Summer Checklist – Update #5 – A Busy Yet Low-key Day

We’ve had some busy days in the short time that school has been out but recently we had a day that was the rare busy yet also low-key kind of day. The day started with lots of Legos in the living room and then we got ready to go to storytime at Whole Foods. After storytime, the girls and I picked up some lunch at Whole Foods (since we were conveniently there) and had a picnic near our house with our purchases. That was followed by a trip to library for more Legos and a Father’s Day craft.

 

Now, playing with Legos is actually something that happens almost every day in our house. So, just like some other items on the list, I am crossing it off of the list even though it won’t be the only time that it happens this summer.

 

Doesn’t that look like a yummy spread? Some items were purchased after storytime. Some items we already had at home. But, all in all, it was a yummy lunch.

The summer checklist 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.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Summer Checklist – Update #3

We continued our museum days last week by attending the free days at the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium. These days were even more fun because we went to the museums with friends!

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(Yes, I added the Museum of Science and Industry to the list just so I could cross it off. Somehow, I hadn’t remembered to add it to the original list.)

Last week has really been full of items from the checklist….. I’m exhausted already. 🙂

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.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Summer Checklist – Update #2

Now these next items that I’m crossing off of the checklist are not actually complete. Big girl wanted to be sure that we did a lot of reading this summer and we will and are. We went to the library to get both girls signed up for the summer reading program and to check out some books and play with the puzzles and toys at the library. So, I am crossing off “Go to the library” and “Read books at home” because we’ve now done both, but we will definitely be doing both of these items several times throughout this summer.

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.

 

Summer Checklist – Update #1

We’re starting off our summer by jumping into the checklist right away. Big girl has a lot of things that she wants to accomplish in the next few weeks so we started working our way through the checklist right away.

I love the free admission days at the museums. They are definitely crazy busy days to go to the museums, but, the free admission is a huge plus. Adler Planetarium had some free days last week so we were able to take two things off of the checklist:

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Go to Adler Planetarium!

And……

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Eat astronaut ice cream. We tried two flavors: neapolitan and mint chocolate chip. The mint chocolate chip was the favorite of the two types.

So, 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.

 

My Own Christmas To-Do List

It’s a well-known fact that it is very easy for me to overdue Christmas. There is just so much that can be done during the holidays in and near Chicago! How can you choose? So, well, I don’t choose and instead try to do everything. That might be why December is so exhausting…..well, that and I teach preschool so no matter what December is going to be exhausting. But, if you too are wanting to have a Christmas crammed with activities, here is my list of must-do’s during the holidays. (Close to Thanksgiving, I usually send Ryan a bunch of invites on Google calendar so that he knows what I’m planning.)

Mag Mile Lights Festival -This one is a great way to kick off the holidays, in my opinion. Plus, it combines two of my favorite things: Disney and Christmas decorations!

Christkindlemarket – It’s fun just to walk around but it’s even more fun if you buy some snacks. Since they are right across the street from each other, we usually combine going here with dinner at the Walnut Room.

Walnut Room – One of my all-time favorites. Ryan and I have been doing the Walnut Room since before we had kids. But, it’s even more fun now that we have kids. The girls love seeing the “Christmas fairies” and I love seeing the windows and the giant tree in the middle of the restaurant.

Holiday Magic (or “lights at the zoo.”) – Lots of zoos do their own version of zoo lights. We go to Brookfield because we are members there. But, I have many friends who go to see the lights at Lincoln Park Zoo and they love going there. So, I think that you are probably ok with picking a zoo and enjoying their lights. 🙂

Renegade Craft Fair – I love this because it offers a chance to purchase some interesting gifts for people.

Christmas Around the World at MSI – This has been one of my favorites since before I even lived in the Chicago area. The trees are beautiful and you still have time to check out some of the other exhibits after you see the trees.

Garfield Park Conservatory – This one is a new one to the list. But, it’s not a new one for a list of my favorite things to do during the winter. This really is one of my favorite places to visit in the winter. Walking in here in January, you can forget that it’s 2 degrees outside and just enjoy the tropical temperatures, sights, and smells. This was, however, the first year that we went during the Holiday Flower Show.

Walking (or Driving) Around And Looking at Lights – This one isn’t necessarily a “destination.” However, I do like to walk around downtown Chicago to see the lights. The big tree at Millennium Park always looks nice. But, I also enjoy taking a scenic route home from Target or the mall to check out neighborhood lights. And, a big part of our Christmas Eve tradition involves driving around and looking at lights. That’s what we do following Christmas Eve Mass. 🙂

 

What are your must-do activities at Christmas?

Summer To-Do List – 2015

Each summer, I try to complete everything on my to-do list. Each summer, I accomplish some of the things on my list.

My list for this summer:

  • Work on the front yard.  So far Ryan and I have done a lot of work on the front yard but there is still more to do – most importantly, we need to remove the giant bushes.
  • Get back on track with my running/jogging/……walking.  It’s been hard to get back into my training. I think that it means that I’m going to have to get up early to get my run in before the girls wake up……and it’s really (!!!!!!) hard to get up early.
  • Read. Read. Read.
  • Work related: Pick a play for the Junior High spring production. I have read 1 out of the 5 scripts that I am debating.
  • Paint! We have a small stool in the bathroom that currently is the stopping point for magazines and catalogs and such. However, it needs to be painted as it still matches the bedroom furniture that we painted years ago.
  • Do at least one non-scheduled fun thing every week. There are a couple things that we will do each week because they are scheduled: story time at the library and dance class for big girl. Last week we went above and beyond by going to the Shedd Aquarium on Monday and Brookfield Zoo on Tuesday.
  • Read. Read. Read so more. I have so many books just waiting for me to start and/or finish them and it’s definitely time for me to take care of that.
  • Bake. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a lot of baking. I made blueberry muffins recently (and blogged about them here) but I definitely want to do more.  Baby girl has loved everything that I’ve baked recently (the blueberry muffins and her birthday cake) and I want to share more recipes with her.
  • Work ahead (as much as I can) on grad school projects. Thankfully, I only have one class this summer but I do want to get as much done ahead of the due date(s) as I can.

So, that’s the plan. We shall see how much I actually accomplish…..

Summer Update

A little while ago, I posted my list of things that I wanted/needed to accomplish this summer.  Well, we’ve been busy.  So, here’s my updated list…..

  • Work ahead on grad school stuff.  UPDATE.  I just submitted my final assignment for this course.  So, now I’m done with grad school….for the summer.  Before class started, I was really worried about how I was going to get course work done while taking care of a toddler and a newborn and myself.  Thankfully, I’ve got a great husband and great parents and parents-in-law who helped out with the kiddos so that I could get school work done.
  • Do some garden planning.  UPDATE. My awesome in-laws came down and helped to remove a shrub, destroy a garden that had been located in a silly location, and move my precious peonies.  All of the rain that we’ve had recently has helped the peonies to adjust to their new location.
  • Craft projects.  UPDATE.  I’ve started the craft projects for the girls.  But, I still need to purchase the larger materials in order to complete them. 
  • Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. UPDATE.  I took a nap yesterday!!!!!!!!  Awesome!!!!!!!  Although I thought that I had been taking it easy, I was not taking it easy enough as I may or may not have had a small infection and I had to take antibiotics.  Recovery from a cesarean is no joke.  So, I’ve been trying to take it super-easy.  As Ryan has said to me many times, I have to take care of myself so that I can take care of my girls.
  • And…….the most important thing that we’ll be doing this summer is soaking up as much family time as we possibly can.  UPDATE.  We’ve already had lots of family time this summer.  I am so happy that Ryan was able to take so much time off from work so that he could help me and hang out with his two little girls.  He’s taken big sister to the park many, many times.  He and big sister have worked in the garden together.  We’ve all gone to the zoo and to the pool.  Tomorrow, we are planning on going to a summer festival.  Hopefully, there are plenty of family adventures for us during the rest of the summer.

How is your summer progressing so far?