Posts Tagged ‘summer vacation’

5 for Friday.

June 9, 2017

The first week of Summer Vacation is in the books! The girls are enjoying themselves immensely. They’ve completed their chore cards every day but one – and then when they lost their phones for the evening, they were pretty quick to complete their chore cards the next day! Don’t worry too much – there’s plenty of time for fun and hijinx after chores. Let’s see what we’ve been up to! (Uh, otherwise known as “What’s. Your. Evidence? Heh.)

1. Bee’s been making her own fun, just like a curious, fun-loving, independent 11-year-old outta! Every night when I walk in, I ask how their day was, and I get stories stories stories like the girls are going to pop if they don’t tell me everything as fast as they can. So I was surprised when I looked over at the bookshelf the other night and saw this:


Isn’t that the prettiest sand art? I love the shape of the middle one best, and the colors in the one on the right would look perfect in my office. [Fun fact: 3/4 of my office is decorated with art designed by Bee-girl.] The sand art kit is something Bee got for Christmas – Santa knows how much we love crafts and crafting at my house – and I had forgotten all about it. But apparently Bee went excavating in her closet or among the shelves in the front room and found it…and then made pretty, pretty sand art without asking for help or, you know, telling anyone. I adore how independent my girls are becoming! They will make excellent grown-up!

2. That is, if I don’t kill them first. I am slimed out, you guys. No mas! NO MAS! The slime fascination started a year ago. I thought it would, by now, have abated, but no. Not my kids. My kids hang the hell on when they sink their teeth into something. Consequently, my kitchen counter looks like this:


Seven containers of slime. SEVEN. And it’s only “neatly” gathered because I snapped at them to do it. There was slime here, there, and everywhere, and I was seriously about to pitch it all. I love that my nerdlings know how to science slime out of borax, glue, lotion, markers, shampoo, and thin air (okay, maybe not that last one), but I’m about done with it. D-O-N-E, done.

3. I think I unleashed some sort of unstoppable force from a corked bottle, you guys, and the undo button doesn’t seem to be working. Trust me, I’ve been Ctrl-Z-ing that sucker all week and, yep, not working. See, I found a shoebox of Magic: The Gathering cards, and I thought, Oh, hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if I taught Gracie and Bee? Bee wanted nothing to do with it, but Gracie…hoo boy. First, she loves organization. She was an ace at helping me to sort color, and then sort by category – creatures, enchantments, sorcerys, interrupts, instants. Then I made a few decks (nothing fancy because I didn’t have many cards) and taught her all the moves. Which wasn’t easy because Magic has a lot of details and moving parts. But Gracie’s whip-smart and picked it up and OHMYGODYOUGUYS. I wasn’t in the door five seconds before she was all, “Do you want to play some Magic?” I’ve created a monster. A very cute monster, but still…Summer4

4. My other bit of mad genius this week involves the television – which may be why Gracie is enthralled. I’ve been trying to get the girls to watch West Wing for AGES. Seriously. I just don’t know why Gracie won’t give it a shot! I got her into Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Lie to Me, Christy, Dr. Quinn (okay, guys, they were much younger and needed a family show!), and my sisters got them into Once Upon a Time, Vampire Diaries, and who knows what else! The point is that she should trust me and give it a shot. But no luck. Until…I maybe thought to bribe her with extra sleep time. I told her she could push back her wake-up time by an hour if she watched an episode of West Wing. That worked so quickly I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before! After that episode, I told her she could shorten her reading time from one hour to thirty minutes if she watched another one. Success! And then…she was hooked. We’ve been watching as we play Magic every night for an hour or two. It helps that she’s in love with Sam Seaborn, but I’ll take whatever I can get!

5. Of course Gracie and I were playing Magic and watching West Wing last night just after dinner. She wanted to get in a game and an episode before I dropped her and Bee off at Stepmom’s last night. We were in a time crunch, trying to finish all the things, and I needed to change my clothes. So I asked Bee to go get me a t-shirt. (I was in a work shirt that was not going to be going-out-to-Target appropriate.) Bee was gone a long time, and then came out with jewelry. “These are going to be you accessories…” and I saw what she had and my brow crinkled. Huh? Turns out Bee thought I was asking her to create an outfit for me for work! I saw what she had picked out: jeans and a t-shirt and a necklace and earrings. I wouldn’t have thought to put any of it together, but then again, I don’t have a single fashion gene in my body! I told Bee I was going to wear her outfit today and I did:


The t-shirt was too casual for work, but with black peep-toe heels and flashy jewelry, it work! The cardigan…I wasn’t too sure about that. I’m still not too sure! But I did it anyway.

So what do you guys thing? Does my outfit work today? Is the cardigan knot ridiculous? Isn’t our week of summer fun the absolute best?! I’m pretty proud of it. And of all the fun my girls had. It was a good mix of responsibilities and free time. (Though I’m sure the girls would disagree.) How do you guys regulate summer time for your kids?

Tell me in the comments. And make sure you have a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend!




Back from one vacation, on to a new one (of sorts).

June 15, 2015

I’m doing pretty well so far this morning. I’ve gotten out of bed, made it out the door, and have hit every goalpost of responsibility…so far. We’ll see if I can wait until my appointed lunchtime before I nap, and maybe we should hold off on celebrating until I make it home at the end of the day.

Still, I feel like I’m sort of standing at a distance, poking at this day with a long stick. It feels weird, this life filled with formerly usual routines and responsibilities. Who knew it would only take a week brimming with luxury and absent of schedules to throw me off?

It was lovely to come back to the girls and the X-man this weekend. I got the biggest (and nicest) hugs of my life last night. It’s good to know that I’m not just the snack-maker around here; seems the girls missed me nearly as much as I missed them.

(I wish I could say the same about the pile of emails and tasks and deadlines I’m sure are waiting for me, but that’s a very different bucket of peanuts.)

But as much as I like settling back into routines, they won’t be exactly the same. It’s not exactly sleeping til noon, drinking all day, napping all afternoon, eating at crazy restaurants on the strip, and catching a Vegas show every night – but it’s not all sharpened pencils, and grab-your-backpacks, and is-your-homework-done-yet? either. The girls’ stepmom offered to be the “emergency grown-up on the premises” for the month so that we don’t have to bother enrolling the girls in the daycare that was barely meeting standards. The girls are almost old enough to watch themselves, but still sort of need someone on hand just cases. And also so the girls don’t argue themselves to death. So a hyooooge thank you to Stepmom for volunteering as tribute! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the girls keep their word to get along, play nicely with others, and not bother any grown-ups who are working. Because even though we need to pack lunches and whatever clothes the girls are going to change into later, letting Bee and Gracie roll out of bed five minutes before we have to leave is a lot nicer than our getting ready for school routine!

So let’s do this! Let’s wade into whatever “real life” holds for us this week. Let’s organize the chaos and then we can talk later this week about how much fun I rolled around in while I was vacationing. So much fun, in fact, that I’ve come back without any voice at all. This is going to be a fun, fun week.



Things we’ll either hide or use as blackmail.

June 27, 2013

Of alllll the fun that happened the past two days, this might be what I giggled over most this morning. At some point, Auntie Rhi gave Gracie a “Sully braid” – one lone braid for my Dr. Quinn-ensorcelled nine-year-old. When Gracie took the braid out, her hair was perfectly crimped. Only Gracie decided her hair was curly – like Mama’s. She loved it.

And that is how the girls at Casa de Katie found themselves gathered around the TV on a summer night, the little ones sitting on the floor with wet hair, waiting to have their hair braided.

Braids1 Braids2

The pictures themselves are priceless! But what I can’t wait for are the pictures of of my two crimpy-haired beauties, decked out in 80s clothes rocking out to Just Dance later. Heh. I love the smell of future blackmail in the morning!

Betcha anything they sleep good tonight!

June 21, 2013

Confession: it was kind of a selfish birthday present for Bee-girl. And she got it way early – her birthday isn’t for another week and a half, and she’s had her present for more than a week already.


Oh yes I did – I bought her (them? me?) a giant inflatable water slide that cost way more than a birthday present ever should. I had a sizable coupon, and their inflatable pool from last year was sliced six ways to Sunday and had to be thrown away, so I was going to either replace their pool or put the money towards this… and since the girls are going to be spending most of the summer home with one auntie or another, I decided this would be way more fun. And a useful bribe. And wear the kids out. So! Win-win-win-win!

I will say, the slide was a pain in the buttowski to set up the first time. You have no idea what piece needs to be laid out in what direction, and the instructions are less than helpful. It took me about an hour to set it up – seriously – but only 15 minutes last night since I had a better idea of what was going on. And I will say this – once you do have the inflatable laid out on the tarp (which wasn’t included, but I found very useful to protect the nylon from the possible prickly grass punctures), it did inflate in less than two minutes. Then you just have to attach the hose and turn on the water and you’re good to go!


The girls played on that thing last week for a solid two hours before I made them dry off and come in for dinner. Last night Auntie Rhi and I set it up for Bee and Gracie and N. and J. to use. I have a feeling they’ll play on it for another two hours before they wear themselves out!

I’m sure there will be squabbles over who had more turns and who splashed whom and all the other stuff you can just predict will come flying out of a kid’s mouth during splash time – but I know they will also have fun. And isn’t that what summer vacation is supposed to be about? Not only do I bet the girls will sleep like the dead tonight after running around all afternoon – I also bet that we get our money’s worth out of this slide by the end of the summer. Smiles, suntans, squabbles and all!

No more homework, no more books…

June 8, 2013

NO MORE EARLY WAKE-UPS! Ahem. What? Isn’t that how it goes? Geez, you are so technical. Especially about the bit where we still have to get up early enough to make it to daycare next week. But the part about no more homework and keeping track of our sweaters and lunches and projects and things at school is pretty awesome – even for a mom.

I had one girl who was even more excited than mom this morning:

“Do I look like Beyonce?” Bee asked as she twirled out of her bedroom, batting her eyelashes and jutting her hip out. “Yes, exactly like Beyonce,” I deadpanned. “You’re a dead ringer.” Because obviously.


The other girlchild of mine was less than enthused. In fact, you might have said she was grumpy and rather put out about this whole “no more school” thing. I had to practically drag her outside to let me take her end of school picture.


This was after I threatened to not let her go to school if she didn’t at least pretend to smile. Even though we’re going to see her friends AND her teacher all summer, you’d think I’d drowned her puppy or something, with all the glum. Geez, child. Stop geeking out for one minute and pretend the end of the school year isn’t the worst thing in the whole entire world.

I even made waffles this morning; that is how much happy I had esploding out of me. My glee just could not be contained!

So, Bee and Gracie-girl – let’s have us a fantastic, fabulous, forever-remember-this kind of summer at Casa de Katie! Let’s exhaust ourselves with fun so we’re ready to pack away the sunblock and water wings and hit the books again this fall, okay?