Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Summer Vacay Week 3

The first daycare week with puppy Zeus. He was the highlight of the week and also the result of a BIG learning curve for the kids. We had to switch some rules about toys being on the floor, not putting food or other things a dog shouldn't have away from the floor, and how to play with a puppy in the middle of everything. Mostly, it was about establishing a new normal. Needless to say, it was quite a memorable week!

For the most part, Zeus had been a pretty quiet pup, but as soon as there was a house full of kids, he broke out of his shell.

The bigs LOVE word puzzles and finds. We've been doing a lot of social studies themed sheets where they have to Google some of the answers in order to fill them in. 

Zeus quickly figured out where to get pets...and food.

Every year our neighbor's mulberry trees drop the berries into our yard. The kids have gotten an earfull about eating them off of the ground, but they know crushing them and using them in the mud kitchen in fair game. This time they were "frosting" for their mud cakes.

Our garden is amazing this year! Once or twice a week the kids have gotten to cut the butter lettuce to eat with lunches. I can't wait for our carrots, snap peas, cucumbers, and peppers!

The first nap time was confusing (for a puppy). When a couple of children laid down, he assumed they were playing but was told "no!" for jumping on them. So, Zeus went into his kennel to observe what was happening. He figured it out, curled up next to the sleeping kids and napped himself. This is the scene every afternoon now. As soon as he hears the "nap time music" (The Lumineers station on Amazon Music), he goes into the living room and curls up with the kids. Everyone is happy.

The mulberries were also used as "tattoos" and "make up" for a few kids. While I love and appreciate their creativity, I had to stop them from using it as eye shadow on their eyelids.

Art Wednesday's. The kids love painting, but I want them to try different things. So, I set up our  paints in a pool and let them do splatter painting. No mess to clean up at the end for me and very cool pictures for them!

A hair train while they watched a movie.

I carefully chose the toys to have out for Zeus's first week at daycare. The fairies made the cut but have to be played with on a table top. I'm impressed with the fairy villages the kids have built. They don't always play with it, they mostly take the time to set it up perfectly, take time to admire their work, and then go outside to play. Then the next child comes along, redesigns it, and the whole thing starts over again.

A walk for the dog after daycare hours. The big kids are dying to take Zeus for a walk, so we need to practice a bit before the kids can take him on their own!

Yard games in the backyard. The minis got so many fun yard games for their birthdays and we have many games we don't play nearly enough. We put them to use one morning! Yard darts, giant checkers, giant Jenga, the trampoline, and bowling kept the kids busy all morning before they cooled off in the pools.

I wrote out ALL the rules so there could be no question about them later on. As long as I tell the kids the rules up front, they tend to listen A LOT better and work hard to follow them.

Zeus tried to play too.

Bowling was set up in the driveway.

Yogurt parfaits have been a go-to breakfast or morning snack item this summer. Sadly, due to the pandemic, I can't do the kid's favorite frozen mixed berries or fruit trays for morning snack (I typically just served them outside while they played) so yogurt parfaits have become the new favorite.

I'm reminded a lot to stop, take a breath, and calmly ask what's happening. I heard the Jenga blocks being dropped and I told them to stop messing around. The kids apologized, but then I looked at the scene in front of me. They were cleaning up (the kid version of it at least) because they wanted to watch an episode of Pokemon and knew the yard needed to be cleaned up first. I apologized to them and then gave them specific directions so they could actually clean up instead of shoving it in a pile under the swing set.

Also up were the small Waffle Blocks. The kids really got creative in what they built. We had a lot of castles, cabins, and an amsusement park.

Pools and sprinklers with a puppy is interesting. He really wants to go in the big pool with the kids and he mostly just likes to drink from the sprinkler.

All eyes were on the (small) tree being cut down in the backyard in preparation for the new fence that we're building.

I love our morning ritual of watching the morning news (although I could do without the 5:30 a.m. wake up calls), coffee, and cuddles while he peacefully naps.

I failed to take a picture of the way cute Father's Day gfits the kids made (check them out here), but I did let them all go through the candy to choose their Dad's favorites. One child asked me for a banana to add to it.

The kids did a few craft kits and built with Lego's all morning long. I finally grabbed the kids Lego Ideas book, so they put it to use!

Their afternoon challenge was to build a ball wall using tubes, pool noodles, and masking tape. It didn't hold up the best because a certain puppy kept biting at it and pulling it down.

The week may have been slightly insane since having a puppy is like having a baby and toddler put together in the same being plus teaching kids how to deal with and take care of a puppy, but overall it was wonderful. We quickly realized the dog functions best with constant things to do around him and the kids have just as much fun. This might just be the best thing I've done in a while.