Monday, April 30, 2007

A Walk in the Woods

We arrived home from the park, and no sooner sat down before Theo suggested we go mushroom hunting (morels) at a local lake/public hunting fishing land. We did not find any mushrooms, a little too early perhaps, but we had a fantastic time taking in all the woods had to offer. I have not had Hunter in the carrier since he was about 4 months old, so the walk translated into a good workout for me & my back.

Ben kept asking for the monkeys. "What are we going to see in the woods, ben?" "Monkeys. Where are the Monkeys?" Doesn't get the difference between the woods and the jungle.

I found some gorgeous moss on a log.

Some fantastic scenery, too. Reminds me of the painting my grandparents have behind their sofa.

Ben brought me a flower and said "I love you, Mommy." Dad prompted him. So cute.

Theo found some catfish in this creek. He intends to return and fish these big boys out.

The highlight of the adventure was finding this guy: a snapping turtle crossing the path in front of us.

Ben did not quite know what to think. He was very apprehensive, but Theo made him get close and touch him. He eventually thought the turtle was cool, "wet and slimy."

Theo says snapper turtles taste delicious. I wasn't ready for him to take his guy home with us. Maybe next time, babe. That's got to be illegal? Besides, just weird to this one-time city girl.

Ben was so tired on the walk back Dad ended up carrying him; he almost fell asleep in his arms a few times.

Monday in the Park

Theo had a doctor's appointment this morning, and had the rest of the day off, too. We ran some errands, and then headed for my favorite park here in town. We pretty much had the whole thing to ourselves. Cool!

Hunter has only been swinging once before. He could not have had a better time! You could hear his cackle across the park. Pure joy.
Theo pushed him, and also rode along. We love how small Hunter looks in the swing beside Dad!

Of course, Theo also had to go down the slide a few times. The kids were loving Dad's involvement. Do you see how happy Ben is in this picture?

Oh, and I was there, too.

Hunter's first big boy slide. I took these pictures from across the park, and I'm loving how they turned out!

Ben ran rampant around the park. He found one little girl to play with, and he kept calling her "kid." Hilarious. "Hey kid, come slide with me." "Hey, kiiiiiiiiiid!" I was cracking up!

The "kid" taught Ben to feed the dinosaur some of the mulch from the ground. Hunter is eating mulch, too. Kids are nuts.

Running free on the soccer field. Love this picture.

Oh, and I had to share Theo's attempt at the 12-year-old sized monkey bars. Training for you Warrior Leader Course this summer, Theo? Ha Ha!

And I think this is supposed to be a tic-tac-toe game, not a crafty way to mock your wife, smart ass.

We had a great time. Love a rare Monday (i.e. not crowded day) at the park with Dad. He was exhausted from all the play.

Fishin' With Dad

Bound for adventure, we set out to take Ben fishing this weekend. As we were leaving a neighbor gave us a tip for a good spot. Aside from the fact that WI has more lakes than any other state (even Minnesota, the land of lakes), we also live near the Rock River. Waterfront is ample. We found a quiet spot a few towns over, just along the river. Dad and Ben sat on the shore fishing. Ben's sporting a harness b/c he cannot be controlled. He did a surprisingly good job of listening to Dad, and casting his pole--he even hit dad with it a few times. Next time, Ben sits to the right of Dad, OK? I shot a million pictures. Theo has been an avid fisherman his whole life, so taking Ben out was a big moment for father and son. We didn't plan on catching anything... and didn't, but fishing was a blast & learning experience for Ben.

Meanwhile, Hunter and I white-trashed it in the bed of the truck, which acts rather well as a giant playpen. We munched on sandwiches, cheese slices and animal crackers for Hunter. Only 9 cars passed by while we were there. So serene.

Don't worry, little Hunter Joe, your time to fish will come soon enough.

When the sun became too warm, Hunter and I went piling into the truck cab, where he commenced playing with all the tiny buttons the dashboard presented.

The trip ended with Dad and Ben joining us in the truck, and indulging in Cheetoes. Little slice of paradise, for sure.