There is only one word to sum up the past month or so...busy! We have been on the go from the moment school wrapped up for Olivia. Packing as much as we can into our short but sweet summer, my girls have loved every moment so far.
A few days before closing the book on her kindergarten year Olivia's school held a special ceremony for the kids that were moving up into the Lower Elementary classroom next year. This is a big deal for these kids as many of them have spent the past 3-4 years in their current classroom with the same teacher.
The coolest part for me was seeing so many of these kids, that have been together from the very beginning, celebrating their accomplishments together! Good gracious, I was proud of my Olivia that day!
A few days later Olivia said goodbye to her friends for the summer and to the teacher that has taught her more than I could have ever imagined over the past 4 years. Ms. Laura will be moving to Florida later this summer, so Cecilia won't be lucky enough to receive 4 years of education from Ms. Laura. I am pretty devastated. The good news is that Olivia has been able to spend a few more weeks with Ms. Laura during her school's summer camp. The time to say good-bye is approaching. This Friday will be the last day Olivia will spend with Ms. Laura as her teacher. I can only imagine how hard that good bye is going to be.
Within a few days of school being out for the summer the girls and I hopped on a plane to California. This was Olivia's annual trip to visit Aunt Sue Sue...her 8th I believe, but Cecilia's first. We all flew out with my Mom. Cece and I spent one week in California before returning, while Olivia stayed a few extra days with my Mom.
I think we hit the beach on one of our first days. That's usually our first stop during our visits. It was a tad chilly, but that did not stop the girls from having a fabulous time! It was a great day!
Each day we took the girls to do something fun. We enjoyed some nice lunches overlooking the ocean, explored a few oceanic museums, and rode a few rides on the Santa Cruz boardwalk.
We tried to take the girls out on the boat to see some sea life but the weather was not cooperating. There is no denying that Cece looked simply adorable in her life jacket, but she was not thrilled about wearing it. Luckily for her she did not have it on very long. We may not have had the chance to see dolphins and whales up close, but we did make sure Cecilia saw some seals. She loved them and spent the rest of the week calling for, "seals, seals!".
The area in which my Aunt lives in California is surrounded by many beautiful wineries. My idea of the perfect day would be wine tasting, but when you are traveling with two small children they tend to have different activities in mind. When given the choice between wineries and the park, can you guess which one they chose? We took a trip to a beautiful playground minutes down the road from my Aunt. Cece was a very happy camper that day...Olivia too!
One of the things Olivia looks forward to the most during her California visits is reuniting with her buddy Peter. Peter is the neighbor dog and Olivia simply adores him. I think the feeling is mutual as Peter seems to really like Olivia as well. The neighbors not only have two wonderful full sized poodles but they also have the most beautiful coy pond, filled with some of the largest fish I have ever seen. Cecilia was simply fascinated with these fish and I think she would have jumped right in if I didn't stop her. Olivia, being the older sister gets the privilege of feeding them.
Cecilia was on her best behavior (most of the time) during our trip. We were on the go each day and were often on the go during nap time. There were times when the poor girl just needed to crash...and so she did!
With our week winding down we made sure to get Cece to the beach one more time. Olivia would have more chances to get to the beach during her extra days, but Cece and I were getting ready to head home. My girls would spend every day, all day at the beach if they could. Getting them to pack up and head home was no easy task.
We had tons of memorable experiences during our trip to California. Many of them were firsts for Cece but just another annual visit for Olivia. When we weren't running all over the place doing fun things, the girls were just perfectly happy playing with their Aunt Sue Sue. Both of my girls adore my Aunt and I think the feeling is pretty mutual! We are very grateful to her and my Uncle Ron (Uncle Biggie) for showing us such a great time.
As soon as Olivia returned from California she had to prep for her annual dance recital. This year she was in three dances as well a a special dance with me, her Mom. Cecilia even got a taste of the big stage when she joined Olivia and I, along with all of the other dance teachers and their kids, for a little dance at the end of the show.
Olivia did an amazing job in all of her dances. She remembered her routines, and most importantly...enjoyed herself. I had a handful of people come up to me after the recital and tell me how she just lit up the stage. I simply could not get over how grown up she looked in all of her costumes.! I am proud of her hard work this year and excited to watch her grow as a dancer.
As much as I want to continue this blog post and talk all about Cecilia's 2nd birthday I think it I need to wrap it up and save it for next time. Let me tell you this...the party was a huge success. I officially have a two year old running around our house, and she definitely lives up to the everything they say to expect with a two year old. It challenging and rewarding all at once. Gotta love that face though!