Swimmer Kid

While Tucker DOES enjoy himself a running race, I think his real passion (as passionate a 5 year old can be) is in swimming. For the last four years, we’ve been taking Tucker to the swimming pool in our neighborhood for lessons over the summer. The last two years, we’ve also had him taking swim lessons at the indoor pool near my work.

Signing up for the summer lessons have historically been a nightmare. Last year, I stood in a line for over an hour, on a randomly freezing day for the end of April. It was snowing! The year before, my position in line was halfway around the building!

This year, the city FINALLY opened up online registration. And Tucker is signed up for swimming ALL summer.

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I apologize for the brevity, but I also want to get the posts for P, Q, and T out today.

What are your summer fun plans?

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Outdoor Spaces

We are lucky in that we live in an area close to a lot of open spaces. Whether it’s parks, trails along the river, or national parks, we just need to pick a direction and nature awaits us.

 

To the east are the Sandia Mountians and directly west is the Petroglyph National Monument. About a mile east of our front door is the bosque and its trails. A five minute walk north is Miraposa park. We love getting out and spending time in the great outdoors.

What outdoor space do you enjoy?

A Noticed Thing

I’ve lived in Albuquerque for just over 30 years. When I drive around my city, I can reflect on the parts that bring me the fondest memories. And now that I have a child of my own, I am able to share some of those places and memories with him.

There’s a park near the mall on the East side of town where my grandfather used to take me. My mom has albums full of memories, many of which were made at this park. When I was a girl, there was a sort of monkey bars sculpted into the shape of a giraffe. I hadn’t really thought about that park in years. My grandfather passed away when I was eight, and I had no reason to visit the park afterward since I lived in another part of the city. Last spring, almost exactly a year ago, Tucker was invited to a friend’s party and it just so happened to be at that very park.

Of course I have passed by this park, now and again, through the years. I noted at some point the giraffe seemed to have been removed or relocated. I never stopped to look until the day of that party.

It was there. Tucked back in the corner of the park, off the main road. Set aside like some monument to my childhood. Before joining the party, I let Tucker climb that giraffe.

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Movie Lists

Over the last few years, Jason and I have, of course, taken on the pop-enculturation of Tucker. We have been working on the cinematic element of this lifelong process most recently.

In addition to the myriad animated movies courtesy of Disney, Don Bluth, and Studio Ghibli we indulge in, we also ensure a fair amount of live action and mixed action films as well.

About a year or so back, I drafted a list of animated movies that would be of relative interest to Tucker. I looked for movies with male characters who learned valuable life lessons through their adventures within the movie. Don’t get me wrong, movies with strong female characters are just as valuable, and two of Tucker’s favorite movies that don’t involve vehicles, dinosaurs, or super heroes are Frozen, Coraline, and Ponyo.

We have a few movie lists to share including our animated movie list for boys, live action movie list, and mixed action movie list. The titles in bold are ones Tucker has actually seen while the others are movies we are either waiting to watch with him (The Dark Crystal is probably too scary right now) or just haven’t gotten to yet (Pinocchio doesn’t come on that often).

Animated Movie List with Boys in Mind

  1. Aladdin
  2. Aladdin and the 40 Thieves
  3. All Dogs go to Heaven
  4. Atlantis
  5. Bee Movie
  6. Big Hero 6
  7. Bolt
  8. Brother Bear
  9. Brother Bear 2
  10. Bug’s Life
  11. Cars
  12. Cars 2
  13. Cars 3
  14. Chicken Little
  15. Dinosaur
  16. Dumbo
  17. Emperor’s New Groove
  18. Finding Nemo
  19. Gnomeo and Juliet
  20. Goofy Movie
  21. Hercules 
  22. Howl’s Moving Castle
  23. Hunchback of Notre Dame
  24. Jungle Book
  25. Kronk’s New Groove
  26. Lion King
  27. Meet the Robinsons
  28. Monster’s Inc
  29. Monster’s University
  30. Oliver and Company
  31. Peter Pan
  32. Pinocchio
  33. Planes
  34. Ratatouille 
  35. Return of Jafar
  36. Robin Hood
  37. Sherlock Gnomes
  38. Shrek
  39. Shrek 2
  40. Shrek 3
  41. Tarzan
  42. The Black Cauldron 
  43. The Brave Little Toaster
  44. The Croods
  45. The Fox and the Hound
  46. The Good Dinosaur 
  47. The Great Mouse Detective
  48. The Incredibles
  49. The Incredibles 2 (coming soon)
  50. The Land Before Time
  51. The Sword in the Stone
  52. Toy Story
  53. Toy Story 2
  54. Toy Story 3
  55. Toy Story 4
  56. Treasure Planet
  57. Up
  58. Winnie the Pooh
  59. Wreck It Ralph
  60. Wreck It Ralph 2 (coming soon)

Live Action Movie List

  1. Gnome Mobile
  2. Herbie the Love Bug
  3. Herbie Rides Again
  4. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
  5. Herbie Goes Bananas
  6. The Flight of the Navigator
  7. The Explorers
  8. The Goonies
  9. The Cat from Outerspace
  10. Labrynth
  11. Muppets Treasure Island
  12. Muppets from Space
  13. The Neverending Story
  14. Annie
  15. Mac and Me
  16. ET
  17. The Dark Crystal

Mixed Action Movie List

  1. The Phantom Tollbooth
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Bedknobs and Broomsticks 
  4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

**These are obviously not exhaustive lists. What movies would you add? What movies are on your lists of movies you absolutely need to share with your kids?

Living in Lego Land

When we first discovered that we would be welcoming a bouncing baby boy into our family, I had no idea what I was in for.

That’s not entirely true, actually. For years, well before I even met Jason, I would pass by the baby section of any number of stores and stop at the baby boy clothes. Little girls clothes are just too lacy and frilly and girly. Color explosion. The boy clothes? Three words: Little Man Suits. I would ponder the future as I gazed at those adorable little things. I vowed to myself that my son would wear little man suits. Oh yes; he would wear them all. the. time.

Of course fantasy rarely aligns with reality. Fact is, Tucker has only worn ONE little man suit and it was when he was 3. I’m OK with this.

This past Christmas / Hanukkah, Tucker’s daddy gave him ALL of his old Legos. We’re talking a huge bin full of them. He also got 20 or so new Legos sets and 5 rolls of Lego tape. The tape is awesome, while it stays sticky. The picture below was taken of Tucker’s bedroom door back in December. We’ve only lost the e and r so far.

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As far as Legos go, right now Tucker is more of a “follow the directions” sorta kid. He opens one set at a time, and with very little, if any, help from adults, he puts together whatever he’s meant to.

Daddy and Tucker Lego time consists of Tucker drawing new plans or dictating them to Jason who then attempts to create them in 3D with Legos from the afore-mentioned bin.

I love Tucker playing with Legos. He builds his fine motor, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. He can stretch out his imagination with each new construction. We are definitely living in Lego land over here.

What are your kids’ favorite toys?

 

Jump For It

It took me a long time to consider my post for J.

I could talk about Jason, my husband. He’s pretty awesome, creative, often the yin to my yang, also my soul mate.

I could talk about my Judaism, which is much different, I imagine, from other people’s. I imagine that everyone’s personal experiences with their culture is vastly different because those are their experiences.

In the end, I decided to talk a little bit about the jump, bounce, and climb places around town. Well, the few that we’ve visited.

Hoots (mentioned first in the H post), is our favorite. Kids can tackle the massive, multi-level climbing structure. It’s fun for kids to just get lost in all the twists and turns. Kids also have the option to indulge in their perpetual need to move, bounce, and wiggle in the bounce room. What’s AMAZING about Hoots, is that during open hours, you can bounce your kids for UNLIMITED time. For less than $10.

We’ve gone to a few trampoline parks. We ventured to Gravity Park when Tucker was a little guy. We knew from an early age, Tucker was a bouncer/jumper/climber. We only have adorable video of this experience, so I won’t include it here.

I haven’t had bad experiences at any of these places, and they are all essentially the same. For a price (these are different at each place) you get a set amount of time to jump–usually an hour. I had a Groupon for Fallout Jump Arena the last time we went, so it was well worth the $$. Both places have foam pits, which, let me tell you, give QUITE a workout.

Tucker is also a climber. He just loves to climb up the slides at the playground, and climb up any and all faux rock walls. There’s a park near us that is MOSTLY rope courses. We’ve been a few times, but not in a while. I think we will need to add it to our rotation.

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We also have an actual rock climbing gym, Stone Age Climbing Gym, in town. A friend of ours had her son’s birthday party there last year. Tucker was nervous at first, but he got the hang of it and did a GREAT job.

How do you help your kiddos burn off their energy?

Inquiry

Saturday was a busy day, even IF Tucker wasn’t feeling 100%.

See, we got a new cat. Her name is Delilah and she looks like a short-haired version of our Maine Coon, Lillith, who passed away about 3 years ago. Delilah was the only cat at the Animal Humane Adoption Center near us. It was fate, or whatever.

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We’ve been slowly acclimating Delilah to her new home and the “resident cats.” It’s a process.

Sunday, Tucker decided that he wanted to learn more about cats. So he pulled out his little “puter” and set to work doing “research.” Alas, his inquiries and investigation resulted in the respelling of the word, CAT, and that was about it.

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While we were amused and proud of Tucker’s initiative, we wanted to support his curiosity. So, we found an interesting documentary on domestic cats. If you are at all inquiry-minded, “The Lion in Your Living Room” is a cool one. It’s only a few years old, and goes into detail about the history and science of the domestic cat.