Monday, September 6, 2010

Summer Wrap-Up


I said to the kids that I think this was our librariest (it's a word!) summer. We were at the library at least once, usually twice a week. The older kids were in a library program that met on Mondays (under initial protest, but after the first week, they were fine) and the stack of books that Dora checked out on Mondays were usually read by Thursday. All three kids did reading charts, and while Theo did not quite catch the reading bug as I had hoped, he made a good effort. And we started out great with teaching Clark new words at the beginning of the summer, but that kind of tapered off by August. However, we've been starting to do worksheets to get into the swing of school, and Clark knows a lot more than I would have given him credit for. Grade: A


I think our kids have turned into pool snobs this summer. We have lovely friends with a lovely pool who invited us to swim quite often. Consequently, we only hit the public pool about five times. We had a bit of a problem with sibling harmony (see next item), which made going to public pools challenging. When we were at our friends' house, if one kid didn't want to swim, they could play instead. We had a week of vacation where the kids spent about 10 hours a day in the pool, so they got their fair share of water activity then. No one wanted to take swim lessons, and I didn't push them to do it, but everyone made amazing progress this season. Dora went from having never put her face in the water to swimming underwater and without her life jacket by August. Theo wanted to try swimming a bit without his jacket and Clark figured out how to swim on his own with his jacket, so they all made great strides this year! Grade: A

Sibling Harmony:

Overall, the kids were great. Lots of playing together, and mostly getting along. Our biggest challenge was three children with three different opinions about EVERYTHING. Two kids want to swim, one doesn't. Two kids want this playground, one wants a different one. So it seemed like whatever we did, there was always one kid who wasn't happy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing ... realizing you don't always get your way, blah, blah, but it was a pain for mom who always seemed to be dealing with one miserable kid when I wanted to be sitting in the sun and reading my book, BLURGH! Grade: B-

Outdoor Time:

Our July heat wave turned me into a puddle, so we didn't get as much fun outdoor time as I would have liked. But the last three weeks have been so pleasant that they've pretty much made up for it. Now that the treehouse is done enough that we can have some playtime up there, we've been spending a lot more time in the back yard. And we did spent a lot of time at the Story Garden when the kids were at camp and had a few good long playground playdates. We made it to three of Jeff's softball games, which was two more than last year, and the kids had a great time. Grade: B-


We didn't do as many camps and things as we've done in years past. Theo and Dora each did one camp on their own and one together. But we did take advantage of a lot of free activities this summer: library storytimes and performances, town picnic, parade and shows, projects at our craft store, church camp, book club, and parties and storytimes at the bookstore. I tried again to encourage the kids to go to our local playground program, and they did go twice (under much protest), which meant two blissful quiet afternoons for me. I guess I should enjoy this time that they would rather be with me than hanging out at the playground with their friends, but once or twice a week would have been nice. We'll try again next year. Grade: B

Family Time:

We lost Jeff to treehousing this summer (but yay! treehouse!) so he missed out on a lot of our evening and weekend activities. But we did have two great days at Sesame Place and a fun vacation to TN & NC. The kids were really lucky to have lots of time with their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, capped off with a relaxing visit to Buffalo for Labor Day weekend. Grade: B

Overall, a good summer, though it went by so fast. Dora said the best part was vacation, Theo said the best part was bowling, Clark said the best part was "nothing", because he's three.


  1. My wife pointed me towards your Treehouse from a post she found online. I've dug through your blog but this post was the only mention I found of the Treehouse. Could you tell me if you based it off of plans, or if you just made it up on the fly? Thanks

  2. My husband designed and built the treehouse himself. This photo is from phase 1. In 2012, he added a lower deck with climbing wall and slide. If you'd like to see photos of the completed project, feel free to send an email: ann (at) spotgirl (dot) net - thanks!