Although the weather has not been as hot this year as the previous two years that we've been in Sacramento, it definitely feels like summer is upon us. We're in the mad dash that accompanies the end of the school year. And, this year, it's also a transition time for us because our time with our nanny, Linda Ann, is coming to an end and Alden will be transitioning to his Montessori school starting in July.
We've been transitioning to the summer way of life the last few weeks -- spending weekends on bike rides, barbequing with friends, going to the county fair, heading to our neighborhood pool on the days that creep over 100 degrees, and taking day trips to the river or zoo, playing in our garden and harvesting our tomatoes, making pies and other summer treats, and enjoying each other's company.
Alden has really been enjoying our adventures. It's amazing what a difference a year makes. Alden now really understands everything that is going on around him. He wants to be part of the action and participating in all the activities. One of his favorite new phrases is, "my turn!" And he demands to have a turn with every activity. He was SO excited to be able to ride the rides at the county fair, and Kai -- being the amazing big sister she always is -- was happy to ride along with him, drumming up his excitement and making a big deal about the cars and ladybugs that do nothing but go round in circles.
Alden also is able to anticipate activities. When we were out exploring various spots on the North Fork of the American River recently, Alden was getting extremely restless in the car. We were on a somewhat treacherous road with many deep pot holes and a cliff (with no guard rail) on one side of the winding and steep path. It was a bit concerning, and difficult to navigate with a shouting, yelling, whining toddler in the back. We told him to be quiet and he yelled, "NOOOOO!" with all his two year old might. Then I asked him if he wanted more orange juice (we had stopped earlier in the day and got "bug juice" which is essentially Kool-Aid and Kai had gotten the blue flavor and Alden the orange flavor), he considered this for a moment and then said, "Blue. Me blue." I asked him if he wanted the blue juice and he said, "YESSS!" I told him to look outside and asked him if he saw a store. He looked and confirmed that there was no store. So then I told him that he needed to be quiet until he saw the store -- and if he was quiet until he saw the store then he could have blue juice at the store. We still had a good 20 minutes of driving before we'd get there, so I was pretty sure this wasn't going to work for more than 5 minutes. But, he got really quiet. About 5 minutes later, he started to whine softly and I said, "Alden, if you whine, no blue juice." He grew quiet again, scanning outside to see if we were any closer to a store. At one point, he pointed outside at some trees and clouds and yelled, "ORE! ORE!" pretending to see the store. I said, "Alden, that's a tree. Not a store." He smiled mischievously. But, somehow, it worked. We pulled up to the store eventually and Eric asked if I should just run in or if they should all get out. I was already mostly out of the car, as was Kailey, and I said, "go ahead and park and come in." Alden did not totally understand what was going on -- he just knew that Kai and I were out of the car at the place with the juice while he was still in the car, and he lost his mind. Eric said he was screaming his head off while he parked. I was in the store looking at the juice case when Alden came tearing into the store with a deranged look in his eyes while he tore around the corner to where I was standing, huffing and puffing and pointing at the juice while shouting, "ME. JUICE. BLUE. ME." It was hilarious. It was also so impressive that he managed to stop whining for 20 minutes, earning himself that precious blue juice.
It is going to be a fun summer. Alden and Kai enjoy playing with each other so much -- and she is so good about including him in activities. I think he is going to love being in school. And, Kai has an impressive line up of camps and other fun activities. My goal is to write at least a weekly update of our adventures -- but, for now, here are the pictures for our lead-up to a summer of fun: