I’m ashamed to say we’ve lived in this area for almost 6 years and this park is 2.5 miles from my house and Monday was our first time there.
In my defense about not knowing about this park, it’s very hidden. And driving by, you’d never realize there’s even a playground back there in the woods.
There’s another park closer to our house, but there is no shade and it’s very spread out, so when we meet for playgroups, we’re all over the place.
Samantha told me about this park and I see why she drives to this side of town just to bring her kids to the park.
This park is completely shaded by trees and by a creek. It doesn’t get much better than that, my friends.
Jack got a major haircut that morning. I love his hair longer, but it’s so hot outside and it grows so fast.
We had the place to ourselves, so we ran from one thing to the next. Jack is all about rock wall climbing lately. He was once scared of them and wouldn’t even try it, so seeing him conquer his fears and be brave makes me so happy.
Can you tell he loves to swing?
He even likes to push me on the swing.
I put him in my lap and we were able to swing together for a while. Jack thought I was so smart for coming up with this style of swinging.
And, of course, we played on the seesaw.
Before we left, we chased some squirrels and then, walked towards the open part with the waterfall.
It’s the perfect place for a picnic.
I’m realizing more and more lately how close we are to Jack going to preschool, then kindergarten. I want to soak up this time as much as I can and appreciate him in this moment.
Everywhere we go, older parents mention how they’d give anything to go back to the time when they’re kids were younger. I’m living in that moment that these people want back. And I don’t want to regret how I spend this time with him.
I feel like we haven’t gotten out much or been very active lately. Jack and I have been sick for over a week with colds. Just when we think they’re going away, they get a little worse. Reid was only sick for a day, but this weekend, it finally got him.
My friend, Jessica, told us about the special Star Wars story time at the library this weekend. We wouldn’t have known otherwise, so I’m so glad she told us!
I’m glad James, Jessica, and Crosby were there; not many people showed up, so it could have been awkward.
Crosby looks like he’s thinking, “Is this guy for real?”
The storyteller had no shame with her costume. And really, if you’re going to dress like this, especially on Star Wars day, you just have to own it.
Jack acted the way he does at all story times. He acts grumpy and like he hates it and refuses to participate, but loves snack time. On the way home, he told us he liked it, but the stories were too long. And they really were. I spaced out a lot during the stories.
Crosby gets the cutest participator of the day award!
I think Jack was actually listening at this point.
After stories and songs, they served Bantha Milk, Leia (cinnamon) buns, and Death Star Donuts.
Jack acted like he hated all things that morning, so we decided not to come back for more Star Wars activities that afternoon.
We went home for lunch and watched Tangled together.
Last year, my mom took Jack to Build-a-Bear for the first time and Jack got a dog named Walter. When you press Walter’s paw, he makes monkey sounds.
Build-a-Bear emailed a coupon for a free $5 accessory to celebrate Walter’s birthday, so we took Jack Saturday afternoon.
Yes, Jack wore his Captain Rex costume the entire day.
We tried some things on Walter and looked around.
The cowboy hat is my favorite and I kept trying to persuade Jack into choosing that one. I lost.
We saw Jedi and Darth Vader costumes. Of course, Jack wanted one, but it didn’t fit his budget. Plus, not sure it’d fit Walter.
Jack chose a tiny baseball glove, bat, and ball.
Since we were right there, we went to the Lego store, too.
Everything is so fascinating. Even the prices.
They gave Jack a pair of Yoda ears at the Lego Store, but Jack was over it and refused to wear them.
We ran some other errands where we traded off staying in the car with Jack.
I eventually got Jack to try the Yoda ears on.
Overall, a good Star Wars Day.
Sunday, we went to church and rushed home for lunch so I could leave for a wedding shower. My friend, Heather, is getting married next weekend! I’m so excited for her big day!
Last night was all about warm pjs, dinner, and watching the Amazing Race finale.
We play Trouble a lot. Like 5-6 times in a row every day, if not more. Jack usually wins. If anything, it’s teaching him to be a gracious winner and not to be a sore loser. Oh, and not to cheat!
By the way, it’s the Star Wars version of Trouble. It’s really cute. R2D2 makes noises every time you roll. I highly recommend it.
Jack is trying to pick up basketball. At first, he thought the goal was to see how high you could throw the ball and still hit the basket.
Jack likes to be right with us, doing whatever we’re doing. Sometimes it’s cute, sometimes it’s annoying.
I’ve always wanted to try making my own laundry detergent, but never got motivated enough to do it. My sister-in-law made it, so I was inspired by her.
Jack LOVED grating the soap.
I used this recipe from Love, Pomegranate House. It makes a smaller batch at a time; I doubled it to make what you see in the jar. I still have tons left to make more.
So far, even after testing some stained white shirts, it works great. And smells good.
I, also, put the date on the jar to see how long this really lasts us and if it’s worth it.
If anything, it’s worth not going, “Crap! We’re out of detergent again!” right when you’re in the middle of laundry day.
I’ve started back with homeschooling Jack. I use that term loosely, as I’m not following any set curriculum and kind of winging it.
I started this a while back, but we only got to letter H and I tapered off.
It’s the highlight of his day and he begs to do it.
Right now, we’re working our way through the alphabet, working on writing letters, and writing his name.
We try to do something related to that letter. Like, for I, we ate ice cream. Duh. For J, we made a jellyfish.
Isn’t our McDonalds nice!? Cheap ice cream and a nice place to eat it.
Jack has decided he does like attention from strangers. This is his outfit for Publix. He even had the tickets, whistle, and clock in his pocket.
The weather has been so nice. We love being outside, but the gnats run us back in.
All year, at least one of us has been sick. Stomach virus, colds, sinus infections, sore throats. Right now, Jack has a cold and I have a sore throat. Jack has told me several times today to stop talking (I’m very hoarse) because I’m too sick.
Jack goes in and out of dress up phases.
His birthday has opened up a new phase.
My mom made him a Jedi robe. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty incredible.
He, also, got a Captain Rex costume for his birthday from Reid’s parents. Add those with some hand-me-down costumes from his cousin and you’ve got my life right now.
He likes to combine elements from all costumes. Harry Potter goggles, Captain Hook’s hook, cowboy wristlet things, etc.
Or, sometimes he goes for the less is more look with the bike helmet and rain boots.
He’s never seen Spiderman, but knows he needs to shoot a web. Maybe boys are just born knowing these things?
To accessorize with the costumes, Jack loves tattoos. These are so hard to get off, so I’ve limited him on where he can put them–on places his clothes will cover up. Like his stomach and shoulders.
Showing his muscles and tattoo.
Aaaand maybe some painted toe nails.
I was doing my nails and Jack was so fascinated and kept telling me he wishes he could paint his nails green. This was the closest I had, so I did his nails.
He only kept them painted for a day. Don’t freak out.
Even at bedtime, though, Jack is still dressed up in some way with a mask and his new Vader slippers.
It’s a shame he wasn’t born with more personality.
**recaps of the birthday and a faux spring break coming soon. you’ve been warned.
Get ready for some major picture overload.
Jack was up by 6:15 and came in our room first to tell us he was awake. I told him Happy Birthday and he replied with a calm, “Thanks.” I didn’t expect that.
And, of course, it was presents time.
It was all Star Wars. With the exception of a few little things, they were all Reid’s when he was younger.
It was a little crazy this time at AirWalk. More crowded and there were referees. WHAT? Right out of the gate, we had whistles blown at us. They weren’t our biggest fans. But, we kept thinking, “Hey, we paid good money to be in here and it’s our kids birthday, so leave us alone.”
It kept getting more crowded as we were there because of spring break, but Jack had a really great time, so that’s all that matters.
We came home to eat cake. It was hard not to eat it for breakfast!
It was his first cookie cake experience. And it was a hit. Duh. Who doesn’t love cookie cake??
We, also, had a friend over to help celebrate and eat cake with us.
The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with all his new toys and watching Finding Nemo.
Deena came by to bring presents. She knows him way too well.
And the mail came bringing cards.
And Jack got phone calls.
In his silliest of moments, he does this pose.
I wanted a couple pictures of just the two of us. This is what happened, though.
Jack chose Moe’s for dinner.
After dinner, we spent a little bit of time in Books A Million looking at books for his birthday money, but we didn’t buy anything.
Then, it was bathtime and bedtime.
Overall, he had a great day. We did have some attitude problems with him; we really think he’s not getting enough sleep.
But, again, it was a great day to turn four.
Tomorrow’s the day. Let the celebrating begin.
I leave you with songs and old posts.
From my birth story:
I didn’t expect this, but I’ve never felt as close to Reid as I have since this whole experience on Friday. Reid was with me during everything and helped take care of me, even if it was just wiping my forehead with a washcloth or holding my hand to cry with me. I couldn’t have asked for more. And then getting to see our son together for the first time, well, there are no words that can describe it.
From Day Two:
Reid and I can’t stop staring at Jack. We’ve spent most of our time today holding and watching him.
I once said if we ever get pregnant, it would have to be an “accident” from the Lord. This is the best accident we’ve had.
I know I quote these songs and have posted them before, but here they are again. Call it tradition, I guess.
For all the past parties/birthdays Jack has had, I always had a vision of what I wanted to do and how I wanted it to look down to every last detail. This year, not so much. I have some jumbled ideas and will just see what comes out of it when we start setting up Saturday. The park, cake, cookies, and Darth Vader. What else do we need!?
Just for kicks, here are Jack’s past parties with links to the post about them…
(This will probably be the most elaborate I’ll ever get with a party. I’ve already peaked.)
In the past, we’ve been able to celebrate his party/dinner on his actual birthday. This year, it’ll be a drawn out celebration. I’m not sure if I’m more excited about his birthday or his party.