I was talking to someone recently about how I'd done some things 'wrong' this summer. She has older kids, so she encouraged me to write down the things that I did right and the things I did wrong so I can remember for next year. (When, of course, the kids will be an entire year older and much different than they are now.) I like this idea, so here goes:
1. Don't overschedule. And for the love of God, don't underschedule.
I am an overscheduler by nature, and this has unfortunately extended into my parenting. There were many days this summer-- many days-- where we were running all over creation from wake up to sleep time. In some ways this was good, especially when it came to camps and classes. But in other ways, it felt like half of our summer was spent rushing in car.
Here are some of our scheduled activities:
(Ballet. This was the first on my list of activities that were going to have to go once I realized just how badly I'd overscheduled our summer. The only reason it worked was because J and I figured out a ride share/babysitting situation. Anna loved it, of course.)
(Theater camp. I mean, obviously I love theater camp. And I LOVED that Anna loved theater camp. But the drop off/pick up times caused me untold anxiety this year, so I've got to figure out a better way for next year. Because she WILL go next year. Obv.)
(Book buddies. This was a bit of a dud for us this year, but since Aaron only just turned three, was our only option for him. He did not love it, so of course I didn't love it. Thankfully next year he'll have more options. IF he stops pooping his pants.)
(Swim lessons. Our lessons this summer were Saturdays at... wait for it... 8:00am. Let me tell you how many people gasped in horror when I told them that. But I don't have children who sleep in, and I certainly don't sleep in, so 8:00am swim lessons worked out great for us.)
(Little Gym. Forgive the horrible picture, but it's the only one I took. This was the only place I could take both kids at the same time and actually sit in a waiting room and wait for them. I brought my iPad and got some work done. Then we went to Panera for dinner. This class was awesome, for all of us.)
Based on the pictures above, you're probably wondering if we ever had a day where we had nothing on the schedule. We did! And those were hard days for me, because this momma loves a good schedule. But here's how we filled that time.
(Swimming. Lots of swimming. Our favorites were Sunday afternoons when Daddy could come too. Anna jumped off the diving board! And Buddy finally stopped drinking the pool water.)
(The zoo. God bless the family pass to the zoo. The Minnesota Zoo is awesome and we went lots. The last two pics were at shark class, and it was really fun!)
(Is there anything better than walking around Lake Harriet in the summer? Not really. The second pic is probably my favorite of the summer.)
(BCK got my very first 'garden' going this year, which is to say she started some tomato plants for us. This is our first cherry tomato, and we've been enjoying the 'harvest' all summer. And by 'we' I mean me, because I love tomatoes, and no one else in my family really does.)
There was simply not enough vacation time this year, but we did do our annual Dirty Dancing trip up North with our friends. It was just as fun as last time, despite much cooler weather. Here are some highlights:
5. The State Fair
No summer post would be complete without a post about our annual State Fair gorge-fest. This time, however, we were joined by my esteemed sister-in-law and her equally food-fun husband. She blogged about our experience in depth, so I won't recount it here. Let's just say... fried olives. And then let's just say cheese curds.
(I would insert a picture here, but my computer has given up on me.)
I'm looking at my post so far and realizing something. Yes, it was a busy summer, but how could I possibly complain? We had no illnesses, L's travel was totally manageable (it won't be, starting this week), and look at all those smiles! So yes, logistically, I'll probably do things differently next year. But even if I don't, if that's how happy we wind up, I'd say a woman in her thirties is doing pretty great.