When the kids are away, the parents will play. One of our summer highlights was a vacation we took with friends this summer to Punta Cana. We stayed at a beautiful brand new resort called Secrets Cap Cana, explored the countryside on go carts, and drank a magical concoction called an Iceberg! Super thankful Nana and Mimi could watch Dakota and Baby Dirk for us.
Speaking of our kiddos, we have enjoyed all the extra time we have had with them too. We took a mini vacation to New Braunfels, celebrated July 4th with a parade around Bauerle Ranch, celebrated Dakota's 3rd birthday with a Trolls-themed party at Altitude, visited a Dinosaur Park in Bastrop, enjoyed a beach weekend in Galveston, and a Dam Fam get together in Alvin.
We really enjoyed our fun weekend vacation in New Braunfels. Kota loved dressing up at the children's museum and the s'mores at movie night at T Bar M Ranch in New Braunfels. We had one very scary moment, when we were playing in the kids pool. The pool was shallow, but had a gradual slope toward a deeper end, which was 3 feet. I had turned around for one second to say bye to some friends we had made at the pool, and when I turned back around I saw Dakota was reaching for a toy in the deeper end, that was just over her head. I plunged into the pool after I saw her trying to doggy paddle towards the toy with her arms moving furiously. I didn't even wait to see if she could swim to the toy or not; I just dove in. It was a terrifying split second decision. Dirk had just left the pool, and Baby Dirk was hanging around the edge of the pool. That moment made me realize I can never be too careful around pools. We just finished swim lessons for the summer and Dakota can hold her breath for ten seconds, but I am also making sure she wears her floaties whenever we are in the pool. I don't think my heart can take any more scary moments like that one!
Our lil Super Hero Dirk Ryan! Baby Dirk's favorite word right now is "SHOES!" He loves his checkered Vans and will carry them around in the morning saying "Shoes, Shoes" until I put them on his feet. He is also polite and says "Dank Yoooo" whenever anyone hands him anything. He has been getting to spend time with this sweet little girl named Willa. They are so cute together. We are loving that he gets to go to school with Dakota again. It's so fun that they are learning the same songs together. His favorite song is from Dakota's favorite movie Zootopia. "Oh oh oh oh ohhhhh," he'll sing the first line from Shakira's Try Everything. And he drops it like its hot! ha
Another fun outing we had was Blues on the Green at Zilker Park. We brought the kiddos and braved the heat to see Jackie Venson and Shiny Ribs. Luckily there was some cloud cover, and there were so many dogs there to keep Kota and Baby Dirk entertained. They loved the big park and the live music. We love sharing our favorite things about Austin with them. Hopefully next year we can enjoy from the SUP boards!
Altitude trampoline park has been a life saver for us. When the temperature has reached triple digits, it's been so nice to have a place we can take the kids and jump all their energy out. Baby Dirk has particularly enjoyed it and runs around fearless. He jumps into the foam pit, even if it is more like slow-motion falling. Dakota will "can into ball" into the foam pit. They love to run down the long trampolines too. Dakota has really been working on her forward roll and will roll all over the trampolines. The best part is the naps they take afterwards.
A huge highlight for my summer was watching this beautiful baby girl named Lola make her way into the world. It was incredible to witness, and I am so thankful to her Momma for letting me be a part of it. I am loving watching how quickly Lola is growing up- she has such precious lips and cheeks! I can't wait to see the beautiful girl she is going to become.
For Kota's birthday, we got tickets to Brick Fest in Austin. This was a new type of festival for Dirk and I, but we were pretty impressed. They had miniature golf, a derby race with cars you built out of Legos, and a pool of uncomfortable blue Legos. My favorite was the Glow in the Dark legos! And I shouldn't admit it, but watching Kota's car slide past Daddy's in the derby race. ha! She cried the whole time, because she didn't want to give it up once she built it.
It was like nothing I had ever seen before- a naturally shaded grotto with waterfall tricking from above. Even Dakota was amazed, and jumped into pool, right after Daddy. I was surprised by all the large fish, and the hike that we made to reach the pool. It wasn't a long hike, but quite rocky and carrying the kiddos was a workout. I hope we can come back again soon and enjoy this spot!
This same weekend Mimi came to visit and went with us to the Duck Derby downtown. We didn't come out as Lucky Ducks and win any cars, but we loved watching the ducks come into the finish line. The derby benefits the Boy and Girls Club - so is a worthy donation, if anything. Dakota and baby Dirk loved having Mimi come visit!
Other new happenings- Dakota is training as a ballerina! We are taking a tap/ballet combo class at Alisa's Dance Academy. The tutu is her favorite part, but she pays very close attention in class. I love when they grab their scarfs and dance around with them to "Let it go!" Baby Dirk is so sad he's not in the class. He cries at the door when Dakota goes in, and looks at me like life is not fair!!! Even Noodle has been wanting to join the dance party. haha
Also, we finally at age 3 broke down and cut Kota's hair. It was getting so tangly in the back whenever she would wake up from nap time. I was terrified that she would lose some of her curls, but it curled right back up into ringlets. She got to watch cartoons, and a lollipop for sitting so still. I know we will be getting Baby Dirk's hair cut soon (cue alligator tears)....
Bedtime routines are a little bit different. Dakota and I "read" I Spy books and take turns telling each other to look for different things in the books. I'm amazed at the things she can find already. I have yet to introduce her to Where's Waldo, but I know she'll get a real kick out of those books. I love when she wants to read a book to me, and I let her make up the story. She was a wonderful imagination. Daddy usually helps rock Baby Dirk to sleep, but I sneak in Mom nights too. I will sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and I swear he picks a few words to sing out loud along with me. He always fights falling asleep, but one the eye rubbing starts, he doesn't last too much longer. He'll start taking his deep breaths, and then he's out!