/ Laugh /

I’ve got the summertime to-dos


  • Pack clothes and toys for the children
  • Prepare food and medicine for boarding the dog
  • Remember to close windows and set the thermostat

Yep, it’s here again: vacation season. School’s out so that means it is time to get on the road and have some F-U-N, all while fending off sunburn, sand in sensitive places, and seasonal traffic. Are you ready yet?

From list making and packing, to last minute itinerary tweaking and what-do-we-do-if-it-rains backup planning–it’s a lot of work to get away, be it for four days or four weeks.

  • Pack snacks for the plane and car
  • Don’t forget water bottles!
  • Ask the kids to pack books Pack bedtime books for the children because you know they will forget

And you can double, triple (quadruple…) that amount of work for as manypeople as you have in your household. Particularly if they are say, pint-sized and you are unable to reason with them. Yes honey, I understand that you want to pack seven Hot Wheels and three Transformers in the bag instead of underwear and a toothbrush, but you are going to want these items during this trip. Trust me, we both will. Amiright?

Ugh, sometimes I find myself spending more just preparing to leave than I do on any actual trip.

  • Ask the neighbor to water the plants
  • Ask hubby if he paid the cell phone bill
  • Don’t forget to take the dog to the vet for his shots on Thursday!

So these days I stick with pre-planned lists. So much so that recently I’ve taken to using a “master list” of what to pack for each family member, even if just for a long weekend: clothing type, quantity, toiletries needed, etc. Completely nerdy, I know. But it keeps me sane. Currently, it’s just a handwritten 4-day weekend list that covers what everyone in my house needs to be away from home for a few sleeps, but come to think of it, I am going to make an electronic version that I can just print out and mark off the items as I go. I’m a sucker for a good Excel spreadsheet.

  • 4 shirts and pants
  • 2 sets of pajamas
  • Socks and underwear
  • EXTRA socks and underwear for the children because you never know…, you just never know

I tried packing without the “master list” a few weeks ago and it all went terribly wrong. “Surely, no one will get sick,” I thought to myself after realizing 3 hours into the trip that I’d forgotten to grab the Tylenol. Followed quickly by a panicked moment of “Wait a second, did I ever pack those clothes I left on the corner of C’s bed? I must’ve.” Surely I did. Didn’t I?

Needless to say, my son spent the weekend sleeping in a pair of cargo shorts, while my husband and I nursed our daughter through a 2:00 am fever with wet wash cloths and the back of my hand because I’d forgotten not only the Tylenol but the just-in-case thermometer as well. Honey, does this feel like a 103-degree fever? I can’t tell with the back of my hand, check with yours….

  • Pack husband’s magical thermometer hand
  • Pack fever-free children
  • Turbocharge the AM coffee and don’t you dare leave that mug on top of the car, you are going to need every drop of that caffeine!

Like I said, these days I stick to my lists.