>My kids have been at overnight camp for exactly one week. I’d like to be able to report that they are doing great, but I cannot… well – this is not completely true as the camp posts pictures on their website regularly, so I can at least see their smiling faces… but I’d much rather hear about it in their letters to home.

I’m not really surprised. The first year my son went off to camp, I received three one-sentence letters in this order: “I love you,” “I miss you,” and “See you soon.” These letters were in response to my regular pleas to him through my own letters to write home. I even gave him multiple questions he could answer in his letters should he be suffering from summer writer’s block.

His next summer, I was more specific. The instructions were to write at least three sentences in each letter – one telling me if he was enjoying camp, one telling me about an activity he enjoyed, and one telling me about the other kids. However, I failed to tell him how many of these letters I wanted, as I only received one letter…. two days after he was already home. I think it was that oh crap – it’s pickup day and I forgot to write home letter.

By his third year, he had much improved. I received three descriptive letters. We shall see what this year brings.

I was at least expecting a letter from my daughter by now. She set the bar for herself higher early on. Her first summer, I had a letter from her after just a few days. It was her first summer at camp, and I was anxious to hear if she was having a good time. Her letter said, “I miss you, send a folder.” Huh? Her letters got better as the month progressed and came every few days.

Last year (her second year) she continued to impress. In her first letter, she asked that I send her robe and slippers. Apparently my daughter had mistaken overnight camp for the Four Seasons Hotel. Perhaps she would like a mint on her pillow as well? However, my favorite letter from her came towards the end of her stay. After telling me all the great things she was up to, she ended the note with:

“P.S. Did you know that J (her older brother) kisses girls?”

 Ah-ha – this explains why he didn’t have time to write home *sigh*

Anyone want to place bets on when I get my first letter?

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>So I managed by some miracle to get everything purchased, organized, labeled, and packed for my two oldest kids, in preparation for their month away at summer camp.

Today was the day we they had been anxiously awaiting – drop off.

The plan was to drive there (hour and a half) unload two kids (fifteen – twenty minutes each) and drive home (hour and a half). I know what you are thinking – you are driving all that way to drop your kids off – kids you won’t see for a whole month – and you are only staying for fifteen/twenty minutes per kid???

Let me explain.

This is the fifth summer we have done this. Not only do I have unpacking down to a precise science, but before we have even fully stopped the car, the kids are off and running, trying to find their friends. Parents who? In their opinion staying twenty minutes is staying about fifteen minutes too long. (Plus, my husband has Phillies tickets you know!)

But let me back up so you too can experience the madness of drop off day:

1. Packing the car (night before) & leaving at 7:30am.
2. Sitting in rush hour traffic – because for some reason, drop off is on a Wednesday.
3. Sitting in a line of cars at the gate of the camp waiting to get checked in.
4. Trying to find a parking spot close to your child’s bunk while trying not to hit children running in every direction.
5. Bed selection…

Ah the bed selection… now pay attention because this is important. The camp has a strict lottery policy so as not to penalize latecomers. The policy is that upon arrival to your respective bunk, each camper picks a number out of an envelope. Each number corresponds with a bed. Done. Sort of…

In my son’s bunk, they do pick numbers, but then… . Last year, I spent a decent amount of time unpacking and placing neatly folded towels and clothing on the shelf next to the bed my son picked. Within ten minutes, everything was balled up & thrown across the room to a different bed. This year, I left all the clothes still packed in the plastic bins by his assigned bunk. He is 13 – he can figure out where his underwear is (maybe) when he gets to his final destination. I did however, make certain he knew exactly where the already addressed and stamped blank postcards were, that he needed to write and send home.

The girl’s bunk works a little differently. My daughter wanted a top bunk. In fact, she all but declared that her entire summer would be ruined if she did not receive a top bunk. She also insisted that I pick the lottery number, because I successfully picked her a top bunk the last two summers. Oy the pressure! So I picked… a bottom bunk. The counselor took pity on me, told me the top bunks were odd numbers and then opened the envelope wide enough so I could see all the numbers and told me to pick again. I picked number 11 – shocking I know!

I successfully unpacked and organized everything for her in record time. We said our goodbyes.

On our way out, we had to stop to drop off my daughter’s allergy medicine with the nurse. The line was out the building – and so we waited in another line.

We finally made it back to our cars – almost two hours later than our projected time. It happens almost every year – but looking back at all the kids playing and laughing and hugging makes all the lines and craziness so worth it!

>We are on day two of summer vacation with my 13 and almost 11 year old. Last night (at the end of day one), I found myself asking… is it September yet? It is not that I don’t love spending time with my two older kids. In fact, the opposite is true. I love spending time with them. However, no matter what I have planned for the day – they have their own agendas in mind.

Here’s my yesterday… it started at 9:30 in the morning when my 13 year old asked, “Mom, would it be okay if I go to M’s house to go swimming?” Yes. You read that right. For some unexplainable reason, my 13 year old was up, showered, and ready to get his day started at 9:30 in the morning on his first non-school day. This is the same kid who normally would sleep until noon on his day off if I let him.

My response: “Well, I have a quick dentist appointment this morning, and then I thought we could go to the mall and get some stuff for camp.”

His response: The look. You know that look. It’s the one that says: “What?! You are going to make me spend the first day of summer vacation with you in the mall, when all my friends are going swimming? Besides, you won’t even let me get anything from Abercrombie, so what’s the point?”

My response: “Um – I guess we can go tomorrow.”

His response: “Cool – C’s mom is picking me up at 11:30.”

Well gee – glad you already worked out your transportation before getting permission. At least, my taxi got a break on that one.

My 10 year old has a much different system. She gets up, pulls out her phone directory, and proceeds to call one by one down her list to see who can come over. She finally strikes gold. M can come over. They retreat up to her bedroom, only to be seen over the next few hours, when they come out for snacks.

Last night, I warned told my kids we would be going shopping today for camp. An hour later, my 13 year old asked if I bought pool passes for this summer. When I told him I did, he then asked, “Can I take one tomorrow and go with S to the pool?”

Well at least my four year old still wants to hang out with me… for now anyway.

Blogging Hints Catch a Wave Wednesday

>Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone here in the U.S. enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. I can’t believe it is June already – in a good way of course, I am not a winter person! It feels like the school year just started and now there are only a few more weeks of school left and then summer vacation! Speaking of summer, here’s what has been going on in my world this week:

1. Work. For this who don’t know, in my real life, I am an accountant. Specifically, I prepare taxes. Believe it or not, I enjoy it. (Did I put you to sleep yet?) But… tax season only lasts so long – thank goodness; and the last few years I have taken the summers off. It started because there just wasn’t enough tax work during the summer months to keep me busy, but honestly, I’ve gotten used to the schedule and I like it! This week was the first official week of my summer vacation… aaahhhh. Yay, more writing time for me.

2. Heat wave! Wow has it been hot here all week! I feel like for weeks I’ve been waiting for the cold dreary rain to end so I could get out into my garden and then WHAM all of a sudden the mid to high 90’s hit. Just brutal, but in a non-complaining, I would not rather have snow kind of way! Thank goodness for central air. I’m just praying it makes it through another summer. We have a very old unit and two years ago we were told we’d be lucky if it made it through that summer. Fingers and everything else crossed!! Oh and thank you to my husband for standing out at the hot grill in the heat so we could have burgers and dogs on Memorial Day!

3. Packing for camp. Apparently my blog post from this week has caused a bit of a stir amongst other camp parents who either can’t believe how super organized am I, or feel that I am making them look bad. Well, you all can feel rest assured. I have done nothing except ask my 13 year old to bring me the bins and bags from the attic. They have been sitting on my bedroom floor for the past week untouched. And will most likely stay that way for another week until the holy **** I need to pack for camp panic starts to set in. I did blog about packing though, so that counts for something right?

4. Book news. I love that every week I can announce I am one step closer to releasing NATE ROCKS THE WORLD! This week I was presented with a mock up of the interior design. As with everything that Deana at Book Starter has done, I love it! I am now working on figuring out formatting for all the different e-book readers. My book release date is still on track for July and getting closer every day! I hope to have chapter 1 available for free download on my website very soon!

5. Commentluv. I have been reading a LOT of other blogs lately. They are all amazing. There is a big buzz in the blog world about which is better – Blogger (who I use) or WordPress. One of my new Twitter friends suggested to me that the comment section on Blogger was less then ideal when compared to WordPress. I have to agree. However, I am so not tech savvy and when I tried to set up this blog on WordPress, it just got ugly. The fact is, I like Blogger. I like the design templates and I find it very user friendly (despite the problems it was having internally last week.) Instead, I ran across Commentluv, the comment plugin available on WordPress, and discovered I could use it on Blogger. Are you still with me? To make a long story short – I have a new comment system. Check it out & leave me a comment!!!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend – thanks for checking in. See you next Friday… and hopefully sooner!

Karen

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