Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer is here!

Excited at the ice cream shop
Today is the summer solstice and the days have been so long. It's even more noticeable in Indiana where we're on the westernmost area on the Eastern timezone. It's not completely dark until about 10pm. Ava has been staying up later and later. The days of winter hibernation are long over and now we're in summer mode: going to bed later and waking up earlier with the extra light.

Tonight we made our pizza on the grill instead of using the oven on a hot day. Last summer we changed our Friday night pizza tradition to the grill, but since today was the first day we had to remember how we did it. This time we made it on a metal pizza pan on the grill and it worked out great! It takes longer than the oven, but Ava had a TJ's peach pop after school so she was fine to wait longer for her dinner. I make a whole wheat dough for our pizza and top it with cheese, fresh spinach, pepperoni, and olives.

A couple weeks ago, we took an impromtu Sunday afternoon trip to a local ice cream shop after Ava's nap. Ava got a chocolate ice cream cone and it was so huge that Aaron had to help her eat it! She was excited because her cone had chocolate and sprinkles!

Her favorite flavor is chocolate!
The ice cream shop is on the Monon Trail and we walked a bit afterwards. Then we saw lots of geese and ducks on the canal. We stopped into a local heath food store that sells corn for ducks. That can't be good. But it's probably better than feeding them bread. Ava felt brave enough to carefully drop the kernals to feed the ducks, but the geese were more interested. One of the geese was especially friendly and walked right up to us. I was shocked! We saved the rest of the duck food for another trip.

Ava just wrapped up her soccer season at school today. She asked to do gymnastics instead of soccer. Last month, she went to her friend's birthday party at a gymnastics place. She had a blast, especially loved jumping on the trampoline. I signed her up for some classes in July to try out to see if she will like it. She has also asked for ballet classes and thankfully we can do that on-site at her preschool so that may be in the near future too. We're excited that she is able try some new activities. 
Feeding geese

I'm amazed by how fast she's growing up - emotionally and physically! She must have been going through a growth spurt because we're starting to put away the 3T outfits for 4T, especially in shirts and dresses. She is tall and skinny so the 3T bottoms fit better. I'm amazed by how much she is developing friendships and recognizing social cues. Her emotional development is top of mind right now and we talk about every detail of her day. She tells me about her friends and who hurt her feelings or made her laugh. I believe that the openness of our relationship now will help in those awkward teen years.

Our garden isn't booming like we had hoped, sadly. When we scoped out the garden spot in early spring, the sun was in a different spot and there were no leaves on the trees. Our garden doesn't get much direct sunlight especially now that the trees have filled in so much. Aaron is thinking about cutting some tree limbs directly above our garden. We have some cucumbers and a few green tomatoes developing, but the peppers and cauliflower have been eaten by slugs. We finally have kept the deer away with the netting, but the garden has been attacked by a mole and slugs. We also suspect our new topsoil is packed down to much. Next year, we'll have compost to mix in and we'll aerate the soil to see if that improves it. We keep learning each year. I hope one day we'll have the garden that we've been dreaming about to provide vegetables through the summer. I really want to make salsa with all our veggies.

We're really looking forward to some lake weekends up north to visit Aaron's family. We're heading up on a long weekend around the 4th of July and then have plenty of lake time in the next few months. Ava is really excited to go swimming in the lake and see her family and friends. We were up a couple weeks ago and the lake water was still very cold. No doubt we'll be swimming on the 4th! We're excited that summer is finally here!

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