Impromptu Nature Walk

When you get thrown gorgeous weather in September, you take advantage of it, so even though we were going to spend last Saturday cleaning and organizing, I talked everyone into going on some walks at a nearby Reserve!  It was one of my best ideas and despite some bug bites, I think everyone had a really good time.

We went to the nature center first to check in and get an idea of what was in the area, which led us to their outdoor play area.  We told the kids they could play for a while, but then we’d have lunch and do some exploring!

We were even joined by a little slug at one point!  It was fun just watching him creep along and then Enzo gave him some of his apple.

Have I mentioned that the day was beautiful?  Because the weather was amazing!  It was so nice to just leisurely stroll and see what kinds of fun things we could spot.  Enzo even saw a fish pop up to eat a bug when we stopped at one of the lake docks!

With so many different potential trails to go on, we chose one that had a boardwalk through a wetland area.  Considering we forgot bug spray, it probably wasn’t our greatest decision, but thankfully the mosquitoes haven’t been as bad this year as they usually are. We survived to tell the tale!

I was the one lagging behind for most of the day.  I am at my happiest in the woods, though, and I was soaking it in.  Plus, there were a lot of things to see!  Spider webs stretching across the trail over our heads, fungi and so many pretty flowers.

Now, this flower I thought for sure was a fungi, but it turns out it isn’t!  It seems to be most commonly known as Ghost Plant or Indian Pipe and is part of the blueberry family!  It looks so white because it has no chlorophyll and is a non-photosynthetic plant. Because it doesn’t photosynthesize, it’s basically a parasite that lives off of other plants like trees.  Anyway, it was the first time I had ever seen them and they really are kind of eerie growing in the darker shaded parts of wooded areas.

Just as we were headed on our way back to the nature center, we (or rather Josh) spotted a fantastic prairie area that we naturally just had to go explore. There was a breeze, and better yet, no mosquitoes, but it was nice to just see the prairie grasses wave in the wind and watch bees flit from blossom to blossom.

I’m pretty sure we’ll back.

Renaissance Festival Time… Again!

I know, wasn’t I just at the renaissance festival? Yes, it’s true, but this time I dragged Josh and the kids along wit me, and honestly? I could go again. There’s so much to see and with each weekend being a different theme there is always something new to see.  We all got dressed up and had a fairly decent time, all things considered.  The kids getting older, is such a huge plus and makes outings so much easier.  I think we may have to ditch the wagon next year, however, because they are outgrowing it and there were too many “She’s touching me” outbursts for my liking.  Truly, though, the kids had a magical time and I love seeing how kind everyone is to the kids.  Phoebe was so excited about seeing mermaids and Enzo, while not quite as enthusiastic about such ventures still managed to enjoy himself quite a lot.

We go to Fairy Forest every time. The kids rushed past the fairies this time… mostly because Phoebe really just wanted to wait in the very long line to see the mermaids. Haha!

We didn’t see any unicorns, but Phoebe found a unicorn horn that she just had to have.  I indulged because… hello? Unicorn horn?

We ran into so many nice people.  I think all of us had our photos taken by random people at least once, if not more for the kids. I love the overall atmosphere of the festival because everyone is generally just there to have a good time and indulge in some imaginative fun.  One girl (who didn’t work there) was dressed as Ariel from the Little Mermaid and she could not have been sweeter to Phoebe who recognized her and asked to say hello.  She gave her a big hug and it was so sweet!

You can see how excited Phoebe was to finally see the mermaids and more importantly, ask them their names.

Someone gave us the great idea of having Josh wait in line for the mermaids while I took the kids next door to play dress up… which they didn’t care about.  Tough customers, these ones.

The kids were intrigued, but a little nervous around the dragon. Enzo opted to stand back with Josh while I held Phoebe’s hand.

Josh and Enzo went on a swing ride – the one thing Enzo requested to do as we were walking around.

I tried to take photos with Phoebe while we waited for them, but she decided to be pouty. Ha!

The kids were getting tired, so we took Phoebe over to the elephants and Enzo and I tried to get a glimpse of the joust, but alas, there were too many people ahead of us and we couldn’t get a good spot to squeeze in as we were dragging the wagon with us.

All in all, a very good day.  We got in the car, drove to get ice cream and collapsed when we get home.

Don’t you love how both the boys have similar expressions, whereas Phoebe and I could have kept going?  So weird that Phoebe is so much like me and Enzo is so much like Josh.  Phoebe and I love our excursions and could generally be out of the house all day on a weekend, but the boys get tired and would rather play video games at home. Not this time, boys!

Week In Review – Make that Two…

Happy Monday!

Linking up with Meghan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets for another Week in Review!

I ended up not doing a week in review last Monday since it was a holiday and I had the day off and usually don’t blog on those days.  So… that means this week in review has double the fun!  Honestly, though, it’s been a nice mix of productive, restful, and fun.  I think I’m trying to fit in as much as possible while it’s so nice out.

Starting things, out we had a busy, but fun Labor Day weekend.  I talked Josh and the kids into dressing up and going to the Ren Fest and we had a great time.  Every year gets a little bit easier with the kids as they are able to walk more and enjoy exploring and people watching.  More on that later…

Then the kids and I had a play date with a friend and three of her boys.  The kids had a good time hanging out while Josh and some friends hung out at our house playing video games. We were able to hit up a splash pad and I am so happy that swim lessons has given them more confidence and there were no tears when water got in their eyes!

The guys continued game play well into the wee hours of the night, so I had some hang out time by myself once the kids went to sleep.  Can’t argue with that too much.

My shadow joined me as she usually does.

This past week we have finally gotten a few things put away and rearranged.  It really is never ending.  We also filled a few bags with stuff to donate, which is always a good feeling. Somehow Enzo still had size 2T pants in the back of his drawer.  Whoops!  Thankfully Phoebe was more than happy to claim some of Enzo’s hand me downs, but with how fast they’re growing, I had to make use of some Labor Day sales to start stocking their closets for cooler weather. Someone is just as excited as her mama about unicorns.

I had every intention of spending all of this weekend being super productive, but amazing weather on Saturday was calling me and I dragged everyone on a nature walk, which ended up being a fantastic idea. Aside from some bug bites, it was a great day and we will absolutely be hitting up these trails again.  There were these fun floating boardwalks that the kids loved and some flora that was completely new to me.

Now, to make this week more productive and I’m going to start my evening off right by hitting the gym later!

Have a fabulous week everyone!

Summer’s End

While Summer may not technically be over yet, it certainly feels that way.  School buses are in full force now and the leaves are changing on some of my favorite trees and temperatures are beginning to cool as well.  Enzo hopped on a bus to Kindergarten today, taking a piece of my heart with him as his smile practically exploded out of his face.

It was kind of perfect then that this last weekend before school commenced was so nice.  On Monday (after a couple of long, busy days) all the kids wanted to do was hang out and after I returned from shopping we went outside to enjoy that beautiful weather.

I was a little disappointed that we didn’t seem to have any monarchs this year on our Milkweed, but we still saw plenty this weekend, nonetheless, and some happy little bumblebees.

It says Mom ♥ Enzo ♥ Phoebe.  Sure, kiddo, just melt my heart a little more.  My eyes are watering because of allergies.  Allergies, okay??

This little lady also moved into the Preschool room this week. She still seems to think she’ll be going back to the Pre-Preschool room, however, and it’s taking some time to convince her that her old teachers are not her teachers anymore.

Thanks for a fabulous day, Universe.

The Zoo! Again!

I know what you’re thinking… the zoo again?  Well, that’s what happens when you have a membership.  You tend to go a lot.  Plus, I really wanted to see the new baby tiger, and the kangaroos will be going away soon, so it just seemed like the right time to go back. Also, I kind of insisted on it since everyone was cranky and I will not be trifled with!

Besides… isn’t she adorable?  I should have brought my better camera, but didn’t, so I guess I’ll just have to go back soon. Granted, it’s also hard to shoot through glass that is smeared and has a ton of glare.  Serious cute aggression happened, though.

It was overcast and we seemed to have arrived during nap time for most of the animals… again. Haha!

These kangaroos were not about to get up and I found it amusing that there were just a bunch of kangaroos lounging on a hill that usually has bison hanging out on it…

Sometimes it’s really just best not to ask what they’re doing.

Also… note to self that it’s time to invest in better anti-aging creams… Seriously??

Excitement, however!!  I have NEVER seen the beaver out when we’ve been to the zoo and there he/she was!

And then more animals slept…

We did get to see the Lynx stalk a bird, which was fun.  It was so cute when it’s butt and little tail started to do the whole wiggle.

They had to climb and fight over every single one of these damn statues throughout the zoo.  WHY???

Cuddle party, Lemur style!

The bats will never cease being cool.

Another guy we often don’t see up close… both of them actually. They don’t move and they always look fake.

A bigger version of Bowser. Ha!

And a flamboyance of Flamingos.  They are such a strange, but glorious bird.

And that is all I’ve got for this slightly overcast Wednesday.  We have Enzo’s Kindergarten open house this afternoon and then plans to go the gym, so we’ll see how that goes. We’re going to drop the kids off in gym childcare and see how the evening progresses!