Here’s to all the dads out there who let their independent-minded toddlers climb into the car on their own, even though you’re already 10 minutes late. Who gladly clean up puke when their child throws up at 2 a.m. Who are the first to volunteer to get up with the kids in the morning and let mom sleep. Who go the extra mile to make Mickey Mouse pancakes.

"We can avoid other rooms, but we can’t avoid the hub of the home. The simple act of waking up as a mother of small children is hard enough as it is. Then I’d enter the kitchen with a sink piled high with dirty dishes, a floor covered in so many cracker crumbs it looked like a sandy coastal beach and a counter top that required a jack hammer to break off crusted-on marinara. Cortisol rising!"

"They’ve been in school for 10 months. They’ve had regular space from each other and me, and days with friends. They’ve tasted independence and been subjugated to structure from strict, organized teachers. So the second that authority disappears, they decide they’re the ones that should fill the vacancy."

"It seems like every study about our use of smart phones eventually correlates to an inevitable apocalypse. And frankly, no one cares because we’re in way too deep to do anything about it now.

"Once, in a flurry of missing keys, I left for the DMV and forgot my iPhone on the charger. For 45 agonizing minutes, I didn’t know what to do with my hands. I eventually just stuffed them into my cleavage and waited for my number to be called.

"So color me nonplussed as new research is now linking parent’s phone attention to children’s bad behavior. Researchers have found that when parents interrupt family time by checking their phones, kids are more likely to whine, get angry and exhibit over-sensitivity."

"Summer vacation is long. Some would argue too long (or maybe that’s just me and my group of parent friends). But I’m looking forward to using this open-ended leisure time to try out the character-building attributes of being bored, and I think this experiment will be anything but boring."

"The goal isn’t staying busy just to stay busy; it’s to bond with each other and get the most out of these favorite months of ours. I want to make memories with my children that will last their entire lives. Our hope is that our fun, simple bucket list really will make this the best summer ever."