The drowsy kids enjoying some sandbox fun during out backyard camping trip last summer.

Summer Vacation with the Drowsy Kids & Auto-Replies

2016 was weird. 2017 is weird. Life is weird. In my home, things have been changing quite a bit over the past year. I’ve enjoyed getting settled into entrepreneurship and single-motherhood and really doing some self-discovery in the process. I’ve been attempting to apply mindfulness as a conscious goal of my life, which often means setting dedicated and undivided attention time for my children. Last summer, I decided my kids needed to start getting some summer vacation experiences. So we enjoyed our first day-trip to the beach and our first backyard camping experience together. Both required a few hours in the car and were incredible family trips. During our camping trip, I set an out-of-office reply inspired by another parent who sought to make memories with his family. Here’s my message from last August.

The drowsy kids enjoying some sandbox fun during out backyard camping trip last summer.
The drowsy kids enjoying some sandbox fun during out backyard camping trip last summer.

Last Summer’s Auto-Reply

Greetings,

The other day I was listening to a great story on NPR about Michael Merschel’s art of the out-of-office-reply and felt so inspired. Over the past month or so, I have been working non-stop to try to get Carlene Can up and running for each of my new clients. Thank you all so much for helping to keep me busy and motivated! But a weekend has finally come along where I have the time, motivation and cooperative weather to give my children their first ever camping experience. We are packing up the Prius with our tent, some books, coloring supplies and bathing suits and going off the grid for a couple of days.

I have an immense love for the digital world. It’s both enabled my livelihood and helped me to foster some incredible long-term friendships with many spectacular people. But in my love for the internet and technology, I want to be sure that I am sending the right message to my tiny humans. Work matters. Business matters. But unplugging and spending time with family and nature matters just as much. Nothing compares to teaching my preschoolers how wonderful it is to read a good book until the sun goes down then telling spooky stories with flashlight shadow puppets and trying to spot constellations under a country night sky.

I hope you’ll forgive my inability to answer your calls or emails until I’m back in the city. I assure you they will be taken care of with a fresh, rejuvenated mind on Monday. If you’d like to hear about our camping trip, please feel free to check my personal blog for an update in a couple of weeks. For faster updates and hopefully some amazing photos, follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Otherwise, I’ll be in touch on Monday to help you grow your business through digital marketing solutions.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Carlene Delane

Summer 2017

I’m excited to say that at four and five years old, I think we are ready to level-up our game to a full-blown road trip! Later this month, the drowsy kids and I will be going 2,567 miles over 38 hours (not including stops) and visiting my family in Oklahoma. I know, I’m a crazy person to go on an adventure like this while I’m outnumbered by persuasive, feisty kiddos but crazy or not, it’s official!

This trip will be our test-run for being able to make road trips a frequent part of our lifestyle. We’ll be packing up tablets, old cell phones, and audiobooks to pass the time on the road, as well as a cooler stocked with sandwiches, bottles of water and other healthy snacks. With a healthy dose of patience and determination, I’m hopeful that we will enjoy some quality time together and build some meaningful memories.

If you’d like to follow our journey, you can find us on Facebook and Instagram, sharing our travel pics and how I’m balancing mindful, quality time with family against bringing my business on the road. There will be laughter, there will be tears and most importantly, there will be food! We plan to spend one night camping, yes, real camping. I don’t have words to describe how excited the kids are to get their first ever campfire, complete with s’mores. We’ll get to spend three days and four nights with my family before we head back to Virginia, pop in on a friend in Tennessee for the night and make it back to Virginia the next day. We’ve got this!

If you would like to read my auto-responder for this upcoming trip, shoot me an email at Carlene@CarleneCan.com during the week of June 18-24.

Up Next

Now that I have finished school, I hope to dedicate more time to the love that got me into the social media business: blogging. You can expect to see some web design updates and some blog posts sharing the things I accomplished on the Unemployment Bucket List, reflections on our new lifestyle and information on a new podcast I am working on. I hope to see you next Sunday for my post about chasing a sense of fulfillment during this transitory period of my life.

Do me a favor and leave a comment below to help me prepare for my trip in a couple weeks. Have you been on a road trip with young children before? If so, what words of wisdom can you share? Any advice or tools you would recommend to make the trip as easy as possible?

Ten Great Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama

10 Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids

In my family, “nerd” is a compliment. A couple of years ago, I got really frustrated trying to find a good gift for my Mars obsessed toddler. Now her fifth birthday is just around the corner and I’m in the same conundrum. In case any other parents or people who love kids are also struggling to find awesome gift ideas for nerdy kids, I’ve made a list of ten ideas that I’m considering for my Arbor girl. By the way, this post contains affiliate links.

1. Bill Nye the Science Guy Plush

Bill Nye the Science Guy Plush | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $15.

You simply cannot beat the classics. I can hear my kids yelling, “Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!” Wait… they’re actually yelling… BRB.

2. Microscope for Kids

Kids Microscope | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $26.99.

At this price point, I seriously wonder why my science teachers were such pains in the butt about how we handled the classroom microscopes. But I digress…




 

3. The Magic School Bus Books

The Magic School Bus Books | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $5.72.

Like literally any of them. And just in time for the new Netflix series. As if I didn’t love Kate McKinnon enough already…

4. Glowing Terrarium

Glowing Terrarium | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $11.85.

Nerdy, meet magical. Magical, meet nerdy. I take my terrariums with a side of awe, if you don’t mind.

5. Star Projector Kit

Star Projector Kit | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $18.00.

While we’re talking about glow-y stuff, let’s go ahead and build our own home planetarium.

6.  100% Star Dust Tee Shirt

100% Stardust Shirt | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $19.99.





Not sure if I’m trying to keep the kids humble or inspire them to their potential for greatness. Either way, this shirt will be well loved before it’s handed down to little brother and eventually turned into a throw pillow or play baby carrier.

7. Solar System Kit

Solar System Kit | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $9.99.

So let’s just say that her last solar system kit failed to impress me so it got left behind in the move. And let’s also say that Arbor noticed really quickly and still holds it against me. I probably need to replace it sooner rather than later.

8. Solar Rover

Solar Rover | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids
Get it here for $14.49.

Did you know the Mars rover sings itself happy birthday every year? Arbor does. And she’s super sad that he’s alone. So maybe her own solar powered rover will help her feel better about it.

9. Girls Think of Everything

Girls Think of Everything | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids
Get it here for $6.94.

Last month, I heard a story on NPR about how girls don’t think girls should be super smart. We’re not having that in this house. Inspire greatness with this book reminding the littles of how awesome women really are.

10. Gemstone Kit

Gemstone Kit | Gift Ideas for Nerdy Kids | The Drowsy Mama
Get it here for $6.45.

Arbor has been really into collecting rocks of the playground. Time to level up. [Insert obvious birthday card pun].

Have any other suggestions I missed? Drop them in the comments!