Anywho, here are some of the things we've been up to:
Since it's summer, you can't even think we haven't been living it up here:
Can you guess what The Little Man's favorite new thing to do this summer? He's all over the diving board. (Can you guess how many pictures I had to take in order to time out perfectly them in mid-air off the diving board and my iPhone's camera's lag time?)
It has been a joyous time for us at the pool. The best part is that we have been joined by good friends almost each time we go. I am loving having both kids at a spot where they are not threatening to drown at any given moment. I am not at all missing the days when I was constantly playing life guard. It makes reading a book poolside so much more enjoyable.
Also, on the Summer Bucket List this year (and every year) the Zoo! We can't not go. Yet, every time we go, I remember why I only go once a year. While it's super fun, it's also a super chore. Here we are this year:
This year we had two map readers (you know, in case we got lost on our 25th visit):
There's that elephant we were trying to track down:
It was still stinky in the pachyderm house:
There's our favorite bear cubs:
We're so sorry bears...each year the The Little Man's positioning gets a little bit more awkward, doesn't it?
Ahhh, much better:
Don't you take music classes at your zoo?
Surprisingly, we can jump pretty far:
Sadly though, not quite as far as we wanted to.
Honestly, I really do love our zoo. It's just that it is so stinkin' far away, and I swear, every year, we come on the same day as every school, day camp, day care, etc. This year we parked a mere 25 min walk away from the zoo entrance. Then, since we live in the 'burbs, the drive home is always such a nightmare. It just goes to show how desperate I was to get out of the house when the kids were little since we had memberships there, and visited approximately 3-11 times a year. Have I mentioned how thankful I am for the stage of life we are at now? Well, I am. No more trips to the zoo out of desperation. Now we go because we actually want to see the animals and learn something new.
We've been tenderly caring for our garden:
Aren't carrots cute brand new?
I see some spicy stews and chile's coming in the fall/winter:
And just like children, this sweet little garden has grown so fast, I can barely keep up with it.
I can hardly wait to dig into it's yummy bounty later this summer.
Also, on the Summer Bucket List, spending their Summer Chore Money!
Guess where The Girl wanted to go?
Yes, we visited American Girl. Her girl, Charlotte, needed to get her ears pierced. And she needed to have her picture taken with Kanani. (By the way, I am still super bummed that American Girl hasn't set it up so you pick up Kanani in Hawaii. Hello, American Girl! I sense a huge money maker!)
The Little Man, however, did not want anything to do with American Girl (thank goodness). No, he had bigger things on his mind:
Recently, the mall in our area got a Lego store. For some reason, buying your Lego set at the Lego store, while being much more expensive, it also much more cool.
He is now the proud owner of two Star Wars space ships, Hogwarts Castle, Hagrid's Hut, Freeing Doby, and the Quidditch set.
Now don't think that he is Mr Money Bags (or that I am for that matter), don't forget that we had a birthday party thrown in the mix. The Little Man has been beyond thrilled to spend gift cards and birthday money on his prized Lego collection.
Speaking of birthday parties, I guess I should share those pics too, while I am at it.
We hit the local bounce house. Score for me because I didn't do anything but show up with cupcakes, ice cream, and kids. Score for the kids because they got to act like wild animals without getting into any trouble.
Even though it was indeed his birthday we were celebrating, I still love that shirt. He wears it all the time, and it is so him!
Wild animals, I tell you.
When we discussed what kind of cake he wanted this year, he was very firm on wanting a "homemade cake from scratch". When I wanted to know why, O WHY, we couldn't use a box mix, he just said he wanted to make sure his sister could eat his cake (since she has peanut allergies most store bought cakes and even boxed cake mixes are off limits to her). How sweet is that? I could not say no, even though my baking skills are less than stellar. We made a whole week of it, though. We tried a couple of different recipes and then decided which we liked best for the big day. A delicious red velvet won.
Oh, it was such a sacrifice.
Then, he decided that he would like his cupcakes to be Harry Potter themed.
I'm barely putting together a homemade, from scratch, cupcake. Now he wants them decorated too?
So, I found these frosting pen like things. It made it more like drawing than frosting. Still, they were not very cute. I ordered a Harry Potter cake topper just so I could seal the deal. Surely with him on the top, all the crazy decorating I did would make sense, right?
All I have to say is that sitting next to his cousin's professionally decorated Sponge Bob cake, mine looked a little, well, different.
The Little Man took one look at his cupcakes on the cupcake stand and just said "Whoa! Look at how cool my Harry Potter cupcakes are! Thank you so much, mommy!"
It was a proud moment for me.
I love that kid.
Then there was present time. Both he and his cousin got to sit on their Royal Throne and tear up some serious gifts:
A good time was had by all. Especially by the mommies who did not clean up, frantically try to write down which gift came from whom, or try to throw together goody bags.
Perfection I tell you.
Other things taking up our time: The Girl got cast into a local play. She is very excited and exclaimed "I knew it! I knew I could sing, do different voices, and memorize lines! I knew it!" This was her very first audition ever, and is our first stab at the whole drama thing.
Well, I mean stage drama. Cause the everyday drama? it still runs thick around here.
I got an iced tea maker. Never thought being able to make iced tea on demand could make me so happy.
We are working on trying a new recipe every week. So far my favorites have been a Raspberry Crumble, Salted Carmel Brownies (which are similar to these), and a French Dip that is so good and so easy that it makes me happy to just think about it.
And various cleaning and organizing projects that have made me feel like I really can start and finish a project, that I am organized, and pretty much like I can take on the world. It just feels so good to get stuff done.
Up next: I might try to blog AND take pictures.