Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Weekend Recap: Lazy Summer Days

The days are heating up just as I'm ready to say goodbye to Summer. Figures. While part of me is so ready for pumpkin patches and corn mazes, the weather says otherwise, so we'll be soaking up these last few pool days, enjoying family walks and backyard time while the days are long, and taking advantage of mid-week trips to visit family before we have to worry about preschool schedules. 

Also on the agenda this weekend was a visit to the petting zoo, where Declan immediately bonded with all the goats (he is my mountain goat after all) and tried to ride the less-than-impressed llama. Ez has been obsessed with hitting his t ball around the backyard and we've only lost one ball to a neighbor's yard (my fault) and had one bat-related injury. We escaped the heat for a bit with a day trip to Berkeley, and we managed to convince Daddy that a weekend pool trip was a necessity, despite the crowds. It really was. The boys loved showing off their stomping grounds to Joe, since we normally only go mid-week while he's working. Bonus points that after all that jumping and swimming everyone slept through the night for the first time in what feels like months. 

On second thought, maybe I'm not quite ready for summer to end. These lazy summer days are shaping up to be some of my favorite memories.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Declan Lately

The other day we went to a tiny little park in Berkeley that is mostly famous for a giant climbing rock and the most beautiful views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. We were thinking we'd climb to the top, enjoy the views for a bit, climb down and move on with our day. Declan though, he had other plans. He absolutely could not leave that place until he'd climbed to the very top of all the major rocks. In the pictures below it may look like we're helping him climb. We're not. We're actually holding him back because he was climbing way too fast for us to keep up. There's not many times Decky puts his foot down and absolutely insists on doing something, so we let him have his way, and once he'd climbed the biggest rock there (and nearly given me several heart attacks) he stood at the top cheering and celebrating and basically letting all of Berkeley know he had conquered that rock.

Declan is my daredevil, my brawler, and (some may say) my troublemaker. The very same traits that make him a handful to parent are also his biggest strengths. He's persistent, a firm believer in justice, and he does not give up on a mission once he's set his mind to it - no matter how many scrapes and bruises he picks up along the way. Recently he fell flying squirrel style off the ladder at the playground, got the wind knocked out of him, and after a few tears he climbed right back up.

Summertime for Decky is one giant pool dance Puppy Dog Pals party. Any body of water and that kid is there. Puddle, pool, river, lake filled with threatening geese... it doesn't matter, he wants in. And his dance skills just get better and better. In addition to hip swaying, foot stomping, and shoulder shimmying, spinning in circles until he falls down is his new fave. We're leaving the Mickey Mouse era behind (and trust me, I never thought I'd say this, but it's making me a teensy bit nostalgic) and entering a new one filled with Puppy Dog Pals and Monster Trucks. Watching TV for Declan is a full blown high impact aerobic, scream-your-head-off, run circles through the house affair.

Decky still speaks a very complex dialect of jibberish, but every now and then he says certain words or phrases with such clarity that it makes me think he could break out in full blown dignified British English at any moment. Some new words he's added to his repertoire include "Deckadeckadeckadeck!" (basically an exuberant version of his nickname - Decka-doos), "Heyyyy!" (complete with waving rapidly) and "okayyyy!" He also still does his bulldog face, which he's been doing since birth, where he juts out his lower jaw and looks at you all grimacing and defiant. That pretty much sums up his personality in a nutshell.

Declan is currently into having his own space, whether that be locking himself into any unoccupied room in the house (including the laundry room), burrowing deep under the blankets, or hiding in the bushes in the backyard. He doesn't really have a room of his own at the moment, but we're getting him his own big boy bed soon and I have a feeling he's gonna make that space his own in no time.

Lately Declan has been the giddiest, giggliest, silliest little boy. He'll catch a case of the giggles and anything and everything will set him off for hours. It never fails to crack me up. Climbing stuff, pouring out water, and falling off things (like our bed and the ladder at the playground), are just a few of the ways he's added to my gray hair tally lately. That being said, he is the most fearless, stoic 2 year old boy ever, and when he does cry I know he's REALLY hurt, because normally he'll bounce face-first off the sidewalk and get right up like nothing happened.

To my Deckadoos, I just want you to know that every gray hair is worth it a hundred times over, but as I've told you many, many times, you only get one head, so please take care of it. You fill our lives with the happiest angst imaginable (your Daddy's words). We love your quirky, little old man, LOUD ways, and we wouldn't change a thing about you.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Soaking Up Summer

After having Ez all to myself the past four years I'll be sharing him with preschool in a few short weeks. More on preschool later, but for now I'll just say that I'm so, SO excited for him, and I hope he loves it and it sparks a life long interest in school and learning. 

Before we ease into daily schedules and responsibility and all that grown up stuff, there are a few more summer time activities I want to squeeze into August. I didn't make a summer bucket list this year because I knew we'd be so busy, but life has slowed down considerably this month and with fall right around the corner I have an itch to do all the summer things while we still can. A few of these are repeats that I want to do at least one more time, and a few are brand new. 

What's on your end of summer list? Or have you already moved onto back to school season? I know I say this every season of every year, but this summer has flown by so fast. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tourists in Our Town: Summertime in Sacramento

 It's no secret we love Sacramento, and even though we've had some scorching hot 110 degree days, we've somehow still managed to get out and explore a bit. Back in late June while my sister was visiting we spent an afternoon wandering around downtown and old town. Even though I've been to the capitol building several times, I still manage to find a new little corner or statue or piece of art that I never noticed before. This time we came across the Peace Officer's Memorial which was sad and touching, with a statue of a mom holding a crying child. There were fresh flowers on the memorial and Ez walked along with Ray and I taking it all in and listening to some of the names and hometowns we read aloud. After the memorial we gratefully escaped the heat for the nice, air-conditioned capitol building. Unfortunately a lot of the legislative rooms were closed when we went, but there was still plenty to see. Afterward we went to old town for a bit of shopping, and so the boys could check out the trains (Ray included). Turns out boys never really outgrow their love of all things with engines ;)

Sunflower Field
Thanks to Instagram I started seeing all these gorgeous field of sunflowers photos floating around my feed, and since they were only about fifteen minutes away from us of course we had to go check it out. I remember having giant sunflowers like these in my backyard as a kid so they brought back fond childhood memories. However I don't think I've ever seen quite so many sunflowers all in one spot. These pictures don't do justice to the giant sea of yellow that field was, stretching back pretty much as far as the eye could see. Of course, Decky being Decky, he wasn't content just looking at the flowers from a respectable distance. He had to defiantly march right into the midst of field to get the up close and personal experience. He's my little explorer through and through. 

Sacramento River
We've done a few walks along the river since we moved here, but until last week we had yet to find a good swimming spot. Especially after all the rain we had earlier this year, the river was pretty deep and fast moving and definitely not kid friendly. And then as we were driving home from Target one day we noticed a bunch of people hanging out on a beach and made a mental note to check it out. When we went back we were excited to find a nice sandy beach with calm, shallow, clear water complete with gold flakes and tons of tiny seashells. It's the perfect spot for kids and we've already been twice in the past two weeks. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer Livin'

This summer has been a season of BIG fun. Disneyland, camping, kid-free getaways, beaches, birthdays, and so many great adventures it's hard to imagine how we crammed it all into a few short months. But we've also been enjoying all the little things that summer has to offer too. Sprinklers and bubbles, splashing in all the water we come across, trains and garbage trucks, naps and snuggles, new playgrounds, and, best of all, long days spent with the ones we love. 

Heading into August we're enjoying a more laid back approach, without any big plans, which means lots of pool days, backyard evenings, story times, and family walks. Here's a little glimpse of our day to day life as we do our best to stay cool and soak up these last few summertime weeks. 

What's on your family's agenda this summer? Any big vacation plans or is back to school already on the horizon?