Thursday, June 28, 2018

Parker's New Bike

Parker really started getting in to his tricycle last year and has been riding it a lot this spring.  We thought it might be time to get him a bike, so we borrowed a small one from my parents.  It quickly became one of his favorite things to do.  He would talk about it in the car on the way home from adventure club and loved riding up and down our long driveway.  It was time to get him a bigger bike that fit his size.  We stopped at a few stores, but none of them had anything in stock, so I ordered one online from Walmart.  It came a few days later and I couldn't wait to put it together.
 I quickly realized I would need a silly amount of metric allen wrenches.  After striking out with the neighbors I ran to Ace Hardware.  We should be set any future projects now.
It was mostly assembled and didn't take too long to complete once I had the right tools.
Parker was so excited about his new bike!  I was too and forgot to put on his new helmet.  We haven't been making him wear one on the little bike but he sits a lot higher up on this one and there will be a learning curve learning to ride it.  I hadn't filled the tires up the first time out.  Once they were fully inflated he was easily able to pedal the whole driveway.
 It's gonna be a fun summer!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Madison's Place Adaptive Playground

I've been trying to get out to Madison's Place since it opened two years ago.  It's in the eastern suburbs of the twin cities, which makes for a 40 minute drive.  This is the main reason we haven't made it out yet.  I originally heard about it on an autism parents Facebook page.  It's an all inclusive adaptive playground that caters to kids of all abilities.  I became even more interested when I watched the ribbon cutting video and saw one of my co-workers there.  The Madison Claire Foundation is the organization that built the playground.  It turns out Madison was the half-sister if my co-worker and he is on the leadership team.  We finally made a point to get out there on Saturday and we had so much fun!  There was something I had never seen at a playground around every turn.  Esme found all the slides and Parker found all the wheels to spin.
 There is a sensory tunnel that can give kiddos a chance to chill out and calm down.
I was most excited about the adaptive zip line.  Zip lines have been popping up at playgrounds everywhere, but I haven't been able to get Parker to try traditional ones.  This one is easy to sit in an has a latch to keep the kiddo safe.  He really liked it!
 They also have a splash pad on site.  I didn't bring the kid's suits since we only had about an hour, but I did bring a change of clothes in case they wanted to get wet (which they did.)
 This place exceeded all of my expectations.  We are going to have to come back again when we have more time. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Church Paint Night

The women's ministries at church hosted a paint night on Tuesday.  It was a really fun evening of fellowship and I came home with some new artwork.  My mom and I did one of these a couple years ago and it was so fun.  I've been meaning to do another one, but never got around to it.  I was so excited to see church was having one.  It is really neat to see all the different interpretations.  The first picture is the sample we were working off of.
I went with red because I was thinking of putting it in our living room.  We will see where it ends up.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day 2018

We celebrated Father's Day with my parents last weekend.  We had dinner and watched Justify win the Triple Crown at the Belmont stakes.
We also took our annual pictures with Esme and Parker's trees.  Esme's replacement tree continues to do well and Parker's tree is getting really big!
Here are the comparisons with last year's pictures.
Yesterday we celebrated with Jimmy's family.  We had lunch, then headed out to watch our niece, Emma, play in her mid-season softball tournament.  They were in the championship game and won it all!  The kids did pretty well despite the scorching heat.
Jimmy got a new PS4 controller and not to much fanfare (as he prefers.)  Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Jumping in to Summer

We jumped right in to summer this week.  Parker stayed with my parents for a couple of days since Summer adventure club didn't start until Monday.  We dropped him off last Wednesday and had a little camp fire.
 The kids had a blast swinging and playing with their cousin, Jayden.
 Something a little less fun happened as well.  We think Esme was stung by a wasp, but don't know for sure.  I briefly heard her cry and grab her arm when she was on my parents deck, but she stopped quickly, so I didn't think much of it.  We saw the mark once she was in the bath.  I did some quick research and we drew a line around the red part to keep an eye on it.  We picked up some children's allergy medicine on the way home, but didn't even need it because the red was already gone.
 Jayden is staying with us for a few nights this weekend.  We saw Incredibles 2 on Friday night, continuing our Pixar tradition.  We also played a game together on Saturday, but just let him be a 14 year old the rest of the time.
Parker is becoming a bit more adventurous on the playground.  He is willing to try new things and even likes the overhead glider.  He hasn't quite figured out how to push off himself, but we help him out. We are all excited to explore more parks this summer!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Kindergarten Out!

We officially have a 1st grader!  Parker finished up Kindergarten this week.  He had a program at school on Monday that both Jimmy and I were able to attend.  I was so excited when his teacher emailed to ask if it was ok if he participated with a para holding his hand.  Of course I was!  He did so well during the program and it brought tears to my eyes watching him included with the rest of his mainstream classmates.  They sang three songs and each student received a certificate of completion.
We had a rough start to the year, but most of it was so wonderful watching him learn and grow from week to week.  Both of his teacher did so much for him this year.  He will have the same special ed teacher for first grade and will also be in her extended year class in July.
His last day was Wednesday so I made some donut cards with Dunkin' Donuts' gift cards for his teachers, paras and other helpers.
Last day off the bus.  Parker isn't as excited as Jimmy apparently.

It's not dramatic, but I can definitely tell he's grown up this year.  It's going to be a great summer!