Thursday, April 11, 2013

Disney Dad

As most of you know, Bryan took a new job at the beginning of this year.  He was offered a better position at a better bank and, so far, it has been a positive change for everyone involved.  Well, except for the first month or so.  The company, Centier Bank (check it and Bryan out at is based out of Merrillville Indiana and Bryan spent most of February and some of early March out of town for training, interviews and hiring. 
The kids and I stuck to our normal schedule and aside from less laundry barely noticed that he was gone.  Just kidding, we spent most of our time crying and pining for him.  One aspect of Bryan being gone from Monday to Friday every week was that he was eager to spend as much fun time with the kids as possible while he was home.  This lead him to take on the roll of a "Disney Dad"  You know, the term that describes a dad that only sees his kids on the weekends so he does whatever the kids want.  Yep, that was Bryan.  I was exhausted and just wanted to stay home and rest up for the following week, but it didn't take much arm twisting to get me to ditch my chores and head to the Children's Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo.
Bryan and Jack at the dinosaur dig.
 I think the museum requires that children wear the safety goggles just  because they are so cute.
 Well, cute and disfiguring.

 There's always a dad, probably another Disney Dad, that just can't stay out of the dig. 
Lilly hatching her dino eggs.  It was the stillest that she sat all week.
 What's more fun than dinosaurs?
 Not sure if she's protecting the eggs or doing some sort of a rain dance.
 Trains...that's something that's better than dinosaurs, at least for Jack.  He cried when we finally left the train area.
 Ticket saleswoman.  She sold me a train ticket to London...London Kentucky, I assume.
Pretending to be geckos with sticky fingers.
 And, Hot Wheels, those are better than dinosaurs and trains.  Yes, another exhibit that ended with Jack crying.
 So much joy to be had in a giant room filled with toy cars!

 I had just informed Lilly that this was the exact room that housed the Barbie exhibit.  It took only a few moments for her to grasp the meaning of that.  No Barbie exhibit. 
Disney Dad, aka body guard, made sure no one took Jack's car or ramp.
 Excavating.  Yeah, excavating is better than dinosaurs too.
 Lilly is my child.  She, along with a couple other little girls, spent her time at the construction site collecting stray 'rocks' and depositing them neatly into an empty hole.
 Then, Jack helped many of the other kids redistribute the rocks to the floor.
 At the tree house on the next floor Jack made a friend.  We still have no idea who was inside the tree house, but whoever it was kept Jack entertained for a long time by poking the puppet's head out of a hole and then disappearing as soon as Jack reaching in for him.

 The chicken freaked him out a little and definitely wasn't better than the dinosaurs.
 "Lilly, get off your ass!"
 Playing dress up in the Egypt exhibit made up for the lack of Barbie.
Riding a giant Nile crocodile.  Brave girl.  Jack has the baby crocodile and has since pretended to be a baby crocodile several times.  I can only assume that he is much more cuddly and cute than an actual baby crocodile.
 Jack had to stand on the crocodile too.  I think they were locking the doors at closing time as we were leaving this exhibit.
That night we said our good byes to Daddy and he was up and heading to Merrillville before the rest of us were awake.
But, he was home on Friday night, and already talking about the zoo on Sunday.
Before we left that house Bryan asked the kids if they wanted to go to the zoo.  "Yes!"  Lilly said and then rattled off a laundry list of the things she wanted to see and do.  Jack's response, "Me ride the train?  Yes."
So, we rode the train.
 Of course the zoo has a carousel too.  Had to ride that.  I hate carousels, when I take the kids to these places without Bryan I strategically avoid the area with the carousel.  Glad everyone got to ride this time.
 A very special thanks to Daddy for all of the fun during 'Disney Dad February' and a great big thanks to the grandparents who made both of these locations absolutely free for us.  Every year for Lilly's and my birthday we get a Zoo membership from my mom and dad and a Children's Museum membership from Bryan's parents.

Florida in February

To avoid the heavy snows and biting cold of an Indiana February the Traylor family escaped to Key West again this year.  Obviously, when we planned the trip we didn't realize that it would be 45 degrees the day we left, or that we were going to get several inches of snow at the end of March. 
Oh well, Key West, as usual, was wonderful.
We swam everyday.
In fact, we had only been there about five minutes before both kids 'put their feet in'.  By that I mean that they put their feet in before submerging most of their bodies with their clothes on.
It just wouldn't be a complete Key West trip without bicycles.
First night out, exploring the wharf and watching the pelicans who are watching the fisherman clean the day's catch.
A much easier boat to pose by than the ones tied up near by.
After dinner and heading home.
Surprisingly, Jack loved his 'bike hat' and wore it even when he wasn't on his bike.
Bryan used some points that he earned at work to treat everyone to a glass bottom boat ride.  We've checked that off our list and probably won't ever do it again.  It was fun and and the kids enjoyed riding on the boat and looking at the reef through the bottom, but the adults didn't enjoy the blazing sun, and gentle rocking of the boat.  Pretty much everywhere you turned someone was puking into a baggie that they conveniently handed out near the concession stand.
After every one's stomach calmed down from the boat ride Bryan took us to a secret park.
Not at all the nicest place in Key West, but actually about two doors down from Jimmy Buffet's house.  He came over and sang to us while we played.
Finally!  A beach day.
Lilly chased birds and picked up shells.
Jack played monster trucks.
Vacation is hard.
Waiting for a table at our favorite KW restaurant, Blue Heaven.  Papaw and Jack used this opportunity to play on the train.
It was not only the best meal of the trip, but also got the best behavior out of the little people.
The next day we broke off into groups.  The boys rode the Conch Train and toured the island.
It was, pretty much, Jack's favorite part of the trip and he asked to do it every day after.
The girls went to the parrot sanctuary and then Grandma took Lilly home and I made my way to a spa. 
Of course, we fit in more swimming before dinner.
 Mallory Square is a must do, at least once, during every visit.  Not only is it the place to watch the sun set, but there are street performers, hand made souvenirs, and great people watching.  Lilly and Jack were most interested in the young woman with the Rat Circus and spent most of their time waiting for her to start the show.
 Jack started to lose interest in waiting.
 But, finally the show started.  It was amazing and disturbing all at once.  The ringleader of the circus explained that she got her start when she received a rat to train in a college psychology class, pointing out that maybe it doesn't always pay to send your kids to college.
 Happy to be home.
Butterfly Conservatory, of course.
 It's a popular place for people of all ages.
 You are not allowed to touch the butterflies, something we had to remind Lilly and Jack several times.
 But, Jack figured out pretty quick that you can still blow on them and they will fly away.
Lilly working very hard to keep her hands to herself.
 I felt obliged to include this picture as it is the only one of me.
 My little butterflies.
 A walk down the pier before lunch.  It was very windy and I believe that if Bryan let go of Jack's hand he might actually fly away.  Jack, not Bryan.
 The kids found some sand while we waited for a table.
 I mentioned it was windy, right?  Sand in the eye.
Nothing a little swimming won't fix.
Yes, actually swimming.  Lilly figured it out about halfway through our trip and we couldn't keep her out of the water after that.  She was swimming the length of the pool, stopping for breath along the way, and even diving for shells on the lowest stair.
 We spent that night at home and Papaw and Lilly entertained the rest of us with a rock and roll show.  Papaw on guitar.
 Lilly singing and dancing.
 Before bed cuddles.
 The true miracle of the trip was when we realized that Jack Traylor would eat almost an entire apple.  This is pretty amazing for a guy who only likes pizza, chicken nuggets and chips.
 Lazy day by the pool.
 Maybe too laid back and lazy, the children evidently became bored and tried to escape.
 Napping:  She's doing it wrong.
 Later that night we went to the Turtle Races.
 Lilly's turtle won and she as given a key and a chance to open a treasure chest for a prize.  Her key, unfortunately, didn't work. 
 Papaw and Lilly tormenting the stature of Key West's most famous fisherman.
The next day, our last day, was spent at the beach.  Unfortunately, I am in almost all of the pictures and none will be posted.
We weren't even home a week and I was already looking forward to next year.