Monday, May 30, 2011

May Days

May is always a busy month for us. Some of this comes from the final push at the end of the school year, when we are as tired and burned-out as our students, and when Daniel's school holds extra end-of-year festivities. Jogging that can be reasonably avoided in below-freezing weather now has no good excuse for being put off. Activities like t-ball and library reading programs are gearing up, the garden needs some early tweaking, there's always some spring landscaping or home improvement that needs completed; these are normal things that inevitably come with warmer weather and longer days.

Some of it, though, we brought on ourselves. When we were trying to plan (as much as one plans these things) the kids' births, we aimed for the end of the school year, thinking the beginning of a 3-month vacation from work would be a great time to have new babies in the house. Though that indeed worked out well at the time, I neglected to think about those babies becoming kids who would one day become old enough to walk (to the mailbox, to intercept the Oriental Trading Company party supply catalog), and talk (about the kind of cake and decorations and parties they would like to have for their birthday), and even write (an extensive guest list of everyone they'd like to invite to said party). Both of our kids get very excited about their birthdays, and so now for our family May also includes lots of planning of birthday festivities and special visits from extended family.

Last year we did throw Daniel a full-on party for his birthday, but not being pony-hiring, bouncy house-renting kind of people, we wanted to send the message this year that not every birthday will include a bash bigger than the year before. So we decided on a casual weekday get-together in the park for each child, with cake and lunch for a few friends. As usual, the kids had very specific cake requests, but thankfully nothing as gravity-defying as Daniel's cake from last year.

Eva had a butterfly cake, and was thrilled about having a few friends to share it with. Grandma Jan came for her birthday, and we had a nice day. So far being three involves significantly less napping than being two, and a bit more of a sassy attitude, but is still pretty fun.

For his birthday, Daniel got a visit from Grammy, a tiger cake, and a good time running around the park with friends as well. It seems that for him, being five is a little more moody than being four. Some of this seems legitimate (like coming to the realization that several of his favorite friends will not be attending the same school as he will for kindergarten), and some seems a little less so (like pouting about not being able to invite everyone he knows to his party). Let's all keep our fingers crossed that some extra attention this summer will help smooth this over.

Also in May, we found out that Kyle was granted tenure and was chosen to teach a month of summer school (yay extra paycheck!). Our friend Madeline got an exciting new job, and of course there was the successful yard sale and purchase of the Wii. We decided to celebrate all of this by holding a happy hour at our house, complete with appetizer food for dinner, mudslides for the grownups, and a whole lot of Mario Kart and Guitar Hero.

Now that we're through all that, I'm looking forward to relaxing into our summer routine. We've had our first visit to the city pool for the season, and summer classes start Monday. Tonight Kyle and I began giving some attention to our summer movie Netflix queue. Not to jinx anything, but hopefully the beginning of June marks the start of a nice, restful few months.

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