Monday, June 12, 2017

Day 6 of Summer Break

Summer Blog Series

You may have noticed a little pattern starting to form around here - it's my quest to document our summer adventures misadventures adventures. I've had this blog sitting here for years with very little activity, not unlike our summers... My 14 yr old starts high school this fall, and in a couple of years he will be driving, so it dawned on me that I really only have 2 or 3 summers to force spend time with all three of my boys. This summer I've decided to step up my mom game by figuring out some activities that will get us out of the our beautifully air conditioned home (wait, what??) and out making memories and getting some fresh air. The blogging thing is because kids, especially males, have a tendency to not remember doing anything.

Ever heard this before?

Basically anyone to my kids: "How was your summer?"

My kids: "ok"

Anyone: "Did you do anything fun?"

Kids: "not really"

They always seem to forget about the carnivals, the trips to the beach and boardwalk, treks to the community pool, and anything else sprinkled throughout our summer break. So this blog series is basically my written proof that we actually did do something this summer.

I will admit that it also holds me a little bit more accountable, and prevents me from realizing it's mid-July and we haven't really done anything besides binge Netflix. Don't expect a new blog adventure everyday (I'm talking to you, mom - hi!), there's still laundry to do and down time to be had - we just aren't one of those go go go families. I can't promise that our adventures will always be successful, but we'll do our best to make them interesting.

So without further ado, sit back, sip on your iced coffee (aka yesterday's coffee in my house), and enjoy!

Day 6 of Summer Break: Strawberry Picking

"Pick your own" season is happening right now in Eastern Pennsylvania, it's one of those blink and you missed it kind of things, so I was pschyched when a high school classmate of mine posted that her family's farm was starting their season this week.

In perfect Kristin timing, the only day that we had free this week, was of course a day with temps in the 90s. Pale Irish girls and extreme heat do not go well together. Remember, indoor cat.

Nevertheless, she persisted...

  • Arrange a few days prior to meet mom and sister at farm at 10 am sharp
  • Forget to set alarm, but manage to wake up with plenty of time to shower and get boys ready
  • Sit at kitchen island drinking old iced coffee while wasting time on various social media apps, look at clock and assure self that we have "plenty of time"
  • 12 yr old wakes and immediately asks what he needs to do to get ready
  • Pat self on back for raising 12 yr old to be proactive 
  • Have stinky 12 yr old shower
  • Poor self another old iced coffee 
  • Check time again and realize 8 yr old and 14 yr old are still sound asleep and now we have 30 minutes to get out the door
  • Sip coffee...
  • Shit! Now we only have 20 minutes to get out the door and I still need to shower!!!!
  • Run up stairs
  • Try to wake 14 yr old. He proclaims that he's just going to sleep today, and to leave him home
  • Abandon sleepy teen
  • Move on to sleeping 8 yr old
  • Sweetly tell him it's time to get up
  • Receive moans of protest from 8 yr old 
  • Text mother and sister and say it's looking more like 10:30 for our meet up
  • Somehow manage to get stinky 8 yr old out of bed and into the bath
  • Get myself in the shower. Try to remember last time hair was washed. Give up and just decide to wash it.
  • "Remind" 8 yr old to brush teeth about 4 times
  • Throw wet hair in ponytail, bathing suits in bag, and sunblock on 2/3 of my kids
  • Spend way too much time trying to get dog in crate - she's smart enough to realize that when we brush our teeth AND put shoes on, that we are most definitely leaving the house, and she wants in on it
  • Finally trick her by asking if she wants to go out (I mean, she's a dog, so it worked)
  • Sister calls and says there's road work on route to farm - CRAP!
  • Manage to figure out alternate route and make great time
  • Pats self on back
  • 10:43 - arrive at farm to find sister, mother and two nieces waiting for us (oops!)
  • Grab a couple of berry baskets and hop on wagon to the berry patch
  • 4 yr old niece is VERY excited 
  • Animated is word used to best describe her. She spotted me at her preschool graduation a few days prior and exclaimed "hi Aunt Kristin!!!!" in the middle of their processional
  • Farmer driving tractor asks her name and tells her that she's in charge - as if she needed him to tell her that!
  • Woman riding with us to berry patch says that she has a granddaughter with the same name (*keep in mind that this is not a typical name, but also not all that unusual of a name) 
  • Everyone takes seat on wagon and 4 yr old gives the farmer the ok to go
  • Mention that it's about 5 degrees warmer here, than it is in Nazareth (the opposite is typically true)
  • Woman sitting across from me says that her grandchildren also live in Nazareth
  • She jokingly asks if we have any kids with her grandson's name
  • Now this name is one that you don't hear everyday 
  • That is, unless you live in my house and have a 14 yr old that plays xbox live with a boyscout that happens to go by the same name
  • And that boyscout happens to have an 8 yr old sister that shares a name with my niece
  • Talk about a small world - the boyscout that accompanied us to Ringing Rocks last week happens to be the grandson of the woman sitting across from me on the wagon ride to pick berries today
  • Wanna know something crazier?
  • Turns out the boyscout's dad went to the same high school as my husband and me, and he was friends with my brother-in-law
  • Wagon pulls up to the berry patch and wouldn't you know it, my mom spots one of her good friends
  • Man, I love this crazy universe
  • Anywho... back to the berries!
  • We all get assigned our rows to pick. My mom, sister and nieces in one, 8 yr old and I in another, and 14 yr old and 12 yr old each have their own rows
  • Remind kids to not step on plants and to only pick red berries
  • 8 yr old proclaims that he's not going to pick any berries
  • Don't argue, but tell him that he has to carry the basket
  • Eventually 8 yr old starts to pick berries (I knew he couldn't resist, pat self on back again)
  • Shortly after, 8 yr old gives up on picking berries (ugh)
  • Try to snap some pics for the old blog
  • Observe 12 yr old has interesting method of picking berries while laying on stomach
  • Get hit with rogue berry from 14 yr old
  • Remind 14 yr old that berries are not for throwing 
  • We all taste berries
  • Quickly discover that 90 degrees is not the ideal temperature for a strawberry
  • Proceed to pick berries for what feels like a total of 10 minutes 
  • Kids all claim they are DONE
  • Decide not to "force fun" as I want these adventures to be remembered as fun and not as torture (mentally thank husband for that little trade secret)
  • Make our way back to wagon with our little red treasures of sweetness
  • Daydream about making strawberry jam and other strawberry confections
  • Snap back to reality and realize that none of that is likely to happen
  • Make promise to self NOT to forget about strawberries in fridge, and NOT to remember that they are there only once they have turned green and fuzzy
  • Treat boys with a dip in nana's pool to cool off from a successful morning of strawberry picking
  • Pat self on back one last time

Friday, June 9, 2017

Day 2 of Summer Break

Day 2 of Summer Break: Ringing Rocks Park
  • Try to make up for yesterday's laziness
  • Decide on a healthy, local activity, Ringing Rocks Park is the winner
  • Let 14 yr old invite friend along to lessen complaining by said 14 yr old
  • Pack hammers and water bottles
  • 40 minutes later, arrive at destination
  • Short hike to boulder field, take in its beauty
  • Start hitting rocks with hammers and hiking over boulders
  • Awe at the phenomenon of these mysterious ringing rocks
  • Come face to face with big black spiders, the likes of which I have never seen before
  • Soon realize that climbing boulders with a hammer in one hand while trying to take pics with the other is not an easy task
  • 14 yr old's boyscout friend mentions snakes are likely down between rocks
  • Silently freak out and put phone away, so as not to drop phone between rocks and risk meeting any snakes
  • Come to realization that this climbing over boulders thing may not be for me
  • Can only think of movie 127 Hours and having to self amputate a limb
  • Start fear sweating, even though it's unseasonably cool for June 8th
  • Universe throws me a bone by way of long branch in middle of boulder field
  • Hope rises as I feel confident that I can now make it across boulder field with my new walking stick, and without too much bodily harm
  • Make it to end of boulder field, kids look at me like "what took you so long??"
  • Follow trail to waterfall
  • Think "trail" is a bit of a stretch
  • 8 yr old falls and proclaims "I want to leave"
  • 12 yr old is in his glory, repeatedly telling me how much fun he's having
  • Reaffirm my suspicion that I am most definitely an indoor cat
  • Reach falls, channel Chevy Chase looking at the Grand Canyon, and turn around to make our way back to the car
  • Internally have meltdown thinking about going back across boulder field
  • Feeling winded
  • Notice that all children that share my last name are also dragging ass
  • 14 yr old puffs on inhaler
  • Observe boyscout friend hasn't even broken a sweat (wtf!)
  • Decide that there's nothing that will convince me to climb back over boulders
  • Rationalize that I can't be the only person to ever have this thought, and that there must be a "trail" around the field
  • 8 yr old and 12 yr old are on Team Mom
  • 14 yr old can't punk out in front of boyscout friend, so into the boulder field he goes
  • Huff and puff all the way back to the car and reward self with precious water
  • 14 yr old and boyscout friend emerge from boulder field, and we all hit the road for a celebratory lunch and ice cream 

***ummm... guess what I did???
That's right - I figured out how to add pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Felt cocky enough to even add a video.
May have over estimated ability to add video...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Day 1 of Summer Break

Day 1 of Summer Break:

7:31 am - peacefully wake up without having to snooze alarm. Notice dog is still asleep (**remember to kiss husband this evening, for taking her out and feeding her before leaving for work early this morning). Stealthily grab phone, without making a single sound, so as not to wake said sleeping dog. Thumb through Facebook, play a game or two of solitaire, and kill about 45 minutes doing nothing.

8:15 am - the urge to pee overrules desire to stay in bed. Run to bathroom as carefully and hurriedly as possible to avoid peeing pants. Curse 3 kids for taking toll on bladder.

8:17 am - walk down stairs, find 8 year old eating bomb pop shirtless, but wearing shoes, in the freaking foyer. 8 year old proceeds to explain that he already had an Eggo for breakfast, this is just a snack.

9:22 am - 8 yr old finishes 2nd breakfast, consisting of 2 microwave chocolate chip pancakes. Notice his chest stained with blue bomb pop drips. 12 yr old sits next to him with bowl of Tostitos, but no worries, this is "just a snack" because he ate his breakfast when he woke up at 6:40 am. 14 yr old Frankenstein walks into kitchen and complains that he wasn't able to "sleep in".

9:35 am - finally ingest first sip of coffee and envision spending countless hours at grocery store this summer. (**note to self - buy more fruit)

9:45 am - write a quick Facebook post about morning

9:46 am - Google "what to do with kids this summer"

10:02 am - walks into rec room, overwhelmed by smell of corn chips and sweaty boys.

10:03 am - lays on couch and fights urge to pee again...

10:05 am - decides to turn morning into a blog post. Opens blog and realizes it's been two and a half years since last blog post (wtf!!).

10:15 am - is pleasantly surprised at how fast blog post came together. Gets cocky and decides to add photo to post.

12:21 pm - lays in bed disgusted with knack for turning the simplest task into a 2 HOUR technological nightmare. No picture is attached to said blog post. Fonts are 2 different sizes. Two failed attempts on 2 different laptops, plus 1 smartphone.

12:34 pm - can't attach picture, but somehow attaches a link to song stuck in head.

12:36 pm - All hope is lost. Decides to hit "publish" anyway. Welcome to my house.

*** Update - it took me 2 days, but I finally figured out how to add my picture!!