It’s our last week of summer vacation. I’m feeling ready to go back to the city but also a little sad. I think this has been my favorite summer as a parent so far. It’s interesting because it was really just focused on the kids and being at home. There were no big plans and not a lot of guests. I barely changed my clothes. It’ll be good to see my friends again, go back to my office, get on a more regular routine and have more of a social life (maybe), but being a homebody at the house this summer was GOOD.

Here are the most major events that happened to us this summer:

1) Mazzy went away to camp for the month of July. This was a huge step for Mazzy and for us as a family.

2) Harlow went back to her regular day camp and really loved it this year. Her favorite sport? Basketball.

3) Mike started a new job that has him traveling more than usual, but I actually think the separation has done some good for our relationship and it also makes for very special weekends as a family.

4) I spent most of July scanning Mazzy’s camp photos online, searching for clues of happiness.

5) Harlow and I really took advantage of our time alone together. Seriously, it was the Summer of Harlow and it was awesome.

6) The time alone also allowed for us to really get Harlow’s Baking Show off the ground! I’m currently in the middle of editing her coffee crumb cake muffins episode. We also baked cake pops, pancake tacos, brownies, and surprise cake.

7) We checked the mail for letters from Mazzy every single day. We got three. One for me, one for Harlow and one the day after Mazzy came home.

8) We reunited with Mazzy on visiting day and saw just how much she loved camp. Also, Mazzy and Harlow gave each other the best hug of all time.

9) Harlow lost her first tooth!

She was crazy excited about losing her tooth (I believe she is the last in her class to lose one) but not nearly as into the tooth fairy as Mazzy. Her friend was sleeping over that night and in her note, she asked the tooth fairy to give her friend some money too.

The tooth fairy obliged but I only know because I asked. Harlow didn’t run into our room the next morning to tell us or anything. Maybe it was due to the sleepover. We’ll know more when the next tooth comes out. She’s got three more loose ones!

10) Harlow perfected her diving form. She also made me take this photo over and over again until I got it right.

11) When Mazzy got back, she proved that sleepaway camp really was the best thing we could have done for her. Her attitude improved immensely and gave our family a much needed hard reset.

12) First thing Mazzy wanted to do when she got home was invite her friends over for a Descendants III party.

13) The girls both went to art camp at the Parrish Museum for a week. Mazzy took the same Stop Motion Animation class she did last year and Harlow took an art class in the next room over.

14) The following week, the girls did a week at theater camp, performing in a production of Snow White at the Westhampton theater. Mazzy was a turtle and Harlow was a bat. After some initial disappointment that they didn’t have bigger roles (I told them that there are no small players!), they both loved it and want to do it again next year.

15) One Celebrity Day at camp, Harlow went as Anna Wintour, which is as simple as adding a pair of sunglasses and a purse to whatever she thinks is her most stylish outfit. Mazzy went as Billie Eilish, which is way harder to pull off, especially when you’re just working with what’s currently in her closet. I honestly didn’t think anyone would know who she was, but the second she walked in, a counselor called out, “Billie Eilish?” Yessss!!!!

16) Then Harlow met some colleagues for a work lunch.

17) After telling my kids that all the games at carnivals are rigged and impossible to win, Harlow made three basketball shots in a row  to win a stuffed panda (“I told you it was easy!”) and Mazzy won two goldfish. She named them Goldie and Creampuff. Goldie passed a couple days later, but Creampuff is still alive and well, happily swimming in a bulk-size cashew container from Costco. I don’t show videos of him on Instagram anymore because I was shamed for mistreating him by the fish police, but I have to believe he is a lot better off than he was in that plastic carnival bag.

18) My sister and I took our kids to Newport, Rhode Island to visit my dad. I’ll do a full post about our trip, but this was the scene in my bed at 6am. It was worth it to see my dad, so happy, surrounded by all this grandkids.

19) While in Newport, I took an amazing picture of my sister and her husband, surrounded by all our kids.

Naturally, I wanted one of myself surrounded by the kids as well. I asked if we could switch she could take the same picture. This is what I got:

Then I screamed at everyone and forced them into submission. Then I screamed at them some more until they smiled.

20) I took the girls to their first waterpark. They’ve been on smaller water slides before at hotel resorts, but this was their first time at a full-on waterpark. We went to Splish Splash which I discovered is shockingly close to our house. I can’t believe I’ve never been there!

Mazzy and Harlow stuck to the smaller slides here too, but I did convince Mazzy to go on one super crazy slide with me called Alien Invasion (look it up) and HOLY CRAP that was a wild ride. I don’t have any other pics except this one because my phone was in a locker for the majority of the day, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say— we had a ton of fun.

21) We went to a restaurant the other night and there was a girl singing and playing the ukulele. The girls were obsessed and I hired her to give Harlow a lesson!

And that brings us to today. Our last Saturday before school starts. 2nd grade and 5th grade, OH BOY.

We are taking it easy. Being homebodies while we still can.

What’s your favorite summer memory with your kids this year?