April 20, 2011

Hiking with Isaac

Today Isaac and I had a daddy/son afternoon hiking at a nearby mountain.  The locals call it a hill, but the locals don't know I'm from flat-as-a-tortilla Florida.  Tallahassee has hills.  This thing was a mountain.  Ok, we'll compromise: hilltain.  And it was Isaac's first hiking expedition—sort of.  He did go hiking once in Florida (where we took the backpack picture featured in our header), but lets be honest.  Hiking in Florida is a bit like snow skiing in Ohio or eating seafood in South Dakota  - doable, but not the greatest.

While thinking about this post and what a GREAT afternoon Isaac and I had, I was reminded of a good article Dr. Russell Moore wrote about how social media can make us depressed. We all have the tendency to only post the good, so our blogs and Facebook pages are filled with rosy and witty quotes, our pictures look straight out of a travel magazine and we present ourselves like Parents of the Year or master chefs or any number of things.  We look at each other's pages and think, "They have a cool life.  My life is no where near as interesting.  They are ALWAYS happy."  Even if we don't think these thoughts explicitly, sometimes we click away with a general sense of dissatisfaction.

What we don't post are things like the massive meltdown Isaac had before going on our hike.  Our little Southeast Asian didn't want to wear shoes.  Nobody wants to watch a video of Isaac screaming and defiantly telling his parents, "NO!" or his parents repeatedly sending him to the corner or spanking him.  My first thought was not, "Honey!  Get the camera!  The folks back in Florida will think this is adorable!"  In fact, I nearly called off daddy/son afternoon because he was behaving so horribly—stomping his feet and falling on the ground.  I was totally exasperated and ended up yelling back at him.  I was not exactly the gentle, firm, loving father.  So there.  We're all normal.

And you know what?  After all that, I ended up taking off his shoes ten steps into the hike because I could tell they were bothering him.

You don't have to mail me the Parent of the Year trophy—just send the prize money.

So, this was Isaac's first real hike.  And he was a champ.  He hiked the whole way to the top of the hilltain by himself.  Without being carried.  Wearing flip-flops.  The guide we read online said it would take an average adult 20 minutes to reach the top (the hike starts half-way up).  It took Isaac's tiny 3-year-old legs 30 minutes.  I sounded like I chain-smoked for 31 years when I reached the summit.  Isaac wasn't winded at all—for him it was like we'd been walking in the mall.  I was so proud.

Translation: "Jambul Hill(*cough*tain) Hiking Area"

The Stud taking steps half as tall as him.

View from the top.

He even walked in front of me almost the entire ascent, picking paths and telling me (and asking me) where to go next.  He threw out a couple "good job, Daddy"'s, too.  The man is gonna be a leader.

After a short rest, water and apples (thanks Mama!) at the top, we headed down.  This time the 3-year-old kicked in and I had to carry him down most of the way, but he was still in a great mood and so fun to be around.

Here's a little video of our afternoon:

April 10, 2011

Rockin' Rio Afternoon Out

We had such a fun Saturday! The last time we took any Rivers child to the movies was when Isaac was about 10 months old and my parents were visiting us here. Appropriately the movie we attempted to see was, "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Between us taking turns removing our screaming child from the theater, we just wish we could have frozen time and made the moment go away. That was over 2 years ago!

 THIS time however, we thought Isaac was ready to watch a movie like a big boy in a big theater. We figured for Isaiah we would just take turns taking him out if needed.  We saw "Rio" a cartoon about 2 blue macaws in Rio de Janeiro. Isaac was brilliant and we learned Isaiah is an angel if he has 2 hours worth of snacks to keep him occupied. He ate through the ENTIRE movie. He also danced every time a song came on. But neither of us had to leave or even get out of our seats!

An attempted belly picture, but more just to show the top level of the mall which is where the movies are usually located.
Theater 12 lighting up showing us that it was time to be seated. Here you pick your seats beforehand so there's no reason to rush. It's nice!
Then afterward we were in such a good mood (as parents) we decided to extend the fun, and after careful budgeting all month, we played tourist again and went to Hard Rock Cafe. It would have been a 45 minute drive home and then dinner would have been late getting cooked and all would have been cranky anyway, so this was the obvious choice;)  We took some pics at the Hard Rock hotel before dinner then continued our great time with a yummy yummy meal. Which I ate until I was full (instead of took 3 bites and felt nauseous) yay for 1st trimester finishing!
Isaac spelling "Hard Rock"

The beach in front of the hotel before dinner.
Proof that not every family pic goes as planned. I laugh every time at Isaac's face!
The view with the ocean to our back. The HR-Hotel here has an entire children's water play area with several slides. The boys looked on with awe, but surprisingly we didn't have one meltdown about not being able to get in the water! I'm tellin' ya, this was a parents' day out with the kids dream day!
Brotherly love.
Watching the music videos. To which he sang his own preschool songs over them. I think it's musical genius to combine the theme song from "Chuggington" and Creedence Clearwater Revival's Heard it Through the Grapevine.
I am currently researching the recipe to HRC's mac-n-cheese. Oh. MY! Also, Isaiah stood up and ate his mac-n-cheese while dancing once again to every single song that played.
Then to round out our day, we took the scenic drive back home around the mountain with the windows down.
A little of the winding way home (again which I didn't get carsick in...bring it on 2nd trimester!)
What a FANTASTIC Saturday out with our boys!

April 06, 2011

Cell Phone Pictures

This past weekend I finally dumped my cell phone pictures onto my computer.   Here are a few jems:

We saw this game while we were in Singapore, and the English is absolutely awesome.  In case you can't read it, here's what it says:

Invetsmts havn ' t the risk,Quickly allies!

Throw the once basic coin please.

Game is explained:Throw into once basic game beginning,small looable eight mice the reasonis in snccession slow hide in naughty qinck complging with out in the hole.game person is prompt to hit the reaction abilitg ciming to jndge you rates a bit since the general mouse returning to a hde.

You knock me knocking everybody knock.

Let you knock out good state of mind.


I have a sneaking suspicion that this game isn't Disney approved, although it might be Qisnep approved.

Below is a sign we saw inside an elevator:

Not "if," but "when." Is the company expecting this thing to break down?  "Let's be honest, sir.  You WILL get trapped in this elevator, and when that happens stay calm."

So that's what my beans and vegetables have been missing... ice cream:

So for some reason, "concept restaurants" are becoming a big thing on our island.  I've seen some that look like the inside of a Chinese coffee house and one that looks like a hospital (complete with nurse waitresses), but this one takes the (urinal) cake:

On the plus side, you don't have to figure out where the bathroom is.