Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Beginning of Summer

It's day 7 of my vacation and officially the first week of summer. It's been heating up in the Bay Area the last few days and I've been keeping busy, watching El, my nephew Ev (4 y.o.), and my niece, R (7 y.o.), and nephew, B (10 y.o.), visiting from Oregon (having just emigrated from the Philippines). R & B will be staying with my parents through mid-August so the four will be spending lots of time together. Although taking care of the kiddos wasn't on my summer vacation list of "to-do's," I'm quite grateful to have companions for El and Ev, especially ones who are older and well behaved. They have been quite helpful in watching over the two. As much as I want to spend lots of Q.T. with El over the summer break, I love that she'll also be bonding with her cousins. Hopefully, this fosters greater independence in her and helps her get used to socializing with other kids besides cousin Ev. Seeing how well Ev and El interact with their older cousins makes me realize how much I want El to have a sibling to grow up with.

I've felt like soccer mom and camp counselor this past week, shuffling the kids around to various local events and kid places to keep them entertained. We also have swim lessons this week and next but only for the two younger ones since I didn't think to enroll the older ones before they arrived. My parents' house doesn't have air conditioning so I've tried to find as many things to do in "cooler" places, whether it be a shady park or indoors at the library. I've also made it a personal challenge to do as many kid-friendly, educational things that are free or cost next to nothing. I've been using our local recreation guides, local event calendar, my mommy & me "meet up" calendar, the library, bulletin boards around town, and as my resources. It's been crazy but fun!

Here are just a few of the activities we've done so far:

Shenandoah Park in American Canyon

Jeremy the Juggler, part of the JFK Library's Summer Program on Wednesdays at 10:30am

In Lolo and Lola's garage. The Plasma Car is the best purchase I've made recently, as it keeps all these kids entertained for hours! Purchased ours at Costco for $25!

Hubby and El during "Parent and Tot" swim lessons

The older kids and Lola, the weiner dog, not to be left out! Lolo rigged their own "swimming pool" and its heated to boot!

$1 kid movies every Tuesday and Wednesday! Kids 2 and under are free. =)

Playdough with Auntie R's kids across the street.

And even I had a chance to have lunch with my two nearest and dearest friends, J and R. Love them to pieces and must hang out more with them this summer!

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