There are exactly three days left of first grade for Miss Addie, meaning my job as chief entertainment shuttle begins approximately 20 hours after that last school bell rings. Oh how I loved the first day after the last day of school — waking up, watching cartoons, eating crazy amounts of cereal, and never bothering to change out of my pajamas. My sister and I would come up with elaborate games of store, restaurant, and library. Plus, my mom always had us signed up for some sort of tennis or swimming lesson for at least a couple of weeks out of the summer. I’ve missed hanging out with Addie and doing new things with her, so we’re working on a list of things we want to accomplish this summer together before she heads back to school as a big second grader. Some of them are traditional, some of them will become traditions, and some just seem kind of fun. I like the idea of having a list of things to do so we can be better prepared to ward off “I’M BORED.” (Generally because “I’M BORED!” is met with a very mundane task assignment in this house.)
We’ll be spending plenty of time in backyard pools with friends, but I’m looking forward to checking off and adding to the list we have so far:
All-You-Can-Ride Pass at the State Fair 1 of 8It's no secret that I have a passionate love affair with the Indiana State Fair. I can remember going to the fair as a kid in Utah but it was never as magical (or huge!) as the Indiana Fair. They have special days where kids can get all-you-can-ride passes for a super cheap price, letting them ride until their little hearts can't handle it anymore. We've done it once with Addie before and she was in heaven; I look forward to seeing the joy silly carnival rides can bring once again!
Catching Fireflies 2 of 8I saw my first firefly when I was 26 years old, and I've been enchanted ever since. Our backyard is completely overtaken by them in late spring, and it is truly one of the most magical things I've ever seen! It's something that can never be adequately captured on film or video ... it can really only be experienced. Addie has always been a little too young to stay up so late and a little too scared of bugs to really chase them down, but this year we're prepared with jars and bug spray! (The bug spray is for us to keep mosquitoes away, not for the fireflies ... in case you
Grow Something and Eat It 3 of 8For my birthday, Cody is building me a raised garden box in which I have grand plans to grow things. My even bigger ambition is to try and not kill the things I happen to plant. (I'm not so much of a green thumb.) I've heard there's an awful lot of pride that comes from growing and preparing your own food, and gosh dang if Addie and I aren't going to experience that pride, even if it's only one cucumber
in a salad.
Water Balloon Pop Photo 4 of 8I first saw a photo of a water balloon being popped on Flickr years ago, and I've been obsessed with it ever since. Addie has recently picked up a love for water balloons and is a willing participant in my quest for the most amazing balloon pop photo ever. If nothing else, we'll stay nice and cool while practicing.
Photo Credit: Hel Des
Outdoor Concert 5 of 8There's something about being at an outdoor concert that just makes sense. Spreading out a blanket, bringing a picnic, and huddling together as the sun sets and the music continues to play. We've gone to outdoor concerts in the past, but this year we'll have Vivi with us. I can't wait to share with her something new and wonderful that our family already loves.
Ride Without Training Wheels 6 of 8I was a little older than Addie when I learned to ride a bike, and I'm pretty sure with her coordination and balance, it won't be very hard for her. Cody began riding a bike way before I ever did and has taken on the task of teaching Addie. By summer's end, I plan on seeing that kid tear around our cul-de-sac with the greatest of ease and with her streamers blowing in the breeze. Man, it's going to be a bittersweet day when that kid learns to ride a bike.
Outdoor Water Bed 7 of 8I can only imagine that this would be one of the most magical at-home assembly water projects ever. While part of my brain screams: "GIANT LAWN KILLER!" — the other part of my brain screams: "Imagine laying on a giant bag of cool water on a hot humid day." I first saw the idea on Pinterest and followed it to the original source. While I was out at Home Depot, I managed to pick up all of the supplies, totaling about $15 for two tarps and duct tape (the food coloring doesn't seem absolutely needed but fun perhaps?). I've told all my friends with kids that when I do it they're all coming over so it can be enjoyed by as many bodies as possible (and to truly put it to the test!).
Photo Credit: The Mommies Made Me Do It Updated: The Original ORIGINAL inspiration for this idea came from Play at Home Mom and is called the Redneck Waterbed.)
Make Our Own Ice Cream 8 of 8I've seen all sorts of tricks and tips for making your own ice cream in a plastic bag, and I have every intention of throwing a bunch of ingredients in a bag and shaking them silly until they freeze up! We can sit out on the lawn and eat from the bag with spoons as the sun sets. Perhaps if we get really good at it, we'll start getting fancy with flavors and add-ins. Ice cream maker? We don't need no stinkin'
ice cream maker.
What would you have on your summer 2012 bucket list that we should add to ours?