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A Heads Up For Oncoming Summer

I thought I’d write a little fair warning for myself for next Summer seeing as how June hit and I was blindsided by the inevitable craziness, again.  I promised myself I’d republish it this May. It’s June. I hope I’m not too late.

July 18, 2015

Dear Shalagh,

Just a little reminder about what you may be in store for if you don’t take some heed from previous Summers and get onto some pre-planning. The word of this year’s Summer is Proactive. The opposite of “ignore the inevitable and be very very sorry you did that” reactive.

If you have already signed Eamon up for his Summer camps, good for you. But just remember to write them down on every loving calendar you have. Last year’s oopsie with soccer camp nearly had you missing it. And make sure you buy a new bottle of Neutragena Ultra Sheen sporty sunscreen in a can and put it right in the car with the extra obnoxious baby sunscreen stick for faces. Eamon’s blistered nose last year will hopefully be another bad memory. Maybe in the Winter, have the kids come up with little recipes for fun un-bored Summer Days. Make recipe cards for them and make a special anti-boredom recipe box. Like “pack a picnic lunch and a craft and go to the park and ask a friend to meet us there”. Or “let her draw all over herself with washable markers and then Fill the Hello Kitty pool with pink bubbles and let her get a bath”. Well worth the advanced effort in entertainment and photo ops.

Bicycles on the tennis courts on Shalavee.com

Hopefully you have updated your Summer Supplies at the end of last season. New bubbles, freezie pops, bathing suits, and some other toys to pull out on the day when everyone’s bored. It’s never too early to put rendezvous and day trips on the calendar. Wednesdays at the beach is a great tradition and also request guest appearances from helpers. And send out pre-notes for play dates to see who is interested and ready to book.

sharing ice cream on Shalavee.com

Plan out some Meals for July when the fruit and veggies kick in. Sundays and Mondays worked out good for cooking double meals. Gazpacho, fish tacos, grilled meats and fruit salsa. And truly make sure there’s at least 3 things that are either already made or easy DIY for breakfast. Because Summer means you can have a break too. In fact, let go of the notion that everyone has to show up for breakfast at the same time. Vacation mode means it would be nice but whenever is good too.

Fiona the bathing beauty on Shalavee.com on Shalavee.com

Schedule a pedicure and a wine drinking friendship night right off the bat so you have something to look forward to. Wear your friendship bracelet, tell everyone to come over to your house and throw a party if you can’t get out. You need to be with your people more than once every 3 weeks.

And lastly, you need to ask that husband to pick a day and a half every week that he’ll be taking the kids. Away preferably. It’s nothing personal, it’s just a daft guy thing. And have him figure out a lovely date night for the two of you and arrange the childcare. OK?

sparklers on Shalavee.com

The biggest favor you can do for yourself, if nothing else, is to relax the schedule. Let the kids stay up, let them sleep in. Make it OK to take a little more time to get up, cook or not, clean the kitchen, and get out. And know that this way, when there’s no way in heck you are even making it to the gym for even a second workout this week, that’s OK. Because you’ve got two kids and something has got to give. Might as well let the Summer schedule give back to you too.

Good luck and I hope with a little forward thinking and mapping, your Summer will not be even half as stressful as the last two have been.

Take care of yourself please,

Love,

Shalagh

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Summer’s Conclusion

As Summer is finally coming to an end, I offer up a few thoughts, memory bits, and photos of us squeezing the last drops of fun we could have.

First, a poem sent to me with a lovely card and feather from a new not too far away friend. The connections continue.

Card from a friend on Shalavee.com

Summerfest last weekend was the perfect celebration to an August we truly enjoyed.

Summerfest on Shalavee.com

belly dancers at Summerfest on Shalavee.com

volunteering for Summerfest on Shalavee.com

Eamon was a volunteer for the festival and got to play with legos while hanging out with the marvelous Judge Karen.

Afraid to go in on Shalavee.com

Fiona was terrified and would not go into the bouncy thing on this day, Friday. But the next day, I had a heck of a time trying to get her out.

Overcame the fear the next day on Shalavee.com

peach pie on Shalavee.com

Oh did I mention I made a sumptuous peach pie which we scarfed down before the fireworks?

Fireworks at Summerfest on Shalavee.com

The fireworks at the end are always such a treat. Fiona’s hands were glued to her ears but she didn’t cry.

Destroying the sandsculpture on Shalavee.com

And then there’s the annual destruction of the sand sculpture. What fun to start your day this way.

In the pool with Barbie on Shalavee.com

And then one last dip in the Hello Kitty pool which has developed three fissures in its sides all plugged with plastic wrap globs.

The slip and slide on Shalavee.com

And then we pulled out the slip and slide I’ve had in the garage for like three years and had some more fun-e-fun.

laying in the sun on Shalavee.com

And then there was this. Laying in the Sun felt so necessary on this day.

Eamon kept saying we weren’t allowed to mention his going back to school because it was officially still Summer. And then we grilled hamburgers just to make sure we got the full Summer feeling in place.

Despite the rocky start my Summer had, I felt the ease I hoped for finally happened and we had a graceful bubble to occupy these last couple weeks before school started. I never felt sad or regretful because we did it the best way we knew how. And that id all you can do.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.


Summertime Doing

Certain elements feel like Summer. Are almost necessary for Summer to achieve Summer-ness.

Fiona and that face in the hello kitty pool on Shalavee.comon

There’s bubbles, fireflies, sparklers, s’mores, and “swimming”, which just means being in “woger” to Fiona.

ripening tomatoes on Shalavee.com

On the Shore here, Summertime means local food. Crabs, corn, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

Maryland Blue Crabs on Shalavee.com

And all activities related to obtaining these yummy ingredients.

crabbing on the Eastern Shore on Shalavee.com

We went dip net crabbing once and had a blast.

A day at the blustery beach on Shalavee.com

Visiting the beach can be a challenge with the onslaught of traffic but well worth the effort for a Wednesday outing.

Adam's Market on Shalavee.com

Stopping back by the Adams market on the Delaware line for produce.

shucked corn on Shalavee.com

crabcake and corn salad on Shalavee.com

And then fondling, shucking, and cooking your treasures. Crab cakes, corn salad, and pita chips.

obligatory sunburn on shalavee.comAnd as always, there’s the obligatory sunburn at soccer camp.

Yup, chaos and boredom aside, I think we’re hitting some sweet Summer notes, grabbing great pictures, and actually having fun.

One month left. I think I may need a vacation from this vacation however.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you tremendously for your visit.

Five Things at the End of June

Every once in a while, I borrow my friend Lauren’s five things format to catch up with you and myself.

When I find I’m in a lonely woeful rut, I prescribe myself more creativity and community. Making and chatting makes everything a little more shiny and hopeful. And that’s exactly what I needed a good dose of after my rough start for Summer. #Payitforward15 from Shalavee.com

I happened on a Pay It Forward 2015 Project on Instagram and was folded into their generosity receiving a gift at the beginning of this week. So I am then turning around and sending five back out. Cause that is spreading the love to the world in a small, creative, and generous way. Love it.

I gathered my brains back up off the ground from the Summer’s Stutter Start and made a few adjustments to my thoughts and attitudes and did a round-up at the therapy appointment. Takeaways include my need to be my friend more than my parent. And I questioned how can I punish myself for not doing those things I have yet to even define?

Sunset on the dock at The Bridges Restaurant on Shalavee.com

Me and Pegeen at the Bridges Restaurant on Shalavee.com

Sunset on the dock on Shalavee.com

  • I got to spend a dockside sunset watching evening last Friday with an old friend who moved a half hour away. And had lunch with another dear gal friend today. Be a friend and you’ll have one.

Daddy and Fiona at Jimmys on Shalavee.com

Fiona at the Bridgeville playground on Shalavee.com

  • We play-grounded and spent family time in our backyard enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend and week beginning. And, being a good friend to me, I finally went back and watched the final episode of the 3rd season of the Walking Dead and the first episode of the 4th season. Ah I have missed everyone. But mostly myself.

Eamon and Fiona at Jimmys on Shalavee.com

Mark and Eamon playing guitar on Shalavee.com

  • My precocious children are well and thriving this week. Eamon wanted to mess around on the guitar and is now practicing the Star Wars theme on the piano after we watched the 229th Maryland National Guard Army Band play this and many other marvelous theme songs on the Courthouse Green. Sue and fiona on the Green on Shalavee.com

Fiona worked the laps in the crowd. This is the same two-year old who’s moving into ten word sentences and beginning to say the “I DO IT” phrase. Sigh. I’m thinking big girl bed and potty training are sooner than later.

Today we’re off to the beach for the first time this year so expect cute Fiona beach pictures!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Summer’s Stutter Start

I truly had no expectations for the start of Summer. I was having a rough time anyway and didn’t want to predict it getting any rougher. But it still did. The same day that school let out, the two-year old got sick. And the next day, my husband had a tire blow out on the major highway. I then found out I’d allowed the children’s insurance to lapse and there I was in the strike zone again.

Worst of all, being underneath a sick and tantruming toddler for the next 7 days meant there was just no room for me. sick girl is still cute on Shalavee.com

I like having time and space to myself to create and feel productive and whole. In the absence of that, I feel ‘less than’, angry, and hopeless. Fed up and exhausted from the perpetual waking up of the child and the sudden relentlessness of my life, I felt shameful moments of rage and desperation and behaved in a ridiculously dramatic way to show to my husband that I in fact couldn’t handle all of this as well as he thinks I can.

I then explained that my mommy brain thinks I have to be watchful of the children 24/7. This consciousness ensures they’re kept alive but wears me out and could he please know that I do this and step in and say he’s got them for a while even without me asking? He may or may not have heard this but it was me saying something out loud. I need to hear myself say that I’m allowed a break.Rocking chair hug on Shalavee.com

My constant irritation by everything was exactly the opposite of the feelings of bliss and ease I’d had with my family on several weekends in the month before. What’s the difference I wondered ?

And as each day played out and eventually her health was restored, the insurance was renewed, the car was being repaired, and Mark’s work evened out, I began to feel better. And watching moments of tenderness between my children filled me with the gratitude I was missing. And I knew the spell had passed.

And then I knew what the difference had been.

Faith in my life. Faith in myself.

 

My family on Shalavee.com

When I thought about what really tweaked me during those really hard days, it was the belief that it would always be bad. My anxiety was climbing as I was silently predicting a future that would have me dealing with this stress perpetually. And I’d always be handling it alone. These wrong thoughts are called cognitive distortions. They are lies that we tell ourselves and then, when we feel the feelings of sadness, desperation, or depression, we say that the thoughts must be facts then because the feelings make them feel real. But they don’t. The distorted thoughts are the cause of the yucky feelings.

What I tell myself I believe.

I had myself believing I would always be alone, never have the help or support I would need, and that mothering a daughter would be the hell everyone has ever warned me about. But the truth is that phases ebb and flow. Bad spells come and go. Kids get sick and better. My support system was on vacation that week but they would return again.Siblings on Shalavee.com

What’s most important is that my kids don’t get the idea that I doubt my abilities to parent them. I spend quality time with them and they know that they’re loved. The sickness behavior screws it all up for a week and then it’s as if it never happened. And no, mothering doesn’t have to be the only thing that ever defines my worth. But I better get hopping on stuff that invests my talents for me and my hope into the future. So when the next tantrum and the next bad spell happens, I know I’ve invested in my goals and my getaways and my hope for my future. And that I’m not alone. That I’ve got my back too.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

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