Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List


We’re about halfway through the summer, and about halfway through our bucket list. Here’s a recap of some of our summer fun!


We visit the zoo about once a year. It turns out, May is military appreciation month! As a veteran, Tim was free, I was half price as a spouse, and the kids are still young enough they’re free year round. Admission for our family of four was only about $7. This was quite the bargain, and made me feel better about getting our money’s worth since we only stay for a couple of hours. The kids can only hang until about noon before it’s just too hot and miserable.


In true Phillips baby style, Smith slept his way through the entire zoo trip. Graydon did the exact same thing on his first zoo trip at 8 months old. Graydon loved seeing the giraffes the best, but eventually ended up in the stroller more interested in snacks. That’s when we knew it was time to go.



Before going to the zoo, riding the train is a must. This was Smith’s first time on the train, and he absolutely loved it! This sweet boy is always up for adventure with all smiles across his face. Graydon has ridden the train 3 summers now, and was all talk up to the point of boarding the train. The furrowed brows and sulky face took over for the entire ride. It was a little loud with conductor’s voice booming over the speaker right above us. I gotta laugh at the bottom left photo. Nothing says #momlife more than one babe revealing a nursing bra and one hanging on at chest level. Funny thing is, I didn’t even notice until I looked at the photos later.



Lots of firsts for Smith this summer including pool time. As long as he had a toy to hold and chew, he could chill and float all day long  without a care in the world. Too bad I can’t say the same for Graydon. He is still so nervous in the water, and would mostly cling to Tim or I in the big pool. He did much better in the baby pool, and would play on his own in the 1 ft depth water. Any deeper, and I think he felt out of control and off balance. We’ll keep working with him, and probably look into swim lessons next summer. Graydon takes time to warm up to everything, so we’ll keep trying throughout the summer.



What Graydon lacks in adventure in the pool, he makes up for with his love for the water table and splash pad. Tim and I will even hop in with him so we can cool off too. The splash pad might be my favorite impulse buy from Tim’s grocery shopping, but don’t tell him that.



Each of the boys completed their summer reading (listening) logs and mailed in their forms to HEB. The boys will earn a free t-shirt with their favorite grocery store mascot H-E-Buddy on it. Who, by the way, apparently is terrifying in person according to Graydon. The best part is the shirts are in kids sizes, not baby or toddler, so they get these giant t-shrits. I mean, nothing’s cuter than a baby in an oversized long tee. Hopefully, they’ll be here by the end of summer.



One of our favorite parks is only a few miles away from home. We’ve spent several mornings playing, picnicking, nursing, and just hanging out in nature. The park is just far enough away that it really feels like you’re out in the country. It’s so quiet that you can actually sit in the grass and hear the wind blowing through the trees. Awe, relaxation!


Such sweet mornings with my boys! These are the days I’ll look back on when they’re bigger and wish we had just one more like it. Graydon laid on his back on the blanket while I nursed Smith, and watched the clouds go by. I tried teaching him how to use his imagination and look for shapes in the clouds, but he got distracted by the rolly pollies crawling by and picking them up on leaves.



Several of our local theaters have free movies during the week for kids. My boys are a little young for the theater, but since it’s free, I thought I’d give it a shot. Since G-Mama and cousins were there, I thought my boys would be more likely to stay in the theater longer. They made it through 3/4 of the Peanuts movie with a little help of snacks and sharing seats with cousins. For being 2.5 years old and 8 months, I’d call their first movie theater experience a success!



My favorite summer treat as a kid was popsicles. Graydon has discovered the goodness of bombs pops this year! However, mama prefers the Snapple sorbet ice pops that are clear and much easier to get out of clothes and furniture.

Front porch seat for the fireworks. First year he'll be up to see them! ❤️ #fireworks #fourthofjuly #independenceday #america #summertime



Another first for Smith, but this is Graydon’s third summer completing summer reading at the library. I read each of the boys 16 books, basically keeping a log of our nap time and bedtime books, and it was finished within the week. When we turned in the reading logs, the boys added their names to the window, earned a certificate and a new book, and they took a photo on the green screen. Then the librarian announced the boys’ names over the intercom congratulating them on completing summer reading. Smith smiled at the man, and Graydon looked shocked that a voice he didn’t know was saying his name over the entire library. Oh, how different my boys are! Then they earned a new book to take home. Graydon chose for both of them: one book on counting, and one book about shapes.


They also take an action picture of the kids on a green screen with the summer theme, Go Green. Last year was superhero and the kids looked they were flying over the city.


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My all American boys had a blast on the 4th. {Read about it here.} Food, fun, fireworks, and all the red, white, and blue. Brisket on the grill, backyard water play, popsicles, and fireworks that didn’t stop until midnight. Another fun Phillips family 4th! I think this is Smith’s last first major holiday before he turns one.



Father and son went to their first Home Depot kids workshop together. They built a patriotic themed tiny bowling alley that Graydon still plays with almost a month later. He’s peeled off most of the stickers but the craftsmanship has held up. Surprisingly, we haven’t lost any pins or the ball yet either! I hope this is a Saturday tradition they’ll continue together.



We love having a neighborhood park within walking distance from our house. As in, right across the street! It’s convenient and easy to walk over there for quick trips when we’re getting stir crazy inside.



These boys are so funny when they get together. And loud! Look at the colorful chaos they’ve created in the playroom! Life is certainly entertaining when the boys cousins are over. Smith can mostly hold his own right in the middle of it all.



How to make Graydon’s day…Markers. Crayons. Stickers. Colored Pencils. Paint. He’s really into telling me what shapes, words, or numbers to draw so he can color them. This works really well on prices of cardboard that I’d saved from the packages of new sheets we bought a few months ago. It’s sturdy and holds up so he can color both sides. I hang his art from MOPS and church on the fridge, take a picture with it all when it gets full, and then clear it off and start all over. I haven’t really started collecting art pieces yet, but I will probably save a few special pieces once he begins KDO in the fall.



I never really liked summer until I had kids. Seeing summer through the eyes of a child is so much fun! Now, I’m really starting to love it. We try to get outside more, but it’s finally getting just so darn hot and miserable with the humidity and 100 degree temps. We make the best of sweating together and playing outside. Now that I’ve been through two summers super pregnant, they don’t seem as hot as they used to be. Perspective, I guess.


We still have lots of summering to do in the next several weeks before my favorite season is here. Many things are already on repeat all summer long. But we have some new activities to try too.

Items still on our list:

  • San Antonio Missions baseball game
  • Scorpions soccer game
  • Movies in the park
  • Hemisfair Park and Yanaguana Garden downtown
  • Play outside after dinner
  • Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne
  • DoSeum
  • Witte Museum Tree House
  • Picnic in the yard
  • Cousin sleepover
  • Dallas trip
  • Family getaway

What’s on your summer bucket list?


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  1. My favorite item on your list is Dallas trip. Please!!! Sounds like an awesome summer so far.

    • I thought it might be! 😉

  2. My littlest are the cutest!! You’re doing a great job at being that fun mom no matter what is thrown (as in throw up or pooped on) your way each day. Memories are special whether they remember now or not. Love you!!

    • Thank you! I’m trying to remember that with all my mom challenges this week.


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