Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Love These Summer Weekends

Nothing says "Summer is here!" by heading to the wading pool. The weather has been fairly hot and humid lately and water activities have been high on our priorities list. Friday evening the five of us headed to the wading pool for the first time this season. The kids had a blast cooling off and the biggest bonus of the night: we ran into friends while at the pool.

Elizabeth is not a fan of pools unless they're big pools apparently. We're working on changing that this summer!

Elizabeth loves to swing though!

Max has always been a hard sleeper but lately we've had to give him LOTS of allergy meds unfortunately and he sleeps even harder! Matt carried him out of his bed, we tried tickling him (he didn't wake up), dancing him around, and turning all of the lights on. This kid was out! I'm quite jealous of his sleeping abilities!

Saturday was a sleep in and french toast kind of morning. Later Saturday morning, we headed to Ledges State Park for hiking and creek playing fun.
Elizabeth's favorite toys (other than her dolls, of course) are the Daniel Tiger and Caillou figurines. She lines them all up perfectly and has them talk to each other.
Powdered sugar donuts were the kids "entertainment" as we drove the 40 minutes to Ledges State Park. I had to take them away from Elizabeth because she ate quite a few!

Elizabeth insisted on walking the trails herself this year. When she got tired, Matt and I carried her (another great hiking exercise). We tried 2 new hiking trails this visit (the kids were not game for a third). One was quite steep, but not too bad because it had quite a few stairs.

An attempt at a family picture.
The kids got a lesson on sediments and minerals thanks to these rocks.
This is the boys listening to Matt explain "the life cycle of rocks" as Max said. We've been doing a lot of "life cycle" activities lately apparently.
The boy's favorite part of Ledges: exploring the stream. Harrison was VERY worried about the minnows that were swimming around him.
Elizabeth chose to stay on the sandy side and play and walk along the edge of the stream.
The kids loved watching these birds peaking out from their nests in the rocks.

The flood pole. Every time we've visited Ledges in the last year, we've forgotten to show the minis the flood pole. This time we remembered and attempted to explain the floods to them. Their responses after explaining flooding to them for 10 minutes, "oh, so could you see the flood from the parking lot over there." The parking lot they were referring to was the one 4 feet from the pole. I can only imagine what they're picturing!
One of the new trails we hiked and will be hiking again this summer. We walked the loop around the lake (really a large pool of algae, just so you're not disappointed like I was), but this trail has so many side trails that we'd love to explore next time. Unlike the other trails we've hiked at Ledges, the loop was flat and quite easy for walking. If we had done this trail first, we probably would have ventured onto some of the side trails and gone a lot further than we did.

All along the loop were these information boards on birds, trees, animals, and the land along the trail. The minis loved looking at these.
The 3 looking at the board that explains the lake of algae.
There were lots of millipedes on the trail path. Max tried to crush a couple of them.
There were also numerous signs of beavers along the trail. There were dozens of trees beavers had chewed down and we even found a beaver burrow. The minis were very disappointed we did not see the beaver anywhere.
After hiking several miles and a few hours, these minis were beat!

We made our way home to rest and shower. Then the oldest mini and I met Aunt Jenny at the movie theater to catch the new movie "Maleficent." I am a Disney lover and have been dying to see this movie since I saw the first preview (nearly a year ago). I was a bit reluctant to take Max with us to see it for fear that he would get scared, but it was quite the opposite. Max got bored with the movie because it was girl and "it was a lot of princessy stuff."

Sunday we got up and ran our errands, cooled off at Legion Park's spray pad, did some daycare prepping for the week ahead, and played in the backyard. Great end to the weekend!

The minis needed a pit stop at Target to eat and drink a snack.
The spray pad at American Legion Park in West Des Moines.

Not so surprising: Elizabeth didn't like the spray pad. So she chilled on the sidelines and watched her boys play.

After the spray pad, the boys help me put together the newest sensory sandbox: pool/beach party (see post for details:
Elizabeth learned a new trick over the weekend!
Elizabeth learned a new trick, while Max got himself caught in the cube climber. Totally typical.
Bedtime story read by Max.
After a bedtime snack of applesauce, a very messy Elizabeth changed jammies and got out her matching doll jammies. They sat on the front porch together and watched the storm roll in Sunday night.

I can hardly believe that it is June already! June is the busiest month of the year for us: all 3 mini's birthday's, the big birthday bash, summer activities and more. I had a minor panic attack Sunday afternoon when I realized it was June 1st and I had yet to buy a thing for the mini's bash. Next weekend we'll be celebrating the youngest mini's 2nd birthday already and have another weekend of fun planned!