We went on Levi's first camping trip, just an hours drive from our vacation home in Tahoe. We went to a campsite at Fallen Leaf Lake and decided to just stay one night for the experience. It was fun!
The bear story:
I rosted marshmallows for my mom, and she decided not to eat one of them so threw it in the fire. Jokingly I commented on how "a bear was going to come and eat it now"
5 min later, Levi and Nai Nai were getting some lemonade out of the bear-proof storage box, and I was sitting in a low chair on the ground by the picnic table.
All of a sudden I heard a 'crinkle' sound coming from behind me. Sense I could see Levi/my mom, I knew it wasn't one of them. I turn around thinking its a person, and its a BEAR!
There was a bear on the picnic table! It looked up at me, I think it saw me at the same time I did. I jumped up from my seat and said "Get in the car". My mom hadn't seen the bear yet, I said again "there is a bear, get in the car".
I started towards Levi (mommy instinct, even though my mom was already picking him up and slamming shut the bear-box) and we all got in the car.
The bear lumbered around for a while and walked off.
It had ripped open an empty cookie packet that we had JUST set on the table, knocked over the lemonade, stuck its nose in my lemonade, and sniffed the grill.
We asked the park ranger what we should have done, and she said walk diagonally away from the bear, which is exactly what I had done when I headed towards Levi.
It made Levi's first camping trip 'official' and will be a great story to tell!
Some other camping adventures: (We also went to Stanford Camp during the camping trip, also on Fallen Leaf Lake)
Paddle boat ride
Nature Walk (guided tour)
Catching crawdads (and letting them go right after pics)
"Stuff" being left all over the house has become a problem. I am constantly stepping on little random toys and other junk that Levi has accumulated.
After leaving his shoes at the rec center, Levi collected them from the lost and found box the following week. On the box was a sign stating that items not picked up after a certain time would be donated. This gave me a great idea which we put into use at our house.
Random stuff I find around, goes into the box. And I explained to Levi that it is his responsibility to check the box frequently and decide what he wants to keep or give away. If he wants to keep it, it needs to go back where it belongs (anywhere else and it goes right back into the box). Items he doesn't want, go into a bag in the garage along with outgrown clothes and other give aways. When it gets full, we donate the bag.
He understands that 'give away' items are given to someone else who needs them, and he will not see them again (there are no 'take backs' from the give away bag!). Often he chooses something to donate (sometimes something no one would want, but I don't tell him that!)
This system has worked surprisingly well - Levi notices right away if something is in there and takes care of it.
Levi participated in a stuffed animal beauty pageant! This is an annual thing that has been going on for many years now. It was cute how they had it set up.
Levi decided to bring his monkey, which he named 'Five' (???). He wanted a dress for it, so I made one using the same fabrics as one of his shirts that I made for him.
He stood up at the podium and answered questions about his monkey. He is way better at public speaking that his mommy is! No fear and no problems answering the questions. (they asked a lot of stuff even to the little ones!)
Each child won a certificate and a 'title' . Levi and Five won 'Best Match' thanks to their custom, mommy made outfits!
I love activities that take only a few seconds to set up, and this is one of them!
Here Levi is rolling napkins (an 'unpaper' towel actually). The trick is to roll it tightly enough so that he can put it in the napkin ring. Not an easy task for a 3yr old!
We have also done napkin folding - initially by drawing 'fold lines' on a napkin with a sharpie (or you can stitch the lines), and showing him step-by-step how to fold one demonstrating with my own napkin. Then I leave the sample for him to look at, and let him try it without help.
Levi also can set the table - folding napkins, counting the correct number of forks/spoons/knives, and putting them on the table. Still working on correct placement, but he manages to put one of each utensil on top of a napkin at each place setting, which is good enough for our family!
We got a season pass to Aquatica, and Levi really enjoys it. They have a bunch of rides he can go on, as some don't have a height limit, they just have a 'must be able to hold the handles' requirement (which he can hardly do, but he is a strong swimmer, AND they require kids his height to wear a lifejacket anyway!)
While we were there, we learned about commissary dolphins, which are beautiful black and white dolphins. Levi asked the lady working there all sorts of questions about their names, what they eat, why they are black and white, how to tell them apart etc.