Just Julian and Katrina took lessons this time; Gabriel has (barely) satisfied me that he's safe in the deep end. Actually, Julian's even safer because he likes to play there -- but he likes lessons and is learning flip-turns, so I figured I'd keep him going.
The real holdup -- the real key I should say -- is Katrina. And she's doing great -- far better than I expected at this stage. She's happily jumping into water over her head and swimming back to the side, for instance.
And while I'm not confident her side-breathing would hold up in an emergency, this is how it starts. She's (basically) swimming!!!!!
We ended swim lessons yesterday, just because of time and upcoming vacation. I wish I'd known years ago that this is the way to go for swim lessons: an intense round of private lessons early on in the summer, for about 2 weeks, and then give the kids a way to practice. THAT will solidify water comfort and safety, if not style :).
Meantime, I'm SUPER DUPER busy planning and preparing food for our annual cousin visit, starting TOMORROW!!!!! We'll pick up the Engels at SFO at 11am, then drive straight to Arnold for a rental cabin and 5 days of summer mountain fun.
My sister was kind enough to take on the massive hassle and time-sink and faith-in-the-world reducing experience of continental air travel, so it's the least I can do to present a reasonable food selection. I'm having a great time planning a totally over-the-top menu!
It's driving me crazy, but anyone who knows me knows that this is my sweet spot! I work better under pressure. I'm bound to forget something, but overall, every entree is prepared, sauces made, meat marinaded, hors d'oeuvres planned.
We will most certainly have too much food for our 5 days in paradise (also known as sleepy Arnold, CA, smack-dab in the middle of Gold Country in CA's Sierra foothills, one of my truly favorite places in the world) -- but too much is better than too little. And of course, resources have evolved since the Gold Rush -- there are always markets nearby if I forget some or other ingredient.
After my sister told me that my picky 7yo niece thinks I'm a good cook, I have a VERY high standard to live up to! I must impress...and raise the bar every year!