Summer Checklist

So, just like last year, big girl has been hard at work coming up with our checklist of things to do this summer. And, just like last year, I’ll be writing about our adventures as we complete each one.

The list thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.

Luckily, we are already working our way through this list because, as you can see, it’s a lengthy one. We’re going to be very busy this summer!

Three Big Events – In One Week

In one week’s time, I had three big events happen. I graduated with my Master’s, I registered for the Princess Challenge, and I got my ears re-pierced. Now, these may seem to be very different levels of events. But, really, they are all actually connected.

  1. I graduated with my Master’s degree. This was a lot of work. I was 8 months pregnant with baby girl (she just turned 3) when I started on this journey and then I took last school off from grad school so being able to finally be done was a huge accomplishment. It was not easy. Not at all. But, that’s what made it feel so worthwhile. I did it. !!!!!!
  2. I registered for the Princess Challenge. Yep. February 2018 I’ll be doing a 10k on a Saturday and then a half-marathon the following day. Is this insane? Well, I did the 10k during the Princess Run weekend at Disney World in February 2017 and I did my first half-marathon this past September. It’ll take a lot of training but I know it’s possible. I’m registered for my first challenge weekend during the Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon weekend in Chicago. (I’ll be doing a 5k and then 10k.) It’s doable. It’s definitely doable. And, I’m looking forward to seeing what my body can accomplish with training.
  3. I got my ears re-pierced. In the past several years, I have rarely worn earrings. In December, when trying to put in earrings, I realized that my piercings had closed up. I had stopped wearing earrings on a daily basis as I had developed a probable nickel allergy and had small children at home who loved to yank earrings out. Now that my girls are much less likely to want to pull on earrings (5 and 3 now), I realized how much I missed having the option to wear earrings. After the piercings were done (standard ear lobe and double ear lobe on each ear), I said to my piercer “I feel like myself again.” And it was true. I hadn’t really realized just how much I had missed wearing earrings until they were back. I was back to myself again. Even if it was just my ear piercings.

And, that’s part of the goal. Grad school. Running. Pierced ears. They may not seem connected and they might not all seem like a big deal….but each one of them, in different ways, help me to the goal of being the me that I want to be. Finishing grad school? Huge goal. Training for a Run Disney challenge weekend? Another goal. Buying new “grown up” earrings that aren’t necessarily cheap and probably filled with nickel? New goal.

What are your goals for the rest of 2017? Are you already planning goals for 2018?

Peeps Taste Test – Last One

We had two more flavors to try: strawberry, and cherry limeade. Now the strawberry, I thought would be pretty good. The cherry limeade, I thought that that one would be pretty weird.

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The strawberry ones were ok. They tasted very similar to strawberry Nestle Quik. So, as long as you are ready for that sort-of-strawberry flavor, it’s actually ok. I liked the dipped part, too. The girls were both big fans of this one.

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The cherry limeade one was, well, weird. It was sour and just….well, it was weird. The girls liked it (big girl asked if it was watermelon because it looked like a watermelon and kept referring to it as watermelon even though it definitely did not taste like watermelon). But, this one was just too weird tasting for me…..but it does look pretty cool.

Has Anyone Ever Been Excited to Eat a Salad?

I am fairly certain that no one has ever been excited to eat a salad. I know for sure that I never have. Well, let me specify. The only salad I’ve ever been excited to eat was the Waldorf salad that my grandpa made. Although, it wasn’t until I was much older that I learned that it was called a Waldorf salad. We always called it apple salad. His was not a typical Waldorf salad. That salad taught me that marshmallows could and should be a salad ingredient.

But…..I have been trying to eat better. Grad school and other stresses have led to some (or a lot) of stress eating so I’ve been trying to eat more veggies and more salad. I have found a salad that I don’t mind eating. Fresh Express bag salads (specifically the chopped kits) are pretty good.  There are greens but also extra crunchy things and the included dressings are pretty good.

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But really…..the reason that I am trying to eat more salad? It’s so that I can eat more of the stuff that I want to eat. I tell myself that if I eat some veggies, then I can have some dessert.

Why do I eat salad?

So that I can eat a donut.

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Peeps Taste Test – Number 3

For this next round of Peeps taste testing, we had two of the more non-traditional flavors. Or at least one was really non-traditional (in my opinion).

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First up was the vanilla one.

I like the way it looks. The sprinkles give it a bit of a funfetti look.

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Now, in the last taste test, I mentioned that I was really beginning to enjoy the addition of the “dipped” element on the new Peeps. This one, however, I didn’t like very much. I thought that the dipped part had a weird taste to it. My girls, however, liked this one a lot. I think I was looking for a vanilla flavor and I didn’t really get it.

Next up, the raspberry one. I had high hopes for this one because I love all things raspberry.

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This one wasn’t bad. Although, my girls and I were not in agreement on this one. I liked it, big girl liked it (I think…at least….she ate it), little girl didn’t like it so much.

The taste is a sort-of-raspberry-sort-of-berry taste. So, not full-on raspberry but still yummy.

Results: Mixed. Stay tuned for the final taste test to be posted soon……