I realize each night as I shuffle past the computer (which sits on a cluttered desk on the outskirts of an untidy kitchen) on my way to the sofa where I collapse for a brief respite before being called back to action for the inevitable last-minute bathroom break, that I have neglected the blog lately. And I am just now considering the possibility that, given my last post, you may suspect that the kids and I were swallowed up by the black hole that is Hartsfield International on our return trip. But our trip home was a piece of cake and when we arrived back in Cayman last Tuesday, Clif had finished his last exam and he was ready for a little summer vacation…which is why I am wilting on the sofa every night instead of pounding the keyboard.
Our first official day of summer vacation was last Wednesday and we took all of the kids to the Turtle Farm to ride the water slide at Breaker’s Lagoon. Nora Ruth is tall enough to ride on her own and Allie can ride with an adult. Breaker’s Lagoon, which boasts of being the largest swimming pool on the island, includes a waterfall feature and an underwater wall that looks through to a separate lagoon/tank with nurse sharks, barracuda, hammerheads, and lots of tropical fish.
Jules and Russ came for a visit last week! Beach time was a big priority for them, so we spent lots of time at Governor’s Beach snorkeling, relaxing, and testing an architect’s conviction. The girls would say, “Uncle Russ, Let’s build a sandcastle,” and they would help him make a big pile of sand for all of about five minutes. Nora Ruth would get distracted and wander off and Alliene, who has been engaged in an ongoing experiment to test the properties of sand, would sit on the castle-in-progress to see whether or not it would hold her weight. Russ did manage to complete a couple of nice castles, but he came to the conclusion that he was just spinning his wheels without one very essential tool: a spritzer bottle of water. It will be waiting for him when he returns to Cayman.
We also took Jules and Russ to the beach across from our house, West Bay Beach, one afternoon and we all had a nice jump off of the pier. The adults went on a Friday night sunset cruise on one of Red Sail Sports’ beautiful catamarans and then we took another catamaran trip to the sandbar (Stingray City) and the barrier reef.
Nora Ruth has had a couple of wiggly teeth for the last few weeks and on Saturday night she lost her first baby tooth. And then she promptly lost it again down the sink drain while trying to “shine it up” for the tooth fairy but Uncle Russ came to her aid, dismantling the sink and rescuing the tooth. Then he spent the next twenty minutes drawing an in-depth diagram and explaining the inner workings of a sink and drain to Nora Ruth, who has a new passion for plumbing. The tooth fairy was kind enough to let me keep the tooth (as it is the first lost tooth) and she left Nora Ruth an advance on the other two that are sure to fall out soon.
Thomas has learned to sit up by himself, although he still tumbles backwards sometimes so we always have someone sitting behind him. The girls love to spread out the quilt and a thousand toys in front of him and then hijack whichever toy he shows interest in before he can get to it. Its a woman’s game for sure; maybe its fortunate that he learns the rules earlier rather than later. He’s not crawling but he is very adept at maneuvering on his tummy. He turns and pivots his body in whichever direction he wants to go and suddenly he is a couple of feet from where he started out. Oh. NO.
And Alliene has been slogging through middle childhood this last week and a half. There has been an over-abundance of whining, several acts of violence, and the occasional ear-piercing scream. I wish I had a nickel for every time I said “use your words” this week. But the timing is good because with Clif out of school we’ve been able to give her a little more one-on-one time. She rode with me to pick up Jules and Russ from the airport on Thursday, she went with me to take them back to the airport on Monday, and then we did errands together. As much as we are going to miss Nora Ruth when school starts, I am looking forward to more times like these with Allie.
I have to warn you that things over here may be a little silent for the next week or so until school starts again. We are just loving all of this time together and we plan to squeeze in as much as we can while we can. We hope to have a dozen more picnics at the beach, do some conch-scoping at Barker’s Beach, have at least one more water slide day at Breaker’s Lagoon, keep all of our wiggly teeth sparkly-clean for the tooth-fairy, maybe take a swim with the dolphins, take another sunset catamaran cruise with the girls, and have plenty of fun in the sun together.