Last summer was brutal for me, I'll be honest. With a 1-year-old, two 3-year-olds, and a 5-year-old at home, I was exhausted and overwhelmed. There weren't many places where I could handle taking all of the kids by myself without fear of losing one or two of them, so I needed back-up most times I left the house. I was tired from being woken up at night, and spread thin trying to provide basic care for all of them and keep them entertained as well. Nevertheless, we muddled through and somehow limped into September, when full-day kindergarten and preschool schedules provided relief.
So needless to say, I enter this summer with trepidation. The expanse of two-and-a-half months awaiting us... with only a few scheduled activities. However, a lot has changed since then. Bean matured a lot during the school year, becoming more confident and self-sufficient. Nix and Gax are potty trained now (for the most part) and I can generally trust them not to wander off (again, for the most part). Littlest is both easier in some ways -- like his steady sleep schedule -- and more difficult, as he considers himself one of the big boys now, and not a baby to be carried and directed by mom. I feel like while I may not entirely have stepped out of "survival mode," I at least have one toe in sanity.
Bean has a few activities on his schedule for the next few months. His "invention camp" was canceled, huge bummer, but we still have soccer camp, baseball camp, and vacation bible school. After a disastrous and embarrassing soccer season with Nix and Gax, I decided to limit them to vacation bible school this summer, beyond the informal playdates and park visits. And Littlest... well, as it is with a fourth child, he is just along for the ride. And he loves every minute of it. We also have a visit from DH's parents on the agenda for July 4th, as well as a quick trip to Michigan for a wedding the first weekend of August -- WITHOUT THE KIDS! Amen and hallelujah.
I am ever behind with pictures, but here are some from a local carnival and Father's Day.