Friday, February 27, 2015

I'm a mammal.

Sweet Son had a complete meltdown during school today. They were talking about mammals and how mammals have hair all over. He started crying, face turning red, etc. They finally got him calmed down enough to talk.

He was upset because I'm not a mammal. All the other humans are mammals, but I'm not. They of course ask why in the world he would think I'm not a mammal. He said he was looking at my legs and I don't have any hair. Then he broke down again.

They explained how some people cut or shave hair from various places, but they are still mammals. When we got home I let him see that my legs do have hair. I explained that I shaved them for Costa Rica, but they have hair again. He is very relieved.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hot Springs and Pools

Our resort had hot springs and pools - 14 total. Half were fed by hot springs going up the side of the mountain. So the one at the top was the hottest and as it went down they got progressively cooler, but still quite warm. The others were chilly, but a nice balance. They actually had them arranged so as you went up the steps all the one on the left were hot springs and the ones on the right cool.

The whole family in a hot spring. There was a little slide that one of our kids loved. The adults also had a bit of fun with the water slides.

One evening we ordered food from the bar and ate it next to the pool. We made the kids eat outside the pool, but some of the adults could sit in the warm water to eat their food.

The family in a hot spring during the day. You can see the steps up to the water slide on our right and the volcano (with no clouds around the top) in the background. I can't even describe how beautiful this place is. You can't see it but the resort zip line is also going above our heads.

One of the higher hot spring pools had these little private grottos. These were more crowded in the evening, but early in the day we were able to get a photo. This was a very hot pool and the kids couldn't stay in it for long. We only let them get their legs in, not the rest of their bodies. It felt warmer than most hot tubs and I know hot tubs aren't safe for kids.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waterfall Hike

We were ready for another hike, but the rest of the family decided to stay back instead. This was a short hike to see an incredible waterfall. The path was 480 uneven steps down. Some were nicely paved and some were more natural. Most had a railing to help you stay on the path.

You can see the various heights of the steps. I insisted on holding the kids hands as we went down the steep, jagged portions.

Here we are at the waterfall. This picture doesn't even come close to doing this place justice.  The waterfall itself is 75 meters high, which we clearly couldn't get in the photo. The pool at the bottom had people swimming in the chilly water. There were people having picnics, sunbathing on the rocks, and just relaxing. It was beautiful and peaceful.

Of course once you are done at the waterfall, you have to head back up the 480 steps. Here are some of the easier steps in an area with a wider path. We all loved this and still had energy when we were done.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lava Hike

After the gondola to the top of the volcano, Sweet Son wanted to go see some lava. We found a close trail we could hike and we all set off. It started raining and we were lucky enough to find some very kind tour operators who gave us ponchos.

This was a short and easy hike to the lava fields. Here is our group picture. From this view we could see out over a large lake with many colorful birds flying around. 

Here is just one of the very cool looking trees we saw on the path to/from the lava fields. We also saw many animals. It wasn't crowded, probably because of the rain.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Arenal Volcano

Last month we did experiments all about volcanoes in preparation for this trip. We had been talking about volcanoes and pointing out the volcano as we travel around. Finally it was time to go visit it. You buy a timed ticket to take a gondola to the top, or you can hike it. They did have the option of taking a zip line back down, but our kids weren't big enough.

Riding the gondola up!

We made it to the top and we were inside a cloud. As you might have noticed from yesterday's photos the top of the volcano is almost always in the clouds. We wanted amazing views and great pictures. Instead we were all wet, cold, and couldn't see anything. We certainly won't forget that and I'm still glad we went.

Here's a picture from the trip back down.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Arenal Volcano Views

Here are some pictures of the volcano from our room.

The sidewalk from our car to our part of the quadplex. 

We were sitting on the porch reading/coloring and watching the clouds swirl around the volcano.

Remember the lookout I talked about a couple of days ago where we went to look at the stars? Here it is in the daytime looking toward the volcano. Tomorrow I will post about going up to the volcano.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kid Quotes

Sweet Son: "Mommy, do reptiles have deciduous teeth?" (Turns out the answer is yes.)

Sweet Son: "I'm going to be a doctor when I grow up."
Sweet Daughter: "I'm going to be a circus clown!" (She means a cirque du soleil clown. haha)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Resort Activities, Arenal Volcano Area

The resort we stayed at was amazing. We had our own portion of a quadplex (like a duplex with 4 units each). Each morning we would walk down to breakfast. They did have a shuttle but we preferred to walk through the beautiful grounds.

After breakfast we would wander the various trails. One had alligators, one area went to a butterfly habitat, the trails themselves had animals hiding if you looked closely. Here we are decided if we want to head to butterflies (left side of picture) or alligators (right side of picture). This entire area is rainforest, so we did get caught in the rain a few times. Luckily, we don't melt.

Here we are after getting caught in the rain. We are drying off and playing Connect 4 while waiting for the rest of the family to wake up. Apparently when you don't have twin alarm clocks you get to sleep in.

There was a look out area just a few steps away from our room. It had a great view over the valley, a great view of the volcano, and as we discovered, a great view of the stars. City kids aren't used to seeing that many stars and we spent time almost every night trying to find constellations.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hanging Bridges Hike

When we were almost to the Arenal Volcano area we stopped for a hike. This area has many very large hanging bridges (and a few normal ones) all through the rainforest. After sitting in the car for hours, this was a great way to burn off some energy.

Warning #1 This might not be a good activity if you are scared of heights.

Our group posing at the end of one of the bridges.
Warning #2 Check with everyone in your group to make sure they are up for the physical challenge of hiking.

Posing with a small waterfall.
Warning #3 Bring water.

We loved the hike. We were trying not to be too loud (4 year olds just released from a long car ride tend to be a bit loud) so we could see more wildlife. It was beautiful. Standing over a raging river on a flimsy bridge is an awesome experience. Feeling surrounded by nature is always great. I'm not sure everyone in our family would agree, but this was great for us.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Sweet Daughter: I'm going to be President when I grow up. Brother, you should be President also!
Sweet Son: There have been enough boy Presidents. I'm going to be a doctor.

Happy President's Day!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Costa Rica

As we left the Flamingo beach area, we traveled to the Arenal Volcano area. The drive was a bit longer than expected thanks to these guys.

People were getting out to hand feed them. Note to humans: do not hand feed wild animals! Stay in your car and take pictures.

In the Arenal area we were staying at a different place, just down the street, from the rest of the family. When we went to visit them the kids decided to put on a singing show for us.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Adult Entertainment

We started the days at the pool and when the rest of the family joined us, we would go to the beach. Eventually we would get hungry. One day we found this place to eat within walking distance. We were still in our swim clothes or cover ups. They had the most amazing (huge, strong) margaritas.

While we enjoyed our drinks, the kids entertained themselves by borrowing people's hats. Here's Sweet Son in a big floppy hat.

Here's Sweet Daughter in another hat.

The whole family full with alcohol and a bit of food. Priorities, right?
(Full disclosure, the kids did not have any alcohol.)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine Boxes

Every year the kids paint and decorate Valentine boxes for their school parties. You can clearly see their different personalities in their designs.

She started with purple and pink paint. Then she wanted the smallest stickers possible and used all of them.

He picked red and yellow paint and mixed most of it to make orange. He started with the monster stickers and put happy faces on them.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Death and Dunderment

My kids are obsessed with death. They related everything to death. MLK - he's dead. Abraham Lincoln - he's dead. George Washington - he's dead. These are all people we have read about recently so I do see the connection, but they want to know when everyone died and how they died. My grandfathers, Wonderful Husband's mom, etc. Today Sweet Son came across a photo of the Queen of England. He had three questions - 1. Why is she wearing an ugly dress? 2. Is she dead? 3. When will she die? Sigh

Picking up the kids from school Sweet Son noticed there are florescent hall lights in the ceiling and decorative lights on the walls. He wanted to know why they would need both. He thinks having both is "dunderment." I correct him. It's redundant. We walked down the hallway discussing redundancies. The director listened for a minute and said we are the only ones who have these conversations. Is that supposed to discourage me? It really just makes me want to talk to everyone else so they can also learn about it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In the tropics

Here are some signs to let you know you are in the tropics when traveling.

They were watching an iguana eating. They watched quietly for a long time before other kids came over and scared it away.

There are bananas on those trees! (I love her hair in this pic.)

Here's a close up of one of the iguanas that weren't afraid of adults, just kids that tried to pet them.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Car Conversations

Driving in the car yesterday:

Sweet Daugher: Mama what direction are you facing?
Me: East. What direction are you facing?
Sweet Son: West cause our seats are backwards.
Me: That's right.
Sweet Daughter: I'm looking out my window so I'm not facing West.
Me: So you are facing North. What direction is it if Sweet Son is looking out his window?
Sweet Son: South
Me: Correct
Sweet Daughter: North, East, South, um... North, East, South, Korea?

Today driving in the car:

Sweet Daughter: Mama, what are the things in Daddy's stomach that made me?
Me: I'm not sure I understand the question.
Sweet Daughter: The things that go with the egg in your tummy that made your tummy big before I was born.
Me: Sperm?
Sweet Daughter: Yes sperm. When do boys get sperm?
Me: When they go through puberty.
Sweet Daughter: Will I go through puberty.
Me: Yes
Sweet Daughter: Will I get sperm?
Me: No
Sweet Daughter: What will I get for puberty?
Me: Menstration
Sweet Daughter: ok

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Playground and Beach

Continuing the Costa Rica vacation pictures, today I'm showing the playground and beach.

Daddy had to get in on the fun. We often ended the evening at the swing set letting the kids burn off some extra energy while the adults had a chance to relax and chat.

This was also a good way to dry off after swimming.

There's the beach area! We spent quite a bit of time playing in it, but we were having fun and didn't always have the camera around.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vacation Pools

Each morning of our vacation in Costa Rica the kids insisted on waking up early. The up side to this is that we were always the only people in the pools. A shaded shallow pool and a sunny pool that had both shallow and deep parts.

Shallow and a bit chilly

She's sitting on the edge of the deep part making us nervous. He's staying close to safety and Daddy.

She wanted to get warm so she curled up in the towel on Daddy. awww

Friday, February 6, 2015

Costa Rica

We took a trip to Costa Rica and throughout the month I will post various stories and pictures from this amazing trip. We started in the area near Flamingo Beach. Here are some of my favorite monkeys.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Love Note

I was handed a note today. This is what it says, "Four Momie. I Luve You. He is prodly not eaten. From Sweet Son"

He read it to me as "For Mommy. I love you. He is proudly not eaten. From Sweet Son"

Sweet! Confusing, but sweet. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sweet Daughter Piano Recital

While Sweet Son was a better fit for private piano lessons, Sweet Daughter loves group lessons. She sings, dances, and learns piano. I won't include videos of other kids so you don't get to see the singing or the many songs they played as a group. They each also learned a short solo. Here is Sweet Daughter's solo at 4 years old.

This also led to the following quote that perfectly sums up the experience. Sweet Daughter "Why are all these other people playing at MY recital?"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lite Brite

The kids are still loving their new Lite Brites. Here are some of their more recent designs.

Why use a pattern? He called this one shark jumping out of water.

Beautiful flowers and an even better smile

Pink ice cream to match her dress