Friday, June 5, 2009

Favorite Thing Friday: Parafoil Kites and Rummage Sales

We are enjoying some fantastic weather this week.  Unfortunately the good weather is slated to end tomorrow.  Tomorrow's weather may or may not include a frost advisory.  Yuck.

Today it's in the upper 70's so we'll enjoy it while we can.  We spent the entire morning outdoors.  Today's most exciting educational opportunity was bird poop.  Yup.  Bird poop.  I had no idea the concept was so awe inspiring and fascinating.  The last time I saw such  delighted, surprised, awe-struck expressions on their faces is when they rode on a "real train" for the first time.  Who knew that being told not to run your finger in the bird poop on the picnic table and lick your finger could lead to such a quality educational discussion about how all animals poop and not always in the potty.  After our discussion, Me Too pointed to nearly everything in the yard and asked "bird poop?"  and Kal-El talked to himself a lot about how he could "fly in the air and poop in the air."  Wonderful.

We went to our favorite park to play with playgroup on Wednesday.  We had a great time and took advantage of the annoying general windiness of the park by bringing our kite.  I love our kite.  I wish I had pictures to show you, but had my hands full most of the time and didn't get around to taking any.  

Our kite is a single-line, parafoil kite that I read about for the first time here on the Amazing Trips blog.  As Jen puts it:

In case you're interested, the single line parafoil is one of the best kites I've ever found for children. There are no hard parts that can be broken - or lost - it folds up compactly in to a small bag for transport and it requires little wind. In fact if it's a calm day, just eat a can of beans and you should be set to go.

I love that this kite has no big, wooden dowels to impale the kids in the eye when it crashes to the ground.  I also love that it can fly in really low (4-6 mph) winds.  The two benefits to that feature are that you can fly a kite on what sometimes really doesn't look like a good kite-flying day and also that on a good kite-flying day it puts itself in the air with no effort whatsoever.  I can put it in the air myself without having someone else hold it while I run like a maniac
.  Wednesday the winds were about 15 mph and each time I crashed the kite it re-launched itself off the grass while I was still rolling in the string from 60 feet away.  Nice.  I was also able to fly it about 10 feet off the ground so that the tail kept brushing by the children.  I think they all giggled and chased the kite for about 30 minutes.

I have a feeling I am really going to enjoy this summer with the boys.  This was the first time I've taken them both to the park and didn't constantly feel like I was going to lose one and neither one was constantly eating the wood chips.

One of the other highlights of the day was climbing to the top of the big sledding hill and back down again.  Okay, Kal-El climbed...Me Too went for about 10 feet and said "up please!"  It was hard enough to get myself up and down that hill.  To do so while carrying a 28 pound toddler was a workout.  

I did a lot of rummaging this week (otherwise known as garage sales if you're not from our neck of the woods).  You could not have put one more thing in my station wagon when I was done yesterday.  It's hard not to bring home too many toys when you find things like two hippity-hops for 50 cents apiece!  We'll enjoy those in the playroom during tomorrow's rainstorms I'm sure.  At least we'll have something fun to do this summer when the tornado sirens are going off.

I got a little carried away.  One sale had three sizes of dual-blade ice skates for $1 each.  I bought all three figuring they were all larger than Kal-El's current shoe size and both boys will eventually work their way through all three pairs.  I also paid 75 cents each for three different sleds (we had no sleds).  We are in good shape for winter.  The pair of walkie-talkie's shaped like Spiderman (1$) certainly might qualify as junk, but my boys really love Spiderman (even though they have never seen a Spiderman cartoon or movie) and all boys love walkie-talkies.  I'm going to hide those for a year or so.  Kal-El spent the whole morning riding a little ride-on excavator I found for $2.  Me Too rode our ride-on dump truck ($1 last year) and they had a blast.  Kal-El kept filling him up with wood chips and Kal-El kept dumping them (yes, the excavator actual excavates and has what Kal-El calls "oval belt wheels").  

I also found Me Too his birthday present yesterday.  I was going to make his present, but then I found what I was going to make at a rummage for less than the materials were going to cost me and pounced.  More on that at a later date.

My most "risky" purchase was this In Step Pathfinder bike trailer for $10.  Kal-El is currently riding a 1950's Murray tricycle (old photo)....

...and last week he learned how to ride this pedal-less bike.


 I thought he might like riding on this bike trailer and doing some laps on the paved trail around the nearby lake with Daddy.  Daddy was surprised I bought it because we only own one adult bicycle and it's been in the basement for the last five years.  I had figured having little kids would be instrumental in his getting the bike out of the basement, but maybe I was wrong.  I have been thinking about picking myself up a cruising bike while we are at it so I almost bought two of these things (same rummage).  Oh well, if we don't use it I'm sure I can get my $10 back on Craigslist.

Aside from that there was a pair of handcuffs, a big batch of puzzles, a felt board easel with pieces ($3).  I probably should ban myself from all rummage sales for the rest of the summer, but I still need to find a wagon for when we go to the farmer's market every Saturday to pick up our CSA share.  I think I might need to get that on Craigslist, it will prevent me from looking for weeks on end and from coming home with more rummage sale items while I'm looking.


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