As summer comes to an end, I can’t help but smile as I look back at how much fun I had. What a difference from past summers, a lot less drinking and a lot more early mornings chasing a toddler around. I wanted to create a summer round up of all my favorite things we did this summer, wether it was eating ice pops on the deck or early mornings at the beach, we definitely lived it up.
Beach Days I usually planned out each week figuring out what days would be sunny and seeing who would come to the beach with me. There were a few mornings where McKenzie and I would head there around 8am. I figured if we were already awake, we might as well just go. Kenz knew what the beach was, that she could bring her toys and have a bunch of snacks. She grew to really love going there. One of my best friends had a cabana for the summer so when we went there McKenzie could play with the water table or beach toys and I could sit down (sometimes) and just watch her play. The must haves in my beach wagon were sand toys, a heavy duty beach umbrella (going on 3 seasons), a kids beach chair , towels, and a cooler full of snacks. My new favorite thing to bring to the beach and anywhere really is her bento box. My favorite bathing suits for Mckenzie were either from GAP or Ruffle Butts!
Play Dates Brian wasn’t home a lot during the summer, in June he was home maybe 5 days over the course of the month. I can tell when McKenzie is getting bored so I would always try and find a play date for her, whether we went to the park, hung out in our yard or went to lunch. She loves to play with kiddos now and loves to name her friends when I ask her what she wants to do that day. Play dates are awesome for me too. I get to hang out with a friend and watch our kids have conversations that make no sense to us and watch them learn and play together. We also get to (sometimes) talk about other things then our kids, or compare how insane our kiddos can be!
Sesame Place We made the mistake of planning a trip to Sesame Place on a Wednesday after Labor Day. Little did we know, the park closes on weekdays after Labor Day. we thought we would avoid crazy crowds by planning a trip when kids are back in school but obviously Sesame Place wants customers so they close when kids are in school. Thankfully, one of our friends smartened us up when she tried to book lunch with Elmo for us (thanks Jackie) and Brian decided we were heading to Sesame Place the next day instead. We ended up going the Friday of Labor Day weekend, it was a very sunny day and 90 degrees. I think McKenzie would have lasted a bit longer if it wasn’t so hot, but we made the most of the day! We made the mistake of putting our towels near the kids pool as soon as we got there, and Mckenzie probably could have spent the whole day in there if I didn’t force her to come out. So if you want to reserve chairs by the pool, I’d recommend you send one adult to go do so. McKenzie remembers having fun at Sesame Place, and that is all that matters. She cried on the 5 rides we went on, but then high-fived us and thought she had so much fun on each one. We ate ice cream and cookies, and even met Elmo. She is still talking about meeting Big Bird and Elmo and giving Elmo a high five. I think she would do better there next year and we would probably do 2 days, but overall it was worth the trip.
Swimming I have now put McKenzie in swim lessons 3 times. We did Mommy and Me when she was 6 months, and when she was 20 months we did 5 lessons at Saf-t swim. In July, we signed her up for weekly lessons at Goldfish swim school. It took about 4 lessons for McKenzie to not cry the entire 30 minute class. She would then go back and forth if she liked the class or not. I have definitely seen an improvement over the course of the summer. She loves pools, and jumping in. She can climb out of the pool, she listens to her teacher which was the most surprising thing I’ve witnessed, and she kicks and paddles. September will be the last month we do lessons for now, we are going to sign back up in February to get ready for summer again. I am also hoping she will retain more information when she is a bit older next year as well. Overall, our experience at Goldfish was alot better then the other swim school.
Outdoor Meals If it wasn’t too hot outside, we would eat out there whenever we could. Whether we were barbecuing or just heating up meals, Kenzie would even ask to eat outside. I usually find that Kenzie gets worn out faster from being outside, so if she woke up late in the morning or after a nap I would always try to go out there to eat. It’s also usually and easier cleanup which I am all for!
Met Games I wrote a post about baseball games earlier this summer, but this is still one of my favorite activities we did together. We would go just the 3 of us, or with friends or family. Kenz knows she is getting ice cream at a game, and we just have a great time.
Trip to Colorado My trip to Colorado in May to meet my new nieces was one of my favorite weeks! The original plan was I was suppose to be there for the birth of the twins, but my sister ended up going into labor the day before she was due! It was so amazing to walk into the hospital room and see my sister and sister in law with the new baby girls. My eyes filled with tears of joy when my sister in law handed me my new niece. I spent 3 days there watching them figure out how to handle twins, and I still can not imagine what a whirlwind that must be like but they handled it like pros. I can not wait to go back with McKenzie and Brian in just a few weeks to see them at 3 months old!
Third Eye Blind Brian got me tickets for Third Eye Blind for my birthday this year. We have been seeing them together almost every year for the past few years and this year was so much fun. It actually ended up raining and the show was cancelled mid show, but we had the best night together dancing, singing and drinking in the rain.
Wedding Weekend Brian and I don’t get away alone too ofter, so we were really excited for his best friend’s Wedding Weekend upstate. He was in the Wedding so we went for 2 nights and it was so much fun. We were out drinking until late and had a blast with his wrestling buddies. I then got to enjoy myself the whole next day, I slept in, binge watched Netflix and went to the gym. The wedding was beautiful and intimate and the bride and groom just had the best time which makes everyone else have the so much fun.
Trip to DC We finished out Labor Day weekend with a trip to Baltimore to tag along to RAW with Brian. The original plan with Baltimore Monday, drive to DC Monday night, and then spend the day in DC Tuesday, then we were going to drive to Philly on the way home for Sesame Place. It was a blessing we hit Sesame Place earlier because we were exhausted on Wednesday. We left around 9am Monday, I packed tons of snacks and coloring stuff for our 4 hour drive to Baltimore. RAW was basically survival mode because McKenzie was so tired by the time we got there at 2, but did not want to nap because she was too stimulated. I finally got her to sleep at 5pm and she slept for 45 minutes. We left around 9:15 for our 45 minute drive to DC. Brian usually finds a Marriott Residence inn when we travel with Mckenzie so that we have the spare room to sleep her in. It is totally worth it to keep McKenzie in a separate room from us especially as she gets older. On Tuesday morning, we went to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo which was one of my favorite places we have even taken McKenzie. The morning did not start off that great. In our first Uber, McKenzie completely lost her shit and screamed the entire 20 minute ride. I guess she was uncomfortable having a stranger drive us, but she screamed for Dada’s car the entire ride. I finally put a Moana toy unboxing video on with 5 minutes left and she stopped crying. The Zoo was empty, maybe 10 other families we saw there. McKenzie absolutely loved everything that we saw, from Gorillas to Sea Lions – she was amazed. Since McKenzie didn’t wake up until 8:30 that morning, we missed the Panda’s which I was pretty bummed about. Apparently one of them is pregnant so you can only see them during feeding time. We then took another Uber (all with carseats obviously) to Old Ebbitt Grill which was a recommendation from a friend. We had a great lunch here and then went back to the hotel, Mckenzie still resisting to get in the car with strangers. We threw her in the shower and she napped for almost 4 hours. Brian and I also napped and even had some wine. We just had the best day together after the meltdown that kicked off the day. We then took another Uber to the Mets/Nationals game. Brian got us tickets to the PNC Diamond club and our seats were right behind home plate! If the Met’s only won this game, it would have been the perfect night. Unfortunately, they blew it in the 9th inning and Brian was still bummed about it days after. The diamond club was pretty sweet, all food and beers were included so we ate a ton! The next morning, we headed back to Baltimore to have lunch at Jimmy’s Seafood. We over indulged, but it was worth it.
What a summer it was! My car is full of sand so I’ll need to get that cleaned next week, but the memories will last me a lifetime! I hope you all had a great summer too 🙂 What fun things do you have planned for Fall?!