July Twenty Eighteen

Another summer month down. Now if August can go as quickly as July—although not as hot, please—I’ll be a happy camper. I cannot wait until September for two reasons: cooler weather and school starts. Not in a I want the kids back in school because they’re driving me nuts kind of way. For one, we homeschool. So, yeah. And two, I like having the kiddos around. Even when they drive me nuts.

My kiddos are at their best in the mornings and afternoons, as am I. Now if I could send them away to state-run babysitting from say, 4-8pm, then maybe I’d be all over that. But only if they spent a minimum of two out of the four hours outside. Even still, probably not. They’ll still have to ask to use the restroom—and possibly be told to wait or need a pass. Schools don’t have swings anymore. They may use a behavior chart. I’ll stop before I turn this into a passive-aggressive why homeschooling rocks post. Do people still say things rock?

I like school starting because it brings a consistent weekly routine. Each weekday is about the same as the week before. Groundhog Week-like. Summer hasn’t been consistent at all. June was all about year-end everything; July was all about summer camps and celebrating Laine’s birthday. And now August is all about doing nothing, which isn’t actually nothing. Our plans include hanging out with different friends each week and preparing for our trip home to California and Legoland, and then preparing for the school year.

But July. Let’s talk about July. Two main themes for the month:

Laine’s Seven!

She’s the highlight of July. We celebrated her actual birthday at Remlinger Farms, followed by cake at home with two friends. She had a pottery painting birthday party on the Saturday after her birthday. It was a fun way to start seven years. Pictures galore are here.

Summer Camps

Each kiddo had a summer camp. Saige had two. It just worked out that way. Starting the week of July 9, we did four straight weeks of summer camps. Saige kicked off the summer camps with a Pre-Reading and Math camp. It’s not a camp I went looking for; it happened to be available during the right week at the right location and the right price. I have to laugh. While she enjoyed the camp, it was in an indoor classroom setting, with a very nice, typical preschool teacher. Each day she’d ask me when she gets to go back to farm school… farm school being her outdoor preschool. I love that she prefers outdoor preschool to a traditional preschool setting.

Baby and Saige were the next week, attending an outdoor camp up at Tolt MacDonald. I was concerned about Baby being left for the first time. No need to be. She was all about going to school as she called camp. The first day, I signed her in and she was already saying bye to me. She’s always been around, watching the three older kiddos be dropped off at classes so she had it all figured out. Saige was a little more off. She wasn’t as into it as I thought she’d be. She kind of moped around. I’m thinking she was tired. She wanted to go back after the first day and perked up a bit around day three. The camp’s theme was camping… they pitched a tent, roasted marshmallows over a campfire, went hiking, and whatever else you do when camping. They had a blast. Baby loved every minute of camp. It was a successful week.

Week three of summer camps was Laine’s turn. She attended a Healthy Hands cooking camp. The big kiddos watched Top Chef Junior earlier this year and became super interested in cooking. It was the perfect fit for Laine. It was a four-day camp: day one was snacks; day two was breakfast; day three was lunch and dinner; and day four was desserts. For each meal, the made a 3-5 different recipes. She came home with some really great meals. And now she wants to cook dinner and create her own recipes. It was such a great camp that we’ve signed her and Blaise up for the eight-week class starting in October.

Blaise ended the month of summer camps with a week of LEGO Jedi Robotics. Star Wars, LEGOS, and robotics. The absolute perfect combination for Blaise. He loved camp. After the first day when he was glowing talking about the camp, he said, “It’s weird, there aren’t any girls in camp.” Haha. It was a great week. He had been kind of down watching all the girls have camps and this lifted his spirits. He was also pretty excited that a friend from his ninja warrior class was also in camp. The program they used for camp, LEGO WeDo, is now on our list of things to download when we get around to buying a desktop for the kiddos.

And that was the month of summer camps. I’m camped out, and already mentally preparing for a month of summer camps in 2019.

July, in pictures.

Dash Point Beach. We kicked off July with a family day trip to Dash Point Beach. It’s been my plan to start doing things as a family on the weekends. Usually Brian will take the big kiddos to a movie, I’ll head out to a musical with friends, the little ones get an outing… we rarely do anything as a family of six. And now that we have everything finished around the house for—the most part, there are a few small things—I want to make family outings a common occurrence. We managed a few in July and then things fizzled. I shouldn’t say fizzled. Other things happened. Like Laine’s birthday. Some weeks were so busy that come the weekend, I didn’t want to do anything. Even now in August, after kicking off the month with a family yurt trip, we had two weekends after with nothing on the books… and both weekends filled up. All good stuff, but nothing for all six of us. I’m hoping our trip down to California resets us. But then our calendar is already filling up for the rest of the year. There should be more weekends.

All about Dash Point Beach is here.

Haircuts! Everyone had haircuts over two weeks. Blaise, Saige, and Brian at the end of June; Laine, Baby, and I at the beginning of July. Baby’s hair was getting long. And while super beautiful—it was growing with a natural layered look—it didn’t match her personality. She’s spunky. She needed a long bob. Laine wanted a short bob that is super cute on her. And I wanted some inches off. Small town living, our neighbor is our stylist who works at the salon on the main drag. I’d use her anyway, she’s great.

I’m surprised it took until the third kid to do this… Saige cut her own hair about a week after her official haircut. She took off about six inches from her right side. Eh, thankfully hair grows back. No biggie. She was rocking side ponytails before and they hide where she cut so it all works out.

Fourth of July. I’m not a fan of this holiday. Brian is. He likes to do it all. The pancake breakfast, the parade, the fireworks show. I would be happy to stay home all day and avoid everything. Normally I do. Except this year, we had a friend come over early to join us for the pancake breakfast and parade. This is the first year the kiddos decorated their bikes and rode in the kid parade. Brian had taken them to the Dollar Tree the weekend before… $42 of cheap Fourth of July decorations later, they had plenty to decorate their bikes. All stuff I ended up tossing after they removed the decorations from their bikes. I hope it’s okay to toss those small flags? I know there is some formal way to discard of flags.

The pancake breakfast was as expected. Not the best food but since it’s for a good cause, you happily pay the six bucks and donate more. Leaving the pancake breakfast, there was a lady setting up a face painting booth. The kiddos all lined up before she was even set up. Faces painted, it was time to decorate bikes before the kid parade. We walked back home, the kiddos went to town decorating, and then we walked up to the parade. We already had a spot…

The night before I was coming back home around 10pm. People were setting up chairs to get good spots for the parade. I mentioned this to Brian and we decided it wasn’t right, not fair, who would do this?! And then we joined in on the chair action. Brian drove up and set up our chairs. It worked out well.

My friend, her baby, and I settled in the chairs while Brian took the kiddos and her daughter to the start of the kid parade. The three older kiddos rode their bikes; Brian pulled Saige and Baby in the wagon. The kiddo parade starts at the end of the actual parade route and ends at the start of the actual parade route… where we were sitting. The kiddos and Brian met us after to watch the parade. It was a standard small town parade, nothing special. The only thing that stood out was the republican guy running for office had people with puppies they brought over to the kids to pet. And while they were petting, they’d say, “[Puppy’s name] would really like if your parents voted for [republican guy].” Yeah, kind of creepy. And very pedo-like. Cute puppies though!

The rest of the day was pretty low-key. We came home after the parade, my friend left, and Brian and I napped. We had a standard afternoon; the kiddos played outside. Brian took the big kids to the fireworks while the little ones and I stayed home. For not being a Fourth of July fan, it was a nice day.

Swamp Trail. We took the kiddos on a small hike, Swamp Trail. It has a story to read along the trail. I posted about the outing here.

Horse Saige. Saigers went to a birthday party for one of her preschool friends. It was at Farrel-McWhirter and a pony-themed party. Each kiddo was able to ride a pony during the party. This was Saige’s first time on a horse and she seemed to enjoy the ride. It was a nice party and Saige had a great time.

While Saige was partying, Laine was also partying with one of her friends. We had two birthday parties at the same time, on the same day. Brian dropped off Laine and Saige and I picked her up. I’m not sure what is going on here but whenever Brian uploads his pictures, I’m always amused at what I find. I only know this is the day of the parties because Laine came home with a rainbow on her face.

Marymoor. Saigers kicked off the four weeks of summer camp, with a camp through the City of Redmond. It was right outside of Marymoor, so while she camped, the other kiddos and I played at the new and improved ghost playground. I call it the ghost playground because when we used to go, there was never anybody there. And even this day, nobody was there. I’m not complaining; I don’t like crowds. It’s like a hidden gem.

Otter pop tongues. This was the last of colored Otter Pops. We discovered the dye-free ones at Costco and have since gone colorless. Not a bad picture to remember the days of food dyes, haha.

Summer camp, week two. Saige and Baby took on the second week of summer camp with a camping-themed camp at Tolt MacDonald. My friend runs an outdoor preschool during the year and summer camps during the summer. Baby loved camp! I talked with my friend after the week and she said Baby wouldn’t take her backpack off. She had to carry it everywhere.

While the little ones were at camp, the big ones and I were able to do a few things that have been on the list to do without Saige and Baby. One of these things, check out Chinook Bend. I posted about the outing here.

Buddy! July was also the month of pups! Our neighbor was out of town. Her pup, Buddy, was hanging at home with her friend who was housesitting. But her friend had two long days at work so Buddy came over to hang with us while she was working. He’s such a sweet guy! Here he brought Mel a ball and dropped it on the ground (out of the picture). Despite how Mel looks here, he was happily playing with Buddy in the backyard all afternoon.

Bridge hangers. Blaise and Laine climbing the bridge wire at Tolt when we picked up Saige and Baby from camp. Laine is getting super strong from all her gymnastics. She already was strong but now I’m catching her doing one-arm pull-ups on the bunk beds.

Baby swings! All by herself! Another milestone hit. I was in the kitchen and I could hear the swing squeaking like it always does. I looked in the house and there was Blaise, Laine, and Saige. I walked outside and there was Baby swinging all on her own. I think she was tired of waiting for someone to push her so she figured it out on her own. Kid can pump. She gets going pretty high these days. I’m sure this is one of those things that I’ll be sad about in about 10 years—that I have no kiddos who need me to push them—but for now, it’s awesome. Go, Baby!

Trail walking. I’ve been back on the trails. Mel and I have our standard route, that sometimes we switch up and reverse it. I know, we’re exciting. But I like it and I know what to expect. I’m a routine person.

Ice cream kiddos. The big kiddos scored. Saige and Baby were in bed early on this hot day, so we let the big kiddos enjoy some ice cream on the front porch.

Mamma Mia number two. I think it has a fancier name than that but that’s what we’ve been calling the movie. Laine LOVES Abba, and loved Mamma Mia the original movie. I’ve even taken her to see the musical. She’s a huge Abba fan. So when she came across the Mamma Mia number two movie trailer months ago, she immediately wanted to see the movie. The week before was busy with everything birthday so we went the Monday after. It wasn’t the best idea on my part. She had cooking camp in the morning, two hours of gymnastics in the afternoon heat (hence the sweaty hair and red face), and then we went to the movie. Poor kiddo barely stayed awake. But she did. And she loved the movie.

More Marymoor. Back to the ghost park with a different variation of kiddos… this time Laine was at a summer camp right outside of Marymoor. Blaise, Saige, Baby, and I killed time at the playground. It’s so nice how Baby swings on her own!

We had been to Costco before and bought bananas. They all remembered and suddenly were hungry for a banana after leaving the park.

Painters. July was hot. It was awful. Most afternoons after camps the kiddos spent outside, playing in the water. The girls decided to paint this day between sprinkler play. And Saige decided to paint herself instead of the paper.

Eevee! Such a sweet pup! My friend was out of town and hired a house sitter, who wasn’t a great house sitter… she left poor Eevee home alone, locked in a bathroom for 10 hours one day and 13 hours the next. It’s a good thing Eevee has security cameras in her house so her mom could see that she wasn’t getting the care she was supposed to be getting. Long story short, I picked up Eevee late Wednesday night and she stayed with us until the following Thursday. Melvin loved having a buddy. Sammy is cool and all, but at almost 16, he doesn’t play with Mel like Eevee does. We get to watch her again in December and everyone is excited.

Cooking camp. Laine is the only kiddo I have summer camp pictures of. Her camp teacher sent out pictures of the week and I grabbed all the Laine ones. She had a fabulous time!

Blueberry picking. One of our annual summer outings. There is a beautiful blueberry farm right under Mount Si. I don’t even like blueberries but I love going to pick them for two reasons: the location and it feeds my cleaning obsession… there’s nothing like getting all the ripe blueberries off of a bush. We met a friend there and spent the morning picking just under six pounds of blueberries. Well, Blaise and I picked. Laine, Saige, and Baby ate everything they picked… which is why I always pay extra when we leave. The blueberries were gone in a few days. Between making a pie and the kiddos eating them, they were demolished quickly.

I asked Blaise if I could take his picture with the blueberries. I like his face before I asked him if he would please smile.

That view. This is exactly why we go to this blueberry farm every year.

The plan was to grab lunch after blueberry picking. We went to North Bend to hit up Twede’s but it was super busy. Instead we went to the bowling and pizza place in Snoqualmie.

Pups and a Baby. The puppers called it an early night after a day of non-stop playing. Well, this is Sammy most of the day. And a napping Baby and Eevee. Baby fell asleep on the floor this day at 3pm and slept until 7:30pm, ate a quick dinner, and went back to bed at 8:30pm. Summering is tiring when you’re two.

Bird feeders. We made these a few years ago. Bird feeders made from milk cartons. The birds actually used them and the kiddos always enjoyed watching the customers—as they called the birds—eat from them. The plan was to do these back in May and it kept getting pushed. We finally got around to painting them. I still need to cut the holes and hang them up. This week for sure.

Digging Eevee. Miss Eevee enjoyed digging holes around the yard. I love this picture of her!

And that was July. At least what I can remember from looking at pictures. Now August, please continue zooming by.

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