Monday, July 29, 2013

My little fish

We went to visit Nana and PopPop a few weeks ago....and lucky us, we got there right in the middle of a 100 degree heat wave!  Fortunately, they have a pool....which is very good, because it was so hot that the only other thing we could have possibly done is sit in air was brutal if you weren't in the water.  The kids had absolutely no objections to this non-stop pool business.

I love the look on Brian's face in this shot!

After dinner on our first night, we took a pool break to have a water gun battle (by "we" I mean all of the guys...Nana and I hid in the garage and I used the camera as an excuse to not be eligible to play)

The next morning, the men headed out to Jacobsburg Park early before it got too hot.
PopPop and his grandsons
dance party on the trail!

That afternoon, it was time for more swimming, of course!!  And jumping. So.much.jumping.  My arms were so sore for days after this trip from helping Liam up and down on the side.  He finally got the hang of the ladder on the 2nd day.  And he became completely insulted if you tried to catch him or give him any kind of help......"Liam do it all-self!!!"    :)

they only break for freezee-pops.

Video of both kids jumping in:

Video of Liam jumping in:  On Saturday morning, we went to visit a friend of Brian's, who has a 1 year old, so it was nice to see them.  And lucky for my kids, Dylan and Jamie happen to have a giant pool complete with a diving board.

Video of the diving board jumps:

And Saturday night, we went to visit Joy and'll never guess what they did there! The nice part about this trip to the pool was that Joy and Keith have two awesome kids, Drew and Hannah who were kind of enough to watch our kids in the pool. It was a win-win: the adults got to sit around and observe the pool without having to get in (enabling us to enjoy some yummy drinks and snacks) and the kids got to play with other kids (and they adore Drew and Hannah, so they were super excited!)

 It was a great weekend, and we survived the heat wave!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another check off the summer bucket list---Idlewild!

We took the boys to Idlewild at the beginning of the month; it was their first trip there and it was definitely a hit for both of them! When we got there, the only thing open was Storybook Forest; this might be mean of me to say, because I know Idlewild is one of those treasures of the Pittsburgh area, but I kind of thought Storybook Forest was lame.  Don't get me wrong...some cute stuff, but everything just looked run down, Jake was complaining that it smelled (even though I was shushing him to stop saying this in his extra-loud voice, I was thinking the same smelled musty.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were animals living in some of those structures)  Anyway, here are a few obligatory pics of that section:

Moving on!  Next, we went to the Jumpin' Jungle section, which ended up being a hit.  The next day, I asked the boys what their favorite part of the trip was, and they both responded "the ball pit!"  So, there you have it.  We drove an hour and a half, and paid admission for my kids to enjoy a large pit of germs.

Once we drug them out of that cesspool of germs pit, we went to the real rides!!  We let Jake pick the first one, and first he picked one that Liam was too little to ride.  I told him that was ok, one of us could take him on that and the other would take Liam on something else, then we would meet back up.  But he said he didn't want to go without his little brother....1,2,3....awwww!!  (let's not talk about the fact that 5 minutes later they were shoving each other in line and fighting over who got to get on the ride first)  So, his 2nd pick was a ride called the Spider...there are various forms of this ride (Octopus, etc) but same concept on all of them, the arms go up and down, the little cart you're in simultaneously spins around.  Sometimes Jake can be a bit hesitant about things, so I was surprised that he picked this so enthusiastically.  I was in one cart with Jake, Brian was in one with Liam.  Liam giggled the whole time, Jake clung to me and the safety bar in terror, and wanted them to stop the ride.

So, not Jake's favorite ride, but he survived.  Brian, on the other hand, walked off the ride and looked green.  Literally, green.  He then requested that we avoid spinny rides the rest of the day.  Getting old is hard.  We rode a few more rides with the kids, then headed over to the kiddie area where they could go by themselves so that Brian's stomach could recover. (Confession-I also got a little icky after the spinny ride, but did not turn green....we are getting so old)

looking a little fearful on the hot air balloons

See that boat in the last picture?  Let me tell you, that might have the been slowest-loading ride EVER. And of course, the line was directly in the sun...this was around 2pm, so it was brutal.  We were in line, and I said to Brian that we would let the kids ride that one, then go find a table in the shade and buy them a snack, then assess what we were going to do.  Liam normally naps around 2-2.5 hours per day, starting around 1pm.  He had napped for about 45 minutes in the car at 9am, so he was probably getting tired...we knew this would most likely happen and figured we'd stay as long as we could, then call it a day.  Like I said, it was very hot out that day and it takes a lot out of you standing in the heat! 

So we let them ride the boats, bought everyone some ice cream, and found some shade.  It was like a miraculous recovery after that ice cream!  I asked Liam if he wanted to take a nap in his stroller or go to the car and go to sleep; he immediately stood up and started to run away, yelling behind him "NO!  No nap!  I ride more rides!  Let's go!"  Well, that answers that question.  Sugar 'em up, and let's go!

So, these little ones forged ahead...we ended up not leaving there until after 6pm.  Very impressive.  At one point, Liam wanted to ride the kiddie Ferris Wheel and Jake didn't want Liam just marched right on in it all by himself & rode it 3 times while Brian took Jake to the bumper cars.  No fear, that little one!

Aside from the ball pit, their favorite ride was definitely the was about as close to a roller coaster that Liam could get since it kind of goes up and down little slopes (Liam was begging to ride a real roller coaster, as well as the log flume, but he wasn't tall enough for either of those) 

Look at his little hands up in the air

And what's a trip to an amusement park without face painting?  Introducing....Spider-Jake!!

Stand back!  I will web you!

We had a great time, it's definitely somewhere I'd recommend to other families.  Liam was free admission, and I purchased discounted tickets at Giant Eagle on our way there that morning for the rest of us. 

It also served as a little tiny preview of what Disney might be like for us in a few months, and gave me some good lessons:

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Pretty much any time we were standing in line, I was forcing everyone to take a sip of water.  I'm hopeful that maybe it won't be quite as hot in Disney, or at least not that humid (it was terribly humid that day, and about 92 degrees)...but still.  We'll need to bring lots of water.  And sunscreen.
  • Liam has no fear of any rides.  If anything, we will need someone to act as a bouncer at Disney to keep him from marching right onto the Tower of Terror.
  • If people get cranky at Disney, stop and feed them ice cream.
  •  I've already ordered a double stroller to rent while we're in Disney, but I was still kind of going back and forth with myself about whether or not we'd actually need it (for Jake). Our experience at Idlewild ended that debate with myself; Jake and Liam were fighting over the stroller by mid-afternoon.  I'm definitely keeping the reservation, I think we'll need it!
  • Brian will not be riding the Tea Cups after his poor performance on the Spider ride.  Dumbo is questionable. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Um...hello? Is this thing on??

Wow, it's been almost a month since I posted!  I blame summer.  And the fact that my new lunch-break hobby (binge watching the past 2 seasons of Scandal) has drastically cut into my time that I usually blog.  I would normally take a lunch break or so a week to write and schedule a few blog posts to go out over the next few days, but my new addiction to this amazing TV show has completely cut into my ability to focus on anything else. *sigh*  It's a hard knock life.

Anyway, we've been busy!  I do have a lot to catch up on, so I might work a bit backwards.  Quick recap post of the past month or so....we took a trip to VA to visit the besties, had the besties and some other friends over for 4th of July, took the kids to Idlewild, lots of time spent outside, getting Jake ready for kindergarten, visit to the in-laws.  Phew.

I'll tackle the first part of July in some pictures, more posts to come later...

Visit to VA to see Melissa and Co...we had a blast as always!

The kids formed a band:

Video of their practice session (if you own ear plugs, now would be the time to bust them out):

We also went to a bouncy place so the kids could get some energy out....



Then came the kids favorite part of the weekend...the pool, of course!!  Both of the older boys are getting so much better with swimming, it's amazing to see how quickly they pick stuff up!  And the younger two try desperately to keep up with the older kids, so they're just all over the pool, too.

We had a great time that weekend, then just a few short days later, they came up to visit us, along with Jack & Sidney's family, to celebrate the 4th of July!  It was hot, hot, hot that day, so we drug out the kiddie pool and the kids were occupied for hours.

Video of the kids enjoying the pool: 

Phew! So that's all I have for you now. We'll get to the other stuff later, I hope everyone is enjoying summer!
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