Well! Kindergarten, biking, and extracurricular activities have gone much better this week! Whew! I was just rereading my posts about our troubles with biking, and things are definitely improving. We went for a bunch of bike rides this weekend, including a longer 3.2-mile loop ride, and two rides to birthday parties, and I feel like it all went pretty well, although Tadpole didn't work on starting.
Yesterday, she rode with me on the cargo bike on the way to school, since the bridge is much steeper on our side, and then I brought her bike with me when I went to pick them up. She biked to swimming, which is only a few minutes flat ride away, and then she biked home. She didn't really even try to make it up the hill, but I told her we could both get off and walk up, and Turtle would wait for us at the top. Tadpole hasn't really practiced braking too much, either, but I knew she understood the concept, so at the top of the hill, I let her get on her bike, told her several times to pedal backwards to slow her speed, and let her go while I prepared to get back on my bike. I shouted "PEDAL BACKWARDS!!!!!" multiple times as she went down, and I could tell she wasn't doing it and she was getting wobbly and I was getting freaked out. I may have let a swear word or two escape ... there was no way I could catch her at that point, so I said a quick prayer, told Turtle "Let's go!!!!!!", and we hopped on our bikes and took off after her.
Well, all's well that ends well. Tadpole is my little daredevil, and seemed more excited than scared by her rapid descent. This poor mamma almost had a heart attack, though.
And today is Wednesday Friends Day ... I'm not totally sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with the fact that all the kindergarten kids go in the morning, so the afternoon class is combined with the morning class and has twice the number of kids. And they get a buddy from the morning class for the day? I guess? It was a bit rough getting everyone up, dressed, fed, and out the door, but we made it with plenty of time to spare. And since we were going in the morning, we finally had a chance to participate in the school's active kids campaign. If you sign up, your kid gets a little scanner tag they keep on their backpack. When you arrive in the morning, three adults (parent volunteers?) are waiting near the bike racks and scan the tags with their phones. This sends an automatic text or email to the parent, and also records the number of trips made by each kid. During May is Bike Month, they use it to make a contest, I think, which isn't totally fair since the afternoon kindergarteners can't do it (maybe if we stop by the office to be scanned?). Maybe it's not fair anyway, since half the time they're riding on my cargo bike instead of pedaling themselves. I like it for multiple reasons - when the kids start biking alone, I know they've made it, and in the meantime if a babysitter or au pair takes them, I also know not only that they made it to school but what time they arrived. And I really like the incentive to be active. So it's a win-win!
Speaking of an au pair, we are finally moving forward. I asked three candidates to begin applying and one has kept in constant touch with me. I started working on our host family application again, and have gotten it mostly finished. Yesterday we did our home interview, and I found that if everyone moves quickly and gets all their documents done by September 17th, the au pair can come by October 22nd, which would hopefully give us 1-2 weeks before Nameless Baby arrives. My goal is to get the au pair settled in, that she and the kids feel comfortable with each other, and that we establish at least a preliminary routine before the baby comes. So although the one au pair who seems to have the ambition to really move forward quickly was not necessarily my first choice, I did like her and it's such a relief to have this moving along.
Oh, and we started soccer, or at least Turtle did. I feel lucky that he ended up on a team with one of his best friends, because I can rely on the friend's parents to carpool when I have a conflict because of Tadpole. Like next Friday, when they both have soccer practice at the same time. And a swim meet at the same time, too! So far, Turtle's coach seems REALLY disorganized, and not good at communicating either. Luckily, our friend is the "parent volunteer" which apparently also means "assistant coach", and I'm counting on him not only for carpooling but also for keeping me in the loop about what is going on with practices.
I'm 31 weeks, and my next prenatal appointment is tomorrow. I have a whole list of things to discuss with the midwife, some of which I'm not sure she'll have an answer for. I'm still having a lot of knee problems - the worst has been when I finally made it to swimming again and tried to do breaststroke, and my knee popped so badly that I couldn't finish the workout, and was sore most of that afternoon, and again for most of the next morning. It's fine now, and I know better, but man. This is rough. I'm also still having trouble sleeping.
But anyway. That's life, and overall, life is pretty good. I'm starting to work on real "work" right now, which is stressful as always, and I'm trying to finish up this dang coffee table I've been making, but have been not feeling very motivated to work on anymore, even though it's close to being finished. So all that is keeping me really busy.