I fully intended to wait a few weeks to visit the new IKEA that opened in Columbus earlier this month. Traffic was supposed to be horrendous. There was even talk of closing some of the interstate exits if it got too bad.
But by all accounts, the fears were greatly overestimated on Day 1. So I woke up on Day 2, a Thursday, and came up with a last-minute plan -- get to the new IKEA when the doors opened.
The store is in the Polaris area, an easy 20 minute jaunt up the freeway. Traffic was a breeze, and so was parking. The line into the store started to move as soon as we got there. Far worse was the line for the free face-painting just inside the entrance, but I promised Edith.
Finally we were off. The store was crowded but so gigantic that it didn't feel overwhelming. We spent two hours looking at everything -- furniture, rugs, toys, lighting fixtures, EVERYTHING. I came out empty-handed but with a mental list of a thing or three I wanted.
I'm ready to return and so is Edith -- though really she just wants to play in the (free, supervised) play area. It's only for kids who are potty-trained, so if there was ever a reason to train Atticus ...
The kids look forward to our street's annual block party just as much as we do. Biking and general mayhem in the street, crafts and games in the front yard and lots of food and drink -- what's not to like?
The daylong event was last Saturday, starting with a potluck breakfast at 9 a.m. and ending in the wee hours of the following day. For the third year in a row, we hosted an afternoon of kid activities in our front yard -- a table full of crafts and temporary tattoos, a pool and water table in one neighboring yard and a badminton court set up in another. There were water balloons and a pinata. There were hula hoops, chalk and cornhole with Beanie Babies. There were sundaes and cupcakes. And there was a wine table for the adults who needed it!
The day was hot, but everyone was in good spirits. The potluck supper was crowded. And as the sun went down and the kids went to bed, the crowd slowly, gradually dwindled. I like spending time with the neighbors I'm already friends with, and getting to know the ones I'd like to call new friends. Each year I'm sad when the block party is over, and this year is no different. I'm already looking forward to next year.
The best kid toy for the summer is hands-down this: a squirt bottle.
No, not a squirt gun. A bottle, like a salon uses to wet your hair. My neighbor got one for her two-year-old, and my kids seemed to like it. After a trip to the Dollar Tree yesterday, we had two.
Those things kept Edith and Atticus entertained for at least an hour, watering plants and watering themselves. And the spray is so fine that when they inevitably watered me too, it wasn't even that bad.
Another bonus -- it holds a lot of water, so you're not refilling every two minutes. Nevertheless, their bottles were refilled at least twice. The squirt bottles are already a summer staple.