Sunday, November 8, 2009

River Trails photo shoot

Didn't post last night because I was up late revising a resume for a good friend. The only eventful thing we did on Friday was to go on an outing to Target. I hemmed and hawed about how to handle the three kids in the store and decided that two kids would go in the double stroller while one walked. Luckily, Nikko fell asleep on the way there and continued to sleep as I put him in the stroller. Ronin got to walk, even though I put him on the stroller handlebars to get him inside. I brought along my reusable orange Target bag because the basket at the bottom of the stroller has dilapidated mesh sides that wouldn't hold lots of items securely. I don't have a clip to attach the bag to the stroller, for some reason. The lady at the checkout counter praised me for being "green" and said I saved 5 cents today. I wanted to tell her that I would have brought an IKEA bag if I had one, because it's bigger, but I just smiled and told Ronin to get up off the floor.

Today our major goal was to meet up with Atz at the River Trails Nature Center so she could capture a picture (or a few pics) for our Christmas card. The weather today was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS, 20 degrees warmer than normal for early November. We were all in short sleeves! The place was busy with other families that decided to stroll the trails and march through the crunchy leafy floor. Nikko fell asleep on the way so we let him nap a bit longer while Ronin and Audrey were let loose to explore. Chinny had dropped Atz off and was so kind enough to stick around with us, helping to keep Ronin out of trouble while we tended to the other kids. Audrey was having a blast as she toddled through the leaves. Surprisingly, she didn't put many things in her mouth. I had to wake up Nikko so he could get his picture taken, so I went to the Pilot and unbuckled him. He wasn't crazy about being woken up early, and it showed in his scowl. Just as he was about to start whining, I pulled out a Dum Dum, one of many that he would eat along the trail. Instead of letting it sit in his mouth like many of the other lollipops I've seen him eat, he started taking bites and chomping them in half. My plan to preoccupy him with Dum Dums was short-lived. We walked past huge cages that held some local wildlife such as a skunk, a fox, a hawk and a bald eagle. Patrick Creen and his two daughters showed up to enjoy the weather with us, and Atz's family soon joined us as well. Atz was such a sport, running around us, bending every which way to try and capture a smile from the kids, or a little eye contact from Nikko. That was a rare thing! Nikko warmed up a little later in our excursion, especially after the outdoor pictures were done and we went inside the nature center. He enjoyed looking at one of the fish aquariums. In fact, he spent more time in front of that than in front of the turtle pond, which was the attraction he liked the last time we went there. I wonder if it was the Nemo effect. I made a mental footnote that we should consider getting an aquarium in the future, although I would not look forward to cleaning it unless I got one of those fish tank cleaners that cleaned the tank by itself, like in the Nemo movie. I might settle for an algae eater, but they don't eat everything. Nikko explored the activity room, running to the fish poles and trying one out for a minute. He didn't carry it around and get upset when we had to leave it, like last time. He stopped and worked the beads on a colorful metal bead table. I had pulled out a puzzle for him, but he flipped one or two pieces and took off again. We all ended up staying at River Trails until it closed at 4pm, which is a testament that we enjoyed the weather, the company, and the environment. Before we left, Atz gave me a bag of some toys that she found while cleaning her crawlspace: a toy car of McQueen, a toy car of Flo, a toy Nemo and a toy Dorie. They were all from McDonald's happy meals back in the day. Ronin loved carrying around Flo (and found Ramone at home later on to reunite the couple) and Nikko took an immediate attachment to Nemo and Dorie.

We had to make a Costco run after the Trails. I took Nikko inside with me because Ronin had fallen asleep and Audrey seemed to be fine watching TV. I had to change Nikko in the bathroom and for once he allowed me to lay him on the changing table. I realized that Nikko is a big kid and probably shouldn't be on the changing table anymore, but he had a messy #2 that I had to mop up. I should be thankful the table didn't break. :P Nikko stayed in the cart, banging Dorie against Nemo and making a grunting noise. I found one last Dum Dum and gave it to him in the checkout lane. He had depleted my supply for the day and I hoped he wouldn't ask for any more. We got home and had to give the kids a late snack, which affected their dinner, of course. Audrey got put down for a nap, and the rest of us were in the living room watching - - you guessed it - - Finding Nemo. I think I've watched it eight times in three days.

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