Friday, August 4, 2017

Zoo time

We took a trip to the zoo to meet the new baby polar bears.  Last year the Columbus Zoo had one baby polar bear.  This year they had three!  When we first went to the polar bear exhibit, we found out baby polar bears take morning naps too! 

So we did a little more exploring and had lunch.  After lunch we saw the twin baby bears!  They were swimming with their momma, and we went underground to watch from the underwater viewing area.  It was really neat to see the polar bears swim above us! 

After the polar bears, we spent very little time actually looking at animals.  We climbed on a lot of statues, visited the petting zoo (I guess we did see a lot of goats!), and visited the water play area.  Oh well, that's why we have a membership.  We can visit one animal at time and then just goof off.

Always a favorite - the giant moose statue

The first polar bear that we saw for the day.

Then we went to the petting zoo.  Laney's first chance to pet a goat!  She didn't like it very much.

These two are old pros at goat petting.  The immediately grabbed their brushes and got to grooming.

This little boy is so sweet.

The newest play area at the zoo is this ocean themed splash playground.  They love climbing on all these animals!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pool Time

My water babies have been loving the pool this summer.  We used to frequent splash parks and fountains as they were less scary than the pool.  However, now Eliana absolutely loves the pool and begs to go all the time or to fill our little pool up with water.  Laney and Will love the water too and could splash around all day.  They don't mind where they are as long as they are wet!  It can be a challenge to go to the pool just me and the three kids.  But Will and Laney both like the shallow water and Eliana swims really well with her puddle jumper on.  I hope David can join us at the pool some next month so that Eliana will have more chances to swim without her floatie.  We have been taking swim lessons and she has gotten pretty good at swimming by herself.  I just don't have enough arms to handle helping her swim while watching the two younger ones.  Either way she has fun.  Lately she has been staying in the shallow water too so that she can swim around with her googles on and hunt for things at the bottom of the pool.  Laney likes to sit and splash or be pulled through the water.  Will likes to stand in the shallow water and then jump up and splash on his bottom.  He also like to lay on his belly and crawl around on his arms pretending to be a crocodile.

Laney's first pool experience.  She loved the baby pool!  She hates her hat, but luckily it ties under her chin.  Her hair is so thin I worry about her head getting a sunburn.  Plus she looks cute in her little sun hat.

Swimming with her sister. My ladies in pink.

Will swam for a while but then preferred to sit on my lap.


After the pool, the kids wanted to take a trip in the wagon.  So I wrapped them all up and we just walked up and down the street.  They really like this wagon G.G. gave to us.

At the Upper Arlington public pool.  Laney and I are taking a break while the big kids splash in the shallow water.
 Look familiar??? Here is a picture from 2012 of Eliana at 9 months old at my sister Abby's wedding in the same swim suit.  And funny enough, the visor I am wearing in the above picture is from the resort we stayed at for her wedding!

Another day at the pool with Laney

Will wanted in on the selfies too

Mother's Day and Father's Day

For Mother's Day this year, David asked me what I would like.  I told him two things: one, I did not want to cook at all that day.  Two, I would like the kitchen floor mopped.  Mopping the floor is one of my top "want to do but never seem to find the time to do it" chores.  Our light colored kitchen floor shows dirt so easily but mopping never seems to trump dishes and laundry for most needed, so it just never gets done.  Anyway, I had the most wonderful Mother's Day.  I can't think of a much better day.  The kids went with David to the Lil Donut Factory and got me donuts for breakfast.  Then everyone dressed up really nicely for church and looked beautiful.  David made a delicious lunch and dinner, and cleaned up the kitchen after all the meals.  I was able to relax all day and just spend time with the kids without trying to get anything done.  And the best part was when David asked the older two to help him mop the kitchen.  They were so excited!  I really should mop more often, since the kids like it so much.  It really isn't even a chore haha.  I sat in Laney's room nursing her to sleep for a nap while I watched my amazing crew work on the kitchen.  Eliana had a scrub brush and was hitting all of the worst spots on her hands and knees.  William followed behind with a toothbrush while Eliana directed him on what to do.  Then David mopped right along behind them, making sure it was all sparkling clean.  As I rocked Laney, I just thought about how lucky I am to be so loved.  It was an absolutely perfect day.

Watching the cleaning crew.  It was quite a sight.  See Eliana trying to show William what to do?  And note my toes in the bottom of the picture - that's because I was sitting back with my feet up!

Pretty girl on Mother's Day

Tried to get a picture of my kids dressed so nice.  This was the best....

Now trying outside

Still can't get a great picture, but there is a lot of love in this one anyway!
For Father's Day, Eliana's friend Violet said that she was going to bring her dad breakfast in bed.  Eliana thought that was a great idea!  Unfortunately, David had to work on Father's Day, so breakfast in bed would have to be served around 5:30am.  I told Eliana that just wouldn't work this year.  So instead, she had the great idea to serve David ice cream in bed!  When David got home from work in the evening, she told him to go right to bed.  David gave her a strange look, but obliged.  We had made homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream the day before (with mint from our garden!) which we scooped up for him along with store bought chocolate.  Then Eliana and William rushed the bowl into our room for him.  David found the whole thing very sweet and funny.  He ate his ice cream and the got back up to spend the evening with the family.  So while his day wasn't quite as relaxed as mine was, I think he still felt how loved he was by the kids and me. 

Ice cream in bed!

Will wasn't so worried about getting to be with his dad as he was about getting a scoop of his ice cream. (This totally made me thing of Will from when Laney was born.)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Babysitters

Eliana and William sometimes offer to "babysit" Laney for a while.  Sometimes that goes better than others.  Eliana makes me nervous because she likes to pick Laney up and carry her around the house.  Laney thinks this is hilarious (usually).  Very luckily, Laney has not been dropped on her head yet.  William also likes to play with Laney at times, but he gets frustrated because Laney typically does not like to play with him. 

I was getting dressed one morning.  I left Laney on the floor of her siblings' room playing.  Then I found her in Eliana's bed with Eliana changing her diaper! She really is ready to start babysitting!

A sweet pajama party

Laney had been on the floor, but then I found her and her sister like this. Eliana had made her a "crib" full of toys and was blocking the side so she wouldn't roll out.

She takes it in stride though. Super smiley girl.

Water Play at COSI

My kids love water!  Which is funny for me to say because I can remember fighting with Eliana to get in the bathtub when she was a toddler.  She hated water!  She would scream and fight if you tried to give her a bath.  And now all three kids are like little fish.  COSI recently redid the water area.  Nothing was drastically different, but it did mean that area had been closed the last couple of times we visited the museum.  So my kids were excited to see it back open again.  On this day, my brother and niece joined us for some fun. 

I took Laney down to her diaper to play in the infant area.  Eliana wanted to know how she could get up into those little seats.  She was pretty disappointed to find out that water table was just for infants, and said to me several times, "I wish I could sit up there with Laney."

Meanwhile, Uncle Michael played with Claire and William.


Eliana taking a whale for a dip in the water.

This girl LOVED the water table.  She splashed and splashed!  Then she cried when I had to take her out.

The big kids wanted to play with Laney so bad.  The found a couple of whale toys and took them to swim in the water table.  They kept bringing Laney different toys to play with in the water.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Camera trouble and a trip to the park

I haven't been blogging recently because I have been dealing with camera trouble or more specifically SD card troubles.  I have been trying to get pictures off of my camera onto my laptop for several weeks.  I finally figured out that my SD card is corrupted so I had to download a data recovery tool to extract the pictures.  Success!  I have all the pictures off of my camera and I am resigned to just using my iPhone for picture taking for now.  However, that whole process took me several nights of work, which is when I would usually be blogging.  So here is just a really quick note about a trip to the park we took the other day.  We actually went to Fancyburg Park, which I assumed meant we would be playing on the playground.  However, Eliana's new favorite thing is to go on "hikes" through the small wooded area to the side of the playground.  She was the leader, on the lookout for castles and worms.  William was a princess knight looking for swords and shooters. Eliana kept telling him that he was a prince instead of a princess, but William insisted he was a Princess Knight because of some TV show he saw.  I have no idea what he is talking about.

We found a great tree leaning way over that made a perfect seat.  Don't worry, I'm holding Laney's foot out of the picture.

Exploring the woods means looking for worms!  Eliana usually tries to bring them home, but I try to convince her that worms' favorite home is dirt.

She loves worms!

William with his "sword" and "shooter."  He also tries to bring all of his sticks home, but we have a rule that sticks stay outside, just like worms.

We took the wagon to the park this time.  Eliana insisted on bringing lots of stuffed animals.

Walking home, William wanted to pull Laney in the wagon.  He actually pulled her about halfway home (1/4 mile) before he asked to ride in it too. Such a sweet big brother!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nashville Vacation

After Easter, our family took a little vacation to Nashville, TN to visit David's brother Ray who lives there.  His mom joined us for the week and his dad was able to come at the very end of the trip as well.  We had a pretty relaxed vacation.  I found an Airbnb condo to stay in that was very close to Ray's apartment.  This was the first time I had used Airbnb and was really happy with how well it went.  I liked having a little more space than a hotel room with two bedrooms and a kitchen but the price was really reasonable for Nashville.  The weather wasn't great - it rained almost every day we were there.  So we spent a lot of time laying around, taking naps in the afternoons, and hanging out with family.  One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting the Nashville Zoo.  They have done a great job of having meandering paths through the zoo with lots of trees and shade.  The exhibits seemed almost more incorporated into a natural environment instead of just going from one cage to the next to look at animals.  The highlight of the zoo for Eliana was seeing the clouded leopard.



William got to pet a kangaroo!  They were way softer than I expected. 
We also got to pet tortoises.  These ones were just the babies.  Full grown ones can weigh up to 250lbs.  We also found out they like to eat kale and lettuce.  Now Eliana asks all the time if we can have a pet tortoise and she says she will feed it kale.


William and Grandma
The whole crew minus Eliana and myself.  We did have one day of sunshine!

Cuties in their matching hats.
The next day we went for a little hike at Percy Warner Park that was just a 20 min drive from where we were staying.  It drizzled a little while we were hiking, but luckily the park had a great nature center that we visited while it was pouring rain.  Eliana, who is not always very excited about having to walk places, was surprisingly the group leader on the hikes.  She really enjoyed leading the way and pointing things out like when steps were up ahead.  William also did surprisingly well and only needed to be carried for a short time.  Laney spent most of the hike in the Ergo either eating or sleeping.

My hiking partners.  If you are wondering what that apron thing is hanging on me, it is the Ergo carrier buckled around my waist but not in use yet.


On Saturday Eliana, Ray, and I went to the Adventure Science Center while the little kids napped and David watch a soccer game (I think) on TV.  While it was not quite as fun as the Children's Museum in Indianapolis or COSI here in Columbus, there were some fun things to do.  Eliana especially loved the small dinosaur exhibit.

T-Rex skull

Dinosaur explorer


All went well until we left and were on our way to church.  Eliana suddenly declared that she could not find her new stuffed animal Black Spot the clouded leopard (from our trip to the zoo).  She had basically not put her leopard down since she got it at the zoo and was in tears that it had been lost.  She had tucked it inside her rain coat as we were leaving the museum, and it must have fallen out while we were running to the car in the pouring rain.  Ray quickly turned the car around and returned to the museum, but we could not find it.  I felt so bad watching the little tears roll down Eliana's face.  We devised a rescue plan - I reported the lost leopard to the museum with the hope that it would be returned.  A few days after our return to Columbus, the leopard was amazingly found (*on Amazon.com) and mailed to our house! The museum (wink, wink) had even cleaned the stuffed animal and repaired the small hole in the seam on one of the leopard's legs.  Eliana was overjoyed!  Black Spot has continued to be her favorite toy these days. 

On our last day in Nashville, Ray and his parents prepared us an amazing brunch before our return drive.  We enjoyed the morning together, watching videos of clouded leopards and playing in Ray's apartment.  The drive home was quite long and Laney cried for much of it, but overall, we had a really nice time.  It was a great family trip.