June was a very busy month for us! Looking back, we have decided we will no longer be planning anything during the month of June because it all gets planned for us! In between Memorial Day and Fourth of July we have: six family birthdays (including my two sons and myself), Father’s Day, and the ending of the school year activities.

At the beginning of the month we finished off Z’s school activities including: co-op group, “big boy preschool”, and homeschool preschool. (For more of this see Preschool: June).

Right after Memorial Day AND the last week of school we had Z’s birthday party. It ended up being pretty rainy but we made the most of it and these PNW kids had no problem playing outside when the sun came out and retreating to the house when it rained again. Z loved his chocolate construction cake and dump truck piñata. (For more on Z’s birthday party and birthday see my post Z=4).

Right after Z’s bday party we switched modes to prep for camping (I know what were we thinking?!). It had been two years since we had gone and we were ready to explore again. We had plans to return to a favorite lake reservoir that we discovered when Z was 2. (For more on this see my post Snapshot: St Helens Camping).

Well the weather showed rainy again but we were determined to make it work. We were able to set up camp with dry weather. It rained during the night but we made it through dry. The next morning we had a reservation to explore a cave. It as Z and G’s first times going into a cave. G did great until he got cold and tired. Z’s feet got tired at the end but he thought it as a ton of fun!

We spent the afternoon at the campground enjoying the sun. G and L took a nap in the hammock while Z and I explored the campground, played at the lake front, and went on a bike ride to the playground. By late afternoon Z was getting tired- we told him to take some time to regroup in the tent. He never got up. He fell asleep at 5:30pm! L and I were surprised.

So we didn’t do hot dogs or smores that night. Then the wind and rain came and we retreated inside. In the morning we began to feel drips on our faces. Even though we had stayed dry through the night our tent had not. All of our clothes were soaked through inside the suitcase! Even our firewood was wet inside the EZ up we had set up over the picnic table. We had a big breakfast and with disappointment decided to pack up. We were prepared for rain, we were not prepared for no dry clothes. We took the long mountain path home and enjoyed the dry warm house and hot pizza that night.

We left that camping trip with a few good memories and plans for the future. First, do not put clothes in a cloth container when camping in the northwest instead put them in plastic bags or a bin-same goes with any other items going in the tent. Second, we will be getting a firepit for our house that we can use whenever we want to in the summer for hot dogs and smores-so we do not have to wait for camping to enjoy this treat! Third, we hope to make a campsite on our property. L already has a good place picked out. With a little effort we can have a “campground” far enough to feel like we are out in the forest but close enough to use the house for food if we need to or the bathroom.

Since L had one more day off for camping, we decided to take the time to go to our local children’s museum. It was a good family day since we had not been to the museum in almost a year. It was also a great way to prep Z for summer camp he would have there in a few weeks.

The next weekend was father’s day. With such a busy season, we laid low for this one. L enjoyed time at home with some great home cooking and the boys and me. The day before we had our first date-day in a very long time and first one provided by KD. The boys did well with us being gone and we were grateful for the rest time together to have fun without an agenda. We enjoyed a local festival, Ramen, and discovering a new pottery store that specialized in Mexican folk art.

The following week was a doozy. We started off by taking Z to the children’s museum for splash camp! He was excited to explore the museum and learn and play with water/water systems. He had a great time and adjusted well back to a “preschool” model with teachers and “camp-mates”. I tried to make sure Z got five to ten minutes of “free play” in the museum before and after camp, which he appreciated. KD was on vacation this week so for the first few days G and I explored the 0-4 year old area of the museum. It was great to get this quality time with G right before his birthday without interruptions. G loved the wall activity boards, the light table, and even the duplo wall.

On Thursday, my in-laws were in town. My mom-in-law came with me to the museum. We enjoyed getting organic Rainer cherries from the farmers market and going to the specialty chocolate store as pre-bday treats for me. The next day was my birthday. Mom-in-law stayed home with G so I got time alone with Z before and after camp AND I got three hours to myself at a coffee shop! Now that was a great birthday present! When we picked Z up from camp we drove straight to a pizza place where we met up with L, the in laws, my parents, and my grandparents to celebrate.

The next day was G’s birthday party! (I told it was a doozy). G was born three days after my birthday and this year it just worked out that his party was right after my birthday. Unlike Z’s bday party, G’s party was on one of the hottest (we hope) days of the year! I had to adjust “My first rodeo” birthday plans to work with weather. We set up the backyard as a “watering hole” with water toys and worked with the shade of the front yard for eating, we also had out horseshoes and rope toss as well as ride on horses.

We took this time with friends and family around us to dedicate G as we have not been able this past year to participate in a church community. G loved his applesauce spice cow print cake (with peanut butter marshmallow rope). The rest of us enjoyed a horseshoe shaped cake with the same flavor while inside the house so the cake wouldn’t melt.

The next day was so hot (108 F) that we packed up and spent the whole day at my parent’s hotel. We got family swim time twice during the day and enjoyed an indoor picnic for lunch. We explore a local tractor/agricultural museum then escaped back to the AC for dinner and more pool time at the hotel. In order to stay cool that night we put one of the kiddy pools in our bedroom with ice leftover from the birthday party in it and pointed a fan at it.

The next day was G’s actual birthday and still about 108 F. This time escaped to my friend’s house where we stayed inside with bubbles and water activities. We enjoyed popsicles and take out dinner then went home.

Z is really working on practicing his bike riding with petals and G is working on walking with his indoor walker and the grocery cart outside. Both boys are enjoying the EZ up over the sandbox that we set up for the party so we have left it there. In the middle of this very busy schedule, we were also able to enjoy some water fun and park play dates. That was our crazy month of June!

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