This summer I have the amazing opportunity to spend Thursdays and Fridays with one of my favorite people on the planet-My niece, Alyssa. She is a very busy six-year-old, and as expected, she becomes bored easily. I know I only have two days a week with her, but that is plenty of time to find lots of fun and exciting things to get into. I wanted to create this blog to record our shenanigans so we can remember Aunt Katie and Alyssa’s summer of fun, but also to send and receive fun ideas to keep kiddoes busy.
I am a little behind in getting my first post out there, so I need to backtrack a little bit.
Our first day of fun was last Thursday, June 7. This was also my first day of summer, so I had my own personal list of summer activities that I was eager to get started too. I mean, how hard can it be to get a personal agenda accomplished with just one little girl in tow? Eh…Aunt Katie…You have a lot to learn. I got a sewing machine for Christmas, and I decided that this is the summer to make Alyssa a dress. Since it is a dress for her, and she can be quite particular in her fashion choices, I thought we should pick out a pattern and fabric together. With some strong coaxing, we came to an agreement on a pattern (I actually picked it myself but I made her think it was her decision). She picked out some fabric, and we were on our way. We had a few other stops to make and then we came back home and played and watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Ok, so I didn’t have any great amazing brilliant plans for the first day of summer. I was a little burned out from planning every minute of every day for the past 9 months. I needed a break.
Friday rolled around and hooray! Uncle Chris didn’t have to work! Let’s go shopping for a backyard pool! And also let’s stop at the hardware store. And Target. And Kohl’s. With a tired six-year-old. Yeah, there have been better ideas that have existed in the history of the world.
Over the weekend, we bought an eight-foot round pool for our yard. It is the kind I had when I was a kid, but I think mine was Care Bears or something. When Thursday, June 14th rolled around, we were ready to go for a swim. It’s just that the weather wasn’t so much on board with that idea. It was only in the 70s with a nice breeze that made swimming less than desirable. She tried hard to have fun, but it was short-lived. Instead, we made home-made finger paints.
This was entertaining to make, but since it required the use of the stove, it was not very hands-on for her. While we were waiting for it to cool, she tried swimming again. It was still chilly, but when we came back in, the paint was ready to be colored. This turned into a good little lesson on mixing colors.
She enjoyed the painting process. From my perspective, I found it to be very wet, and the colors were not very vibrant. If I were to do this again, I would add a lot more food coloring to make the colors show up on the paper better. Our paint was fine, but it was not what I had imagined.
My major disappointment came when the paint dried. It was very cracked and flaked off of the paper at the slightest touch. Alyssa did not seem to mind it, but it was very messy and not the type of thing that could be saved to adorn the refrigerator. Since I am a recovering pack-rat, I held on to the containers of paint just in case we decided to play with them another day. Bad idea. In a few days they became moldy.
Friday the 15th, we baked cookies. Alyssa was very interested in helping mix and pour. I was making a double batch for a party on the weekend, and I figured she would get bored after the first few trays were cooked. No sooner had I put the first two trays into the oven, did I hear “What’s next Aunt Katie?” She did a very nice job of playing on her own for the next hour or so until I could play again. We tried swimming a bit again this day, but still, the weather was a little cool.
Yesterday was our third Thursday together. We met Tori and Sabrina for lunch at Harris’ Crab House in Kent Island. I had the lunch size crab imperial and it was amazing! After lunch we went to the dollar store to get some pirate things for Chris’ birthday. He really wanted Nicholas to have a pirate birthday party when he turns 3 in August, but Nick seemed to want nothing to do with it. In fact, he has started getting pretty angry when we suggest a pirate party. “No! CARS!” or “NO! Thomas!” Even though the dollar store was a little lacking on pirate-ware, we had a super-fun pirate party.
Today I watched Alyssa and Nick. I wasn’t sure how it would be to have 2 kids, but I think it went quite well if I do say so myself. We went to the park in the morning before it got too hot. They played on the playground, saved a caterpillar, saved a lady bug, squished an ant, saw the river, crossed the bridge, sat on the bench, crossed the bridge, looked at the murky creek, crossed the bridge, sat on the bench, looked down at the murky creek…We found some very large leaves and took them home as souvenirs.
It was a fry an egg on the sidewalk kind of a day outside today, so when we got home, the first thing they did was hop into their pool. Aside from a few sibling rivalries about using popsicle sticks as paddles, they played very well together in the pool. (Alyssa and Chris made fun of me for saving our old sticks, but they came in handy today). I was able to tune them out (while simultaneously making sure they were not killing each other nor drowning), and I read a few pages of my book. (Water for Elephants…I am a little behind the times, but I haven’t seen the movie yet). (I am pretty sure I overused parentheses there).
We are off to a great start for Aunt Katie and Alyssa’s summer of fun. If you have any brilliant ideas to share, let me know! I will keep you updated on how it turns out.
(The pictures I wanted to post are not uploading. I will post them later.)