Here's Liberty Park, which, as it turns out, is a totally awesome place to take your kids on a mildly hot day. There is so much to do. The lake in the background, for instance, is full of ducks and geese that you can feed. If you're really lucky, you can sit in goose poop. On this outing, only I got that special honor.
There is a six hundred year old carousel at liberty park. I know that's how old it is because my mom said she rode it as a kid.
We went to the Tracy Aviary. Here birds of prey sit perfectly still and don't do anything interesting you can take pictures of like swoop down and rip apart the rabbits in the bottom of their cages into tiny bits in front of your small children. Dangit. So we just took a picture of this one in the fountain outside.
Liberty park also sports a small labrynth of leaf-filled streams that lead to a murky pond that you can let your kids wade in on a hot day. At least if giardia isn't a problem for you. Clearly it isn't for me. It's especially fun to let your kids go in if you have no bathing suits with you. It makes it super funny to watch them haul their soggy diapers around.
Here's Beck adding spit to the mix.
Splash me and you die, Kid.
Note, they also have super cheap popcorn and Icees at Liberty Park. I can't believe I haven't been sooner.
This is Daphne sporting her new pigtails. Show off. Just cause you're super adorable and perfect at all times doesn't mean I want to keep taking pictures of you. Ok, it does.
We got a blow up pool when la familia came to town. It's about 12x6' and a foot deep. Warmed in the sun all day, it gets up to balmy 90 degrees. So I sit on the deck with a book and watch the kids drown each other. If someone would just serve me pina coladas all day, I'd say it was almost as good as being on the beach in Cancun. Um, not.
Practicing her beauty queen wave. (for the swim-suit competition.)
Just one step away from Ophelia...
The kids took swimming lessons this year at the local city pool. Daphne was in a preschool age class, and Beck was in a Mom and Tot class with me. The two classes met in different pools. And each child was convinced that the other one's pool was warmer. So every day I got to try to drag them into the appropriate pool, while the other one ran for the other pool. We followed that activity up with the daily ritual of fighting over who got to put the "nickels and diamonds" into the vending machine for our after-swim snack. I'm no sure if they learned to swim, but they both learned that J-34 gets you a bag of M&M cookies.
Nothing says male bonding like Daddy and Beck playing Ponyville together. As in "My Little PonyVille."
This is the kids' cousin Conner (on the left) and pseudo-cousin Tanner (in the middle). Conner is pretty much an exact replica of what Big Daddy looked like at that age. So if Beck takes after Big Daddy as much as people always tell me he does, here is a picture of Beck in 10 years (minus the nerdy expression.) (On second thought, Beck will be 12, so keep the nerdy expression).
This is what the kids live for at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Except Beck. he just holds on for dear life. Especially when Auntie Sarah is driving (how many cars have you totalled, Sarah? Wink;)
Part Deux on it's way....