Monday, March 31, 2014

More Skateparks

The boys are getting more adventurous at the Skate Parks now.  And we have found a few more parks that we love.  The Arvada Skate Park is huge!  And so far, the people we have met there are very friendly.  We went one day during spring break and a bunch of junior high school aged kids "adopted" the boys as their brothers, helping them up ramps and cheering them on.  It has been a very positive experience for them.  And Aaron eats it up.  Every single moment of it!

We are considering buying him a Razor for his birthday.  Not like the kind you shave with!  One of these.  Or maybe an actual one, not the small kid version.  We'll see.  He's been seeing kids his age on bikes at the park WITHOUT training wheels.  He shows little interest in learning how to do it! : )  The little Strider was supposed to transition him perfectly (we have people tell us all the time their kid went from Strider to real bike with no training wheels).  But we messed up and gave him a bike that was much to large for him and now he is scared of it.  Someday...  But for now, he really likes his scooter.

 Lunch in the back of the Durango since it was too windy/chilly to eat outside.
 Aaron freaking mom out.  "Does this make you nervous mom?"  YES!

 Switching it up.
 Watching the big kids to cool tricks.
 Not just for bikes and scooters...  Today they spent about 30 minutes just running around the empty bowl area.  They were so cute and helpful to each other.  Momma can't get in because I might not get back out!  So the boys had to be creative with what they could do.  They discovered quickly that the best way to solve a problem is together.

It's days like these that I am reassured that I would be totally thrilled with another boy.  I LOVE my boys.  And I have come to love doing "boy" things.  Boy moms are awesome!

Random Cuties

I have intended to put these cute pictures up long ago.  Though some of them more than a month old now, they are still worth sharing.  Enjoy.

 Playdough cookies
 Ethan says, "You have to wear your seat belt Tigger.  It's the rules."

 Wearing our shades.
 Aaron wanted to wear his stethoscope like daddy.  This was at the Children's museum.  He was really into taking care of of the animals in the Vet area that day.
 Sunshine and tire swings.
 Family art time while mommy cooks.
 Daddy made a big mild shake to share while Aaron was at school.
 Tired boys after an impromptu play date with friends to IHOP and the park.
 A rare rainy day.  Watching them share the umbrella was worth getting wet.

 Daddy took the training wheels off Aaron's bike.  And then put them back on again...
First flower picked of the season.  Makes my heart smile.

Bring on sunshine and warm weather!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Family Hike at Castlewood Canyon

John had to work for much of the kids Spring Break, but we wanted to do at least one family adventure.  So we looked up some places to hike on Saturday when John was off and I stumbled upon this place which happened to be the very same place our friends, Matt and Laurie were going to rock climb that same day.  We made an afternoon out of it and got to hike and hang out with our friends.  John even got to climb!  His first rock climb here in Colorado.  And one day before our scheduled rock climbing lesson.  (I'll get to that in another post.)

Castlewood Canyon is just East of Castlewood between Denver and Colorado Springs.  It doesn't look like much as you are driving up to it but once in the park, it is quite beautiful.  It feels like you are driving out to the plains and then this big canyon opens up.  Since I'm already carrying a kid, John got to wear Ethan who is very quickly out growing that kid pack!  Poor John about killed his legs since he had lifted that morning at the gym.  It was a short hike to meet up with our friends and then we hung around at the base of the rock wall for a bit while the kids enjoyed climbing everything they could get their hands on. 

 Our friends, Matt and Laurie climbing.

After hanging out for a bit and watching Matt and Laurie climb, Matt offered to let John climb.  Of course he wasn't going to say no!  The kids were so intrigued. : )  He did great!  

 Trying to climb like dad.

The kids were getting antsy and wanted to get to the top of the canyon so we took a hike and went exploring.  There was a trail around to the top so we didn't have to climb it.

This little device got lots of use today.  It's a special tool that can turn into binoculars or used as a compass or a magnifying glass.  Aaron found lots of neat things at the top of the canyon to look at. He was especially fascinated by the cactus.  Cacti?  .... plural...  I let him take some pictures of it with my phone.  Check this one out.  Not bad huh?  Maybe a photographer eye?

It was a great day.  And we followed it up with steaks on the grill and vegging on the couch watching Peter Pan.  I could have eaten six steaks on my own!  It was fabulous!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break is Better Spent Outside

Spring break is tough for moms and dads.  When I was a kid, I remember spring break being so awesome.  No school, do whatever we wanted...  I had no idea it was so much work for parents!  And my boys are only in school for 3 half days!  I suppose it will be different when they are in school all day everyday.  I will probably miss them and therefore spring break will be a little more special.  But right now, in this stage of life, I depend on my measly 3 hour breaks twice a week when they are both in school at the same time.  I use that time to relax, blog, clean, or hang with my hubby on special morning dates.  Instead, on spring break I get, "Mom, I'm so bored.  What are we doing today mom?"

So to keep my minions busy we did a number of things throughout spring break.  We went swimming, to the skate park (several times), to the Children's museum, to Jump street, and to more parks outside.  The biggest hits?  Anything outside.

I learned very quickly that our boys would much rather explore the great outdoors than play indoors somewhere. (With the exception of swimming.)  This suits me just fine as most outside stuff is free!  Bike riding, climbing rocks, digging in the dirt, playgrounds...

On the day I took them to Jump Street we were very disappointed.  I packed a lunch and water bottles and planned to be gone for several hours.  Only, since Ethan is not yet 4, he was not allowed to do many things.  Which meant I didn't pay for Aaron to do the big kid things so as not to have an uproar on my hands.  There were three large inflatables (of which they were unimpressed) and a trampoline kid area (which they have a trampoline in the basement.)  Everything else was off limits to them.  They were bored within 15 minutes but I forced them to play for an hour.  After all, I paid for it!  They did have fun.  Just not for long.  And the facility rules said we could not bring our lunch or water bottles in but we couldn't leave and come back either, forcing people to spend $2 on bottled water and $1.75 for a granola bar from a vending machine.  Nope.  Not the place for us.

We left and went to Clear Creek in Golden where there is a large playground and a nice path along the creek where the kids played for literally two hours before I had to drag them to the car.  Yep, throwing rocks in the creek, playing in the dirt, climbing boulders, climbing trees, and chasing geese was way more fun!