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2013 Summer Fun List

21 May

summer to do list

The weather has hit almost 90 degrees (???!!!), the local water parks and amusement parks are open, and the sunscreen is flowing freely, so it’s time to think about all of those activities–large and small–that we want to do to make our summer fantastic.  This year, I decided to  do two lists: one for family fun, and one for myself (and the hubby).  We really need to work on balance around here, aka get out more, so hopefully this will help.

summer to do list 2013


no kid to do list 2013

You can check out last year’s To Do list rundown here.  We have a busy, busy summer ahead of us (and already upon us), but I hope we can take the time to get these goals done.


1. Any must-do Summer activities?
2. Any traditions? Eric’s gone to the Indy 500 every year since he was 6, and I started going in 2004. Unfortunately, I haven’t gone the last two years due to a little thing I like to call “a baby.” 🙂
3. What is the first “sign of Summer” to you?

2013 Reading List

2 Jan

2012 was a good year in terms of reading.  Mostly because I assumed that a new baby=zero reading time.  But having a constantly-needs-to-be- nursed-and-held baby is an excellent way to squeeze in some reading time. Especially with a Kindle.   At the start of last year, I joined Goodreads’ Reading Challenge and set a goal of 32 books.  I figured that was 2-3 books/month, and I was very happy to find that completely do-able.  In fact, I topped out at 34.  Of course that doesn’t include children’s books–though maybe I should track those…I estimate that I read 100-125 different picture books to the wee one this year! Wowza.

This year, I’m curious about how much reading I can actually get done.  But a challenge is a challenge, and I’m resolved to take more “me-time” this year (and not feel guilty about it!) so I upped the baseline to 34 books this year.

2013 Reading List

1.   Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

This was actually on last year’s list, but I never got around to it.  It’s probably going to be one of my first reads this year.


2. Raising Boys

Boy are different. True story.  And I think it’s important to tap into that “special boy magic” (aka energy) and harness it for good.

3. 15 Minutes Outside

I meant to read this one last year, too. But I had no problem finding at least 45-60 minutes to spend outside each day with the wee one, so I pushed it back.  However last year was spent on walks in the stroller and laying on a blanket–I don’t think that’s going to fly this year.

4. The Milk Memos: How Real Moms Learned to Mix Business With Babies- and How You Can, Too

I don’t have plans to go back to work full-time this year, so this is for pure entertainment factor.  Plus, reading stories of moms who battle working out of the house helps put into perspective how blessed I am to be able to stay home (even though some days I’m clawing the walls by the time the hubby gets home 🙂 )

5.  Dinner: A Love Story

Oh, dinner. Together. It’s getting harder.  Wee one goes to bed earlier. Hubby comes home later.  I’m exhausted from trying to figure out what everyone wants to eat.  Wee one is done after 2 bites…

6. Montessori Madness

I studied Montessori in college, and I think it’s good for a lot of kids, but I’m a huge proponent of finding what’s best for your kid. The hubby is definitely a “Montessori type person” and I’m more of a “creative” type, so we’ll see where the wee one falls…

7. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Not sure if I want to read this, but I feel like I should read this…

8. Room

I put this on my list last year, and I’m just not sure if I’m going to be able to do it.  Becoming a parent has done me in.  I now cry at Hallmark commercials and develop insomnia worrying about how to protect my child from gunmen.

9. Cheaper By The Dozen

I’ve never seen the movie all the way through, but apparently the book is funnier.  That’s what I need. Funny.

10. The Autobiography of Santa Claus

What a fun holiday read! A friend recommended this after reading it for her book group, so I’m sold.

11. Cloud Atlas: A Novel

I thought the previews for this movie looked good, so of course that means the book has to be AWESOME, right?

12. The Warmth of Other Suns

Sometimes I want to read.  I don’t want romance. I don’t want drama. I don’t want anything that’s going to keep me up worrying. Historical non-fiction.  It may become my new favorite genre.

13. Code Name Verity

I have some weird obsession with WWII. Not the battles or the weaponry or the tactics, but the people.

14. Jefferson’s Sons

I have to admit.  I watched the made-for-TV movie about Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson that was made years ago, and even though it was full on inaccuracies, I became kind of fascinated with his story.

15. Casual Vacancy

J.K. Rowling for adults?  What was Harry Potter then? Ha.

18. 50 Shades…

I’m gonna do it.  I said I wouldn’t, but I’m going to.  I pretty much get the story.  And the aftermath–50 Shades of Grey babies, anyone?    I was talking with a friend the other day who mentioned this book was “life-changing.” Life-changing? Definitely interested in figuring that out.

This list covers about half of my reading for the year.  And apparently after reading 50 Shades I’m going to want to do nothing but “color” (Sex in the City reference, holla!), so maybe I won’t reach my goal this year. Ha. Most of the rest of the spots will be filled with books from an online parenting book group, with a few spots left to pick up something spontaneously (I’m a wild one, watch out!).  Plus, you never know when Nicholas Sparks will release a new book <–read ’em all!

Any good recommendations?  Is 50 Shades really worth my time?  I mean, I could be using that time to read about vaccines and tantrums and food strikes and potty training and how to remove crayon marks from EVERYTHING.

“Fall”ing Into Fun

25 Sep

We really enjoyed creating and completing our Summer To-Do List.  As a planner, I like to, well, plan, and the neurotic achiever in me likes to cross things off and measure progress. Apparently the hubby is being drawn to the dark side because he asked for a “Year 2 List”–aka, what fun things are we going to do in the time before Matty turns 2.  Even that seems excessive to me, but there are some key traditions that I would like to start, and I do LOVE Fall. Enter: The Fall To-Do List. Dun Dun Dunnnn.

Our Family Fall Fun List

1. Dance the Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest (Zinzinnati)

2. Rake Leaves

3. Bake a Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

4. Go Trick-or-Treating

5. Put up a Halloween Tree

6. Decorate a Pumpkin

7. Pick a Pumpkin from a Pumpkin Patch

8. Go to an Apple Festival

9. Make Pinecone Bird Feeders

10. Make Homemade Applesauce

11. Go to a Football Game

12. Donate Goods to a “Drive” (ex. Hats or Canned Food)

I think that list should keep us plenty busy, yet not overwhelmed.  I give us until Thanksgiving, since the Christmas madness begins that day!

Summer To-Do List Report Card

17 Sep

Well, although Summer isn’t officially over, it’s time to embrace “Back to School”, which is apparently it’s own holiday nowadays.  So in the true spirit of things, this is where I get to grade Mommy and Daddy on their efforts in making this the best Summer of my life (teheehee–the ONLY Summer of my life…).

1. Picnic on the Grass, A

2. Swim in the Ocean, A+

We went to Jamaica–need I say more?

3. Play in the Sand, A+

Jamaica, Mexico, Grand Cayman…now that’s sand…

4. Ride the Train at the Zoo, B

I went to the zoo.  There was no train-riding.  This may or may not have been my fault.  I do remember something about running around like a wild-banshee until I got  taken home.  However, Mommy could have stuck it out and attempted a train ride, no? I was going to give a grade of “C”, but then I remember I got to touch a snake, and that’s totally worth a letter grade increase.

5. Visit a Park We’ve Never Been To, A+

We ended up at LOTS of parks we’ve never been to, and we went LOTS of times.  One even had a water feature.  Above and beyond the call of duty there, Mom.

6. Play Games at the Fair, A+

We went to the fair 3 times! And we went to 2 different fairs. And I even got to ride a horsey–twice!

7. Do a Good Deed…or Two…or Three, B

We only did 2, Mom. 2. Slacker.

8. Make Popsicles, F

We didn’t make popsicles at all. In Mommy’s defense, I don’t actually like popsicles, but I bet we could have had fun trying.

9. Hike in the Woods, C

Those were scary woods. With big bugs. And she woke me up from my nap.

10. Paint a Picture, A

I wasn’t a fan. Too messy. But, we had a variety of colors and painting utensils. And Mommy painted me a picture for my room. The effort was there.

11. Have a Lemonade Stand at a Garage Sale, A+

Best Lemonade Stand EVER. Holla!

12. Feed the Ducks, A+

Ok. We didn’t actually get to feed the ducks. But some old lady chased the geese out of our way and whacked ’em with her cane, and that my friends, is a win in my book.

13. Plant a Garden, A

Oh, Mom. It pains me to give you this grade.  You see, you didn’t qualify–you just said plant it.  You didn’t stipulate by WHEN you had to plant it or that it had to actually grow.  I suppose planting your crop in JUNE and then NOT WATERING IT does actually count.

14. Visit a Farm, A

We didn’t actually visit a farm, but we did see lots and lots of animals, which was the point. And did I mention I got to touch a snake?! And ride a horse? Twice?! Oh, and a Kangaroo!

15. Blow BIG Bubbles, A+

2 Words: Bubble. Gun.

16. Make Ice Blocks, A

Oh, again, Mom. It pains me to award such a high grade for a total fail, but the thought was there.

17. Buy Fresh Food at a Farmer’s Market, A+

Mommy gets the “plus” only because Aunt Amy & Uncle David came, too.

18. Attend a Class or Group Activity, A+

Swimmy class was SO fun!

19. Go Camping, C

Mommy tried. Daddy was a woman. This is what happened.

20. Have a BBQ Party, A

I had fun. Too bad only Aunt Amy & Uncle Dave showed up on time.  Way to be my rock, Aunt Amy.

21. Catch Lightening Bugs, C

Umm…we didn’t have any. For reals. We tried.  As a consolation, Mommy let me eat a bug of my choosing.  Okay, okay, maybe let is too strong a word…

22. Do a Family Photo-Shoot, F

They don’t love me. They don’t even want to have their picture taken with me.  Maybe the Jolie-Pitts will adopt me.  I could fit in well there.

Oh wait! I lied. No, no. I was mistaken. Guess that’s an A+, too then.

23. Visit With Aunt Kristin and Uncle Jason, A

They came to our house!  But I had to share my room and toys.

24. Build a Sensory Play Box, A

Apparently Mommy thinks this would be a better Winter activity. So although she did it, I only got to experience it once.  We did a nature box.


25. Make a New “Summer Treat” Recipe, A

We made lots of treats.  But did you know they make Pina Colada marshmallows?  And strawberry marshmallows?  They do! So we made some delicious smores on the fire pit this Summer.  And Grandma snuck me some special treats, but I’m not supposed to talk about that…

23/25.  Not too shabby, Parents. Not too Shabby.  Especially when we did some activities multiple times and we did lots of other activities, like playing in the hose, going to festivals, having game nights, going to Grandma’s, playing water table, and adopting a kitty. Oh, and there’s that whole going out of the country on a cruise thing.  That was pretty awesome.

Overall, I have to rate my first Summer experience as excellent.  I can’t wait to see what they have planned for, oh I don’t know, the rest of my life?

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