Saturday, June 25, 2016

Camping {in a tent}

I'm alive! 

We're alive!

We just completed our first camping trip with kids in tow. Before kids, NZ and I would camp at least once a year, but a move overseas and having babies have stalled camping trips up until now.

We joined a couple of Nick's cousins at Jalama beach last Sunday and stayed through late Thursday night. I admit, I was a buzzkill for a good portion of the trip. It wasn't dirty kids that got me stressing-it was the heat and long term exposure to the direct sun that we had overlooked when planning this trip. An easy fix for next time will to bring an easy up / canopy so that we can escape the sun without having to hunker down in our tent or search for shade trees on the camp ground. 

The older kids had so much fun galavanting around the campground with their cousin. They spent hours on the beach, digging for sand crabs, making drip castles and fishing with their dad. Gino spent a lot of time eating sand and battling yellow jackets (next time we will bring yellow jacket traps) but I think he still enjoyed getting dirty and following the big kids around. 

Naptimes were tough-I finally figured out that wearing Gino was the only way we could guarantee at least an hour of midday rest for the littlest guy. We brought our pack and play, which is later transfer him into if our tent wasn't too hot. Carla and Sal enjoyed snow cones and playground tag every afternoon with all the kids at the campground. 

We split dinner duties with the other two couples. It was nice to only have to prepare dinners a couple times! 

Now we're back and unpacked and trying to catch up on missed sleep. We've also got chapped, wind / sunburned faces, but a whole lot of memories to go along with it. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Carla, lately.

Current age: 2 years, 5 months 

My sweet little sass is starting "school" this month! It's just one morning a week, for 90 minutes, but she can't wait! She's been asking to go since she turned two, but I used potty training as leverage, telling her she couldn't go until she wore skivvies. She took it to heart and has been day trained for the last month. She still poops outside, but that's another story. 

She wants to do everything Sal does, whether it be riding skateboards or building a Lego house. Her Lego houses are always horsey houses- built for her horse figurines she totes around in her backpack everywhere we go. 

Carla loves to sing " twinkle twinkle" and " you are my sunshine", which she just calls "sunshine song". She will tell me to be quiet when I sing in the car, and has no shame in telling us to "turn dat song ooooooff!" followed with her request that I play "widing duty" (riding dirty). 

While she still follows Sal around with admiring eyes, she's developing quite the mischievous relationship with Gino. They're my little Bonnie + Clyde. Double trouble, partners in crime. It's fun to watch how she balances the little sister and big sister roles. With Sal, she does the grunt work. Anything he tells her to do, she does. When she's with Gino she gets to test out her bossy voice and assert her place in the sibling chain.

She loves to wake G up in the morning, so earlier this week, she asked to wake him while I was still in bed. I told her she could go in and play with him while I got out of bed and dressed. A few minutes later I walked into a butt pasted crib and kids. Lesson learned. Never, ever trust a toddler.  

Especially when they're this cute!

Carla Denise, thanks for keeping us on our toes and adding some sweet sass to our household. You ARE my sunshine. 

School is out for summer

As of last Friday, Sal is officially on summer break and looking forward to beginning the preK program in fall. 

He may not have grown a lot this last year, size wise, but his speech has improved and he has a knack for puzzles and pattern making. He can write his name (but won't), and he recognizes most of the letters in the alphabet and can sound out the majority of them. 

He loves all things scientific--choosing to watch "How it's Made" and YouTube videos of wastewater treatment plants over cartoons these days. He's enamored with manhole covers and storm drains and nothing makes his day more than figuring out how things work. 

He and Carla have a special friendship, that is somewhat love/hate but mostly love. They play for hours on our upper terrace, digging dirt and playing make believe. 

Four is a fine balance of emotional meltdowns and quirky conversations. We talk about life, friends, sewers, cats, when he was a baby, and everything else under the sun. I love listening to his chatter. The flip side is dealing with meltdowns and his emerging sense of embarrassment following said meltdown. If we are in public and he realizes people may see him (say, we are on our way to school drop off), he tries to suck his quivering lip up and get himself together because "I don't want them to see me cry, mama." A few deep breaths and a knock knock joke later, he usually redeems himself and we get on with our day. At home though-it's no holds barred. Tantrums go on and on and on.  That's tough. It's the only part of four I'd like to fast forward through. The rest of it is so much fun. 

He's still working on riding a two wheel bike (he realllly doesn't want to-but we keep trying), and he has been more tolerant and receptive to swim lessons this summer. He put his whole face in the water today--that's HUGE for a kid who spends all morning on swim lesson days lamenting over having to go to swim lessons later. 

I'm looking forward into soaking up summer with him and joining our local library's summer reading program. While it's nice to have him busy three mornings a week during the school year, I am happy to have a break from school drop offs and having to get out the door on time. 

Here's to summertime!