I know how we got here but somehow August is staring us in the face. It has been a fun adventure filled summer thus far. While we haven’t taken any trips or done any bucket list type items, we have certainly been doing our best to enjoy the opportunities around us. A big part of this shift has been Gabe’s age. He is simply able to do more, enjoy more, and experience more. The awe and wonder of this age is great.
At the beginning of June we headed to Elkus Ranch for their Sheep to Shawl day. While I knew Gabe would be a bit young for this I still wanted to see the ranch and was confident there would be some fun for Gabe. And there was. From grinding corn to feed the animals, to petting the goats, playing with wool, and chasing chickens we had a wonderful time exploring and taking in the ranch. It was so nice to see some of the south coast. I’m looking forward to more activities at Elkus as Gabe gets older.
That same day we decided to do lunch at the beach. We continued south looking for a less crowded beach. And boy did we find one. A normally closed off beach was open and we took advantage of it. It was so pristine and perfect. We quickly set up our beach tent (Ohmygoodness! These things are awesome!) and ate lunch on an almost private beach. It couldn’t have been a better day with warm sunny weather. We took Gabe down to the water. He lit up with excitement as the waves crashed against his legs. It was COLD but he didn’t care. He squealed in delight. The sand in his toes, the movement of the water. He is 100% sold on the beach. He loved it. And he has loved each trip to the beach since. He is happy to play with his sand toys, digging and dumping. Or trying to run head first into the cold water. It’s just so much fun.
In contrast to the beach we’ve also done a few trips to a kid pool over the hill. We were introduced to one in Palo Alto during a MOPS playdate and loved it. It is a nice break from our foggy cold summer. Gabe loves it but man, it is quite a bit of work keeping up with him. He is not the kid the stays in one place, nope, he wants to explore ALL of the pool and it is a big one. It’s still fun to go for several hours and head home. Great energy expenditure!
We were delighted to see the whales returned to the harbor for quite the feast this year. After seeing them feasting for a week we decided to stop and take it in. Gabe didn’t quite see the whales but he was certainly interested in all the birds flying around! We also had lots of playdates, park trips, and everyday life excursions to fill out our days. He held up to several long days of furniture shopping. He got to experience having another kid his age come over and play with his toys. So many wonderful things to take in.
Lots of wonderful things to celebrate this summer. We celebrated Father’s day and summer solstice together this year. We surprised Will with balloons, movie theatre candy, and handmade movie tickets for Star Wars later that evening. But really the best part was the lightsaber card I made for him. Then that afternoon we went over to friends to celebrate summer solstice. We did the entire meal in an outdoor woodburning oven! Everything from pizza to roast beef and potatoes. And of course the watermelon and blueberries that the kids ate their weight in. I can haz clay oven??? Gabe got to meet Melanie’s chickens and feed them mealworms. I basically spent the whole day chasing him around the yard. Of all the days Gabe could choose to be super active this was it.
The 4th of July was spectacular! We donned our best red white and blue, decorated the stroller, and walked in our local 4th of July parade. Our local mothers club always takes part in the parade and since I am a member we get to take part. We ended up running into people we didn’t expect and had an absolute blast. We waved, strolled, and walked down main street. At the end we pulled off to the side and watched the rest of the parade. This is also where Will showed Gabe where the shutter button is on the camera. Afterwards we grabbed some food and headed home. At this stage it was really nice to take part in something that didn’t last for hours and hours. It was just enough to feel like we took part in something, celebrated with others and then headed home for some good eats. Something I am very much looking forward to making a tradition.
To round out the celebrations we had friends over for Will’s birthday. It was a feast per usual. Gabe did an amazing job of being the center of attention. He basically sat at the table for the whole lunch and ate, and ate and ate. We had to cut him off from aioli. Good thing it was a bath night. It warms my heart to see people so smitten with him. He totally fed off it too. It was a wonderful time had by all.
It’s amazing to say just how much I’ve watched him transition into toddlerhood in these last two months. There has only been one time before where I have noted such a drastic transition. It’s crazy and amazing all in the same. I can’t say it was one thing inparticular. It’s as if he has shaken off more pieces of his younger self and is fully embracing toddlerhood.
Life without a cast on is great. It is amazing to me how once you are out of a particular situation you don’t look back. And we certainly didn’t. It took a good month or so for his leg to strengthen back up and for his gate to return to normal. I think everything healed up nicely and we have not looked back. No more broken bones, please.
He had his first haircut in June. While I was completely smitten with his long hair, I couldn’t deny the fact that he kind of looked like Doc Brown. Especially when he rubbed his messy hands in his hair. It was hard to see him as this clean cut little boy but he soooo needed to have everything cut to one length. He did pretty good for his first cut. He sat in Will’s lap and cried while Brian cut his hair. No thrashing or fighting. Just a cry of protest. He was of course all smiles afterwards. I did indeed keep a lock of his hair.
He’s still eating all the food. We’ve kind of gone wild for berries this summer. I’ve started going back to the farmers market which has contributed to our berry problem. He’s making friends with the farmers… flirting really. There is one who we buy from regularly who loves to give him not just a piece but a whole fruit! We transitioned off the bottle and onto a straw sippy cup. I wish that meant I didn’t still have to prepare bottles but I do. To this day, this kid does not like cold milk.
I’ve stopped counting the number of teeth he has. In the last three months so many have pushed through and continue to push through. He’s been a trooper through all of it. He can now walk on his tip toes. He can climb up on the couch on his own… no more leaving one cushion off. The climbing also includes climbing up on the hearth as well as up onto our bed via the chest that sits in front of it. He is sliding backwards off things. Walks up the stairs using the handrail. Sliding down the stairs in every which way. We’ve had a few falls and a ton of bruises but at the same time there is such an increase in confidence and stability.
And one of my more favorite things, holding my hand as we walk.
So now, with August here, we head off to enjoy what the rest of summer has for us.
PS: I really abhor what Jetpack is doing to my photos. I’ll add finding a solution to my long list of things that need attention. Until then, here are some good quality pictures that have been compressed and squished to make me look like I don’t know what I’m doing with a camera.