Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where has the week gone

In the last week the boys have been to the Children’s Museum, Gateway, Trolley Square, the state fair, Thanksgiving Point Farm, a ride on Frontrunner and TRAX and the Park City Outlets. Plus many hours spent on multiple playgrounds and we still have a visit to the zoo planned for Saturday.
Safe to say we are taking full advantage of the cooler (and gorgeous) weather. I hope we have a nice long fall so we can keep enjoying spending the days out and about.
Of all of the outings I only took pictures at the farm and Cody took pictures at the fair. We are used to the Children’s Museum being very crowded and hard to manage the boys at. Much to our surprise it wasn’t crowded possibly due to the scattered showers earlier in the day. I’m not sure if it was the lack of crowd or the boys being a bit older, but it was much easier to keep track of everyone. Since we had expected chaos we didn’t even bring a camera, next time we’ll be prepared.
We had only a brief visit to Trolley Square, it’s sad how empty it is now. Cody and I both remember the really cool kite store that has been closed many years. We only went to pick up some Utah specific treats for some friends from out of the country. We went without strollers so it was also a good way to let the boys get some energy out before nap. After nap time I took the boys to a playground while Cody had a photo shoot for a family friend.
Sunday was a normal work day for me. As soon as I got home we headed for the fair. The boys got to enjoy a funnel cake, a hot dog, a bite of Cody’s corn dog, some kettle corn. We skipped the rides except for the big slide. Sadly since it was the last day of the fair almost all of the animals were gone. The only animals left were 3 cows.
Monday the boys had a play date bright and early at the Farm with a friend of mine and her little girl. Everyone had a chance to pet a calf.

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The boys favorite part was probably the market to store interactive area.

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They all ran to the door of the fake truck and asked me for the keys. The truck has a conveyer belt that transports the produce cards from one end to baskets on the other side. The boys loved it.

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Parker

They took turns riding on the toy tractors.

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Nicholas

Of course the favorite toy as always is our choo choo wagon. My friends little girl even helped out.

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The boys were none to sure about her helping push.

We also saw the pigs, but again the boys were much more interested in the wagon.

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Nicholas didn’t believe me when I told him he wasn’t going to be able to pull his brothers up the ramp. He was trying so hard.

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They were wearing their ”This One, That One, The Other One” shirts (ordered from here) which I find hilarious and it makes it easy to tell who is who if you know their birth order. Which can be easier than remembering which shoes belong to which child.

Tuesday we kind of took it easy, only went grocery shopping. Something the boys still enjoy because they usually get a treat of some kind. This time was no different and they enjoyed their cookie.
Wednesday is still dad’s night out. Cody took the boys on an adventure. They rode Frontrunner downtown to TRAX and out to eat at Noodles and for a smoothie. I was at work, but Cody said the boys were so happy and loved the ride.
This morning we headed for the Park City outlets to get Cody some new shirts. Of course I also did some shopping for the boys. I was able to find some tall shirts for Cody (thank you Eddie Bauer). The boys of course did well with new pants, adjustable waistband jeans are a wonderful invention. I also picked up some new sneakers for them. They have trashed their current pair and it was time to move up to the next size. Since we are into size 9 it’s getting easier to find shoes that lace instead of velcro. Once we get out of toddler sizes it should be less of a search to find lace up shoes. I’m just hoping they don’t grow so fast that they can’t wear out this pair before we have to buy again.
I have no idea what the plans are for tonight, but hopefully we’ll get out to enjoy the nice weather. Tomorrow is Cody’s down Friday, so I’m sure we’ll find something exciting to do.
Saturday the boys and I are going to the zoo with my dad. We haven’t been to the zoo in a while due to the dinosaur display. The last time the boys saw life sized animated dinosaurs there was lots of screaming. Now that the dinosaurs are gone we should be able to enjoy the non-extinct animal displays without tears.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Camping weekend (quite a few pictures)

After Cody got home from work on Thursday we loaded up the van and headed out to take the boys camping for the first time. Cody’s boss who is an avid camper/hunter/outdoorsman recommended a few local camp sites. The first night we went to Lodgepole campground in Heber Valley. We arrived as the sun was setting and were rushed to get the tent up. We attempted to sit by the fire pit for a little while before bed time, but the boys just wanted to play with lanterns and flashlights. This resulted in one broken lantern (the base of a plastic one) and more than a few skinned knees. We didn’t take any pictures that night. It was a rough night, the campground while nicely maintained is right along side a highway and nothing blocks the sounds of the road. All night we heard semi trucks going by. I don’t think anyone had a good night of sleep.
We were up early and in good spirits having already decided that we would find another camp site somewhere else for the night.

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The only picture we took of the first campsite from outside.

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We packed up early, we were up and out by 9:30 to grab some breakfast as the boys wanted nothing to do with the cereal bars I gave them. We headed for the second campground that was recommended at Smith and Morehouse. The new campground was beautiful and we found the perfect spot. It was at the end of the loop with a fence about 30 feet into the trees and a stream about 50 feet behind us. The fence kept the boys from running too far and the stream had a hill behind it so the boys couldn’t approach it without us knowing.


The second site.


The boys loved climbing around the trees and just plain running everywhere.

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The boys had only slept for about 20 minutes on the drive to the campground so we let them run for about an hour and a half and attempted to put them down for a nap. Nap was a complete fail. We fought them for over a half hour and gave up. We got everyone dressed for a short walk.
About a half mile from the campsite is the Smith and Morehouse reservoir. Absolutely gorgeous.

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On the walk we made another attempt to have the boys hold hands while walking. Something we’ve been trying to get the boys to do for a very long time. This time they were all over it.

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Parker and Andrew walking while Nicholas stopped running away so he could join them.

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As cute as this is from behind, I can’t help but smile at this.

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They were not just smiling, but they were giggling uncontrollably the entire time. The were so excited and wouldn’t walk at all unless they were all together holding hands. Every once in a while they would stop and yell “1, 2, 3, go!” before running again.
After our walk we tried to get the boys to eat. Meals while camping were overall a disaster. The boys would not sit still long enough to eat anything substantial. They each at a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before they refused to sit down any longer. They spent hours running up and down the driveway to the campground.
I had planned to roast hotdogs, made tinfoil dinners and hd everything to make s’mores. The boys would have none of it. They were much more interested in seeing, touching and climbing on everything. They did each try a roasted marshmallow.

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Of course I had to basically corner them to eat some, but they seemed to enjoy it. Then it was back to drumming on logs.

The boys were running out of steam by 7:30, which given the amount of running around and lack of nap we had already planned on an early bedtime. By 8 they were done. The boys slept in their peapods inside the tent and after putting them in their beds they crashed without a fight and slept for 13 hours. After the boys were down for the night, Cody and I relaxed for the first time on the trip. We enjoyed our tinfoil dinners and took in the peace and quiet.
Cody also took advantage of the time to get out his tripod and get take some shots. A favorite without the boys in it.


For the camera people, 30 second exposure, light painted with a flashlight . The moon was almost full and it was an amazing sight right behind the tent.

The boys slept so well, I was able to get up before them. The plan was to have a hot breakfast, pack up and head to the reservoir to look around.

I missed it but Cody watched an eagle fishing, the eagle didn’t catch a fish but he said it was cool to watch it skim the water in the attempt. We walked/ran along the reservoir and across the dam.

Parker has a tendency to lag behind. He likes to stop and look at everything. I was trying to get a picture of the boys with Cody and he was determined to stay about 50 feet behind his brothers. In an attempt to get him to catch up for a photo I asked Parker to give Nicholas a hug. It sort of worked.

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Parker and Nicholas ran to hug each other, I love the big smile on Nicholas face when going in for the hug. Andrew was trying to get in on it as well, but wasn’t fast enough.

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The boys cooperated for a couple of posed group shots before we headed back to the van.

On the way back to the van in an attempt to keep the boys together we requested more hand holding. The boys happily went along with it.


My favorite picture from the weekend.

We loaded up and headed home, we had a lot of fun and will be back. It was fun letting the boys experience camping for the first time, but it was very stressful. I remember camping being much more relaxing, like most activities adding three 2 years olds ups the stress level. Next year we plan to go back to the same site, hopefully by then the boys we’ll be a little easier to entertain or at least willing to sit still for more than 3 minutes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Unplanned jammies day

The boys have never objected to clothes or really cared much about what they wear. Every day we still let them choose what they want to wear. Unless there is a Thomas the Train shirt or a Cars shirt they don’t care what they end up in. This morning I went to change the boys out of their new jammies and Andrew had a meltdown. Last night we let the boys where their new Cars jammies and they didn’t want to take them off.

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Nicholas also decided that his Thomas hat was required to complete the outfit.

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This was the best group shot I got, the whole time asking them to look at me and generally making a fool of myself to get their attention. This is pretty much willful ignoring of me.
After each bum change I asked they were ready to get dressed for the day. Not a chance, they held tight to their ‘Queen’ pants until I put them back on. I resorted to bribery.

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New Cars shirts! I bought them yesterday and I’m kind of wishing I would have bought a larger size, but these are 4t and they didn’t have 5t. They should still fit for our Disneyland trip next month.
We took down our last child gate over the weekend so the boys have free run of the house. They spent much of the morning running up and down the stairs just because they could. Everyone was willing to sit down together briefly, very briefly for a picture. They still however refused to look at me.

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Then it was back to being little monkeys.

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Leo is in there too, the most tolerant cat ever.

The boys are now sleeping, all that running must have worn them out. Time for me to clean up all of the toys or toddler debris as I call it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Living planet Aquarium

Thursday I renewed my membership to the aquarium since it is such a nice place to take the boys when it’s really hot out or in the winter. I was worried that it might be crowded, but much to my surprise it was fairly deserted. We spent about three hours looking at all of the fish, crabs, penguins, frogs, and snakes.

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Nicholas, Andrew, Parker

The aquarium is pretty low light, so I had a hard time getting good pictures. That and I didn’t buckle the boys into their wagon until they stopped listening to me. For the first couple hours we’d look at a tank or display then I asked the boys to sit in their wagon, much to my surprise they listened. Everyone when back to their seats and waited for me to pull them to the next stop.
I picked out the boys outfits that day to make it easier to keep track of everyone, the boys didn’t mind. If their Cars shirts are clean they refuse to wear anything else.

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The large coral reef tank was probably the favorite, Parker stood there for about 15 minutes pointing out the different colored fish and the ‘fish tunnels.’ Nicholas isn’t this much shorter than Parker, he was standing strangely on the ledge. We did a quick lap through the aquarium before heading to the new exhibit on animal super heroes. We watched them feed the archer fish and mud skippers. The boys (and I) got a kick out of watching the fish spit streams of water to knock their food out of the fake trees.
On a second lap around we stopped to play at the kids play area. I let the boys climb and run a little bit. For a half hour we were the only people in the area.

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I loved that they kept looking at each other through the fish tanks and saying hi while waving. Andrew would also climb up to see Parker from above before telling him hello.
Thanks to the lack of crowd the boys had a lot of time to enjoy the shark tank. They became very excited every time the sea turtle would swim by.

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After a half hour of letting them run around they decided to stop listening to me. They had listened and stayed with me for almost 2 hours so I wasn’t going to complain. I had to put my camera away because it was just too much to carry the diaper bag, pull the wagon and manage the camera. I did snap a quick shot with my phone to send to Cody.

penguins

The boys know they are penguins, but Parker decided that we’d call them fast water birds. It constantly amazes me how quickly the boys pick up new concepts. I know I didn’t say anything about birds, just calling them penguins.
After one quick run through the gift shop we were all ready to head home for nap time. We had such a good time I think we’ll go back next week hopefully with a few friends and their kiddos.