Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zilker Park, big wheel

I've been looking for a big wheel for Carter for a while. I finally settled on one that has a big push bar on the back, thinking that I could push him around in it. It was also the cheapest of the ones I was looking at -- when did plastic ride-on toys get so expensive?

He was so excited when we were putting it together. He couldn't wait for the assembly to be completed before he tried it out!

And of course, he actually prefers pushing it around to riding on it!

At least it will grow with him. He'll enjoy riding on it at some point.

On Monday (yes, I'm that far behind) we went down to Zilker Park, Austin's big central park. I've always heard great things about it but really haven't spent much time there. I knew there was a train to ride, and that sounded like something Carter would enjoy.

We did enjoy it, but honestly I like the Cedar Rock Railroad at Williamson County Park better. The Zilker train goes along the road, for the most part, so it wasn't quite the same experience as the other train, where you're traveling through the park's "wilderness". The ride was slightly longer, and there were great views of downtown, but the traffic nearby and busy pedestrian path sort of detracted from the experience. The busker we met along the way was very Austin, though.

Great views of downtown were a plus.

Carter enjoyed it -- at least he did once the train got going!

After that, we wandered around the park a bit. There is a big playscape, but there was a elementary school there on a field trip, so it was swarmed with kids. Carter wasn't really interested in playing there, so we tried to go for a walk around the park instead. But the problem with that is that was that Zilker is a big urban park with a busy street running right through the middle. It made it hard to relax while Carter was running around, and more than once I had to run and grab him when he got too close to the road, which did not make him happy.

The grass was dead and there were big patches of dirt, and the place just didn't impress me at all. I guess I'm spoiled by all the great parks up in Cedar Park.

So honestly, I don't think we'll go out of way to drive 25 miles down to Zilker again until Carter is a little older. I think it'll be a lot more fun when we can swim there and stuff, but right now I'd rather stay closer to home.

We went to the big downtown Whole Foods after that. I'd heard there was a playground on the roof, so we got some food for lunch and headed up there to have a little picnic.

Sure enough, there is a small playscape! Carter's not so much into the playscapes these days, but it's still cool to know it's there.

Speaking of playscapes, Carter fell off of one on Sunday, which scared us half to death. I was right next to him, but he just leaned the wrong way and fell right through a gap (where there is a ladder for kids to climb up), at least 6 feet down to the ground. It scared him, but the ground was soft and he didn't seem to be hurt. He was fine a few minutes later, even though Doug and I weren't for a while longer. It's still scary to me how quickly it happened, and I was right next to him, but couldn't do a thing. :-(

Carter is definitely getting into more and more stuff lately! A few nights ago I was busy with something, then looked over to see he had climbed up on top of the kitchen island and was slurping from a cup of iced coffee I'd put out of his reach. (He loves coffee, for some reason.) I got him down, and ten minutes later he was back up there -- only this time diaperless and flipping through a book. This picture is pretty funny, actually!

I love it, though, I have to admit. I love this adventurous age, where the whole world is full of things to be explored! It's so much fun to watch!

Wednesday he had his second swimming lesson in the new class, and it went really well. There are four 2yos in the class, and that morning the other three of them cried and called for the parents the entire time. But Carter was fine. he sat patiently and waited his turn (I only had to chase after him a few times) and was happy and smiling in the water. He seemed concerned by the other kids' crying, and even tried to comfort a little girl next to him by touching her arm and handing her a toy, but he never got upset himself. I'm sure he'll have a bad day at some point, but it was nice that he didn't freak out when everyone else did!

I'll wrap up this post with a cute video from a couple of nights ago. Carter got out his guitar and was strumming it and singing the ABC song. I caught the tail end of it on camera, and then after that he wouldn't do it again, of course.

Still, it's really cute!

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