When I think about Summer I always think about June, July and August but when I summarize our years I’m starting to learn that we really start kicking off the summer fun in May! This year it’s a little different as we are beholden to the school schedule, but we’re making the most of it where we can.
Matthew kicked off the month with his fun run for school! The kiddos run for 30 minutes and collect pledges for each lap. Each class can choose a costume theme, and not surprisingly in a class that’s 75% boys they chose superheroes! Matthew’s teacher encouraged them that they didn’t have to have a commercial superhero outfit and could take an old t-shirt to make a cape and create their own superhero. Matthew chose Super Squirrel! (And if you haven’t read Jen Hatmaker’s take on the end of the school year, take a peek because that is exactly how I felt as this “costume” came together (especially as I’m pretty certain in the chaos of things he also skipped his reading log that day/week/month too). Matthew loved it though!
I helped the next day to cheer on the racers and take some pictures for his teacher. It was sleeting and cold but Matthew squeezed out 29 laps!
Meanwhile poor John was working through his latest cold turned first double ear infection, but managed to squeeze in one smile for a 6 month photo in his hand-me-down dino PJs!
While I love evening reading time, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to its utter chaos. Depending on how John’s last nap went sometimes he joins just to grab at the books and try to eat them while others he’s already asleep. Matthew reads some books to all of us which of course means Catherine needs to take a turn “reading” books to us too, which then of course means Matthew needs to try and correct Catherine as well. When Matthew reads books they also don’t “count” according to Catherine so the whole event devolves into a million books read amidst mild chaos.
That weekend we decided to surprise Grandma and Amma for Mother’s Day! We headed down Friday afternoon without letting them know and caught them just before they settled in for bed. They were certainly surprised! Matthew and Catherine worked on “emails” in the car. According to these little digital natives, any type of note, even with crayon, is considered an email :-)
We woke up and hung out for the day while both grandmas got to love on the grandkids.
We found Color Magic coloring books on clearance and the kids spent a lot of the weekend testing those out and bringing their colorings to life.
On Sunday we had brought a brunch to do in, so the kids got all dressed up for a fancy in-home brunch!
John was amused!
OJ cheers for great moms and grandmas!
More coloring fun!
And some sillies when Aunt Jan came to visit!
Catherine was very sad about something that was very saddening when you’re three I guess.
When we got back it was time for John’s 6 month check-up! He’s actually pretty small compared to our other babies at this age, but what he lacks in weight/height he makes up for in might!
And Catherine got this sucker at something and asked me to take a picture. She loves smiling for pictures she asks me to take but resorts to a death stare if the photo wasn’t her idea.
Matthew’s school hosted their last movie night for the school year. We made Mr. Peabody cupcakes. The kids helped me with these assembly line style adding everything but the black frosting, and then they went free-form with their own!
The next night I hosted my second Murder Mystery Party with an 80s Prom Theme. The kids had fun helping me decorate and playing around with the accessories.
John decided he couldn’t bear to sleep before he knew the guests had arrived safely so he helped me with last minute photo booth testing and set up.
He was happy to have momma’s full attention back Sunday morning!
And then daddy’s:
I headed out on a training/trail run that weekend and saw my first moose while on foot! I stopped to put my rain jacket on at just the right time and saw this gal grazing up the hillside:
I had hoped she’d move down the hill before I came back but unfortunately she had only moved up the hill. Either way it was pretty exciting addition to a very wet and muddy long run.
Happy baby who had just gotten back to some decent sleep habits after travel/ear infection on our way to playgroup:
And a sleepy baby waiting for our car to be fixed! Those decent naps didnt’ last for long with a crazy week ahead.
In Catherine’s big excitement, she earned the opportunity to open her Elsa Lego set! She had some potty training regression after John’s arrival and a bit of jealousy over Matthew’s allowance chart, so we set up a chart for her. If she made it 30 days without an accident she got to open a new lego set. We had a few set backs in the beginning and a very, very devastating set back on day 29 of her 3rd attempt. However, she finally made 30 days and *knock on wood* has stayed accident-free since. She was so excited!
While Catherine Lego-ed, John finished up his dinner:
And Matthew worked on some “coding” practice. Both kiddos have accounts at Kodable and they’ve really enjoyed it so far. We’ll see if it sticks as it gets harder:
In weather news, it’s been raining like crazy in Bozeman, specifically between 3pm and about 3:45pm, just to mess up pick up for Matthew so we’ve been driving a lot more than we’d all like. We were a bit early one day so Catherine asked to borrow my phone. She took a bunch of pictures like this:
And then took these of me and John:
We had a moment to breathe between all the end of the year programs and chaos so we took the chance to do a big Costco run. John got to have his first Costco samples as he kept stealing apple chips from Catherine! He approved!
On our day off we also got busy planning some upcoming adventures, as well as refining Catherine’s birthday party theme, which she chose as “Elsa Batman”:
Brothers hanging out after school while we packed up for our first camping adventure:
As the official kick-off to summer (even though the kids still had 3 weeks of school after) I felt we *had* to do something for Memorial Day. After brainstorming with some friends, we ended up deciding Fairmont Hot Springs was the *safest* bet for camping as it likely wouldn’t dip below freezing at night and we always had the hot springs if the weather turned poor during the day. Also, it’s a pretty stocked campground for the first trip of the season where it’s inevitable that something you assumed was in the camper turns up missing or left in the garage :)
The kids helped unload:
And as they did I noticed a vast difference between camping with them last year versus this year. Last year, they were both needier, often especially while we tried to set-up/take-down. This year they can get into the car themselves, find their snacks/shoes/toys/water bottles themselves and were mostly just average kid annoying, which is much easier to ignore to get the work done :-) James and I even got to sit down and visit while the kids played/explored by themselves a few sites over. John of course need a little bit more attention but he was also pretty content to sit and eat grass while we set up:
Helping tend the fire with mom:
First camping s’mores of the season with two very tired kiddos!
John shockingly slept for a super long stretch in his tent/crib the first night, and then joined us at 6am in the hopes we wouldn’t wake up brother and sister yet!
Then it was time for John’s first camp breakfast burritos!
Silly kids at breakfast:
Of course John needed to nap right as we headed to the pool so he got a snuggle nap with daddy as we gathered our gear:
And then we were off for lots of fun and splashing with friends.
While we’ve seen some babies just nod off in the warmth of the hot springs, John was way too interested in everything and everyone around him but he finally crashed when we got back! For the first time in 5 years this tent/crib finally seemed like a good investment as we had a child sleep in it without a big fuss:
Though we had a 3 day weekend we opted to only camp Friday and Saturday nights, so Sunday morning we were back to packing with our adorable bear supervisor:
The weather turned on us so it was time for winter hats!
And some playtime in the camper where Catherine declared they were “best buds forever"
We packed up and then headed off with friends for a round of mini-golf, feeding the animals at the non-petting “zoo”, playground time and lunch.
On our way home we took a detour to check out Lost Creek Falls tucked away in a neat little canyon. Matthew was adamant about not walking/hiking which we made him do anyway considering the falls were a whole 300 feet from the car. We decided not to press our luck by forcing a picture:
Though he volunteered to take a picture of me:
Though hiking was going to be “too much” according to Matthew, he ran off and up the hill to climb rocks!
John was eager to get home and check the news (which he stole from daddy!):
And this guy was so tuckered out that he fell asleep during quiet time:
Only to ressurect himself as the hulk with his homemade Hulk fists: