Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cooling Down

Oh, it's still plenty toasty, but we're coping with it. At least I'm trying to cope with it. Jon poked fun at me last night and said that the heat makes me grumpy. He's mostly right, but I'm not so grumpy that I would take offense at his remark and downright mockery. I simply don't think I have the physical constitution to handle heat, that's all.

Hot days call for cool treats. We've made a huge effort to cut sugary treats and desserts over the last several months, and I've made no desserts apart from what I needed to bring to various events. Overall, we've been satisfied with berries and fruit, yogurt parfaits, and the like. I have a so-called sweet tooth and it hasn't always been easy, but I've been glad to discover that the cravings actually disappear and the temptation to indulge when offered has become quite mild. Jon made the comment a while back, when we were both learning more about what sugar does to the body, that maybe in a few decades society might come to view sugar as an equally dangerous health risk as smoking. Maybe even worse.

Anyhow, sweltering days of miserable heat eventually call for a sweet summer treat. Andrew and I dipped banana halves in some melted dark chocolate (which had a small amount of coconut oil) and we sprinkled them with color. Everyone knows dark chocolate is good for your health, right? Place banana pops in refrigerator or freezer till ready to serve.


OK, then yesterday I bought some ice cream sandwiches on a whim because I was THAT hot and grumpy after a couple hours of errands and grocery shopping. I was looking for a happy antidote to the miserable melty feeling we were all experiencing. They were the "healthy" variety, kind of like a little healthy tobacco for my kids.

A few days ago the boys decided to flood the back patio. I let them for a while, until the ground beyond  the patio was turning into a lake of mud. You know what happens when boys meet mud?



I took the kids to a local water park today and used up the free tickets they earned at swim lessons last spring. And since I'm already making my personal oddities known tonight, I must also say I set aside my strong dislike for public pools and heavily chlorinated water, and refrained from thinking of all the foot diseases we might be contracting!

But it was fun! Jacob is tall enough to go on all the slides, so nothing was off limits to us. My favorite was the dark tunnel slide, where dips and twists came unexpectedly. We had a great time together --just the five of us-- and it was a cool way to spend another hot day before school begins.

School. It's coming all too quickly. Many local schools are already in session, and the reality of summer's end is unavoidable. Jon kindly sent me away overnight recently to a local hotel, just to provide me with dedicated and uninterrupted time to plan for the coming year. It was a nice working vacation, and I accomplished much more than I ever could here at home. I needed it to get organized and to map out the direction, goals, and schedule for the year. Because not every child is the same, or learns the same way, I made a few curriculum changes. (Also, incidentally, I was super happy for the AC in the hotel room on the night of the hottest day of the year!)

Even though we always finish the year strong, I have an unshakable sense of insecurity and fear at the beginning of a new school year. All the typical questions plague me, especially, "Can I really do this?" and, "Why on earth am I doing this?!" I would never choose to be a school teacher, and I don't have convictions regarding homeschooling. But I want to be with my kids, and I want to meet their individual needs and provide them with unique opportunities which are not equally present in traditional school settings. I want them to have time to explore and create, to work, and to just simply be; I don't want all of their waking hours sucked up in the classroom and then doing homework. And I like to be in charge of what and how they learn, and to have the flexibility as a family to do what we like. I could go on, but this is enough to help me along tonight as I continue to question my sanity!

So we're nearly ready. At least for another year, I'm pretty sure I can do this.

(After dinner one night, we traded the oven-like feeling of this house for refreshing ocean breezes.)


Oh yes, and the temps are going down starting tomorrow. hooray.


~Katherine

2 comments:

  1. I have been satisfying my sweet tooth with frozen bananas too. Have you ever blended one with a teensy bit of milk and 1 unsweetened dark chocolate disk? It has the scrumptious consistency of a milk shake without all of the scrumptious fat and sugar.

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  2. i melt in heat and it tends to make me a little grumpy...

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