Just a reminder, my kids have been in camp all week and my husband took the week off. We HAD to declutter this house. We almost didn't get our week because we thought Harry and Malcolm had chicken pox last Sunday! They woke up with pink pimples all over their trunk and a few spots on their arms, legs and face.
I checked their vaccination records. They were all caught up. They even had a booster varicella (chicken pox) shot last year. The nurse said that since the pimples were not fluid-filled (ewww) that it was not "the pox". However, if they started running a fever or it got worse to bring them in. It got better and off they went to camp as the nurse said it was safe! No more "spotty" issues the rest of the week!
As for the flinging, I'm still keeping way too much stuff, but at least it's a start. Now, I must say, I regret that I cannot post any pictures this week. BUMMER! My computer is on the fritz. The one I'm using right now is an old one my husband had for work. It's not straightforward how to back up the photos I took so I want to wait until hubby fixes my current one. Then, I'll show you LOTS of pictures!
My husband is my hero! OK, just being able to fix my computer is heroic in and of itself, but he also worked tirelessly in our hot and humid garage and our hot and humid yard to pull out all kinds of junk. We've been setting records in the Northeast for "hot and humid" by the way. The best is he put in my, ...drumroll please....GARDEN! That's right! The garden I've never had is IN!
The plants are in AND there's mulch around them. It looks GREAT! Unfortunately, some bugs have enjoyed munching on some of them and one looks really peaked, but I'm working on finding out how to handle that. Now, if we could just get a new garden hose instead of the one with the flat top (someone, probably me, ran over it with the car. No, it MUST have been one of the kids...). Then, we can put a NOZZLE on it so I don't get SOAKED every time I "water my garden". Oh my goodness! I'm watering my GARDEN though!
So, the kids were at camp all week. I think the first day they were gone, I was mostly just amazed at how QUIET the house was and how I could do a job from beginning to end with NO interruptions! We did have a lot of backlog from the weekend to catch up on (finish all of the kitchen cleanup, the ever-present laundry, daily cleaning, etc.) so I first went to work on that. It was frustrating because it took so long and I wasn't digging into any of the decluttering projects I was hoping to accomplish, but it had to be done first.
Our babysitter was looking to do some extra hours this week. Although there weren't any kids around, she was willing to come anyway and help me tackle the house! She had been away for two weeks, so it was really bad around here. She is yet another hero in my life. Not only does she support me by helping me care for my children and is kind and nurturing to them BUT she's a whiz at getting chores done efficiently too (and is WILLING to do them!).
So, on Tuesday she came by, off she went on the day-to-day cleanup and I started a sorting project!! It was so rewarding and fun (I must say!)! I was on such a roll that I didn't want to go out for lunch with my husband. Well, of course I wanted to, but you know what I mean. I was knee-deep and ACCOMPLISHING something! I can't remember being alone long enough to do that in, well, FOREVER!
Alas, off we went for lunch. My husband and I have been having lunch dates everyday this week. Maybe not the healthiest food, but it was great to spend the time together!
Mid-week, I had produced twice the number of trash bags we usually put out for the truck that day AND I got out ALL of the recycling that I had missed the last time the truck came by. I had mentioned that I have been struggling with fatigue again this summer. This week, I was able to overcome it though and use the precious time we had to do, do and DO!
I believe I had mentioned before that Lilly LOVES, LOVES, LOVES this camp. She and Andy went here for the first time last summer and this year, we sent Harry and Malcolm with them. We wish we had the money to send the kids for a second week. Dave and I joined the group for their weekly sing-along and campfire on Thursday night. Parents/families are invited to this once-a-week event where they do an evening weenie roast and toast marshmallows with the kids. To me, this is what summer's all about.
Lilly made new friends (she ALWAYS makes friends no matter where she goes), learned all kinds of new arts and crafts (her thing) and tried a bunch of new activities. Plus, my kids LOVE to swim and there was plenty of that too.
She was begging for us to send her back. I wish we could especially since Lilly is not an easy one to please sometimes when it comes to "fun". She'll seem to be having the time of her life, but then, on the way home from wherever we were, she says, "I was kind of bored, actually." or "That sandwich made my stomach hurt." Not here, though. NEVER!
Andy also loves this camp. He especially likes the store they have on campus. Because we only send our kids for one week, we can afford to give them a little bit of spending money. The store has souvenirs, candy and ice cream. Again, what's summer without some delicious treats? I'm OK with it.
He was not in such a good mood yesterday when we picked him up. I figured that he was sad that it was his last day of camp. Nope. He said we embarrassed him at the sing-along the night before. See, I'm a highly-participatory mom. My own term that I coined. If they say to "sing-along", I'm gonna "sing-along", clap-along and whatever-along.
The counselors were leading the songs and they did a fantastic job. During one song, they had said that the kids could "shout-out" and have their non-camper siblings come up and join them for the song. Harry yelled out, "Mommy" and then he yelled out "Daddy". So, off we went up there to join them. Being highly-participatory, I was clapping and gesturing right along with them, as was my husband.
When we sat down, we realized that they had said the kids could shout out to "siblings" and not parents. However, none of the other kids yelled for their mom or dad, so tell me WHAT were we supposed to do?
Andy said, "Mom, they made fun of me ALL DAY because you went up there and SANG last night!" Then Harry and Malcolm piped up, "Yeah, Mom, you embarrassed us TOO!". I was too tired to remind them that, "Gee, your DAD was ALSO up there! By the way, you YELLED for us to come up!"
Oh well. It won't be the last time we embarrass them! Is there an age limit my kids get to when I should no longer be a participatory mom? It's got me thinking since I thought I had until they were teens....by then I'll have more devious ways of embarrassing them, but only when they DESERVE it....bwah-ha-ha-ha!
Harry and Malcolm often have trouble following directions when they are together. Something about the twin thing. My pediatrician said it brilliantly (as she always does) at their physical. She said if they're not behaving then separate them, which we do.
She told me to weigh the pros and cons of the extra work it would take me to drive them to two separate teeball practices/games, two separate karate classes, etc. She said that this kind of behavior is totally normal for six-year-old boys, just that when they're brothers from the same family and the same age, they tend to stick out as "a problem". The best part was when she said, "If you separate them, then there will be two six-year-old boys from TWO different families acting the EXACT same way, but it won't look like it's just 'those two' again!" Brilliant!!! Loved it.
I had told the camp staff about how they often do get carried away and they're so bonded as identical twins/brothers. I explained that if they were to be in the same group, that separating them within that group was a good option, especially if they were having trouble listening to instructions.
I didn't have ONE report of noncompliance or bad behavior! Good job, boys! It definitely helps to have a LOT of structure and there was certainly enough activities there to provide a good outlet for their ENDLESS amounts of energy!
Malcolm had a great time too. He made some amazing crafts! It was an "outer space" theme this week at camp. I can't wait to post the picture of Malcolm and Harry's "space alien antennas" that they made! The children get a fair amount of choices as to what they can do with their blocks of time. He chose a lot of arts and crafts and came home with some really creative things!
Overall, all of the boys got a little sunburned. I think the staff forgot to remind them to "reapply" it to their faces. Their cheeks were definitely sun-kissed, but nothing serious.
So, now it's back to the old grind of "What are we going to do today, Mom?". That's OK, that's what summer's all about.
(Afterthought: What do people think of my new "colored banners" for our names for The Wednesday News? I think I'll stick with that. Opinions PLEASE! Thanks for reading!)