Finding Fun

playing chaseDSC_1497practicing dot to dot

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writing sentences and drawing pictures

DSC_1494For all our busy days, we also have had plenty of down days with no plans other than to find some fun around the house.

 

Guess Where?

We wandered around for a few hours.
DSC00258 Learning along the way.DSC_1527Wow- some snakes use ‘heat vision’ and here is an example:
DSC_1528 Looking up close until our eyes focus on the turtles inside.
DSC00265 Not all the animals are alive.
DSC00262 Asking questions about what we see.DSC00263Science based for sure, indoors and outdoors.
DSC_1524 The warm weather made for perfect water play.
DSC00267 The bones on display are HUGE.
DSC_1509 Did you guess yet?
DSC_1532 If you were thinking Natural History Museum- you were right!

 

6 Hours

is all I needed to finally feel like summer arrived.

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Yesterday we arrived at the bay at 11 am and left at 5 pm.

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The entire time these little ones kept moving. I watched Olivine build “cakes” over and over DSC00231and each time she finished, it was a quick “ta-da”

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and then just as quick she would destroy it. Over and over.

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She was happy and I was more than happy, to sit with my feet in the sand, with no stress.

The relief to not be at work, away from my family for hours at a time, combined with the enjoyed freedom of having worked ahead on homework this week. Joe has not quite entered teaching (although he did meet with HR this past week to sign paperwork and he is official!) and so the stress on his end has not set in. We are in limbo and it feels amazing!

I would argue summer has mentally begun. It took this many weeks for my mind to reset and realize I have this much non-responsibility. I wander the house with an itch to work. It’s terrible really. I start cleaning, organizing, or cooking. I almost can’t relax because I feel like I need to be productive. My brain wonders where is the pressure? anxiety? and then at the bay, the fog lifts, and I realize I have none. My shoulders physically relax, my mind empties, and I smile at nothing in particular.

Friends showed up and brought a minikayak along.

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They took turns paddling

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and at one point, probably reaching maximum capacity, they all three sat together.DSC00250

Eventually Paul made a friend who had a bigger kayak

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and I had to try my best, to stay seated, knowing he could swim, and watch, as he went farther and farther away. DSC00251

Have I mentioned how much I love the freedom that summer brings?

In the Kitchen

The last two days have been incredibly mellow. I mean sleeping in, wearing pajamas, stay-cation days. My family and I are good at being together, but doing our own things.

I can stand in the kitchen cooking, motivated by sitting down for a meal together, but day dreaming and keeping busy by myself (using Aunt Kathy’s sweet potato enchilada recipe).

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Halfway through, Joe will come in and join me. Friends shared some fresh picked tomatoes so let’s make salsa. If you know Joe, then you know, he had to make two batches, because he likes it so spicy.

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The kids will eventually wander into the kitchen as well. It’s where the laughter is. So they get out play dough (Joe made a batch last week with Olivine) and entertain themselves for an hour.

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 And suddenly I realize it is a fiesta!

Topped off with one strawberry margarita. Yum!

On a Whim

We woke up, realized it was a beautiful day, and without much of a plan decided to take the kids to a Dodger game. We bought tickets online along with parking and were there in an hour. Our kids were in shock the whole time.

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This was our first time as a family of five at a baseball game. This stadium was a perfect chance to make our debut.

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There has been plenty of build up to going to see a game in real life.DSC_1445

Sitting next to this boy and listening to him cheer each player on, I realize this is just the beginning of many more visits. He is such a fan.’

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We brought along binoculars to look around and wore plenty of sunscreen.

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A friendly stranger offered to take this group shot of us as we were leaving.

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This afternoon game ended at just the right time to stop off at the Pie Hole.

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We ate a lot of pie. But my favorite was the chai cheesecake.

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Does it get much better than this? I am learning to loosen up a little more and be more spontaneous. Why not?

One on One

I have been incredibly fortunate to spend much of my free time catching up. I am not so good in a group setting. But thankfully Joe knows this and has really supported my friendships. I had happy hour with a dear friend at the Social List (highly recommend) this past week. We were able to chat for almost five hours.

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Yesterday morning before swim I squeezed in a quick walk and coffee with Tammy in Seal Beach. Husbands watched children and we had some time to ourselves. It filled me up.

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Today, while Olivine and Joe napped, Grammy took Paul to the movies, and Henry and I went out for ice cream. Another chance to just be together with undivided attention. The time is being well spent. I haven’t cleaned as much as I would like or ran every morning, but it’s worth it. Joe and I find ourselves staying up late talking, dreaming, laughing over new episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and being grateful for a season that is truly carefree.

Recently

Paul figured out how to blow really big bubbles with gum. It’s one of those kid tricks I remember learning.DSC_1428

Sometimes they pop on his face and we giggle.DSC_1431With nothing but free time, we are taking it easy, chewing gum, watching baseball, and sleeping in.

 

Sure

When Olivine woke up from her nap she immediately asked for pancakes with sprinkles. I explained those were a snack that required some ingredients and time, which evoked a quick response about how she knows because she makes them at school.

DSC_1369It is these exact moments, where I see her as a sassy, full of spunk, miniature version of myself that doesn’t like to hear the word “no”that I respond with a “sure.”DSC_1368She pushed the stool over, poured, mixed, and listened. Her excitement took over with the number of shakes on the sprinkle jar. But that also made her squeal with delight as the sprinkles dissolved into pink pancakes “Like Pinkalicious!” (one of her favorite book characters these days)

She was okay with me being in charge of the actual cooking of the pancakes. That gave her a chance to run outside and announce to the boys that she had made them pancakes.

 

Friends

Such a reminder that summer has arrived

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enjoying tofu tacos

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sitting in the shade while little ones play in the treehouse

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topping off the afternoon with ice cream

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sweet!

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Staying Put

It is why Olivine went to bed on time and we enjoyed fireworks early (last night) at the bay.

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I would rather avoid the crowds, take advantage of the quiet, and just stay put. The boys are all out at a party.

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I am a bit of an introvert and know better than to overextend myself socially. My preference: a book, a movie, and staying indoors.

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It is also a theme around here lately: about looking around, taking inventory, and making choices that are wise.

Our lease is up, and rather than dash out of this place like our hearts want to do. We have decided to stay put another year and pay the rent increase that we resent. Mostly concerned that we already have many new and changing factors in our lives. Giving our kids time to process is necessary and sometimes that involves a little sacrifice or delayed gratification. So yes, those thoughts of better parking, laundry on-site, or a little yard space is going to have to wait.