summer goals

I know that summer is a good bit over already, but I figured I might as well write down my summer goals now rather than not at all. So here goes.

1. Picnic Tuesdays. We will go on a picnic at least once a week, mostly on Tuesdays. the girls love picnics and there are oodles of parks and playgrounds we haven’t visited, so we will pack our lunch and head out. We have been on one a week so far, let’s hope we can keep it up.

2. Movie Fridays. We don’t watch much TV in our house, especially during the day. The girls have only seen one or two full length movies. So the promise is that if we get the house mostly put back together then on Friday afternoons we will watch a movie. Last week was the first real week we attempted, since we were out of town the previous two Fridays, and it was a fail. They refused to clean up even a little bit of the playroom. I got the family room, dining room, kitchen all cleaned up and they wouldn’t even both putting one toy away, so instead I spent Friday afternoon cleaning up the playroom. Maybe one day we will achieve this goal.

3. Organize the house. I’m hoping to get things much more organized around here, especially since we will be starting a new chapter in the fall, with full-day kindergarten.

4. Build a big sandbox. I have so many backyard plans, but the one thing I would like to get done this summer is to build a giant covered sandbox. I’m still deciding on location and materials, but hopefully by the end of the summer we will have one. All three love to play in the sandbox, and our little frog sandbox isn’t big enough anymore. Plus I got a free play kitchen out of the trash that I’m hoping to incorporate to make it more of a sand kitchen.

5. Game night. I hope this will be more of a year-round thing, but we shall see. We have oodles of board games thanks to Matt’s sister (yay for hand-me-downs) and we rarely play them. I think our main problem is that Eloise is just getting old enough for some of them and B is definitely too young still, and we rarely have any time to devote to just Greta to play them. So let’s hope we can do this!

6. Morning & evening walks. We all love to get out and walk around the neighborhood. I’m hoping to start to walk in both the morning and evening. We almost always go on a walk after dinner, but I would like to add a morning one as well. So far we have done it a few times. I prefer when Greta and Eloise ride their scooters, so that I can walk at a little faster pace, but they don’t always want to ride them. And our street is about to be torn up to replace the sidewalks and curbs, so it might be more problematic the next few weeks. New habits!

Anyone else have any summer goals I need to add. We will still going to the farm to get our veggies and then we will be harvesting from our garden and freezing lots of yummy stuff. We have several day trips we want to do as well. We opted not to join a pool this summer and for now I haven’t signed anyone up for swimming lessons. Hopefully we will get some swimming time in somewhere. Oh and we are going to music class twice a week, which starts this week! I’m trying to find a balance between structure and free time. The girls really do play well together and love to just play whatever they think up and we will have plenty of that, but if I don’t plan some stuff, I won’t leave the house because I’m a homebody and don’t mind being in my house all day. So yay summer, let’s do this!

P.S. This is the first summer since 2007 that I have not either been pregnant or with a non-walking infant.

Birmingham Zoo

Last week we took a family vacation. I’m going to have to break up the posts or else I will never get through it all. First stop was Birmingham, AL for my cousin’s wedding. We got in on Friday around lunchtime. After driving through a torrential downpour from the airport we got lunch and headed to the hotel. Most often if it is pouring down rain I just stay in the house and wait for it to pass. But since we were in the South, downpours happen out of the blue and really can’t be avoided as easily. By the time we got to the restaurant the rain had totally stopped. We took a dip in the pool that afternoon and then got dinner and bed. We were up really early that morning for our flight and naps were minimal, plus now we were in central time.

The next morning we were up early. Greta was up at 4 am for the day (it wasn’t looking good for the 5 pm wedding), and everyone else wasn’t too far behind. We headed to the Birmingham Zoo in the morning. Overall, I was pretty impressed. On our list were things that we don’t have at the Philly Zoo, elephants, sea lion show, and feeding the giraffes. My dad and my sister’s boyfriend joined us at the zoo.

We saw turtles:





kookaburras, which were sadly not laughing:


a pretty sweet mullet:


The sea lion show was pretty fun. They brought the sea lion out of the tank area and he was literally just a few feet away from us.







We all pulled out our maps at the same time and Matt insisted on taking a picture.


We loved seeing the elephants.






One of the highlights was feeding the giraffes. Greta LOVED it and fed them oodles of leaves. Eloise was terrified of them and Beatrice didn’t seem to care one way or the other.







We ended with a walk through the primate house.


There was lots that we didn’t get to at the zoo, but since we were all up early and had an evening wedding, we really needed to get home and have naptime. Thankfully everyone took a nap, even though B’s was the shortest nap ever. Up next, the wedding.