Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Falls River Square, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Two weeks ago, we went to the splash pad at Falls River Square in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio with some homeschooling friends.  We had never been there before but had been meaning to go, and we had a great time.  After playing in the water, the boys and I explored the nearby boardwalk along the Cuyahoga River - a place I hadn't been since I was a kid.

As you can see, he has made great progress in conquering his fear of the water this summer.

The boardwalk begins at the Sheraton Hotel, with a view of this waterfall.

There's the Sheraton.

The boys loved this echo-y place where the boardwalk goes under Broad Blvd.

Hey, wait for me, kiddos!  (They're the green and red blobs way up ahead.)

I was beyond thrilled to discover that this place is still there!  I remember being here when I was about 9 years old, and I was so fascinated with it - it has always stuck in my mind for some reason.  I thought it was something in the process of being built, but the place is still just as it was then.  Monkey had fun jumping from pillar to pillar, just like I did about 25 years ago!

And the trail ends here with a view of this waterfall.

Bug:  "This the funnest place, Mom!"



Another view.  This place is odd because it appears to be an amphitheater, but it doesn't face anything but the river and the highway bridge on the other side of the river.  Just a really cool public space with no purpose I guess.

Back down the boardwalk.  Time to go get milkshakes at Swenson's!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olde Canal Days Festival, Canal Fulton, Ohio

A couple weeks ago, we spent a Saturday afternoon at the Olde Canal Days Festival in Canal Fulton, Ohio.  We went for a canal boat ride back in the fall, but we went again for the "Civil War Boat Capture Re-enactment."  The soldiers rode along with us on our cruise and re-enacted a little skirmish when we returned.  The boys both thought it was pretty cool, although the pace of the boat ride itself was a tad slow for two rambunctious little ones.

This guy was the tour guide.  You can see he is in period costume.

Here are the soldiers who rode along with us.  The guy holding the violin played it as we drifted along - he was pretty good!

Monkey took this one of us on the boat.  Notice he has figured out how to use the special effects on my phone and insists on using them.

Bug, watching the world go by.

Happy kid on a boat ride.

They handed out earplugs for the kids, in preparation for the shooting of the guns.  Bug really wanted to stick the earplugs in his nose, and when I said, "No, honey, they go in your ears," he just looked at me and made a perfect frowny face in response.  Made me chuckle.

Pulling back into the dock.  In the background you can see the ferris wheel on the festival grounds, and also the horses that had pulled the boat.

The soldiers disembarked...

...and strolled over looking for enemy troops...





Monkey desperately wanted to go down this big slide.  I was afraid he'd get up there and change his mind, but he did it!

Overall, a fun excursion and a great little festival!  Next year we'll allot more time for our visit; there was a lot to see and we didn't get to it all.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My amazing method for getting a wiggly kid to be still...

I just wanted to share a neat trick that I've discovered that helps Monkey Man settle down when he is bouncing off the walls.  I start placing random items on his body, and he suddenly discovers the ability to hold very still.  It is amazing how quickly the transformation in his attitude and behavior happens.  The act of balancing the items somehow helps him to connect with his body, and he becomes acutely aware of every part of it.  He seems calmed and soothed, and he's full of giggled requests for "More!  More!"  When he finally moves and the items fall off, he gets to count to see how many we managed to get onto him.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Touch-A-Truck Event

Today, we went to the (apparently annual) "Touch-A-Truck" event in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  I had never heard of it and noticed a friend's post about it on Facebook a couple days ago and decided to check it out.  The boys liked it a lot.  At first, I didn't think Bug liked it nearly as much as Monkey - the occasional loud horns and sirens scared him and made him cry and cling to me a few times - but later, when he was on the phone enthusiastically telling Grandma all about it, I realized he enjoyed it more than I thought.

The school bus was a favorite of both boys.  Both are fascinated by them, and neither had ever been on one.  I am hoping the experience helps eliminate the mystique of riding on a bus, instead of adding to it...

Not sure why Bug's hair looks so red here!  Just got his mop chopped this morning before we headed to the event.

Monkey hanging out the window.

Free popsicles, woo-hoo!

Monkey on a Mowing Monstrosity.

Bug checkin' it out too.

Trying on some fireman gear

Driving the fire truck

Humvee and soldiers.

Sitting in the sling for the gun turret on top.
Tangent:  as we were leaving the humvee, I said to the soldier, "Thank you for your service," and surprised myself by suddenly feeling all choked up and emotional.  Even though I am a pacifist and strongly against war, I still appreciate the act of saying, "I believe in this country enough to give myself to it.  Do with me whatever you want," which is something I could never do, and something I (completely selfishly) hope my boys will not do either.  I just think of all the unimaginably scary and awful things these guys may have seen/experienced, while I've been going about my simple little happy life... it just gets me.  Anyways, back to the main topic...


First snow cone ever.

Sharing it with his little brother.