InnerActive Play Area

Last weekend the kids and I needed to get out of the house for a bit, so I had the brilliant idea to take them to an indoor play area so we could be out of the chill and also go earlier in the day. Everything is at least 30 minutes away from us, but most indoor play areas are further. Thankfully, however, a couple have popped up in that 30-40 minute range and so off we went!

Honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect at 10:30 on a Saturday morning, but my heart sank a bit when we drove up and the parking lot was packed.  I took a deep breath and warned the kids that a lot of other people were there.  We managed to find a cubby to put our things in and off we went to brave the play area and people. Immediately Enzo and I shared a look and he said, “There’s too many people, Mommy.”  Phoebe was not bothered, though, and took off running.  Even she had a few moments of panic, though, when she couldn’t spot me right away after getting off the slide.

We got used to the amount of people fairly quickly and to my pleasant surprise it started clearing out and the amount of noise and activity was more manageable.  We all were more comfortable and Enzo and Phoebe were all over.  It’s a pretty cool place too.

I didn’t get pictures of everything, but there’s a fairly large play area with slides and climbing toys as well as the favorite of both kids – the bouncy pillow. Both kids spent a lot of time on the slides and were having a blast.

Eventually I convinced the kids to take a break for snacks, which we had brought, and had to promise several times that we weren’t going to leave right away. For almost $8 a kid I had already decided we’d be here for a few hours. There wasn’t enough seating at actual tables, but we found a bench to sit at over by another play area that was for toddlers.  Then we had to go bounce on the bouncy pillow, which admittedly was a lot of fun. I was probably one of only 2 or 3 parents who was openly enjoying it.  There was also a big basketball court and a smaller soccer “field.”  Enzo was hooked on shooting baskets and got 5 while we were there. He was so proud of himself.

I have a feeling we’ll be going back there, especially whenever the temperatures drop.  They have monthly plans and yearly plans which is also nice, but I don’t think we’d be there often enough for one of those. Maybe if we lived a little closer.  For an un-staffed place, I was impressed at how clean it was and how involved parents were with their kids. Hardly anyone on their phones (except to take pictures) and everyone was respectful, which was a huge win for me.

Let there be light!

If there’s one thing I love, it’s dragging my family out to experience new things, even if it’s cold and I know there’s a decent chance of whining.  I’m a sucker for light installations, though, and knew we had to go to the arboretum when I heard about Bruce Munro’s exhibit going up.  We got tickets for 5:00 on Friday and hoped for the best. The kids seemed excited despite the cold temperatures and were even more excited to get to wander around in the dark. Go figure.

arb1

arb2

arb3

It was magical and enchanting and inspiring and despite Enzo asking when we were going to go back to the big house and get hot cocoa, I really did enjoy it.  If I had one complaint it would only be that I wish I could have stayed longer and that there had been more displays. At times I felt rushed just because… well, kids, but I’m still glad we took them to see it. Sure they may have been more excited for the hot cocoa and cookies at the end, but I do think they enjoyed it over all.

arb4

arb5

arb6

As for me… I’ve always loved the ambiance that lights can create and really did enjoy seeing it all. I was filled with ideas and motivation to start creating again and you can’t ask for much more than that.  The pictures really don’t do it justice, but I had to attempt to take a few photos while also not tripping over small bodies or my own feet in the dark. Haha!

arb7

arb8

arb9

arb10

arb11

arb12

arb13

Corn Maze and Other Fall Fun!

I feel like we’ve been slacking this year when it comes to our typical traditions, but it is what it is. We never did get to a pumpkin patch, but Josh’s dad treated us to some fun at a local Corn Maze, which ironically we never even ended up doing, but there are lots of other things to keep kids busy.  Unfortunately, it was also really cold that day… much colder than the weather was supposed to be. So begins the season of bringing hats and gloves and coats everywhere we go because you just never know.

cornmaze7

Corn pits provide endless amounts of fun… who knew?!  It was thankfully a bit warmer under the tent which helped block some of the wind.

cornmaze6

cornmaze8

The kids also got to play with their cousins, which was an added bonus.

cornmaze1

Oh glorious giant bouncy pillow.  The kids had a little trouble getting up at times, but they had such a blast. It’s the little things, you know?

cornmaze2

cornmaze4

cornmaze3

cornmaze5

While the kids bounced, I found hot cider and stole Josh’s jacket because he’s a walking furnace on most days anyway.

cornmaze25

The kids did at least go through the mini hay bale maze.  It always amazes me how much the kids change from year to year.  They’re so independent now!

cornmaze22

cornmaze23

cornmaze21

cornmaze24

And of course the big slide. Usually one of us always goes down with Enzo, but this time he was like, No thanks, I’ve got this.  He handed his money over to the person in charge, and carried his own sack up the steps with his aunt and cousin and grandpa and Phoebe.  We were worried at first how he’d do and he definitely got nervous, which is when he started going down crooked because he tried to slow down, but then he got brave and the look of joy on his face is priceless. Phoebe was terrified, but was thrilled when she got up. Ha!

cornmaze13

cornmaze14

cornmaze15

cornmaze16

cornmaze17

cornmaze18

cornmaze19

cornmaze20

Oh, fall.  Never change. One day the kids will think these silly slides and things are just lame, and I do not look forward to that day.

Photo Dump… with Cats

I was originally going to just title this Cat Dump, but that obviously doesn’t sound like something anyone would want to click on.  I have a lot of cat photos, though, and not a lot of cat updates.  Ziggy is getting up there in years and we’ve got her taking a joint supplement. She’s only been on it for about a week, but hopefully we’ll see improvement in her mobility soon.  In the meantime, she can most often be found in the kid’s book corner when upstairs or on the couch… or really anywhere comfy for sleeping.

ziggyfluff

Uzi is still active and shows no signs of aging, except perhaps for his grumpy old man routine where Vega is concerned and he gives me the evil eye if I give her too much attention.  He’s been fairly needy lately and I swear at times he and Vega are just jealous siblings both vying for my love and affection on a constant basis.

Cats1

It’s funny how different the relationship is between Vega and Ziggy vs. Vega and Uzi. Vega has slightly more respect for Ziggy (doesn’t pounce on her too often) and likes to snuggle her and give her a bath, whereas with Uzi, she just wants to play and fight and annoy him and has zero respect for him.

Cats3

Cats4

Look at how cute and innocent I am!!

Cats2

Get off my lawn!  Hooligans!

uziboy3

We have an absurd amount of blankets and places for cats and kids to snuggle, so you really always have to be careful when you pick a pile up because one or the other could be hiding.

20160925_134840

See?!  Sometimes everybody plays nice!  I love how much more the cats have grown to tolerate the kids. One night Both Ziggy and Uzi hopped up on Enzo’s bed when it was time to go to sleep. They still have a love/hate relationship with Vega though, since she’s ornery and they can’t tell when she’s actually going to attack them or not.

myboys2

Just a boy and a kitty hanging out.  I’m glad that Uzi has been such a good cat to have with the kids. He’s always gentle and so very patient with them, even when his ears and tail have been pulled.

myboys3

20161010_163628

Cats are good for the soul.

Get Outside

The past week was a busy one, and the weekend ended up being no different.  The kids were up bright and early and were ready to GO.  Our original plans changed, so we pulled out Plan B – when in doubt, go to the zoo!  We invited Josh’s dad Mike to come along with us and away we went!  Despite it being overcast, the temps were surprisingly nice and it was the emptiest the zoo has ever been when we’ve visited.  It was AMAZING!

20161015_130405

Finding a table to eat at was a breeze and the kids were able to wiggle and move around as much as they wanted!

20161015_134918

I didn’t pet the sharks, but everyone else got to, which was awesome. It’s usually really hard to find a spot for the kids when we’re here so they were thrilled.

20161015_135106

It might seem weird to document your kids using a hand dryer, but this is the first time EVER that they have agreed to use one. They usually are afraid of the hand dryers.  More winning!

20161015_135310

Onward, ho!

20161015_141756

Also, my husband was winning because I was able to take a few photos with my big camera and I’m actually in more than 1 or 2 photos and don’t have totally weird face!

20161015_142707

It was so nice for the kids to be able to run around and actually get up close to see everything without any crowds.  We don’t often get to do that and it was especially exciting at Grizzly Coast (the boys were in the water up against the glass rough-housing) and it’s awesome to get to see the bears up close.

20161015_142741

You’re also more able to get away with putting your kids on the fence to give them a better look at critters. Don’t worry, the Takin’s looked fairly harmless. 😉

20161015_144158

She’s a tree in the wind. Seriously, though… no crowds!!  We even managed to walk past the carousel and the kids didn’t even argue when we said we weren’t going to ride it that day.  Say what?!?

20161015_145939

Telling Grandpa all of the things and enjoying the fall leaves on our walk.  We’re already at that point where so many more trees are beyond peek and heading into the dying yellow color than are at the glorious red and orange point.  Such is life.

20161015_152711

My favorite.  I love mountain lions so much… bobcats too.

20161015_145506

20161015_145521

We headed home a little before 4:00 and Phoebe of course crashed on the way, which also meant she didn’t want to fall asleep at bedtime, but we could also hear someone with some thumping bass, so that didn’t help.  Sunday I woke up to this glorious tree outside our bedroom window:

20161016_074318

Then at some point I realized I need to go grab groceries, so I loaded up Phoebe and away we went!  She managed to pinch her finger in the shopping cart wheel when we got back to the car, and was quite upset the whole ride home and most of the afternoon.  I kind of wanted to punch the old man in the parking lot who looked over at me and shook his head in that way that clearly meant I was an awful parent.  She has a blood blister, but no long-lasting damage and I have a feeling she isn’t scarred for life.

20161016_132324

Happy Monday… oh… errr… Tuesday. How is it Tuesday?