Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo (and the park too!)

how about you, you, you? You can come too, too, too! We're going to the zoo! We went to the zoo on Monday with the kids. It was a last minute decision which is always fun because then I don't have any expectations. Me? With expectations? Nooo.
We had a great visit! There are lots of Dr. Seuss sculptures around the zoo right now and they even had a scavenger hunt to go on, too. That helped keep the kids occupied while we went in search of various animals to solve the rhymes seemed to have been written by Seuss himself!
One great thing about this visit was this bear. He was swimming back and forth in the water, delighting our kids and others.

The leopard was doing the same sort of thing that day!
We made it to the farm to see the goats. It's fun to watch the kids every time we go because each time they are a little braver than the time before. They're still not completely sure they like the goats licking their fingers or coming at their shirts, but they certainly don't cry or scream like they used to!
We ended our time at the zoo visiting the fish. Both A and C love the dolphins. They wished we could go up top to watch them do tricks, but we couldn't, so they were content watching them do circles under the water. C said he wanted to be a dolphin so he could do somersaults just like they did. I told him maybe he could learn just like they do some day.
We ended our day at the park. Our kids love the park. C mastered the art of the monkey bars this year during preschool which was held at an elementary school. Not only did he master the monkey bars, but he also mastered the art of SKIPPING a bar. He's a quick learner, that one. He hadn't been back to school, which is walking distance from our house, in about a week and a half, so he was missing his daily monkey bar routine.
A also showed off her skills of hanging upside down by her knees.
The glider is a source of excitement when we go because you know, "You can only do the glider with an adult after school." J and I decided that someone must have gotten hurt so they can't use it during the school day.
We had a great summer day. And we're only one week in! I can't wait for the rest of summer...but I also CAN wait if you know what I mean!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day post...finally!

Happy Father's Day to our Daddy!
The post comes a bit late, so forgive me, J.

Daddy in our house is a rockstar. His biggest fans simply adore him.
The simple things he does with the kids are their favorite things: rough-housing, playing catch, playing ball, chasing, reading...these are the things our kids love to do with him. They love him with every ounce of their being. I do too.
I love that he plays with them. He never talks about how he has to "take care of his kids." That's never been his take on things. "I get to be with my kids today," is more how he looks at it. Going on bike rides, watching parades, building sandcastles and swimming in the lake are all a part of being a daddy for him.
I look at pictures of him with the kids when they were first born. This is my favorite one.
I know it sounds funny to some, but I feel like I already knew what a good dad he was going to be. I knew he was already doing everything he could to be the best daddy in their first minutes of life.
It's a great thing knowing your kids are loved and cared for with hands of someone you love and trust. There is and never has been a moment when I have thought otherwise. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I know there are others out there, but for me, right now, I feel like the luckiest. I love you, J. Happy Daddy's Day!
Happy Father's Day! from K on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

After Papa goes skiing, I'm going to ski

This was one of the first things I heard today after I got up. Yes, C announced that he was going to go skiing today. Then A soon followed. Out of the blue! Just decided that today was the day. Of course it had to be the one weekend I didn't bring the camera or the video camera...We hadn't talked about it yet this cabin season-about them going skiing. We talked about it a bit last year and they said when they were 5 (which is coming up fast!) they would try it out. Or TODAY! Let me just say that this made my dad's day. He didn't say it did, but I just KNOW it did. Happy early Father's Day, Dad!
First they started out by trying on the skis about 10 time each, just to be sure they had the form down. Here A was trying to make sure that C knew how he was supposed to be once he got into the water. Because she's the expert on everything...
My uncle was here for the weekend and came to see the kids ski for the first time. Our kids call him Florida Jim because he lives in Florida. It was pretty neat to have him there. He and my dad have been skiing together since they were about 8 or 10 years old. So seeing our kids ski when he could remember, without any problem, the first day I skied brought everything full-circle.
Our kids just adore him-especially A. 

Dad got in the water with C first to help him get the hang of what it would feel like.
Then it was A's turn.

Each of the kids went 4 times and held on to the boom each time. That's an advantage they had over how we all learned to ski. The boom allows the kids to be right off the side of the boat, so you can talk to them while they're going. No face plants today, which probably means they'll do it again! In fact, C already asked if he could try again next weekend. I loved the fact that they used my skis. Yes, those are the same skis I used 29 years ago-good old Cyprus Gardens! 
Thanks, Dad, for helping our kids do this today. It was so fun to see you in the water with them. I can only imagine how you felt doing that for them. I know you were proud. So was I. Go Elk Lake Waterskiiers!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

These last days

These last days are here. By this I mean these last days with the Mammas (not Mamas) are here. What's that saying people tell you when you have kids? Oh yes, "The time goes by so fast! Before you know it, they will be all grown up and going to college. Be sure to take it all in!" Right, I thought, when the kids were born. Those first days I didn't think 5 years old would EVER get here. But, now we ARE here. Tomorrow is the last official Mamma Day. Mamma Sue had her day yesterday and Mamma Jo gets her last day tomorrow. CRAZY!! I don't think it has hit me yet. I mean really. Kindergarten is so far away...nope not anymore. Our kids have gone from this

to this.

It's hard to put into words what this week means. It's one of those milestones, you know? How do you say "Thank you" to Mammas who give of themselves so selflessly every week? My mom started out doing every Monday and Friday when the kids were really little, and now has done Thursdays. J's mom has done either a Tuesday or Wednesday. The time and love they gave our kids was really priceless. I know that's kind of cliche, but it's true. I'm not sure how J and I would have gotten to this point without them. They have helped to shape our kids to being who they are today during the time they've had with them. The meals prepared, the games played, the songs sung, the stroller rides given, the trips to the park had...all of these things helped to show love to our kids.
A & C love the days with the Mammas. Recently C was talking about Tuesdays and said something that went like this: "Mommy, I love Tuesdays. You know why? Because Mamma always brings us treats. And sometimes she brings us more than one treat." Yes, Mammas know the way to their grandchildrens' hearts! A followed that comment with, "Yeah, Mommy? Did you know that Mamma always brings us a treat like a cookie or something for when we watch Sesame Street? Is that ok? Sometimes it's a cookie and that's in the morning." I told her it was ok. Mammas are supposed to do things like that. Today we passed Burger King and C asked when they could go there again with Mamma Sue. They went there quite a bit in the winter to play. I'm sure it will be a memory they always have with her!
This year the highlight with Mamma Jo was all about American Idol. A so looked forward to watching it with my mom on Wednesday night sleepover nights. It was always the first thing she said when they got there. They loved the simple things at her house: new markers to color with (for hours!), new puzzles, games, toys that I used to play with (!), watching "Little Bear," doing sidewalk chalk, snuggling in their beds. They were also able to take a cooking class in the winter and tried new things! Going to the library was part of some of the days with Mamma Jo too.
It's hard to remember the beginning. I'm glad I have pictures, but lately I have heard my mom and Sue saying things like, "I was so worried that first day!" or "How did we do it with two?" or "I remember thinking 'what happens if they both cry at the same time?'" I love hearing these things because it reminds me that we weren't in it alone. And the best part about it all is that I know we're STILL not in it alone. We'll always have family to support us and help us along the way. For this we are grateful and feel so blessed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Swim, Bike and Run, Daddy!

J is a superstar! Or in C's words, "Daddy is incredible!" I thought that was too sweet. Sunday J did a sprint triathlon. It was a quarter mile swim, a 13.3 mile bike and a 3.2 mile run. Wow! More than I'd ever be able to do. I'm so proud of him. He's done something similar to this before and has done a few duathlons too. I'm just always amazed at what he does and has the strength to do.
He and his friend Luke did it together. I think it's always nice to have a friend that does it with you. More motivation that way, don't you think?
The swim was first. In a chilly lake (which I'm sure has warmed up now, since it's 101 degrees outside today!)...there were 24 heats.
 J waiting for his turn
 Luke in the water
 J swimming around the white swan markers

After the swim they went to the transition area to get ready for the bike portion. They started up a pretty big hill, which had to be a bit daunting!
J came into the transition area on the bike and we were there!

Then came the run.
I'm pretty impressed with me and the kids because we saw J at every transition! The kids were troopers with me because I would say, "Ok! Here he comes. Let's go this way! Ok, now here. Yes, go to the park. Ooops. We'll come back to the park. Here comes Daddy!" They did great.

Of course there were snacks to be had while waiting. We pretty much ate our way through the morning while we waited...or at least the kids did!
J finished in 1 hour, 32 minutes.

Wow! I just can't even imagine doing something like that. I hope I can some day, but for now we'll cheer J on at his events. We're a great support group! Go, Daddy, Go!