Friday, June 20, 2014

Vacation Trial Run

Completing a trial run is generally a great idea.  You are able to assess the situation honestly and determine any tweaks that may be (or must be) made in order to have a better or more successful experience.  That's the theory behind the whole Wedding Rehearsal concept, right?

This summer, we are taking a big step and embarking on our first family week-long vacation. Usually, we invite others to join us -- grandparents, my sisters, or friends -- and we pretend it's because we enjoy their company.  But, truthfully, it is because we were scared to death to take these 4 little monkeys anywhere by ourselves.

That is all changing this summer.  For the week of the 4th, we will be heading to an awesome oceanside location and taking a family-only vacation.

To prepare, we took the kids over to Virginia Beach last weekend for a few nights.  Bob had a legal conference there, and it seemed like the perfect chance to try out this vacation thing out.

We had a wonderful trip.  Seriously.  I was somewhat surprised.  Now, let's not get crazy.  It wasn't perfect.  The car ride was pretty close to tortuous, no one slept past 6 a.m., and Bob and I had the lovely experience of sleeping on a sofa bed.  But we genuinely had a wonderful time together.

More summer memories.  And I am truly looking forward to our upcoming vacation!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Fears

Despite my last blog post's upbeat attitude and positive spin on summer, I realize that summer can be extremely daunting for mothers of younger children. If your children have been in preschool or school this past year, you are now faced with the scary reality of spending an entire day, every day, with all of these little boogers.  I ran into a mom this week at the gym and said, "Happy summer!"  She groaned and said, "Is it over yet?"  (Ahem.  It was June 2.)

I get it.  In some of my past mothering seasons, I too looked ahead to summer as if it were a huge back hole -- a 3-month span of time and space that felt dark and lonely.  Despite my wonderful childhood summer memories, I could only see my summer as unknown, unpredictable, and out of my control.

As I am reflecting on this today, admittedly in a better state of mind and in a different season of mothering, I now understand why I felt that way.  It's because that is exactly what it was!

Young children are unpredictable.  Their moods are a fluke.  Our schedules become subject to their nap needs or diaper explosions.  And I would prefer it be otherwise.  Honestly, I like a schedule.  I like the known quantities.  I enjoy reading a book on the deck while getting some sun on my face and sipping sweet tea.

But, as is the case with most seasons of mothering, I had to meld my wants into the needs of my family and the realities of my situation.  That resulted in some tough summers for sure.  But guess what? Children don't stay young forever!  I'm not sure if you have figured that out yet, but they grow up.  And with each little few-months-interval, they grow and learn and become capable of new sitting in a sandbox for hours playing with their siblings, or reading a chapter book for the entire afternoon, or talking with you about their dreams and curiosities.

So, this summer, I am not freaked out by the realization that my summer days will be full of 4 crazy monkeys. I kinda dig them.

But summer still freaks me out for another reason.

It is a known fact that my kids are happiest when they are at the pool.  We belong to a fabulous athletic club that has a great waterpark.  The kids want to go there every day.  And, truth be told, so do I.  They have a blast, and I have even been able to read a few pages of my latest book club's selection.  It's truly a miracle. We also have 2 beach vacations planned for the summer.

That would be gumdrops and roses except for the fact that you are supposed to wear a bathing suit to the pool or beach.   I hate that.

I was going to delve into the whole reason behind my traumatic bathing suit visions, but I have a feeling you get the gist.  We can probably all agree that:

We are never comfortable in a bathing suit because _________.  When walking around, I am afraid my ______ will fall out or my __________ is showing.  I want to have fun with my kids and throw my toddler up in the air.  But that is risky.  I try not to be self conscious but, in the back of my head, there is always the fear that I will appear on an evening news show about the ever increasing health epidemic in this country or an ad for cosmetic surgery.
(you fill in your own blanks)

I would not be reminding us all of this if I didn't have a silver lining to report.  And I do.

Let me introduce you to Divinita Sole.

First off, I do not work for them and get absolutely no benefit from telling you about them.  In fact, they are completely unaware that I even exist.

But what I will tell you is that after researching the internet for "mommy bathing suits," I found this company, took the plunge, and ordered a bathing suit online.

I could not be happier.  It is absolutely awesome.  It must be made of spanxx or something but the material is glorious.  It is long enough, high enough, wide enough, and thick enough to make me feel comfortable.  Seriously.  And it's cute to boot.

If you are already dreading this part of the summer, on top of the fact that your county does not participate in year-round school, trust me and try out one of these suits.  They are awesome, and I've already ordered another.

Here are some of my favorites:

Modest Swimsuit

Modest Swimsuit

Modest Swimwear

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, "Where are their bikinis?"  Then, we cannot be friends.

But I will talk to you in the fall while wearing my scarf and jeans.