A Summer Preview: Coming to My Backyard in 13 Days

Buddy is the king.

Last night, we set the mood. Structured schedules were tossed to the recycle bin. Issa, Riff, Buddy (our Pekingese) and I played in the backyard until our tummies rumbled for burgers, fries and lemonade. Dinner wasn’t served until 7-something.

Riff is my music man. He sings and dances to just about anything.

School is out for a couple extra days to enable families to celebrate Memorial Day properly. But, it is also a preview for parents and caregivers of what is coming to our backyards, parks, beaches, malls, amusement parks, etc., etc, in a mere 13 days.

Issa was too busy to be photographed this afternoon. She was busy prepping and plotting  our garden. Our next-door neighbors were deciding on their veggie plant choices as well. Both of us are giving pumpkins ago.

Before I leave you for a weekend of lazy beach living, I wanted to direct you to some sites that might help with crafting some refreshing and/or savory treats for your long weekend  fiestas. These bloggers always leave my mouth watering. Some day, I’m going in my kitchen to try and replicate what they make so easy. In the meantime, why don’t you get an apron on and get busy?

Afternoon Popcorn Snack – her watermelon and fresh basil margarita, hill country salsa  and DJ’s spicy grilled red dirt chicken all have me drooling while I type.

Rantings of an Amateur Chef – check out his recipes for shrimp and tomato summer salad, grilled pork tenderloin, and grilled stuffed jalapenos)

Vivek’s Eipcurean Adventures – I need to spend more time at this guy’s site. Don’t you agree? My kids don’t complain about my grilled cheese sandwiches. But, this guy has me beat. His Mozzarella en Carozza has me making a list for my next trip to my local Italian grocer, Vince and Joe’s.

A Muse in My Kitchen – Her pictures say it all.

This Italian Family -I probably don’t need to admit this. Italian food is my absolute favorite. Could it be something to do with my DNA? Who knows? Her meatball bubble biscuits and little lasagnas look like ideal, kid-friendly finger foods. I also want to try the zesty steak salad.

Here’s to battles won to keep us free; and here’s to staying free.

A great beverage to consider on this glorious weekend of family, friends, relaxation and fun is Bell’s Oberon. The label on the bottle says it all: with the color and scent of a summer afternoon.

15 Days ‘Til The End

I can’t help it. The countdown is on. It is bittersweet. At the conclusion of each school year I go through this same process. The excitement in my chest builds. I become caught up in the whirlwind of end-of-school activities. Plus, I eagerly anticipate having extra time with my two angels. There will be more time to go the zoo, local farms, beach, nature centers, parks, etc., etc.

Then, reality hits. There are only 15 more days left ’til those 2.5 hours of precious “me” time disappears. My children do not sleep in. They take after their dad; and wake when the sunshine does. My saving vices are an ample supply of caffeine, exercise, and the countdown ’til the start of school in September.

 

16 Days ‘Til Summer Vacation

This weekend served up a preview of what awaits when summer vacation begins in 16 days. My children and I were treated to 80-degree-plus days, outdoor fun, and a firework display from some overzealous neighbors.

Unlike last summer, I am expecting this one to be busy. In addition to swim lessons, vacations, and a mega family reunion bash, both children will see a tutor once a week. Plus, we’re going to make visits to see my sister in Ann Arbor, take some nature center classes, visit the zoo, watch the stars, and go camping.

What are your plans for maintaining summertime sanity? Mine include running some 5ks, scheduling regular outs with girlfriends and my hubby, and keeping the fridge stocked with adult beverages for late-night breaks on the back patio.

More Summer Please!

kateschannel - Meet Woody. Look at that face.

Hey there! Three more Mondays to go. It’s back-to-school for Issa and Riff on September 6. As the days click on, I realize I want more summer. This happens to me every August. I go through the same mix of emotions. Part of me longs for the structure school encourages as well as some consecutive hours to get “stuff” done. Another part wants to keep swimming, playing, reading and watching fireflies from my back patio.

As I started organizing my home this weekend for a new school year, I clicked through the photos on my camera. There, I took a second look at all the fun we had swimming, fishing, partying, taking nature breaks, visiting family and friends, and fixing up our landscape.

kateschannel - Riff cools off on a nature break
kateschannel - Catch and release at our local pond.
kateschannel - This happens at our tea parties.
kateschannel - Issa overcame her fear of jumping in the water at swim lessons.

Schools Out in 8.5 Days

As I write this post, I feel the warm summer breeze and I see blue skies and sunshine. Alice Cooper‘s song, Schools Out, is playing in my head. In 8.5 days school is out for Issa and Riff until September. I look at this timeline with a mix of happiness and terror.

The images of play dates, trips to the beach, backyard barbeques, swim lessons, firework shows, stargazing, and enriched learning opportunities give me plenty to smile about. I think back on my time during elementary school. Those long summer breaks were heaven. However, those images of long summer days and starlit evening skies, also give way to a reality of less time to accomplish household tasks, run errands, write, socialize with adults, and relax.

For some weeks, I thought about sending Issa to a summer day camp at her elementary school. After doing the math, the cost is equivalent to about $1/hour if she went every day for the six weeks the camp is open. This camp would have given her more structure, social opportunities and learning experiences. But, the thought of her spending so many hours away from me during her “vacation” made me feel sad. After all, “vacation” means a break from the normal, the structure and the routine. It’s a chance to re-charge and to refresh. It’s also a time for activities we don’t have adequate time to enjoy during the confines of the school year; and for more whimsical tendencies. I love having more flexibility with the when and the where.

The reality of less adult time, just means I am gaining skill at adapting. There will always be change; and it won’t always give me 8.5 days of notice.

In closing, I thought you might enjoy links to posts about traveling and summer time with children from other parenting blogs I read. These are all supportive resources that offer up plenty of smiles. All Happy reading!

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