After some cold nights, it was refreshing to spend the afternoon outside in the warm sunshine. I took the kids to Frank Liske park after preschool today. They played on a small playground for a half hour before wandering the fields. Maddie cracked me up by insisting I take a picture of her while she yelled, "cheeeeese".
James looked like such a big boy. He's now wearing the shirts that Jackson outgrew just a few months ago. James' favorite playground activity was holding onto the pole while running in circles, crashing down with laughter, then getting up and doing it again.
I wasn't going to take the kids for a walk, but Amelia specifically requested to walk to the water. It's hard going for walks at this park with a stroller or wagon because the wheels get stuck in the deep gravel. To my surprise, the kids didn't choose to sit in the wagon. (I still brought it because I knew they'd be exhausted on the way back and there's no way I could carry three toddlers on the long return walk.)
The kids were more content climbing the rocks than they were on the playground. I love that they take such simple pleasure in being outside.
I've started to notice an increase in confidence and strength in Jackson. I think daily gymnastics at his school is a big contributor to this. Just a few months ago, Jackson was timid and cautious while climbing these same rocks. Today, he effortlessly climbed and balanced himself without any hesitation.
Amelia's working on her balance, too. She likes to walk on raised platforms and put one foot in front of the other. I've also observed her regularly climb up and down stairs without holding on to a railing or wall.
The trio no longer nap, so I was in no rush to get home. We leisurely strolled, selecting treasured rocks and leaves along the way. It really was a gorgeous day. With winter quickly approaching, it was so nice to feel and see a little bit of the lingering fall.
Of course, all good things come to an end. I knew I was pushing my luck after two hours, so I led the kids back towards the van. Jackson actually cried, whining that he wanted to continue playing. I realized then that I had waited too long. Jack, Amelia, and James sat in the wagon, fighting over sticks, while I pulled them up a steep hill. Maddie was happy to walk, as long as I didn't try and take her rocks away.
Once home, I put the trio in their cribs for quiet time. They neither napped nor played quietly. Oh well, at least we had our peaceful time of sunshine at the park.