Friday, June 14, 2019

Summer Weeks 1 and 2

I love summer in Iowa (minus the humidity). Warm weather, outside all day, the occasional thunderstorm, lightning bugs, long sunny days, and a bustling house. Okay, so my house is normally bustling but during the summer it's filled with daycare kids, lifelong friends, messiness, and chaos. It's probably one of my favorite things in life. Sure we're at the end of week #2 and I'm exhausted, but for good reason.

We've kept going, going, going all day every day since school ended. We began the summer with our usual silly string fight, we've made numerous batches of slime, began our summer theme of Celebrations Around the World (read about that here), spent 10+ hours a day in the backyard catching bugs, playing tag, hide n' seek, and practicing moves on the trapeze bar (no face plants so far!), worn costumes, danced, sang songs, and hosted a wedding. If that sounds exciting then read on for details:

Summer play dough: corn starch and coconut conditioner makes a very soft and summery smelling play dough. I don't like to make this play dough often as it dries out quickly (and becomes quite crumbly thanks to the corn starch).

Pizza, ring pops, and Silly String helped ring in summer vacation at daycare.

I found the rest of the April Fools balloons in bags in the basement (temporarily misplaced) so we put them to use. The littles and I put them in the breezeway so that when my three and their friends came home on the last day they had to walk through them.

The silly string fight was a success, but with very few pictures. I failed to remove the seal along the caps, so I had to quickly pull them apart throughout the fight. 

It's kinda slick: I write out directions for slime making and the big kids make it themselves. I was smart and set up shop in the backyard so I didn't have to worry about it getting in the carpet or throughout the house. We went through the huge bottle of glue, the jar of liquid starch, and all of the food coloring, but the kids had a blast slime making. I promised them we could do this again another time this summer and set up a slime making lab in the backyard.

Our lady bugs grew and we released them with no drama. Most years there's some kind of drama with the releasing of the lady bugs or butterflies. This year was uneventful, all 13 lady bugs survived, and flew away without any stepping on any.

Sure it's only 7 a.m., but they're anxiously awaiting the arrival of daycare friends so they can get their day started. Just kidding....they're spying on the neighbors and reporting back to me what they see. With the windows open, so it wasn't exactly a secret.

The first full day of summer vacation was also Ice Cream Day. They played ice cream shop with baking soda "snow" (baking soda + cold water), made ice cream in a bag (it didn't turn out--yuck!), and ate ice cream sundaes for afternoon snack. This day is always a favorite and requested every summer.

They've caught an unbelievable amount of butterflies, inch worms, caterpillars, and boxelder bugs.

Harrison and his bff Lucy held their second wedding (the first was held last summer). This time around they said basic vows, followed by dancing to I Can't Help Falling In Love With You and Old Town Road. I wish every wedding was like this! Complete with a dj playing records.

The littles at daycare constantly have bigs in their face. I'm not sure if they're extremely lucky to be so loved and have so many people looking out for them (example: "um, Andrew's eating green beans! And he's eating handfuls not one at a time!" followed by them monitoring how he was eating) or if there's going to be major issues at the end of summer when they don't have others doting on them all day every day!

Our first celebration took us to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Rio Carnival. The kids danced the samba, ate feijoada for lunch, and dressed up in costumes....of course, we used our Halloween costumes and dress up clothes. The kids had so much fun with the costumes the rest of the week.

Looking out the window and seeing children in costumes tickled me. Also, at the table.

Naps and rest times are important parts of our days. Some of the school aged kids even sleep occasionally, but most do some sort of resting every day, usually with a cartoon on. The kid had loud children building Lego's all around him and still managed to fall asleep for two hours! With a blanket completely covering him.

Not only are our days crazy busy, but our nights have been as well. We squeezed in an I-Cubs game with family one night. The minis loved it....well, mostly all of the treats.

9:36 p.m. and the boys asked to go home because they were ready for bed. Meanwhile, Elizabeth skipped and sang out of the ballpark.

The kids asked to watch TV one morning. I said fine, but they were to watch the classics. Turns out they LOVE The Brady Bunch (or "bunch of Brady" as Elizabeth called it).

One child requested Insta-snow. We even added a few drops of food coloring. It turned the kid's hands pink too.

Playing games have been a huge part of their days. Between board games, made up games, and backyard games such as volleyball, they've been keeping their minds and bodies active.

In this house everyone plays games!

I can get used to these lazy mornings.

The kids found eggs (presumably caterpillar eggs) on a leaf. We have learned A LOT about bugs this summer. 

Elizabeth celebrated her 7th birthday with daycare friends. They had quite the day. Read about their fun here.

Our next Celebration was Holi Festival. I ordered holi powered and prayed that it was in fact washable (it is/was....meaning I would totally do this again!). The kids got to throw the colored powder and colored water at each other one afternoon. This was an absolute hit!

Chana masala, paneer tikka masala, naan, and romaine lettuce for lunch. The kids actually did a great job of trying all of the food and most of them ate a good amount. Nearly none of the daycare kids had had Indian food before, so it was really fun to watch them try everything for the first time.

It was also recital week, which means crazy evenings and hours at the Civic Center. It was also swimming lessons week. I had to result to bribery to get her to shower in the middle of the day AND get recital ready multiple times.

In between recital rehearsals, we got visits from cousin Nora.

The kids were all super excited to have Silvia here for a full day of daycare. They were even more thrilled because she brought a rescued bunny with her! 

There's been lots of Lego building in the living room.

If it's not a kid, it's a cat. One of the daycare girls brought a doll that cries and kicks its legs. It did throw me off the first hour of the day because the little baby squeals made me stop and think "did the baby come today?" The doll threw the cat off all day long. Every time the doll went off, the cat walked over to it and stared from the doll to me. 

Stuffed animals were broken out of the basement storage and that means the stick horses too. The kids played everything from petting zoo to horse chase to tiger wrestling. Full day entertainment!