Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Visit to Stone Mountain

On Sunday, Patrick and I enjoyed some family time with Eli.  We had planned to go to church, but all three of us overslept (we sleep when Eli sleeps!). So, we decided to have a quiet morning and do something fun in the afternoon.  Our first stop was Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint. We were really wondering whether Eli would even eat pizza (he's not generally fond of bread or pasta).  We broke out the Dr. Suess bib, ordered him a kid's pizza, took a slice, and cut it into teeny pieces for our tiny chewer. After a few bites, he was too excited to wait for us to cut up the next slice.

                                                   "Where has THIS been all of my life??"

It was Patrick's turn to help him eat, but eventually Patrick got hungry too.  I was really impressed with Patrick's ambitextrous approach to baby feeding!

Yep...he's holding Eli's pizza in his left hand and his pizza in his right hand...not bad!  Eli only ate about half of his 6" pizza (2 slices - what you see in the picture is an entire slice). We took the rest to go, but when I reheated it for him, he ate only the top - he didn't like the texture/taste of the reheated bread (truthfully, neither did I - it was kinda sticky).

Later on Sunday, we took Eli to Stone Mountain.  They have really built up their offerings for families, and we knew that they would have something he would enjoy.  We parked and broke out the stroller (Eli is really beginning to love it!) and decided to buy tickets for the Great Barn.  It was described as a 3 story, indoor playground appropriate for all ages.  What an awesome experience!  The Great Barn was perfect for Eli...a well contained, very safe play area with TONS to do! Eli had an amazing time - for more than 2 hours!!

When you first walk into the Great Barn, it's really noisy.  The first thing that Eli noticed were the toy foam balls - and he stopped dead in his tracks!

He stood there for so long, I walked around him to see his expression.  One word: PRICELESS!

                                              "I see TOYS!  They're EVERYWHERE!!"

The shock of walking into the Great Barn actually lasted a minute or two.  We let him take his time getting used to the activity and the noise.  It really wasn't long until he was ready to get involved in all of the action!

First, we discovered a ball vacuum. The entire floor was COVERED in these small, soft foam balls. If you turned the ball vacuum on, it would suck the ball through a tube to the ceiling, where it would pop out (and people on the ceiling had toys that shot the balls back down to the floor). Eli was thoroughly fascinated with this, and we spent quite a while feeding balls to the vacuum. He was so excited to see the balls "fall" up!

                                    "Whoa! Stop the presses! That is NOT how gravity works!"

After a while, we guided him toward some of the other areas on the playgroud for some more fun (though Eli could easily have played with the ball vacuum the entire time!).  They had these huge plastic animals for kids to climb on. Eli wasn't too excited with sitting on the pony when there were clearly so many other things to do, but he stayed long enough to get a picture.

Then his daddy thought it would be funny to tell Eli to "go pick the pony's nose."  Eli immediately thought this was hilarious (yuck!).  But Patrick is took the picture of him actually doing it (and is making me post it).

Thankfully, we quickly moved on to the slides.  The stairs for the first slide were a little big for Eli, but he managed to get up them with no help.  I couldn't help it...I HAD to take front and rear view pics of him wiggling up the stairs!

Then he discovered a BIGGER slide with BIGGER stairs - we had to carry him up to the top of this next slide at least 20 times (probably more!).  The yellow slide (below) actually went down an entire story of the building, and was quite fast.  He enjoyed riding with me a bit more than with his daddy because I had on long pants that made us slide FAST (Patrick was sticking to the slide in his cargo shorts!). We tried multiple times to get a picture of him grinning and laughing at the end of each slide, but he was so intent on jumping up to go to the top of the slide again, that we missed the photo op every time!

                                           Climbing to the top of the yellow slide with Patrick

                                     Sliding down the BIG slide with me - and ready to go again!

At some point, Patrick and I agreed that we were exhausted, even though Eli was still going quite strong.  We decided to distract him from the long climb to the top of the yellow slide with some tunnels.  Eli had fun in the tunnel, but quickly discovered that he didn't need to crawl through the like his daddy...he could stand up and RUN!

Patrick and I finally admitted that we were each completely worn out.  But we didn't want to leave without letting Eli slide down the little slide 1 MORE TIME! (Really more like 10 or 12 times...but who's counting?).

 I can't close out this post without mentioning that Eli also helped us count  (just like his Uncle Lee taught him when we were in Korea) before EVERY slide:  "One... Two........ THREE!!!!!!"

We start a "Parent Assisted" gymnastics class for 18-36 month old children on Wednesday night.  We are hoping that he will have a chance to have some great fun and bonding time with us, while hearing other kids speak English, running off some of his unending energy, and developing his physical abilities (he may be a tiny tot, but he is REALLY strong for a toddler - we have video of him attempting chin ups in Korea with his foster father!).  I am hoping to use some new pics from his class to start a "Wordless Wednesday."

Keep your fingers crossed and prayers said for his sleep issues, though.  The night terrors are ongoing, and though he doesn't usually wake up during one, it is extremely disconcerting to hear him cry out in his sleep.  For this reason, we will continue to sleep in his room with him until we are sure that he can sleep alone safely and comfortably (sometimes he sleepwalks! and sleepcrawls! Agh!).

1 comment:

  1. What?! I missed out on all the fun and photo ops?? (GREAT photos by the way)! Love the descriptions too lol :) Your blog truly is tres cool!

    Man, I would have loved to play on the slides too though. Well, atleast I would if I didn't get STUCK on every slide known to man. And before you ask, yes I have actually tried the yellow one too. Maybe White Water will be kinder to me lol.

    I'm just glad Eli is finding an outlet for all that energy!!! :)