It is amazing to me how quickly this summer is speeding by. Admittedly, thanks to all the snow days we had this past winter, the kids have a shorter summer vacation than they did last summer, but we’re only talking about a difference of 9 days. I have been more prepared with activities this summer which has definitely helped make the individual days not drag on to eternity but still…I want my summer vacation back.
I suppose it makes sense really. The kids had one week off school (which was a complete blur as we all adjusted to being home together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) before Brendan’s summer camp started. After spending the week driving across town for that camp, I figured their two week swim lesson camp would be a piece of cake. And logistically it was, but it still ate up a lot of our day making it harder to get things accomplished that the kids and I wanted to. Last week was our first camp free week, but it was also the week of the 4th. Between preparing ourselves for the holiday itself, and adjusting our schedule to accommodate the late nights my kids were having it seemed like that week flew by.
Getting the kids back into their regular routine this week has been a bit of a challenge. Part of last weeks “adjustment” was that I let the kids sleep in as late as they wanted knowing that they’d be up until at least 11:00 each night. Evidently they needed it, because they all slept until 8:00 or later every single morning. That meant that this week’s 7:00 wake up call felt really, REALLY early to them. I know it seems cruel to make my kids wake up during their summer vacation, but with only 4 and a half weeks of summer left getting them up at their regular school wake up time it going to save me a lot of headaches this fall.
Another struggle we had while the kids were in their camps was getting our daily activity done. There were days that we just didn’t have enough time to work on an art project, or play a board game, or go have a picnic in the park. The kids loved the themed days so much that I did all that I could to do the activities despite our busy schedule, but last week they were dropped completely in order to get other things accomplished. But this week they are back and the kids have been having a ball.
Remember the volcano project? We haven’t forgotten about it. In fact, the kids have been working on their volcanos since the second week of summer vacation. It was a project I was able to make last several weeks. Week 1 they got to make and decorate their cardboard base. Week 2 we cut the volcano body out of a soda bottle and attached it to the base. Weeks 3 and 4 were spent covering the bottle with dough. The dough was the most sticky and disgusting thing I’d ever worked with, and in retrospect it would have probably been cleaner and easier to work with paper mache…something I never thought I would say.
They were supposed to paint their volcano during week 5, but because we cancelled all activities that week, and because I’ve misplaced their paints we just moved forward with the project without painting the volcanos. So this week the kids finally got to set off their volcanos. I think it was quite fitting that the heat index outside was estimated to be 110 degrees at the time that we chose to set off the volcanos. It felt like we were actually in a volcanic eruption.
The kids were so funny to watch as they set off their volcanos. Brendan was the only one strong enough to pour the vinegar into the volcano mix to set it off by himself, but he was also the one most afraid of the volcano blowing up on him. We tried to get him to understand that it was just going to foam over a little, but he was still quite apprehensive and practically dribbled the vinegar into the volcano. We also had trouble getting him to understand that because of the slope in our driveway the “lava” would all flow downhill. He kept standing below the volcano then freaking out as the lava travelled toward him.
Cameron was much more eager to dump his vinegar into the volcano and watch it erupt. In fact our biggest issue with him was keeping him from splashing in the mess with his hands, and then later from jumping in the puddle with his shoes. Kaylee, always wanting to be like her older brothers, wasn’t scared at all to do the experiment. She loved the little pink bubbles that came out of the top of the volcano and, like Cameron, kept trying to touch them.
After all the weeks of hard work they put into the project, it was over in less than 10 minutes. To me it was somewhat of a let down, but the kids seemed more interested in dumping the remaining lava out of the crater and onto the driveway than they were upset that the whole thing was over. I suppose I should be happy that they enjoyed the project so much, but all I can think about it what am I going to do for a project for the remaining weeks this summer?