Summertime and the living’s easy…

Ah, summer. Here you are. I don’t mind teaching in the summer (the extra paycheck is quite nice), but it doesn’t officially feel like summer until teaching is over for the academic year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – one of the best parts of my job is that I get this nice change in schedule once a year. Don’t get me wrong – my workload doesn’t decrease by one stitch, but at least I can work from home or the library; from the deck or from the coffee shop.

One of the great things about living in the mountains is that we don’t get the oppressive heat that a lot of the country experiences as we head into the dog days of summer so we aren’t forced to spend all of our time indoors. As a result, the kids and I spend most evenings on the deck. Lexi loves the sand and water table (which is currently just operating as a water table since she was making mud pies) and Parker is game for helping amuse his sister before she goes into tyrant mode (translation: when she’s bored).

Earlier this week, we headed out on the deck with a new bottle of bubbles. Ah, bubbles. It’s amazing how something so small provides so much entertainmentbubbles04bubbles01Invariably, we only get one use out of each bottle because Lexi dumps the contents onto the floor when she insists on trying to blow them herself, but no worries there – we buy them in bulk from the Dollar Store. Usually, I give each kid their own – Parker gets one for the making of actual bubbles and Lexi gets one to fling around and spill. It’s a win-win, really.

bubbles03Oh, and someone should let Lexi know that putting the bubble wand in her mouth is counterproductive if she actually wants to produce bubbles. I’ve tried, but the child just won’t listen to me and one can only say, “No, just blow on it!” so many times before the neighbors think that you’ve lost your marbles.

bubbles02Parker, on the other hand, is old enough to know exactly how bubble making works. He has it down to a science. Now this right here is a classic Parker face. The concentration as he tries to get it just right is his entire personality in a nutshell.

bubbles06Speaking of personalities, for the first time, Parker is starting to get a bit jealous of how much time Lexi and I spend together. You see, she’s only in school until noon while his summer camp runs until 5pm. To compensate, and assuage some of my parental guilt, I’m not putting him in camp for the last two weeks of July. Instead, which Lexi is in school, Parker and I will have our own mini field trips. He’s started compiling a list of things he wants us to do – go paddle boarding, go to the pool, get ice cream – and I’m really looking forward to it. However, what that means is that I have to bust my rear over the next two weeks to get work done so that I can have uninterrupted play with him during our time together.

With that in mind, I’ve decided that I’m going to start waking up at 4am. It sounds nuts, but I get so much more done in the wee hours of the morning than I do once everyone is awake and my phone is ringing. I’ve been staying up way past my usual time (and not going to bed until 10 or 11), so all I have to do to compensate is to start going to bed by 8:30 or 9 again like I used to. It’s like a self-enforced time change. I know I’ll feel better after two weeks of 4am wake ups, so I just need to tough it out until then and then it will be smooth sailing. At least let’s hope!

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