Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day One of Summer--Westmoreland Outing

So we started the summer off a bit rough.   Running on about 5 hours of interrupted sleep and caffeine,  I hurried our morning which was filled with lunch packing and a baby's nap too short to be productive.  This was then followed by trouble installing an infant base and a garage door that refused to close when all of us were already in the car.  After about 40 minutes of this,  I was ready to call it a day and unload everyone back into the house.  A little tinkering with the garage laser and help from my oldest boy (who gets his handyman abilities not from me), we were finally on our way to a pretty great park that I just love.  Westmoreland Park  has a nature-based play area and includes climbing structures and water and sand feature, plenty of shade and much more.   Despite me packing too light of a lunch and a whiny pre-teen whose idea of summer involves grander adventures, the kids ended up having so much fun there that I was glad we didn't say home.  Add to that a babe who slept through most of it and I say that our day turned out to be quite awesome.

 This guy spent most of this time building and hanging out in this teepee.

The sand are is pretty great despite the main water feature currently being out of order.   

Sporting his roller skates that he found at a thrift store for about $4.  

We ended the trip with a quick stop at PDX Sliders which is a food cart that was about 4 minutes of drive away that makes amazing little burgers.  

Today was a great reminder that life with little ones is often filled with bad moments on good days.  I have to keep reminding this to myself and not opt for curling up into a fetal position and hide when I am so tempted to.   Even though I'm greatly outnumbered this summer  (5:1 most of the day!), I'm determined to take each day as a gift even though at first it may seem as the opposite.  

Summer 2015 (Tentative) List

Today was last day of school for my kids before the summer break and it sounds like it was bitter sweet.  My oldest boy said good bye to what he considers the "best teacher in the world" whose class was the last class she taught before retiring this year and my daughter announced that she misses 6th grade already.   Mere 6 hours after they were dismissed for summer.   I guess I am one of the lucky moms whose kids love going to school.  Some would argue that they are little and school is all fun and games at this age.  But still.  Not having to drag them off the beds helps my mornings a lot and getting good feedback from teachers does too.

Now that summer is technically here, I thought I'd  put together a quick list of things I want to accomplish/succeed/attempt at this summer.  I've been mothering long enough to know that TRY is a very strong word when it comes to checklists and things to do and as much as I like to cross the lines off my list, I am no stranger to things that can go wrong with planned activities.   However, having no structure, goals, plans, wishful thinking is not how I roll either.  So...shaking off the dust of the teacher lingo, I'm going to call it a loose framework, a scope and (but not really a) sequence, a skeleton, a big picture of what things I hope to accomplish this summer:
  1.  Stare as little as possible at a screen (this goes for both the kids and myself and we'll be the hardest to accomplish)
  2.  Spend mornings and evenings outdoor exploring and relaxing.  
  3.  Be flexible yet consistent with my baby's routines because he is the boss and I would hate for  him to boss us while tired and hungry.  
  4.  Manage to do at least one of these weekly. 
  5.  Make good, healthy but not time consuming meals from scratch.
  6.  Pack as many lunches to go as possible to save time and $ eating out.  
  7.  Work at making my home a summer home. 
  8. Get to know each one of my kids a little bet more--more one on one time, even if for a few minutes.  
  9.   Lose the rest of the baby weight (is 10 lbs more too much to ask?)  
  10.  Continue the rubbing of feet and  the sharing of hearts nightly.  (Got this idea from Kara and it has changed the way I parent).
  11.  Get ideas for summer activities from here and here.  But also here
  12. Try my absolute best not to act/look/speak/feel exhausted (Ha!)

Here is to a summer that is fun for both the parents and the kids!  And I'm leaving you with this because Jen Hatmaker always manages to say it best:

‘Twas the first week of summer and all through the land
Not a Mom was still signing folders, not even a Dad.
The backpacks were slung in the garage without care
In hopes that some Clean Out Fairy soon would be there.

The children were nestled (super late) in their beds
While visions of NO HOMEWORK danced in their heads.
Mama in her yoga pants and I in my jorts (shorts?)
Are scheduling summer playdates, vacations, and sports.

When out in the playroom there arose such a clatter
We yelled (from the couch) to see what was the matter.
The children were arguing, restless, and I was floored
To hear the young cherubs declare: I’M BORED.
“Well hail no,” said Mama, “bored kids get chores.
You can clean out your closets and baskets and drawers.”
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
A bunch of Bored Kids who ran the heck out of here.

Now Gavin! Now Sydney! Now Caleb and Ben!
On Remy! On all the kids till the neighborhood ends!
To the park, to the courts, to the pool and the mall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!
~Jen Hatmaker (Love, love, love her)