“Summer, summer, summertime – time to sit back and unwind…”

by Kanesha

I love summer! Warm weather, afternoons at the pool, cook-outs and fruity cocktails – summer is a glorious time of year.

I didn’t always feel this way, not when it came time for my oldest to get out of school.

What was I going to do with her for an entire summer, while I was working full-time and her father was away from us – off doing some Roswell-esque research project?

OK – I’m being a bit dramatic about hubby’s research project, but the point is, he was still gone for 3-to-7 weeks during the summer and for me, managing the summer childcare was a challenge.

Back in the day…

Right after spring break, I would start my internet research, comb the newspapers, talk to friends, pick up Colorado Parent’s Summer Survival Guide (yes, it’s called that!) and keep my eyes and ears open for the best day camps that were ALL DAY, reasonably priced, and would be fun for my daughter. I would build intricate summer matrices that would have my work schedule, hubby’s travel schedule, vacation time, and my daughter’s day camp schedule. It was exhaustive to build and ugly to look at.

Before MIL – WACKY summer schedule

Fast-forward three years…

Build up to summer and my summer schedule are simply glorious now that my MIL lives with us. My daughter and I relish the opportunity to find cool, fun, boutique-like and HALF-DAY camps that cultivate her creative side. We can be picky about the camp themes and cost because she doesn’t have to go to camp every week of the summer. If the roster fills up before we’ve registered, no big deal! And if there is something my daughter wants to do or learn, and we can’t find a camp for it, my MIL will CREATE the camp at home.

Last summer’s “homemade” camps included: Kumihumo, painting with watercolors, making beaded jewelry, origami, and creating a village of Model Magic people.

This year, my daughter selected camps that focused on French, cooking and knitting.

French Language and Cooking camp

It was hard for me to leave my daughter at the French camp the other day because I wanted to stay and play too. But later on that day we cuddled and I got to hear about her adventures, listen to the new French song she learned and sample the hachis Parmentier.

Hubby is away on travel, I’m working and my MIL and I alternate doing the pick-ups and drop-offs. My MIL is planning to do her own baking, tie dye, and knitting camp with my daughter. No stress, no pressure, just leisurely fun.

Fire up that blender!

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