Celebrating the Slowdown of Summer, Hints,Tips & Stuff

“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”-  Richard Bach

Summer is here and Moms everywhere are celebrating the absence of homework, alarm clocks, carpools and school pick ups! Yet there are also some Moms  challenged by the long days of summer, the heat, and the hours of empty spaces that lead to sibling squabbles, “ I am bored” misbehavior and reduced productivity for work at home Moms.

I love that Summer gives me the gift of getting to know my girls all over again. With my girls, energy and fatigue is part of their medical condition. During the school year, my kids come home exhausted, fatigued and we don’t really get to see them “ at their best”  Our weekends are usually spent relaxing and resting up for the next school week.

Summer is a sweet time to observe their growth in independence, maturity- their interest and preoccupation with new toys, crafts, skills or activities that weren’t part of our previous summer.

For me, a Special Needs Mom, there is never enough time. Summer gives us many gifts- and to really appreciate them, you just have to SLO-O-O-W down. My husband is always telling me this , and over the years I have learned to listen. Yet still, I am working from home too, and with the maturity gap between my girls- I will have to embrace some theme activities to keep all of us content. To help me with this, I found this awesome Summer Survival e-book from Life As Mom that is full of great ideas, theme activities and printable calendars to keep us on track. I also picked up the book Unplugged Play ( left)from the local library. I love this blog round up from Organizing Your Way on 101 Ways to Embrace Summer. It is packed with projects, recipes and more from all around the blogosphere!

We are only into our second week, yet already off to savoring summer. Last week, I blogged about the simple act of washing our family car- and for a 9 year old Zoe with limited balance and a walker, she was very proud of her efforts and had a great time getting wet with her sister.

We got our hands dirty playing with sand, making play-doh and making cookies! We will be adding more daily physical activity into our schedule, and I am super excited about using our Wii to achieve this. I don’t know about you, but finding games that my special needs sweetie can play on a regular basis is a challenge. For this reason I am really excited to share our success with Nickelodean Fit for the Wii. The online reviews were accurate as it also entertains Zoe’s big sister, who almost 11 and pretty persnickety about Wii games. What I loved about this game  is that the Wii remote becomes super sensitive, and it’s a good thing. You don’t have to have perfect precision, or press a combination of buttons. The execution is much simpler. In addition, I was able to adapt Zoe’s positioning for a number of the games. For jumping activities, she remained sitting and just moved her arms up and down. The game still worked great!

Since the girls are growing up, their art has progressed as well. I am planning a lot of cool crafts projects- but our laid back first week approach included a new 24 pack of Sharpies and a ream of white card stock. I found these summer supplies for a great price at Sams Club, and they are already providing hours of entertainment.

For educational fun, we are regulars at our local library, have purchased some Summer Link fun workbooks( Sams for varying grade levels). For technology fun and learning, Zoe loves Dancemat , a great online keyboard typing program that works more like a video game and is fun for kids of all ages. For Zoe’s big sister O, my avid reader, she has started her own book blog, ( Moderated by Mom) and is learning great skills and having fun in the process.

Fun in the Sun is a challenge here in AZ. Aside from early morning, our backyard pool is a godsend. It is also a nerve wracking challenge sometimes as Zoe tries to remember to keep her mouth closed so she doesn’t suck up too much water. We have a variety of special needs pool toys we have tried over the years, but our current favorite is this inexpensive Neo Noodle ( also found at Sams) It comes in a 2 pack for  $ 20.00- and big sister hers as much as Zoe. My husband and I like it because we can wrap it around Zoe , while she holds it or we do and it is an impromptu flotation device. It isn’t enough to guarantee her pool safety, but its flexibility provides extra fun and support. I think they would be a cool propping tool for a basement playroom, in a tent on a camping trip as well as some other cool purposes.. Check it out!

One of my fav moments so far this summer , was listening to Zoe helping herself to water in the kitchen. She was using the refrigerator water fill function to get a drink of water. As I listened from the next room, imagining her standing in her walker, holding her cup .. I heard “ Oh no, Oh no “ in a kind of gentle plea. Next I heard her say, “ Clean it up,” Followed by her chanting “ You Can Do It, You Can Do It” I loved hearing her talk herself through her challenge, but the best part was – She did it, cleaning up her own mess without calling for help!

Hope you and yours enjoy your own slow, simple moments of Summer!



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