Ahhh, summer. It was good while it lasted. As I think back over the last couple of months, I'm not really sure where all the time went or what we did. Mostly I feel like the summer was spent working around Jake's naps, which left little time to do a lot of fun stuff. But, we made our own fun, I guess. I have captured some moments on my phone, so the pictures aren't that great.
There were lots of bike rides/dog walks, which generally serve a myriad of purposes- exercise for the boys and me (though going around 3 blocks doesn't really count for me), a change of scenery for Jake (and all of us, really) when he's getting fussy, an exciting field trip for the dogs, and a break in the day when I am especially ready for Mike to get home and to have a little reprieve from the 6 & under crowd. On one path we take regularly, there's a house with a few big rocks in front, and the boys like to stop and stand on them.
On one of our walks recently we discovered some big machines working, so we stood and watched for a while. It was pretty cool- there was one big compactor-type machine flattening out the land and one bulldozer scooping dirt, and then at one point, the compactor came up and the bulldozer got behind it and pushed it the whole length of the area, which was far and out of sight for us. It was neat to watch the teamwork. Plus, one of the drivers waved at the boys, which I always think is nice.
Sometimes on our walks we veer off onto a path that goes back towards Zach's school. There's a bridge over a little creek, and the boys like to throw rocks into the water. I thought this was a kind of cute picture. Probably would have been cuter without the bike helmets.
One day the boys were out in the garage & driveway using sidewalk chalk. I wanted to make things a little more fun, so I looked online for some other ideas of things to do with sidewalk chalk, and two ideas I got were to soak the chalk in water for a while (makes it much richer looking on the cement) and to mash it up with water to make chalk-paint. So we did both. It started out as the boys and me painting on the floor of the garage, and then the boys asked if they could paint on the walls. I thought, "Hmm, it said online that it just washes off with water, so that should be fine." About 10 minutes in, I started thinking, "But will it just wash off the walls, or does that only apply to cement & plastic, or other non-porous surfaces? I'm not sure Mike will appreciate the walls of the garage being painted like this when he gets home... Crap... I guess if we ever move, I'll have to paint the walls of the garage... crap."
Mike wasn't thrilled when he got home, but agreed that I will be responsible for painting the walls should we ever decide to move. Until then, our garage is a little more interesting than most people's, I guess.
The boys also had fun "washing" Drew's old car/stroller thing. Unfortunately, they failed to clean up their supplies as instructed, and we had to skip going to the park like we had planned. We've had some struggles with listening and following directions in this house lately, and I have found that following through on my end sometimes stinks (we missed a trip to the pool as well) for everyone, even though I know it's important.
After the car washing (but not cleaning up, though I didn't know it yet), the boys were excited to realize we were having a smoothie for a snack that day. We love smoothies, and though I don't follow a recipe, my standard is a mix of frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, a handful of spinach leaves, ice cubes and some water, and either yogurt or silken tofu, depending on what I have on hand. Oh, and the most important ingredient- a few chocolate chips. They are delicious and healthy (even the chocolate chips are semi-sweet, so they're still healthy, right??), and the boys love them as much as I do.
This is Drew's typical post-smoothie face.
Zach's isn't quite so messy.
A day or two after the chalk and no cleaning up incident, we did make it to the park. The boys were excited because we decided to go to a different park than the two closest to us. Zach enjoyed the monkey bars.
Drew and Jake enjoyed this musical feature, which I think is pretty neat, too, and unlike anything I've seen at any other park.
And I even managed to get a picture of all 3 of them on the slides.
Though it has been difficult to get to the pool this summer due to Jake's schedule and the fact that it is a challenge to manage 3 kids ages 6 & under at the pool by myself, we did manage to go a fair number of times for an hour or two. It really helped that Drew got more comfortable in the water after his swim lessons. We also tried to take advantage of going in the evenings, when the pool was definitely not busy and we had a slightly larger window of time and Mike could go along, too. There have been many evenings where Mike, Zach, and Drew went to the pool and Jake and I stayed home, and that worked out well, too. At the end of last summer, Zach was jumping off the diving board and swimming pretty well. At the beginning of this summer, though, he was pretty nervous about being where he couldn't touch, and Drew would only jump in where he could touch if he was holding an adult's hand. Here's a video of where they are now to show you how far they've come.
Jake decided he is old enough to start using the laptop,
but then decided to just be silly instead.
Then he practiced standing some more, which has quickly become his favorite thing.
I pulled out an old toy that everybody seems to enjoy.
I have so many good pictures of Zach and Jake; too bad I can't get a really good one of all three of them!
Bring on fall!