In Striking Contrast to Last Weekend. . .

Last weekend we had our once-a-decade Winter Wonderland. So, true to form for Mister Alabama Winter, we had gorgeous, sunny, 70+ degrees weather this weekend.

And, since I’ve been telling about our day-to-day lives less lately, I decided that it was time to do a “this-was-our-weekend-(and a little of the week)-in-pictures” post. I used to do these all the time. . .ah, memories. . .

On Thursday, we had to go downtown to do some video recording for Pop. He took us a block away to wow Ali with one of her favorite things in the world – trains.She named them all. There was Thomas, Annie, and Clarabel. She saw a big platform and declared in wonder that it was Cranky the Crane, and another platform was the Big, Big Bridge. It was as if all of her Thomas books came alive at that very instant.
If you ever wondered what Ali looked like in complete and utter heaven, this is it:After that, we headed to Zoe’s at SoHo to eat lunch with Kitty. We were a few minutes early, so Ali wanted to run around the fountain. Which gave me a fun opportunity to practice my camera shots:
On Friday, we met a bunch of friends at the park. It was a very strange experience, because this was the first time that we’ve been to the park that I felt comfortable sitting down and letting Ali go and play wherever she wanted.

(Because I finally quit with the denial and recognized that she is plenty old enough to not nose dive off of a platform or suck on a bubble-gum-and-dirt-covered stair.)

(And I still watched her every move, but I wasn’t having to SHADOW her every move.)

Ali sensed the change also, because she would run half way to me every now and then, yell out “HEY Mommy!!”, then run back off to whatever she was doing.
Or, in some cases, stoop down so she could see me from under the bridge, yell “HEY Mommy!!”, then run back to what she was doing:
After getting good and worn out, she spent a good 30 minutes in those weird-looking-new-fangled-way-too-safety-conscious swings:
Of course I had to do away with some of that overly-safeness and shove more than one kid in them at a time. However, those swings have a MAJORLY calming effect. I’ve never seen these kids sit so still and quiet for so long.

After swinging with AJ (above) for a while, Claire joined her.
However, I got to talking to another one of the Moms while I was swinging Ali and Claire, and inadvertently committed the Ultimate Crime of Motherhood against Lydia (Claire’s Mom).

Claire fell asleep. In the swing. And I let it happen. I even caused it to happen by my all-too-lulling swinging movements. My conscience was seared with guilt and concern that I may have ruined her afternoon nap.

However, we woke her up and told her to go run around. After a napping-swinging-bonding experience, Ali and Claire were tight. So they headed off on a road trip:On Saturday, we decided to try out a new park with Daddy that we had heard about, the Leeds Memorial Park. And let me tell you – when they say on their website that they have over $100,000 of playground equipment, they aren’t lying!!! The main set was larger than every other Birmingham playground combined:
It was quite intimidating, so Ali chose to start out a bit smaller and work her way up:Of course, while never letting go of Mommy:However, her courage returned quickly, and she (and I – I pretended to be under 12 – I’m SURE it was believable) climbed to the top of the tall, tall tower:
Ali preferred to sit, for quite some time, and ponder the meaning of life down below:
And then after all that pondering, I convinced her to slide with me down a VERY steep slide. By the time this picture was taken, I was trying everything to slow down to avoid a very bad landing:
Yes, she MIGHT have gotten airborne for a minute in that picture. But we landed with me standing straight up. With a bang.

Then AJ joined us, and we had to start over small. I’m telling you, that thing is INTIMIDATING!
AJ helped Ali’s courage in sliding:
Or maybe not.
Then they both climbed to the tall, tall tower:
They were the Queens of the castle:
I haven’t seen a Merry-Go-Round in nearly 10 years, since they so rudely (and cruelly even) tore down and rebuilt the park that Chris and I fell in love at.

I’m not bitter or anything.

But luckily, AJ was bold enough to want to join me so that I didn’t look like a very out of place adult while the kids pushed me around and around:
And then it was back to one of those strange swings:
We tried to work on our big-girl swinging skills. AJ is awesome. Ali, not so sure.
And I must say, it felt SO good to be outside and SO much like spring and SO opposite of last weekend’s snow that I was happy to see that I got a nice sunburn.
Saturday evening after a late naptime, we enjoyed even more of the amazing weather (and, being that it snowed last weekend, NO mosquitoes with aforementioned amazing weather) by goofing off on the porch waiting for Daddy to get back from his long Saturday-naptime run.
I don’t know WHY she has such trouble blowing bubbles. . . maybe it’s because she tried to suck on the bubble wand a few times?
Then Daddy got home, and we were very excited, and watched very intently to be like Daddy.
After all, we needed to stretch too from all that bubble blowing!So that’s how we’ve enjoyed this amazing weather!! How about you?