Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lake Whatcom Adventures- Round #3

Today, while running around on the lawn above the beach, Isaac stepped on the cup that I had left out after Cooper had his way with my soda. Wouldn't have been such a big deal except that is was GLASS. Thankfully, Isaac is super brave and tough, and limped away tonight with only a long cut on his big toe and a bleeder on his little toe. It could have been so much worse. The glass was broken into big and small shards, and his cuts could have been so much more severe. We dogged a big one this afternoon!

Adventures on Lake Whatcom Round #2

One day after Lake Whatcom Rescue

After our last tubing run of the afternoon, I was pulling the kids in close to our dock. I slowed down, then heard this commotion from behind. Turning around to see what was up, I found Thomas flailing in the water, screaming, thrashing, sobbing. The only part of Sophia visible were her toes, as she clung to the tube but tried desperately to haul Thomas back into the tube. Madeline, the third passenger it the tube, sobbed and sobbed on the side, convinced her Tommy was drowning. With Fir Creek life guards looking on, I tried to calm Thomas enough to get him to reach for the rope, then pulled him in from the water. Sophia climbed on board, our little rescue woman, then Jenny pulled in a still sobbing Madeline. Turns out the kids had moved forward on the tube and the wave somehow caught Thomas and pulled him in.

Again, Jenny and I pulled our kids off the boat, shaking our heads and trying to laugh.

Adventures on Lake Whatcom

So I decided not to let my fears of failing or not meeting a high standard keep me from taking the kids out on the boat this year. You see, the first, only and last time I took the boat out by myself, I hit a submerged log out in the deepest and most remote section of Lake Whatcom, and darn it, it will not be me to ruin Bruce's boat! I think I also had to go under the boat and unhook the line as well, but my memory is foggy other than a big, fat log in my way as I raced across the lake.
This summer is going to be different....

Two weeks ago-
Jenny and I decided to take the kids out for afternoon tubing. We had Thomas, two Allen girls, Isaac, Matthew and Sophia with us, with Cooper sitting happy in Jenny's lap. What a fabulous crew! We had several runs, took turns with all the kids, and were switching out the kids for one last run. Starting up, I heard one of the Allen girls yell, "the rope!" I immediately cut the engine, but the damage was done. With keeping an eye on the numerous boats, supervising the kids in and out switching positions from the boat to the tube and making sure Cooper was okay with Jenny, I didn't think to check to see if the rope was clear. I jumped in to see the damage, but couldn't see the damage. It was too far under the boat for me, but tugging, jerking and silently swearing at the underside of the boat was not doing the trick. I hauled myself up and looked at Jenny, wishing to be anywhere but where we were. With a boat full of kids and just the two of us, I tried to figure out what I was supposed to do now. I knew my skills didn't include diving under the boat without a mask, and we quickly realized that neither of us thought to bring our cell phones to call for help. Across the lake, Jenny's friend was out with a beach full of friends, but turns out they watched us thinking we were just waving at them. The waves were crashing against the boat, and I now was more than worried that we'd end up bashing into the docks if we didn't figure something out soon. Looking up at Jenny, I said, "we've got to get help. I can't do this." With that, we hustled the kids in out of the tube, put them at the front of the boat, and started waving. However, with it being mid afternoon and windy, there was a limited number of boats out. Finally, after waving and yelling, and feeling more than humiliated, a boat across the lake took notice of our yelling and came out to investigate. As they neared our boat, and seeing me in the water at the back, one dude executed a perfect Baywatch dive and swam over to investigate. Without much hesitation, he dove under, surfacing pretty quickly and sputtering very un-Baywatch like. Meanwhile, Jenny was turning this little ordeal into our own little episode of Rescue Heroes, and the kids seemed thrilled. Sputtering hero dude went under again, only to come up under the platform and hit his head. I pulled him out, realizing that I didn't need a second rescue operation one one afternoon. He said to me, "Man, I wish I hadn't just pounded that beer!"
Great, I thought. Just what we needed. Drunk Rescue Hero. I smiled at him, willing him to keep it together enough to go back under, all the while trying to keep us from being pounded into the boat by the increasing waves. He went under, again and again. Finally, he pulled the last of our tow rope out, and we all cheered. What could I do for him? How could I possibly make it up to him? I thanked him again and again, telling him how much we appreciated him helping us out with all the kids in the boat. He was so cool about it, and with the beer comment ringing in my ears, I said to him, "We're the beach next to the Firs. You come look me up and we'll buy you all the beer you can drink." He laughed, we hauled ourselves back into our boats, and he was off. Once up in the boat, I wanted to head back in and never get on the boat again. Jenny and I talked, agreed it was in our best interests to buck up and make it work, then gathered ourselves and put the kids back out. Despite feeling slightly sick to my stomach, we rode back to the dock instead of limping. Jenny and I could only laugh and shake our heads as we hauled kids and gear out of the boat and back to the safety of the beach.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cousins racing and jumping at Jake's 1st track meet!

Tonight we headed out to get the boys some running at the track meet. Jake was game to try it, so we put him in the lane next to Thomas and he headed out fast. It was so fun to watch them running together, then waiting in line to try the long jump. When it came time to race the 50 yard dash, Thomas hit it hard out of the gate and kept looking over his shoulder encouraging Jake to keep going down the line. They were sharing a lane, so it wasn't hard, and super cute to see the boys encouraging each other as they headed for the finish line.
Tommy and cousin Jake sizing up the competition...

Tommy on his way to his first Blue Ribbon!

1st Place!

Thomas was eager to go out and run more at the Civic Field track meet that is held on Mondays. He specifically wanted to try the hurdles and long jump again, just as he did last week. Tonight he looked hard for the finish line, got a late start at the line checking out his cousin Jake in the lane next to him, then made up for it down the stretch and with a mad dash for the finish. He crossed the finish line in 1st place! The smile on his face was priceless!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tommy in Action

Thomas is such a contrast right now. He is still such a little boy, four years old, emotional, demanding, sweet and loving. On the other hand, he is into big boy stuff, riding adult roller coaster, climbing trees and tree forts, jumping off docks and the swim trampoline, racing through the neighborhood on his bike, and getting more cuts and scrapes than we have bandages for. He begs for his friends then needs multiple referees to keep them from tearing each other apart. He loves to take his tools and gardening supplies out and about, asking me, "mom, am I doing a good job?" over and over as he works, rides the mower all over, works in the shop with grandpa and cooks upstairs with grandpa. Cries and throws big fits if his perfect ritual of saying goodbye doesn't work out the exact way he wishes it to be.
"Dad, do army men wear shorts like this?"
"Does a front end loader look like this?" he'll ask while out on the beach.
"Do worker men look like this?" when he's out working on the property.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Big Boy Cooper

Cooper carried this screw driver around for a long time this day. We have noticed that he is a lot more content and focused than his older brother, easily engaged in whatever he choses, quiet and busy for longer chunks of time than Thomas ever dreamed about. He enjoys walking around the patio playing with the straps of the bike trailer and stroller, in and out of the hot water buckets, kicking the soccer ball, playing chase, wandering around the yard and up to the tree fort, then out and about just exploring. He's trying to ride his tractor and scooter around, and is figuring out a bit how to use his feet to move him around on them. Of course, he's taken a few falls while standing on Tommy's big boy scooter. Now we have over turned chairs all over to try to keep him from climbing up on the computer tables and patio furniture. He also loves to chase after birds that venture into the yard or around the beach, and unlike Thomas, enjoys checking out the various dogs we encounter on our adventures. While Thomas still cowers away, Cooper is quick to go up and check them out, squealing his delight. He's not as adventurous in the water, thankfully, and at this stage in the summer still seems content to go in knee and thigh deep, then quickly turns around to play again. It is so relaxing on the beach right now, not having to chase him into the water or race down the dock to chase him down. His words are limited to "ma-ma, ma- ma", da-da, "up", "out", "aht" for hot, and "bah" for multiple things in his life. He loves to play with the friends and cousins that come over and enjoys being in the thick of things. If it's the toilet, the coffee grinder and machine, the washing, the boat...whatever anyone is doing, he has to be there as well. Now he's trying to hop around, and laughs and giggles as he hops around. He's also pushing and pulling the toy lawn mowers around and took a couple of boat rides this weekend. He's quick to smile, laugh and wakes up happy. He also loves go give open mouth kisses, and I saw him smooching and slobbering all over Jenny this afternoon. The other day he was cuddling up to daddy's chest in bed, and it is quick a sight for see him so loving and sweet with his dad.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008