At the beginning of the summer I worked hard to come up with things for us to do to get us out of the house. I knew we would both go crazy if we stayed cooped up and I knew I would run low on patience and energy if we didn't get out and do things. Thankfully I only had to plan for a few special outings each week and they only had to help fill up our mornings (because after lunch is naptime!). We always go to the grocery store on Mondays, so no planning needed there, and there's usually one other day during the week that we have to take care of errands... Target, Wal-Mart, Post Office, dry cleaners, CVS, etc. So typically I was left with about 3 mornings to fill and for the most part it wasn't too hard to come up with something. Taking our family vacation right in the middle of summer was really nice and so was enjoying the long 4th of July weekend. Those really helped give me and Garrison a break from the same old stuff.
At the start of the summer we tried out the playground at Chick-Fil-A, storytime at the library, and a trip to the pool as our "outings". Pretty much all of those worked out well and became regular things we did. Storytime at the library was a little bit of a struggle because it lasted an hour, it was occasionally over his head, and he stayed glued to my lap. Soo, after a couple of storytimes, we decided we'd just make trips to the library to check out books and sit at the tables and read.
One of Garrison's favorite outings was a trip to Jump Zone in McDonough. We met my sister there, along with her "kids" from FBC and Garrison had a ball. It took him a while to get used to everything but once he went down the slide with AnAn and Kaitlin a few times we couldn't keep him off of them. Kaitlin was so sweet to go down the slides with him over and over and over. I think he wore her out!
AnAn, Garrison, and Kaitlin
Sliding down! (You have to click on the pic to see their faces)
A few more pics from our summer:
Playing at Chick-Fil-A the day I remembered my camera
Really concentrating on his book at the library
Garrison also came to know and love play doh over the summer. I kept putting off buying him some with the intention of making it myself. Once I realized that probably wasn't going to happen I went ahead and picked some up from the dollar store. He fell in love right away and I think we played with it every single day for 2 weeks straight.
Another snack break...
Going to the pool this summer was both fun and exhausting. On one hand, I am extremely thankful we have a pool to go to and that Garrison and I could get outside some but still be cool and enjoy swimming together. On the other hand, swimming with an active, fearless 2 year old who doesn't know how to swim yet was sometimes stressful and exhausting. My only time to relax was when he was out of the pool eating his snack. I had to pretty much carry him around in the water because even with swimmies on, if he wasn't paddling or kicking it was hard to keep his mouth above the water. I also got to catch him 20 plus times jumping in... his favorite thing to do. Our trips to the pool were about an hour and a half to two hours at the most before we would head home to change and get ready for lunch.
We also had some days this summer when we were in the house a good bit and just kinda bored. It seemed like we ran out of stuff to do at home. I think we both got sort of tired of his toys because we would pull out something to play with but 5 minutes later we were both over it. We put together puzzles, played with play doh, read books, watched Mickey Mouse, played on his "Leap Top", and did everything else we could think of. One of those "boring" days I decided to take him out for ice cream after he woke up from his nap. That was a treat for both of us. =)
While this summer has had ups and downs, busy days and boring days, and easy days and hard days (at least for me with the pregnancy), I've enjoyed all the extra time with my little man. Garrison will be an only child for just a short while longer before we welcome his little brother to the family, and I'm trying to keep in mind on the days that seem really long that next summer will be totally different for us. It will definitely be more challenging to pull off "outings" for the 3 of us! While I know I'll miss Garrison and may even be a little emotional about him starting school again, I am looking forward to school starting back. It's only 2 days a week for half a day, and it will give me a chance to rest (just a few more times!) and also be productive and get things done before Austin arrives. I'm praying the transistion to school goes as well this year as it did last year.
I'm so thankful that even though I've been getting bigger and bigger and more and more uncomfortable and hot, that I've been able to take care of Garrison and go places with him and do things with him without worrying about being sick or in pain or even on bedrest. The Lord definitely blessed us with a great summer!