This, That and the Other - Summer Edition

Ah, the lull of summer. The big road trip is over (although we have a few more smaller fun times planned) and we haven't hit the upcoming craziness of swimming lessons or the return of school planning. A nice big break is just what this mama needed. I left off last term feeling very worn out. Yes, part of that was the hospitalization and the related medical stuff that is resolving but not resolved.

So there I was, feeling a bit worn out and guilty about it when I stumbled upon a blog post (that I thought was by Brandy at Afterthoughts but I can't find it now so I'm sorry if I steal your thoughts without attribution but mama brain strikes hard sometimes!) and one idea that she threw out there that really resonated was the idea that was should end a term feeling spent. It totally changed my perspective. I should feel like I put it all out there. I worked hard this term to keep us all going. I'm worn out. I didn't want to plan a schedule or look at a book list or think about school even one little bit. But that isn't a sign that something went wrong. It's just a sign I need a break. Which is good, because I scheduled us a break! Now, if I always felt stressed or tired, then maybe something would need to be adjusted. But 80% of the time, I'd say our school time is relaxed and delightful. Another 10% (okay, maybe 15%) is crazy small children stuff that isn't going away - until everyone learns to share, use markers responsible, use the potty and fix their own snacks! Just that little perspective shift really helped me enjoy this much needed break without spending it worrying about what I needed to change next term. I'm just enjoying the break! Imagine that! 

Now, I do need to get back into school planning sometime because I do think we'll start right back after the 4th of July. So I'm made a list of the the things I need to plan (how type A am I?!  A list of things to PLAN! I crack myself up sometimes) that I add too whenever I feel like "I'm not doing enough prep" and then I let it go for now. Instead, we've

Had a backyard campfire. Norah can't be bothered to look at the camera when there are smore's to be eaten. The big kids and daddy actually slept in the tree house. Norah and I slept in our nice beds. Except she did't sleep. She must have missed having Lucy and Jonah in her room because she woke up every hour that night. 

Played at the park. We've been to this one before but I wasn't prepared then. This time, I knew about the sand and the water and actually dress them in swim clothes and brought buckets and shovels (okay, I just raided my tupperware drawer) and it was a much better experience. They loved this place. So much that I was able to actually TALK to the girlfriend I went with instead of spending the whole time trying to have a conversation over my shoulder while walking away from her. You know you've been there fellow moms!

Eating pickles and ice cream. No, she's not pregnant. Neither am I. She just really loves pickles. I bought a jar at Costco pretty much just for her. 

Getting some little home projects done. 

Built a pantry shelf for my 5 gallon buckets. I've used an old bookshelf for my "Costco stash" for a while now but the 5 gallon bulk food buckets were just stacked in a corner. It was really inconvenient to get at them so I had really stopped buying more in bulk. But now that the shower door is out of this space, I could make one that was just what I needed. I designed and built it all by myself so its probably not done the "right" way but it works and I love it. And now that the food is all contained in one area, that opens up more projects in the basement! It's a vicious home improvement cycle. 

I also installed lights in the garage which I didn't take pictures of because it's literally just two box, two light bulb attachment things and two bulbs. Super ugly. Super helpful at night. 

Not as ugly are our new porch lights. The old ones weren't hideous but one was broken and it would tip over at hang at a 45 angle. It drove me crazy every time I went outside. I couldn't help fixing it even thought I knew by the time I got back with the mail, it would have tipped again. I even had to fix it for the picture. So when we were at Lowe's getting building supplies, I told Craig to swing in the fixture section. And these were only $25 each so I was sold! I'm totally a believer in the slow and steady approach to having a fixer-upper and I have no shame in the remaining wood paneling or dated stuff in our house but I really should have done this one 5 years ago when it first started to crack. 



Of course, even the smooth days aren't always so smooth. You can't make it through summer without an injury or two. I just didn't expect it to be while they were playing nicely inside. But Norah accidentally poked Lucy in the eye. A trip to the optometrist revealed it was a pretty bad corneal abrasion. After spending 24 hours in her lights off/blacklight curtained room with nothing but audiobooks (and tears) to accompany her, she emerged feeling better as long as she had her spiffy shades on. We've got a few more days of eye drops but she's back to her happy healthy self. Now if my nerves could only get a month off! (The more kids I have, the more I sympathize with Mrs. Bennett!)

Eye issues meant no Shakespeare in the Park (yet, we'll try to fit it in somehow!) but Jonah and Craig had a daddy-son date to the rodeo. Jonah had to dress up - he even took his stick pony. This kid. He drives me crazy but he's super adorable at time too. 

Ah, the joys of summer when you aren't worried about school. But guess what, we've still done a fair amount of learning. Lucy got a cup of caterpillars kit for her birthday and we all enjoyed watching their life cycle. Here's a release pictures (odd angle for naked/pantless kid avoidance :-) 

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