Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December Heat Wave: Nature Center, Farm, and Park

It was 76 degrees and sunny yesterday. The weather required us to spend as much time outside as possible. After dropping Jackson off at school, the trio and I headed to Reedy Creek Park. We explored the nature center first, observing turtles and snakes.

We then headed outside for a nature walk. I love this park so much, especially since it's free. The kids played music on the orff instruments,

played Follow the Leader,

and danced and sang Jingle Bells.

They also played in the unique playground and sand area as well.

After collecting pine cones, leaves, sticks, and pocketfuls of sand, we drove to the other side of the park to play on the more traditional playground.

Less than two minutes from the park is a local farm where we go for pumpkins. They are currently selling Christmas trees. I pulled over and asked them if we were allowed to walk around.

I let the kids ride in the wagon since they had played so hard at the park. They employees were so friendly and inviting. A young woman gave each of the kids pinwheels, much to the girls' delight.

We made our rounds visiting the farm animals. Maddie demanded to be held while inside the barn. James ran around and Amelia tried her best to touch every animal, despite me warning her not to stick her fingers in their faces.

This is probably the closest we've ever gotten to a pig. They would have genuinely bitten Amelia's hand if I had not moved her.

Smelling the Christmas trees made me want to get a real tree! I wouldn't mind not having to fluff branches next year.

While at the farm, I received a text from another preschool mom, asking us if we wanted to meet at the park afterschool. By this point, the trio and I had already spent three hours playing outside. I rushed home for a quick lunch and diaper changes, before rushing back out to pick up Jackson.

The park playdate started off on a bad note. Apparently, Jackson and his friend both needed some downtime. Just as we were going to head home, the two reunited as best buddies. 

We spent another two hours playing and walking the trails.

At 2.5 years old, I'm trying to limit use of the stroller or wagon. (Actually, our double stroller fell apart so our only option is the wagon.) I regretted not bringing the wagon to the park. The other mom kept walking farther along the trails, and I kept trying to coax everyone back. She didn't seem to understand that I couldn't just pick up all three kids when they got tired and carry them back to the van. This is one of the many differences between having one child vs multiples. There was crawling involved and carrying sweaty children, but we all eventually made it back to the van. 

Playing in the hot sun is exhausting, which meant all three toddlers easily took a nap for the first time in weeks! Oh, how we love our warm, December sunshine.

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