I had told Terrell way back when (probably right after finding out I was pregnant) that I wanted to plan a special outing for Garrison before having the baby. I mean, this would be our only chance to do something like this (at least without having to get a baby-sitter for Austin) and I wanted it to be a priority. We discussed going somewhere overnight like Chattanooga... but that wasn't really in the budget. Then we discussed somewhere like Stone Mountain, but decided that it might be better to save that outing til he's older and will enjoy more than just the train ride. After putting our heads together and trying to come up with a fun day full of things the little man would love, we decided to stay around our neck of the woods but to combine some of his favorite things into mini-surprises throughout the day.
Ready for our day (I can really tell in my face that I'm pregnant in this pic... oh no. )For Garrison's first surprise of the day we took him to one of our recreation parks that has a pond and ducks you can feed and a playground. He's been there before a few times and he really likes it, especially feeding the ducks. That is the biggest deal to him. He loves throwing the ducks bread and watching them eat. I think it could occupy him for hours. We had the bread with us and Garrison got to carry it and he was SO excited on our little walk to the pond from the car. Watching his excitement made me really happy, and also lean over to Terrell and say, "Can you believe this is going to be our last outing, just the 3 of us?" My sweet husband responded by saying, "Okay Meggie, don't start getting emotional." There went my sentimental moment. Haha!
Feeding the ducks with daddy
He loved watching them as close as possible... but this made us a little nervous so we stayed really close.
Having fun throwing out bread
After running out of the bread we carried with us to the pond, we went over to the playground to let him play for a while. He slid down the slides about 3 times and then just decided to walk around and climb and go up and down the steps.
After having some play time we started talking to him about leaving and going home to get ready for his next surprise, but the little man thought we should go see the ducks one last time and feed them again too. So Terrell grabbed more bread from the car and then we all went back over to the pond. This time we went to a different spot at the edge of the pond. As soon as the ducks saw us approaching, they swam right over and walked right out of the pond and straight to us. It sort of caught me off guard at first because I didn't know if that was normal or not. Apparently they are very used to people and felt completely comfortable being right beside us and waiting to be fed. Garrison loved this. He thought it was the coolest thing ever to be that close to them and throw them bread and watch them eat. He even fed one directly from his hand... but that made mama too nervous so I asked him not to do that again.
When we first got to the edge of the pond only about 3 or 4 ducks were close enough to see us approaching and got out of the water. After we were there a few minutes I guess the others heard us because at one point we counted 9 ducks waiting at our feet for bread. It was a really neat experience for Garrison so I'm glad he suggested that we go back one more time. =) When we ran out of bread he yelled, "Bye bye ducks, see later ducks!".
When we got home from the park we revealed our next surprise... swimming! Since I'm not really comfortable taking him swimming by myself at this point in the pregnancy and summer is nearing an end, we thought it would be really fun to take him swimming one more time. And we knew it would be a treat to get to go with daddy.
The little man had a lot of fun and couldn't get enough of time with daddy in the pool. He swam with daddy, threw balls to daddy, jumped in to daddy... and only occasionally asked for mama.
I love this action shot of my guys
We were able to swim for about an hour before it started raining on us. It started off as a sprinkle so we kept swimming at first, but once it got a little harder we decided to head home for lunch.
After lunch was naptime... for everyone. =) Then after the little man woke up came the next surprise for the day... ice cream for snack at Scoops! Scoops is a really cool ice cream, candy, coffee place on the square in Covington that is super yummy with a neat atmosphere. After we told him we could tell he was really excited about ice cream but also sort of torn about not having Fruit Jammers (his automatic snack of choice these days), so I threw a pack in my purse and we were off to Scoops. Garrison loved his ice cream and ate every bite, plus got to pick out 3 Fruit Jammers to have since he wasn't going to let us forget about those.
After we all finished our ice cream, we revealed our last surprise of the day... a trip to Wal-Mart for him to pick out a present to give Austin once he comes home. This was a really big deal to the little man and he seemed to take it seriously. He kept saying things like "I want Ausin have ___" I want to find Ausin present. Go to Wal-Mart find Ausin present?" So cute. Austin will also be getting Garrison a present but it will have to wait until Garrison isn't in the buggy to see it.
We took him straight to the section/aisle of little baby toys and Garrison liked lots of things for baby Austin.
We finally had to make him choose 2 things for Austin to have~ and here are his choices. He was quite proud of them. In the coming weeks I'm going to let him help me put them in a bag for Austin.
We all had the best day together and I'm so thankful it worked out for us to do a big brother day. We asked him after we got home if he had a fun day and enjoyed all of his surprises, and he confirmed by smiling and saying, "ah huh, Garrsin have fun". His excitement and smiles throughout the day made it extra special and fun for mama and daddy too.