After getting back from the family gathering at Papa's house, we were ready to be in full summer mode. We got all the summer toys set up in the yard and porches, and enjoyed a lot of time outside. We celebrated the fourth of July with a fun barbeque at Uncle Bill, Aunt Michele, and Jason's. Geema, Michael, and Grams were also there. It was a beautiful day, and Bill and Michele provided delicious food as usual. Seth had a great time exploring the fish pond and gardens that Bill and Michele put together, and he also had fun looking at all of Bill's sculptures around the yard.
Aunt Emily was out visiting from California, so she came down to our house for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa, which was great! She hadn't been to our house before, so it was fun to show her around. She enjoyed spending time with Seth and meeting Evan! Aunt Emily has worked in child care/education/policy for a long time, and I've gotten some great parenting advice from her over the years. Thanks, Aunt Em!
Then, in mid-July, we had our fabulous vacation in Cape Cod with Chuck, Jenn, Katie, and Sam. We had such a great time! This was our third year vacationing with Chuck and Jenn, and it is a really nice tradition that we look forward to (the kids, too!). We stayed in the same beach house we stayed in last year in South Yarmouth, and it was nice to be familiar with the set-up. Chuck and Jenn had stayed their for an additional week before we got there, so they were awesome and had it all set up for us. We stayed in the three bedrooms downstairs, and it worked out really well for the boys to have their own rooms.
It was especially exciting because Seth is old enough now that he can stay in a bedroom in a new place without it phasing him. We brought his inflatable bed and did some baby-proofing, but he was excited to have his own little space. And, very excitingly, Evan had just become an accomplished sleeper at almost 6 months old, so he was able to fall asleep on his own for naps and bedtime. This meant that after we put all four kids to bed, the adults had a good couple hours together in the evening to hang out, chill, talk, play games until Evan woke up for a feeding.
We went to the beach about every other day for most of the day, which was perfect. Jenn and Chuck had purchased this big shaded tent, so between that and all of our other items, we had a great shaded play area set up. Seth and Katie and Sam had a lot of fun digging in the sand, getting buried in the sand, flying kites, and playing in the water. Seth loves the ocean now, and it is great to see him enjoying the water. We took Evan in the ocean a couple times, and he seems to be a water baby, too. He loved to "pat pat pat" the water, and seemed to enjoy being nice and cool in the ocean.
We did a lot of the other things that have become traditions to us - went to Hyannis for the carousel and Brazilian barbeque, had brunch at Pancake Man, went to the Zooquarium (they had baby skunks this year!) where Seth could have spent the whole day playing on their little train, and went to a Cape Cod League baseball game. We took Seth miniature golfing for the first time, which he really took to. Most holes he got at least an eight, but on one hole he legitimately got a two!! Schooled us! He was so cute because he wanted me to show him each time how to position his little hands on the club. Jason wins the award for golfing one handed while wearing Evan in the carrier.
We also once again spent a nice evening with our friends Gina and John - dinner, beach, and ice cream - perfect! We visited some friends from Suffield Academy who have a summer home nearby, which was fun. We also spent a really fun evening on Mayflower beach in Dennis - a great location we had heard about from Gina and John. We went at lowtide, and we could just walk and walk on the sandbar. Seth loved it - he ran and splashed and shrieked. We caught little hermit crabs, and he decided he wanted to "set them free." Aside from eating entirely too much ice cream, that was our vacation.
Upon returning from the Cape, we settled into our summer routine. On Tuesday afternoons, we went to pick up our summer farmshare vegetables. Seth enjoyed helping us choose the vegetables and looking at the oxen. From there, we took Seth to gymnastics class, which he loves. This is his third summer taking the Tiny Tots class, and he is almost ready to pass on to the next level. On Thursday mornings, I took the boys to Music Together class. Seth has been participating in music class since he was nine months old, and it has definitely helped him gain an appreciation of music. It has been fun to see Evan start to look around and listen in class, as well.
We went to some activites at the library, and Seth has enjoyed checking out books. Seth also participated in a three-day Tennis for Tots program run by the town. I didn't quite know what to expect, but he had so much fun! This was the first class he did "on his own," with me watching instead of standing right next to him. He was a little timid at first, but got right into it and was very cute participating in the little drills and activities. His favorite was "punching the ball" over the net and "walking the dog" (pushing the ball around the court with the racket).
We had lots of fun visits, including a barbeque at Ericka and Walter's house, where we got to see cousins Jessy and Lisa. We saw Auntie Kara, and we had a fun outing to the Imagine Nation Museum in Bristol with Seth's friend Elizabeth. We walked on the Rail Trail with Grams and played in the sprinkler. We spent fun evenings with Geema and played with the sand and water table. We had a nice visit with Papa. We went to Northwest Park and had ice cream for dinner. We went for a nice visit to Rhode Island to spend the day with Nana and Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Sandi. Seth always has a blast with Nana - she always has so much energy to play with him. She got some snuggle time with Evan, which she loved. We were so happy that cousin Lindsay and Jeremy came, too, with Lila and their newborn daughter Nina. She is so sweet and it was wonderful to meet her.
Looking back, July was sure a busy and fun month!