"Be thankful in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thes 5:18

Friday, June 3, 2011

Planning To Not Be Total Summer Bums

We are about to sit down as a family tonight or this weekend with the calendar, to map out the summer.
Some really bad things can happen to a family in the summer, especially when you live where it gets soooooooooo hot. Though we are having oddly cool weather right now.

Here are some of those bad things I don't look forward to:
  • The sleep pattern tsunami: The kids eventually sleep in ridiculously late and so do I. The cool beautiful morning is gone and the heat is at the door. This results in jamies, couch potatoes, cereal bowls everywhere and TV. They also stay up way too late and repeat the cycle again.
  • The tube of terror: Seriously, don't you know mom? Summer is for us to catch up on the whole last year of shows we missed! Who cares if our eyeballs fall out or our brains go to mush? We have been worked so HARD all year, we deserve this! It's our BREAK mom!

  • Snack attack: Meals? Who eats meals in the summer mom? Can't we just have the cereal box and eat from it on the couch? What is a carrot anyway and why would I want to eat one? Can you go shopping mom? We don't have any real food? Can you take me to the market to get chips or gummy bears?
  • Poor Daddy: The only guy on the planet who still needs normal life. Dinner at the table, a good night sleep, family time, and to top it off, he's out in the triple digits while we hibernate.

  • Exercise shmexersize: This is a problem for my kids anytime of the year but especially in the summer. Even at 8pm they claim it's too hot to ride their bikes. Frankly, I have the same problem. Summer is the hardest time for me to work out. The kids are around, I sleep in, and it's hot till evening and I'm no evening work out queen.

  • Does My Sister Still Live Here?: This is the sleep over till I'm adopted phase. It an happen here or there but too many sleep overs reek stress on us and the kids even though they don't know it.
So I think those are the main ones. I don't look forward to all that. I am determined to have a fun but healthy summer. I'm looking for ideas but here are some of my thoughts:
  • Scheduled Family Hikes or Beach Days: This is about the only fun free thing we can go do this summer. We are looking at the calendar and planning ahead to take these times away as a family, no mp3's or DS allowed. We are trying to keep some close to home and others we will drive a bit for.
  • Craft Days: I'm planning out one craft a week this summer to pull away from the TV on a hot afternoon. One or two may not be exciting for Caed so I'm going to try to come up with boy alternatives. I'm not planning more than one a week though because I can tend to go overboard in this department easily.
  • I'm Getting Up: I'm not going to let myself sleep in this summer. In fact, I'm going to stretch my get up time to walk in the cool morning. I do plan to let them sleep in a bit so I can enjoy the morning quiet with coffee and reading before the craziness. This will also help me sympathize with my husband as he is on a normal schedule. Maybe even plan a few early morning breakfasts on the porch.
  • Temp Induced Screen Blackouts: The TV will not come on unless the temps reach a certain high. The only exception will be if mommy needs a nap. We have not decided what range that will be but the screen times need to be when it's hot.
  • Regular Meal Times: Yes, I'm going to keep an eating schedule and snacking limits.
  • Bum Your Heart Out Day: Since I do understand that part of the fun of summer is not having any routine, planned meals, places to go... I will have one bum day a week. This will also allow morning cereal and pjs and TV. If' it's not bum day, don't ask me to be a bum.
  • Movie Themes: For scheduled family movie night we are taking the theme of musicals this summer. So yes, on the calendar we will plan which ones to watch so we have them from the library in time or from netflix.
  • Plan to Move: Pool time is the easiest one for my kids. This year it's only free for them and only on certain days. One exercise a day requirement for screen time. I' also am going to plan short evening bike/walks as a family. I also am going to plan wii fit family nights.
  • No Chores Gone Wild: I usually get way too relaxed with chores in the summer. It's just a natural digression after letting other things go. In fact, I'm switching some things up this summer and planning to teach them some new house, cooking and cleaning skills. I may even plan a skill day...if I get trigger happy.
  • I Do Still Love My Family: We ended up setting a sleep over limit last summer. For both here and away. As kids get older, they would rather do things with their friends than their siblings. So, this summer I'd like to take this up a notch by having sibling sleepovers. Sounds silly since they all live here. Yet, if you pop up a tent in the yard and they have a sibling sleepover together that way, it makes bonding more fun. Besides, there is not a lot of your stuff int he tent that your little brother could get yelled at for getting into....right? We hope?
One way we will start is to sit down and have the kids do some brainstorming. What activities would they like to go to? Places? What foods would they like to make that are good for summer? (no bake cookies, smoothies, smoothie pops, family size sub sandwiches, etc) What friends would they like to get together with? What shows do they want to catch up on? What movies do they want to see?

Comment if you have ideas or tips! I'm all ears for more ideas!


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts! I feel the same way about the summer (minus the crafts). Lots of good ideas for keeping the kids from spending their summer in front of a screen. I'm stealing some of those ideas! ~Erin

Taylor said...

Like the photo of the cat.

Kristen Borland said...

we have sleep overs (usually fridays during the school year). that means lola sleeps in the boys room or the boys sleep in lola's room. it never ends well (much whining and poking and bugging and crying--and once a humongous goose egg on lola's forehead), and yet they ALways want to do it again.

what musicals are on the list?