Thursday, June 28, 2012

Parks and Rec

Our trip to VA continues to go swimmingly, never with enough hours to see all the people and do all the things we want to do.  However *knock on wood* both kids are at great ages to travel.  Catherine's still easy going enough to chill out in the backpack a lot and is pretty happy crawling over, under, around and on anything.  Meanwhile Matthew's excited by just about everything.  I had a lot of anxiety about this trip (and I certainly miss James and Montana like crazy) but I'm glad we came for the length we did as the kids are just soaking it up.  The other day Mas took us to Burke Lake and both kids were pretty jazzed about the train:

 This boy kills me!
As does this goober, who has been very proficient at "raspberries" all week.  Don't worry Facebook friends, this was the face. . .
 a few seconds before this awesomeness to be kept for the future suitors:
 In addition to the train, Matthew finally had a successful carousel ride.  In his words "the horses are scary.  maybe fall off" so he chose this very safe lion and was pretty happy:
In addition to raspberries, Catherine's rediscovered her bellybutton which is good because I need all the help I can get picking the dirt out of it:
We had some of James' cousins over for dinner and Matthew thought cousin Connor was the bee's knees.  He was pretty enamoured:
 And the boys had a great time just being boys:
After a very exciting dinner, both kids settled down with snuggles and books from Pas:

The next day the kids and I ran some necessary errands and Matthew finally got to have this nectarine he'd been coveting for snack for a few days (I know, life's super exciting around here!):
 Catherine meanwhile exhausted herself emptying Uncle Ed's shelves of dishes before falling asleep:
The excitement didn't end there as the kids played with Pas on the floor:


 But Matthew eventually convinced Pas a walk down to the park was in order.  Matthew's weird about new shoes and basically all sensations regarding his feet (he gets it from Amma I think) including going barefoot pretty much anywhere.  I've unleashed a monster now that he's more than happy to get his feet/sandals super muddy AND went barefoot in the mulch.  We're all about the tiny victories in this house:
 Then it was a quick stop off at the playground where Catherine immediately headed toward the abacus:

And in Matthew's love-hate relationship with the swing we're back to love:
It's amazing how much can change in the 2 years since I last remember taking Matthew down to that park:
Matthew had been trying to wear the hat from the picture above all week and though it was too big 2 years ago, it's too small now so Mas got him an awesome upgrade (pictured below).

The park excitement didn't end near the stream as we got to spend the day with Uncle John today.  First we headed over to check out the construction at Tyson's.  Matthew could have stayed and watched all day:

Afterwards, Matthew chose to go back to the "cars" park that we had gone to Monday with a friend.  Uncle John helped him to use the awesome ramp:
 And needless to say:
 The boy was hooked:
 Catherine meanwhile got super dirty crawling the sand, but loved the rocking horse.
 Funny story - when we were at that same park on Monday with a friend we kept running into another mom/nanny who kept fussing about with Catherine.  The first time she lightly brushed the sand off Catherine's face, the second time she tried a little harder and the third time she took it upon herself to go across the park to get a wet wipe and gave Catherine a seemingly head-to-toe wipe down.  She left without saying anything, but she probably wasn't headed off to nominate me for mother of the year :-)

After our most recent visit we decided it was time for Matthew to experience a slurpee so Uncle John treated us.  I maybe should have gotten Catherine her own as she was pretty jazzed about mine!
 I also learned something new about my super-mild-mannered-wouldn't-hurt-a-flea husband when I found his "Book About Me".  I guess I'm now warned :-)


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