I have a bajillion photos from our "Back to School Bash" during the last 24 hours. The boys and I had a blast!!! We began our celebration at the Ramada -- checking in at about 4:30 and heading straight to the indoor water park. We swam and played until Shawn and Violet arrived around 6. Then we went back to the room, got them into their swim clothes (Violet was SO cute!!) and then swam for another hour.
The boys were on cloud 9 -- this indoor waterpark is built for kids their age. There's a one-foot pool with a big pirate ship you climb that has four different slides, all kinds of water guns you can shoot and other cool stuff to play on. There's also a sporting pool with a volleyball net and basketball hoop. Then there are two big water slides. Another 4 foot pool where you can jump in and swim around. And a hot tub. It's a great set up for parents, too. Lots of lifeguards on duty and you can easily keep an eye on multiple kids because of the way it's set up.
Anyway, we all had a great dinner at the hotel and then Violet and Shawn went home for the night. It was my first night away from Violet! She's such a sweet baby, I would have kept her with me had it not been for the swimming part.
After supper, the boys and I hit the arcade to play games and win tickets for prizes. Mazy scored 250 tickets on one machine and so excited about it! When it was time to cash in and choose our prizes, they had over 500 tickets. The kid behind the counter was in a generous mood. He opened a gun toy to see if the boys would like it. We discovered it did not work at all, so they passed. Then when they decided they wanted to use their remaining tickets on the plastic Army guys, he just dumped the entire container in our bag! What a score! They got well over 100 guys, plus all the other cheap crap they picked out.
We took it all back to the hotel room and played and watched a Harry Potter movie until about 10:30. Then we went to bed. Sometime in the night, Bo fell OUT of the bed he was sharing with Mazy. He cried for a bit, crawled in with me and was fast asleep in about 30 seconds.
Morning arrived and I decided to surprise the boys with room service!! Oh it was awesome! It arrived while Bo was still sleeping. He thought it was the coolest thing to wake up and have pancakes and bacon waiting for him next to his bed! Mazy ate his in bed, but Bo chose to eat at the desk. We watched Scooby Doo and waited for the pool to open. Then we swam from 9 to 11 a.m. Then, my mom came to the hotel, waited for us all to shower and get dressed, and then we all went to Ames for lunch.
We went to Hickory Park and met Shawn, Violet and Shawn's parents. The boys each got ice cream for dessert. Then Shawn handed off Violet, and Mom and I took all three kids to Reiman Gardens that's next to Jack Trice Stadium, where the Cyclones play.
I hadn't been there for many years so it was a lot of fun to see how it's grown and changed. New this summer is there "how things work" exhibit, which includes 12 awesome Lego displays of garden objects. There was a butterfly, goldfinches, a lawn mower, lily pads, a fox, a rabbit and a carrot!, a bison and calf, a gardener, and several others. I'll show you some of our favorites tomorrow in my photo recap.
Now, I can't say the boys were PERFECT during the Reiman tour.... But they were pretty good. It was a beautiful sunny day, it wasn't too crowded, and sweet Violet slept or hung out the entire time. She really is such a good baby. Like really good. Unbelievably good. I try not to compare her to the boys. But she is really, really better than the boys ever were as babies. :) OK, maybe I tell them that once in awhile when they are acting like maniacs and driving me crazy.
After Reiman, we stopped for slushes and then headed back to Des Moines. It was one of the best Mondays I've had in a long, long time!!!
OK, I'm heading to bed. I'm determined to get to bed earlier this week -- no more staying up until midnight for me!