Summer is in full swing here and Texas has decided to be extraordinarily hot and dry this time around. The weather always behaves nicely with my pregnancies and naturally Emily was born on a 104* August day and Leo was born on the 60th day of over 100* weather. Right around 6 months is when I start to feel fat, hot, out of breath, and tired all day. Joy! We always plan to bring out the big guns--the coolest most awesome activities for the days when I can barely function in the AC. But then, life happens, and I just stick to my goal of trying to keep all 3 kids alive daily and forget all the fun stuff.
But we can't just stay in the house all summer long! If we did, well, you could guarantee that this house would resemble a nuthouse much more than a peaceful abode. Did I mention that I like to make life really hard and don't allow TV watching (other than an occasional saint movie)? OK, OK, so we've started to slip down the slippery slope of staring into the glowing box from time to time. And they love it...love it! It's madness--if we watch one movie, it's whining and pleading all the time everyday until I break down and just give in. It's not like they actually watch it, anyway. They just leap from couch to couch and make forts and throw pillows and ignore the tv. Silly little spider monkeys.
So what in the world are we doing for 13-14 hours a day?!?!? Beats me...but here is some proof that I dont lock them in their rooms to read all the time:)
Slip n Slide. What a fantastic invention! Leo is not a water discriminator and is just as happy to play in a small muddy puddle of week old water. Eli is Mr. Water Police and regulates how often we can actually fill the baby pool or slip n slide. But look at those smiles!! You just dont get too many moments that just absolutely melt your heart.
Something else you can do to avoid chores is build your toddler an intricate train track. If you have an engineer-type brain, this will take you 5 minutes. If you have my brain, it will take you about 37 minutes to figure out how to make a loop inside a loop and throw in a bridge for good measure. Your toddler will love you forever and run his beloved trains round and round till the sun goes down. Or, in my case, he'll just take the track apart and throw the pieces in all directions and ask you to start over.
Play dress up or pretend. Recently Emily's been on this princess kick and tries to get Leo to waltz everywhere while singing "I know you, I've walked with you once upon a dream". Leo is always a good sport and humors her ridiculous scenarios and copies every move she makes. I love to hear the hilarious things Emily says while she thinks no one is listening. Yesterday I could hear her telling a tiny dolly "no mother, I cannot do as you say because God is calling me to follow Him now. I'm divinely inspired." Whaaat?? That came out of left field. Hope she doesnt try to pull that line on me in a teenage fit of rage.
Another great activity to take up time is to pretend you know how to grow things and plant a garden. I will spare your eyes the blinding monstrosity of a jungle our backyard has become, and rather show you a pleasant shot of one of the cucumbers we've produced. Not only can you teach your kids about the food pyramid, but also about opossums, raccoons, drought, rotting compost, and lots of other lovely topics.
We go swimming almost every day. Where else can I float weightlessly and feel slightly cooler than before? Plus the kids are encouraged to jump, scream, and act like maniacs for a couple hours before dinner. Win Win. Throw in a couple Popsicles and they're in sweet sticky oozy drippy kid heaven.
If all else fails, try bribery. Be a good girl today and mommy will give you candy. Not just any candy either...pop rocks. So good they'll knock your socks off!