Jun 18, 2012

Oh What a Weekend - Part I

I don't know how many more Father's Days I can survive. I'm exhausted. Totally wiped out. This year's extravaganza lasted three days. Continuing the tradition from last year, I spent time with each of the kids in a one-on-one activity. This year, though, it took two days to squeeze it all in. (Julie, being the awesome wife that she is, took the day off of work on Friday to help make this all possible.) In addition to the kids activities, I played nine holes of golf on Friday morning, we checked out the community restaurant showcase for dinner one night, made it halfway through a tee ball game before getting rained out and went to my sister's house for a final Father's Day cookout.

The individual time with the kids was, as expected, awesome. In a house with five kids, big blocks of one-on-one time can be hard to come by. I do little things with each of the kids all the time, but I like the idea of dedicating a couple hours of Father's Day to each one of them. It let's us slow down and connect on a different level. Their individual personalities come shining through. It gives me a chance to bask in my fatherliness. Also, during that individual time I'm always sadly reminded of how old they're getting -- which adds all the more value to our Father's Day outings.

First up again this year: Darwin. I suggested some activities that I thought were surefire fun times for two-year olds, but I was repeatedly shot down. There was only one thing Darwin wanted to do and that was go to the grocery store. Seriously. His mind was made up. We go to the grocery store every week, so I was surprised that this was his dad activity of choice. With a little digging, though, his plans made more sense. What he really wanted to do was to go to the grocery store and push one of the kid sized grocery carts.  Duh! This is an activity he's seen his older siblings enjoy on countless occasions but one that he's been denied when we shop as a family. With grocery list in hand, we headed off on his big boy trip to the store.

When Jameson was little, I would make him little visually aided grocery lists.
I think this is the first time I ever did it for Darwin. He loved it.

When we got in the car, Darwin modified our plans and suggested we stop for coffee first.
Sounded good to me.

While we were there, we met a girl who was cross-stitching a painting of a Paris landmark.
She said it was going to take FOUR YEARS to complete. That's dedication.

I added another detour and insisted on stopping for lunch before grocery shopping.
We made an inaugural visit to the 'Boro Bistro. It turns out it's owned by someone who played soccer with my sister-in-law.
And it also turns out they make the best chipotle chicken sandwich I have EVER eaten.

I think this may have been the greatest moment of Darwin's life up until now.

Darwin received many compliments on his shopping skills. And his curls.

I guess even grocery shopping is an adventure to a two-year old.

The next event of the weekend was daddy-daughter swimming with Amelia. She was, um, a little excited. She couldn't stop running around the house before we left. And she could barely speak when we got to the pool. And, as fate would have it, we were THE ONLY people at the children's pool. With the pool to ourselves, I was even brave enough to swim with my camera.

Surveying the undisturbed children's area.

This was definitely the appropriate activity choice for Amelia.


As with everything else, Amelia is fearless in the water.

We finished off Friday with a "Taste of" celebration in our town.
That was a hectic trip. But the food was delicious. And ice cream never hurts.

The Darwin-fro never quits.

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