It has been a whirlwind of a summer, and for the past three months I’ve frequently felt like I didn’t even have the chance to catch my breath. We packed in a lot of fun, that started with a summer “bucket list” we created as a family. The girls kicked it off with swim lessons and a bridging ceremony for Girl Scouts where Ellie bridged from Daisy Scout to Brownie.
After the girls returned from Girl Scout camp in late June, I blinked and it was suddenly already the Fourth of July. We kept with tradition and attended the annual pancake breakfast, where the kids got some impressive face painting done.
I then took Dinah home for a nap while Zoey and Ellie got to join Zach’s mom walking in the city’s annual parade. Later that night, I stayed home with Dinah while she slept and Zach took the bigger kiddos to the park for the city’s fireworks show. Being able to get Dinah the sleep she needed made the day enjoyable for both her and me, while still allowing the other kiddos to have their fun. In fact, Dinah was so well-rested that she took her first baby steps that day! I’m told she took those steps toward Zach and there were lots of witnesses. I was too busy destroying everyone in a game of 7 Wonders to notice.
A week later, we were off on another family adventure. This time a mini family camping reunion. We spent three nights in the woods with Zach’s parents, sister and her family, and several uncles and cousins. By the end of day three I was utterly exhausted, filthy, smelly, bug-bitten and quite ready to be home, and so was everyone else. While there, though, everyone enjoyed themselves, especially the kids who spent a considerable amount of time catching small snakes in the river.
Immediately after returning home and unpacking from camping, I turned around and packed us all up again for a week in Washington at my parents’ house. All of us except Zach, that is. He got to stay behind for a child-free week, which I hear he thoroughly enjoyed. I also enjoyed seeing my parents for awhile and being in the cooler weather of western Washington. The kids did fantastic on the twelve hour drive there, and only started to lose it a bit during the final hour of the long drive home.
Our week was chock-full of fun activities for all of us. We went to a farmer’s market and played in the splash pad at the park. I brought the kids’ bikes along and took them for a ride in a park full of paved trails. We went to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (to which we were able to get half-price admission thanks to our Boise Zoo membership! If you have a zoo membership where you live, check to see if it’s on the reciprocal zoo list!).
After the zoo, we stopped at the Ruston Way waterfront in Tacoma. I couldn’t be that close to the Puget Sound and not see and smell it at least once.
My parents had built a swingset that was a huge hit with all four kids.
Like I said, it’s been a whirlwind of a summer. We’ve managed to accomplish all this while also navigating some evaluations and diagnosis of occupational therapy needs for Eleanor (details coming in a future post), weekly physical therapy for me, a marked increase in meltdowns from Alden, weekly speech therapy visits for Dinah to learn to eat, and all the other usual summer shenanigans, like trips to parks and city pools, kiddie pools and popsicles in the backyard, playdates with friends, and library summer reading programs. I think the kids got a full summer experience, for which I’m grateful. I am also very, very tired and counting the hours until Monday when school starts.