My 7 Stellar Strategies for Surviving School Vacation Week

How to survive school vacation week when you're stuck at home 7 tips

How to survive school vacation week when you're stuck at home 7 tips

There’s no school this week. I am not working this week. And Hubs is extremely busy at his own job right now and basically nonexistent.

This means that a few weeks ago I was confronted with the fact that I would soon be home alone for five days with two little girls who were guaranteed to drive me batty by 9:23am on the first day of vacation.

Oh, and I double-panicked when I realized that all the lovely school vacation events I researched in the local cities and towns were a) wicked expensive, b) too old for one or both of my girls, or c) so far away that by the time we got there, parked, and got our tickets, my girls would melt down and need to go home.

And have I mentioned they are not exactly easy-peasy, roll-with-it kids?

Therefore, I felt an urgent need to develop a plan of attack. I intend to not only survive this week, but maybe even have some fun. Which means I needed to 1) have some activities planned, 2) bring in reinforcements, and 3) buy a lot of wine.

So, my friends, here is how I plan to survive school vacation week:

1. First priority: Reinforcements. I called my mom and begged her to come visit for as long as possible. She is arriving in 3 hours and 31 minutes and staying for a few days. THANK GOD.

2. Bribes. I am going to strategically bring out some of the way-too-many Christmas toys the girls received and I stashed away. When boredom strikes: Voila! A shiny new toy that I didn’t buy but can take credit for!

3. Playdates. For today I planned a playdate with friends we don’t get to see too much anymore. The moms had coffee and the kids left us alone and played. Ah, heaven. I know having a playdate doesn’t sound like an out-of-the-ordinary idea, but we don’t have playdates that often anymore, so this was a real treat. Man, I miss playdates.

4. New crafts and baking. I have been cruising Pinterest for fun craft ideas and we’ll do a new one just about every day. One day it was button letter art. Another day it’ll be homemade play dough. And another day we’ll bake cupcakes. Because I don’t need much of an excuse to make cupcakes.

5. Retail therapy. We are going to bargain shop and go to out to lunch. Maybe twice. Grandma likes to shop for her girls and take them to restaurants, and I am not complaining. Or resisting. Did someone say Cheesecake Factory?

6. Get away from each other. We are still going to have rest time every single day. Even when my mom is here, the girls will need a break, grandma will need to nap, and I’ll need to be away from all the other females in this house for at least an hour in the afternoon. Too much estrogen in a concentrated amount of time makes me cranky. And anyway, mama needs her daily dose of internet.

7. Movie nights. A full-length movie is usually a once a week event around here. But this week? I’m debuting a new movie most nights starting at 4pm, just when we are all beginning to melt. I found there are a lot of on-demand kid movies that are really cheap. The girls discovered the joy of Alice in Wonderland tonight. I discovered the joy of a lovely rosé.

It’s Monday night. One day down. So far, so good!

How are you surviving this school vacation week?

photo credit: Bored in Brighton via photopin (license)

A Valentine’s Day Love Letter. To Me. From Me.

Dear JD,

You’ve had a really hard few weeks, honey. I know you have. A traveling husband, a puking child, the same child not sleeping, and your work projects exploding … well, it’s a wonder you are standing upright.


I know you feel like you are doing horribly at everything. You feel like you are letting everyone down at work, you’re an inadequate mother, and you suck as a wife. And not in a way your husband appreciates.

You’re not doing horribly. You are holding it together. Pretty well, given the circumstances. You even manage a smile and a big hug for your daughters in the morning when all you want to do is crawl under the covers and hide from them and the rest of the world. And I say bravo, my dear. Bravo.

And listen. You know that little 20-something twit at work who is complaining you are “only part time” and “not dedicated to the project” and sent you an email tonight lamenting that she “wished you were here tomorrow so we could talk through some more things”?

She’s a child. She doesn’t have ANY IDEA about life priorities or that you are working WAY more than you are supposed to on this project and how completely dedicated you are, but that family ALWAYS comes first. Someday she will be cursed with colicky twins who puke all over her every night and look back at the time she was mean to you and understand that karma is definitely a bitch.

And I know Grace’s inability to sleep at night is killing you, both mentally and physically. I know you feel helpless. But you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s not your fault. And someday, somehow, she will – and you will – sleep again.

I know you worry about Anne not getting enough attention because Grace is needy and you are so damn tired. But she is doing great. And you are doing great raising her. She loves you to pieces and you love her right back.

You are doing SO MANY THINGS RIGHT. You are carving out time for yourself.  You are getting help via therapy and antidepressants. You are spending quality time with the Hubs. You are working out. You have a job and are making some good money because you are great at what you do. You are still getting quality time with your kids, making cookies and valentines and other things they love to do. You have this blog and you are writing for yourself. And you are full of love for your family and friends.

Now it’s time to be full of love for yourself.

Ya hear me, woman? Appreciate yourself. You rock. Yeah, you’re not perfect. No one is. But you are doing the best you can, and the best you can is pretty damn good.

Life is hard right now. But you are still blessed. And I know you know it. And that you appreciate all you have. So hang in there. The saying “It Gets Better” goes for you, too.

Keep on keeping on with your awesome self. And Happy Valentine’s Day, you sexy lady.

Love, Yourself

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