Wednesday, May 9, 2012

... we gotta get outta this...

... house....

This last Sunday was a glorious day. Part of this was due to weather - we had blue skies and sunshine, the flowers are blooming, the birds are up at 5a (disclaimer - I realize that for some readers, this would NOT be a reason for joy, but damn, I love early mornings in good weather!).

The first thing we did was, the girls went out in their jammies and picked flowers.

Part way through doing this, they decided that they wanted the flowers to be mother's day presents:

K: Daddy, can these be our mother's day presents?
L: Yeah, can these be our mother's day presents?
me: Sure, yeah. She'll be pleased.
K: But she has to close her eyes!
L: Yeah, she has to close her eyes!!
me: Ok, just be sure to let her know that.
K (yelling now, even though it's 7.30a on a Sunday morning): Mommy! You have to close your eyes!!
L (also yelling): Yeah, Momma!!! You have to close your eyes!!!

So she did, and we brought the flowers into the house and Momma got to open her eyes, and it was all good, if a week ahead of schedule.

Next, we walked down to the beach and back. This was our 3rd straight weekend outing in a row, and it was good.

Weekend outings are something M determined (correctly) that we needed to do - get the girls out and DOING things. They don't watch an huge amount of video (maybe 40+ minutes a day on a typical day), but we weren't liking the tendency they had of saying "we just want to watch something." So we made an explicit decision to start taking them out to do things.

The 1st weekend, we did a picnic at the beach. Except it was the first nice weekend in about 3 years, so everyone in Seattle was down at Alki. And we got started late due to problems finding anything (ANYTHING) that would work to wear at a picnic and the beach. So we drove and looked for parking and K wanted to go to Alki where we've been multiple times and where she knows the beach works well for "horses" and galloping and jumping and being rounded up. We ended up south of there, in a pocket park with a rocky beach below, and after eating our sandwiches, the girls and I climbed down and poked around in the dirty water while M communed with the dandelions and traffic on our blanket. It was good to get the family out into the sunshine and fresh air.

The 2nd weekend we went on a "hike" in Discovery Park. This involved a fair amount of complaining and moaning and approximately 3 hours of struggling to find the right things to wear. But once we got there, they made it the 1/2 mile(?) to a sandpit where they were horses and dug and neighed loudly and were the focus of a little boy's fascination.

The return hike of 1/2 mile went slightly less well and legs were tired and blood sugar low, but we made it, and both girls were pleased to have "gone hiking." Another successful outing.

This weekend we had thought about going to the Arboretum, but realized that it was opening day. In addition, the "super moon" was contributing to extra low tides, so we planned a beach trip down to Alki. And K made the mistake of asking if we were going to walk, a suggestion on which M and I jumped. (Note: The girls had walked with me down to Seacrest park to get the van I'd left there the day before, a walk of 1.6 miles, and while there were a few complaints, they actually did fine. So this walk down to Alki was going to be their second decent walk in 2 days.) So we spent about 7 days of frustration looking for and eventually finding some clothes that would work for wearing at one of the lowest tides of the year. M made some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and we walked down.

The tide was out, the girls were in fine form, and we had a blast. They went too long, got too wet and tired, all of which was revealed on our climb back up to the house, but they really did enjoy themselves, and they did a great job.

All of which is good for them, and makes M and me happy. We used to walk all the time, even when the girls were in strollers, but once they wanted out of the strollers, our walking was curtailed significantly. Now it feels like we're on the cusp of being able to do things like walk down to the beach again, and it's great. We didn't have to get into the car, didn't have to park, and everyone got to stretch their legs. And there's the feeling of accomplishment the girls felt on arriving back home (and climbing into a warm bubble bath).

Things went slightly less well during the afternoon, largely because the girls did not eat anything between our beach sandwiches and dinner. Poor K was so tired that she curled up in her chair and was unable to take a bite. L too was a mess, though a louder one than her sister. We weren't positive but suspected it had to do with blood sugar, so we worked at convincing the girls to eat, and when they finally did, they perked right up. And after dinner, because it was still so nice out, they went out to play with a flying disc that K got as a birthday present, while we (the parents) watched. Which means that M did a bit more weeding and I lay in the hammock, at least until an errant toss sent the disc my way, at which point I jumped up and M and I played keepaway from the girls, to much loud yelling, girl-screams, and laughter. Who says you can't have fun with your kids! By teasing them!!

All in all, a grand weekend was had by all of us. Thanks to the weather, and to M's  idea of getting us all out to have fun on a more regular basis.

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