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Well, this could possibly be my last Summer Roundup since I won’t have Summer’s off anymore, so brace yourselves for a long (and very delayed) recount of our Summer.

We started off strong washing the car and using our imaginations with a cardboard box.  The boys loved using their tools to make holes everywhere.  Jake kept telling me he was making a window, which I thought he was playing pretend, only to turn around and realize that he had actually used his toy saw to LITERALLY cut through the cardboard and make a window, ha!

On week 2 of my vacation, we went on a nice little trail walk with some friends.  I had found these awesome trail/hike checklists in the dollar section at Target, so I used some rubber bands to attach them to books, stuck a crayon through the rubber band, and each kid got to have one to check things off they saw along the way.  It was also during this walk that I got the call from the District about interviewing for my current position, so my mind was already freaking out about my time with the boys.

Another adventure we went on that I’ve been wanting to check off the list for a while was the Newport Beach Back Bay.

I didn’t really have a clue where we were going, so I started at what I’m sure is a random point of the trail, at the foot of a canyon road.  The view was great and we got to look for pretty cool stuff.  There were also a couple people working in the wetlands, and Jake asked me what they were doing.  I told him he should ask them to find out, which he did, in the most adorable way possible, and found out they were doing research on some snails, which wouldn’t you know, was one of the items on our checklist!

We walked more than was comfortable in the heat to a building that ended up being a closed science facility, and after some phone research realized the exciting building was all the way around the trail, so….we walked all the way to the car and drove around to the other side of the loop ;)  The Muth Interpretive Center was pretty cool, and provided a nice little break from the sun.  It also had a whole room of children’s activities, which was great until mommy started getting hangry and neither boy wanted to leave.

Towards the beginning of my break we also went on an excursion with Gran Gran to San Juan Capistrano.  I always forget how nice it is to just walk around over there – even if you have nothing planned.  The kids loved the playground, and grandma and I loved lunch at Sundried Tomato – yum!  We ate on their outside patio and it was just a perfect day for it!  We ended the day by walking around Mission San Juan Capistrano– the boys loved looking for the koi fish.

Another thing I got to check off my list was going to Balboa Island.  I’ve always wanted to go and just walk around.  It was a little harder going solo with two kids, but it was a nice morning out.  The kids enjoyed a nice donut from one of the local shops, and absolutely LOVED the ferry ride to Newport.  I’m so glad it was worth it, because the line to cross was LONG.

You see that first picture?  That’s Jake not being impressed by anything that we’re doing.  Which…when I’m exhausted from packing up the car, piling them in, taking them out, and trying to find something cool for them to do, just rubs me raw.  Thankfully the attitude didn’t last too long….After the ferry crossing, we went to the beach and the boys got to play in some sand dunes, and I have no idea why Josh decided to start walking his bike that day instead of riding it, haha.

We also hit up the Discovery Cube – I’ve been wanting to go for a while since that cube is so iconic on the 5 freeway, and…they had a dinosaur exhibit!  Jake just started getting into dinosaurs, so I really wanted to take him before the exhibit was over.

I will say…I think our visit was a little premature.  For what it cost to get in (plus parking and a mediocre lunch in their cafeteria since I didn’t time things right and was STARVING and didn’t think I had the patience to walk to the car, load ’em up, and go somewhere else), it wasn’t worth taking them at these ages, or at least taking them by myself.  Josh was Josh, so he was all over the place and not Mr. Safety about staying near me.  This meant I couldn’t really spend time showing Jake all the stuff they had or explaining what the cool stuff did, or reading to him what everything meant.  I was just constantly trying to make sure I didn’t lose either kid, haha.

I’m not saying they didn’t have cool things for the kids to do and see – but I think the money will be more worth it once Josh gets a little older and we can actually do some of the stuff they have, rather than walking around like crazy people.

We did our annual trip to Adventure Playground in Irvine, and the boys had a blast.  I really wish I/we took them here more often – they have so much fun!

Jake never left the Legos – he made some friends and helped build a giant house that quickly became a safety hazard, haha.  Josh went straight for the mud and had a blast! I did plan ahead on this one and we had a nice picnic on the lawn outside of the playground.

We also enjoyed a trip to the library, our annual visit to see Nina and have lunch at The Proud Bird while we watched the plans land and take off, visits from AZ family, and some pool time at Joy’s house.

We also enjoyed just being home.  We hung out in the backyard and front yard when it wasn’t too hot.  Painted rocks for our garden, and enjoyed our little pool.

The first picture above is Jake holding Josh while they watch a lizard.  Because, you know…lizards are scary!  The picture with the tricycle…they’re both using their tools to fix it – love it!  The boys also got to look for June bugs at night with daddy – one of my favorite Summer moments but not pictured because there was too much naked butt from Josh.  Speaking of Josh’s naked butt…

He spent a lot of time in just a shirt this Summer.  I have some pretty great pictures but realized it’s not appropriate to publish pictures of my son’s naked butt.  But trust me: they’re adorable!  We tried unsuccessfully to potty train him this Summer…I think we were a little premature but I’m gonna give it another shot when I’m home for Thanksgiving.  It was a lot of laundry and pee everywhere and sitting with him in the bathroom a lot reading A Potty for Me...and it’s frustrating that it was for naught, but I also didn’t want to push it too much and make him hate the bathroom.  Jeff and I are so sick of changing those big boy poopy diapers…not to mention still having to buy diapers all the time.

Finally – I think I had a big breakthrough this Summer on letting things go.  As much as we did in our shortened Summer, I had a lot more on our calendar, haha.  From day one I told myself that just because something was on the calendar, it didn’t mean we had to do it, and I had to realize that not doing something didn’t count as a failure and that I should feel disappointed in myself for not doing it.  It just meant I enjoyed doing other things with the boys that I didn’t need to plan or stress for.  I think Jeff is the only one that might realize how huge that was for me to let go of, haha.

I was crazy enough to take on painting the toy room with the boys on my own.  It was as stressful as I imagined it would be, but Jeff helped me finish it off and the boys enjoyed being a part of it.  I sorted and organized more LEGO’s this Summer than I probably every will again, haha.  Not sure if I already blogged about our toy room upgrades, but we bought this toy organizer for our LEGO’s and it worked out really great.  Not that you could tell now, haha.

My goal now that I won’t have Summer’s off with the boys anymore is to incorporate the things we did then, during our weekends.  Which is such a huge challenge.  Weekends are already packed with laundry, groceries, home projects, now soccer for Josh on Saturday’s, and of course all the other things I commit ourselves to.  But I really need to start making time to just DO stuff with the boys on a regular basis – rather than waiting until I have time off.

How do you make quality family time a reality on your weekends?  What are you favorite Summer adventures?