Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Wishlists

As the holidays are drawing rapidly upon us, we thought it would be useful to point out direct links to our wishlists. Michal Sarah Theo Vivian Xavier

Monday, December 8, 2014

Theo's Four Year Stats

We finally had Theo's four year checkup. The delay was entirely mine. With a new baby due about two weeks before Theo's fourth birthday, I (mistakenly) thought I'd get ahead of the game and planned to take both of them together for the baby's two week check up and Theo's four year check up.

It turns out they did get to go together, thus saving me a schlep. But the first appointment I could make for well four year olds back at the end of September was in December.

Theo is 42 inches tall and weighs 37 pounds. We just turned his car seat forward facing back in May at a little over three and a half years. (In a side note, Vivian outgrew by height the smallest convertible car seat we had and got upgraded to the next side. She's still rear facing though.) Those measurements put him in the 71st and 53rd percentiles for height and weight respectively. So basically he's getting much more proportional as the percentiles on each measurement gravitate towards the middle of the bell curve.

For the first time, Theo had his hearing and eyesight checked as well. He aced both exams, which is awesome. Sometimes, based on how often he repeatedly says "what?" I think he must have hearing issues. But apparently it's just the usual male pattern selective hearing at work.

Theo balanced on one foot, failed miserably at drawing squares and triangles but aced the circle and x, and had his back checked as well. Also for the first time he got a brief introduction to only doctors and parents can touch you under your clothes, which was interesting.

Overall he didn't miss any milestones like going up stairs with alternating feet or any of the other questions. Since he pees only three to four times daily we are upping his fluid intake to encourage him to use the potty more often. So far that seems to be doing the trick.

We did also finally get around to taking his four year giraffe photos. In case you notice, his hair is still sopping wet as he's fresh from the bath.

You can see all the photos here:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Vivian at Two and a Half Years

Where to start in describing Vivian at two and a half? She's got such personality and all her own style.

Vivian is, true to form, still our big eater. She's definitely a carnivore and still doesn't much care for beans and alternate forms of protein, though she likes peanuts and cashews well enough. Her favorites hands down are macaroni and cheese and cheese quesadillas, though any pasta is generally fine. She loves dried strawberries and fresh berries and corn but isn't as much of a vegetable eater otherwise. By that I mean when you put vegetables in her lunch box it's hit or miss whether she will eat them or not. Mostly she wants to eat what she sees other people eating and when she's hungry she can put away some serious amounts of food. She can eat two to three chicken tenders and three to four kid-sized bowls of macaroni and cheese. Pizza is also very popular but she's in that phase where she likes her food to look familiar. She objects to things on her pizza or in her lasts or quesadilla not based on taste (because she won't even try them once she spots them) but on appearance and often has us remove the offending parts.

Vivian dropped her second nap right around her second birthday. I think it stuck around that long because she shares a room with her older brother overnight. He wakes her up thirty minutes to an hour before she would get up on her own. She's still definitely a night owl and not much of a morning person so nothing's changed in that regard. We sometimes stagger bedtimes for the kids depending on how Theo's nap went (and just in the past week if he's had a nap, which is getting up be very rare). When we stagger bedtimes Vivian starts around 7 and is in bed by 7:30 at the latest after changing into her (usually at least two pairs of) pajamas, reading two books and flipping through a third one, turning on the noise, and the elaborate ritual she has arranging animals, also called lovies, and getting tucked in under multiple blankets with the pillow on top.

In fact her bedtime routine will give you a good glimpse into her personally. She wants to put her own clothes on now. She can definitely manage taking her pants off but needs a bit of help with shirts and dresses. She has no trouble taking her diaper off. She then sits on the fresh diaper but allows me to fasten it. She puts her own pants on but mostly gets stuck on the diaper in the back and needs a hand pulling them up. Then she dives into her shirt(s) and is ready to deliberate reading materials.

She loves Thomas the train books and really likes to read out loud herself now. The best ones are simple books she has memorized but if she doesn't know it all she will describe something on each page instead. Typically that's colors but can also be numbers or letters. She knows her numbers pretty well and can count to about sixteen reliably. She knows about half her letters including her favorites, V, T, M, D, and G. The other day she informed me that one and two makes three which blew me away because of course she's right.

Then she needs to turn on the noise machine herself and climb the arm of the sofa conveniently located right next to her crib. She hoists herself into bed by sitting on the railing and swinging her legs in and gets herself out doing the same steps in reverse.

Once in the crib she needs to "make room" which involves moving fifteen or twenty stuffed animals into a precarious pile on one side of the crib, clearing enough room for her to lay down. Then she needs specific animals in very specific locations next to her but facing certain directions. The actual animals required for this precision step vary from day to day and even between nap time to bedtime. After they are all arranged to her satisfaction, (I've learned to hand her animals and make her place them rather than frustrating both of us by getting it wrong multiple times) then she needs to be tucked under her blankets. The "soft" yellow fleece one with a duck on it goes first and make sure her feet are covered and the edges are tucked under her toes. Then the fox blanket next and beware if every animal isn't tucked under the blanket. Finally I turn on the "beep beep" which is actually a SIDS monitor that alerts should she leave her bed and close both doors and turn off the light. Last but far from least she needs to "tell you something." Up until the week of Thanksgiving that something was always "go to swimming pool and fireworks next time." Now it has changed to "tell [person's name] when I need to go potty."

That'd be a fabulous plan if she actually did it but she doesn't. Vivian would prefer to stay in a poopy disposable diaper to changing anytime. She was in cloth diapers until 28 months but got switched full time to disposables when Xavier was born. She had been wearing disposable to preschool before that. She was better about changing when the diapers were cloth and super interested in the potty. Her interest has since waned almost completely and most diaper changes are a full scale battle unless Xavier lies down next to her.

Luckily she only needs changing before nap unless she's poopy. Nap starts around 1:30 though she is flexible. Much like bedtime, which can start as late as 7:30 or 7:45 when Theo is going to bed at the same time, naptime varies. Preschool lasts until 2 so she doesn't have much choice about starting late those days. She generally naps about one and half to maybe two hours. She sometimes hits three hours and those are really good days. She gets up whenever Theo wakes up and yells "Wake up Vivian!" That happens around 6:45 though they have to remain in bed and somewhat quiet until at least 7:00. Vivian would sleep in until 7:30 to 8:30 left to her own devices. She prefers a nice twelve hour stretch of sleep overnight.

Vivian nursed once a day upon waking in the morning until the day Xavier was born then ceded possession to her brother with nary a blip. I had gotten her down to one side but was too lazy to get her competent weaned. Lucky for me that worked out despite my apprehensions.

Vivian loves to pick her own clothes every day. She chooses interesting combinations but has the verve to pull it all together and it somehow works despite my doubts and reservations. If I had a tenth of her style sense I'd be all set. She is pretty decent at dressing appropriately for the weather in that she now picks one or more pairs of pants and a shirt with a heavier layer like a fleece or cardigan on top. She loves pink leggings best but any leggings will do. And her one short sleeved just happens to be glow in the dark Thomas shirt is her absolute favorite. She will wear it three days running including overnight to bed instead of removing it in favor of pajamas. She would wear it every day but after three days and two nights straight I force or bribe her out of it. Really I try and draw the line at wearing to school two times in a row since preschool days are not back to back.

Vivian attends what we call drop off preschool which is just our way of saying I don't have to work in the classroom or volunteer or do anything besides write a check once a month. Over the summer she went one day a week with Theo from 9-2 on Thursdays. Theo graduated in August (they have only two age groups, two's and three's) and Vivian joined the two's class in the fall. She attends twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9-2. Her favorite things there are dressing up and playing outside.

Vivian loves riding on anything and has just recently mastered pedaling the tricycles at her preschool. She asks to go play in the backyard constantly. The only thing she likes more than the backyard is swimming at the heated indoor community pool. The kids were both in lessons last spring and that girl should have been born a fish! Despite being in the very basic introduction to water tots class (Theo was old enough for the three's class which was awesome because at that point a parent is no longer required or allowed in the water with them for lessons), Vivian can pull herself out of the water at the side, jump in well over her head in water depth, swim several feet to me, then turn back and swim back to the side. The only basic skill she hasn't mastered is blowing bubbles.

Other things Vivian adores are diggers - just excavators and not any other construction equipment. It turns out diggers are underrepresented in the construction category and harder than you think to come across individually. She also loves Thomas, but just Thomas. Not all trains, not all the Thomas the Train characters. Just the original little blue engine.

She still needs "ryba" who is a stuffed glittery clownfish for comfort whole sleeping. Out and about she asks for "froggy" when she needs to soothe herself. Froggy is a small mouse sized stuffed green frog attached to a pacifier. She finds it incredibly soothing to chew on the pacifier part despite never using a pacifier really as an infant. She still likes garbage trucks too but I think that obsession is waning.

Vivian adores her baby brother. She loves to pick out his clothes, help change his diaper, see his poop (a particular favorite of hers), give him kisses, hold him, give him his lovies, and tuck him in under blankets. He's by far the best motivation to gain her cooperation.

Vivian gets fairly frequent time outs for bad behavior. I'd guess about five times a week on average though some days are five times in a day. She gets those mostly for hitting or biting. She tends to hit me no mater who she's mad at, and bites her brother. It's almost always with good cause because she has said "No thanks" to him multiple times and hrs ignored her message. The biting sprung up around two years I think then subsided very quickly. It's made a big comeback in the past two weeks. The hitting is, well, hit or miss. It was almost entirely limited to me even if Theo ticked her off or someone else said no. But during my parents' last visit she smacked Granddaddy once too. She gets two minutes time out then has to agree to stop the behavior and check in with the person she accosted. She will try and escape by running out of the designated time out spot until I put up a baby gate to prevent that. Then she just screeches repeatedly.

When Vivian gets mad, she stays mad. When she wants something, she doesn't often forget about it. But she is also extremely sweet about sharing and participating and helping.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Xavier at Two Months!

Our Chunk is even chunkier! I took advantage of the kids at a friend's house to clear out some of the top small clothes and bring up the six month sizes to augment Xavier's wardrobe. He can still fit into small onesies fairly well but things with feet like footed pajamas are tight in the 3-6 month size. The 6 month bear suits have a bit of room to spare and are long in the arms but by no means look ridiculous on this two month old baby.

Xavier is still a champion eater and sleeper. He nurses right at two hours total in a twenty four hour period. That's typically in about 20 sessions, though during the day a feeding is two sessions which is just a fancy way of saying both sides. At night the supply is good enough and he's sleeping long enough I can get away with only one side per night. I still have to pump once a night with an average take of seven ounces. Since I have yet to introduce a bottle - which is both sheer laziness and lack of need or a looming deadline like returning to work - that means we have more than 500 ounces frozen. I anticipate the supply dropping in another four weeks or so like it did both the previous times and assume we will need the stockpile then.

As for nights, Xavier is going at least one four hour span without any nursing once per night. He's gone as long as seven hours (that's happened once) and five hour stretches are happening more frequently. After the first big stretch of three to five hours, he's generally feeding every two to three hours then every hour to two hours the remainder of the day. In the evenings right around 7 pm when the bigger kids are finally settling down he starts cluster feeding and rarely goes more than an hour between feedings.

He's sleeping about 15 hours or so every twenty four hour period and that's in 9-12 doses including the long period overnight. He's generally asleep by 11 pm, sometimes a bit earlier, and loves to sleep in. This weekend he slept in until 11:15! It's typically closer to 9 am and I have to wake him up four days a week to get Theo to preschool anywhere near on time, which is 9:30. He's had a couple two to three hour stretches of sleep during the day over the past week but nothing routine yet. The warmer he is, the longer he's likely to sleep. I've taken to double swaddling him especially at night. In one swaddle he almost always gets loose and the extra layer keeps him warmer and nets me more sleep at night or time for other things during the day.

Xavier has slept several of his longer periods at night in his bassinet but it's by no means a guaranteed thing. He often eats constantly to get to sleep and I've learned that after burping him I can sometimes put him in the bassinet for the night. During the day he will sleep just about anywhere: in the swing, the baby Bjorn, the sling, on me, in his car seat, swaddled, unswaddled, doesn't seem to matter much.

Speaking of the car seat, Xavier is still very mellow except for three things: car rides which make him cry until he falls asleep which is generally only at speeds of thirty miles an hour or faster, having his hat over his eyes, or uncurling his fingers for a fingernail trim. As a consequence his nails are often too long as there's nothing quite like the guilt of making a baby who rarely cries cry.

Hats are a particular problem because all the ones that will fit around the circumference of his head are much too long for his face and end up covering his eyes.

Xavier is definitely smiling and cooing at people. It's super cute and sweet and he will totally engage in a conversation with me now going back and forth. He can track people quite well from side to side including moving his entire head to follow them.  I haven't had any success with him tracking up or down and he only tracks objects that intrigue him. Generally he seems more interested in people than things unless it's his fish tank. That's a fake fish tank that lights up and revolves and he will watch it indefinitely except that after three years of abuse by two other toddlers, the light bulb finally burned out. We just got the replacement tank.

In just the past three days or so I've noticed Xavier grasping objects and holding onto them. Up until then he left his hands pretty much curled into fists the majority of the time. Now I've seen him grab and move his flat bunny lovey at least twice and today he got a good grip on his bib as it was lying on his belly before I fasten it around his neck.

Yesterday he noticed his feet for the first time and was quite taken with them.

His two month appointment is coming up next week and I'll post updated measurements then. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No Title: A Story By Theo

At co-op, the students have the opportunity to dictate a story to one of the teachers. Today Theo came home with the following story.

No Title
Once upon a time there was a raccoon that ate our chicken, and then it came back for more. Then the chicken got the bad guy with the feathers. The end.

Chunk Weighs In

Because he has more than six weeks between pediatrician appointments (and that's due to his excellent weight gain between one and two weeks), I took Xavier to weigh in today. He rocked the scales at 13 lbs 5 oz! At just shy of six weeks old, he was 12 lbs 8 oz. So that's a 13 oz gain in fifteen days.

Let's compare just for fun:
Xavier 13 lbs 5 oz at almost 8 weeks
Theo 13 lbs 9 oz at 17 weeks (4 months old)
Vivian 13 lbs 13 oz at both 19 and 26 weeks (4 and six months respectively)

I guess it makes sense that Xavier is outgrowing his 3-6 month clothes and moving into the 6 month size. I also ran out of size two diapers in the diaper bag today. (He pooped a lot!) I stuck him in a size three instead and it was not ridiculously large. For comparison, his sister who is almost 2.5 years old, wears a size four still.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Xavier at One Month and Six Weeks

Xavier, the baby who put on half a pound in 24 hours for his two week check up, doesn't have another appointment with the pediatrician until two months. In the meantime I've been tracking him less officially at other places just to have the data. 


Here's his one month giraffe photos. 

At one month Xavier was eating and sleeping like a champ. He weighed in at 11 lbs 9 oz, which was another one pound and one ounce increase in a little over two weeks. At night he's sleeping in two to three hour chunks from about eleven p.m. or midnight to nine or nine thirty in the morning. Most nights he has one four hour chunk until either three or four in the morning but it's not so reliable you can count on it occurring.

He's nursing only on one side at night which leaves me pumping once a night as well. I generally average six ounces in that pumping session even if he's emptied one side so we have a decent stash of frozen milk. 

During the day he rarely goes more than two hours between feedings. A feeding session generally consists of both sides but he's okay with only one though he will eat again in an hour in that case. In the evenings around six or seven he starts cluster feeding, and pretty much nurses unless he's burping or getting changes until he falls asleep for his long sleep period. 

By three weeks he was wearing three month sized clothes. I retired all the remaining items from the zero to three box of baby clothes and broke out the three to six month box. The six month stuff is too big for him at one month old but anything labeled 3-6 months on the tag seems to fit just right. 

With Michal's return to work and my parents' departure I also switched him over to cloth diapers. I may need to get new covers to fit his chunky thighs better because he often soaks through them at the leg holes. 

He had his first bath at three weeks old. It took me a while to get around to that. Both Theo and Vivian were anxious for him to join them at bath time. Xavier got to use the baby bucket for his bath and spent most of the time trying to drink the water once he figured out what was going on. He gets a bath roughly once a week most weeks. 

At six weeks Xavier looks totally different to me. His baby acne has cleared up on his face and his skin is much less red all over on general. He's still got most of his chub as far as I can tell. We checked his measurements a couple of days before he turned six weeks. He weighs 12 lbs 8 oz, an increase of almost exactly a pound in ten days. Even with that jump his percentage dropped from above 97 to 90th percentiles. He's 24 inches long, an increase of 1.25 inches since his two week appointment. That keeps him in the 96th percentile for height. And his head just shy of 16 inches, putting that in the 83rd percentile. (All those percentiles are on the CDC growth charts. I have the WHO percentiles too of course.)

The biggest development is that Xavier starting giving us social smiles at exactly six weeks. He's not very generous with them yet so it's still totally a thrill every single time he shares one. Previously he's only smiled a couple of times at the fake fish tank which he loves to sit and watch.  As of today he's started cooing as well, which was irresistibly adorable. 

Xavier had his first five hour chunk of sleep at five weeks and three days. It was awesome! He's still going two to three hours between feedings at night after his first big chunk of three to five hours. He's done five hours once since then. With the time change, he's tired around ten p.m. most nights and out by eleven. He's up pretty consistently sometime between two and three to feed. I'm still pumping once between two and seven in the morning as well. 

During the day he's rarely awake more than two hours and one and a half seems to be the norm. He's a sleeper for sure. I finally started tracking his sleep about a week ago and it's generally 16 hours a day or more. If he stays awake more than two hours he gets very cranky and it takes much more effort - ie some -  to get him to sleep. He definitely prefers being held upright. And swaddling and shushing him with some sort of rhythmic movement usually does the trick. 

He's still eating for about two hours total nursing each day, in 19-23 sessions most days where a session is one side. During the day he does both sides unless we are trying to be somewhere on time and I cut him off early. 


Xavier is an optimist who will suck on a pacifier in hopes of milk coming out for twenty minutes or more before he gives the up the gig. We have not tried him on a bottle yet though it's on the to-do list. Mostly that's because I'm not anticipating any issues. I am looking forward to getting rid of the variety of different brands of bottles we have once we know he takes one type. 

Xavier remains pretty mellow overall with the exception of car rides. He hates being in the car especially if we are going less than twenty miles an hour, which is frequently the case. I added a very warm blanket this last week and that seems to help a bit. He's currently riding in an infant seat in the back row next to Theo. We've already had to move the straps up one notch and I suspect we will move to the third and highest notch shortly. Sometime he will suck on a pacifier on the car but no guarantees. And he cries if his hat falls down and covers his eyes. That's often a problem because most the hats we own that fit the circumference of his head are much too long and especially in the car when he moves his head, the hats slide down. 

Speaking of moving, Xavier is extremely strong. He can hold his head up for minutes at a time even on his belly. Belly time last week didn't last long as he rolled himself over from front to back because he held his head up and then to one side and the rest of him followed suit. 

I can still squish Xavier into 3 month clothes in a pinch but he really only fits into the 3-6 month stuff. I need to get the six month smaller stuff into his drawers soon at the rate I'm retiring clothes that no longer fit. We've also moved him into size two diapers, though he never fit into newborn size anything so that's only the first size upgrade for disposable diapers. 

Overall he's still super cuddly and only getting sweeter and more fun by the day. We look forward to the next developments!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

As part of Theo's enormous birthday weekend, we went to Stocker Farms. This was a new farm for us that we discovered from a flyer left at Theo's Preschool's Fall Festival fundraiser. The flyer looked promising, and it turned out there was so much to do that we didn't actually even get around to gathering any pumpkins!

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See all my photos, or the photos my mom took.

Theo's Fourth Birthday

Theo's fourth birthday was a big one: it was the first one he's been planning for months, adding things to his wish list and specifying the types of cakes he'd want, and more importantly, we wanted to have a nice event for him so he didn't feel overshadowed by the arrival of his little brother Xavier. Both sets of grandparents came into town, and we had a full set of activities, including birthday presents when my parents arrived (before the party), presents from the party, and then a morning and afternoon set of presents on his actual birthday. Oh, and I almost forget an early early present that came in the form of a box with Theo's name on it; fair warning for the future: unless we're specifically asked to keep an eye out, Theo knows how to read his name and if something comes with his name on it, he's allowed to open it when he wants!

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Some party shots:

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More presents:

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If you want to check out even more photos, see the ones my mom took or the ones I took.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Xavier's Two Week Check Up

Xavier had his two week checkup with the pediatrician mostly to see how fast he was gaining weight. He was at his birth weight at his one week check up but we didn't know how far his weight had fallen and come back up.

I was not concerned as he had weighed in at the midwives' appointment the previous day. That weight was 10 lbs 1/2 oz, which was 4.5 oz in five days when half an ounce a day is considered good.

At the pediatrician Xavier excelled, weighting in at 10 lbs 8 oz - a 7.5 oz gain in 24 hours! He also grew a quarter of a inch in a week to 22.75 inches and his head circumference remained the same.

Good job growing big guy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Xavier's One Week Check up

Xavier had his first visit with the pediatrician last week, which was also his first time outside the house. The weather was clear and sunny and except for the loading process into the bucket car seat, he had no objections. Michal had to check on him multiple times during the 20 minute drive to make sure he was still breathing.

He did well at the doctor's office. He did not want to open his mouth and made some very advanced attempts at pushing the doctor's hands and stick away but otherwise remained unperturbed.

Our pediatrician has moved practices since Vivian was a newborn. We were concerned about exposure as the new practice does not have a newborn waiting room or even a separate area. But it turns out they just take you immediately back to the exam room if you have a baby.

Xavier weighed 9 lbs 12 oz, which means he was exactly back up to his birth weight. He grew half an inch to 22.5 inches and his head circumference increases by one centimeter to 38.

In other news we finally got around to capturing Xavier's first giraffe photos. In case you have seen the giraffe photos from our older children, you should know this giraffe (much like this child) is a significant portion larger than previous giraffes. We did not get all three giraffes in the photos for comparison's sake. Maybe we will make that happen next time. In the meantime, enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

We're Pregnant! (and It's a Boy!)

(Okay, so let's just get one thing out of the way real quick: this post -- at least the first announcement-type portion of it -- is about 6-9 months late.)

We're expecting a third baby!

He will have been born at home on Wednesday, September 24th at exactly 10 a.m., and he will have weighed a whopping 9 lbs and 12 oz (4422 g) and will have been 22 inches long (56 cm). As with Theo and Vivian, we made Xavier his own special IMDb page where you can check out some photos.

Since a lot of folks have asked, we've set up a mealtrain page to coordinate meals, but of course you're not at all obligated.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


As a totally awesome side perk to my job, I skipped a good portion of the work day today and took everyone to hang out with the Sounders instead! What did this entail you ask? Well, here's Clint Dempsey playing a game of keep-away:

Here's Vivian, totally unimpressed:
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Here's Theo and Vivian with Clint Dempsey (#2), Marco Pappa (#10), Chad Marshall (#14), and Osvaldo Alonso (#6):
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Here's Theo with a Clint Dempsey autograph on his soccer ball (conveniently, Red Apple gave both kids soccer balls four days ago!):
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Here they are with Obafemi Martins (#9):
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Here's Gonzalo Pineda (#31), Lamar Neagle (#27), Marcus Hahnemann (#1), Josh Ford (#29), and Kenny Cooper (#33):
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And of course Stefan Frei (#24):
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Near at the end, Theo did a little "kick-around" and got some 1-on-1 time with Damion Lowe (#31):
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And he scored a goal on Dylan Remick (#15):
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Finally, since this was made possible by my job, I should mention we are hiring software engineers (and related fields). Get in touch.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blueberry Farm and Jonah's Birthday

Last weekend we went blueberry picking at the Bellevue Blueberry Farm. We picked for an hour and gathered 6 pounds -- although the kids pretty much ate blueberries at a constant rate of about 1 per second, so probably 3,600 berries apiece.

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After they had their fill of blueberries, we snuck out the back onto some trails, one of which led to a river with a dock.
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Birthday fun!
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Finally, here's a brief clip of Theo assembling a cake out of the sticky foam. He was surprisingly diligent about it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crystal Mountain and Elsa's Pool Party

On Sunday we combined two far-away activities: riding the gondola at Crystal Mountain and Theo's coop classmate Elsa's pool party in Enumclaw. Theo very much enjoyed the gondola ride, but someone (me) had to hold his arm/hand/leg/anything the entire time. On the way down, both parents had to hold him; if either one took their hand off for a even a moment, a prolonged "HEEEEELLLLLPPPPP" was immediately announced, for the entire duration of the absence of safety.

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Despite arriving 2 hours late for the pool party, we still got to experience the full joy. The water was frigid but the day was hot, so in the end it sort of balanced and the numbness faded soon after getting out. We put the kids in life jackets because the pool was an even 4' deep everywhere. It worked... okay. I don't think anyone was really thrilled although Vivian managed to float around awkwardly in a pool ring:

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Theo was happiest clinging to the wall.

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After food and cake and ice cream, Theo and Vivian broke in Elsa's new tricycle, mostly by Vivian pulling Theo around on it. I was surprised at how well she managed (which wasn't actually all that well) because when they switched, Theo couldn't budge it at all with Vivian on the back.

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