I start school again on Monday so I figured I might as well update this now while I still have time.
This summer was great. I took school off for three months so that we could travel around the country with our travel trailer. We were gone for seven weeks. I think we hit 25 states. Felt like we hit more. Started out in Washington, drove to Indiana for a week so the kids could spend some time with daddy's side of the family. Then we drove onto Virginia and saw friends along the way. We spent 10 days in Norfolk and got to see lots of things. Williamsburg, two theme parks, DC, Annapolis, a naval museum, the beach and lots of friends. From there we drove to Tennessee to see more friends and then to Colorado to see some cousins I hadn't seen since before I graduated high school. From there we went down to San Diego for a week so the kids could have some more time with their daddy before he deployed. Then back up I-5 to my parents house where I parked the trailer for a few days and fixed everything that had broken on the trip. "Working the kinks out" is what we will call it. Overall the trip went smoothly and wonderfully. A few things broke and there were a few unexpected huge expenses, but all in all, I would do it again in a heart beat. In fact, when I graduate in a couple years I would love to rent the house out for a year and travel the country. Just me and the kids and the dog this time. We missed her something terrible. So next time she will get to come along. The kids did so wonderful in the car. We did 12- 13 hour days and the kids usually only got out twice to stretch and eat. But I have been training them for this their whole lives. :)
Next summer I want to take a trip up to Alaska. I think it would be wonderful.
The kids have changed so much this summer. Bug is a little jabber box. Her vocabulary is really flourishing. Although she has some favorite phrases. "NO!" "That's mine!" "Me too!" and "Ummm...because" when she is asked a "why" question. Everything her brother does, she has to do too. Bear will tell me he wants to go to the park. Bug pops up with, "I want to go to the park too!" Bear will say, "I am a boy." "I am a boy too!" She just adores him and yet she takes great pleasure in bossing him around and acting like the princess. She put on her shoes the other day but didn't snap them all the way. She walked across the house and went and stood in front of him, pointed her toe out to him and looked at her foot and demanded, "Oah, button my shoe please." And he lovingly bent down and did it for her. He would do just about anything for her. He is wrapped around her little finger. And she knows it.
They love each other so much. Every morning they wake up and whomever wakes up first will crawl in bed with the other and give them a good morning hug. What a sweet way to wake up. They have their moments. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I think they will kill each other with dirty looks. But two seconds later they are best friends again.
Their social skills took on a new level this summer. With meeting so many new people at all the campgrounds we stayed at, they got so used to talking with strangers. We got to my parents house and one of the neighbors came over to say hi. Bear walked right up to him and said, "Hello Sir, my name is Bear. This is my sister, she is two and I am four. We just drove across the county and now we are home." It cracked me up. And of course Bug ran up and put in her two cents. "I drive across country too!" I might need to work with them on not over sharing information.
Bear is on a growth spurt again I think. All of his 4T clothing is starting to be high waterish on his skinny body. He blonded up somewhat on this trip, but Bug is a little toe head now. She got tan and blond haired.
Bears independent kick has reached a new level. I can't do anything for him anymore. He gets up on his own, gets dressed without me asking(some of his outfits kill me to let him walk out of the house the way he does), has to brush him hair by himself, open the car door by himself, buckle himself in. So on and so forth. I am glad that he wants to do this stuff by himself. The part that drives me nuts is that it takes four times as long. So when I am in a hurry to get in the car and get going, he is so stubborn about "doing it by myself mommy! I am four now!"
The potty training went down the tubes. Everything she had accomplished was lost on the trip. But I guess that is to be expected with all of the changes. We are working on it again. She is doing fine with the potty part. Not so fine with the poop part.
She loves to read books now. He loves to "read" to her. Him and I are reading the Laura Ingalls books now. He loves Laura. I started them both in the summer reading program through the library. They are having fun trying to fulfill the goals that have been set.
This fall we are going to try and stay busy. I am going to start them both in swim lessons. Every place we stayed had a pool and the kids had a blast. I bought them noodles and they were swimming around on them by themselves. Bear is still a little nervous though. He is my nervous Nelly. And she just jumps in head first. And I am not just speaking about the pool. Life in general, she just has no fear. He has to sit and think and talk about it and him and haw around. However he did start riding his two wheeler this summer. He went from his skuut bike to a big boy bike and only spent about an hour total on training wheels just so he could learn how to pedal. The pride on his face when he figured out what he was doing was beautiful to me. He was so nervous about me letting go of him. So I told him to aim for his sister and go catch her. He loved that idea and didn't even think about me and where I was. I let go of him after a couple feet and he went about 30 feet chasing his sister. He stopped and looked back at me and got the biggest smile on his face. So the next time I held on to him and gave him a "go push" and I told him to come and chase me. He laughed so hard while I ran in front of him and down the street. He caught up with me and then just passed me by and kept going. That night he figured out how to turn and how to start off by himself with out a "go push." Now we are working on using the brakes instead of his feet. :) Bug wants so badly to be able to use the skuut bike, but she is still about an inch too short. I give her a year before she is on a two wheeler, she is just so darn determined and unafraid. She gets up on his 16" bike that still has training wheels and trys to ride that.
Eventually I want to start Bear with piano lessons. I am still working on getting a piano for him.
In October we are going to take another mini vacation down to Southern California. Disneyland will definitely be on the schedule this time.
I am glad to be home. It is nice to be able to move around and have a full kitchen to cook in. And doors on the kids doors is nice too. For me and them. But I feel restless. I don't know why yet. I changed a lot on this trip. Internally. I learned a lot about myself and made some decisions in my life. I am stronger now. Ready for a new chapter in my life to begin, whatever that may be. It was a good summer.
White Bean, Sausage, and Kale soup
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