I had so many pics, I thought a slideshow would be a better choice - enjoy!
Summer's here! The weather has been so changeable this year, I thought I might just clarify that this is, in fact, summer.
The kids received a pool from Aunt Erin for their birthday and we finally had a chance to use it. One of those crazy hot days when you want to do nothing but lay there and let the heat go by. No energy, sweating, hot, miserable...unless!...you have a pool. Then, unbearably hot weather is a chance for some quintessential summer fun!
They loved it, but of course, we were a nervous wreck. I kept wondering what a toddler's natural, instinctual reaction to being dunked underwater was. Do they know to hold their breath? Or are they going to be shocked and gasp, letting all that water in? I was a little scared. Plus, Mike set up the pool while I was changing and slathering the kids with sunscreen, so I didn't see how he was doing. When we all finally got outside, he had made a common rookie mistake - he filled the pool up way too much. When I say way too much, I mean, about a foot of water! He said we couldn't really empty it without a lot of trouble, so let's just try it and see. Next time, we can fill it less.
That was actually what made it so hard! The water came up to their chests. Luckily, we had Grandma Ertel over to hold the third baby, because in the pool, covered in sunscreen, they became like wriggling, slippery octopus. They were all arms and legs, slipping and sliding, falling over, face almost in the water, oh!, we caught you, splashing and sliding all over the slick pool floor. No fun for a kid who "just wants to go"! We were holding onto all three with death grips to rival a vise. Everyone was wet. Even if we weren't all in the pool!
Cole, who has a sensory "thing", didn't really like the wetness of the water; he just wanted to get out. Braden kept falling over suddenly, so we had to watch him like a hawk...and Alex wanted to stand, surprise surprise! The wet plastic pool with it's floppy inflatable slides wasn't exactly an easy environment to stand up in without help. After a while, the kids got the hang of the new slippery surroundings and were moving around somewhat deftly. Pretty soon they were all nicely wet, happy and cool, splashing and squealing with glee.
Cole forgot that he hated the water and started to splash around. Alex had mastered standing and was moving on to balancing herself on the sides, also splashing happily! And poor Braden (or should I say poor Mommy and Daddy), he got a face full of water, so he was a little stuffy. He did one of his little back dives, so quick no one had time to catch him, and he went down under the water. Here it was, my fear realized, what is he going to do? He never closed his eyes, his mouth stayed open, writhing underwater, he looked so scared. We pulled him up right away, but it was all in slow motion for me. He looked like he was drowning and I couldn't get to him fast enough. He came up, spluttering and coughing and rubbing his eyes...but otherwise fine. He whined a little, but never even really cried! After a minute, he was happily splashing with grandma again, you would never know that he had a traumatic experience just 60 seconds before. What a resilient little guy! We were so scared, and I think he was too - but he got over it right away. Obviously, it spooked both Mike and I.
Mom and Dad Ertel got them these really cool sunglasses that have a velcro strap to hold them in place, and it was our first run with them on. B-man was the only one who tolerated them for long - he looked so adorably cute. A baby Tom Cruise...well, a baby Tom with blonde hair. I just about melted when I saw them on him. You might too, so be careful!
We had a nice day, letting the kids get their fill of the pool, cool down some and play together on a blanket in the grass afterward. Their first experience was a big hit! Thanks for the pool, Aunt Erin! It's something we will get a lot of use out of this summer...if it stays summer, that is! And, of course, my darling rookie husband will remember to fill it much less.