A blog dedicated to the enjoyment and documentation of our playtime outdoors...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wagon Fun!

Sorry there haven't been regular daily updates these past two weeks! First we were on the boat, then we spent a weekend in Sunriver, and it hasn't quite worked out to "blog on the run"! But as of yesterday, we are home (and should be for awhile...) so you can expect regular updates on the triplets' outdoor adventures!

The babies celebrated their 2nd birthday on May 15th, and with the money their Great Grandpa and Grandma sent them, Mama was able to buy them a red, Radio Flyer wagon!!! I found a great, slightly used one online - and it was actually perfect timing because the fold-up double stroller we have been using for about a year is starting to buckle under the weight of a rapidly growing Oliver (with a little help from Audrey). Oliver is absolutely in LOVE with "his" wagon and won't let anyone pull it except him. And even though it's quite heavy with both sisters loaded in, he can actually pull them around pretty well - little stud!

Here are some photos from their first outing in their little red wagon! It even has seatbelts and cupholders - here's to riding in safety and style!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Out and About on the Boat

For the past 8 days we have been on the family boat cruising the San Juan and Gulf Islands in Washington and Canada. We started our journey where the boat is moored in Anacortes, spent two nights at Friday Harbor, two nights at Roche Harbor, and have spent the past 5 nights at one of our favorite annual travel spots, Victoria, BC. It's quite "cozy" accomodations with 3 toddlers, 4 adults, and 2 big dogs packed onto a 40 foot boat (similar to a large RV) - but you get the "rhythm" down of getting out of each others' way, setting up and tearing down 3 pack n' play portable cribs, keeping your stuff put away, and stacking dirty diapers into a nice, stinky heap on the passageway right outside the sliding door. It's been a little bit of a challenge to let the kids get outdoor playtime - but we have improvised slightly by at least getting them outdoors and off the boat for a significant amount of time each day. They've been able to play at several parks, go for rides on the dinghy with daddy, and take little walks on foot, but I think the neatest thing they have done almost every single day is go on a special 1-2 hour walk with daddy each morning! Robert started working out at 6:00 each morning a few weeks ago and while I thought being on the boat would make his new routine a bit difficult to maintain, he has faithfully woken up each morning, dressed the kids and packed their backpack full of diapers and snacks, loaded them in the huge triple jogging stroller, and taken them with him on a long, hilly walk around the island. What special time with Daddy! And what a great tour of Victoria for them all!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sidewalk Chalk and Hopscotch

Today's activity varied a little from our normal routine of heading into the backyard for "enclosed" outdoor play! This morning we headed out the FRONT door into ungated terrain to draw on the sidewalk with egg-shaped sidewalk chalk! It was the triplets' first real experience with sidewalk chalk and their responses varied from immediate drawing (Audrey), to chucking of the egg into the street (Grace), to trying to stuff the delicious-looking (?) blue one into his mouth (um, OLIVER). They scribbled for a few seconds and then were quickly distracted, so I drew out a hopscotch course and showed the kids how to jump on one foot:) They did that for about 2 seconds as well and then resorted to picking dandelions. Just about that time the wind really kicked up so we packed up and headed back into the warmth and safety of our home. Audrey was supremely troubled by the fact that she could not carry her chalk eggs around inside the house, so the last picture I snapped was of her sad little face protesting the removal of her beloved chalks. Poor girl!

Oh, Ollie, doesn't your mama ever feed you?!

Hahaha - lovin' that "wind in the hair" 'do, Gracie!

Time outside: 15 minutes
Something gained: Learning how to "write"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Playing outside at Grandpa and Nana's House

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Bend today! The kind of bright blue skies and clean, warm Spring air that makes enduring the previous 5 months of snow and freezing temperatures (almost) totally worth it! Vibrantly colored tulips and daffodils are sprouting up everywhere - and the green, oh, the bright, bright green of the grass, plants, and trees!

We celebrated our beautiful, 70 degree day by heading over to Grandpa and Nana's house to play outside...and we did, for HOURS. My dad and I put the babies in the triple stroller and took a nice walk around their neighborhood and stopped at the playground - which we had all to ourselves! Audrey and Ollie went nuts over the swings, while Gracie enjoyed climbing all over the play structure and sliding down to Grandpa. And each one was even brave enough to go down the giant slide!

After our walk (on which we saw and "named" quail, robins, a chipmunk, and even some deer on our way home), we spent some time in Grandpa and Nana's backyard riding tricycles and playing in the water feature. Ollie took a tumble off the deck (but never let go of his tricycle!), and everyone ended up completely soaked from the "waterfall". But it was a blast, and the kids loved it.

Time outdoors: 3 hours
Something gained: Memories with Grandpa and Nana, learning about a few new animals

Monday, May 9, 2011

Radio Flyer

I found a Radio Flyer toddle tricycle on Craigslist for $15 and it looked perfect for the kiddos, so after their nap, I loaded them in the van and went to pick it up. They shrieked with glee when they saw me put it in the car, but as soon as we got home a fight broke out over who was going to get to actually ride the new favorite toy. To diminish the screaming and howling I decided to set a timer for 3 minutes and give each child a turn on the trike. Unfortunately, each time I had to take one off to give another a turn, the howling and wailing began anew. I guess I'll be checking Craigslist frequently in hopes of securing another. In the meantime, here's a pretty darn adorable shot of Ollie enjoying his 3 minutes of glory:)

Feeder Hanging and Flower Hunting

Our new hummingbird feeder!

So...it looks like some of the activities in the book are geared more towards pre-schoolers and elementary age children, but I skimmed some of her springtime ideas and came up with this little combination of my own: hanging a hummingbird feeder together and "hunting" for flowers! I think the triplets will be even more impressed when they actually see birdies at the trough, but they sure liked "hunting" for flowers (Gracie even ripped off a few leaves and buds, and Ollie got a thorn in his finger from the rosebush - oops), and then they trotted off and spent a little time sliding and a little time in the sandbox!

Time outdoors: 55 min
Something gained: Audrey said the word "flower bud" after seeing one on the cherry blossom tree!

Admiring their work... :)

I took turns lifting each one so they could get a close-up of the feeder

Pointing out the tulip bud

A cherry blossom

The triplets did a little bit of "kitty hunting" too - but she did her best to hide!

A new season...a new blog

For Mother's Day yesterday, my husband gave me the beautiful book 15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca Cohen. I've been trying to get the triplets outdoors regularly now that the weather is gradually warming (although it seems to have snowed last night as we woke up to a bit of frost on the ground...and plants...and in the sandbox). This book is full of 365 ideas for things to do outside with your kids - most of them costing nothing and simple activities that can be done in 15 minutes (for those hard-pressed for time), or which can simply serve as a starting point for hours of outdoor play. After reading a bit of it last night (it has such a lovely cover - I couldn't wait to start reading!), I am feeling motivated to commit to getting the triplets outside EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. - even if there's a rogue snowy day, or torrential rains, or blazing hot sunshine, we are going to do it. And I am going to document it here: what we did, how long we spent outside, what we gained from our time outside that day, and a photo to highlight that day's activity. This new blog is dedicated to the enjoyment and documentation of of our playtime outdoors...let the fun begin!