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Tag: summer

Summer At Last

We are a couple weeks into Summer now, which is feeling a bit more normal. School is done for the year and the stress of online learning is gone. For the kids, the days are much more relaxed – staying up late and sleeping in had already become the norm, but now I suppose it is a bit more acceptable. The only difference for them at this point is that I am home with them during the day instead of going to the office.

A few activities have slowly started back up. Caleb is back at piano lessons and has tutoring a few times a week. One-on-one tutoring has been much better for him than online summer school would have been. The other two kids don’t have much going on yet, but Evie will have volleyball camp in July and Fall team sign-ups will be starting soon. She’s scheduled for church camp if that gets to happen as well. Zach doesn’t have a lot of plans, but will be turning 15 in a couple weeks, so we have printed off the driver’s guide so he can start studying for his permit test. We’re also starting to look into job opportunities for him.

After three months of doing virtually nothing outside of the house, it seems strange now to be making all these plans. My calendar is suddenly starting to fill up again. We’re planning a trip to Texas soon, and while I thought I had a pretty blank calendar, I’m now having to try to schedule that around other things.

As of next week, my office is officially back to regular hours with most of the staff being on-site again. I still plan to work mostly from home for now, but will most likely be back at least one or two days a week. It will feel strange for a while.

Honestly, thinking about going back to a regular schedule after these last few months is giving me nearly the same amount of anxiety that I had when everything started shutting down in March. I feel like things are good right now. I’ve really settled into working from home. I love my home office and finally have it set up to function well. I’ve got my routine down and I’m feeling more on top of things for work than I have in a long time. I am also really enjoying having my evenings free to relax or work on projects around the house. I’ve never really been a fan of change. I guess it will just take a while to get used to our normal amount of crazy again.

In the meantime, I’ve still got a long list of projects to keep me busy and help squash the anxiety for a while. Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks I’ll actually be able to park my car in the garage. We’ve been in our house for a full year now. I suppose it is time to finish unpacking those boxes!

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Summer

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Today kind of feels like the first day of summer for our family. Summer school is finally done for Zach. Evie and Caleb are done with day care for a while. For the first time ever, my kids actually get to know what it feels like to have a summer off and get to stay home. The idea of putting all three kids in full time day care for the summer nearly gave me a heart attack, so my awesome sister agreed to keep the kids for the rest of the summer. My in-laws are coming up to cover about a week and a half while my sister has other obligations, so that only leaves about  a week at the end of the summer for us to figure out.

I’m not even sure when this became such a big deal to me. I mean, sure, it saves me some money in day care costs, but it isn’t just that. I’m genuinely excited that my kids get to be at home. They can sleep in, watch tv, play, and just enjoy being kids – all of the things I wish I could go back and do again. The only hard part is that I don’t get to be there to enjoy it with them. I find myself wishing, yet again, that I would have followed my own plan and continued to pursue becoming a school guidance counselor (I could never be a teacher!) so that I could have summers off too. I didn’t realize what I was giving up when I let my life change course.

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I shouldn’t let myself do it, but I keep finding myself daydreaming about the things I could do with the kids if only I were home with them during the week. We can only cram so much into a weekend and I feel like they deserve so much more than I can give. Plus, splitting my time between 3 kids is way harder than splitting it between 2, especially when 1 of the 3 demands my attention the majority of the time. I feel like the older kids are really missing out right now and it just plain sucks.

In order to combat my feelings of inadequacy, we came up with a summer bucket list of sorts of all the fun family activities we want to do…that I now have to also cram into the already full weekends. Instead of taking the time to clean my house, do laundry, and grocery shop on the weekends, I’m taking time out to be with my kids and do something fun with them. I need it just as much as they do. So if you come to my house and can’t walk through the living room? I’m sorry. We’re going to be too busy applying sunscreen, playing in the water, going camping, picnicking, having water balloon fights, and hanging out at the lake to clean it up.

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I’m Not The Best at Making Decisions

Never in my 33 years of life have I dreaded summer. I have always looked forward to it. I love the sunshine. I love the heat (as long as I have air conditioning available when I want it). I love splashing in the water with my kids, taking trips to the lake, BBQ’s, and all of the other fun stuff that comes with summer.

This summer, however, there’s a new component – trying to figure out what to do with Zach while school’s out. This is filling me with so much anxiety right now that I can’t even think about the joys of summer yet. It’s complicated this year. If Evie was on school break too, I would hire a sitter to come to our house and call it good. I seriously doubt I could find a sitter to come to the house for what I can pay for only one child. If both kids were home it would be much more feasible, but I’m not ready to take her out of the day care that we love (it already makes me sad to think about putting her in preschool).

I’m not really sure where else to look at this point. I’ve checked with the YMCA day camps and they are a bit more pricey than what I can pay. His old preschool has a school-age program in the summer, but he wasn’t very happy there towards the end and says he doesn’t want to go back there. I’m sure there have to be more day camp programs around, but I haven’t found them yet, at least not ones that we can afford.

It seems odd that we can’t afford day camp costs, considering that we paid for full-time day care for the first five years of his life. Those years were a big struggle financially, especially after his sister came along. Now that we finally have a little bit of breathing room (thank you public school system!), adding on another $140-160 a week seems like a lot of money.

Then there’s the other issue that’s staring me in the face. Now that we know he has some definite sensory issues, I worry about introducing him to a new situation. What if we put him in a summer camp and he just can’t handle it? It took us several months of school before I felt like things were under control and I feel like we’ll be starting all over again. I don’t want the poor kid to be miserable all summer because he’s put in a situation that makes him uncomfortable. For my own comfort, I need to know that he’s somewhere that can handle his quirks and can manage a meltdown if/when it happens. I would hate to think that all the work we’ve done with him over the last few months would be blown because he isn’t in a place where he can get the support he needs.

So I’m stuck. I know I still have two and a half months or so to figure it all out, but I’m a little stressed out about it right now. Parenting brings so many challenges, but deciding who is going to care for my child when I can’t is the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do. I never feel like I’m making the right decision, although I have been super lucky a couple of times. I guess I just have to keep looking until I find something that feels right.

In the meantime, I’m sending him back to Evie’s day care for spring break next week (even though he thinks he’s too old for it). He’s not at all happy about it, but I tried to buffer the disappointment a little by signing him up for another session of swimming lessons. I can’t wait to see him in the water again. Not only does he love swimming, but he’s getting pretty darn good at it too!

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Summer Ends Too Fast

The temperatures have cooled down, schools are starting up, and just as we’re finally starting to really enjoy it, summer has to end.  Over Labor Day weekend we took one last trip to my dad’s lake house.  We had an amazing time riding around on the pontoon boat, fishing with the kids, sharing meals, and just spending time together (me winning the game of Scrabble was just a little bonus!).  There’s really not much more to say, so I’ll share some of my favorite photos from the weekend instead.

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I ♥ Faces – Week 30 – My Story In Photos

This week the ladies at I ♥ Faces are taking a break so instead they are asking participants to share stories about their summer. For me, this summer has been all about family. Not only have we spent a lot of time with extended family, but we’ve also tried to make time for our little family of four to bond. We’ve had a lot of fun, but the best part of it all has been watching my son and daughter move beyond just being siblings and become friends. Tonight, as they played in the floor before bedtime, Zachary hugged Evie and said, “You’re my best friend forever.” Then my heart melted into a puddle.

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Cheese!

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Don’t forget to check out the other summer stories over at I ♥ Faces!



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