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.

Week in Review – Mostly Just the Weekend

Happy Monday!

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

 

Random occurrences and accomplishments – this week there were few accomplishments, let’s just be honest.  It was a fairly typical week with extra sugar and treats in the mix thanks to V-Day.  As if the kids really need extra candy… or me for that matter.

  • We rented The Girl on the Train and didn’t finish watching it.  We probably would have watched the whole thing had Phoebe not decided to crawl into bed and watch it with us (not exactly kid friendly) but we had already reached the plot twist point and figured we’d turn it off.  I read the book when it first came out ages ago, and remember it being fairly good, but the movie was so sloooooow and just didn’t work for us. It should be noted, though, that Emily Blunt was fabulous as always. She’s great.
  • Phoebe has been on a major Sleeping Beauty kick lately (wanting to read the book every single night) so we watched the movie on Saturday.

  • On Saturday night we went over to my sister-in-law’s house for a gathering, which was fun. The kids are always up for hanging out with their cousins. I made fondue, and I’m going to have to do that more often… only I think with a smaller pot. I always forget just how much it makes and the recipes are enough for probably a dozen people eating copious amounts of chocolate.
  • We also went to the library Saturday morning. I had a book on hold, and the kids were happy to grab a few new books to read as well.
  • The best part of the week was the weekend because we were able to spend some time outside. Hello awesome weather!

I attempted to teach the kids how to play tag in between them riding various toys. Enzo got the rules, but Phoebe was a tad confused. Haha!  I definitely got in my workout, though!

  • There was some gaming to be had, though.  I even kicked the boys off the TV so I could play my game for a bit.  After all that running around and a late night on Saturday, the kids were more than ready to just chill on the couch for a while.

Happy Monday everyone!

Solitude on the Road

I’ve always loved going for drives in the car, mostly as the passenger, but I’ll gladly do the driving if it means being alone and recharging for a bit and possibly doing some exploring. One thing I miss from Colorado is that feeling of remoteness that I often had. I didn’t live in a big town or even that near a big city so it was very easy to drive a short distance and feel like there weren’t a lot of people around. It’s been a little more difficult to find that here nearer a big city without having to drive too far.  So, I had the idea to take day and do a lot of driving on a weekend and Josh said, why not stay the night somewhere so you don’t have to do all that driving in one day?  Sold!

I think everyone needs to be on their own at times, but as an introvert it’s a necessity for me.  I do often get quiet time each day, but it doesn’t always feel like enough, especially when one or both kids has trouble sleeping and that time is interrupted. Also, as much as I love the cats, Uzi has somehow become even clingier and the second I relax, he’s on my lap. There are times when I am just touched out – by kids, by cats, by everyone and everything and even my own skin feels like it’s too much. So, this time away was very much needed and overdue.  I drove… and drove… I think I spent about 10 hours in the car total?  I went with the intention of looking for birds and did find some, though, not as many as I had hoped.  I didn’t take any amazing photos, but I did find a very funny squirrel and most of all I found space to breathe deeply and in silence.

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I accidentally left my really warm clothes at home, so without my big hat and gloves I wasn’t able to do much of the wandering by foot I had wanted to do. It was around zero outside, and with just a light knit hat and gloves I didn’t want to wander too far.  The snow was crunchy so I managed to scare a deer or two and some other birds, but once I got farther away from a road (with barely any traffic) I just stopped and it was… perfect. I could hear birds even if I couldn’t see them, many of which I had never heard before.  I could hear the scurry of squirrels and what I imagine was another deer or two as the crunch of the snow was louder, but more delicate than my own trudging.  It was in that moment that I knew when we got our own cabin it has to be more remote. I need a place to recharge on a more regular basis.  I need my place, you know? Now if we can just find that perfect spot near a lake for Josh. Granted, my ideal place would be in the mountains, but I’ll take what I can get.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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?

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

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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!

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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!

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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.