Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Start of Summer!!

Summer is here!! 

I can not believe we are already full steam ahead into summer break. It has been a whirlwind for sure, busy and crazy yet also fun and relaxing. Michael is trying hard to understand the concept of summer break. "You mean every day is a stay at home day?" 
"When I am an adult I get to have summer every year too?" 
"Only moms get summer, not dads?"
"Is it still summer? Is today the last day of summer?"

 His questions just remind me how much time we spend in our lives trying to figure out this crazy thing called life works. I feel like I am setting Michael up for a lifetime of disappointment after having his mother home for the summers but oh well- these are precious times and I am glad I get to experience them with him. 

I wish there was some way I could capture the way our days feel and preserve them forever. It is so nice to be able to enjoy my home all day without rushing out the door. It feels good to be at peace knowing that the laundry can wait because I'll be home again tomorrow too. It's satisfying to get the kitchen cleaned up and be able to bask in my shiny counters. It's also crazy busy, with very full days that start at 5 a.m. --but who can resist waking up to TWO smiling, chattering babies? Its the freedom to be able to get out of the house anytime we want, go anywhere we want, but to also figure how we are going to coordinate that with three children and one parent. It's also knowing our limitations...that having a time of day when all kids can rest and I can have some quiet time (or get everything I need to get done as fast I can time) is sacred and shouldn't be passed over. It's chubby baby legs and skinny little boy legs all vying for space on my lap at the same time. And of course it is one proud and happy mommy, satisfied to be in this crazy place. The memories of last summer are all too fresh in my mind: being hugely pregnant, worrying about doctor's appointments, constantly counting baby kicks, trying not to envision the future because all I could worry about was getting the girls here safely and take care of myself in the process. And now they are here and all those thoughts and prayers are a reality. It is wonderful. 


I only have a few small goals that I am trying to accomplish every day in trying to follow the advice that little steps every day add up to big change. Also how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So I am hoping by checking off my small list every day it can lead to a productive summer. My goals are simple: exercise, get out of the house, spend time doing some learning/activity with Michael, and a little housework every day (kitchen always cleaned, at least a little laundry, picking up when I have a free moment). So far it is working but to try and do those things among the caring for is hard! 

I've been using my fitbit to motivate myself to get 10,000 steps a day and it is hard! However, it is keeping me accountable and I enjoy the challenge. I keep reminding myself how awful it felt last summer when I was waiting in my car, trying to gear up for walking from the car to the front of Walmart when I was 36 weeks pregnant. Every step was painful, hard and difficult. While exercising may not always be fun, I am thankful for having a working body that allows me to move and walk! 

Our getting out of the house portion is going well! This day we went to Brookside park in Ames after needing to run up to Boone for school. It was fun to walk on the paths and visit the different playgrounds. And also stop for a much needed coffee for myself. 

The girls are so fun and are always looking for mischief. They are my curious little kitties-always so happy and ready to play! 

I have a whole list of projects I am doing with Michael this summer and we are always reviewing our letters and reading lessons. I also think its important that he does something with fine motor skills every day like cutting or coloring to be ready for school in the fall. I'm always amazed at how I'll get him started on something and then I'll let him finish with his own project and he'll go and think up something totally unique and all his own. I hope he is beginning to understand the magic that is reading and will love it as much as I do! 

We've also managed to take the boat out TWO times this summer, thanks to my sister watching the girls one night a week for me. It has been so fun and something we have really missed. Unfortunately we haven't been able to rustle up any company to come with us but it has been really fun to spend the time together as a family. I am surprised how easy it is now that Michael is older just to load everyone in the truck and go. We are hoping to get Michael waterskiing this summer and I actually got up on the wakeboard for the first time after the whole last summer off! 

Two more outings: Jester Park and the library. We got out of the house in the afternoon while our cleaning lady was here and spent a big chunk of time at Jester. It was a different way to experience it with playing at the playscape in the water, having a picnic by the bison, hiking to the bird blind...and it was really fun. We also stocked up on books at the library and the girls had so much fun exploring some new books to read while we were there. We will spare the patrons of the library our slobber germs by only reading the books there, safely out of reach! It was also cool and rainy last week when we went to the library so we stopped for a donut afterwards where we would usually go to the park. They were delicious and it was a fun stop but we both suffered stomachaches later so I think this will be a limited outing this summer! :(

Last Friday we headed out to the zoo for a morning adventure. I mostly wanted to go because I knew it would be good for my step count (it was!). I ended up purchasing a zoo pass so hopefully we can make it back a few more times this summer to get our money's worth. We had a super fun morning and Michael was totally jazzed about getting his face painted- only $5 with membership discount! 

Sweet, sleeping baby- never gets old to peek in on them while they are snoozing! 

Lastly, I have been trying to get some work done out in the yard but it is darn near impossible! Trying to haul everything out the girls need and find something to keep Michael entertained is a feat in itself plus then I have to keep an eye on everyone or listen to crying while I frantically try and get some work done. It is almost not worth it and we've been trying to do a little bit at night when the girls go to sleep but I am at a loss. Am I doomed to just have terrible looking landscaping forever?? It is frustrating to me but a good lesson for me that maybe I can't always do everything, all the time. 

So that is our summer so far. Thanks for reading along...I'll keep you updated along the way! 

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