Wednesday, September 02, 2009

notes for next summer...

Is anyone else as happy as I am that school has started up again? Yeah for school!

I have to say that every year I get better at managing all the free time we have during summer vacation. The first few years I was totally discombobulated. When I was trying to manage a baby, a toddler, pool schedules (that are out of my control), lunches, dinners, baths, house cleaning (well, not really), potty training and whatever else came along, I was just glad that we made it through the day, but I think my older two kids were really bored.

This year was totally different since Natsuki turned 3. Yes, my baby is 3 years old! I can hardly believe it. She isn't potty trained yet. I've been working on it but she hasn't understood what she's supposed to do. I know everyone says that the summer is the easiest time to potty train but with everything else going on I didn't want to have to worry about accidents so I decided to put potty training on hold. Diapers are safer. But in spite of that Natsuki did pee on the potty for the first time two days after her birthday so go figure! Anyhoo, during Chikara's week off we took the girls to a water park (complete with waterslides, etc.) and an amusement park. Usually we only do one big outing because that's all the girls can handle but Natsuki being just a little bit older even than Golden Week made all the difference. She totally got the fun of what we were doing and she could adapt to a different schedule. Because of that Emi and Misaki had a lot more fun than they normally do and we did, too.

There are a few things I would do different for next year and I'm actually writing this post to help me remember (hopefully).

1. I would plan something for the last half of our vacation (after Chikara has gone back to work). The first four weeks were full of camps and fun activities plus Emi and Misaki had homework and art projects they needed to do so those weeks went flying by. But from August 17th we totally hit a slump. Sure it was hot outside but I totally lost momentum and looking back I wish I had a few more things planned.

2. One part of Emi and Misaki's homework is to write a daily diary. There's only room for one sentence but they also have check boxes for the weather, if they helped me, if they did their homework, etc. When I glanced at it it didn't seem all that complicated so I just left it to the end and we ended up having to take a few hours this last Monday to complete. A lot of the days have a blank because we could not remember what we did. Next year I want to remember to put it on the fridge the first day of summer vacation and then fill it out as we go along. All the rest of their homework went really smoothly which is an improvement over last year.

3. I want to spend one day alone with each of my daughters and do something they like together. Because Chikara is going to work more now it was really me and all four girls together all the time. Especially I feel Sakura got lost in the shuffle.

That's it. I'll probably have a new list of things that crop up next year but for now these are the improvements I'd make. What I wouldn't change for the world are these monkeys...

(Emi's not in a yukata because she outgrew hers!)


Sara said...

wow great to read a post from you!! you must have been so busy over the summer. gosh i think when i first started reading your blog sakura was 3 and natsuki was just a baby... time flies!!!

they look adorable in the yukata pic!! can't wait until my sakura is able to wear one as well!! take care and good luck on the potty training!!

thefukases said...

Ohhhh I will keep these words of advice in mind! Meg is going to school next year and I am already nervous as to what awaits! It sounds like you packed a lot of fun into your summer- doing a water park and an amusement park in the same week? Wonder woman!

Mom said...

If you let the kids hit the slump, say around Aug. 17 for example, and wallow in it for a couple of days, then do some super simple thing that you meticulously planned ahead of time and you will be a BIG HERO....
this always worked for me, as we never had any money in the summer because I wasn't teaching piano lessons but we had imagination!!!