Planes! coming out August 9.  Find a babysitter through Urban Sitter!

Get More Joy Out of Summer

          By Liz Pryor, www.lizpryor.com
 
Regardless of who we are, where we live, what we do, and how we run our day-to day lives, the arrival of summer inevitably brings change.  Good, bad, or indifferent all of us alter and adjust to summer living. For most of us, the mere idea of the season elicits some sort of visceral need to fill the newfound time. What are we to do with school hours gone, longer days, less prearranged activities and all that time? Our instinct as a society it seems, is to “fill it”. Register, plan, join, sign up, enroll… get the kids on a routine, make it active, carpool, plan, juggle and schlepp ourselves in the oh-so-familiar way we know.
                Yet, we need to embrace a new mentality: Adding do-nothing to our daily to-dos. I recently helped author the Keurig® Brew Over Ice second annual “Put the World on Ice” survey, which questioned nearly 2,000 Americans about the pace of summer, what is traditionally a slower, lazier time.  A large majority of respondents, more than 85% said they feel summer’s pace has changed since they were kids, with more than two thirds (67%)of Americans admitting that they will not be able to take time off to enjoy the summer months.
 It’s difficult as I tackle this topic not to think about my own childhood, growing up in the Midwest. My early summers all filled with a lot of “nothing to do”, and then remembering those few month’s every year with a whole lot of nothing, as some of the best in my life. 
We seem to have collectively morphed into a “doing” consumed culture. Doing’s, somehow connote achievement, success, and productivity.  The question is, are you living and giving your kids the summer you feel is best? And what do you define as productivity?   Are the moments you’re living connected and memorable?  
 If you long for some down time this summer, if you’re not afraid to watch your kids roam around the house at first like Labrador retrievers searching for something to do.  If you’re willing to trust that their imaginations, like ours did, will guide them to something you could never in your adult mind have come to plan for them.  Take the risk and try it!  Okay it may take a few tries, but do it. 
Don’t be so wary of unfilled time; covet it.  We crave it, during the year; we’d pay for it around the holidays.  The fact that it comes with no price in the summer is of such great value, and so often overlooked.
If your family like most, experiences the  positive seduction of technology at their fingertips; when you feel brave enough, make a choice to turn off all access to all technology unless you’re working from home.  Decide for at least a few half-days a week, the best time to go tech-free, and implement it.  If your days are completely dependent on technology, and time is filled to the brim, start small.  Turn your phone OFF and remove games, phones etc…  from the kids for even just a fifteen-minute car ride to camp and then back.
If you’ve hit the middle of the summer (which is right about now) and realize you haven’t found down time for yourself, remember the oxygen mask theory.  You must put yours on first to be able to assist those around you.  Carve out something that brings you ease, even if it’s ten minutes a day.   A rest on your bed with the i-pod on, a bath, a chapter in your favorite book, a senseless TV show, a walk around the block. Find your own re-fresh button, and hit it.  It will shock you how little it takes us to recharge.
Everything we do seems to be geared around the enjoyment of our children.
Could we be giving them too much? Reach back for a moment, and remember how our parents navigated their fun around their own interests? Maybe we could try and reach more for the middle.  If a day at the waterpark doesn’t appeal to you,  as it doesn’t to me, plan a picnic at the park or the beach.  Bring a book, write a letter, do something for you, as the kids busy themselves; everyone wins!  Most importantly let them figure a way to their being busy.   Plan a stay-ca-tion at home.  Tell the kids you have decided that for a day or two you will do nothing that is normally on the schedule.  Instead, everyone will think of something they love to do at home.  Board games, the sprinkler, baking, hide and seek, bingo, Ping-Pong, dress up.   Having the kids use their own minds to create joy and fun is a muscle well worth helping them work.
Life is short, and summer is an opportunity for pause, thought and connection. Try and fill yours with moments both you and your children will remember as easy and connected.  Remember, give your kids the gift of taking a moment for yourself!
Dare to add “doing nothing” to your daily to-dos? Happy second half of summer!

Summer Concert & Movie Night!

Who?  The Boo Hoo Crew + your families and friends
When?  Friday, August 16 @ 6:30pm
Where?  NGLC! www.ngic.org - 9878 Hibert Street near Trader Joes/Java Mama!
What?  A night full of family fun! Including a PIRATE THEME in honor of the Boo Hoo Crew's new Pirate Album + movie The Pirates:  Band of Misfits

$5 donation per person
Concessions will be available!  Bring your low chairs and blankets!  Hot dogs, popcorn, fruit, chips, candy, hot chocolate and water.

FREE Family Art Day Planned in Conjunction with

El Caballo: The Horse in Mexican Folk Art
 
Saturday, August 10, Noon- 4 pm
Exhibit runs June 29 – August 17, 2013 
Center for Community & Cultural Arts
Free entertainment, refreshments, demonstrations and hands-on art projects will highlight Family Art Day, August 10, presented in conjunction with El Caballo: The Horse in Mexican Folk Art on display at the Center for Community & Cultural Arts at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. This is a great chance for kids and families to explore this unique  exhibition and learn more about Mexican folk art and art-making. Two art projects presented by the Mingei International Museum will provide an opportunity to make art that is both fun and educational for kids and families.
404 Euclid Ave., San Diego, CA 92114
Tel: (619) 527-6161 | Email: info@jacobscenter.org

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From above the world of “Cars” comes “Disney’s Planes,” an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.
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