Friday, March 28, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

I'm glad I didn't let the day go by without subjecting my kids and dog to this:
Love it.
At least one of them played along!

Awe. Happy sisters!

 Looking back...

Alice 2011:
(Bumbo on the table!?!?!  And, this was pre-recall! [no buckle] :gasp:)

41 weeks pregnant.
I'm glad Clementine got to wear that onesie! :)

Explorer Park

The weather was supposed to be sunny and 70 the day we went to this park.
I'm glad we had coats in the car!

1. Safety- 
I didn't see any safety concerns here.
Areas for big kids and little kids to play.
I loved that you could see the entire paved path.
Parents could be watching littles playing on the playground and see their bigger kids
ride around the path. 

2. Wind/Sun/Shade situation-
Not much shade here...just the gazebo.
It was breezy here, but not too bad.

3. Crowds-
You guys,
(all 4 of you who read this)
is it not a little weird that it's Spring Break and yet the playgrounds are like ghost towns!?!
I mean, I've been pretty surprised at just how empty most of the parks have been,
but it really surprised me since the schools are out!
In short, we were the only ones there.

4. Restroom access-
None...and the parking wasn't super close.

5. Other-
This playground is right next to a school.
It may be filled with kids when school lets out.
It had a great little path around it...mostly flat, but had slight hills.
Alice practiced riding her balance bike and it was perfect!

Westcreek Park

We're still going to parks...just having a hard time getting them blogged.

1. Safety- 
Looked good to me!
The large structure was definitely for older kiddos.
There were parts of it I didn't feel comfortable letting Alice do 
without me being right there to spot her.

2. Wind/Sun/Shade situation-
Holy moly!
It may have been windy everywhere that day.
We didn't stay long because the wind was a fun-sucker.
Minimal shade, but there was definitely some provided by a gazebo. 

3. Crowds-
Just one other little one playing there.

4. Restroom access-
Thankfully we didn't need it, but I'm glad it's there just in case.
I've never used the van potty and hope to never have to,
so it's nice to know it's there if needed. :)

5. Other-
This park had a nice path, paved skating/basketball area,
covered picnic tables, and areas for toddlers and big kids.
Nice park!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

This week in review.

1. My mom's birthday was on Monday.
It's hard to find the right words to describe my mama.
She's compassionate, determined, beautiful,
kind, supportive, caring, funny, and loves her children fiercely.
This is one of my favorite pictures of her, my great-grandmother, and Alice:
5 generations in one photo.

2. Alice was "Inspired by Mayhem" on Monday.
She wanted to be Elsa, of course.
We used fabric scraps, staples, and hot glue instead of paper though.
She's worn this dress everyday since.

3. Also on Monday- Alice got an early birthday gift. 
She didn't hold back.

4. I want a micro pig.
(They are crazy expensive. We are not getting a micro pig.)

 5. These two.
They adore each other!
I'm so thankful there still hasn't been even one bit of jealousy with the older one.
We'll see how long that continues!

6. I played basketball with friends yesterday.
It was hilarious!
After an hour, we were all exhausted.
Such a great workout!
(I'm so sore today!!!)

That's all!
Happy weekend!

Jared Jensen Park

We drove by this park Monday afternoon and it was CRAZY!
Tons of people.
We decided to check it out after preschool (12:30ish) on Thursday.
MUCH better. :)

1. Safety- 
Sand and wood chips for surfacing.
The bigger structure would be a little scary for younger kids (it's high!),
but there was a smaller structure as well.
Another newer park- everything looked safe to me.

2. Wind/Sun/Shade situation-
Definitely not a park you want to go to on a hot or windy day.
Very little protection from wind and sun.

3. Crowds-
This park is right next to an elementary school and in the middle of a neighborhood, 
so it definitely gets busy there.
(The school has its own playground though, so it's fine during school days.)

4. Restroom access-
I didn't see one,
but the van was parked close, just in case.

5. Other-
This was a great park!
Had a skate/basketball area, climbing rock, 2 structures, swings,
benches and picnic tables, paved paths, and a huge field.
We'll be back!
Alice especially loved the big, twirly slide!

John Stone Park

I really loved this park!
We parked in the YMCA parking lot and walked down a little hill to the playground.

1. Safety- 
Wood chips, small sand box area, climbing structure for toddlers and another for preschoolers/young school-agers. 
Everything looked clean and maintained.

2. Wind/Sun/Shade situation-
I was surprised by this park!
It was windy at the van, but then you walk down a little hill to go to the playground.
It was a little breezy, but nothing like it was at the car.
Good design, park planners!
No shade, except under the covered picnic table.

3. Crowds-
We went on a Wednesday afternoon and were the only ones there!
There were a bunch of middle/high school kids at the skate park, but the rest of the park was empty.

4. Restroom access-
No bathroom at the park, but the YMCA is super close, if needed. 

5. Other-
This was such a fun playground!
There was plenty to keep the girls busy...
swings, sandbox, two structures, and a HUGE field to run in.
It also has a little paved path makes a circle around the park.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Snowy River Park

It was fun having Carey, Abby, and Lucy visit playgrounds with us today!

A friend loaned us their Strider bike, (Thanks, Sarah and Iris!)
so I wanted to go to a park where Alice could try riding it.

She's ready!
She grew out of her helmet, which I didn't realize until we were there.
Too small helmet > no helmet, right?

1. Safety- 
More wood chips!
Structure looked safe...depending on the age of the kids.
We were a little nervous at times watching the girls climb.

2. Wind/Sun/Shade situation-
It was pretty windy here.
And, again, no shade trees.
There were a couple shaded tables and there was shade provided by the huge structure.

3. Crowds-
There were a bunch of school-aged kids here...
even middle school kids hanging around flirting with each other.
If we go back to this one, we'll go in the morning instead of the afternoon.

4. Restroom access-
There was another one of those porta-potty shelter things,
but no porta-potty in it. 

5. Other-
The girls had a blast playing here.
Less fun for the mamas, since we needed to be pretty close by and ready to catch them.
There was a little sandbox area, so that's fun!
Basketball/skating area, picnic tables, paved paths.
I brought the stroller and it was fine.

Final verdict: A fun park, but the climbing structure is probably best for 4+ yr olds.
Probably best to go weekday mornings. :)

P.S. This little project may be creating a monster.
When it was time to go home...
"But we only got to go to TWO playgrounds today!"

Eugene McCleary Park

Thanks for the cute park, Eugene!
Today was beautiful, but we're supposed to get more snow tomorrow.
We decided to hit up two playgrounds today.

1. Safety- 
Yeah, wood chips!
The equipment looks very new.
There was a big structure intended for older children and a smaller one for the littles.

2. Wind/Sun/Shade situation-
It was pretty windy here today.
Nothing too crazy, but had the wind been stronger, it would've not been fun.
Also, I'm noticing a reoccurring theme:
Newer parks, no trees.
Which means these playgrounds will feel like Hades in July and August.

3. Crowds-
There were other children playing, but it didn't feel crowded.
The parents were watching their kiddos.

4. Restroom access-
Brace yourself, friends.
Granted, it's a porta-potty, but still.
And, it's in a little structure, so that makes it seem less porta-potty-ish.

5. Other-
Alice didn't like the slides.
They were both bumpy, so it jostles them around.
Great little paved paths, a covered picnic area, and a concrete basketball/skating area.

Cute park, Eugene!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

George Fellows Park

I've been to this park a couple times before when Alice was really little.
It's near the East Library.
You can park there and take the paths down to the playground, 
or access it through the neighborhood.
I parked on Tuckerman.

We weren't there for a minute before a sweet little girl came up to Alice and asked,
"Will you be my bestest friend?"
Alice said she would.
They played together and sang "Let it Go" at the top of their lungs. 

1. Safety- 
This seemed like a very safe park.
It was more geared toward younger children and was even handicap accessible.
More sand.
I'm not a fan.

2. Wind/Sun/Shade situation-
It was in the sun, but there were some trees around to provide shade.
There were also covered picnic tables.
Not windy least not while we were there.

3. Crowds-
This was the most crowded park we've visited so far.
(Probably because it was such a nice afternoon.)
But, all of the children were being supervised, so that was nice.

4. Restroom access-
None, but the van was close.
If in a bind, the library is within walking distance.
...just probably not close enough for a 3 or 4 year old to make it in time.

5. Other-
This is a great little playground.
I love it most in the summer when the grass is green.
The path from the library to the playground is great for walking with a stroller, too.
I'll see if I can dig up an old picture...
(Ugh. That took FOREVER. 
Probably has something to do with having 33k photos stored on my computer.
I'll take care of that someday.)
Oh well. 
This was taken in April 2012.
That path goes from the library to the playground.