Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Fun # 3 ~ First Trip to the Splash Park

We have actually managed to check off quite a few of our summer bucket list to do's the last couple of weeks.  I have actually managed to get out with the kids every day this past week at over 40 weeks pregnant so I think that is definitely an accomplishment.  The weather has definitely been feeling very summer-like although we have still had some rainy days too.  I have been pretty disappointed that none of the parks in our area of Charlotte have splash pads.  The closest one seems to be in the uptown area and is just not convenient for us.  There are several in the northern part of the city which is over a 30 minute drive from us.  We discovered a fairly new park in the neighboring town of Matthews (it is actually in Stallings, NC which is in Union County, but the address is Matthews) that is only about 15 minutes from us so we were excited to check it out.  Unfortunately, when we arrived after lunch, we discovered that the splash pad wouldn't come back on until 3:00 p.m. so we had over an hour to wait.  I let the kids get good and hot and dirty playing on the playground equipment while we waited. They had several nice separate playground areas for big and little kids.  They even had a merry-go-round which I have seen very rarely at parks these days probably because of safety reasons.  Evan tried it out, and I was glad that he didn't seem to be bothered by the motion because I have terrible motion sickness problems.  We played in the heat as long as we could stand it, and then we sat in the shade and cooled off until the splash pad opened.  All of the kids at the park were ready for it!

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Evan loved this neat little spinning sphere. 

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And Brody, of course, headed straight for the swings. 

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And this is what an overdue pregnant lady looks like in 90 something degree heat. 

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Big brother sweetly giving Brody a push on the swings. 

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Sweet boys at the park together.

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Brody walking across the big bridge by himself.  Mr. Independent!

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And he decided to go down the big slide too, but he didn't realize how hot it was until he sat down and then was a little hesitant. 
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Big boy climbing up the steps on the large play set by himself.  Where did my baby go? 

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Big brother wanted to try to help little brother go down the slide again. 

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And little brother did seem happier at the end. 

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Brody the airplane pilot

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My sweet pilots


Although we plan to repeat this trip several more times this summer, I won't always take this many pictures.  It was just our first time, and we wanted to capture the kids' excitement.  When we took Brody to one last summer, he wasn't walking yet and crawled around in the water.  Now, he headed straight for the biggest concentration of water and pretty much hung out there most of the time. Evan ran constantly until he grew too tired and cold to continue, but even then, he didn't want to leave when we asked him.

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Running into the water.  

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Brody's face says it all...loving it!

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I guess Evan was doing some ninja or karate move on the water spout. 

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Evan was harder to capture in pictures because of his constant movement.
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Brody checking out the big balls shooting water.

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Evan ran around the outside edge while Brody hung out mostly in the middle where most of the water was concentrated.
Daddy changed to the zoom lens to capture close up pictures.

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Just so quintessentially Brody...playing in water holding a car (two of his most favorite things).

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Oh that happy face!

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Haha!  He sprayed himself in the face!
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I love how he runs through the water with his eyes tightly closed.

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There's a happy face. 

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Brody did not let go of his car the whole time except maybe twice and then another kid would pick it up and give it back to him.

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Actually got one of them together.  

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They were soaked!

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Such a happy little boy in the water.

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When he would tire of just running in the water, he would drive his car around.

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Discovering the water ball.

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And Evan starts to get cold. 

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But not Brody!

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We did get Evan to stop and pose for a picture.

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But neither would cooperate for a picture with Mommy.

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Still not tired of the water.  This lasted for about an hour before we had to leave, and he probably could have kept on going. Of course, he passed out in the car.

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Mommy cuddling her cold baby. 

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Yep, he's still my baby!
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Summer Fun #2 ~ Evan's Swim Lessons

Evan has already had a relatively busy summer this month.  He went to Vacation Bible School with his cousin one week, and they had play dates several days.  His cousin spent the night, and Daddy took them bowling because it was raining heavily.  Then, he spent a night with his cousins before they left for the beach.  I don't have pictures of these events because parents don't attend VBS with the kids, and Daddy was flying solo for the bowling trip while Mommy and Aunt Jessica spent the morning on a girls' outing getting manicures/pedicures and eating lunch on Baby Mattie's due date when we still hoped her arrival was imminent.  We also signed Evan up for two aggressive weeks of daily swim lessons.  It was time for him to learn to let go in the water and relax and have fun.  He has always been so cautious in the water and refused to let go and swim freely without his floaties, and we felt that he was really missing out on a lot of fun since most of the kids his age are swimming and even diving now.  We have never minded Evan's unusually cautious nature because it has been so nice not having to worry "as much" about his safety, especially since we have to worry so much about his little adventurous brother's.  Anyway, during this two week session at a very reputable swim instruction facility in our area, he learned to have more confidence in the water and is now swimming short distances unassisted and is also freely swimming under water.  He hasn't learned any of the major swim strokes yet, but we didn't expect that.  Right now, we just want him comfortable in the water.  I feel confident that he and Daddy will be able to work more on swimming together this summer now that Evan has progressed beyond the basics.  We managed to capture a few shots of his lessons although we had to remain in the parent viewing room behind glass windows.  The shots aren't the greatest, but I love having them to remember this time for him.

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Evan in the pool on one of his first days of lessons.  He soon learned the water in this indoor pool was kept very cool, and he would come out shivering with blue lips.  We purchased him a warmer neoprene swim suit to help him be more comfortable and that seemed to help reduce his shivering.   

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He was in a class with two girls, but he didn't seem to mind. 

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Swimming across the little stretch of water with help the first day. 

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Going under water.  That's his head below the water. 

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Back up and no tears!

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Waiting his turn on the last day of swim lessons. 

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On his last day, he swam across a longer section under water by himself.  

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I was so proud of him!

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Floating on his back.  

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Swimming across above water using a board.  He needs to work more on his kicking out behind him.  His instructor said he is still doing "bike kicks" under the water.  

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We'll call these first lessons a success!
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