Saturday, July 19, 2014

inside out

So when summer started I was determined to create a routine for the kids to keep them busy and create structure for them so our days would run smoothly.  We were going to do a summer bucket list, sign up for the reading program at the library, and schedule time in our day for working on academics.  

Yeah, none of that has happened.

I have pinned all of these lovely ideas on how to entertain kids this summer and all the fun things we should be doing.  But looking back, if I had to do it over again I still don't see where it would fit in.

For us, summer doesn't allow time for structure.  There are too many spontaneous things that come up, like vacations, fun play dates, last minute trips to the park, or just blowing bubbles on the deck.  All the other stuff gets squeezed in somehow.  And it's a lot less stressful, and just as fun!  And really, many of the things we end up doing spontaneously would have ended up on the summer bucket list anyway!
Andrew takes private swimming lessons once a week.  Kerigan sits and dreams about turning three so she can do swimming lessons too.  The first couple of weeks we had tears, but she's so excited to start in a couple weeks after her birthday!
Andrew has been doing so good and learning so much!

The one thing I struggle with being home with both kids all summer, is getting them outside.  Especially when it's so hot.  Also, it is next to impossible to drag Andrew away from the Wii, or to get both kids off the iPad.  During the school year we limit their time on those things, so this summer I decided I was going to do the same, and we were going to try to spend our mornings outside.  This would give me a chance to pick up the house which ends up looking like a tornado hit it when we spend all our days inside...
Lots of dress up... or undressing, goes on!  Ha!
And a lot of this.  She literally changes pajamas at least 10 times a day.  She empties out all her drawers and just makes a huge mess.
These new pajamas from Ga Ga are a hit because they match her baby.  Anything that matches her baby is a win in her book.  Even if they don't have a picture of Sofia the First on them.
And yes, dress up consists of Andrew wearing Kerigan's tutus.
One day I found him like this.  Reading to all his stuffed animals.  See, at least he's reading, right?  (Never mind the mess!  I just keep telling myself that!)  Not pictured are the 100 other toys strung out all over his room!  Ha!
This girl is a puzzle genius.  Seriously.  She was putting together 25 piece puzzles a year ago and I finally figured out I needed to get her the 50 piece ones.  She can put them all together within minutes.  I'm amazed by this.

The kids enjoy being outside, but only for short periods of time unless we are at a park or on an outing.  We have a great backyard with a playground set and tons of toys, bikes and scooters.  They should be occupied with this for hours.  But for some reason they love to go in and out and in and out.  It drives me nuts.  And lets about 25 flies enter the house. 

So one morning I decided to lock them out until lunch time.
Plotting their next move on Mama!
They stood at the door like this and begged me to let them in!  Ha!  Andrew was thrilled, as you can tell.  I kept checking on them and went out to push Kerigan on the swing and toss the baseball around with Andrew for a little while.  But they weren't allowed back inside until lunch time.  And they actually stayed out, and had fun.  No Wii, no iPads.  And I got some laundry folded and dishes put away.  It worked out beautifully for everyone.  Ha!
I learned that a small can of bubbles can give me at least an hour of free time.  As long as no one spills!
They just loved blowing them and popping them!
These cheap containers have been the best things I've found, and easiest for Kerigan to do by herself.  I just have a big container of bubbles and I keep refilling them as needed.
Pure joy.

We've been enjoying time outside around our firepit.  One evening Papa and Ga Ga were here for dinner and we grilled out and planned to have a fire, so Andrew went down and started organizing the patio all by himself.  He was so excited.
He was so proud of himself for setting all the chairs and the table up!
We've been having lots of fun play dates with our friends too.  One day Mandy watched the kids while I had an appointment and I came to pick them up and found Emily and Andrew having a camp out in the driveway.  It was so cute!
They've had so much fun outside with the waterslide too!  How can you not want to be outside with this thing in the backyard!?

So we've been having lots of summer fun... inside and out!

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