I never really understood how much I disliked winter until we started getting hints of Spring weather here. Then suddenly I was released from the fog of winter time and couldn't believe how happy I was to be going outside to actually stay out there and enjoy it! I don't think I noticed it as much last year because my daughter was just barely one, but this year we about lost our minds by the end of winter. There is just so much more to do in the beautiful outdoors worthy seasons, and most of them hardly cost you any time, energy, or extra money!It obviously makes sense that kids would rather be outside, but I still am so surprised that just by opening my back door my little lady becomes as giddy as she was on Christmas. Because of that, I have been doing my best to spend as much time outdoors as possible while still doing the important things (like feeding us, and keeping the house livable.)
We like to get out of the house first thing in the morning and stay out until naptime sneaks up on us. Since we like to play as long as possible I have adopted the habit of packing our lunch with us practically every day! I just adapted my grocery shopping list so that I am always stocked up on lunch foods and snacks that are easily packed for the picnic life! I have a bag separate than my diaper bag that I keep the food in with ice packs. Then I can keep it in the car until we are ready to eat! Sometimes we end up eating as we drive home, but either way, lunch is done by the time we get home! Score!
Waking Up Before The KiddoNow don't get all freaked out yet, I never wake up before 6:30 and most days I sleep until 7:00. My daughter wakes up between 7:30 and 8:00. She used to wake up much earlier, so if you are dealing with early risers I am so sorry! Been there and wished for that to end! But, for now, I am able to wake up at about 6:30-7:00 and get some chores crossed off my list before the daily grind actually begins. I have been loving doing this!! Then when my girl begs for chalk and bubbles after nap time I don't feel so bad about heading into the yard and hanging out there for a while.
Outdoor Essentials On Hand
One of the most valuable things I have learned as a mother is to always be prepared for more than you assume is going to happen while you are out of the house. Last Summer, I started a little stash in my car of things that I never took out so that I was never without them. Outdoor blanket: For picnics, poolside, ball games, or so many other things you might end up participating in during the Summer
months. Sunscreen: I got caught one time
without sunscreen, and felt so so bad when my little girls cheeks were pink even
just after an hour at the park. Now I always have a bottle in my car. Keep it in asealed ziploc bag if you are worried about heat causing it to leak. Swim diapers: Whether you use reusable swim diapers or disposable ones, I think it is a valid investment to keep extra in the car. We unexpectedly ended up at a splash pad or river a few times last year when original plans fell through, and I was glad to have those in my stash! Hats: I will have a newborn joining my crew this summer. So, I already have a sun hat on my list for her because most sunscreen isn't safe for babies under 6 months. I like to have hats for my toddler too because there have been a few days where the fit throwing during sunscreen application leads to a very sub-par job of evenly spreading!