In any case, I have vowed to write and post once a week from here on out. My plan is to work on my post a little bit throughout the week and have a picture-full and witty something for you guys to read by Sunday evening. No, I don't really believe that either, but if you can't lie to yourself, who CAN you lie to?
So to start off with, I have made it through three whole weeks at my new job. I did have to call in sick one day due to fatigue more than pain. This is a reminder to me that I need to me vigilant about budgeting my energy every day. Rest a bit when I get home. Go to bed on time every night. Don't push too hard to catch up when I feel good because it will only make the crashes longer and more painful
Fine. I get it. Just because I have made progress doesn't mean I am the same "Superwoman" I was six years ago. I am a totally DIFFERENT "Superwoman" now and I need to respect that and use my strengths to the best of my abilities and not beat myself up about the weaknesses.
Two weeks ago, EG was invited to a sleepover by one of her schoolmates who has a pool at their house. Her dad found out it was TD's birthday and he went ahead and invited her over as as well (I think he's crazy, but I'm no less thankful!)
This past week was especially crazy. I mean, even more than the typical crazy. The kids have been home alone during the week and they have started to get a little bit more lax on taking care of things during the day. Evenings were filled with a little bit more "catching up" than the needed to be. On top of that, poor DH apparently had an ear infection that he didn't know about and that has put him out of commission a bit. Last weekend we attended another pool party for the Native American Drum Group that he sings and drums with. He decided to dive off the diving board one too many times and his eardrum sort of popped and he's been in a LOT of pain ever since. He did finally go to the doctor and he has some topical ear antibiotics which are helping...slowly. He should be back to normal soon. I hope.
In spite of him sitting out for most of the day, we all had SO much fun! I've learned to put my fear of water on the back burner and let the kids enjoy themselves. This has a lot to do with the kids each having more confidence of their own. Sending the kids to swim without me there was possibly the best thing ever. Each of the girls actually ventured into the deep end of the pool for the first time, each with their own version of confidence-inducing tools. LH actually learned how to swim and tread water, and even how to dive off the diving board. No floaties, goggles, or nose plug. And she did it more than once! THAT'S the girl I've known and loved. The fearless girl who takes off on her own and will stand toe to toe with someone twice her size to protect and champion those who can't. Not the wimpy little teenager who is afraid of everything. I am SO proud of her! TD and EG haven't become full-fledged swimmers yet, but they had pool noodles and a floatie jacket and their confidence fully intact without my anxieties getting in the way. I think I may go ahead and get that family summer pool pass I have been threatening to get for the last few years.
Once we got home and the swimsuits were put away for the next week, I decided to look at the calendar to plan out the week. OH HOLY BISCUITS! The Lollar Summer Party was in less than a weeks and there was too much left to do! I started making lists for the girls to do while I was at work, and checking in with them several times a day to keep them on task. Of course, there was still TONS to do on Saturday morning before people showed up. Amazingly, everyone pitched in and the house was at least presentable on time. On my trip to the store to get the last few party items, I finally splurged on the hinged baby gate we needed for the office doorway. For once, I wasn't worried about the babies hacking on the computers or swallowing glass beads.
Scott handled the cooking on the grill, everything else was already made and just had to be transferred to serving bowls. The girls invited a few taller friends over early and did the decorating for me. It was low-key but SO much fun. The best part was the incredible cool front that blew in just after all the guests arrived. There was a bout 10 minutes of light rain and then the rest of the afternoon was cool and comfortable. That is completely unheard of for a weekend in July on Texas. I'm not sure who's prayers were answered, but I'm sure thankful for it! Most of the kids were able to play outside all afternoon and I know the grownups enjoyed it too.
The day was absolutely magical. We had about 20 kids and around 15 adults and everyone got along. One of the guests' sons (who is on the higher end of the autistic spectrum) actually played ball with other kids and managed to both catch AND throw the ball! There was a fourteen year old boy drawing with sidewalk chalk with a three year old and loving every minute of it. One little 10 year old Casanova nabbed the phone number and e-mail address of another pre-teen girl. There was a soccer game in the back yard where the older kids each paired up with one of the younger kids so that everyone could play and feel included. I got to see my WP, and two of my sisters, and even my brother in law showed up for the first time in 11 years.
My bestest best friend since jr high made the 45 minute drive with all three of her beautiful kiddos and hubby. I haven't been able to see her or her adorable babies in at least a year and she brought the girls the most adorable matching outfits. LH got to see some friends from the Little Country Town we used to live in. EG's very best friend got to hang out for a little while. I don't think anything can compare to a 50 person chorus of "Happy Birthday" to all three of my girls. I just sat down a looked around and felt so peaceful and thankful.
By the time everything wrapped up late last night, my face hurt from smiling and my sides were tired from all the laughing. When I got up and walked around the house this morning, I was infinitely thankful that I broke down and bought paper plates and plastic cups for the day. I think I might have about 15 minutes worth of tidying up to get the house back in order. Actually, it's better than it was before, thanks to the To Do list of things we had been put off for far too long. I have NO cardboard boxes anywhere in my house at all. That alone is enough to give me more peace than I've felt in months. I'll tell you a secret about this whole Summer Party thing. If I host this kind of party every summer, I can be sure that my house will be completely clean at least ONCE a year. Yep. I thrive on crisis cleaning.
I think I'm going to start on a dinner of left over party food and yesterdays' birthday cake. It just may be my favorite part of hosting get-togethers like this.