- Our Tahoe Trip!!
- Maia is 20 Months Old
- Donovan and Serenity in July
- Maia is 19 Months!
- Serenity and DZ in June
Our Tahoe Trip!!
Our family had the most wonderful week in Tahoe! Ann and John rented a house, and Tina and Colen joined us as well. This was a family tradition for them when Eric and Tina were growing up, and it’s easy to see why. Everyone loved it!
Tina rented a car big enough to hold all our kids and very kindly chauffeured us to and from the Reno airport. Eric and I went out on a date one day and realized it was the first time in days we had to drive. That is truly a luxury for us! The not driving and the date both =)
The first full day we went to visit The Numbers. This is a short, fun hike through the woods where there are numbered exercises, like walking on balance beams, doing jumping jacks, and pull ups. This was super fun, but I think even John was surprised by just how much the kids loved it. They begged to go back so we ended up doing the numbers twice more! There was also an excellent park there, which was another draw. Maia just liked climbing around and digging in the dirt, but Serenity and Donovan both tried to do most of the exercises. Serenity even made it to championship par on all of the exercises! The last day we just went to their favorites, and she wanted to be sure to do the balance beam, which she did forwards and backwards with arms down, the most challenging way possible. She also loved the activity where you hang from a bar and kind of swivel your body around in circle, and the body curls. Eric used to be really good at the body curls, and he was kind of dismayed to discover his neck was too tight to go as high as he’d like. Donovan, just like his Daddy, would carry around sticks and rocks all through the woods. =)
The next day we visited the beach for the first time. The house they rented included access to a private beach, and it was so beautiful! The water was a little low, but that didn’t bother the kids. They got plenty of swimming time in the pool. =) Serenity and Donovan waded a bit but Maia plopped herself down in the sand and hardly moved for an hour! She would just dig and dig! Far-far was making a nice hole and a big mountain for her and she was just so happy. I haven’t seen her that still in a long time! After a while she did explore more. The second beach visit she discovered a huge rock that made just the perfect slide. She and Serenity both enjoyed that one! I played at making sand castles, although Maia flattened the top of the castle so it looked more like a birthday cake. =)
We played so many fun games this trip! Donovan especially was in heaven. Aunt Tina had brought Flashpoint, a game about firefighters! Everyone played that with Donovan at some point, and he adored it. We also played a lot of Forbidden Island =) I bought Frozen Uno for this trip since we had already packed our original set of UNO cards. Serenity played this a ton! It’s just like normal UNO except for the special Olaf summertime card, which lets you discard up to three either pink or yellow cards as well as choose the color. Our friends Sasha and Keith had introduced us to a really fun Lord of the Rings deck building game that’s a lot like Dominion. We sent it to John before the trip and we played it late into the night. We also played a game called Elfenland that’s pretty fun for kids and adults.
My birthday was the day after we left Tahoe, so everyone took me out to breakfast at Rosie’s Cafe for my birthday. I love breakfast food! I also got lemon cake and a another pretty card from Tina that I’ll have to frame it’s so beautiful =)
Our backyard in Tahoe was gorgeous all by itself. The first day we went out there Serenity and I made Camp Nature. We collected blue jay feathers, pinecones, fir branches, and arranged them on a stump. Donovan joined us later and started a cool rock collection. Later, the kids found a secluded corner that was an even better secret location for Camp Nature. Serenity made up a theme song and dance for the camp, and Donovan was in charge of camp games. I love how involved they got in their camp planning! Serenity even gave a whole sales pitch about it to her grandparents, and said you too can join camp nature if you pay one dollar or collect items for it. Well, as soon as she said a dollar, John pulled a dollar out of his wallet and gave it to her. The look on her face was just awesome. Like she never expected real money and it was astonishing and thrilling all at once =) So fun! She eventually talked a dollar out of Vanaema too so Donovan could have one also!
The house also had a membership to the neighborhood club, where we got to play shuffleboard, bocce, ping-pong, tetherball, and swim!
It was an amazing vacation and we all just loved it!
I have so many posts to do!!! We had an amazing week in Tahoe, and the rest of the month is just as crazy fun with back to school events for Serenity and Donovan and moving to our new house!!! But I don’t want Maia’s monthly post to get lost in the shuffle so I’ll do it first since it was supposed to go up yesterday =)
Cute Maia Sayings: “Whoa! Cool!!” “Yee haw!” (said repeatedly as she climbs over the back of the couch.
Loves to stack stuff into my hand, or hand me all her backyardigan stuffies. And I HAVE to hold them. =)
Dances in circles singing pup pup boogie, ends with arms up tada!
Has her own circus show. Stands up on slide, jump slides down and ends with somersault. The big kids started doing it too it was so awesome. Tada!
Maia is such a sweet, curious, fearless baby! When she sees Eric or me, her whole face lights up and she just RUNS toward us saying our name (Dada or Mamama). She smiles so big and loves being swung up into our arms. It’s such a thrill! When I’m holding her sometimes she will grab my right hand and pull it up because she wants me to pat her on the back, and I am happy to oblige =)
She’s getting much better about asking for what she wants instead of just making exasperated noises. She will ask for “cup cup” or “milk cup” if she’s thirsty, or sometimes “wa-wa cup.” She asks for cereal or pizza and often cookies. Berries of course =) One of her cutest phrases right now is “Hi Cute Baby.” She said it first to a little girl we met at the library, but now she says it about herself all the time. =) Sounds a bit like “Huckabee” if you haven’t heard it a lot. I thought she might be calling Serenity “sissy” but the more she says it I think she’s just trying to say Serenity, since she also uses the word sister.
She loves Paw Patrol. I bought a new Paw Patrol book, thinking DZ might like it for the plane, but she loved it so much it kept her busy for hours and she read it repeatedly in Tahoe. Pup Pup Away! And she’d ask for it by name too, so cute =) It had stickers in it and a cards with each of the pups, so she could show off for Vanaema that she can say all their names.
She loves climbing. She climbs over the back of the couch repeatedly. Which led to her getting stuck behind the Tahoe couch when her head didn’t fit where her body went. Scary but I was right there to grab her immediately and we moved the couch right afterwards. She climbs on chairs, tables, up slides, oh just anything.
She spins in circles and finishes with “ta-da!” So cute.
She’s counting a lot these days. She often starts with six. “Six, seben, eeeeight, niiiiine, ten, eleben!” But she also starts with one sometimes =) She also likes to say the alphabet, but most of the time starts with the letter O. Don’t know why, she just does. I’ve heard her start with A, but I don’t think she’s made it through the entire alphabet alone. But she can do O to Z just fine. =)
She had a BLAST in Tahoe, but that is another much longer post =)
Star Wars Week
My Little Pony was a camp Serenity thought of, so for the second week of Mama Camp we chose one of DZ’s ideas. Donovan finally got to learn how to play Epic Duels. He can just barely sound out words, but he learns what each card does really fast. He is obsessed! And it’s awesome. So for Star Wars week he asked Daddy for lots of games of Epic Duels. I also got a Lego Star wars set that had two speeder bikes, and three minifigs, a Storm Trooper, and a rebel girl and a rebel guy. I figured the kids would each want one of the bikes, and would use it for their favorite minifigure. Well, they both wanted the colored bike, so instead Serenity and I made up our own speeder bike using our extra pieces. I love how it turned out!
We spent the 4th of July at The Property this year. It was a blast! Between Casey, Mike, and Billie’s family there were tons of fireworks. The kids even got to do sparklers! I think their favorite part was making their own fireworks though. I think Carson started this by spinning his glow neckace high into the sky. Soon all the kids were doing it. My kind of fireworks. No chance of sparks. =) Maia discovered that she loves corn on the cob and stole everyone’s. Serenity made a new friend and made sure that they included her brother in their fun. She is so awesome.
After Serenity’s birthday we made another trip to Kiddlestix to spend the rest of the gift cards Papa gave the kids for their birthdays. Donovan knew exactly what he wanted, a huge lego set. He chose the Emperor’s Throne Room (and Daddy helped a little cause he wanted it too). It came with Darth Vader, the Emperor and Luke. DZ keeps giving Vader Luke’s hair, much to Daddy’s chagrin. Serenity wanted two things, a Lego Elves set and more Calico Critters. So… Mama helped her buy the Lego Elves since I wanted it too =) So we all enjoyed our lego fun! And the sets were played with a lot, until the excitement at the end of the month.
The third week of July we had Peter Pan camp. Serenity loved her Little Mermaid musical theater so much, when we came across this camp that would let Donovan’s age attend too, we signed them right up! They came home every day saying they loved it, and they did such a good job at their little performance! Donovan sang “I’ve Gotta Crow” and Serenity sang “I’m Flying!” They both sang Never Never Land. But they practiced with the music in the car all week and were both adorable. Serenity’s face was so expressive and fun to watch, and Donovan’s teacher pulled me aside to say he was doing really well for his age. He knew lots of the movements. His line was “It’s all mine! Oh I’m clever.” Too cute!
After Peter Pan camp the kids had a week at home. One day Serenity had DZ rehearsing for their very own wolf performance. They sang a song they wrote and danced to it. “Ow-ow, ow wooo, ow ow, owwooo, that’s the word the wolf says!” I videoed it, although I got the impression that they would keep it going as long as I’d keep taking movies. =)
The big excitement for the month though is for our whole family. We found a new house! I’ve been looking for the last few years, knowing that eventually we would outgrow our current house. And we found just the perfect one, and our offer was accepted! It looks like everything is going well so far, so it’s very likely that we will move out August 28th!! I’ll do a whole separate post about this though. There’s so much to write about!!! However, it has to be said that Donovan is a super star packer. He asks to help pack constantly and I think has put stuff in nearly every box that is going out of our house. There are several days I would have let it slide but with his encouragement I just got it done. =) Serenity is an indifferent packer but has been surprisingly helpful with cleaning up the house. She even learned to scrub the toilets and says she’s going to make a schedule for our new house so it stays clean too.