Monday, August 8, 2011

Avast, Sammy Be 3!

Arrrr, me hearties! 'Tis true: Cap'n Sammy be 3! T'was a grande celebration at ye old dwellin' O' Nicholson. It were fairly crawlin' with scallywags 'n landlubbers alike. Thar were swimmin' 'n slidin' in ye shark infested backyard. Thar were crafts 'n fierce battles with swords. Thar were a grande pirate feast 'n drink aplenty. Thar also were a treasure hunt! Cap'n Sammy had ye best birthday party a wee pirate could 'ave!

'Tis ye cake o' pirates.

Cap'n Sammy 'n Annabel a slidin' with ye sharks.

Polly wanna cracker!

Cap'n Sammy with ye sword 'n hat.

Scallywags a slidin'.

Ye olde table o' crafts.

Pirate feast.

Ye pirate ship suffered a fierce blow, yet she sailed on.

Arrr, fire!!!

Hoist ye sails, matie! Thar be a strong wind a blowin'!

Yo, ho, ho! Happy Birthday, t' ye!

Huntin' fer hidden treasure!

Lucy be helpin' ye scallywags read th' clues.

Ahoy, more clues!

'N still more clues!

Ye be near treasure!

Aye! Treasure be found!

Enjoyin' ye rings o' candy!

Happy Birthday, Cap'n Sammy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our Summer of Swimming Lessons

It was the summer of swimming lessons for our kids this year. They were signed up for swimming lessons the week after Lucy's school was out and took them for eight weeks straight. Pretty much every day we could be found at the Rhonewood pool. It was a huge commitment of time, energy and money but so very worth it. They all came out better swimmers (or in Sammy's case less fearful of the water) and it was such a good investment.

Lucy, who always loved the water, now can dive, swim the length of the pool and is working on her strokes. Her teacher said she'd be a good addition to swim team next year if she wanted to and, of course, Lucy was thrilled at the idea.

Annabel went from sitting on the step at the start of the summer to actually being able to move herself through the water, feet off the bottom! We discovered the book Little By Little at the library this summer and it fits Annabel perfectly. Little by little, just like the otter in the book, she is lifting up her feet and swimming longer spans. I think by next summer she'll be a confident swimmer.

Sammy sat out the first few weeks of summer until I potty trained him and then he was game. He loved it at first until he realized they expected him to accomplish certain tasks, chiefly "bobs." He hates them and would rather do his own thing, but he got through the four weeks he was in the pool and I'm proud that he stuck with it despite a few tears.

First day of swimming. Lucy's ready!

Annabel swimming during her first week of lessons.

Lucy started in Level 2.

Sammy entertaining himself while the girls swam.

Lucy practicing the backstroke.

Annabel refuses goggles to this day but was happy to wear her shades. It was bright each day, so I don't blame her!

Week five and Sammy's in the water in Level 1!

Week five and Annabel had graduated from Level 1 to Level 2!

Lots of smiles while Annabel practices the backstroke.

Toys could usually stop his tears.

Lucy in her fifth week was at Level 3.

"Hey, Mommy!"

Annabel came so far! On her last day you could really see that she was loving the water.

She dove down and got that ring!

Safety day and Lucy took a turn being the lifeguard.

So proud of Annabel! She went from Level 1 to a solid Level 2.

Sammy with his Level 1 completion certificate. Proud that he stuck it out and stayed in the water.

Super swimmer Lucy. Level 2 to start and Level 4 to finish! Yay! She's like a fish. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh, Sammy!

Here is a year's worth of noteworthy Sammy pictures that I've posted elsewhere before but really need to be in our family blog, too. These are pictures that bring to mind the phrase, "Oh, Sammy!" I'm putting this post in August because that's his special month; our special month, really. It's when we all were so lucky to have him join our family. We would never be the same without our Sammy!

Early in the year when he was still in his crib, Sammy made sure that Elmo had a wi-wi (pacifier) in his mouth, too.

Sammy found a deck of cards and decided under the dining room table is really the best place for a card shark.

What happens when nap doesn't happen. That's three packs of wipes, my friends. Or, if you want real numbers: 300 wipes. He said his socks were wet and asked if I could maybe change them. Yeah, I'll get right on that. As you can see, there was trouble at nap time when he transitioned out of the crib to his big boy bed.

Brand new toothbrushes, meet toilet water. Oh, so pleased to meet you! Swish-swish.

Another Sammy would not nap, he would rather empty entire contents of drawers and closets kind of day.

On one of those no-nap days this is how I found him at 4:57 p.m. All that mayhem is tiring (which is why he still needs a nap!)!

Sammy stuck in the cat flap. If there is a hazard near or far, this kid will find it.

Boxes are so much fun!

Sammy's preschool picture, age 3 yrs.

What Sammy packed all on his own for our Thanksgiving break vacation. Not a stitch of clothing, just the important things!

Sammy's very first Child of the Day crown!

Within an hour of playing with these two stocking stuffers, this was the result. Mangled Slinky, missing Silly Putty. The latter is still missing.

"Oh, Sammy!" We love you!