Summer is Coming

I love summer. More specifically I love the idea of summer.  In my mind, summer is sun drenched days by the water, afternoons in the hammock and long feasts of summer fruits that drift into evenings by the fire.  In my life, summer is chaotic mornings filled with guilt because it’s 11:30 and we’re still not outside. Followed by unimaginative lunches and sweaty naps. Eventually, leading to “yes, whatever, you can watch some TV.”  Finally, ending with very late bed times and cranky parents and kids.  In reality, I don’t even have a hammock or a fire pit, can you imagine policing my crew with those two hazards on site?

What’s a summer idealist to do? I cannot give in, if I accept defeat and admit that summer may not be our best season then I will have nothing to push me through Minnesota’s seemingly, unending winter.  No, I must take back summer!!!  I spent quite a lot of time contemplating this in February, March, April, and most of May when it was still freezing outside and developed a plan of attack.  I shared it with Twin Cities Moms Blog, please check it out if you want to know how I’m going to win summer or if you love me and want to make me feel good.

Summer is Coming: This Mom’s Guide to Survival

As always, I’ve held back a little for you, my few but faithful readers:

8. Summer cuts. Something about buzzing off most of their hair symbolizes a fresh start.  Also, it makes it a lot easier to check for ticks.

9. Fire Pit.  I am indeed hoping to add a fire pit to our outdoor decor.  Now that I have a plan life is \going to be too easy, so I thought I’d add a touch of mortal danger to our evenings.

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Staycation Spring Training

Am I the only person who is glad Spring Break is O-V-E-R?  Four days later and I still feel like I spent too many days in the sun with a umbrella drink in my hand (except I don’t have any tan lines or pictures of things I regret on the internet). We had a Staycation this year and despite avoiding TSA and the arduous task of packing and unpacking, I am exhausted.

I did a little (a lot) of planning in advance to avoid the Lord of the Flies reenactment that happens at my house when the boys get bored.  To learn more about this you’ll have to read my most recent post for Twin Cities Moms Blog: Spring Break Staycation.   Having a plan definitely helped but unfortunately our lovely early spring 60 degree weather promptly iced over as soon as Fletcher got home from school.  I should have toughed it out and forced us outside because it is the best way for us all to let off steam. C’est la vie! Instead, we visited the Children’s Museum, the MN Zoo, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Roseville library.  Between our outings and lots and lots of potty breaks there weren’t many moments left but we filled them with crafts and games.

The week was sort of my time trial for summer.  Apparently, I need a lot more practice.  My Pinterest researching to activity hands-on time ratio is way to high. I need to do some patience stretching exercises.  Perhaps, I’ll run up and down the stairs with an over stuffed bag in one arm and a screaming child in the other.  Hopefully, this regimen will reduce my recovery time so I don’t have to spend all of September hiding from the world.

In the meantime, here’s some Spring Training game tape for your review:

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You Think You’re Cooler Than Me

You think you’re cooler than me and you’re probably right.  But my kids are cooler than me so the bar isn’t set very high. This week on the Twin Cities Moms Blog, I talk about how I use my kids as an excuse to visit neighborhoods that are too cool for me.  It’s called Nordeast for Mini Hipsters but I’m so lame I’m not even sure what a hipster is so no promises it will up your cool factor.

For those of you who are too cool for the whole “reading” thing, I’m attaching two photos for your viewing pleasure:

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You Can’t Say I Told You So

Well, perhaps celebrating every National Day was a bit ambitious.  It wasn’t particularly well thought out either. I never looked beyond the second day to find out not every day was filled with yummy goodness like whipped cream and shortbread.  Good thing for me no one said any thing earlier so I don’t have to hear “i told you so” from anyone.

Whether I should have know better or not, I’m still going to try to add a little celebration to our everyday.  Today we reveled in our new easels.  So far the boys have created abstract bears, a van, an airplane, a lion, and a dinosaur.  I was thrilled by the how long they lasted painting, usually they are “all done” before I set down the paint.

Just in case you think I was just to lazy to find a way to commemorate today’s day, Happy National Bobblehead Day!

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National Day Year

Did you know it’s National Whipped Cream Day?  Now you do and so do my kids. National Days are great.  There’s National Donut Day, Bacon Day, and even No Interruptions Day (how do I convince my kids to celebrate that one?); there’s one for everyday.  I think they are just the thing I’ve been searching for to add a little something to our days.

“WTF?” you say “don’t you have enough going on?”

Yes. But indulge my lunacy for a bit.  I noticed over the holidays that having something to “celebrate” provided me with easy inspiration for activities.  And new activities keep the chaos, around here, under control.  I’m learning (very slowly) that we need a balance of routine and remarkable to prevent boredom (in the boys) and lethargy (from me).  We’re pretty good at the routine part (except when we’re not) so I’m going to incorporate National Days to create the remarkable.

The following is how we celebrated National Whipped Cream Day.  My mom-mentor and long time friend, Maggie, taught me this recipe.  It’s a guaranteed hit with all ages.

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Let’s be honest, there’s no way I’m going follow through on doing this for a year (or week).  Tomorrow is National Shortbread Day so I predict I’ll make it at least two.  Whether I do or not, I have one more resource to ward off the bad habits that find us the doldrums.

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More Halloweenish

This afternoon we got some Cuz Luv at the ZooBoo at Como Zoo.  This is a great Halloweenish event so we took all the costumes out for a test drive.  A frightfully good time was had by all.  The only scary part was what almost happened to the woman who thought she could skip the line and jump in right front of us.  Apparently, I can act like a witch even without a costume (yes, I know most of you already knew that.)

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Jewel of Denial

I deal with Minnesota’s “season who will not be named” in two ways: dread and denial.  I’m like a schizophrenic squirrel.  One minute, I’m wearing flip-flops in 40 degree weather, the next I’m hoarding craft supplies and canned foods like we’ll never see the sky again.  As a part of the denial process, I embrace any and all outdoor fall activities.  (Maybe its dread too either way if its outside, I’m on it.)  One of my favorites is picking apples.  This year we went back to Pleasant Valley Orchard, where we picked strawberries this summer (see U Pick I Pick U).  Shafer is a bit of a hike but the ride out is beautiful, the people are nice and the crowds are nil.  We had a glorious day.  In addition to plucking way too many apples, the boys climbed on hay bales, “drove” the tractor, and bounced around on a nice long hay ride.

To help prevent an apple overdose I attempted some Vitamix applesauce (aka I’m too lazy to cook the apples but I didn’t want them raw either.)  The result was a hot apple slushy.  I can’t recommend it but a little spiced rum makes everything better.  I did succeed in making a delicious apple crisp.   My secret is half the apples, twice the crisp.

P.S. This weekend they have Honeycrisp apples!  If you don’t know why that’s so wonderful you have some apple eating to do.

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