How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Ahh, summer. As a teacher, I had two months of glorious relaxation punctuated by regular days of satisfying productivity.

Here’s a little example, typical of this summer.

Dilovely’s To-Do List:

  • Fold/put away laundry from yesterday
  • Do another laundry, hang to dry
  • Work out
  • Tidy living room
  • Finish blog post
  • Answer pending emails
  • Take kids to park/splash pad
  • Sort 2 boxes of kids’ outgrown clothes
  • Clean kitchen

Sure, this list could be seen as ambitious. But come on, SUMMER VACATION. Possibilities are endless.

Dilovely’s What-I-Actually-Did List:

  • Diaper and/or potty for AB
  • Breakfast for kids &/or me
  • Fold half of laundry while kids play nicely in E’s room, put back in basket when screeching ensues
  • Do core exercises with toddler on tummy
  • Postpone workout when toddler steals exercise ball and 5-y-o melts down because the backward lunges (he chooses to do) are too hard
  • Diaper/potty for AB
  • Get paper/markers/cardstock/tape etc. for E to create what’s in his mind
  • Wash 4.5 dishes
  • Attempt to divert tragedy when creation does not match vision/AB scribbles on it
  • Read stories
  • Lunch for kids & me
  • Clean up random mess (who knows? Might be pee, poop, cat puke, marker on sofa, water on bathroom floor, milk on kitchen floor, etc.)
  • Diaper/potty for AB
  • Put AB down for nap
  • Set timer for E’s screen time
  • Finish folding laundry, remember we need another load done, put back in laundry basket
  • Put new load of laundry in washer
  • Kick pathway through toys in living room
  • Read new emails, answer 2.5 emails, star unanswered emails as Important
  • 10-? minutes in the vortex of Facebook
  • Open draft blog post, write 1.5 sentences, re-save
  • Diaper/potty for awakened AB
  • Snack for kids
  • Get kids ready to leave house (shoes, water bottles, hats, sunscreen, changes of clothes, emergency snacks, sometimes towels and suits = seemingly interminable)
  • Take kids to park/splash pad
  • Make dinner for family
  • Eat dinner with family
  • Wash 17 dishes while kids finish dinner
  • Diaper/potty + pjs for AB
  • Remind E to put on pjs (x5)
  • Argue with AB about brushing teeth
  • Brush one or both sets of tiny teeth
  • Read stories
  • Put one or both kids to bed (interminable)
  • Go downstairs, glance at clothes boxes, sigh
  • Go upstairs and watch Netflix
  • Rush to put forgotten laundry in dryer @ 11 pm

Of course, some of these items Sean takes care of, or joins me on, depending on which shift he’s working. Even so, my productivity, at the end of the day, was shockingly low. The opposite of my intention, and in contrast to how busy I always felt.

If these lists were a Venn diagram, there would be ONE ITEM in the overlapping portion, found on both lists (I highlighted it, in case you didn’t notice). Also, one of the bubbles would be ridiculously effing huge, despite containing very few measurable accomplishments.

I admit, there were moments when I looked at my not-done list and felt a dark shadow laughing menacingly: “Bwahahahahaaa! Keep a clean house? Write a blog? Practice your ukulele? Get fit?? YOU POOR CHILDISH FOOL.”

I guess I still tend to look at approaching summers with that naïve feeling of endless potential. Which is silly, because I’ve had kid(s) for six summers now, and I should know better.

Actually, If I’m honest, I can only partially blame my sad non-productivity on my kids. The rest I blame on Veronica Mars.

I don’t mean to complain. Being able to switch gears is wonderful. Dawdling over breakfast is relaxing. I did not miss the bus-stop/babysitter/work sequence at all.

And we totally rocked the parks. We visited over a dozen different ones, some several times, in three different cities. We visited all the splash pads and wading pools we could manage. Playing at the park is true summer.


IMG_6516 IMG_6518 IMG_6745 IMG_6746 IMG_6757 IMG_6771 IMG_6922 IMG_6936

We even worked in some occasional play dates – and one dinner date! – with lovely people, for which I’m grateful.

And even though the summer seemed to fly by, there were a few other cool things I got to do:

  • Dance a gig with troupe members.
  • Pick berries.
  • Co-direct Family Camp.
  • Take a girls’ getaway with Skye before her baby was born.
  • Attend an epic double party (2-year-old’s birthday + her parents’ 10th wedding anniversary).
  • See Guardians of the Galaxy in the theatre with my Hubbibi.
  • Go for a stroll 356m in the air.
  • Be privileged to witness the birth of Skye’s second son, the adorable Baby K. (Which, by the way, was essentially drug-free. The epidural was only seated properly for a very short time, and stopped working for the really long, hard part. Skye is one very tough cookie.)
  • Attend a small, beautiful Quaker wedding ceremony between two lovely brides.

Also of note: E had his first sleepover at Auntie Em’s house – two sleeps in a row, actually – and loved it.

And for me, I should mention as well that there were three 7-hour kid-free days to work on our basement, which netted a visible (if not exactly dramatic) improvement.

So I think the problem is mostly with my outlook. If I didn’t worry so much about what I’m not getting done, I wouldn’t feel so disappointed in myself. Really, I should be making a different sort of daily list: Dilovely’s Did-It List. It would include those 17 dishes that did get washed. And of course, EVERYTHING WOULD BE CROSSED OFF.



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Summer Sequence Initialized: Check.

Summer has begun!

Favourite Last-Day-of-School Moment:

All the Grade 5 boys from the 5/6 class, who were actually getting along for once in their alpha-dog lives, TOTALLY ROCKING OUT to Beyoncé (All The Single Ladies). They danced and they knew the words.

Summer: Day 1 and 2 are IN THE BAG, folks.

Daddy had to work on Saturday, the official first day of summer vacation, so the kids and I went adventuring. I’m hoping that, by cramming a whole bunch of summery stuff into Day One, we will be in the right gear to accomplish the best possible summer, i.e. getting piles of important stuff done while also helping my kids have an amazing two months of learning/growing/fun. Piece o’ cake, right?

So, in case you’re wondering, Day One included:

  • sunny back-roads road trip to visit Auntie Em, with car tunes and iced coffee and two children both miraculously in good humour;
  • ice-cold fruit-infused water (lemon, cucumber, and raspberries);
  • aforementioned children sitting in a breezy window seat at Emi’s “impartment”, playing with the curtain;
  • homemade popsicles amidst Emi’s lusciously verdant balcony plants;
  • trip to local splash pad/park, including Slushie consumption and bicycle ride;
Getting more daring now that he’s five.
  • snacks in the dappled shade;
  • absolutely gorgeous summer weather;
Warm and zephyrous.
  • excited running and a few subsequent scrapes;
  • trip to berry farm for fresh Ontario strawberries;
berry farm
A very discerning strawberry-picker with high standards.
A very munchy strawberry-picker with low (to the ground) standards.
  • brief-but-satisfying picnic with family at conservation area, including wading, ukulele-playing, dog-watching, and running around with sticks. (Feel free to guess who did what.)

Pretty good, right? Day Two was a bit less busy, and included lots of rapturous/screechy playing with Daddy, as well as leisurely breakfast, celebratory end-of-school dinner, two laundries being put away, and Mummy rediscovering the surface of her dresser for the first time in years quite a while.

Not bad so far. Canada Day is sure to be full of fun too. We’ll keep you posted.



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