now can they? :-)

Now, granted, being in private school has some advantages - long breaks for the religious holidays for one, and even for Thanksgiving they get a longer break than most. So I guess we'll have to take advantage of these when we can, and if something comes up we just can't say no to, he'll just have to miss a day or two. I'm of the mindset that family excursions and life experience is just as important, if not moreso, than classroom learning anyway, so we'll go with that.

In the meantime, we're going to milk the summer, or at least what's left of it and hope we can get a lot squeezed in over the next few weeks. School is looming - I have a feeling the stores are going to be putting all those picnic supplies on clearance and dragging out the crayons and pencils very shortly.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Little Announcement

Well, we had a nice visit with the in-laws - they left yesterday afternoon, and I think our whirlwind of houseguests has settled down for a bit! Not that I mind - I love having people come to visit, but with being pregnant and all...oh, wait, didn't I blog about that yet? NO? Snort. Well, yeah, #3 is on board, so to speak.

I hesitate to call it Baby OOPS in print. After all, blogs will exist in all posterity, right? But technically, it was a little...let's just say...unplanned. After all, I'm 39 years old, and this baby is due on December 31st!! Do you actually think that if it WAS planned, we would've worked out even the POSSIBILITY of having that for a due date?

So anyhow - these things happen, and it will be fine. That's the way life works sometimes. There's a lot of uncertainty - how will Christmas be? How in the world will the boys share a room? THREE kids in private school? What about Mommy's nice job? Can we handle three?

All to be answered at a later date. For now, one day at a time. I just started the second trimester, so I have more time to anguish over everything, oh, did I say anguish? I MEANT "consider", yeah, that's it!