Friday, July 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes Vol 9: Summer Excitement and a Link to a Book Giveaway

We recently finished a week of swimming lessons. Juggling our summer commitments and four kids all at different ability levels had me frustrated with our local pool lesson offerings. At the advice of a friend, we opted for private lessons this year and they were wonderful in so many ways! The kids learned a great deal, the lessons themselves were incredibly relaxing for me, and it was only one week instead of two.


One day we packed a picnic lunch and spent the afternoon at a local lake. The kids were thrilled and, later, exhausted.

We also recently visited Grammy and PawPaw's neighborhood pool for the first time this summer. We still need to find time to visit a water park or the summer water fun will be incomplete.

We celebrated the Fourth of July with another water fight, of course. It's tradition!

Kansas Dad set up a tent in the backyard and had a sleep-out with the kids. They were a little excited. Can you tell?

As if that weren't enough excitement, we also took the kids to the county fair. We hadn't been to a county fair since First Son was little (maybe before First Daughter was born), though they've been to the state fair a few times. For the first time, we bought bracelets for the kids and let them ride and ride and ride. We probably spent two and a half hours just on the rides. I think Second Son and I rode the carousel about twenty-five times in a row. Those were some happy kids! (Until we took them home and put them to bed and tried to make them be civil to each other the next day.)

Earlier this week, I decided to devote an entire day to errands. I'm not sure why I felt inspired to do this. Kansas Dad filled the van with donations and things to sell. I loaded up the four kids. Off we went! Through the course of the day, we made four donations, delivered one political campaign sign, sold items at a resale shop, returned items at one store, shopped at three housewares or office stores, had lunch (at which First Son ate for an hour, ingesting about twice as much food as I did), spent an hour at a candy store, and met Kansas Dad for an afternoon frozen yogurt treat (not quite in that order). At which point the younger two children and I limped home while the others made a final stop to look for birthday presents from brother and sister to brother and sister.

The 10-year-old displayed a shocking lack of patience while the 3-almost-4-year-old staged a violent sit-in at one of the stores when I refused to give him an entire bag of cookies I had bought for the four of them to share. The 7-year-old alternated between complete silliness and attempting to herd her brothers and sister like a mama. The 5-almost-6-year-old alternated between running away from me and antagonizing her younger brother. My feet and knee ached.

So we were all showing our age.

It wasn't as bad as it sounds. For the most part they were reasonably behaved children. The employees at the stores and restaurants were always gracious.

I can't decide if I should challenge myself to always mention at least one book when I do a quick takes post or if I should challenge myself to never mention a book in a quick takes post. I'll leave the debate for next time and let you know you still have a few days to enter to win a copy of Ben Hatke's not-yet-released book Julia's House for Lost Creatures at his blog, Art and Adventure. We love Zita the Spacegirl and I'm so excited for his new book!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. We have never taken our kids to any fairs. We almost did the State Fair this past year and then didn't... Sometimes the hangover the day after dissuades me from doing things, though it probably shouldn't.

    #6, oh goodness. I feel your pain. Well, almost minus one kid. It is so hard. I was exhausted reading your list of things you did, I am lucky if we make it 3-4 stops before everyone is in tears.

    I like it when you talk about books. FWIW.

    1. Monica, I very rarely take the kids when I run errands. Most of the time, Kansas Dad runs errands for us. If I really need to go, I try to take it onto a dentist appointment or something when I leave the kids with him or my mother-in-law. Often I decide the hassle of four kids in a store is not worth whatever I think I need and I just do without it. That being said, it is easier when they get older. Just not having to undo buckles on more than one car seat makes a big difference!


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