Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Swim Fest 2013

Every year, on the last day of Swim Class, we stay late and Party.  We go have a picnic lunch, then turn around, and pay to get back into the swim park and play and swim until we drop.  Some years it's just a couple hours, and once we were there for most of the day.  This year we planned it for the last Saturday of July, but that was before they had to bump a swim class on account of rain.  We decided to still go ahead and have Swim Fest the last Saturday of July.

This was Chris at the very end of Swim class, doing his favorite part, going for the waterslide. 

Sam was already chilly at the end of swim class.  
Leave to us to settle on the one day of summer that isn't even going to hit 80 degrees.  

We had our picnic lunch in the parking lot.  The park reopens at 11, and we were out at 10:45, so there isn't any point in going far for lunch, especially when, even though they're hungry, the kids are disinclined to eat because they want to go play.  

It was Cold.  And the boys spent more time out of the water than in. 

Chris doing his favorite part again, the Waterslide. 

This past week, Christopher spent his own money on a snorkel and mask.  He was so excited to wear them at the pool (because Mommy is mean and won't let him wear any apparatus during swim class, too distracting) but when it came time, the lifeguards wouldn't let him wear the snorkel.  They let him wear the mask though.   

And as happy as we all were to be playing at the pool together, we all did take on a bit of the blue shade of the pool.  Brr...Code. 

Jake wasn't too interested in the pool.  But after some time, he settled into a bitty nap in the shade.  I love his outfit,  we picked it up with my Mom for Christopher way back in the day from Baby Gap, and it's made of the softest terrycloth, I'm glad Jake got some use out of it even if he was no where near actually getting wet. 

Sam didn't last very long, and had to get dressed to thaw out.   Then he joined his friend Rachel in listening to some stories.  He kept trying to climb up on Denise's lap, and they were all so sweet together.   

When the time came to finally surrender to the cold, Chris "raced" Daddy out of the pool....and won.  

Zooing, Pt. 2

Monday, we went to the Zoo again.  Our friend Amy was coming to town, so a bunch of wanted to meet her at the Zoo.  There were 5 parents, and 14 kids.  Oy.  This time I wanted to be a little early...we all operate better earlier in the day rather than later.  Plus, I was pretty certain I was the only one in our party that had a burning desire to go in to the White River Gardens and take pictures of flowers.  But when we were there last Friday, Flowers was the one thing I wanted to do.  Although I would have been equally happy with Butterflies, which I figured all the kids would want to do.  However, on our way in, we learned all our friends were running late.  For once, we were the early ones.  Weird.  So I took the kids into the Gardens to see the summer flowers.  What a great bunch of goodies for me and my camera.  I apologize if you don't enjoy pictures of flowers, but I had enough time, and energy that not only did I take flower pictures, but I shot most of these in Manual too.  

These are most likely Coreopsis also known as Tickseed.

The boys were less than impressed with me wanting to take their pictures by the flowers.  
They mildly tolerate my photo-nagging. 

These are called Globe Thistles.  Pretty gorgeous of lavender. 

Even the bumblebees think this is a great plant. 

Purple Coneflower closeup.

Sam finds a Red Dinner Plate Hibiscus.

Sweetboys in front of the Pink Knockout Rose.   Too sunny for all my sweetboys. 

A Knockout Pink Rose, just like that I hope are going to grow in my garden.  

This was my "Big Money" shot.  All three sweetboys, awake, eyes open (only would have been Perfect if Jake was looking at me, but that's OK) and happy flowers in the background. 

I'm pretty sure the happy purple flowers are Purple Salvia.  
And I'm not the only one that liked them, they were crawling with bees! 

Christopher found the Red Zinnias fascinating. 

I just Love these dueling Water Lilies. 

This was a shrub rose, the Scarlet Meidilands

Garden Phlox in the shade garden, one ray of sun was catching the blooms.  So Cool. 

Jacob got to meet up with his new friend Logan, about 8 weeks old, and they are about the same size.  
Big little buddhas both of them! 
We finally got into the Zoo about 11:15 after meeting up with most of our crew, but Amy was running a bit behind, so we waited in the first room of the Oceans exhibit.  We at least looked at some of the fish and rays, but the kids, they couldn't handle the wait anymore.  They all lined up in wait for Friends.  

Sam checks out the Sweet Baby Ray born this past spring.  
Did you know that when stingrays are born, they come out like a folded up taco with their wings up and immediately start swimming?  So cool. 

 All the kids in our crew wanted to pet the sharks.  7 of these kids half in the water were with our crew.  Some of us were nursing behind the shark pool, and didn't get much contact with sharks.  But the elder kids kept trying and trying.  We were worried they might fall in!

Christopher and a 'Sea Roar', he used to call Sea Lions, Sea Roars.  

Chris and Shay are super Cool checking out the penguins. 

Ferociously Cute.  

That's what his onesie says.  And it was dreadfully appropriate, given 
a. we were at the zoo, seeing sharks, and b. this boy is stinky cute. 

When I have to start passing him around, I'm learning that's my sign that he's Done.  

And after lunch and getting the elder boys dressed from their swim, so was I.  So we hit the road. It was a Great visit, and I wish I had more energy, still I got to see everyone, get my hugs in, see lots of Cuteness, and not feel so lost.  I really had been feeling like I fell off the planet for a while, like an inadequate friend.  Now we're getting out and about, carrying on almost adult conversations, and that is good.  Exhausting, but so good.  

Zooing, Pt. 1

So, last Friday, we went to the Zoo. We met with our friends Juli, and Kathleen and her girls.  It was the second time I'd been to the Zoo this year.  It was hard getting 3 out of the house and a picnic lunch planned.  By the time we got there, all my yahoos were hungry, and wanting to go in all different directions, and there was not going to be enough energy for me to do everything.  But they were full of energy.

I decided that we should all pick 1 item.  Kathleen picked the dog show at 11, and it was nearly that time, so we dashed there first.  I had  never seen this dog show.  It was Impressive!

This is our party, Sam is next to Juli, and Chris was in the back row, but for some reason I didn't manage to get a picture of all of us together.  Guess 3 and a hot day kill too many of my brain cells.


The dogs were really talented.  What a fun little show.  
And all of these dogs were Rescues.  Just like Prinny...but smart. ;) 

Jake learned a new trick.  He likes to pull his raggies up to his face and chew them.  

He wasn't a fan of being out in the heat.  And really, we didn't pick the hottest day, it was in the low 80s.  But it was sunny, and he didn't like it much.  He drank and blew out his pants, and he was pretty done.  

Juli was a darling and juggled him and played with him.  She even went so far as to play Lion King with him. He did not know what to make of her.  Then she borrowed him and took him under the dolphin pavilion while we went inside to the show.  It was so handy, to not have to park the stroller, and to be able to just walk in.  

The show has changed this year, and it was OK, but the cool thing (photo below) they recently had a baby dolphin.  The baby is not ready to perform or come out and play, but we could see both fins swimming together in the back pool.  

It was refreshing to be able to watch the show with 2 out of 3 boys.  Jake would not have liked it.  He wouldn't have had any patience for it.  They had to stop it at one point, because, as they described, one young male was acting like an obstinant teenager and needed a timeout.  Juli said she got more of a "show" from below, and it was not PG.  I didn't know dolphins needed time-outs.  But I know some boys who needed them.  While I was nursing Jake post-dolphin show, the boys ran around the conference room under the dolphin pavilion.  They went bonkers, so we went home.  We didn't get to do nearly as much as we wanted...but that was OK, since we had great plans to come back to the Zoo on Monday. :) 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bubbly Day

I was feeling good this morning, the weather cooled off, and I got a wild hair to do some weeding while Chris was at Reading Camp.  So the younger boys "played" in the yard while I pulled a bag of weeds.  It had been 8 months since I'd done yard work of any kind....maybe longer.  Felt good, I was sore, but thtat's nothing new lately.  Having the boys outdoors felt good.

And Sam got to blowing bubbles to entertain Jacob.  He was so adorable.  And quite good at it.  Last year, he could just barely blow bubbles, and the year before that, not at all.  

And what's better than freshly blown bubbles against a cloudless sky?!  

West by Northwest

So we ended Christopher's Day Camp, and it was still summer. So as the beginning of the end of summer, I took the yahoos to the Sprinkler Park.  The original plan was to go "real quick" and meet Kathleen and the girls before we had to be back in town to take Chris to camp, only we didn't, and we got off to a late start.  We arrived at our destination, Mulberry Fields at  like10:45 instead of 10...just as a different day camp arrived, with like 50 kids.  We decided to turn around and go West Park at 116th and Twp Line.  Brilliant choice!  It's a small park, and it wasn't nasty crowded.  There were even trees and things, shade to hide behind, great for nursing.  And a little creek for the kids to play in.

They dug right in and had a great time!  

The twins brought some tub toy boats to play with and at times they let Sam share.  Though when the boats were all occupied, Sam just grabbed one of his crocs and pretended that was a boat.  Smart silly sweetboy. 

After an hour of play, we needed a snackbreak!

Then we decided it was time for lunch.  And time to change.  However, we had a bit of a meltdown instead of lunch and decided to hit the road.  On our way out, we found this great field of black-eyed susans.  I didn't want to go exploring too deeply.  But I had sweetboys in the flowers, even though they were done and kind of melting down.  Fresh air can really take it out of you!   

They did let me snap a couple flower pictures.  

I love summer flowers!