The End of The Summer Passport

Labor Day weekend is over. Kids are back to school. Starbucks has pumpkin spice lattes.  That seems like a good time to end the Summer Passport.

I loved having a summer passport this summer. There were weeks where I wanted to just stay home, but the passport got me out. We tried different things, instead of going to the same three parks over and over. I liked it so much I’m thinking about doing a fall passport too.

The passport included the following items. The items we completed are crossed out.

  • Go to music class
  • Walk to farmers market
  • Play at a new park
  • Make Pudding pops
  • Have a breakfast picnic
  • Go berry picking
  • Paint outside
  • Eat on Patio at Saints (a kid friendly sports bar in our neighborhood)
  • Visit the Clive Library
  • Visit the Science Center
  • Walk around Gray’s Lake
  • Decorate 4th of July cookies
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Go to the beach at Big Creek
  • Play at Riley Park
  • Play at Tower Park wading pool
  • Play at Beaverdale Park
  • Swim at Ashby Park splash pad
  • Have a Dance Party
  • Play at Greenwood Park
  • Hike at Walnut Woods
  • Hike at Browns Woods
  • Go to the zoo
  • Visit the State Historical Building
  • Walk the River Walk with Uncle Todd
  • Visit Ivy’s farm
  • Swim in a hotel pool
  • Bike to Breakfast
  • Go Camping
  • Visit McHenry Park

I didn’t start the Summer Passport until late June. Had I started it on Memorial Day I would have been able to include the State Historical Building, Ashby Park, hiking at Browns Woods, having a breakfast picnic and music class as we did all of those things earlier this summer. It’s fair to say that we’ve had a busy summer.

Last week, leading up to the end of the passport was even busier than normal. We crossed several items off the list: the beach at Big Creek, walking around Gray’s Lake, eating on the patio at Saint’s, and going on the river walk with Uncle Todd. signal-2018-08-31-145347-13734971905584774236.jpg

This week we are going to have to spend a few days getting errands run to make up for last week. It was a wonderful summer, and I hope next summer is even better.

 

Camping

Audrey and I went camping last weekend. It was the kind of camping I prefer – the kind in a camper with beds and a flush toilet and air conditioning.

We camp with our friends at their camper in North East Missouri. It is a four-hour drive according to google. According to a certain 3-year-old it takes 5 and a half hours. We stopped four times on the way down. But sometimes you need to stop and take a hike through a butterfly garden or play at a park. Hike is probably not the right word, as it is more of a flutter. Audrey is very interested in fluttering like a butterfly, so she runs around flapping her arms, saying “flutter, flutter, flutter.”

When we got to the camper we unpacked our stuff and headed out to do our traditional first night of camping dinner: pizza. 20180727_1832419192974046420378167.jpg

On Saturday it was a little chilly for July. It was too cold for the water park or the beach, so we explored playgrounds. We visited 3 before nap time. It is the first time I can remember Audrey falling right to sleep in the camper.

For dinner we decided to head to the Hootenanny – a restaurant that specializes in pie. I had a wrap for dinner that was delicious, but the pie was what stood out. I went with a slice of butterfinger pie.

After dinner we headed to another park. We then headed back to the camper, totally exhausted.20180728_1827422743126505580072048.jpg

Our drive home was faster than our drive down to Missouri. By that point Audrey had figured out that she wasn’t going to get a bag of M&Ms every time we stopped. We had been on the road for about three hours when we got to Oskaloosa. When we are on a road trip and it is clear that the kids need to get out and play I just drive around a small town off the highway until we find a park. They are usually easy to find. In Oskaloosa I found the best road trip park we have ever found. It was huge! There was a new playground, and old wooden playground, and an old playground with a rocket slide. It was so big I might be heading there next year for a special picnic day.

This week we are staying in Des Moines, which I’m looking forward to. I love to travel, but four nights out-of-town last week wore me out.

I hope you had a fun weekend too.

Elliot Eats Ice Cream

I was in Cedar Falls visiting my parents this week. It was three days filled with parks, playing outside, and a visit to the library. We also had ice cream for lunch two days in a row.

I had never let the kids eat anything other than a healthy (ish) lunch before. Their minds were blown. My mind was blown on Wednesday when I saw how bad Elliot was at eating ice cream. At one point he thought the ice cream was too cold so he started eating the bottom of the cone. It made a huge mess.20180725_1235144603504716703335716.jpg

Luckily he appears to be a fast learner when it comes to ice cream. He was much cleaner today.20180726_1207524940877670906142349.jpg

Now it’s back to normal for Elliot. I wonder how many lunches it will take before he eats vegetables willingly again.

Cedar Falls

The kids and I are in Cedar Falls visiting my parents this week. It is a regular trip for us; we try to visit once a month.

This morning we tried a new park. It’s at an elementary school in town, so the kids are a little small for it. Just don’t tell them that.

After the park the kids had filthy feet. Crocs and wood chips do not play nice together. Elliot was OK having his feet washed, but Audrey threw a HUGE fit. In the midst of her epic meltdown he was offering ways to wash her feet. He could throw her in the river. He could hose her off. She could wash her feet in the bird bath.

Well, she jumped all over the bird bath idea. Dad had to follow through.20180612_122054233778084.jpg

After the excitement this morning both kids are now sleeping soundly. I might take a nap too.

Kansas City Weekend

Happy Sunday! We made it back from our quick trip to Kansas City. It was a fun weekend.

On the three-hour drive down we stopped at the first rest area in Missouri to play and take a nature walk. It was hot – in the 90s. It was so hot Audrey decided she should walk down slides instead of sliding down them. That went about as well as you would think, and she ended up falling on her face. Luckily the playground was on the bouncy rubbery material that keeps kids from getting hurt. It was just enough of a shock to keep her from doing it again (hopefully).

On Saturday we went to my brother’s house to celebrate my niece’s graduation from High School. It was a great party. The highlight was discovering that Audrey is a natural at karaoke. She saw the machine and got to work singing nursery rhymes. Bailey, the graduate, was kind enough to sing a few songs with her.

None of us slept well last night, but we had been promising the kids a trip to the Kansas City Zoo for weeks. We decided to skip brunch and get some time in at the zoo before the kids crashed. I’m so glad we went. John hates to travel, so I like to squeeze family vacation moments in whenever I can.

We headed for home after a quick stop for lunch. Elliot, who woke up half asleep this morning, never napped. I have some very tired kids. Maybe they will even let us sleep in a little tomorrow.

I hope you had a great start to your long weekend!

 

Ambitious Packing

We are heading out-of-town tomorrow for a graduation party. My lovely niece is graduating from high school. I’m excited we will be able to help her celebrate. I’m also excited about the three hours I will spend in the car knitting on the way home on Sunday (John called dibs as the passenger tomorrow).

When I travel I tend to pack knitting projects like I’m going to a silent retreat alone for a week. I pack way too many projects.

For this trip I’m trying to stick to only bringing one pair of socks. Realistically I know I won’t have that much time to knit. That isn’t stopping me from thinking about throwing the yarn for the scrap yarn shawl knockoff and fingerless mitts. Or maybe some extra sock yarn, just in case.

I have a problem. An overly ambitious knitter packing problem. Please tell me I’m not the only one with this affliction.