Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Parks & Rec

More time spent at parks, mostly while big brother was down at the other end, playing some organized sport or other.

Lizzie, in particular, has become a bit obsessed with swinging along the monkey bars.  She goes across over and over, shaking her arms out each time.  I have no idea how she has any arm strength left after some of these sessions.

Teddy just makes it to the first bar, hangs for a while, and drops.  Then he pulls my Kindle out of my purse and plays Angry Birds or does jigsaw puzzles.  I found him trying to play the chess app the other day, but he gave up in disgust.  I figure you most kids should be at least 4 before they learn chess.

We're definitely in sprinkler weather here, even though, technically, we're still weeks away from summer.  This sprinkler is kind of puny - make me think of Spinal Tap dancing around a tiny model of Stonehenge.

Over Memorial Day weekend we went to Haunted Trails, a facility that's like Chuck E Cheese inside, with the loud games and tokens and tickets and seating for the millions of kids who like to eat cardboard-like pizza.  I shouldn't insult their food, since we only tried the lemonade, which was seemed fine.  But it seems a reasonable inference that, if small children are willing to eat your pizza, it probably tastes like cardboard.

Our main target was outside, though: I vetoed the go-carts because the twins were too small, and the temperature was approximately a million degrees, even at 10am (we went early so we could go home by lunch and spend the afternoon air conditioned).  So that left us with mini-golf.

Spencer and I puzzled over why the "Black Lagoon" had blue water, and the "Blood Lagoon" had red water which was clearly not blood.  I didn't find out why Spencer was so certain he knew it didn't look like blood - to the best of my knowledge he hasn't had a major injury where blood was gushing recently.

We lost 3 balls over the 18 holes: Teddy whacked his under the fence out onto the street, Spencer hit his into a tunnel and it never came rolling out, so naturally Teddy hit his second ball in to see if that helped matters.  It didn't.  But much fun was had anyway, and the guy cleaning up the course found a roll of tokens and gave it to us, so then we got to go in and abuse the skee-ball machines (Lizzie strongly prefers to throw overhand.  She'll have to work on that if she ever wants to pitch softball.)

Sunday, May 27, 2012


My sweet little 7-pounder is now a 7-year-old.  No idea how that happened.  Spencer, ages 0 and 7:

Handsome kid, isn't he?

He's a slugger - hit a couple of solid hits for the Mets on his birthday, and got the game ball.

We had a party at a local sports camp facility - around 20 boys, running around screaming and throwing balls at each other.  (I'm thinking that faces aren't recognizable here, so I'm posting it). 

Note that, out in the middle of the boys, there is a 3 1/2-year-old girl who is determined not to be left out.

The Cars cake maybe didn't work thematically with the sports party and paper goods.  But it definitely tasted good.

Happy Birthday Spencer!  You're smart and strong, you're a good big brother and a kind boy.  You are friends with every kid you encounter, and I hope you never ever have reason to lose your trust that the world will treat you kindly.

(Note: this ran through my head all day on Saturday. We want cake! Where's our cake?)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring (tra la)

April this year was pretty much devoted to Spencer's ridiculous sports schedule.  I meant to stick to the "one activity at a time" rule, but somehow forgot.  We've had t-ball and soccer, and he loves them both, but in a given week we have 2 t-ball games, 2 t-ball practices, a soccer game, and 2 soccer practices scheduled.  That's just silly.

All this means that there have been lots of park time for the twins while a practice or a game is going on in the background.

(Note that we take pictures of Spencer playing, too, but they tend to involve other people's kids!  And so they don't go on the internet.  Just mentioning this in case Spencer is reading some archive of this in 2030 and wants to use it as evidence of favoritism he can show his therapist.)

Spencer got to play in a non-team-sports sense once or twice too:

Teddy prefers to be pushed on the swings.  Lizzie instructs him "You just need to pump your legs, Teddy!  Pump!"  Why should he, when he can just smile and get help?

Climbing and dangling.  And over the last month, Lizzie has worked out how to do the monkey bars, instead of just dangling and falling.  I'm guessing we'll watch some of the gymnastics in the Summer Olympics this year.

Funny faces.  Obviously.


(As an aside, something about Lizzie's hat in this picture looks like a kerchief, and together with the dress, I'm waiting for her to break into a version of "Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match!")

And more outdoor stuff - Lizzie loves her roller skates, but they don't actually, you know, roll.

Easter!  Eggs were boiled and dyed and hidden and found.  And baskets were opened and chocolate consumed.  We're traditionalists.

We love flowers - the twins pose quite nicely in the garden outside pre-school.

We did get at least a few sports pictures of Spencer that we can share.  Phew!

What else....
We made the trip to Navy Pier, and explored the Children's Museum, plus various other attractions.

And climbing skills, transferred from outside to in.  Sigh.  I came into the kitchen one day and found the twins helping themselves to straws.