Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to have the worst summer ever

We're into Day 4 of the first full week of summer vacation and so far... not so good. In case any one out there wants to give it a shot and join me, I thought I'd give a little outline as to how you too can blow your summer break.

1. Make sure you have sick kids. Having sick kids means not really being able to go out anywhere. It also means that you're wiping noses 3,429 times a day (lovingly, of course) and washing your hands more times than that, ensuring that they're as dry as... something really dry. (How's that for an awesome simile?)

2. Don't get dressed until after noon... or three... each day. This way, you feel totally unmotivated to get much done. You also feel sloppy and grumpy as a result.

3. Don't have a plan. I'm not talking about flexibility and freedom, I'm talking about ANY plan. Chore plan? Forget it. Rules? Forget it. Activities? Forget it. Just wing it and see what happens. I'm learning that it usually means that the end of the day arrives just as I'm getting around to making any sort of plan. This also means grumpy mom and kids. (Are you sensing a theme?)

The bottom line, is that I've gotten a little taste of what summer break might be like if I'm not intentional about it. Granted, there's not much I can do about sick kids. I actually think that Brody and Addie having little colds this week has been a blessing in disguise. It's shown me what it will be like to putz around here all day without a plan or purpose for the things we're doing.

Don't get me wrong - I am ALL for a day at home in jammies. I'm a homebody. I love being here, and see nothing wrong with being in jammies all day once in awhile. But I do think it should be the exception, not the norm. I find I get more done around the house - even if I don't intend to leave - when I'm dressed, and especially if I'm showered. This goes for the kids too!

And I don't want to book us solid all summer. I just think I need some sort of plan for when we're home and when we're not. Otherwise, I can imagine August rolling around and regretting that I wasted our summer.

So, the last couple of days I've really been thinking about what summer looks like. Some of the things I'm thinking of:
  • The girls and I made a summer wish list - things we want to do, places we want to go, things we want to learn, etc. I hope to put it on a posterboard like this so it's visible.
  • We also brainstormed an extensive list of things we can do here at home. If they ever complain of being bored, they will be directed to the list!
  • One adventure per week (or every other week) - some of the things on our summer wish list are bigger than "going to the park." My hope is that we can do one of these a week.
  • Chores - we don't really do chores, but I think this is a good time to start. I like what my friend Meredith is doing, and I think I'll alter for our purposes. I even like her idea of writing it on the fridge, except I have two tiny little 9-month-old hands that would love to get in on that action!
  • I think part of the chores will be daily expectations of the girls: get dressed, brush teeth, and make their beds before they can watch any TV, play the Wii, play their Leapsters, go outside, or play with friends.
  • A rule for myself - I need to up and ready for the day by 9:00 a.m. With kids who wake up around 7-ish, it's not a matter of being up (sleeping in? what's that?), but more a matter of getting around to getting ready. During the school year when there are places to get to, it's no problem. But in the summer? It's easy to put it off, put it off, and before I know it, it's noon. Come on... tell me I'm not alone in this!
  • Scripture memory - I think I'm going to try to help the girls memorize one verse a week. We haven't done this before so frequently... we'll see how it goes!
I'm still trying to get organized and pull it off, but my hope is that I'm getting ready to kick off a great summer! I've given myself until Monday to get it together - routine, expectations, charts, etc.

What about you? What works for you? What doesn't work for you?


  1. I'm so sorry your kiddos have been sick. It's the pits.

    I actually work best in my pjs, but make myself be showered dressed by 9am. I also plan outings to break up the monotony of summer days. Trips to the library, the park, hikes, etc. That helps me make the most of days I am at home.

    What doesn't work for me? Other kids ringing my doorbell before at 8:30 in the morning. Puts me in a grumpy mood. :)

  2. Thanks for the ideas. I'm going to try some of this stuff! :)

  3. This is the first year where there is a differentiation between school year and summer and I feel like a novice. I need to think through these ideas more, but I know the chores and me getting dressed are two huge yeses!

  4. I just read Meredith's blog, too. You girls are so GOOD! Why didn't they have blogs and Facebook a generation earlier. I'd have fewer wrinkles in my forehead. Anyway, we had a 'job jar' for these years. Busy days required one job. Company coming required two jobs. We'd draw jobs out of the jar after breakfast. It worked great until I discovered my brilliant children had marked the card that said 'your day off' so it always was drawn by the first person. AND, they'd started their own structure of who got to draw first. The omen of things to come? It was sweet littlest Austin who devised the way to cheat. Now he analyzes the TV poker games....Okay, being the sentimental fool I am...I still have the job jar!


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