Perfect Summer Outing

by Heligirl on July 21, 2010

in Daily Ramblings

Summer vacation is half over and it’s sent me into a bit of a panic. I haven’t done half of the stuff I was excited to do with the kids while school was out. To help me get organized, yesterday I offered seven great things to do around the Seattle area before Labor Day that I’d like to check out with the kids. I then made a pact with myself to do most if not all of them, depending on weather, the kids’ health and time.

Taking time to get away from the house and focus solely on doing things with the kids is a really big piece of positive parenting. When we take the time to focus on them individually, giving them our full undivided attention, we make valuable connections they need to thrive. Sometimes it’s hard to carve this time out all the time, but I made a vow with myself to try to do something with the kids at least one day a week, away from the house, all summer. That list is my guide.

Since I’m off on Wednesdays, I’m working on trying to meet this goal each hump day. Today was a success:

5. Visit Camp Long.

First we set up in the field for a little rocket launching around 10 a.m. The kids had a blast playing while I had fun catching up with my buddy. Mr. Man and my buddy’s little girl, who is close to the same age, enjoyed playing in the grass. We had a little lunch then went for a walk around the trails. There were a lot of thick brush trails that made us nervous with strollers. There were also some trails a bit overgrown with stinging nettles and various thorny brush. But there were also a lot of well groomed trails and lots of little discoveries to be made. The kids really liked the pond, where they looked for frogs and pointed out the sticks under water. Sweetness’ buddy coined the pond “Great Poo Pond.” Not really sure if he was making a joke or was thinking we were saying “Grey Poupon.” Either way, it cracked us up.

We ended up spending 2.5 hours shooting air rockets, eating and strolling around the trails and probably saw only 10 percent of the place. There were a lot of day camp groups throughout having a grand old time. This is definitely a place I’ll be back to when both kids are old enough to take nature walks.

As for connecting, I think Sweetness was more interested in her buddy, but many times she ran up to show me things and ask me “what’s that sound?” and “what’s that?”. I think she learned a lot and really enjoyed herself. Mr. Man loved the sensation of crawling through the grass and checking out the little female person who was toddling around him. He giggled a lot, handed me pieces of grass and clover, and had a nice little relax on the stroll, checking out the trees, plants and his chattering sister.

I’m already getting excited about what we’ll do next week.

(Totally forgot my camera, so relied on the iPhone. Please excuse the photo quality.)


Michelle July 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm

My daughter LOVES the rocket launcher! You guys are def enjoying your summer!
Michelle recently posted: Like Mother- Like Daughter

Heligirl July 21, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Thanks Michelle! It was her buddy’s and she totally hogged it. 🙂

Candice July 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm

First let me just say I love the Seattle area. I’ve only been once and I’ve told my husband on numerous occasions we should move there. You forgot your camera wheras I would be the person who brought it and never took it out to take pictures.

I’m visiting from 31DBBB and wanted to tell you that we both seem to be in the beginning learning curve of SEO. It’s seriously has me spinning. Maybe, we’ll have to have some talks about what we each know, we may be able to teach each other something right?
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Heligirl July 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm

LOL, I do that too. Bring the camera then forget I have it. I’m trying to be better. 🙂

I would love to chat about the SEO stuff. I had a few folks send me great e-mails with resources. Let’s chat in e-mail! I’m looking forward to it!

Jayme July 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Wow, looks like you had so much fun. 😀

I agree with giving the kids full undivided attention, with emphasis on full and undivided. When we’re together, I notice my girls get naughty or they start squabbling when I start fiddling with Twitter or when I start reading a book. I guess it’s their way of getting my attention and telling me “Mom, it’s our quality time!”

But when I focus on them a hundred percent, they always behave and they get along so well. Attention really is key. 😉

Twitter: Heligirl
July 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Absolutely. When it’s just us, that’s what we’re all about. When we have a playdate like this, the kids check in with me, but really enjoy the other kids too. It’s fun to just be with them, watch and interact as they play together.
Heligirl recently posted: Perfect Summer Outing

Twitter: solarchief
July 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

I loved raising my daughters in the D.C. area because we could take advantage of the museums and so many historical neighboring towns… there was always just enough time in the car to get some good Q&A going and that ‘just us’ feeling to prepare for and share later our little excursions… it really is quality time and creates a wonderful foundation for the great friendship that follows in adulthood… hope you take the kids back for the 90% you didn’t get to do before summer’s end… come visit when you can and check out my very first vlog!

Twitter: SolarChief
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Twitter: Heligirl
July 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Thanks Sharlene. Kudos to you for taking advantage of all that rich history with your kids. Hubby and I are such history buffs and we’re really looking forward to diving into more with the kids when they’re older and can understand it.
Heligirl recently posted: Perfect Summer Outing

Carol Ann July 22, 2010 at 7:17 am

What a great adventure for them!

We’ve been trying to incorporate that one on one time with our oldest in our household. Last night, it involved a trip to Target, just the two of us. It gives us a chance to talk, for her to help me shop, and it’s our little time together. As I’m reading and working towards postitive discipline, I’m already seeing a change in her willingness to cooperate – we are making progress!

Twitter: Heligirl
July 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Congratulations Carol Ann!! A topic on my list to write about here is “special time.” Positive discipline instructors put a lot of emphasis on the importance of spending a little one-on-one time each day with each child, uninterrupted. But also there is emphasis on scheduled time with each child. You’re so on the right track and I just love hearing that it’s working for you. 🙂
Heligirl recently posted: Perfect Summer Outing

Colleen July 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

So glad to see you following through on that commitment. Once the summer is over you will look back and think that was really a great summer. So many times when my children do things I think to myself when they are older they are going to say I remember when….and I want that remember when to be a good thing.

Every time we go to my mom’s house my daughter asks her grandmother for a piece of candy in her candy dish. I know when she is older she is going to remember she got a piece of candy every time she went to grandma’s.

It is all about creating fun and lasting memories. Thanks for the reminder to all of us to do just that. I too try to take a day and do something with the kids, it is usually Sat or Sun though.
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Twitter: Heligirl
July 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Thanks Colleen. It really is very important to take that time out. The frustration I was having at my house is we’d spend the weekends doing chores, running errands, etc. Of course, we’d take the kids along, but it wasn’t stuff they were necessarily into. So this Wednesdays in the summer thing is really important to me to make up for that. We aren’t doing chores or errands. We’re doing something fun for the sole purpose of doing it together. Good for you being able to do that on the weekends!!
Heligirl recently posted: Perfect Summer Outing

Unplanned Cooking July 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm

What fun! And a good reminder that we should all slow down and enjoy the last of the summer – can’t believe there’s only one month left before the kids return to school.

Twitter: Heligirl
July 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

I know, it totally sucks how fast time flies these days. I don’t know if it’s a sign of us getting older or if in fact we’re just so freaking busy with the kids we lose track of time. There are days I feel like I need an assistant to keep it all together. 🙂
Heligirl recently posted: Perfect Summer Outing

Rose Cox July 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

How wonderful you have summer over there! It’s the middle of winter here in Australia and freezing!!

Enjoy the rest of summer and the time you have with the kids before they’re back to school.

Visiting from #31DBBB 🙂

Twitter: Heligirl
July 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

Hi Rose. Thanks for popping over from Down Under. I just love that about the Internet – how much easier it is to make friends all over. I bet you’ll be laughing at us all complaining about winter in six months while you are tanning by the pool, right? 🙂 I guess you can make a list now of the things you don’t want to miss this next summer. It’ll be more notice that I gave myself, for sure. Thanks again for visiting!

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