Summer Must-Haves

Over the weekend I accepted two last-minute invitations. I was proud of myself, because my son is 10 ½ months old and very mobile, so he is high-maintenance and requires a lot of attention. I realized that I am not even close to prepared for summer and all of the adventures we hope to have as a family. I wanted to compile a Summer Must-Have list for both my son and myself.

For my son:

1. A picnic blanket. I had immediate regret when we showed up for sand volleyball and I realized I brought nothing for my son to sit on. His diaper-changing mat didn’t do much good, since he no longer sits in one place. I have at least four picnic blankets in my downstairs closet, collected over the course of many years from gifts and impulse purchases. At least one will go in the car full-time.

2. Sun protection. I bought Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50. Why? It comes in the biggest bottle, it is the least expensive (at least among the name brands) and it is recommended by pediatricians because it includes zinc oxide. I am also currently deciding on a pattern for a toddler bucket hat and a sun shirt that will match the two pairs of swim trunks we already own.

3. Shoes. He isn’t walking yet, but he is almost there. Since he will be outside more, he needs shoes. I am deciding which pair of water shoes (aqua socks) we will buy thanks to Zulily’s newest sale. I am trying to figure out which ones will go on and stay on.

4. Snacks. Applesauce pouches, Teddy Grahams, yogurt bites, and Baby Mum-mums are my snacks of choice right now. They are portable, do not require refrigeration, and he loves them. I have found the yogurt bites are great for bribery, not only for my son, but for the children of others.

5. Sippy Cup. I will no longer be carting around bottles and formula. I have been on a “perfect sippy” hunt. I have purchased the LollaCup, the Playtex Sipster,the Boon Swig, and the Munchkin Click-Lock insulated. By far, my favorite (at least so far) is the Munchkin. Ben loves drinking from it, it is big enough for him to carry around lots of fluid, and it doesn’t spill. I like the LollaCup, too, but the spills are starting to get out of control.

For me:

1. White wine. Yes, I will be spending the summer with it. I will primarily try as many Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs as I am able for the low, low price of $10. I plan to let Costco be my guide, and I do believe the Kirkland brand will be taking some of my hard-earned money.

2. Anything Maxi. I am going to replace most of my old maxis. They are starting to LOOK old, and they just don’t fit like they used to. I plan to wear them to work, so I will be on the lookout for more appropriate maxis. I also plan to spend a lot of time in maxi skirts. So far I have two, a plain black one and a purple stripped one.

3. Our CSA Share. We purchased a full share of a CSA this year. I am elated. It starts in a few weeks, and I will be scouring Pinterest for both cooked and raw applications for my abundance of vegetables.

4. The Crock Pot. This year will be the first of my adult life where I will have to work in the summer. While I love to cook, I will be damned if I am going to spend my summer nights in the kitchen. I plan to let the Crock Pot do most of the work for me, so I can spend time with my family on evening walks and trips to the park.

5. My Kindle. I have spent the last two summers reading only for graduate school. I am finished with my program, so I finally get to read for myself again. I am in a book club right now, which is perfect because it motivates me to read things I might not otherwise.

6. Sunday night television. Breaking Bad is coming back for its final season, and I am waiting with bated breath. I am anticipating epic things for the end of the series. True Blood will also return, and though I am not the addict I once was, the show still delivers twists and turns that often keep me on the edge of my seat.

-Emily