Tag Archive | Summer

Pennsic prep – the final 5 days

I had a very productive weekend!  Not only did I get quite a few things sewn, I also found all the garb in storage.  There was a vague worry that an entire box of the current sizes had been deeply buried in storage but I got it out without too much stress.  We might not have perfect wardrobes, but, we will have enough I think.

My plan today is to finish evaluating the pile for who fits what and triple check that each pile is enough of the right things.  Have you ever rushed to pack for a trip and just figured you would take your clean laundry basket?  That does not work, by the way, you think it should be a perfect week of clothing but it really isn’t.  Same concept with my totes of garb, you feel like a pile the height of my child  would yield outfits for the week but some years they grow tall and need skirts and some garb is too warm and you get the idea…  the only way is to stand there with each child and try on all things in the size range.


The end goal is to have everything packed and delivered to the person packing the trailer by Wednesday.  I feel like an important step, the ‘pack the car’ step will be missing from my life this year, but, I have done extra packing plenty of years so I don’t think my lifetime average will be negatively impacted.

Thursday the plan is to have a clean up the house and hang out day.  I hope my plans actually work out and there are no crazy departures from the normal schedule the next few days.

This is probably not the wild and crazy fun blog this week.  I’m just going to pack and parent.  Next thing after I publish here is to make the list for packing, it has been bouncing in my head but with the house rearrangement, there are not as many notebooks as there once were. I have done this dozens of times but it still looks daunting before you start.  I may go and buy New Totes!  that will jump start the process.  My old ones are getting beat up anyway~


Just in case you thought we did nothing fun all weekend we did head out to the mall for a little fun.  We had a mission for a special bottle for a friend and since we were at the mall we got milkshakes and went on some rides.  Just enough to be fun, not so much that they got crabby.  Pizza dinner and back to work but I’m glad to be as far along as I am.  All things I sew now are bonus, I don’t totally NEED anything and that is a nice feeling.

I also got a new phone!  My old one was 5 years old and the battery was down to almost nothing.  I had been hesitating because I like all the info and pictures I have on my old phone and didn’t want to start over but they guy at the store had a transfer machine so my new phone is identical and it feels nice to have a phone working all day again.

I’ll try and take a picture of all that I created this week, I’m pretty pleased with myself 🙂  Now I need to get breakfast and the day going, my ‘screen’ time is up!


our finite summer and complaints about the dog

I have no idea what I am going to do next summer when I have the oppisate issue of a super long summer, I guess that is going under the category of next year’s problems…  This summer is super short and in many ways is half over so each day when we do something it is likely to be the only time we do that particular thing.  To make thing just a little more fun there is the side project of keeping the house show-ready and my endless sleeping issues.

When I started this post I had just intended on posting a bit about the stuff we have done but the fact that someone or something wakes me up 2x a night is really starting to grind on me and kill our summer.  I’m lucky if I have the energy or patience (my patience is fueled by sleep) to make it past 3pm and that just does not make enough time to do all the things we want to do.  The dog is now the weakest link lately because if anything happens during the night she feels like it is morning and will whine to be let out for hours.  Yes, I know, don’t give in and in a few days she will stop however after about 45min she actually is awake and need to go to the bathroom and after an hour or so of whining she will have an accident and then she really gets loud.  It is like the kid that pukes after 10min of crying, you can’t let them ‘cry it out’ when it always ends in puke.  So, Fiona needing bathroom help or Zoe having a bad dream (both happened on Sunday night at 2 and 4 respectively) usually I can be back asleep in 5 min after helping a child but Prima can hear the bustle and she assumes it is morning.  Que the whining for the next forever.  Last night Lars fell asleep watching TV and at 2am he got up and went to bed – usually that wakes me up for 30 seconds but Prima transforms that into hours.  Yesterday I crashed at 3 for an hour but since napping at 3pm is not usual I got phone calls and texts and kids needing a thing.  On the other hand, I’m mastering the 10min power nap….

So anyway, I’m tired, what else is new?  I should be used to this after 9 years.  Moving on~

Earlier in the summer, I said I made a chart that needed to be done before screen time.  This has been working out really really well.  I’ve seen them for years on Pinterest and other parent sites but until I had 2/3 of the kids reading it was not a good plan for us.  Zoe can not only read but is motivated by lists and check boxes and while she admits she is only doing things for the list, I don’t think she actually minds.  Since she is doing it Niamh does it too and Fiona more or less wants to do what they do anyway so she follows along.  This has also made me feel much better about falling asleep in the afternoon because I know the morning was productive.  I was not exactly planning on sleeping but it is a nice side bonus.  Since we need to super tidy every morning anyway them doing ‘the list’ gives me the time and a little help in the house and has made it so we can get out and do fun things.


After the crazy mid-week Monday we did get a bunch of little things like oil changes and new tires and grocery shopping stuff and Wednesday we had a friend over and with no prompting,  they broke out the science kit and made a multi-color foam volcano.  I did not help at all until I heard them getting really experimental (talk of adding diet coke) because it was not fizzy enough but otherwise it was a fun experiment.

Last week Friday we went to the Gibbs family farm, a historic pioneer site with a sod house and the actual farm house from when the family purchased Minnesota territory for 1.25 an acre well before it was a state (the got 150 acres and basically hit the lotto for land with appreciation).  It was a ‘farm Friday’ so it was an open day for the public and the theme for the week was farm animals.  Other weeks have more interesting themes but this was the only Friday we had.  The animal talk was really basic, any kid that has been read the normal kid books about cows going moo, eating grass, giving milk, and having calfs covered the level they were discussing on this tour.  The only new piece of info I got was that apparently pigs can be used to break up the soil on a farm by moving their pen around.  It was a nice outing made better by meeting a friend who lived nearby because after we did everything in about an hour and a half we went to her house and visited her bunny.

Then we had the real weekend and went to see the totally re-done children’s museum.  We have a membership so I hope we can go a few times but even just once was worth it because they have improved the experience and added some new things like the green screen set for older kids.  I didn’t get many pictures but if you are wondering the MN Children’s Museum is worth it and can easily fill a day.  The only thing that was not as good as they made it sound was the 4 story climbing structure.  It is tall, but, it is really just 2 towers of platforms you can go up or down, not really as interactive or cool as most other play areas but it is very solid and clean and there are stairs for parents/bad climbers so that is all good extras.

Sunday we had a lazy morning and then got out and enjoyed the day and finally made it to the Y after a month of being gone.  I do miss exercise, I just took it off the list when I was packing and cleaning and then in NY and I don’t really see it becoming regular again until school starts but I hope I get to work out a few times at least.

Yesterday we stole one of our favorite babies for a play date and then did some shopping for our camping trip and then the aforementioned nap.  I’m also sewing at a friend’s house to keep this house neat so 3x in the past 2 weeks I’ve commuted to sew for a few hours.  It is nice to have people to sew with, I’ll probably still go visit even when I have the ability to make a mess in my own house!


Looking forward we are going camping Friday -Sunday and next week the girls have day camp all week.  The following week we go to Pennsic for 2 weeks and then home and school starts?!?  This week I need to shop/prep food and pack including getting stuff out of storage…  It will all get done somehow.  I feel like we are missing the lazy days of summer with going to the beach and pool and playdates but we do what we can~

Two monday week


I’ve long said I love Monday, I’m in a distinct minority but that is what it is.  So often holidays STEAL my Monday but this time I get an extra!  There was the real Monday but it was a 1 day week since 4th of July is a holiday and it felt very weekend like all day and now I wake up on a Wednesday feeling like another Monday.  I’m not complaning~

This week also marks my 5th year as a stay at home parent.  It has been a busy 5 years and each year had unique kid challenges but this year is feeling a bit easier.  Only a tiny bit, there are new problems to figure out like sassy girls or not listening kids or 3 different friend groups to somehow maintain (not to mention trying to sell a house and move). They are physically easier situations, much less active than chasing 2 kids while wearing a baby or keeping an eye on 3 at a park when at least 1 has a death wish.  Now I mostly act as a home base and they find me.  I can’t quite relax at a park or playground but I don’t worry as much.  I even read about 5 pages of a book!  My method is to read a page, look up and find everyone, read another etc. Anyway, life is never easy but now they all use the toilet so I’m considering that a win for years to come.  My mom bag is diaper free.

Getting home last week and getting back in the MN life has taken all my energy.  There were house showings, work meetings, restocking the house, and a big birthday party for Lars.  Monday I took the kids +2 to the park and beach and then started the sewing I need to do before our trips this year.  Independence day was celebrated to 90% with a parade and a lake picnic but there were sad faces about no fireworks.  It was too late and they were asleep before the fireworks started.  I have to find a display elsewhere this summer because I like them too but besides the lateness, a 3rd major outing in a day is asking for trouble.

The rest of the week is mostly unplanned.  I MIGHT get to workout?!?  The house is pretty good, working from 6-8am is keeping me up to date, still, have things to do but I’m not frantic.  There is sewing to do and prep for the event next week and playdates to make but for this moment I think I’m as up to date as ever.  See, that is what having 2 Mondays in a week will do for you 🙂

(endless) weekend review


rolls of tape; 3

giant bags of trash out; 9

General packed status;45%

days till house is on the market; 4


School finished last Thursday and with it, my order of weekdays and weekends.  Thursday itself was a busy day with our last carpool, then directly to Fiona’s well child (she is a well child) and then to target because while her body and brain are developing nicely she decided she didn’t need to put on shoes so she was barefoot and we had places to go.  After a record breaking trip to target we got back to school to run the outdoor twister game for Zoe’s picnic. Off we went again to pick up some totes for packing and home to await the final homecoming of the school age children.  We topped of that day with a family walk to the park and a little relaxitation.


Friday, the first day of vacation, went reasonably well.  I’m jumping on the ‘to do list before screen time’ this year just to try and get some stuff accomplished in the day.  I got the general list from a variety of pinterest posts – there are some very aggressive lists out there, ones I would be lucky to finish in a day as an adult!  With 2 readers in the house now this type of to-do list actually can work since they can read it themselves.  Also, Zoe loves to-do lists and has put way more pressure on her sisters and herself than I ever would have.  I made it by folding a piece of scrapbook paper so some of the pretty part showed and I still had white to write.  Then I laminated it so we can reuse it all year.  I personally left an open space under ‘chores’ so I could write in that days needs and for us, this all starts after breakfast so they can still wake up and watch a show like normal.


Saturday was a friend’s wedding so we had a semi-productive morning taking a batch to storage, buying a pair of party shorts (it was 90 degrees, Lars was not wearing a suit) and starting the garage clearing.  The wedding itself was really nice, kids had fun, we sat with friends, the food was well chosen and other than the 90 degree thing it was a really good time.  The real bad thing is that my nagging throat got worse in the night and I woke up hardly able to talk and swallow.  Advil helps but over Sunday I added a fever to the mix but we had 5 houses to look at so we did that (and not much else).  Sunday also started with a giant hail storm, house and cars did ok but plants took a beating.

The houses we saw were basically everything in the area that could work for us.  We are now down to 2, both have something about them that is awesome and something that is really not…  Both are dependent on our house selling well.  Seeing houses in a bit of a fever fog was not ideal but there are just not many days left before I take the girls and puppy off to NY to hopefully have the house show better without 4 mess makers in it.

Today is the first Monday of vacation time and I don’t have much planned.  I am hoping that I can be more functional today and get things done

Week 2 of summer

Weather – 75 and perfect!   We had a storm blow through and take all the sticky away

Kids – getting better with the new way

Naps – Ha!

Workouts – better because the Y is open and they love it.


Last week felt more busy than a normal week, so much for lazy summer, maybe we will get some lazy in August?  The big deal of the week ended up being the yard sale that we participated in.  I put a few things in, odd baby things and an old Xbox and 3 dozen games – enough to make it worth the trip to the group sale but nowhere near enough to host my own.  The woman hostessing is also super pregnant so I did NOT want her stuck doing a 3 day sale solo so I made it clear to all the ladies that we needed to be there with her and luckily the 3 others that had major amounts of things volunteered right away so I was putting myself down for a couple hours a day just to be helpful.  No big deal really.

However… Niamh really really wanted to run the charity bake sale that I was making cupcakes for and pestered me into going for 6 hours or more all 3 days!  It was actually really fun to hang out with the group and the kids played and we sold stuff and Niamh and the older kids sold $300 of stuff all to go to the church food shelf.  She did not let anyone walk past without politely asking what they would like to buy to help benefit the food shelf.  It’s hard to resist a sweet kid, but, the best part was when someone would hardcore bargain over a $1.50 item in the sale and then drop $2 on the bake sale.  More than one person just donated their change but plenty were happy for a cold bottle of water or juice or ice pop not to mention cupcakes and cookies galore.  Good lesson for the kids on marketplace and charity plus kept them busy while we chatted.


After 3 days using all our unplanned time at a yard sale and a pretty full Monday, I spent half the weekend getting all the things done I normally do during the days.  I also took the first bite of the whale and started my sewing for Pennsic.  Last year I got off easy because the kids fit most everything but this year between growing and working out Niamh does not fit much anymore.  I also need some new things since it has been years since I did any of my stuff but I won’t be naked if I don’t make more so Niamh is a priority.  Happy to report I can still bang out a nice 15th-century dress in 2 hours – not included in that time though is pulling out the machines and finding the fabric and clearing the tables etc…

Oh!  and it was also Fathers day!  Lars celebrated by working until 4am and then sleeping until 11.  He did get to take a really nice long bike ride and we all went to the Y and he played in the pool with the girls while I worked out.  Niamh and Zoe passed the swim test with flying colors and have the run of the pool area, and, I don’t need to be within arms reach!  So nice a system… they really can swim and it isn’t that large a place but being able to let them go and just sitting near Fiona makes it a very easy plan for an afternoon.

This week is the week where Fiona has a camp every morning and Niamh and Zoe continue tennis.  We did the meal planning again together and we have something every single night but the weekend is plans free (ie. do all the stuff at home).  We are working on getting a routine but summers are just not all about routines.  Something about being light out until 9pm makes you want to be outside far too long and remembering dinner is still hard so bed times are harder still 🙂


Ok, this was all written and semi edited in the time of one tv show and now they want me.  I should also keep sewing and maybe clean and I told the kids if they finished the daily list we could go to the Y so we will see if that happens.  Hope you all had good weekends too!

Getting used to eachother

Weather – warm but cloudy, a pretty nice combo for avoiding sunblock

Nap – I might never see another…

Bath color – cherry colored, I think they ate a pound and look like they are wearing warpaint.

Workouts – very behind, between gyms, new schedule… I did get an outside run on Sunday


I’m sure to all of you not in my tiny niche of life are wondering why there is such angst around this time of year.  My working parent friends have a minor taste but once they figure out the school day alternative they go to work as normal and kids keep rolling in the same type of way they did during the school year.  My friends with little kids see no change beyond needing sunblock because they are very used to shepherding their circus around (I used to be there).  My friends with older or adult children see no change except in their seasonal selection of cocktails – now is the season for wheat beer and mojito!

My little group is undergoing a remix where 3 girls that had 3 nearly separate lives for 9 months are now shuffled back together.  Fiona has no quiet time, Niamh and Zoe have lost the framework of their day.  I need to remember to feed them at regular intervals.  We are not a mess, but we are refiguring it out and like a major cleaning project; things tend to look really bad before they get put back together right.

Today we had our first tennis lesson, I think they liked it.  We went to 2 different grocery stores after and by the end of that my nerves were frazzled.  This is the first grocery trip with 3 kids in forever!  Each one of them pulled out their particular brand of ‘wtf’ but we made it through and had a nice long lecture in the car home.  Good thing it was a short ride…

I can’t just gripe.  We are doing some fun things that are working well.  I got this treasure hunt reading book for Zoe and she ADORES it.  The book is a set of pull out clues that you fold up and hide around the house where they say, most easy rating for parents, and the clues are written in a way that reinforces reading skills.  The forward of the book explains it well but between repeating words, pictures, and increasing difficulty it is a great buy.


Niamh and Zoe also did all the meal plan for kid dinners this week.  Niamh is cooking tonight and they had a fun time picking recipes and making grocery lists.  One of Niamh’s real challenges is reading out loud so this is a sneaky way to get her to.

I’m also super glad I did the work on the yard to make it fun.  They are on the swing set all the time and in the play house super often.  The next addition might be a tennis ball on a string?  I’m wondering if that will lead to racquet-to-face tears…  The garden is looking well because I’m outside with them and that is probably good for us all.  Yesterday we had a friend over, who will be over the majority of Mondays, and together they decided that we have to go to as many different parks as possible on Mondays.  I like that they are making goals together and that is one I can get behind!

We also have a list of things we want to do, getting to them all will be a challenge, but hopefully, they will all start listening and stop fighting over every little thing and we will have plenty of time for fun.  Some of the big projects on the list are super big tetris the house puzzles because I need to swap rooms and wardrobes and that will take a big chunk of time.  I also need to get ready for two big SCA camping trips and while they are weeks out, I need that much lead time to actually get things done.  My hope is that this remix gels quickly and we can either be a team, or, a group of individuals but either way is better than oil and water and firecrackers.

Next up is garage sale prep.  I’m taking a baby step into the venture by joining a friends neighborhood sale so I’m not resposible for a whole lot.  Getting them to part with anything is not really happening but baby steps…