After our fabulous trip to Argentina and Brazil with my parents, the boys’ summer vacations were coming to an end. Here are a few of the activities that kept the boys busy until Danny and Patrick started school again. Danny and Kev celebrated Chinese New Year with outfits purchased in China by their uncle Dan a couple years ago.
From a vendor on a street corner, I bought a weird looking fruit that the vendor told me was a Brazilian “yaka” fruit. Google research told me that in English we call it jack fruit. I was sure the nannies would know how to cut it and use it, but they did not. Neither had ever seen a yaka before. Danny said that the skin of the fruit was like the skin of a dinosaur. It was heavy and Patrick liked to carry it up on his shoulder just like the water delivery guys carry the big bottles into our house. When I cut the fruit open, it was hard and not quite ripe and it was so sticky that we had to soak the knife in extremely hot water to get it clean. Perhaps not the best investment since we threw it away and didn’t eat it, but the kids had fun with it.
This summer Kev ate Korean barbecue for the first time. Although he made a mess, he loved the rice and beef. So did his brothers!
This summer all three boys took swim lessons in the pool in our backyard.
Patrick made his first visit to the emergency room (the third of the brothers to do so). While jumping on the couches and chairs in the family room (which we have frequently discouraged as dangerous) he fell and split open his forehead on the piano. Brian and I took him to the hospital where the doctor recommended glue rather than stitches to close the wound. He was a brave patient!
Over the summer, we had a big thunderstorm that knocked out power to our neighborhood in the mid-afternoon. It was still out when the kids went to bed. I called an Italian restaurant in our neighborhood to see if they had power and were open and could deliver dinner for me and Brian. The woman on the phone assured me the restaurant was open but said she would confirm the take out order in 15 minutes since she wasn’t sure anyone could deliver the food to us. With the storm, phones weren’t working very well and I never heard back from her, so after an hour we gave up and had salad and peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. Another hour after that, we were in bed and I woke up to the sound of a guy clapping outside our open window. I looked and saw the delivery guy with our food order that had never been confirmed. Since our doorbell wasn’t working, he was clapping to get our attention. I paid for the food, put it in the fridge for the next day, and went back to bed. Thankfully the power came back on during the night.
Over the summer Baby Kev got better and better at moving around, though he still falls and crashes quite a bit. Maria says he moves so fast constantly trying to keep up with his big brothers and he often trips and falls trying to run as fast as he can. Poor baby often has bruises! This bike seems to be a safer option for him since he can be strapped into it. The brothers love pushing him in it!
One day Maria brought the boys small balloons which they filled with water and used for a water balloon fight.
One night Brian heard a cat meowing and meowing but didn’t think anything of it. The next morning we all went outside to leave for church and saw a cat trapped in the sharp concertina wire on top of the wall surrounding our property. When we got back from church the cat was still stuck, but in a different position. We weren’t sure how best to help the animal, so Brian taped a plastic container to a broomstick to try to give it some water, but the cat didn’t want it. Thinking that the cat had been been trapped all night, had lost a bit of blood (it was on the wall and the ground below the cat), and was refusing water made us think that it might be curtains for kitty soon.
Eventually we came to the conclusion that one of us would have to climb a ladder for a rescue mission. Since Brian is allergic to cats, I went up the ladder. I first tried to give the cat some water and then using a towel I tried to pull the cat free from the wire. As I did that, our neighbor opened her second floor window (which conveniently overlooked the trapped cat). She identified the cat as her pet Claudio and she came over and rescued the poor critter. Although Claudio had quite a few cuts on his tail and midsection, he thankfully seemed okay and our audience of Danny and Patrick were thrilled.
Another day, Patrick caught a tiny lizard in our house – every little boy’s dream!
One weekend morning, Danny woke up, grabbed a book, and asked if he could climb into Mommy and Daddy’s bed and if I would read to him. I said sure so he climbed in and snuggled right up next to me. About three pages into the book, Danny threw up all over me, him, the book, the sheets, and my iPad. The poor guy spent the most of the day on the couch, throwing up occasionally and napping frequently. By the late afternoon, he was back to his old silly self.
This summer Danny and Patrick attended a one week camp at the Embassy where they played tennis, swam, used the slip n slide, and did science experiments and arts and crafts. The boys especially liked the tennis portion of the camp.
At the end of the summer Danny went to the eye doctor and we learned he needs glasses. An eye exam showed that his vision far is bad and his vision close is worse, so he needs bifocals. The doctor also noted that his eyes aren’t working very well together, so he needs to wear an eye patch for two hours a day alternating eyes each day.
We went back a few days later to pick up the glasses. He looks so cute with his new eyewear! He liked them too, since he could immediately see better, and even asked if he could sleep with his glasses on that night.
Danny and Patrick continued with their piano lessons this summer.
Finally, summer vacation came to an end and it was time for Danny and Patrick to go back to school. Patrick returned to the American School for the second semester of kindergarten. Danny started at a new preschool founded by the teachers of his old school after the director had retired and closed the old school last year. Here they are on their first day of school!
Danny’s glasses weren’t ready to be picked up until later that day, so here are the boys on their second day of school.
When Brian and I asked Mercedes if her mornings were much calmer with Patrick and Dan out of the house most of the day, she said, “It’s incredible how easy it is with just one kid at home!”
Now that Kev is the only one home all day, he has free reign over all the toys. Last weekend, Danny spent a lot of time wearing a superhero cape. Once the big kids were off to school, Kev practically dragged Mercedes over to the cape and pointed at it until she got the message and put it on him! He kept the cape on all morning!
Kev has also had more time to perfect his baby tradecraft, mastering skills like taking off his clothes during nap time. Maria went to wake up Kev from his nap and she found him fully nude in his crib. He had somehow taken off his sleep sack, taken off his jammies by sliding out the neck hole, and then taking off his diaper. Maria was most impressed that he did all of that silently – the baby monitor never picked up a sound.