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Monday, November 14, 2011

July '11 - The First Half of a Great Summer

July in Los Angeles = Heat.  And what better way for 2 toddlers to confront that heat than with a water hose?



It looked like the boys started to get along better.  The times playing together were getting longer, the fights were getting shorter and more spread out.
That is not to say though that the “caliber” of the fights was anything less than “explosive” though… In the afternoon, Kai LOVED to join me in getting Ryder out of his crib after naptime.  So sweet to see him so excited with the prospect of seeing his baby brother again.  (Long may this last!!)  One afternoon, he stormed into Ryder’s room with a “Hey Ryder! You're awake Bubba!"  [sigh] [heart melts].

The summer was a busy one.  July marked the beginning of summer school, swimming lessons and gymnastics.  Apparently all this starts at age 3.  I don’t think I started with swimming lessons until I was in elementary school.  Surprising, given that I grew up in The Netherlands, a country that is for 25% located below sea level.On July 10 I posted on Facebook that I put my 17-month old in a size 3T pajamas.  It fit perfectly.  Did I mention the kid likes to eat?  Yeah, he does – and he does it in style:


This is the bottom shelf of my fridge on an average day:


Not realizing he’s just a bit big for the Bumbo Seat:


Though many problems can be solved with food, there are some (problems / situations) where even food doesn’t work.  They are rare, but they do exist.  Ryder’s first hair cut was one of them.  Not grooving on that so much.  It involved lots of screaming (by him) and fighting (also by him.  However, here’s the transformation:


So, summer school: Kai changed schools this summer and prior to starting the new school year at his new school, he was going to have 3 weeks of part-time fun in its Summer School program.  When you have a stubborn child who LOVES routine, it’s a bit of a challenge to explain why he is going to move to a different school.  Until one day one of my friends Facebooked me (is this even a verb?) and double checked that Kai was going to start school the following day, so that Kai and her daughter Madison could meet up in front of the school before classes started.  Oh, there was the incentive and the timing couldn’t have been better: Madison.  Kai likes Madison.  Kai LOVES Madison.


As soon as I told him that he would see Madison the next day at school, all reservation were ‘poofed’ away.  As if they had never existed.  Thank you, thank you Sweet Madison!  From that moment on, the thought of school was GREAT!  The following day, Kai and Madison met up before school.  Unfortunately they were in separate classes, but Kai accepted that and had no problems getting started at his new place of learning:


Madison waited for him after school.  They met up before school the following day.  She waited for him afterwards.  This went on for the entire length of summer school.  Until Madison went on vacation.  Kai missed her very much.

Summer school was great.  As a toddler you know that it's gonna be a good day when you have to wear your swimsuit to school and when you walk in you are sitting down next to your friends at a plastic table with the only thing on it being cans of shaving foam. Darn, I wish I was a toddler going to summer camp.  Then there was “Pony Day”.  The day that the kids were visited by 3 ponies to pet, learn about and (I believe) feed.  How awesome?!?!  Again, I wish I was a toddler in Summer School.  Needless to say, summer school was a success.

While Kai was in school, Ryder and I had a chance to hang out together.  It was lovely and I wish it could have lasted longer.  When Kai was his age, he was the only one.  I got to go to play dates, day trips, etc., but now with two, the younger one adjusts to the older one’s schedule.  Dropping Kai off and picking him up from school, and add to that naptime for the baby, didn’t leave much time for daytrips out.  Walks in the neighborhood provided Ryder with the opportunity to make new friends too, though:


Even though Kai was the one in school, Ryder too worked hard on developing those brain cells that approx. 2 years ago he stole from me while warm and cozy in my belly.  One afternoon he pulled the Melissa & Doug letter puzzle out of Kai’s puzzle box and this is what I witnessed: (mind you that this is the first time he played with the puzzle)


So, in addition to summer school there were gymnastic and swim classes.  Kai was hot and cold about gymnastics.  First class was great.  He didn’t want to go home.  Second class, he didn’t want to go to gymnastics.  This pattern continued through the summer.  Not sure if gymnastics will return next year.Then, the swim classes: well, first class went seemingly well…


… until he all of a sudden started crying at the end of class.  I think he was overwhelmed, but from that moment on he did NOT want to have ANYTHING to do with swimming lessons.  I would seriously have to get him in the car while he kicked, screamed, hit and fought the hardest he could.  I was stronger.  I won.  Ms. Linda was great though.  Patience to the point where I envy her.  I wish I had it.  [sigh]  He got better and more comfortable as the month went on, but “loving” it was a loooooooong way away.

All the school, gymnastics, swimming and outdoor play wear a 3-year old out, so it doesn’t matter how much he protested, he would (occasionally) still fall asleep during his “quiet time” in the afternoon.  He would start out playing with his cars, but then fatigue would take over and this is how I would find him several hours later:


Ryder too, got a little taste of sports.  Just want to post this, so that when he goes into basketball at some point, I can proof that he was into it from a young age:


On the “Romance” front: David and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  It was lovely.  David’s “uncle” let us stay at his condo in Manhattan Beach, while our babysitter spent a day and a night with the boys at the house.  Armed with a bottle of bubbles and some delicious cheeses we headed south.  Spent the afternoon at the pool, showered and got dressed to go out for dinner.  Opened the bubbles and chilled, chatted and enjoyed it with cheese and crackers on the balcony.  Once ready for dinner, we had to call a cab to come pick us up ;-)  As we didn’t have dinner reservations at Sashi Sushi, we went across the little square to Shade Hotel & Lounge for some cocktails. 


David and I always “compete”: who gets the better drink.  Oh, did I win this time: not only in taste, but so in presentation: my drink came served in an ice-glass:


Dinner was awesome.  Can’t go wrong with Sushi.  Some great creations, and some “bring us what the Chef recommends”.


[singing:} “Hallelujah!”

The rest of our little get-away: sleeping in, Mimosa’s, Eggs Benedict and Chocolate for breakfast, swimming, lounging and returning home refreshed and happy.  Oh yeah, with some “excitement” on the I-405 on the way back:


Yep, LA traffic sometimes really sucks...

With July behind us, next up is August.  The 2nd half of summer.  The 2nd half of all the fun.  That update coming soon.
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1 comment:

PB Rippey said...

Such GREAT photos! WTH with that truck on fire! Never a dull moment.

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