Because apparently we can't just have a weekend with little planned.
Yesterday the kids had swimming lessons and for the first time in months I didn't put my swimsuit on. AB got in with Skadi instead and I got to sit on the side and chat with the mom of one of Leif's and Skadi's friends while her husband got in the pool with their son and our older kids enjoyed their lesson. It was a luxury really. I do love getting in the pool with Skadi, but it is really nice to have an occasion to just sit and chat.
Afterwards Leif and I headed out to a special outing. Contrary to his belief, the "special outting" was NOT to Chuckee Cheese's. Instead we headed out to take care of some Christmas presents. Leif never ceases to amaze me really. We headed in and I had a plan in my head. He waylayed it pretty quickly since Leif isn't one to not be "in control". He picked out ALL of the three gifts on Saturday. AB's made sense and IS really awesome though not what I would have picked. Next he picked my mom. I kept chuckling to myself when he insisted on this particular item for her. I tried making other suggestions and then finally just reminded myself that my mom will love it because Leif was SO passionate over the item. Last was a gift for Bompa. Leif beelined to it, picked it up and said, "this is perfect for Bompa's money!" And it is.
On Saturday afternoon we had intentions of climbing a local "mountain" with the kids. Then we got waylayed by "open house" signs. By the time we made our way to the "mountain" it was late and so we did a short hike (vowing to get back Sunday morning) and then played on the playground equipment.
After dinner the kids crashed quickly while AB and I moved back to the realm of "what if" regarding a new house. AB became quite passionate over the thought of getting a new house - again. Don't think that I wasn't right there with him. The houses that have now moved into the "tied for first" list were in a subdivision we had once ruled out as "not interested".
AB and I are walkers/hikers and always have been. We walk with the kids most nights after work and make a point to get out for a longer walk with the dog every weekend. After checking out the park and the short part of the trail up the "mountain" - not to mention the views of the city, we returned to considering that neighborhood and vowed to hike the hill and check out any open houses on Sunday. Having the great park and the trailhead near our future house would be wonderful.
Saturday night the kids both crashed early and we downloaded "Sex and the City" (so cannot believe it has taken me THIS long to see it!). And I am SO not a Miranda like the Facebook test told me...
This morning the kids woke bright and early (both were up before 6am - sometime I would like for them to understand and implement a return to standard time from daylight savings time). I made a big apple pufff pancake and we finally got out to climb our hill.
AB and I thought it was a great idea, wear the kids out and check out the most beautiful views of the entire area. Kids weren't quite so sure of our idea. They are normally good sports when it comes to hiking - but I fear we got a late start and just ended up with crankies instead. A little over halfway up the hill we happened upon Leif's good friend C as well as a set of twins from his preschool and their older brother and father. This completely rejuvenated our kids. Skadi (who had been about to sleep) was revitalized when she saw C and Leif was just thrilled to see all the kids.
I didn't hear another word about "let's turn around now".
It took us (four adults, two dogs and six children) about 2 hours to reach the summit, then turn around and head down. For one of the first times I got a sense of really looking forward to Leif as a "kid". When he was born I cried and cried about him growing up so quickly. And though nearly every stage has been better than the previous one (I keep reminding myself of this now with Skadi in her Tasmanian Devil stage) I always fear a little what is around the next corner.
Leif is now to the age where he can tell us a lot, though carrying on an intelligent conversation isn't on our plate right now. We will have two lines of conversation typically followed by randomness. On the way down I lead the pack and found myself running at times to keep up with Leif and the 8 year old - who I didn't know before, but have discovered is a really awesome kid. We talked quite a bit about Leif at school - what he does at recess, who he plays with and how he plays. We talked about dogs, how to train them and funny things our dogs do. I had a great conversation and hike with him (and Leif) and it really made me look forward to this age with my kids without the sense of dread that time is flying way too fast.
Ok, so that feeling did return quickly, because time IS flying way too fast. But it reminded me I have something neat to look forward to... intelligent conversation with my kids.
It is now Sunday evening and since we couldn't get Skadi down for a nap (the hike took longer than we had anticipated), she has crashed out and is snoring on the couch. Leif is watching the Polar Express and AB has cooked dinner - a new concoction of chili that so far is showing signs of fantastic-ness.
I didn't get to my "goal" of cleaning out the Utility Room. Next weekend will be focused on packing up for our trip to Colorado and hopefully pulling out Christmas decorations so I can get a little done before we leave. Oh and one birthday party in there too. We plan to switch over to some new outdoor lights from our "way too 90's" icicle lights. 10 days and counting till we get on the airplane.