- pick blueberries/raspberries/strawberries
- go to the zoo-Cleveland and Akron
- go out with friends
- play baseball, batting cages
- go to baseball games
- go swimming
- go to the rec center
- go to Little Italy
- go to the art museum
- go to the natural history museum
- go to the park/hiking
- go geocaching
- find rocks
- ride bikes
- make lemonade
- make popsicles
- go camping
- plant a garden
- walk Girl
The weather is turning nice and we're itching for summer! What we're hoping to do this summer...
It has been hard to see this summer go. It started off with me being upset about things we didn't get to do, but, after writing that post, things turned around. Our summer was incredible.
One of reasons our summer was so great was my father-in-law. I now know what it feels like to have people around who are willing to help out with anything, and it doesn't even have to be an emergency! I have to say, I'm now even more jealous of people with help. It was amazing. There was a lot less stress. I didn't have to worry about how I was going to get kids from place to place. I didn't have to worry about it I had to run to a doctor's appointment. Grandpa was in town and more than willing to do whatever was needed. Even better, there is now such a strong bond with Grandpa and Monster. Monster got to see Grandpa almost every day. It was so wonderful watching their connection grow.
Aside from Grandpa being here, we ended up getting most of the things on our bucket list accomplished. It was just a matter of prioritizing. Sure, there are things we didn't do, but I'm over feeling bad about that (except when I look in my freezer and there are no blueberries, but I'll get over it). Both kids said that this was such an amazing summer. They didn't look at the things we didn't get to do, they looked at all the incredible things we did do. The best part, was that those time included when we just hung out at home and did nothing.
It's funny because even though it is so very hard to say good-bye to summer, having a great summer made the transition to school a little easier. We are all extremely sad to see summer go, but knowing that we "aggressively summered", makes is better.
First week of school was fantastic. Kids like their teachers and are, so far, enjoying learning. Monster and Sunshine are both really enjoying Social Studies thus far this year. It's both of their favorites.
We have one last weekend of summer fun and then it's on to all of our fall favorites. So, Good-Bye Summer. You were amazing. Looking forward to seeing you next year!
I live for summers. I love having time to relax with my kids. I love letting them sleep in and having very little to do. We have a bucket list that we love to do every summer. We fill our summers with laughter and joy. I'm not here to say all of the wonderful things we've been doing this summer and make others feel bad about not doing anything. Instead, I'm here to tell you the truth. This summer has been hard.
I have great expectations when it' comes to summers. Unfortunately, my expectations remain the same even though my children have more and more packed into their schedules. So far, our summer has consisted of two things: karate and softball. There has been very little else that we have done. Monster has karate 5 days a week. The only reason he's not there more is because the studio is only open 5 days. The thing is, he loves it. Karate is his passion. Then there is Sunshine and softball. Sunshine started a new league this year. When we started, I truly thought she wasn't going to like it because it is definitely more hardcore than her previous league. I was incorrect. She loves it! I've watched her, and her entire team, come so far this year. They are out there having fun, which is so very important.
Here is where I have to give a huge thanks to my father-in-law. We honestly could not be doing the things we do this summer without him. In fact, I've been so spoiled with having help that I may not be able to figure out how to get kids places come fall when he leaves! His help has made all of the difference. I don't have to worry about how I'm going to get someone to or from an event. He's there to take whichever kid wherever they need to be! It's also made a huge difference to both of my kids. Sunshine actually has someone other than just me and Husband to watch to her softball games. She gets sad because she's one of the only kids who only has her mom and dad there to cheer her on. This summer, she's also had Grandpa! Monster is loving having Grandpa here because they have time to hang out. For the most part, Grandpa has karate duty. Once a week, they do dinner, just the two of them, and hang out playing chess and other games after karate. It is such an amazing experience for Monster. I honestly don't know how parents with no help do it. If it wasn't for Grandpa, I would have missed so much this summer by having to run kids from place to place
With both of my kids having such a great time and doing things they love, why should I be upset about summer expectations? I put a ton of pressure on myself and our summer. I know that we have very few summers left. I want to make them as special as possible. I can't tell you how much I have cried over the fact that it's mid July and we haven't gone to the zoo yet or that we missed out on picking strawberries this year. I'm upset about it because, very soon, my kids aren't going to want to go to the zoo with me. Soon, they aren't going to want to pick strawberries. They are growing up so fast and they are filling their summers with more and more things that are just for them. In the next few years, they are going to have jobs and girlfriends/boyfriends and hanging out with Mommy is going to be thing of the past. I want to fill their summers with memories so that when they look back on their childhoods, they can recall that every summer, we would all go to the zoo. Every summer, we would pick strawberries (or blueberries or raspberries ...I'm slowly forgiving myself about missing strawberry picking since there are other fruits out there to pick). I want them to look back at their summers and not think of how busy they were, but rather how carefree summer days were and how much we enjoyed being together as a family.
When you look at the big picture, I have only 6 more summers until Monster goes off to college. Six. I don't know how the first 12 have flown by so quickly. And I look at this summer and can't believe we're over halfway through. I want to slow time so that we can fit every last fun thing in. I want them to be able to sleep in until noon, but still have time go places, to swim all day, to laze around the house. I guess what I really want is more time.
With all that being said, we have had an amazing summer so far. It's been busy, but good. We've done soccer camp, Camp Invention, Young Naturalist Camp, art classes, picked raspberries, gotten ice cream, made s'mores, gone to baseball games, gone swimming, and more things from our list, plus lots of karate and softball! There are only 5 weeks left of summer. Almost every day has something scheduled, but I plan on enjoying the moments we have together. And I WILL get a zoo trip in!
It's August. It seems as though summer just started, yet, here we are, a mere 3 weeks away from school starting. This summer has made me reflect on my summers as a child for many reasons.
Let me start off my saying, there was not a single person that I knew growing up who had to go to daycare over the summer. No one went to camp after camp after camp because there was no one to watch them. Kids were home and played. No one sat in the house watching TV or, if you were lucky enough to own one, playing Atari. Most of the time, you had friends over to play, but sometimes you just had to entertain yourself. Yes, people's parents worked, but grandparents came and watched the kids. By watched, I mean they were warm bodies in the house in case of emergencies and snack makers for neighborhood kids. In no way were grandparents in charge of entertaining you. If, for some reason, you had to go to your grandparents' instead of them coming to you, you took a minimum of one friend with you. Summers were waking up late, having no plans, calling your friends to go hang out or just showing up at someone's house to see if they were home. There was no making plans weeks in advance with friends to plan time to get together. If your friends were home, you played with them. If they weren't, you didn't. It really was that simple. This is coming from the viewpoint of an only child. I didn't have built in playmates with siblings. It was just me. I didn't sit around all day asking my mom to play with me or give me ideas of what to do. Of course there were times we did special stuff, but it was spur of the moment. I had to run errands with my mom, as did my friends, but, heck, sometimes your friends ran the errands with your parents. No one complained. No one begged for stuff at the store. No one expected anything. It was just a part of life as a kid.
I know times have changed. I know first hand that family support isn't there like it used to be. I understand kids have different interests. But, really, kids haven't changed that much; parenting has changed. There are so many parents who are trying to fill every moment of their children's days. It's crazy. People keep thinking we're so busy, but in all honesty, we're not. My kids are having as close to a 1980's summer as they can in 2017. My kids did a total of 2 camps each. One was right at the beginning of summer that they both attended all day. The other camp they did, they didn't do together, but it was only an hour and a half a day for 3 days, each. And that was it. We still had karate and baseball, but that's nighttime stuff where we wouldn't be doing anything other than hanging out at home anyway. Yet, there are people who didn't give their kids even a minute to be kids. For how "busy" everyone thinks we were, my kids woke up at 9:00 or later every morning. Every day it was nice, my kids played in the pool almost all afternoon. My kids rode their bikes (or, after the arm breaking incident, walked) to their friends' houses.....without knowing if their friends would be home or able to play. Their friends did the same. I think there was twice that someone came over and my kids couldn't play because they weren't home. Those are pretty fair odds. Today is a great example of a typical summer day here. Kids woke up whenever. After they ate breakfast, they played Legos. We walked both dogs. Monster played ball with Little Dog. We did a little laundry (and I really mean we as the kids folded). We had lunch, which the kids fix for themselves every day in the summer. The kids read for a bit. Then they got in the pool. That was at 1:15. They didn't get out of the pool until 5:15. There was no fighting. Both kids were having a great time. This is a typical summer day. Isn't that how it should be? After the kids got out of the pool and showered, we had dinner. Kids had ice cream on the porch after. Then we took a walk down to a friend's house and then around the block with Little Dog. We watered the garden and everyone got ready for bed, even though there was an hour until bedtime. Kids colored, drew and read. They were kids. I was not having them practice musical instruments. They were not working on skills for a sport. They weren't doing vocabulary building to increase their skills for the coming year. They weren't mind numbingly watching television or YouTube. They were being kids.
It was bound to happen. With my kids being as active as they are and playing as hard as they do, one of them was bound to break a bone. I just didn't expect it to be from falling down the stairs. Little Miss Sunshine broke her radial head (bone right at your elbow) falling down the stairs. She was tiptoeing and down she went. From the very top to the very bottom. At the ER, when they told her it was broken, you would have thought they told her she was going to die any second. She was crying so hard that another nurse actually came in and asked if everything was alright and if they needed help. She fully believed her world was ending. We were told she would be in a cast for 4-6 weeks. The next day, we went to the orthopedist, who was AMAZING. He looked at it and told her 3 weeks. She picked a purple cast, which is waterproof. She's been doing well with the cast and her attitude has definitely improved. She's still sad she can't ride her bike and she missed her last baseball game, but she's been swimming and doing all the other things she loves to do this summer. Even though this broken arm has only been a small portion of our summer, we will always remember it as the summer Sunshine broke her arm.
With only 4 school days remaining, we realized we were a little late making our 2017 addition of our Summer Bucket List! So, without further ado....
Summer, as always, is flying by. I'm not going to lie, it started off rough. It took us all a god week to get back into the groove of always being around each other. So far, since then, summer has been wonderful. I know that I say this time and time again, but I'm so very thankful my children are best friends. Summer wouldn't be near this great if they weren't. We kicked off summer by heading to the zoo. I'm really glad I decided to go when I did, even though it was the most crowded I have ever seen the zoo, because we went on a day where we had to wear sweatshirts and since then, it's been in the 90s! I'd rather go on a chilly day then a super hot day! We still have to hit the other local zoo sometime this summer, but I'm watching the weather for that one.
We have actually checked a great deal of things off of our Summer Bucket List in just one short month. We've checked off: go to zoo, pick strawberries, go to park, baseball, spend time outside, science experiments, spend time in the pool, spend time at the library, and go get ice cream. We've also checked off Camp Invention and one round of art camp! We've gone to Rockin' The Court, Strawberry Festival, an orchestra concert, and Rally in the Alley. We've had friends over and we've just hung out at home and played. All that on top of karate 3 days a week and baseball. Plus, I've managed to clean out my basement and garage! I wouldn't be able to do it all if my kids didn't get along. The fact that they can play together and love being with each other is the key. As an added bonus, the earliest my kids have woken up is 8:00, but 9:00 is the average! Whoo hoo to sleeping in!
All that we do makes it sound like, to some people, that we always need to be on the go, but that is far from the truth. I know people that schedule things every day because their children can't just be. It's true that Little Miss Sunshine has a more difficult time entertaining herself than Monster, but both my kids love our down time. Days where we have nothing planned, we call our "Golden Days". We live for those days. Our "Golden Days" are actually the days where we do the most fun activities. The zoo trip and strawberry picking happened on "Golden Days". I simply can't understand the need for some people to never be home. Are their kids that bored? Are they that bored? Heck, if there are parents our there who are so bored that they force their families into going out and doing activities just to get out of the house, I'd like to know their secret. I don't have the luxury of getting bored. This topic deserves it's own separate post though, which I'm sure I'll get to in another 2 months or so since I have so much extra time on my hands....
Back on topic though. The bond my children have is something very special. Other people see it and comment on it. I always knew that I was lucky to have children to get along so well, but I never realized how much others saw it as well. That bond is what makes our summers so amazing.
Today, we start July. I have to say, it's bittersweet. I love that we have another month left together, but it also makes me very sad because school is just around the corner. Another summer is close to passing, which means I'm another summer closer to having it be the last summer with my kids. No matter how frustrated I get, I savor each moment because in eight short years, Monster heads off to college. The fighting and disagreements are all part of growing up. This time we have is precious.
22 more school days. We can not wait for summer in this house! Kids are already signed up for Camp Invention and Young Naturalist camps. We've got VBS marked on our calendar. They are so excited for these camps, but they are also excited for our lazy, crazy days of summer! Here's the list of the things we want to do in the Summer of 2016!
I've been quiet on here for some time. I know that during the summer, I usually post about all the fantastic things we've done. This year, I just couldn't bring myself to do that. I felt like if I posted about how summer was going, it would mean that summer was almost over. Like every year, summer goes way too fast. This year felt faster still. Maybe it was that June was full of camps, rain, and pain. Maybe it's just that I'm getting older and people say the older you get, the faster time seems to go. Whatever it was, summer sped past. My son didn't get to eat his "bucket o'shrimp" with Papa. We never got to Niagara Falls or Chicago. We didn't get out for near as many bike rides as we wanted to. Even with the things we didn't get to do, we got to do so much. Summer was amazing. With school now in full swing, there is no denying summer has come to end. Since the weather has been so nice, we've actually been able to extend the feel of summer into our weeknights and weekends with family walks and bike rides and outings. This Sunday, we made our house "autumn ready" by getting out the fall decor. Now we're looking forward to apple picking, pumpkin patches, soy bean boxes and hayrides. But, before all that, one last look at another amazing summer.