Emily Wyckoff

The Longest Day of the Year

I officially survived the longest day of the year. No, not the Summer Solstice, June 21st (and yes, I did have to google that) but Daylight Savings Day. Before I had kids, this was actually a fabulous day – an extra hour to sleep in, an extra hour to read the paper – an extra hour to myself. Now that I have three children, this is not an extra hour to enjoy but an extra hour to endure. An extra early breakfast, an extra hour in a cloudy, rainy, winter-is-coming-day.  A day full of pillow forts, dumping out of toys in each room, and the creation of a club by my 5 year old daughter that only her sister was allowed to join and not her younger brother (as you can imagine, that was nipped in the bud and presented a perfect opportunity to give a lecture on including others) . And by this point it was all of 8 am. I am thankful that I no longer have any babies with nap schedules to wrangle with, just kids who, despite the time change,  seem to get up at the same time, yet go to bed one hour later.

Along with day light savings is the abrupt departure of beautiful sun and way-above- normal temperatures. Today is forty degrees with gray skies and intermittent drizzle. Hello winter. My kids asked for hot chocolate after school today – they know it’s coming too.

So not only do we need to adjust our clocks but also our activities for the winter. Swimsuits and bicycles are put away and time to find the parkas and boots. I actually just found my children’s boots today. I had tossed them all in a garbage bag in a cleaning frenzy back in May and have been searching for them for the past five days. I had visions of my husband mistakenly taking them to the curb with the other trash. So I breathed a sigh of relief as I found them in our scary basement on a pallet underneath an old computer monitor and next to a box of floor tiles – right where they belonged.

So, how does my family survive the winter? Barely. Just kidding. We do a lot of crafts, meaning I pull out paper, glue, markers, paints, pipe cleaners and whatever else we might have and throw it on the kitchen table. Yesterday the kids traced their hands on pieces of paper and decorated them – for two hours. With no direction from me. They are much more creative than I am. My friend said her family was having a long day yesterday (The Longest Day of the Year) and she hit gold with address labels. Her kids had a blast making labels for everyone in the family, drawing things each person liked on the labels, and sticking them on each other. The whole family wore them through dinner and then they put them in a notebook. So cute.

If we are home on some weekend days in the winter we are all about pj days and pillow parties. All the pillows come off the furniture, pjs stay on, I close the door and hold my breath that no one is seriously injured. We go outside and play in the snow, even if it sometimes takes twice as long for the kids to get into their gear as they last outside. We bake – a lot. My children are chocoholics like me, so cookies, brownies, and cakes abound in our house during the winter. I also embrace winter with soups, pastas and casseroles. Here is this week’s menu:

Monday: Burrito Bar Night (weekly event per the kids’ insistence)

Tuesday: Pressed Sandwich Night with roasted broccoli

Wednesday: Ham and Cheese Quiche with Asparagus

Thursday: Chicken Soup 

Friday: Pizza Night

How does your family get through the long days of winter? 


11 Responses to “The Longest Day of the Year”

  1. Julie Cooper says:

    I am so happy to read that I was not the only mommy affected by daylight savings time. Your Blog is fabulous and I love that you posted your menu! Thanks for sharing with the world.

  2. Felicia Powell says:

    Lots and lots of soups when it gets colder. It’s quick and easy and the kids can help chop up veggies and stir it in or I can throw it together while they nap. Today is chicken soup with Rice and whatever veggies the kids like to dump in. Tomorrow is chili and then proably leftovers on Friday with some fresh bread from the bread maker.

    Squash soup, veggie beef soup, chicken ginger soup, yum, ah, next week’s menu is coming together nicely. I must be hungry.

  3. Paige Blaser says:

    We were finally getting on a good schedule since baby #4 joined us and now we are out of sorts again. The kids are starving by 4pm. And to think we have to do it again in 6 months!

    The cushions are hardly ever on the couches around here since they are also used for forts or to turn the living room into an indoor bouncey house. And we make a lot of cookies too.

  4. Cassie says:

    basically we stay up inside bundled up in the heat.
    xo cassie xo

  5. Kaley says:

    you are sooooooo cool Rachael! Please never forget me!

  6. Sharron says:

    I have twin nines year olds. I try and have at least once a month a family picnic. I make
    all the picnic foods ( hambugers,hotdogs etc)
    spread a blanket on the living room floor.We
    then put on our summer clothes i.e shorts,and
    t-shirts,crank up the the heat slightly and have a ball.The kids look forward to it all year.

  7. Mary G. says:

    My two girls are teenagers now, but I do have memories of the Longest Day…

    As the sun set earlier and earlier leading up to Daylight Savings Day and the Winter Solstice, my youngest daughter would say that she felt a little afraid and she would get very clingy just as the sun set. This happened every year from the ages of 3 to 5. She loved playing outside so much that I guess her internal clock told her that something wasn’t right. I remedied this situation by playing soothing classical music or children’s lullaby songs while she helped me mash potatoes and mix meatloaf for dinner. This may be a great solution for anyone who has a child feeling the loss of summer on or near the Longest Day.

  8. Darcy says:

    FUN THINGS to do with your child…. My six year old (thought of this himself ) uses TIVO to literally stop the TV and write down letter for letter the correct spelling of everything on every commercial that he wants for Christmas. Now mind you I do also have a 24 and 22 year old children…So we all know they could not do such an activity many years ago- we all just had to die laughing when this occurred! I told him he was just the smartest boy in the world…I love him dearly… and he was even doing this in cursive which they are teaching in 1st grade these days! Bless his heart!
    BUT WHAT A GREAT IDEA on a rainy day or otherwise for kids to get involved in making their own Christmas lists – this activity will definitely keep them busy.

  9. Heather Lewis says:

    To see that so may of us battle with the same delima is great! We all know how hard it is to get everyone back on a “normal” schedule. It’ll make you crazy if you let it.
    My kids are 7,8 & 9 and when it comes to time change they ALL get messed up. Even I myself can’t cope with the “Ok, it’s time to get up (@630)” and get the response of ” But it’s still dark outside!” (whinning of course). Sometimes I would love to just say “but it’s still dark outside. I don’t wanna!”
    My middle daughter gave me one of the funniest answers the other morning. It went something like this…. ” Cayse is not avilable right get up right now. Please leave a message at the beep. BEEEEEEEEEEEP.”
    I thought that I was gonna die laughing. ( That’s because I was like that as a child.)
    I hope everyone gets to enjoy those times too.
    God bless you all!

  10. sarah says:

    hello all,

    i am new to this as i am new to being a stay at home mom. does anyone have good ideas for cheap crafts to do with a 2 yr old?

    thanks, sarah

  11. Carla Dann says:

    Since my Dad passed away, I have quit my job to stay home with my mom who has dementia. It can be a long long day when her mind gets caught in a loop and she keeps asking the same question over and over and over.
    Sometimes it feels like ground hogs day as you get the same repeated response every day to ordinary events. One of my favorites is we watch Rachael Ray every morning and every day she tells me “I WANT TO GO EAT WITH HER SOMEDAY”
    A routine is very important in helping us through the day. Thank you for your show as it is something we can both enjoy – I”m not into Lawrence Welk reruns!
    I think taking care of children is easier than taking care of parents. It is enjoyable watching children learn, but it is rewarding to help parents when they are unlearning.
    Mom is no longer able to cook a meal, but she is able to help by stirring. My granddaughter always says “Great Grandma is the best stirrer, I don’t know how she does it” I will have my memories of my Mom as a full woman, running the house, cooking wonderful meals and my Grandchildren will have there own memories of how great she stirred! We are blessed!

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