Monday, August 29, 2011

No Way


Just before school started last week we took a quick trip to Kentucky Lake for a vacation. A full blown write up about that experience is coming. In the mean time I wanted to write about something funny that happened while we were there.

At the beach there was a big pirate ship with a slide that the kids were playing on. Besides the slide the most notable feature was this cool ramp leading up to the ship. It had rope hand railings and really added to the pirate ship look.

At some point Luke was blocking the ramp and Alyce was wanting to get up on top of the ship. We told her to use one of the 3 other ways of getting up on the ship that were available to her. She would have none of that she was focused on one way only. Mom and I then told her to ask Luke to step aside so she could go up. She repeated what we said and Luke replied "no way!" as he stuck out his hand in a stop sign motion. We erupted with laughter. Luke was smiling because we found something he did to be funny. Alyce didn't see the humor as much as we did.

Eventually she did make her way up to the pirate ship.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day at the Zoo

Saturday we spent the day at the zoo. Surprisingly it wasn't too crowded. With the nice run of weather and school being back in session we figured there would be some pent up demand.
We were happy to see that the hippo exhibit was open. Last time we were here it was closed due to cracks in the aquarium. I could see why the zoo management would want to avoid a few thousand gallons of water and a hippo greeting their guests first hand.
A quick ride on the train and some lunch and before we knew it we were looking at some penguins. It was a pretty warm day outside and walking into a fake penguin habitat at 40 degrees was quite the shock. Mom and I enjoyed the weather however Alyce did not. I held Alyce close to save some body heat and we managed to see all of the penguins and puffins hang out on shore and swim in their tanks. Penguins are pretty cool. They look so clumsy on land yet fly like fighter jets when in the water.
After the penguins I took the kids for a ride on the carousel and after that we needed to leave. We had to leave  early because nap time was fast approaching and we still needed to see GiGi; she's at the hospital. Alyce was not too happy about this because she wanted to see the giraffes and we hadn't gone past the giraffe enclosure. It didn't help that the giraffe area was on the opposite side of the zoo, up a hill, and the point farthest from our car. She whined for a bit but gave up before we got to the car. She was dragging pretty bad on the walk back and I had to carry her about half the time.

It was a good day even if the kids were a bit whiny at times. The zoo is always a blast and with free admission you can't go wrong. Being a zoo friends member is also a boon. Free parking and train rides make the trip even easier.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Learning to Swing

A great byproduct of us having our new playground is that Alyce has learned how to swing! She isn't great at it yet but does well enough to get some momentum and keep it without adult interaction. Mom and I have been trying to teach her how to do it for some time by telling her to move her legs but she didn't "get it" or she didn't care to learn as we would just push her. Now that she can do it all by herself we only have to push Luke and he doesn't want to swing as nearly as much as she does.

Sibling Cuteness

I managed to grab a few cute pictures of the kids while they were out playing on the swing set. The swing set so far is working out great. The kids are always asking to play on it and make use of swings, clubhouse, and slide. If we can get a few years of use out of it I'd say that we got our money's worth.

First Day of School

Wednesday was Alyce's first day of her second year of preschool. She isn't going to the same school as last year as we moved last winter to our new town and school district. It is unfortunate that we had to pick her up from a known environment to something completely new and strange.

The first day of school this year was a bit hectic. Not really hectic for Alyce but more so for Mom and I. The day before we had just gotten back from a mini vacation and were not really prepared for school. Mom filled out all the necessary paperwork the night before. Also because we were gone we missed orientation for her school. I don't think we missed much but not knowing exactly where to go the first day is a bit unnerving.

Just like in years past we took pictures of Alyce on her first day with her new backpack on her shoulders all excited about what was to come. Luke managed to get into most of the shots but that's ok. I think he was excited for her. He'll get his turn soon. His school starts in September.

The environment at this school is different than her old school. At her old school the preschool room was a little cabin separated from the rest of the elementary school. It kind of had a Mr. Roger's feel that made you think you were part of a family rather than in a class. Whereas at the new school the classroom is in the lower level of the main building and the walls are cinder block. It has that "classroom" feel to it. Not to say it isn't inviting but you get the impression that they mean business. I may have that all wrong; it was only the first day.

When I got home from work that day I asked Alyce how her day at school went. She skipped and jumped towards me and said it was "awesome!". So I'm guessing she had a good time. I asked her what she did at school that day and she said that she played in the pretend area and pretended to be a cleaner. I'm not sure what that all entailed but more power to her if that is what she wanted to be.

Mom talking to her teacher got the scoop on her day. She said that Alyce had a good day, that she was really sweet, and played in the pretend area. While in the pretend area she tried on some fancy shoes. She went on to say that at the end of the day the class had a big bear hug and that kind of freaked her out. Mom and I weren't surprised to hear that.

Finally I heard from Alyce that one of the girls in her class had the same backpack. If this were prom that'd be horrible. However, I think Alyce thought that was pretty cool. The girl with the same pack pack, her name was Lana or Dana. I can't be sure which one it was because she was an identical twin. That should be interesting.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lego Time

During our trip to Disney World we visited the Lego store at Downtown Disney. I'm not sure all that they had in stock but it seemed like they sold every active Lego set available. One set I picked up because it was rather unique and because I hadn't seen it any place else was a Lego Sea Monster.

The sea monster set was a replica of a giant Lego monster outside the store sitting in a lagoon. When Mom and I went to Disney World on our honeymoon we took the below picture. Now that we are back with the kids I thought it would be neat to have a Lego statue of it.

I waited until we got home to assemble the set; I didn't want to lose any pieces. Upon seeing the box Alyce was excited to help me assemble it. I was hesitant at first to let her help. I wanted it for myself and because I wasn't in the mood to find every piece for her and to tell her where they go. This all took place the day we got back from Disney World and I didn't have the energy to fight against her demands. So just before she broke into tears (she was exhausted too) I relented and let her help put it together.

Alyce did a really great job putting the set together. There were lots of little pieces but they were standard Legos and not weird ones so it was easy to find what we were looking for. In addition two of pieces of body were identical so after finishing the first one Alyce cruised through the second. Most surprising to me was how well Alyce handled the instructions. Once I showed her the pieces that were needed she would compare the current picture vs the previous and was able to put the pieces in the right position.

What I thought was going to an exhausting frustrating time turned out to be a pretty neat father daughter moment. Alyce isn't ready to graduate to big kid Legos yet but there's a preview of things to come.

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