Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pool Day: Oak Heights


At Oak Heights PoolDSC07284DSC07285
Today we were invited to a play date with the Gries' at Oak Heights. I believe we may have found our pool!

We arrived just before 11 to play at the park by the pool and have a picnic lunch after our visit to the library. The park is nice. It has big shade trees, a nice little trail from the parking lot, and the playground has soft beachy feeling sand. I could not get the kids to stop playing long enough to eat lunch.

We met up with Jill and her kids as the pool was about to open. The pool is nice. It has a great area for toddlers with a slide that they can just slide into the pool from. Alivia wanted me to go out further with her - but that is still really hard for me to do with Addison and Asher playing. So, Alivia got bored quickly. She does not have the confidence or skill to swim alone in the deeper waters but really that is all she wants to do. Addison FINALLY got into a pool!! Amazing! She went down the slide multiple times and walked once into the water a bit. She is extremely timid. Asher liked the slide and swam a bit. He needs more reassurance after his pool scares.I can not look away from Asher at all while he is in the pool.

We had a great experience at Oak Heights. It is not too busy, you can bring in food and coolers (no snack bar - yeah!), and it is very user friendly. We will definitely be returning. Thank you Jill, Gabriella and Grant for inviting us! We had fun!

Now...what day should we go swimming at a pool next week?

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Fun!


Chris and I decided that this year it just was not safe for us to have any kind of pool. Asher is just too scary. That is...until my mom reminded me of this blow up pool that I bought when Alivia was maybe 2 years old. I bought it at Tuesday Morning for $20. No big deal, right?

It is nothing major...just a big raft with a slide and some water in the bottom. But, it offers the kids hours of play! All three kids love it. You can have the spray part on or off, giving us a chance to change it up a bit. Today I filled it up at 6 am so that it was warmer after lunch when it was time to play. We empty it every night, giving the grass a drink in a different spot every evening. Ha! we have a pool? No, not really. But as long as the kids are happy with this one, we will take it! It beats $20 at the public pool for 5 minutes of play, too!

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Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

  • 705 Riverfront Drive


Today we had a playdate at the Pedestrian Bridge downtown. I was a little nervous about going because of the CWS, but it was not bad at all. It was a beautiful day, sunny, in the 80s. We walked the bridge (and Alivia, Nyah and Keegan rode their bikes), played at the park on the Iowa side, walked back, played at the splash park area, picniced and took a small walk around the area. First off, the Iowa side is under major construction. The park is just a park that was there before the bridge. Nothing special. But, the kids like it. I am hoping they clean it up a bit and make it beautiful and fun.

The splash park is fun. But, with that said, it is beyond dirty. Cigarette butts and small pieces of trash littered the area. The smell was not that pleasant. There is a Lewis and Clark visitors center there that I had never been in before. But, they have restrooms! I am not sure if they really want people to come in there for using the restrooms, but they said it was okay for us...and we appreciated it!

What a fun morning! Until next time...

  • Walking the BridgeLet's RideLet's SplashAnd the bridge...A frog along the trailOn a Frog HuntA bird? A plane?'s a fish!
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    Monday, June 28, 2010

    June to the Zoo

    Little SpidersWhere's the Otter?Bears!Gorillas...Lovin' the Fish

    Today we had big plans that fell through. So, after working overnight, I had to come up with a plan and fast! If I do not keep REALLY busy, I will fall fast asleep!

    So, I packed up the kiddos and took them to the zoo! I was completely avoiding the zoo because of the college world series. I thought it would not be that busy since the game is not until tonight. Okay...I'd admit, I do not know a thing about the CWS. We arrived and there were cars everywhere and it was completely nuts! The zoo was carding people at the gates to make sure people were going to the zoo and not parking to go to the game later. We parked far away, but we were able to park. So, I had to call it a success (I at first told Asher we would have to go home because there was not a place to park and he burst into tears!). And, after a brief walk, we were in the zoo all hot and steamy.

    We mostly visited indoor exhibits because it was so hot and there was no air movement. We visited the animals around the petting zoo, the bears, the gorillas, Madagascar, monkeys and the aquarium. Once in the aquarium, we stopped and ate lunch by the penguins and Daddy saw us on the webcam! How fun is that?! (and funny really).

    After lunch, we saw the lions before Alivia was done walking. I was getting rather tired myself.

    It was a fun morning...and it was not so scary to go to the zoo during the CWS afterall. I mean, it is a zoo afterall, so I should expect it to be no less than a zoo.

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    Friday, June 25, 2010

    The Great Bug Adventure @ Fontenelle Forest


    Today was the open house at the Fontenelle Forest: The Great Bug Adventure. After going to the Dino open house last year, the kids could not wait to see the bug surprises!

    We arrived early to make sure we had a place to park. We were able to go downstairs and check out the buggy things down there before making our way outside to see the BIG BUGS! I mean these things are HUGE! There are 9 bugs all around the boardwalk (and one in Acorn Acres!). The featured bugs are the Damselfly, praying mantis, spider, ants, ladybug, daddy long legs, dragonfly, assassin bug, and the grasshopper. They artistic bugs were really cool. The real bugs were crazy! We practically ran through the exhibit getting eaten by real bugs the entire time. We are all covered in mosquito bites! Although it was hot, it was not so bad since the forest shades the boardwalk for the most part.

    Back inside, the kids got lot of bug treats and surprises: lady bug gum, bug toys, bug beach balls, bug catchers...your get the point (a lot of "stuff."). Then we went down and watched "A Bug's Life," while having some "bug juice," fruit, veges, trail mix and dessert. The food was much healthier than last year, and that made everyone happy. The sandwiches were a little odd and not kid friendly, but the food was much improved and appreciated.

    The crowds were trailing in, so it was time for us to go. The kids had a bag full of goodies and were excited to check them out. We all got to visit the Forest and see some great big bugs, real and in art. If you get a chance, check out the bugs at Fontenelle Forest.

    Going to visit the Bugs at the forest? Here's what to bring...
    Snacks and water
    BUG SPRAY is a must! The bugs are CRAZY there right now!!
    play clothes
    comfortable shoes
    sun screen
    a bug catcher...:)
    and your camera

    Have fun!

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    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Toy Story 3

    This afternoon we took the kids to see Toy Story 3. They were super excited. In our drama filled trip to the store, we picked up Toy Story crackers that I mixed with M&Ms and they of course had popcorn at the theater, too. I got Addison and Asher booster seats which seemed to help them see over the crowded theater of people.

    The show started at 3:45, or was it 4:05? There were so many previews and then this strange pre movie thing that was just...well, strange. Seriously, this is a kids movie. They do not have THAT long of attention spans. And, are all the future movies in 3D? What's with that anyway? Kids are not the best at keeping those glasses on (and why we opted to go to the regular version of Toy Story 3 and not the 3D version).

    FINALLY, the movie began 20 minutes after it was supposed to begin. The kids all sat there pretty good until about 75% through the movie when Asher got a little antsy. I believe the girls really liked it. When I asked Asher what his favorite part was, he replied, "THE POPCORN!" Ha!

    We would totally recommend this movie. It was a cute movie, but I found it sad. I am a total sap though.  Now...get out of the sun and enjoy this movie!

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    Towing Kids along to the Grocery Store

    Ever taken your kids to the Grocery Store? I have, hundreds of times. However, I am finding it more difficult as they get older! Addison & Asher are great at the store. I actually think they enjoy going. But, Alivia, well - she is a little terror in public let me tell you.

    Today, we began our day with a long walk around the lake (Alivia rode her bike) on our way to the playground at school. Bummer, the school care kids were outside playing so I did not think we should play. Our kids may be an added distraction for those teachers. So, we came home and I started mowing the backyard.

    I have had a couple people comment on our backyard. "It's, um, weird." "It's not small, but odd." Sorry, it does not look like YOUR backyard. I think they are trying to tell me that theirs is better and I really do not care. We do have one large back AND front yard. It is massive. I don't know what we were thinking buying so much maintenance. If you do not believe me, try mowing it. It is weekly torture, I kid you not. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes mowing it with a self propelled push mower. I absolutely hate mowing it when it is hot. I am so hot and thirsty that I just want to get done. Rarely does anyone think to give me a drink (aka Chris). Oh, by the way, I mow and Chris trims and does the rest of the stuff. I just mow to help out outside since most of the work I can not do.

    Anyway, I set the kids up with lemonade, play-doh, crayons and coloring books and outside toys and went to work. Those toys kept them busy through the backyard and then they were done. So, I guess I was done, too...for now. I will have to finish when it is good and steamy.

    After a quick shower, we were off to the library. The kids joined the summer reading program at Papillion and have really enjoyed it. We read anyway, so what a good way to reward kids for what they do anyway. Week 1 they got McDonald's Happy Meals and a pass to go putt putt golfing. Week 2 they got an icecream cone from the DQ, roller skating passes, and passes to the Omaha Children's Museum. Week 3 they got 2 tickets each to an Omaha Royals Baseball game (that we will be sure to go to). Addison's name was even drawn in one of the weekly drawings where she got an extra prize package! They now love going to the library. We, since we are not officially in ANY city, have to pay $40 to actually check out books! I think that is totally crazy since we pay more than our fair share of taxes, so we have not officially joined. The kids and I just go and read books AT the library but can not bring the books home. The kids have gone to the wildlife event and plan to go to more children's events where a library card is not necessary. I am trying to promote reading here!

    Next was our trip to the grocery store. I had just taken them a couple days ago for a quick trip and it went okay. So I thought I would try and go and finish my shopping. I need to go back to shopping at night. With the kids going to bed later during the summer, it is nearly 9 PM  or later before I can get to the store and after 10 to 10:30 when I get home. So much for relaxation.

    This trip to the store did not go well. Addison sat up front of the cart and Alivia and Asher insisted on sitting in the cart itself (the big carts with seats were all taken and I find them to be a nightmare anyway). I tried to quickly throw food in the cart without hesitating too much. I think Alivia and Addison selected nearly every fruit in the fruit aisle. I can't say no to fruit. Addison sat fine up front, but Asher and Alivia were complete terrors. I took Asher out who cried. Alivia just stood in the aisle as I walked away. Seriously, I hope I was not this embarrassing when I was a kid...was I?

    I left the store with a cart full of things not on the list and my list was only 1/4 crossed off. I will not be returning with 3 kids together for quite some time, if ever, if possible. As we left the store, I decided that we will starve before I return to the store with all three kids alone any time soon.

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    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Our Visit to the Fremont Splash Station

    Let's try this post again.

    Today, since we were in Northwest Omaha anyway for Alivia's doctor appointment, we decided to trek out to Fremont to the Fremont Splash Station. The kids were really excited. We arrived just before noon which is what time they opened today (typically they open at 11). There was hardly anyone there. For good reason, it would turn out.

    It was to be a high of 89 degrees today. But, surprise surprise, it was only 76 or something when we arrived at the Splash Station. It was cold and windy actually. I asked the kids if we should just go home and try another day, and they of course wanted to stay.

    Addison was so excited to go down the train slides. We quickly got in the water to find out...BRRR...who turned off the heat?! It was freezing! Addison wanted out and now!

    Addi sat on the side as Asher and Alivia swam. But, within our first hour, everyone was freezing, teeth chattering, and they all wanted to go home. Ugh.

    The pool, however, is quite nice. It is very user friendly for those with kids of various interests. It was easier for me to splash with Asher while Alivia swam or went down the train slides (which she never did today). There are a lot of things to do at this pool for all ages: Splash ground area for little kids, big dumping water tower, wave pool, big water slides and then the smaller water slides on the train. Addison and Asher are free (4 and under are free I believe), Alivia is $4.24 and I was $5.75. So, it was $10 for about 20 minutes of play. I am doing a lot of that lately. I am a slow learner.

    I think we will have to try again. Maybe I can find a day that it is REALLY 90 degrees and then go to the pool. Happy summer!

    All excited to go swimmingFremont Splash StationFreezing AsherChillin' Addison & Alivia

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    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Don't Forget!! The Kids?!

    I was shocked to read a small article in the June issue of Parents Magazine (Page 46) in the child health section (of all sections) titled, "Car Caution." The article noted the statistics on children who die in the car because their parents "accidentally" leave them there. It went on to give readers, parents, pointers on how to not forget your kids in the car. I thought to myself, "Seriously?! What kind of parents forget their kids in the first place let alone need pointers?!" But, I continued on.
    Their suggestions I found beyond shocking and even more sad. The first suggestion was to have daycare call you if the child did not arrive at the scheduled time (so, daycare is more responsible than you as a parent?). If that was not enough, you can arrange to talk to your spouse about how "drop-off" went at daycare to make sure someone remembered to drop off the children. Nice. Oh, and it gets worse. The final suggestion..."Put your purse or cell phone on the backseat as an extra incentive to look behind you before exiting the car." !!! Seriously!! Mommy would remember her phone or her Prada before her BABY!!!!!! What kind of mommy is that?! Don't you talk to your kids in the car? Aren't you playing music to them in the car, singing with them, something? Don't you see their little smiles in your mirror, hear their coes, or even monitor their sleep in their carseat? COME ON! Cell phone next to baby so you remember your baby because you would never forget your phone!!

    I was so sickened by this article that I believe I may cancel my subscription. They are clearly looking for a different type of "Parent" to read their magazine!

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    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Mommy Workout

    Let's RunRunning UPWild FlowersPlaygroundBell PlaygroundLong killer before reaching home (I run UP)

    While Alivia was in her 2 week Catholic Formation classes in the morning, I started running with Addison and Asher. I'd put them in our bike stroller and ran around the lake. I am not sure how far I run, but I am guessing it to be right around 4 miles. I typically run about an eight minute mile, but I am seriously dying when I am pushing Addison and Asher up and even down these hills.

    Chris noticed the other day that I now have pipes. Okay, you really have to look, but they are there. I think Chris was poking fun at me for my major complaining about this "Mommy workout" and how strenuous it is until he ran one night with ALIVIA in the bike stroller. He does not run as far as I do YET. But, when he returned home, he was drained. He agreed - the Mommy workout is like no other. Now when I run my circuit without the kids, I practically sprint it finding it so easy. Every workout seems easy when compared to the Mommy workout. I feel like Rocky...if just for a moment. So, I highly recommend this workout if you want to really get in shape. Put your kids in the jogger with some books, snacks and drinks and go running a good distance. (Make sure to find a playground on your run so the kids have fun, too.) Test it...I am guessing it will nearly kill you. What does not kill you makes you stronger they say.

    Funny, now that Alivia is finished with her first year of Catholic Education (yes, in 2 weeks of 30 hours!! YEAH!), I miss my Mommy workout. Beats getting up before Chris goes to work or running on that treadmill!!

    Now I better go and take a picture of these tiny pipes on my arms so when I am 99 and my arms are old and sagging, I can kinda remember what it looked like to be in shape.

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    No Cable - Week 1

    Board or "Bored" game timeOutside playPlaying Baby Asher...nice!

    This past Thursday marked, I believe, 1 week since we completely canceled our cable and I watched the cable man turn it off. I was so sad to see it go, but we have gotten used to it. At night, Chris has finally gotten back into working out. He works out downstairs while I go running or biking. When I return, he goes for his run. Then we usually sit outside and enjoy the peace that our neighborhood has to offer.

    The kids, well, they have gotten used to it to. I love the quiet! Spongebob was getting old and annoying. Alivia plays board games more and interacts more with Addison and Asher. They are now creating new ways to have fun. Now this is the way I remember being a kid (not sitting around watching TV!).

    Now...things may change a bit. Chris came home tonight and was able to get our free local TV hooked up (yeah know, what Cox wanted to charge us $20 for!) with a $10 little antenna. Alivia and Addison watched Curious George before I cut off TV time again. Mean Mommy, I know. I guess with this wild weather, Chris and I were feeling trapped in the dark ages. We need up to date weather already!

    For now...we are perfectly content. I'm not sure we will ever go back to cable. Seems ridiculously overpriced. Like I have said before, look how much we could save by putting that $50 away each month that we threw away in cable! We will start that when we do not get a cable bill next month! HOW NICE! I come!

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