The last few weeks of the school year were even busier than the crazy weeks leading up to them. So many events, field trips, birthday parties, etc. We also had teacher gifts to do and piles of writing and drawings to go through when Mairead brought her folders home. Mairead had an incredibly positive experience at her school this year so for us, we weren't excited for 'no more teachers, no more books,' but about more family time, more adventures, and (for me) no more making lunches or scheduling drop offs, pick ups, and everything in between. It's nice to know that we have a summer stretching out before us. This summer is markedly different than our last two since we know that Dave has a job in September, a job he loves, no less, so we are not panicking about paying our bills or having health insurance. We are excited to be able to focus on our kids this summer.
Just before school ended, Mairead went to a friend's birthday party at Jump On In and we had a fun afternoon there. What was very exciting was that Mairead was able to climb the giant inflatable slide all by herself! Until then, she had been afraid to climb too high without an adult, and had a hard time managing the ladder to get up. This time, though, she worked through it and she did it! I was so proud of her- I know it was physically tough, and I know that she was afraid. But, she kept going and was just so proud of herself. It was a huge moment!
You can tell that it's summer because my van is stocked with the necessary summer supplies. We spend a lot of time on the go in the nice weather, and we are ready for lots of adventures. We have a potty in the car that means we don't have to stress about making it to the nearest bathroom in an emergency. We also have sand toys, beach chairs, and juice boxes. You really can't leave home without juice boxes. We also have this basket of necessities including: bug spray, sun screen, band aids, Neosporin, anti-itch cream, and hand sanitizing wipes. I also have baby powder because it is great for getting sand off of little hands and feet. Just rub the powder on sandy areas and it comes right off! Great for a day at the beach. I've heard that corn starch works well, too, and might even be better for hands since it's an edible substance. The diapers are to go in the potty- after someone uses it, I just bag the diaper and toss it. I think the only thing I want to add is a bee sting kit... any other suggestions? I'm all about being prepared... and about making things easier for me. Not having to panic about finding a bathroom five minutes after we get to a playground makes life a lot easier.
Mairead and I have been making a list on my phone of all the things we want to do this summer. I started the list on my own, but she has been adding to it. Her choices are nicely accompanied by cute emoticons. She has recently started sending text messages from my phone to say hello to Nana or Jen. So, if you get a random text with lots of pictures in it, it could be Mairead saying hi! The last item on the list is my favorite...
One of the end of the year activities at school was a trip to Stone Zoo. I always get anxious about her going on field trips when I can't chaperone, but she has been doing great and she wasn't even nervous. She stays with the teacher and has a blast!
On the penultimate (I love that word) day of school, Mairead came home with piles of work she had done. Writing, painting, drawing, journals, etc. I loved going through the journals to see what she was thinking about at different times of the year. Most of her pictures are of her and of her family, or of her with animals... not surprising! But it was so heartwarming to see how much she loves her family. She even wrote about growing sunflowers so she could pick one and give it to me because she loves me so much. Definitely keeping that one!
On the last day of school, there is an informal tradition that families head to Meadowlands for ice cream so we were happy to join in! It was a nice way to start off what we hope will be a great summer.
One last thing- video of her climbing the slide all by herself!