The boys’ cousins came over this weekend for a play date and we went all out preparing for the fun – because when you live in a small house you don’t want to keep four toddlers and a baby cooped up in it all morning, and when it’s summer in the Valley of the Sun you can’t just casually go outside to play (especially when the raised bed catastrophe in the back makes it into a child safety hazard – exposed nails, anyone? – so the moms have to be outside in the heat too!).
So, to make sure we could handle both the crowd and the weather, we made popsicles (for the first time for my kids!) and water balloons (also a first!). Rondel and Limerick were absolutely enthralled by the water balloons, and couldn’t keep their hands off of them while I was filling them up, although they did try their best to be gentle and save them for when the cousins arrived. Their look of surprise the first time one popped in their hands was priceless 🙂 And of course, when they finally did get to start throwing and deliberately popping them later in the morning, they were completely into it. I think the approximately 100 balloons survived about ten minutes into the water play…
The popsicles were an equal success with the four toddlers, and a much greater hit with the baby, who obviously couldn’t share in the water balloon fun. I had made two types, one using watermelon and lime and another more creamy variety using strawberry, banana, and milk. While the strawberry-banana popsicle was the first to be claimed and devoured, everyone went back for seconds and ate up the watermelon popsicles without any complaint. I only tried the watermelon and was surprised at how refreshing it was, and how well the lime complemented the watermelon flavor. And everyone took a turn feeding their popsicles to the baby – I wish I could show you all those pictures! My nieces and nephew are really quite adorable 🙂
And in between the water balloons and popsicles, the kids played with a hose sprinkler, a plastic slide, a kiddie pool, and a lot of different cups and bowls – the standard water play setup for our house. But everything is more exciting when you have a friend to share it, even if it sometimes means waiting a while for the slide, or being crashed into at the bottom by an overeager cousin 🙂