The cousin activity today was making balloon cars and airplanes. I had all the supplies requested and then cleverly recycled all of our cardboard for garbage day this morning. We did manage to find some that survived the purge but I was quite annoyed with myself.
The kids might have been slightly more interested in flying the balloons around the room without actually making the vehicles or blowing up the balloon until it popped, but most of them did make something with varying degrees of success. It was apparently amusing to see what the other cousins did over zoom as well.
We thought it might be nice to have one day where all the cousins could see each other, if only at a distance. I suggested that cousins come to our place and we could play on playstructure equipment while taking turns. The kids also wanted to have a distanced water fight. I had an elaborate plan for swapping some kids to the backyard so that we didn't go over our legal limit of 10 people for a gathering. Maria had to go and pick up her passport at the embassy for her Japan trip so that meant that we were only 11 people right until it was time for Xander, Isabelle and Theo to leave. In the end we decided to just do a gathering of 11 and if someone asked about it we could always send one of our crew indoors.
Janice set up zones with cones and we rotated from one zone to another. One zone had the pool and soccer area, one zone had the playstructure (with sprinkler because otherwise it was far too hot in the sun) and the other zone had the swing and bubble machine.
I thought it worked okay although we could have used a second water gun filling station as this was a temptation for people to leave their zone.
First we had a water gun fight, then we tossed water balloons back and forth, then we kicked a soccer ball back and forth and then we had more water guns. It was a super fun afternoon, despite being a bit weird.
It was Amelia's baptism birthday! We decided it was time to celebrate at least one kid's baptism this year. Lorianne is in Winnipeg but we had Michael over for our first post-pandemic non-bubblemate meal (separate tables, two metres apart)!
It was a little different but workable and we had a great time.
Auntie Janice had planned to run a cousin camp this week, but with the pandemic our plans obviously couldn't go ahead as originally envisioned.
Nonetheless we have planned to do cousin things all week. Today Janice challenged both bubbles to an emoji scavenger hunt!
We had fun finding all the items, but I didn't plan out our approach at all and wildly underestimated the amount of time it would take to find things. This ended up being super stressful when we were scrambling to finish in time to get Elizabeth to her online class (in the end we didn't manage - boo!).
Then we had to find books and I made the mistake of getting the kids to choose their favourites and instead of doing the scavenger hunt everyone wanted to read instead!
We took a little break and then came back to it after. This time we divided and conquered and it went more smoothly, however we never ended up finding ducks or bicycles as we were going to bike to Dow's lake and just ran out of time.
Erika and Elizabeth went to karate then we shared our photos over zoom with the other bubble and planned out the rest of the week.
One of the ideas on this summer's bucket list was to have a "lazy day". So after church the kids put back on their pjs, dimmed all the lights (including putting cushions to block windows where the curtains were deemed insufficient) and had a tea party.
Apparently the idea was that they had to "relax" for 30 minutes with their stuffies before they were allowed to have the tea party, but predictably the younger kids weren't doing it right so after a bit of a kerfuffle Amelia went off to do a lazy day "playing by myself without annoying people around me". "Mommy? Can I tell you something? That was just TOO LONG to be quiet!"
Elizabeth was inclined to cancel the lazy day altogether if "no one else knows how to be lazy but me" but Matthew fetched her some tea which considerably smoothed rumpled feelings and Michael gave her some "tisses". Then the remaining kids watched many hours of inspector Gadget en français (Amelia doesn't like Inspector Gadget so declined to participate).
It was a very lazy day.
We totally missed berry picking season last year so we decided we'd better get going. We went for opening in order to try to beat the heat - it's been very, very hot for days. I should have called in advance because apparently Rideau Pines got picked out of strawberries on Canada Day and raspberries haven't really started yet.
They took pity on us and allowed us to see what we could find. Even though technically they were selling neither strawberries nor raspberries we took home both! The picking wasn't great (but I've seen worse) and since I had already made strawberry jam my goal of a fun outing was easily met.
We came home in time for Isabelle's birthday zoom, though I didn't quite have our cake ready in time to sync up the Happy Birthdays. Luckily she didn't mind doing it a second time!
Elizabeth has been practicing her signalling while on her bike, so in the afternoon we played on the swing and on bikes, and we finally got around to eating the other jello we made on Canada Day. I was quite amused by my Canadian flag version.
Then we put the three littler kids to bed early. Elizabeth was then in charge of babysitting in case of shenanigans and watering the garden while Brendan and I went on a Live History zoom date. Strawberry Blonde dropped off gluten free desserts and we set up in the basement to pretend we were early 1900's passengers on the Carpathia (sister ship to the Titanic). It was all good fun. The actors used the technology pretty well, sharing their screen to play various period games and "passing" items from screen to screen.