This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kingsford®. The opinions and text are all mine.
We did it! We survived two weeks of summer break! Sure, we had some ups and downs (downs being the stomach flu ravaging our household), but we did it!
Life is too short not to celebrate the mundane, small victories in life, so we decided to do something outside of our comfort zone, and grill out to commemorate this moment! Because what says CELEBRATE like food cooked on the grill?
We aren’t avid grillers, or experienced, or even great, but that’s also what made this occasion even more fun.
We ran to Wal-Mart and grabbed our favorite (and also easiest to use) charcoal- Kingsford® Match Light® Instant Light Charcoal, some supplies for kebabs, and ran home to get started.
Check out our piddly little grill that gets the job DONE!
We lit the charcoal and let the kids help put everything together (which, surprisingly, wasn’t at all frustrating like cooking with kids usually is), creating their own kebabs (and stealing most of the good stuff).
All the prep, and the flipping of the kebabs, and high-fives for making it this far were all making memories, even when there’s no real occasion other than to do it, and honestly, I can’t recommend it enough! You don’t need a huge life event to celebrate, just celebrate everything!
It was the most fun meal we’ve had in a long time, and I get the feeling our tiny little grill will be getting a lot of use this summer celebrating anything, or nothing at all.
What are you celebrating this summer?
Submit your favorite non-holidays and/or best ‘adulting’ moments to @Kingsford on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Get to celebrating! (and grilling– try a honey teriyaki marinade over shrimp & veggie kebabs, drool-worthy and simple!)
Summer is my jam. I’m meant to live in places with temperatures that never dip below 75. I hate snow. I hate cold. I hate hail, wind, ice, sweaters, and especially pants. I like to be free in flowy dresses or loose tanks. I like being able to float in the water like the fluorescent buoy I am. My skin may not agree, but my heart says yes.
Some moms have plans, activities, crafts, scheduled outdoor play time, play dates, group play dates, day trips, camps. I don’t have those things. That’s mostly my fault, maybe my lack of disorganization and motivation, but I honestly don’t have the time. The kids might be home, and I might be home with them, but it doesn’t mean I am good enough, multi-task mastery enough to drop everything to dedicate to them. I’ll fully admit that my summer-enthusiast self fails in that arena, but that doesn’t mean we DON’T have activities. That doesn’t mean we do NOTHING every day all day. Our days are chocked FULL of fun!
I want to share with you how we spend our summer days as maybe an inspiration for those of you out there who may be bored, or looking for things for your kids to do. I know I’m always looking for ideas that don’t involve destroying my house with Pinterest fails, or spending a ton of money I don’t really have just to kill a few hours.
Outside of special trips & activities, here is what a typical summer day looks like around here:
6am: Kids wake up. Consider making shitloads of noise, but realize they’ve done this so many times and ruined so many sleeps that they aren’t allowed to leave their rooms in the morning until an adult comes and gets them. Quietly read or plays with toys instead.
7am: Breakfast! Weekdays get to choose between cereal, oatmeal, or waffles, and a variety of fruit. Complain about there not being enough selection.
8am: Inside play time. Find something stupid to argue over and end up getting sent to separate rooms.
10am: Creative morning snack time! As in, get creative with what we’ve got in the pantry because I’m not going to let my coffee get cold just to make you something when we have a perfectly decent selection of ready-to-eat stuff.
11am: Random chores that are apparently more painful to complete than being waterboarded.
12pm: Lunch! Get to pick a type of sandwich, or leftovers. Chooses to complain we’re not going out for lunch, instead.
1pm: Whine about already being hungry again.
1:15pm: Harass the animals
1:30pm: Act out what must be deleted scenes from The Hunger Games over the last granola bar
2pm: Impromptu trip to the park, because mom is going to snap if she’s stuck in this house any longer
2:30pm: Even with 45 other kids at the park, find a way to fight with each other over some weird version of hide & seek they’ve made up.
3pm: Impromptu reward trip to Starbucks! … for mom. For not snapping in public. Get the kids something small just to avoid hearing them complain.
4pm: 30-minute battle over Hot Wheels car found under chair
4:30pm: The “Can we sneak a snack upstairs without mom noticing?” game
5pm: Commence daily whining about being hungry and how long it is until dinner, even though dinner is only an hour away.
5:30pm: Harass the animals again
6pm: DINNER! You’d think they’d be happy. Nope. They have a competition to see who can find the more ridiculous thing to complain about
7pm: Family TV time. Aka Time to fight over what to watch time
7:45pm: Kiddie shower time. Spend 15 minutes fighting over who’s turn it is to wash their ass.
8pm: Bed time. Battle royale over tooth brushing until they each collapse into bed.
My love of the months closest to the sun is the one thing in my life that never changed, never faltered. I swore I’d never eat avocados, and now I put that shit on everything. Said I hated dresses and would never wear them unless I had to, and now half of my closet is full of breezy frocks. Insisted I would never have kids, and, well, now look at me. With those kids came the death of my Grease-level Summer Lovin’.
I never want to be one of those moms who does nothing but talk about how “it’s all fun and games until you have kids” but we’re less than two weeks into summer break and I already hate it. Summer is no longer my warm, loving friend. I don’t recognize her at all.
You might think I’m just being dramatic. Surely over 30 years of dedication to summer couldn’t possibly be ruined in less than 14 days, but if you don’t think that is a distinct possibility, you don’t have children.
Is it time for Back to School shopping yet?
When I sat down to write both my first book, and Kids Are Turds, what I wanted to do was to be so honest, so real, that the parents reading would sit back and say to themselves “Holy shit! That’s me!”
In fact, I wanted them to relate to it SO HARD that they then sat forward and said “Is this bitch watching me from outside my window?”
THAT is the level of real-ness I aim for, not just in writing, but in the memes I choose to share with all of you.
It’s not that we’re not ALWAYS real here, but we’re getting real with the parenting memes. Here are the most honest, “OMG THAT’S ME” memes on the internet right now. Enjoy!
More our speed
We’d all be filthy stinkin’ rich
I’ve also used it as a reward system for when the kids do extra chores, and as a way to get them to vacate the frickin’ room.
“Sorry kids, this isn’t appropriate, go play with your toys”
Yes, it actually works. It’s a miracle worker.
Now, with the school year over, Netflix has a new way of keeping the people in this house sane: Decompression.
There’s no summer school here, and no summer camp they’re interested in to send them to, so my boys — who honestly don’t really get along — spend most of their time with one another. We all know that spending that much time with anyone is likely to make you nuts, and make them the most annoying person in the world, even if you love them and typically enjoy their company. Think about that, and then imagine siblings, who even on a good day, can’t stand each other, being stuck together. At least when school is in session, they get enough time apart to at least make each other tolerable, but summers are very trying, especially this year when their sibling rivalry has been at an all-time high.
It’s only the beginning of summer, but I’ve found that the best way to get my kids to decompress from fighting all day long, if all the chores have been done (because I have absolutely been known to send them to clean if they don’t quit arguing over nonsense), is to divide and conquer. Typically, I don’t let either of them in my room without an adult, but the only two TVs in the house are in the living room, and my bedroom, so when they just need some alone time (don’t we all?) I’ll send one up to the bedroom to watch something they love and everyone else can’t stand.
Of course, I should have known, Parker started watching movies we all wanted to watch together (Secret Life of Pets & Trolls, to name a few) but it’s a small price to pay for relaxed minds, kids that get along, and days that don’t end in screaming matches. I’ll take it!
New on Netflix this summer!
On the last day of every school year, we have a tradition: GO GET ICE CREAM! It’s pretty simple. We’ve lived in the same area since the kids started going to elementary school, so we always go to the same ice cream shop on the corner.
This year, I decided to mix things up. WHY THE HELL NOT, RIGHT?
Since early dismissal had me all screwy (still mad about it) on the last three days, serving lunch when they shouldn’t have been, I told the boys if they just skipped lunch and didn’t eat, I’d take them out for a celebratory meal after school and THEN we’d get ice cream, too! Score, right? Nice mommy, right here. Above and beyond the call of parenthood! Celebrate small victories! Or… just celebrate to celebrate, because the end of the school year means 2.5 months of parental hell, YAY!
And what a perfect time to also teach my children something they can really perfect over the course of the summer. Someone has to teach while the teachers recoup for the summer, right? It’s my job, right? To enrich, enlighten, and keep them on track so they begin the school year in the fall with sharp minds ready to learn!
For lunch & ice cream, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. WAWA. My kids are obsessed with making their own sandwiches, so while it isn’t exactly a meal fit for celebrating, it’s something they love, and we can grab some cheap ice cream bars at the same place.
I pick them up, announce our Wawa trip to a chorus of “YAY!”s, and we’re on our way. All is right with the world as they punch in their orders (we all get paninis ’cause we’re fancy), pick out some tips, and they both grab a good old fashioned Choco Taco. Yeah, they still make those damn things!
My only qualm is that Wawa is way more expensive than I thought it’d be. $30 for three paninis, 2 choco tacos, and 2 bags of chips? This is highway robbery! I only fume for a few seconds about how we should have gone somewhere else before our sammies are ready and we’re back in the car and on our way home. I’ve learned a lesson for next time. Hey, everyone learns this summer!
Everything is PERFECT, we’re all happy, the smell of hot delicious over-priced paninis has filled the vehicle, and I attempt to get out of the parking lot. I’m stopped by basically a wall of cars. They just don’t stop. They keep going, and going, and going, and I’m confused until one of the kids yells “WHY IS THERE A LIMO?” and I come to the realization that this is a funeral procession. The longest funeral procession I’ve ever seen in my entire life. A king’s funeral procession. The entire damn city has come out for this thing, and they’re all driving down the only road I can exit this Wawa from. I can’t even go the other way, because I’m being blocked by a minivan. I can’t back out and try a different exit, because now there’s someone behind me. I’m stuck behind this stupid minivan with it’s stupid stick figure family stuck to the rear window until this 5,000 car long funeral procession has passed.
It takes a solid 10 minutes.
When I finally manage to get the hell out of the parking lot and pull onto the main road, I find myself stuck in more congestion because OF COURSE the funeral procession is headed the same way I am, and all trying to turn right onto a tiny dirt road with no stop sign or light to help the flow of traffic.
I’ve lived in this area my entire life. I know all the back roads, so the first thing I do is pull off the main road and onto a back road to get away from the traffic and get our food home so that we can feast and rejoice the fact that my children are going to cause 74 more wrinkles to appear on my face this summer. WHAT JOY!
Three miles from my house and I see blinking lights. Many blinking lights. It’s construction equipment, going 10 mph down a two lane road, and zero ability to pass.
It’s at this time I should mention that my car has no air-conditioning. It’s been about 30 minutes we’ve been stuck in the car with choco tacos.
To make a long story short, my kids drank their choco tacos, and when they go back to school calling the slow walking kids who block them in the hallways “Shitass Dickwhistles!”- you have me to thank. It’s all a part of their summer educational program! Road Rage 101.
They’re going to learn soooooo much this summer!
Just did this yesterday and it was everything 9 year old me could have dreamed of pic.twitter.com/imYQlUmSVn
LIVE on Twitch tonight -- come say hi! twitch.tv/holdinholden
As I embark on an 11 day trip with my kids, this is especially fitting. VACATIONS WITH KIDS ARE MANUAL LABOR! holdinholden.com/2016/03/vaca…
Are you, though?? 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Rm5L9PBuiL
When I file for divorce and people ask why I'm gonna say "I told him I felt bloated & wanted donuts and he replied 'that's not gonna help'"
Me usually: Lunch time, kids! So much to choose from! Me before a trip: You're gettin' a bread sandwich because I'm not going shopping again
How to Convince Your Fam to Watch ANYTHING you want on Netflix! goo.gl/fb/H6iZrR
We're just... uh.... wrestling.... 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/dpAIyM88c8
When you think your kid is done telling a story and you're finally free but they immediately start telling another pic.twitter.com/zM5gtwNCnj