Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Totally Cute Tuesday

Grumpy Bear is going on an adventure, I guess
She dressed him, put shoes on him, and buckled him in. He was grumpy the whole time. (That's my dad's sense of humor coming out...) 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tuscora Park: A Hidden Gem

My Aunt Cathy sent me an email in the spring with information on two different kiddie parks she thought Addy might like - Memphis Kiddie Park and Tuscora Park. I had never heard of either of them. After reviewing the websites for each, I decided Tuscora Park seemed to be a very neat place. On Friday, we finally made the trip there, along with Aunt Cathy and Grandma. 

The park is located in New Philadelphia, about an hour drive from us. It is an expansive, well maintained park with numerous pavilions, picnic tables, and open grassy areas.

There are at least three large, modern playgrounds throughout the park - possibly even more in areas that we didn't make it to. Addy really enjoyed the playground pictured below.

She's in there somewhere, climbing the rope ladder

There is a beautiful, serene pond with a fountain, surrounded by lots and lots of geese.

There are three swimming pools: a lap pool, a diving pool, and a kiddie pool. All are enclosed in their own area and surrounded by lots of grassy area. 

And then there's the main attraction that brought us to the park: the kiddie amusement rides! 

Kiddie planes

Kiddie cars & trucks (hilarious that she climbed in with a girl
that could be mistaken for her twin!)
This part of the park is ideal for kids of Addy's age and/or heighth. A few of the rides are for children 40"-48" only. Addy is 41"...can you believe my three-year-old is 41" tall already?!?!? 
There is even a roller coaster! It's low to the ground and a short ride with just a few hills, but it does go fairly fast and it's pretty jerky. The operator lets it go around the track three times before stopping it. Addy wanted to ride it when we first arrived, but chickened out after she handed her ticket to the operator. When it was time to choose her final ride of the day, she decided she was brave enough to try again. But...as soon as the coaster made its descent down the first hill, she freaked out. 

She's the girl in the front that looks like she just crapped her pants.

As the coaster approached the operator stand, she begged the girl to stop and let her off, and she did. She came running down the ramp toward me, terrified and sad, exclaiming that it was way too fast. I am very proud of her for trying, though.

There are also a few rides that adults can enjoy with the kids:

The train - Addy insisted we sit in separate seats the second time
we rode it
Aunt Cathy on the carousel

Addy, me, and Aunt Cathy ready for the carousel to start. This was the second
time we rode it, when Addy was brave enough to ride a horse for the first time.

We are up in the blue cage on the ferris wheel

There's Addy peeking out
Grandma prefers to be behind the camera rather than in front of it, but to prove she was with us, here is a picture of her at the bench below while we were on the ferris wheel:

Grandma was there, I swear
There were a couple of meltdowns, and at least three trips & falls (typical incidents for any outing lately). But I am truly blown away by how wonderful Tuscora Park is. A repeat visit will definitely be on our summer to-do list for next year!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hey, I put some new shoes on

And suddenly everything is right!

Shoes have been an ongoing battle here for about six months. Addy puts up a massive fight when we require her to wear anything other than her favorite boots:

I do love these boots. And she gets a compliment on them at least once
every single time she wears them out.

She claims all her other shoes hurt her feet, or feel weird, or are messed up, or are tricky, or just aren't right. I let her wear her boots whenever possible, because they're easy on and easy off and it avoids conflict. But, sometimes, real shoes that stay on and are safe to walk in are required, you know? The only pair, of about six to choose from, that she will wear is her old, worn down, filthy, too-small-for-her-feet tennis shoes. And because they are too small, she has spent the last two months or so wearing them without socks. So guess what? They smell like death warmed over, smothered in rotten trash, and then peed on. I'm not kidding either - because she did pee on them at some point. I reached my limit with them, so I bought a new pair of very similar tennis shoes for her. She must have reached her limit too, because she LOVES them and has not argued about wearing them one single time!  

"Hey! I'm ready to go somewhere in my new shoes, RIGHT NOW. So can
you please get this seat in the car?!?!?!"

"C'mon mom. I'm serious here. I'm ready to go."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer of Swimming

Addy's love for water has blossomed this summer, starting with our family vacation in June, during which she learned to swim on her own with her float on. Here are some pics from a few of the water adventures we've been enjoying:

Addy and Aunt Steph floating in the pool on vacation
(Point Harbor, NC)

My baby went kayaking in the sound!!!! Here she is with Jake,
getting brave and adventurous.

Climbing onto the dock after kayaking.

Addy and Aunt Steph relaxing in the hot tub on vacation
(Point Harbor, NC)

Riding the dolphin float in the pool on vacation

Sinking her toes into the sand at the ocean
(Nags Head, NC)

Swimming with mommy (and Grandma) at the condominium pool
of Grandma's friend

Swimming with a buddy in the pool at the home of one of Grammy's friends

Making new friends at the home of one of Grammy's friends

And here is a video of Addy newly swimming throughout the pool on vacation:

Before the summer is out, we hope to spend an afternoon up on the shores of Lake Erie, and hit up the pool at least one more time. I love to see her confidence growing with each trip into the water!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The dress up stage is in full effect

She's even pulling up her dress to show off her sparkly shoes. And now I really want to repurpose an old dresser into a dress-up wardrobe, like this on Pinterest: