Wow! I’m really behind. Summer has overtaken me! Our big trip of the summer was to the Russian River to our family cabin on the water. Every year, the experience is different, with different weather, different creatures, and new things the boys want to try.
Our big behavioral reinforcer we use with the boys is Jelly Bellys, so we had to make a trip over to the factory. Despite looking up the factory’s hours of operation to ensure it would be running when we went, they decided to shut it down and not post it on their website. It was only shut down during the dates we were up there. Ugh! Anyway, we could still tour it, and see all the machines, not in operation, and covered up. It was a little awkward. But we got to watch videos and sample some Jelly Bellys, so it was still special.
We had our friends join us at the cabin, because it’s just a lot more fun with more people! It was a great time catching up! Here we are making delicious GFCF brownies!
We spent part of each day in the river. I was so glad the boys were comfortable in the water this time. They tried to catch fish with their bare hands, and loved catching weeds as they floated by.
We even caught some crawdads! I’ve heard so many names for these things, and really haven’t heard any name more than the others, so I never knew what to call them… crawdads? Crayfish? And then Daddy threw out “Crawdaddies.”
We saw lots of creatures! I saw my first fox and my first bat!
My little guy fights it, but he still needs a nap. He even curled up on my lap and went to sleep while sitting in the river.
One memorable night, we went to check on the boys after they’d gone to bed, and found them like this. We were baffled as to how these positions came about.
A fun little perk to walking to and from the water, is looking for newly ripened black berries, for a little snack en route.
We always visit the nearby State Natural Reserve so we can walk among the giant redwood trees. The boys love seeing how the environment affects their shape.
Many days, the boys played soccer or “football” in the yard, as we followed the World Cup on TV. They love hitting the ball with their heads, and falling with fake injuries.
Aside from kicking a ball around, the boys loved climbing trees and collecting acorns, which look like pig noses.
The boys still got bored easily, and I knew that would happen, so I brought a big box of craft supplies.
Although the yellow jackets made it difficult, we still ate most dinners on the deck, watching the river glow under the setting sun. It’s just the best!
We tragically forgot our booster seat, so we had to improvise. Like our “roughin it” high chair?
The boys loved playing dominoes with Daddy; one of his favorite games.
We always measure the boys and mark their height on the same wall Daddy’s height was marked since he was four.
Grandma and Grandpa joined us at the cabin. The boys loved going fishing with Grandpa.
And playing horseshoes.
Mommy and Daddy loved the opportunity for a date. He asked me if I wanted to go wine-tasting, and I said “No way! I want to float down the river with you!” I always love an adventure!
Daddy’s uncle came to visit for a day. The boys had a ton of fun!
We were sad to leave, but we had the pleasure of this thing joining us on the highway, in the middle of nowhere.
And we played a new game Grandma taught us: “I went to the Russian River and I saw…” We started with the letter A and I wrote down everything everyone remembered. In the end it’s like hashtags for kids, because one thing reminds you of other things, and other names for things, etc. Kinda funny. Here’s ours:
We went to the Russian River and we saw…
Apples on an apple tree, acorns, blackberries, a bat, buckeye tree, crawdads, cabana, canoes, dogs, deer, condor, egg from a fish, frogs, fish, a fox, family, friends, Grandma, Grandpa, heart rocks, glass in river, hats, fishing rod, flat rocks, grapes, inner tubes, bridges, Golden Gate Bridge, birthday cake, beach chairs, horseshoes, Jelly Belly Factory, hammock, fig tree, BBQ, hotdogs, kayaks, kiwi Jelly Belly, lemon tree, lounge chairs, Mommy, crafts, moss, bacon, minnows, nerf football, Frisbee, height measurements, old oven, osprey, olives, mosquitoes, net, pine trees, ping pong table, pizza, quilts, photos, redwoods, Russian River, Pliny the Elder, sleeping bags, rapids, Daddy, squirrel, spades, dominoes, Garfield puzzle, sleeping porch, stairs, rocks, flags, trundle bed, stars, Milky Way, trees, tree tunnel, trucks, tractors, cows, dearsie wearsies, almonds, oranges, horses, hay, soccer balls, train, BART, bathing suits, umbrella, town square, orchards, vineyards, fence, baby gates, wee, water, path, potty, party lights, bathroom, socks, underwear, pee pee, shirts, poo poo, pack n play, wineries, waffles, cork, walks, fishing, yellow jackets, laundry, dishes, Safeway, camera, GoPro, cans, eels, River Rats, wiener mobile, blimp, red bridge.
Can you tell the whole family contributed?
We love you, Russian River! Can’t wait to see you again!