First Week of Summer

We're about a week-and-a-half into summer but the first few days were in LA so we just finished our first week at home. Oh man, it was tough. They've been really difficult, though there are periods where they're good, thankfully. I was so excited to have this week with the boys and purposely didn't plan any summer camps so we could spend some time together before camps or travel started. We made a list of fun things we wanted to do, and with Coco at her first drop-off camp on Tuesday and Thursday, we planned to have Jessica pick her up at 11:30 so we could stay out longer.

We've had lots of fun adventures and mostly while we're out, they're pretty good. Mornings are tough as they're bickering and just getting everyone ready and out the door seems to be so much harder for some reason. The afternoons are when the wheels come off, and thankfully, Jessica is here to take over, though she's certainly pulling her hair out as well. Last week she had taken away shows, dessert, books at bedtime AND their cd player that they listen to cds while going to bed. Neither has really taken a rest in the afternoon, even when we've had a 30+ minute drive back from our destination, they still haven't napped. I think that, combined with the fact that it's a lot of time together for them and we're slightly off of our routine, I think has thrown everything off. There has been a ton of potty talk that's been driving all of us nuts and just general craziness where they get the sillies and just can't calm down. Listening has been an issue, especially during those episodes. We made some headway on Thursday when I really was going to put my foot down and not take them on the adventure and have them play separately at home, but we had a long chat and came up with a plan for the potty talk - first offense is automatic loss of shows, anything further that day and they have to give me a coin from their piggy bank for each potty word. They know they can always go in the bathroom and get out any potty talk they want. The potty situation has improved but they've still had their crazy-silliness episodes. We'll see if camp improves the situation next week, they'll be gone from 8:30-2 and I'm hoping they'll be split up so hoping the routine and some time apart with solve the problem.

We were headed to the fair in San Mateo today and stopped at a fun park beforehand. Colette was a disaster in the car and eventually fell asleep so I was in the car with her while she napped. Dave had fun taking the boys around the park on their bikes and then asked them to play by themselves for a bit. They ended up making a huge mess with all the bark on the play structure and couldn't apologize or understand why that was a problem so we ended up coming straight home and missing the fair. Everyone was upset, it wasn't a good morning but I really feel like we have to put our foot down as they're getting out of control. The day improved and we were able to have a nice bbq at home. We're looking forward to Father's Day and hoping the boys can turn their behavior around.

Monday my mom was with us and although I knew the kids all would've enjoyed just being home with their toys after being gone for 5 days, I also knew they'd be at each other by mid-morning so I got us out in time for free entry before 10am at the Japanese tea gardens. Coco and I went last week and had so much fun exploring and climbing over the big bridge so I though it would be fun to go back with the boys. Then we walked over to the Botanical Gardens in search of the caterpillars and the boys had a blast with that.

On Tuesday, we dropped C off at her camp and then went to get a croissant as I wanted to make sure they didn't call me before we took off for the day. Then we drove down to Palo Alto and went berry picking which we've done for the last few years at this same place. It was super hot and it's hard work to get enough berries for a pie, but they are so tasty so it was worth it!



The finished product!

On the way home, we stopped by an awesome park, Magical Playground in Palo Alto that thankfully also had a splash pad. I had forgotten the boys' swimsuits but they stripped down to their understanding and had a blast cooling off before we headed home.

On Wednesday, Coco was back with us so we met my dad at the Oakland Zoo. We had never been before so it was a fun adventure. They have a gondola and are adding a huge new section with grizzlies, wolves and more. They also have a little rides area complete with a kiddie rollercoaster so the kids loved that. We stopped for ice cream at my childhood favorite, Loards and I got my favorite Lemon Chiffon.

Thursday Coco went to camp again and while we were planning to go to Angel Island, luckily I researched and read that it's not great for kids as all the hikes are pretty tough. We were debating between going north to the Marine Mammal Center or south to CuriOdessey, a kids museum we had never been to, but then the boys were awful that morning. It had been such a tough week that I felt like I really had to follow through on my threatened consequence so I said we'd be coming home and they could play separately all day, I'd be doing my own thing. We dropped C off, I had to pick something up and then I pulled over and we had a long discussion about potty talk, I took their suggestions and we shook on a plan. It's so tough as I know we need to be firm for them to respect boundaries, but I also know what a nightmare they'd be at home all day and that's no fun for me. I'm glad Dave put his foot down on the fair today. But we were able to head to the museum and they totally loved it. It's sort of like a mini-Exploratorium and they spent a lot of time doing the gears and pulleys and they also have an outdoor area with animals. It was a really cool spot.

On Friday, my mom was back with us and our plan was to ride the cable car for the first time with Coco. We took the bus down to Union Square and rode the glass elevators in the Westin before hopping on the cable car. C wasn't too impressed, she ended up napping in the stroller soon after we got off (she didn't nap at all the day before) so that explained that. W was also a pill for various reasons so we had to push through but ended up having fun when we stopped for pizza and ice cream sandwiches :) We made our way on two busses home, which C did end up enjoying.

woke up just in time for ice cream :)

Friday night the boys came up with the idea to make beds out of all the couch cushions and though we had our doubts, they ended up going to sleep nicely.

It was a fun week and I treasure this time I have with them before they head into full school days but we know our kids thrive on routine so hoping camp helps in the coming weeks. We are a bit nervous about Cincinnati, then Sonoma for 2 more weeks when the boys will be together so much so I think we'll have to do a lot of separate time. We're also very thankful for Jessica who can discipline them like we do and is capable of dealing with them in these crazy times while also watching Coco. I don't think I would've survived the week if I had had them on my own the whole time! Here's to Father's Day and a new week!

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