We went to a neighbor's 5th birthday party at Crocodile Encounter in Angleton, TX. Who knew there was an alligator farm so close to home?? It was actually a really neat place and very safe. The only animals you could possibly come in contact with were the giant tortoises, but that was intentional- we got to run around with them and Caroline was brave enough to feed them! Definitely all of our favorite part. They were somewhat interested in the alligators. They followed along the tour fairly well and we only had to recruit 2 other adults to help us corral them. We didn't make it through the entire tour- had to cut it short for a snack and trip home for a nap. Had to beat the toddler crankiness!
|Caroline feeding the tortoise|
|Checking out the alligators|
The same day as the birthday party our neighborhood section had its annual block party. It is super rare that we take on two outings in one day, but I decided to go for it. Mainly because the block party was just down the street and the kids' best friend was going too. The kids had fun running around, getting in the kiddie pool (fully clothed), and begging for food. The boys also had great fun pushing the limits on how far they could wander off. Andrew was even caught knocking on front doors with the best friend! We headed home for bed time and those kids were wiped out after a full day of parties.
What's summer without water activities- especially when it's miserably hot?! We've wasted no time getting the kids used to water. Every weekend we bust out the inflatable pool in the backyard- it's big enough for all 8 of us and even has a slide. Leah loves to float and relax in the water, and the others love to splash and slide. We all have a blast every afternoon we spend in our little pool!
But sometimes we need a change of scenery. Luckily the neighborhood's splash pad and one of the big pools is just a short wagon ride away from our house. I'm definitely not comfortable going either place without extra adult support, but fortunately I have been able to convince people to tag along :) Caroline is shaping up to be my water baby- she loves it and doesn't show any fear. Ben tends to have more fun running around than being in the water. Alli, Andrew, and Levi go in and out. Leah loves the pools, but not the splash pad- sudden sprays of water startle her.
I was so proud of Dave and I after we completed our first outing as a family of 8 with NO help! No one tagging along or meeting us there or waiting to hear from us if we got into trouble. Just taking the kids to the zoo with a picnic lunch afterwards. The only way we made it through the outing was the stroller. The kids were fine sitting in it while we strolled the zoo and ate lunch. We got the typical amount of attention and questions. The biggest difference this time was that the kids were actually interested in the larger animals- especially the elephants and monkeys.
Our county's ECI chapter puts on several fundraising family fun events each year. We recently attended our first one- Barn Bash! It included pony rides, train rides, hay rides, bounce house, face paint, balloon animals, auctions, a fun band, and of course a dinner! The kids did all the rides and each one received mixed reviews. Pony rides took some getting used to (Caroline threw a fit and missed out on this one), train rides were ok until they couldn't see me anymore, and everyone was fine with the hay ride- even Leah got to ride that one :) Of course everyone's favorite was the dinner! They did fantastic at sitting at the table eating from their own plate. I brought along some kitchen shears for cutting food and their usual straw cups to reduce spilling. Once they had cleaned their plates, we headed back home.
|Alli on the big horse|
|Ready for the train ride|
|Get us off this thing!|