My “haven’t run in 3 days” excuse de jour? It’s just too darn hot!! It seems we’re breaking records in the temperature department here in balmy Vancouver… 33.8 Celsius! and while I don’t have too big a problem with it myself I find the kids to be particularly cranky, and of course the last 2 nights have been a disaster in terms of children and sleeping. And so, I’m cutting myself some slack AGAIN! And when I say cutting myself some slack I mean that I am cutting myself slack in pretty much every aspect of my life! I haven’t run, read, cleaned and today I’m adding cooked to that list as I am ordering pizza. The Ol’Man is out on a boat with some work buddies and #1 has gone out for the evening with friends so I’ve decided that take out is in order… you know you have a big family when you’ll realise there will only be 6 people home for dinner so what’s the point in cooking and you might as well order out!!
The only thing that I have found myself able to garner much enthusiasm about is our decision to book a family get away… we’ve hummed and hawed about the whole thing for several weeks now thinking that camping was out of the question as there is a ban on campfires in BC because of the weather (because what is camping without the fire?!) and then we were seriously considering me taking the 2 older boys away to get some 1 0n 2 time… (Vegas perhaps?) and then after much discussion we decided that we could all use several days away from the city and this house, so we are going to Tofino which I am very very excited about. The last time we went was when #1 and #2 were 2 yrs and just a few months old respectively and I have been talking about going back ever since- so we’re biting the bullet, whipping out the ol’ plastique and going for it. Can we afford it? Not really. But we need to get away in a big way and I believe there will be something for everyone there. The older boys are already talking about surfing and the little ones are hoping to see a whale. And the best part? I was able to book a big honkin’ SUV that we can all (the WHOLE family) ride in comfortably… on airmiles. How sweet is that?
And did I mention the Back To School package arrived from the big boy’s school today?
So now I figure I have a little something to motivate myself- something to look forward to, so I should be able to hunker down for the next 2 weeks and train, clean, read, clean, cook and generally organize my life knowing there will be this 4 day block of fun coming up…
As long as the weather cooperates… and we all know the weather is a little unpredictable non?
As much as I love summer and the opportunity to break with the monotony of schedules, the racing from one activity to another, the juggling, the “lets GO! everyone in the van!!” I am certainly finding, in terms of ” getting things done,” I thrive in that atmosphere, when there are a billion things to get done and get to – including training for a marathon, I do much better in the chaos than in the slower summer pace. Let’s face it I’m not one to sit still, OK for 5 minutes maybe but then I need to go- go- go! I’m not saying I’m not enjoying the break, because I am, it’s just I expect I should be able to get stuff done and it doesn’t get done- and that includes “extra” stuff like finally cleaning out the kitchen cupboards or sorting through the mound of papers collecting in the “home office” but somehow there isn’t the time. I’m still up at 5:15 am and I haven’t filled up the time with the pile of “summer reading” that I wanted to get to, I haven’t done my daily strengthening exercises I had planned on doing EVERYDAY and I haven’t taken the kids to the beach nearly as often as I would like- so where has all the time gone?!!
As far as I can figure it’s the lack of “quiet time- that magic 2 hours when I could count on #’s 1,2,3 and 4 to be in school, #5 to play happily on her own and #6 to have his nap- that was my time- somehow I could pack more into those 2 hours than any other time of day- often running on the treadmill, paying the bills, doing the laundry, prepping dinner and STILL having 10 minutes or so to flip through a magazine whilst enjoying a cup of tea.
Now that everyone is under foot that does not happen- there is always something or someone who needs dealing with and as much as I hate making bag lunches during the school year- I now have lunch dishes to deal with! (did I mention I don’t have a dishwasher?!).
Ah well, the theme running through my life these days seems to be ” go with the flow” and not getting worked up about things not going exactly according to plan- after all, that’s what summers all about non?
I have always wanted to be a natural crafty kind of gal but it just ain’t happening. I came to terms with my non-crafty ways ages ago but every once in awhile I think maybe with the right amount of patience and a whole lot of heart I will overcome my awkwardness with a glue gun and Voila! the girls (#’s 4 and 5) will start popping out homemade do-dads while spending some quality mother-daughter time. Mostly I don’t try and leave the crafts to our very talented school teachers, as well, another outlet for my crafty girls has been a subscription to Keri Zingle’s (a Mum from the ‘hood!) The Craft Caravan, a very nifty club of sorts where the child receives 2 craft projects monthly in the mail that are absolutely dummy-mummy proof for non-crafty Mums like myself- all the pieces are provided and ready to be assembled… the girls love it.
Anyhoo… I have had, in the last couple of weeks, while trying to keep the kids entertained on summer vacation, 2 tiny crafty victories with two projects. The first one is a great Play Dough recipe courtesy of Yoyo Mama- I have tried many different recipes in the past to limited success- they either go mouldy, dry up or just don’t have that right dough-like consistency. This recipie by the way, is from Yoyo Mama’s website and credited to Sharon Selby who also is responsible for The Phonics Wizard a learn to read method that I have used with the 2 girls- to great success. See the recipe (and Yoyo Mama’s website )HERE
The second crafty endeavour that gave me hope was the home made finger paint I made. I have to say, the finger paint and play dough are of course things you can easily buy at any toy store but also 2 things that I find to be a huge rip off- they are expensive and I have found that especially with finger paint, you often only get one session out of it and it is gone. This recipe I found in The Busy Book by Trish Kuffner a great little book filled with very simple arts and crafts activities and ideas- not at all intimidating.
See above #5 and her very cute little buddy ready to dive into the finger paint… Cute!
On the running front I would say that tings are looking up- I had a very nice 5 k with the Mum’s in the ‘hood Friday and then another 5k on my own last night- both times I really did not feel like I had the energy to run and both times I felt SO much better after the run. Last night was a scheduled run with another Mum and when I knocked on her door she was dealing with major bedtime chaos and apologized profusely for bailing on me- but I gotta say I am so thankful she didn’t call to cancel because I was pretty pooped and probably would have used it as an excuse to not go out- but standing there in my running gear I pretty much had no choice but to go- a good thing.
Next time I tell you that I’m looking forward to spending 4 days in a hotel room with 6 kids slap me ‘k?
No, really, I joke, a lovely time was had by all for the most part, except for the first night when I sliced open my hand on a wine glass that I had tried to stop from falling when #5 knocked it over at dinner… I probably needed a stitch or 2- but that would have been a HUGE inconvenience- thank God for waterproof band aids… Oh, and then there was my van breaking down on the way home… kind of a bummer when your vehicle just loses power and you are in it with 5 children! (The ol’ man was in the truck with #1 because we cannot all fit in one vehicle) The saving grace? we had made it all the way back into the city, like 10 minutes from our house, I was in the curb lane and was able to coast to the side to pull over, we have BCAA roadside assistance who were great and towed us to a garage (turns out it was the alternator- replaced for $350- not in the vacation budget but what can you do?!)
We really did nothing on vacation but swim and eat and watch Seinfeld reruns- but that was OK- we all just needed to hang out together- so mission accomplished. There were almost no skirmishes (the last evening being the exception when choosing a movie became the issue) I didn’t run at all because I felt bad taking off and leaving everyone, but that’s OK too. We swam close to 4 hours a day- the pools there are gorgeous and warm and the little ones especially had a blast. Another big event was (and always is) trying to get all the kids in one photo smiling or at least looking at the camera- we could not quite pull this one off.
So when does school start?!
I’m actually looking forward to these slow start mornings (Look! It’s 7:16 am and I’m not running around like a mad-woman!) I’m planning on lots of beach time- hanging out in the backyard and taking everything at just a slightly slower pace (I know, I know… good luck with that one!)
Today is also my first official day of training for my next half which looks like will either be Diva on The Run or The Fall Classic. My neighbour and several other friends ran The Scotia Bank Half yesterday and I have to say I was a little envious, a good sign that I’m ready to get out there and train. The last few weeks have been very low key running wise- really it’s all been low key since the marathon- I had wanted to jump back in but should have known better that the end of the school year and all it’s craziness would take over. As well, my knee is still not cooperating fully. I went for a 5K yesterday and it was giving me trouble- I am far from panicking but it’s a concern all the same.
I’m still searching for the perfect programme- if anyone has any suggestions I’m open! Something challenging yet easy on my middle-aged mother of 6 body being preferred.
It’s here- summer officially starts for me today. School is done. Hip Hip Hooray. I’m usually enthusiastic about the whole thing for about 4 weeks- the last 4 weeks I spend dreaming of schedules and new school supplies (who doesn’t loooooove new school supplies?!) But for today I am happy not to be making lunches at 5:30 am.
Our plan was to leave on a camping trip today- I love camping, the whole family does but the ol’man hurt his back putting up new beams in our house and we had to figure something else out because sleeping on the ground wasn’t really an option for him right now, so, instead of camping we are staying at a… resort! Whoo-hoo! I do like camping but I DO like staying in nice hotels too!
We are going to Harrison Hot Springs. We actually had a free night given to us by the manager last year as the last time we attempted to stay there, there also happened to be a huge Molson Canadian Party booked into the hotel- we hadn’t even checked in when bus loads of 20 something year old’s starting pouring in and it was clear that they were arriving four sheets to the wind- we couldn’t imagine it getting any quieter- in fact, it looked like trouble. Ourselves and every other family lined up for our refunds which they graciously gave us as well as gift certificates for a return visit.
I have to say, trying to book a hotel room is one of those times when I realize that we have a freakishly large family. It’s not until I try to book on line and it won’t let me because we are a “special -sized party” and I have to talk to someone, as in a real person to arrange 2 adjoining rooms- that I remember we are not average. Far from it. But hey, who wants to be average?!
I’m looking forward to just hanging out with the family. We don’t really get to do that much anymore- somehow when there are teenagers in the house, even though I’m quite strict about everybody being home for dinner 90% of the time someone is always rushing off somewhere. On vacation there will be no where to rush to.
Of course I’m packing my running shoes and hope to get a run or two in around the lake.