Getting Back to (Summer) Normal

On Wednesday, I took the girls to our local water fountain park. The marble and concrete steps are about two feet high, like seats around an amphitheater. Fountains shoot out of the lowest level where concrete animal statues and 5-ft climbing rocks become very slippery. (This is the best picture I could find--tiny, but you can sorta make it out.) Can you see where I'm going with this?

The place is a &@#^!% nightmare. This year, I insisted that we would not go to the fountain until I found suitable shoes for the kids. Running barefoot on slipper wet marble is just, well, a lesson in Darwinism. So equipped with crocs and sunscreen, we set out. We got an entire hour of harrowing fun out of the trip before Ilsa slipped off one of the two-foot steps and clunked down on her face.

Cue crying, scrapes on her temple, and a goose egg bruise above her left eye.

No more water fountain park. Never again.

Later that evening, she was feeling much better and insisted on going to the last day of swimming. They're closing our branch of the YMCA as of today, in favor of the new Borg-like branch waaaaay out among the western suburbs (pictured), so we're losing out pool. Very upsetting. The downtown branch has been a staple of life here for something like 60 years. But the people who use it are mostly poor or old, so of course they don't need it. Assholes.

Ilsa was running on very little energy. She was still recovering from her procedure the day before, and her head looked like she'd stood beneath a falling anvil. It's probably a miracle that she lasted as long as she did. By the last three minutes of class, it was all crying all the time. Then her mood briefly improved as she waved and laughed, saying, "Goodbye, pool, for the last time."

Cue more tears!

Dinner was barely consumed before she collapsed into bed. Thursday and Friday were calmer. We stayed in. I cleaned like crazy on Thursday, intent on ridding myself of the mundane chores that've been building up--all before school starts in 11 days. Yesterday we had Eleanor and Lydia over for our weekly kid exchanges. I swear they've become like cousins, everyone having their particular role as just-short-of-siblings.

Later this afternoon, Juliette will be attending a birthday party for a girl she's never met. I know that sounds weird, and my initial thought was, "That's weird." But it makes a kind of sense. The girl is going to be in Juliette's first grade class and doesn't know any of the other students. Her mom decided to invite her soon-to-be classmates. It benefits Juliette, we decided, because she gets an afternoon out with Keven at the bowling lanes and will meet future classmates. She keeps a mental tally of the girls she already knows, so this will only help reinforce her positive thoughts about that big first day.

Afterwards, we'll be going to The Melting Pot down in Gurnee with Josie & Brad, so that means more cousin time together for our girls, this time with an intrepid high school babysitter at the helm. Mmmmm...fondue. I haven't had fondue in AGES. Really looking forward to it. And tomorrow I head to Chicago for my meeting with the other Broken Writers, when we'll celebrate how my friend Liz passed an incredibly hard certification exam and how I survived Ilsa's procedure.

Good times.

School. It's coming. Juliette's orientation is on Monday, followed by an ice cream social on the 30th to welcome everyone. In the meantime, my WIP feels like a Lamborghini accumulating revs just before tearing off down a straightaway. (Can you tell I've been watching lots of new "Top Gear"? Hi, Hammond!) It's all there, waiting, if I could find two moments of peace to rub together. Oh, and I've changed my hero. Again. But this time it completely works. He's perfect.

In the meantime, I'm off to watch the two episodes of SYTYCD Canada I've missed. The problem with relying on other people for online vids is, well, waiting for them to post!

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