Columbus Commons Family Fun Day

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We are always on the look out for inexpensive things to do with the kids around town…and sometimes it is not easy! Hell, just going to McDonalds will run a family of four $20+ these days.

So when I heard about the Columbus Commons Family Fun Day, I was excited. It is free to walk around and look, but what fun is that? It only costs $5 per kid for an all day pass to all of the activities.

Instead of rambling on about what a good deal it was, how about I share some pictures to show how much the kids enjoyed it!!!

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Can Being In A Rut Be Fun?

Ever feel like you are in a rut…digging and digging to get out, but getting no where fast?

Ever since Momma started staying at home with Ace instead of going to work, we have really had to watch where our money goes.Β  And now that we are living in a recession it almost like a noose around our necks!

We pay all of our bills on time, but what’s left over leaves little room for much entertainment or extra curricular activities.

The added stress and lack of doing things hasn’t really helped my blogging much. I mean, do you really want to hear about how we do the same thing every day?Β  I didn’t think so…Β  πŸ˜€

I know that the recession has hurt many families much more than it has hurt ours and I am very grateful that we have done as well as we have throughout these tough times.

I have friends that have been laid off for over a year, depleted all of their savings, and ran up their credit cards.Β  Now they are living on a shoestring budget struggling to make ends meet.

So how has the recession put unwanted stress on your family?

What have you done to alleviate this stress?

What are some fun (and inexpensive) things that your family does for entertainment?

Play Ball!

The other night we packed up and headed down to the local minor league baseball stadium for Ace’s first baseball game! We were greeted by swarms of fans, the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, and a night full of the All American Past Time…Baseball!

Ace, of course, could care less about the actual game, but was too busy eating Goldfish and smiling at the old ladies. πŸ˜€

We actually went for one of our friend’s kid’s birthday party, so after the second inning all the kids there for the party got to go out into left field and do the chicken dance with the cheerleaders. So there I am, out in left field with Ace (and the cheerleaders πŸ˜€ ) helping him flap his wings, shake his butt, and clap like a drugged up chicken.

Here are some pics of Ace’s first baseball game…

The Coop
“The Coop”

Ace Figuring Out His Cow Bell
Ace figuring out his new cow bell…

Ace Has Figured Out The Cow Bell
I think he’s got it figured out…anyone have any Tylenol?

Dad And Ace Enjoying A Hot Dog
Gotta teach this boy right…any babseball game requires the consumption of at least one hot dog. πŸ˜€

Mascots Are Scary
What the hell is that thing?

Ace Paying Attention To The Game
It was an exciting game…

The Chicken Dance
The Chicken Dance (I’m the one squatted down using Ace as a puppet, cause I don;t do the chicken dance, but I sure can make Ace do a killer rendition of it. πŸ˜€ )

After The Chicken Dance
Ace and I walking off the field after getting our groove on…

Grandpa’s Glory – Part II

Back in October, I wrote a post about Ace’s Grandpa, my Dad.Β  Ace and his Grandpa didn’t get a long too good at first.Β  Grandpa would say “Hi!” and Ace would scream like a banshee!

It was tough on Grandpa, but things have been getting better…

Ace, Momma, and I spent all weekend at Grandpa’s just hanging out and swimming in the pool!Β  We had a blast and got some nice tan lines as a result. πŸ˜€

As you probably know, Ace loves to ride on the mower, and when Grandpa started his up Ace wasn’t going to quit until he was taken for a ride.Β  It wasn’t hard for Ace to convince his Grandpa for a quick ride on the mower, but a quick ride turned into 20-30 minutes of lapping the yard.Β  πŸ˜€

Grandpa and Ace Riding On The Mower

And after a long day in the sun, nothing is better than a nap in the recliner…

Grandpa and Ace Napping In The Recliner

It makes me think back to when my Grandpa took me for rides on his mower.Β  Something I will never forget!Β  I’m going to have to dig up some pictures of me riding on my Grandpa’s mower and napping in his recliner…and post them here of course.Β  πŸ˜€

Sometimes it’s scary how much Ace and I are alike… πŸ˜€

Vacation to Iowa!

Vacation to Iowa was great! It was nice to get away from the daily grind for once. No rush hour traffic. No cell phone. No worries!

We left at about 3 AM on Thursday night.Β  It took us about 14 hours and two tanks of gas to get from Ohio to Storm Lake, IA. (Can you say “Empty wallet and pooped?”) Have you ever driven across the Midwest? It is sooo exciting!!! Here’s a picture I took through the rear view mirror with my camera phone to show you just how much fun we were all having… πŸ˜†

Momma and Ace sleeping in the car on the way to Iowa

We stayed at a hotel in Storm Lake called King’s Pointe. We reserved a double queen suite with a crib and a lake view a few weeks before hand, but when we arrived we got a handicap double queen room with a parking lot view. πŸ™

The handicap room would not work because it had no bath tub for Ace, and we really wanted the lake view with a balcony (the hotel was non-smoking and the balcony would be our smoking area πŸ˜† )

After a bit of persistence they gave us the room we reserved and all was well.

Dad and Momma on the balcony at Kings Pointe in Storm Lake Iowa

The hotel had an indoor and outdoor water park! (I was so excited…I’m just like a little boy when it comes to this kinda stuff πŸ˜† )

King’s Pointe Indoor Water Park Resort

The closest Ace has been to going swimming was splashing around in the bath tub, so I was very curious to how he would react to the swimming pool. After a few minutes of scared-shitless-ness accompanied by a white-knuckled-death-grip on Dad, Ace started to relax and enjoy himself!

We had so much fun being in the water with him that we really didn’t get out to take many pictures of his first time swimming! Here is one that I managed to snap of Ace and Momma lounging in the pool…

Momma and Ace In The Pool

Even though he thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool, he was utterly amazed by the fountain…

Ace Staring At The Fountain

…or was it the Bud Light sign? πŸ˜†

One reason we went to Iowa was to visit some old friends who’s daughter was graduating from high school. We went to the graduation, which was in a small non-air-conditioned (Can you say “Hot As Balls?”) gymnasium.

Ace has been self-propelled for a while now and really likes it that way. Ever since he has learned to move under his own power, he absolutely forbids to sit still. It was hot in the gymnasium… sweaty, and smelled like the locker room after football practice! So, I took off Ace’s restraints (joking!) and took him outside to play in the shade while Momma stayed inside to watch the graduation ceremony.

We get outside and there is no shade! So I’m chasing after Ace in the burning sunlight on concrete hot enough to fry an egg when I smell something a bit different than the sweaty smell I had become accustomed to in the gymnasium… You guessed it…I smelled a baby biscuit getting baked in Ace’s diaper!

Luckily I grabbed the diaper bag on the way outside, but there was no where to change him.Β  So, Ace and I head off on a two mile trek to the car where we enjoyed a fresh diaper, a drink, and 45 minutes worth of gas wasting air-conditioned heaven! πŸ˜†

The drive back to Ohio was not so nice. Ace had some of his molars breaking through the skin, and he was not enjoying the car ride a single bit.Β  So, we stopped half way and grabbed a hotel room in Illinois.Β  Luckily, I travel a lot for work and earn TONS of hotel points, so we got a room for free for the night. The hotel had a pool where we spent most of the evening splashing around…

After a good swim and getting a good nights sleep we headed out in the morning to finish the last half of our journey home. We took our time. We stopped for a packed lunch at a rest stop with Mr. Smarty Pants himself…

Smarty pants eating his lunch at a rest stop

…and then Ace napped most of the rest of the way home…

Ace relaxing in the car on the way home from Iowa

Despite the sore rear ends from sitting in the car for over 28 hours, the mix up with the hotel room, the incredibly hot gymnasium, the fried diaper biscuit, and the crying restlessness of a teething child strapped into the back seat of a gas guzzling SUV…we had a very good time and enjoyed the visit with our old friends!

Back to the grind… Ughhh… πŸ˜†