Thursday, February 26, 2015

Key Lime Cove- A Recap

Being from Illinois, we are hardy souls.  We can drive our cars through snow and slush; we deal with boots, mittens, and hats; and we resign ourselves to being cold and pasty white until at least April (at which time I will just become less cold and less pasty white).

A change of scenery helps, though, and a tropical getaway-- even if it's just to the pretend tropics-- definitely helps. Last weekend, Frank, Jacob, and I went up to the indoor water park resort Key Lime Cove in Gurnee, IL.

Grandma Anna and Grandpa Gary generously offered to stay with Carter that weekend because Carter hates waterparks... and vacations... and anything remotely fun and/or non-routine.

This was our third trip to Key Lime Cove  (See previous trip recaps here and here.).  I think we comment every year about how much easier this year was compared to previous, but really, going with a 5 year old is a breeze.

As soon as we arrived, we put on our swim suits and hit the water park.

This year was the first year that Jacob was big enough for the big waterslides, and also the first year that Frank and I got to enjoy the slides and lazy river.




We had a lot of fun on this play structure.

We played all afternoon, and then went back to the room to get ready for dinner.  Some of the best perks of the resort are the fact that there are so many amenities on-property, and everything can be charged to your room via your wristband.  It is awesome not having to get in the car and be cold again! Going to dinner in sandals is a luxury I haven't had since last summer!

It's like the restaurant knew I was coming!

A nice gentleman at the neighboring table offered to take this picture of Frank and me

Jacob was OVER having his own, personal paparazzi!

After dinner went back to the water park and played on some of the smaller slides and in the wave pools.  This was the first year I really felt like we got our money's worth out of the water park area. By the time we left, we were prunes!

Then we cleaned up (again) and walked around a bit

and found a few souvenirs.

We went back to the room at this point, and Jacob put on his PJs.  I thought he might like going back downstairs to get ice cream in his PJs, and he did! He thought he was hot stuff walking the halls in his "sleepy-pants."

By this time, Frank and I were tired, and thought Jacob would probably crash once we went back to the room.  Oh, how naive we were! When there are beds to bounce on, who needs sleep?!

Finally, around 9:30. we declared lights out.

The next morning, since the pool didn't open until 10, and we needed to leave before then, we went down to play some arcade games.  For the most part, he was content to sit and "drive" most of the games.

Notice the credit in the picture below?  Still a cheap date!

There were some games we actually did play, though.  Frank and Jacob are big air hockey fans

I just loved their intense looks of concentration:

Then Jacob figured out that if he blocked the goal with his forearm, Frank wouldn't be able to score. Little cheater!

Frank is also teaching him how to play ski-ball.

It was a really nice weekend!  I definitely love this tropical, Florida Keys vibe of this resort, especially in the middle of winter.  It was just the getaway we needed!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Family Fun

Last weekend, Carter made his first trip to a bowling alley.  It's been a while since we've all gone bowling; the last time, Jacob was very young, and Carter was about four months old.  It's a great winter family activity, though, and we hit the local bowling alley ready to have some fun.

Our first stop was to get shoes.  Oh, teeny-tiny toddler bowling shoes... could there be anything cuter?

Apparently, not everyone thought so.  Carter was not a fan of the bowling shoes, and spent about five minutes yelling for his regular shoes.

Eventually, he became distracted by all the other new things:  the lights, the ball return, the pretty, pretty bowling balls.  Once he saw Frank roll his first ball down the lane, he was intrigued.


Jacob isn't a bad little bowler.  We did have bumpers (that came in handy for Frank and me!), but he understood some of the concepts much more than he did a few years ago.

Look at his ball.  It's probably still, as you read this, rolling towards the pins.  Bowling with preschoolers is really, really slow

Like, really



The boys thought they were cool dudes, though.  They were high five-ing us and each other with every roll.

The cuteness lasted for all of six frames.

After that, I'm not sure what happened.  Jacob was pumped and ready to play another game, but Carter was d-o-n-e!  We finished the game, but it wasn't pretty. Even though we ended with lots of tears and shushing, we accomplished our real goal.  It's important to us to give our kids lots of fun and lots of new experiences.

Eventually, we'll be able to have an outing with no tears or freak-outs about shoes.  Jacob is our proof that "family fun" can actually be fun, if you just persevere.  For the most part, he enjoys new activities, new situations, and new people.  Carter will get there...eventually... maybe slower than the strikes he throws, but he will get there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

This Is How We Do It...

Are you tired of these random, update-type posts?  That's just how life is right now; no big events, but we're just doing our day-to-day thing.

And this is how we do it:

In his "miner's hat" playing with slime

Playing outside in the snow

Playing inside in the snow

Carter and Kitty Girl and Jacob and Mimi, all dressed up in their sunglasses

Friday night movie nights (I think he's showing me his popcorn here.)

Feeding his dolphin cotton balls

Running around the house like a crazy person

Pajama and Pancake Day at Preschool

Wrestling on the bed with daddy

Practicing his chopsticks skills with a little beef stir fry

This is Carter's door.  When you knock on it, he takes it off his head and yells, "Come in!"

And I'll finish it up with a picture of Dr Love and the Love Machine in their Valentine's shirts from Grandma and Grandpa J.