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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Planning my first summer vacation, from the mom side

As the title would suggest, this is my first summer vacation from the mom side of things. Yes, there have been other summers in my kid's lives, but I always worked and they were in year round daycare. This is the first time we've had a summer break to plan for and I know that if we don't have a routine in place that we will all be unhappy within a week or two.  We didn't ever have a routine when I was a kid, beyond "get up and go out on the boat." (Yes, nearly every day.) We talked a bit about it as a family and I've been fine tuning it in my head and now I'm going to turn it over to you for suggestions. Here's what I'm thinking so far, and please, help me out, this is my first time!

  • From the time we get up until breakfast: free time for kids and mamas. This means I'll surf the internet mixed in with a little cleaning and my coffee, same as always. If it ever warms up I plan to sit on the porch for a lot of this, but it was 40F out there this morning, so not today!
  • Breakfast. The Bug and I have had a fairly loose breakfast plan. I want to have a time where we all sit down and eat and talk about the day. I'd like to get them to "help" plan lunch and an activity for the day, including looking up the weather to see what activity is suitable.
  • Mornings. The Princess takes a nice solid morning nap lately. The boys will need to play with each other, with minimal help from me during this nap. This is crucial, because it's the best time for me to get paying work done. I am hoping that with a few days practice and a definite activity in the afternoon that they will learn to cooperate.
  • Lunch. As soon as little girl wakes up, we'll make lunch and get it eaten. I'm hoping to teach them to clean up they living areas while I make lunch, but we'll see how well that goes.
  • Activity. Finally, the thing we picked out to do! Yay! I've been trying to think of all the parks and nature walks and other free things to do in town. Some of them will be things we stay home for (and suggestions are welcome!) but I think leaving the house once a day will be good for us. We do have one great park (and one crappy park) within walking distance.
  • Late afternoon, free time. The Princess likes a short afternoon nap. I'd like to be home for that so that I can hopefully get a little more work in.   Boys can play or whatever they want. We'll have a snack.
  • Dinner. And, more importantly, Daddy comes home! (I think this is the best part of the Bug's day.)
I'm not planning the part of the day after dinner, because it'll depend on  Mike, but I'm hoping we can go walk by the river or go fishing after dinner or other fun things. Also, Mike and I are both hoping to start jogging soon (Mike once he gets around to it, ahem, and me once I stop coughing), so that will happen in the wee hours of the morning.  He'll go, then I'll go while he showers and gets ready for work. More on this later.

My mom will be here for much of June and we have a little bit of traveling planned, so this routine will be flexible, but I really hope that if they know what to expect that our days will go better.

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  1. I'd incorporate a lot of food "crafts" so that you could cross two rivers with one stroke. You could make dinner ahead of time so that the evening is very relaxed and casual.

    I am amazed at all the free stuff that our city is offering this year. Movies and concerts in the park... movie nights at the aquatic center, family nights at the mall with firepits and storytime. My kids are getting too old for storytime but "I" like it. Read to me and give me a roasted marshmallow and I'm set!

  2. Elisabeth/puzzler2:49 PM, May 26, 2011

    My library has great summer programs, do you have a pool available, if not a small kiddie pool will keep them happy and occupied.

    As for the clean up, my rule was always you take out one toy at a time. If there are a lot of toys out, which happens, I would take a guesstimate, and everyone would have to pick up a certain number, so it was easily done.

  3. Yay for summer vacation!!!

    My favorite thing about summer break is to have NO PLAN. Our school year is so scheduled and planned... I like the fly by the moment feeling of summer taking it day by day, sometimes hour by hour. Most days usually included several hours at the community pool when my girls were young like your kiddos. Now mine prefer the company of their friends over me. Hmpf.

  4. Hmmm, getting out every day is a great idea. It is too bad you don't have a fenced in yard.

    A planned reading time after a strenuous activity is good.

    Have a secret stash of paint with water books, coloring books, write-in learning books, "new" books to read, and some DVD's. These are for cranky times, bad weather, or sick days.

    I'm with Ti; have the boys help with meals. They are big enough to set the table, help carry to and from the table, and even help with the dishes.

    All toys should be picked up before leaving the house or going to bed. The only exception would be if the children were building a fort or something huge with blocks or such.

    The only other suggestion is have each boy pick one TV show or video or whatever to watch per day. Limit time in front of the TV to those two shows.

    And, good luck. (Maybe I was a strange mom, but I never complained about wanting school to start.)

  5. I love that you are planning it sounds good to me so far. Now if only my kids would cooperate with some kind of routine like this :) I'm trying to figure in a time during the day where I can ensure that the oldest is reading (every day), that the younger two are being read to, that the oldest is working on learning skills, and that the middle one is beginning to work on learning skills. Aack! It makes my head hurt just by thinking about it but I'm sure that it can be done :) Good luck and I hope that you have a wonderful summer!

  6. Sounds like you've got a great plan in place! When I was a SAHM and the kids were little, I kept a desk of creative things for the kids to do as a quiet activity. If they watched a movie, then I tried to get them to do something creative to tie in.


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