Saturday, May 2, 2015

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

Ahh, spring is finally here. This weekend, it was time for the Go Fly a Kite Festival in Wheaton. We've been before, in 2012 and 2014, but this year my mom joined us for the kite flying fun.

Nick and his grandma, flying his tie-dyed kite. Oh, and a Henry photobomb. 




































The weather today was gorgeous--so nice and sunny, in fact, that I ended up with a rather unattractive sunburn. Ahh, well. The fresh air and warm wind was worth it. 




































Henry chose a kitty cat kite. He liked it at first, then the unraveling string scared him and it took him a bit to get back in the game. 




































Henry and I had lots of nonsensical conversations about his kitty kite "chasing" a bird kite and running from a dog kite. 





































Nick just wanted his kite to go higher and higher. We all got a kick out of this octopus kite, which was actually quite huge. It was being flown from behind the pavillion, so it was a giant.

Can you still see the slight tinge of pink in Henry's hair? 




































The kites flew pretty well at this park; there was plenty of wind. However, there was some major frustration this evening when we tried to replicate the easy flying in our side yard. I think we'll have to try again in a nice big park without so many trees. 




































In addition to flying our own kites, we got to watch the experts fly in several kite ballets. I have no idea how they don't get their lines tangled. 





































The naps after this event were long, proving that running around with kites is good exercise. I'm hoping for more gorgeous weather in our spring weekends to come. 





































 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Easter Pictures

Here are the pictures from our Easter. . . a few weeks late. We had nice warm weather for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.



















This year the egg hunting was over relatively quickly. Henry and Nick must be getting better at this; they were little boys on a mission.
























This year, the eggs were packed with non-meltable treats. Still delicious, though.


















Henry was surprised to find cash in one of his eggs! We took it to the store the next week, and I tried to explain the concept of cash to him. I think I need to stop using my debit card so much, because Henry didn't get why they wouldn't give him the money back after we bought his light saber. (After all, they hand you back your card, so why not dollar bills?)

























Chocolate bunnies were very popular for both boys. Telling them they couldn't eat the whole bunny in one sitting, though? That didn't go over so well.

What?! I can't eat the whole thing? Why not?
























Grandma Toni brought cool new balls for the boys to play with.
























Nick had a great time playing basketball with his Uncle Justin.


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Henry preferred sitting on his new ball.
























Grandma Linda supervised a few art projects. She even had a glue stick!



















It was a nice Easter, overall. I wish we'd had that kind of weather this weekend.
























We even got a few nice family shots in before going home, though it took many, many takes to get both of them smiling and (sort of) looking at the camera.









Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Tale of Henry and His New Crocs

Today Nick and I were out shopping for shoes, and he came across the coolest shoes ever: Star Wars Crocs. I ended up buying a pair for him and a pair for Henry, thanks to some old Kohl's cash I'd forgotten about. Nick liked the shoes quite a bit, and we decided to surpise Henry with his shoes. Henry got really, really excited.












When I said it was time to go to bed, he said, "I am going to sleep with the box. Then, tomorrow, I am going to wear my new crocs, because they're shoes. And, um, you wear them on your feet." Yup Henry, you do. I told him it would be fine to wear them tomorrow. When I went in to tuck him in, this is what I found.



















A few minutes ago, Henry came downstairs to get a sippy cup of water. He carried the box of crocs under his arm. It was pretty funny to see him trying to balance the box and his cup of water.
























Ahh, the simple joy of Crocs in a box.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dyeing Everything But the Easter Eggs

One messy Easter tradition that my kids love is dyeing Easter Eggs. Every year, we spill dye on the kitchen table and color a few dozen eggs. (Here's 2013.) This year, though, I bought a kit that promised "no spill." We were optimistic.
























I also bought brown eggs this year instead of white. Whoopsie.























I didn't even think about it until they were ready to be dyed. Oh, and the no-spill kit? I should've read the reviews.
























There were spills. Actually, I think there were more spills than when I just used cups.

We pretty much used a whole roll of paper towels to clean up the "spills."























Besides the mess, though, the boys had a fun time. They chose to bedazzle the eggs with glitter and sequins. Because, of course, eggs can always use more sparkle.
























The brown eggs didn't take the dye as well, but they were definitely colored. I may use white eggs again next year, though. Plus, I'll skip the "no-spill" system.
























Either way, we ended up with a lot of eggs to eat. Nick adores hard-boiled eggs. Henry, not so much.
















Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hippity-Hop Easter Egg Hunt

Happy Easter! Yesterday I took the boys to the Hippity-Hop Easter Egg Hunt down in Shorewood. It's at a retirement community, and they have all kinds of things for the kids to do. It was quite crowded, but the Easter Bunny himself came by to see the boys while they waited in line to get in.























Now, the egg hunt itself was a bit crazy. It actually reminded me of the start of the Hunger Games. As they waited for the hunt to start, the kids were sizing one another up and figuring out their strategy. When "Go!" was shouted, chaos reined for about a minute and a half, at which point all the eggs were gone.

























Besides the, er, extra-competitive egg hunt, there was also a caricature artist. Nick was especially interested in his special pens and markers.



















What do you think? Does it look like them?



















There were also balloons and a wagon ride. . .

























. . . with real horses.
























But the highlight of the event was, of course, a visit with the Easter Bunny. The gentleman and lady next to the bunny himself were voted the Easter King and Queen. They handed out yummy suckers to the boys after their turn on the fuzzy lap.
























More about our Easter (and our Spring Break, too!) later this week.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Water Park Joy

You know what the best part about water parks is for me? The end result of ravenous, sleepy, cheerful little boys. There's nothing like six hours straight of going down water slides and splashing around to make you tired and agreeable.

























Timber Ridge, in Lake Geneva, ended up being much smaller than the place we stayed in Wisconsin Dells last summer. That was okay, though, because it was slightly easier to keep track of the boys since it was just one giant room. One giant room with awesome water slides!

























Henry is quite the daredevil. He wanted to go on the big tube slide again and again. When he's older, I bet he'll go by himself all day long. For now, he went with Greg and I and begged us to go over and over again.




Now Henry works up a mighty hunger from swimming. At one point he came up to me about two hours after lunch, just ravenous. Poor Henry was nearly in tears he was so hungry. Would you believe he ate this entire hot pretzel by himself? Yup.


























We finally got Nick to try a tube slide. He was too scared to try these last summer, but he's gotten over his fear. My brave boy did a great job!


video


Both boys were pretty comfortable in the water on this trip. Nick was even able to swim with a life jacket on. We didn't give him any real instruction, he just kind of picked it up. Check him out on this water slide--when he lands, the water is over his head but he doesn't care.

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For this trip, the boys' Aunt Sarah was able to join us, and she brought with their cousin--Baby Sophie. She is just the cutest thing in her little swimsuit, and she loved the warm water.

























I was pretty impressed with this place, especially for the price. The lifeguards were really on top of things, and everything was so clean. Best of all, there were warm towels whenever you asked for them at the entrance.

























There's nothing like a warm towel after swimming. Except maybe for warm sprays of water that come up out of the floor. . .

























. . .or a giant mushroom that rains water softly around you.

























Nick wore his goggles upside down for over three hours. He insisted he liked them better that way. Both boys, actually, had red marks on them from the goggles, chafing from their swim trunks and life jackets rubbing, and little scrapes all over their knees and feet from scraping the bottom of the pool.

























Neither one even mentioned any injuries until we were done swimming, though. They were too busy having fun!


I'm already missing the warm water.  :)


Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Surprise Trip to Timber Ridge

After a quite miserable winter, we really needed to get away for spring break. Big trips involving airplanes and beaches weren't an option, but Greg and I decided to do a little trip anyway. We chose Timber Ridge Lodge in Lake Geneva, WI. We also decided not to tell the boys about the trip. (A copycat idea, I know, but we really liked the idea of a surprise trip.) Instead I told them that we were going on a picnic Sunday with Grandma Toni. I prepped all day Friday and Saturday, surreptitiously packing bags and preparing food to eat in during our trip. The suite we reserved, you see, came with a kitchenette, so I had to prep everything we'd need for two breakfasts, three lunches, and two dinners. Nick and Henry brought their penguin hats, because of course you need a hat and mittens for a picnic in March!

























It was very cold last weekend, but the boys didn't put together the fact that it was way too cold for a picnic. At least until it started sleeting and raining with a little hail. "Oh, no! Our picnic will be ruined," said Nick. We told him not to worry, that we had another idea of something fun we could do indoors. During the 2+ hour trip, we said not one word about where we were going. . . at least not until we pulled into the parking lot.

video


Oh, man, were they excited. At the end there, Henry was saying that he wanted to wear his blue goggles in the pool. I found new goggles at the Costco last Friday, though I told them at the time, "I'll buy them now, but I'm not sure when the next time you'll be able to go swimming will be--maybe not until summer."

This is on the elevator ride down to the water park for the first time.

























Henry did indeed get to wear his new blue goggles. Cries of excitement and elation were heard from both Nick and Henry as they walked into this place.







































More about our water park experiences tomorrow.  :)