I love the idea of Summer bucket lists… or any kind of bucket list I guess. I just like lists, really. To do lists, grocery lists, you name it. But even better is when they’re adventure lists. Fun things I want to do with someone I love. At the beginning of last week I had tweeted that I was hoping to make a Summer bucket list for me and Toby to try and do before the baby comes next month (!!!). Nothing fancy or elaborate, but little dates that we could share together. Part of my 26 Before 27 goal list this year was to go on at least one Mom + Toby date each month, and this is sort of an extension of that. I know we’ll be stuck at the house a lot more once this baby comes and I don’t want him to get too bored or discouraged. He’s almost six years old (what!) and he needs to have the opportunity to behave like one, right?
A few people suggested some really great ideas and I slowly built my own little list of things I want to do with Toby. Again, the list isn’t overwhelming or too lofty since being 8.5 months pregnant means I move at a much slower pace than a 5 year old, but I think it’ll suit us just fine. Here’s what we came up with:
1. Park dates!I try to take Toby to the local park regularly just so he can stretch his legs, climb on all sorts of contraptions, and socialize with kids his age despite it being Summer. Even though I can’t hang on the monkey bars with him, it gives us both a chance to get out of the house and get some fresh air.
2. Froyo!Toby loves him some frozen yogurt and he thinks it’s such a treat when we go because he gets to get his own cup, choose his own flavors, and pull the little yogurt levels to fill up his bowl. That kid can put away the stuff fast, too!
3. Mid-day pool parties!Once this yucky, wet weather clears out, I’m hoping we can make it a priority to pop over to my parents’ pool for part of the day, at least a few times a week. I could use the sunshine (and weightless feeling!) and Toby could use the energy-draining ha! He’s always so tuckered out from the fun and sun when we get home that he takes a nap, so that’ll allow me the opportunity to have some uninterrupted work time. Win/win! (Unless I take a nap, too…)
4. Pick wildflowers!Toby loves to pick flowers for the ladies in his life. He’s constantly bringing them to me (as seen here), my mom, nana, and Grammie Terri. I thought it’d be a fun little adventure to hop in the car, head out into the countryside and find as many lovely wildflowers as we can. I’m a sucker for my weekly bouquet of flowers, but who can say no to fresh flowers that are free?!
5. Bake something!Another thing Toby loves to do is help in the kitchen. He’s fascinated by the Kitchenaid mixer and he’s a pretty good taste tester. Plus enjoying the fruits of your labor is kind of awesome.
6. Berry picking!>This one will be a little bit harder to do since we don’t really have any nearby berry farms. I could cheat and say “Oh we do this all the time in my mom’s strawberry patch!” but I want to take him somewhere more established. He devours blueberries, raspberries and blackberries like they’re candy, so I know he’d love it!
7. Make popsicles!The perfect excuse for a sweet, frozen treat this Summer! I’ve been collecting a few recipe ideas for us to try out, so if they turn out well, I’ll be sure to share them on here, too!
8. Disposable camera adventures!This is one of my favorite things to do with Toby! Since Mike and I are film photography lovers, we want to share that same magic with Toby. Of course we can’t just give him our Nikon film bodies and let him shoot (1 - because they’re heavy! and 2 - each roll of film costs about $50-$60 to develop!) Luckily he can snap away on a little $4 disposable and sort of get the same effect… at least for now. We want him to experience the thrill of not knowing what’s on the roll, and the excitement of seeing the processed film for the first time. We’d like to think it’ll teach him not to be so concerned with instant gratification, but he is only five and we maybe idealize it a bit! haha
9. Morning “coffee” date!When Mike and I would regularly drink our coffee on the front porch each morning, Toby begged to have “coffee” so he could join us. We’d let him choose his daily coffee mug and we’d fill it up with chocolate milk, then sit on the porch and enjoy the crisp morning air. I think that’s the perfect way to start the day and since it’s just me and Toby here in the mornings, I want to share that little tradition with him again.
10. Cook dinner for Dad!Since Mike works so hard at school every day, I think it’d be nice if Toby and I treated him to a yummy, home cooked meal one evening. I’m no Monica in the kitchen but I think we could whip up something that is at least edible… ha! We’re aiming high here, people!
Who’s to say that all of these will get accomplished, or that we won’t nix some and replace them with something even better? Who knows! But I want to bottle up this short time that we have left as a family of three and make as many memories as possible. I know things will be amazing when there are four of us, but Toby will only be 5 for a couple more months… He’s growing up so fast! I want him to be able to look back and see just how much fun we had when he was little.
If you have any fun suggestions to add to our list, I’m all ears! I know I’ll think of things as the days progress but I’ll never turn down some help! I’ll try to remember to document a little bit of each adventure to share here, but let’s be real - it’s usually easier to just live in the moment, right?