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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Mama's Summer

It's no secret that I have historically not done summers very well.  In my old age, however, I think I've gotten a little better at it.  The name of the game this summer is STRUCTURE!  I have routines in place, daily plans, and rules to keep order.  I haven't worked out all of the kinks yet, but we're moving in the right direction.  I wouldn't be surviving if I didn't have some order.

Here are just a few of the things keeping us busy right now...

Of course a tiny little plastic piece broke on the dishwasher (attached to the latch), and to replace that one piece would have been $150 (if I did it myself).  So we figured we'd buy a new one since it was 9 years old.  But I feel like we have appliance shopping down to an art (starting with an emergency fund).  We usually go to Best Buy, see what's out there, and then go to Texas Appliance Outlet into the back, un-airconditioned warehouse and buy a scratch-n-dent for a fraction of the cost.  Why?  Because, as my mother-of-6 sister says, "The kids are gonna scratch-n-dent it anyway!"  

Levi first banged his toe and then cut it between the cuticle and nail, so we've been nursing that back to health.  It looks disgusting right now, but it's a lot better than that picture.  The nail finally fell off.  But keeping that thing clean and dry and bandaged was not as easy as one might think - he's 5 afterall.

And then there's grocery shopping after preschool is out for summer.  Fun?  Uh, no, I wouldn't say so. This was one of the more fortunate shopping trips.  As you mamas know, it can be a little trickier when they're awake.  The other thing I'm doing is trying to figure out how much I'm spending on conventional produce at Aldi and spelt/wheat through Amazon so that I can determine if I should go back to my organic produce co-op.  I'll let you know.  ;)

And this, of course, is my next big project.  We're about to have a teenager in the house!  We're hosting a Czech foreign exchange student this coming school year (which I am SO excited about), and she'll be here in August, so I have to get the room finished by then.  This room is proving to be a little trickier than I thought.  I have to a) subdue it a little since she's more into muted tones, b) furnish it with things I can use for the boys later, c) stay within a small budget, and d) do it all while the kids are home 24/7.  

Oh, did I mention what's it's like shopping with three little boys?  Things to note in this picture: 
1) It was posed.  They actually stood still so that I could snap it just like this.  
2) The older and younger are both picking on the middle child.  No surprise.  
3) The baby is not wearing shoes (they're in the stroller that he climbed out of).
4) I'm shopping clearance, because that's the best way to shop.  ;)

As if all of that wasn't enough, my stinking pool robot broke (thankfully it's under warranty) and Leslie's Pool Store is taking FOREVER to get the replacement part.  So I've been fighting an algae bloom all by hand (brushing and vacuuming and shocking).  My shoulders are killing me.  All in a days' work, y'all.

A fun thing that we've been doing is a weekly family meeting.  This has been working marvelously.  The kids are way into it, and we've implemented a lot of structure as a result.  One thing we've implemented is....

....if you get in a fight, you have to talk it out on the fireplace.  The boys busted Michael and I one night, so we had to duke it out on the fireplace.  They thought that was so awesome.  

That's about it. I'm sure you can relate.  Just like some women do pregnancy well, some women do summers really well, too.  I don't naturally do pregnancy or summers very well, BUT this summer I'm TRYING!  We'll see how it goes.  

Got any tricks for keeping mama and kids sane during summer?


  1. The girls are so bummed about the sleepover postponement! Sooo, whenever you want to work on that room, and definitely when the concert is rescheduled we'll have the boys over. We can get schedules together on Saturday and set some days for sleepovers. I typically do not do summers well either, I mean to get so much in and then the time flies by with sleeping-in and lying around and we end up back to school shopping before doing any of the fun local things I had planned on doing. So lets plan some fun activities and I'll actually put them on my calendar. What? Yes, I am finally using my calendar.
    LOVE the pic of the boys shopping with you and love the new summer hair cuts.
    BTW, shopping with two elementary to tween age girls looks to be the equivalent of shopping with three toddler to elementary age boys. Just a completely different kind of miserable. Fun. Times.

    1. I know, I NEVER go to concerts, and then that happens! WTH! The boys were really mad at me. :-/ I'll email you to get something on the calendar!

  2. I've never been a big fan of summers either. As I get older, it is less tolerable,to the point that I want to move to Alaska :) However, I do not like the extremes of winter either, so I guess I just need to figure out how to get enough money to have a summer and winter home. I'm sorry that I did not embue you with wonderful organization skills, (you can't pass on what you don't have) :) Sorry about that! However! I am happy that you have inherited the gift of beauty and how to create it in your life and home. See, Mom was good for something after all :)


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