School starts tomorrow. I am so ready. It’s been a great summer, but it’s time. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved all the extra time I’ve had with my kids this year. Going part time is still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Even though I gave up my vacation days and my paychecks are less, the fun I’ve had with my kids is worth so much more. I have a few regrets. I wish we would have made more trips to the park, the zoo and the pool. I wish we would have read more books, gone for more bike rides and spent more evenings around the fire pit. Those are things I will put at the top of our “to do” list for next summer. For now, my attention is focused on this list…the top eleven things I learned this summer (eleven because I couldn't narrow it down to a nice round number like ten..David Letterman would not hire me!):
1. Swimmer’s ear hurts. At least that’s what I got out of the five hours of screaming.
2. Lexi , Jake and Tess make a delicious no bake cookie. And they can do this basically unsupervised. Honest. I don’t even have to be in the room, and the cookies still turn out pretty tasty.
3. There will always be piles of laundry, whether I work 20 hours a week or 40. Trying to get ahead of it is pointless. So is stressing out about it.
4. A clean house is awesome, but paying a ten year old to clean it is the very best way to get that house cleaned. She’s happy, because she has cash. I’m happy because the house no longer looks like a tornado hit.
5. Auntie Mary rules. End of story. She has saved my life too many times to list (or even to count) this summer. And when said ten year old isn’t around to clean the house, Auntie Mary is.
6. Naps rule almost as much as Auntie Mary. There’s nothing better than snuggling in with Lizzy, a sippy cup of chocolate milk, and a Little People dvd, then falling asleep for an hour or more.
7. Potty training is such a challenge, but so worth it when it’s done. I haven’t changed a diaper in months.
8. Sending the kids to the farm makes everyone happy. Grandma and Grandpa are happy because they have grandchildren to spoil, and mom and dad are happy for the break.
9. Cousins are great. Lexi and Jake were both lucky enough to spend time with their favorite cousins this summer. Lexi spent a few days in Mott with Brooke, then a few days in Minnesota with Chrissy (where she “shot the minnow”…ask her about it sometime. Totally disgusting.) Jake went to Crookston for a week to visit Tomas. At age 34 I am just now getting to know my cousins (thanks to Facebook!) so I am happy my kids already have close friendships with their cousins.
10. Not much beats a campfire in the backyard…smores, carmels, grilled cheese…and good company, whether it’s the neighbors, friends, relatives or just the five of us. Some of our best memories from this summer are those made around our fire pit.
11. Havng four kids is great..no, I haven't had baby number four yet, but Tess practically lived at our house this summer and it was wonderful. She's a great kid, and I'm so glad she and Lexi are friends (Jake and Lizzy too...they all play so nicely together!). I got a glimpse into my future, and next summer is going to be even better!