Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Switcher-Roo Weekend with Colby

On Monday, it was "Switcher-Roo Weekend - Part II"... I got to spend some time with Colby. We had to modify our day a little because of an event Monday morning and because I was under the weather (and still am - yuck!!). But the time we did have together was a blast. Here's a little recap of our afternoon together.
We started out by going to Grapevine Mills Mall and playing "Lunar Golf". For those that haven't heard of that (or can't tell from the photo), it's basically miniature golf in the dark with blacklights and lots of neon colors. It's a great place for kids because while the golf is not as challenging as some miniature courses (no windmills for example) it did offer an element of fun for Colby for sure. He was so fascinated with all my clothes that were shining brightly under the blacklight. NOTE TO DAD: the next time you take your son to play lunar golf, dress him in lots of white so he'll light up too!!

After lunar golf, we were on the way to the 2nd event at GameWorks but .... we got hit in the head by the cookie monster!! :-) Ok, it was too tempting for me and Colby was so excited when he saw the store. He first wanted a little choc chip cookie with M&Ms but then I spotted the cookie he really wanted (he just didn't know it yet). It was called "The Colossal Cookie" and was the exact same cookie as Colby had already picked out but this one was almost as big as Colby's head!! Ok, ok, lest you jump down my throat about serving my 4-year old that much sugar, it wasn't quite that big. But (hee-hee) it was BIG!!! Colby was THRILLED beyond belief that he had had to eat the cookie with 2 hands. It was fun. I didn't think about a picture until he was almost half-way done but you get a sense of how big it was from the picture. By the way, towards the end of the cookie, Colby said, "Whew, Dad ... I'm full. I just can't eat the rest." I chuckled. Nice restraint Colby.
On the way to GameWorks, we got stopped again. This time it was something that was on the ground. It's hard to describe these things but I've seen them around different places and maybe you have too. It's a computer generated image that is very interactive with kids or anyone who is around. For example, there was one where a large amount of computer generated pumpkins appeared but every time a kid "stomped" on it, it went away. So all the kids are stomping all around this image trying to get rid of all the pumpkins. Then after that screen goes away, another one pops up. It's very addicting and for that, we ended up staying there for close to 20 minutes. Colby was having a blast and I almost felt bad for telling him we were done.
So then we finally went on into GameWorks. This is a big, giant video-game place that I've always enjoyed. I knew that Colby would be fascinated with all of the big games compared to experience at Cici's or something like that with only one or 2 games. This place has about 30-40 games!! And I was right. He just kept moving from game to game saying Dad I want to play this one. Of course, my reaction most of the time was sure Colby except the ones with the naked women on there!! Ok, sorry grandparents who are reading this - that was just to shock you. It wasn't that bad. There are some games with "EXPLICIT REAL LIFE VIOLENCE" that Colby thought were cool until I caught up to him and had to divert him to a cool Donkey Kong game! (like I said, he was going from game to game so fast I could barely keep up).

We played in there for over an hour. And I had a blast. I've always loved playing video games but I'm never very good at them. I especially enjoy the racing games where you can compete against others. Well, about half-way through our journey in GameWorks, we came across "ARTIC THUNDER". This was going to be OUR game. Colby loved it and I did too. We'd actually played this game before at Cici's but this time they had 2 machines side-by-side and you could compete against each other. So imagine myself and Colby just playing one round after another on this for about 20 minutes. It got funny when I stopped "swiping the card" (no longer use quarters or tokens) for Colby but instead just swiped my machine and then said, "Here you go Colby" and watched him swipe his machine (of course, he usually grinned really big after that because he knew he was cool!! Those that know Colby really well know what I'm talking about!!) We even then started trash talkin' with each other which was hilarious. I think I could have stayed there for hours. (Plus it made me forget that I wasn't feeling all that great.)

After leaving GameWorks, we were greeted with some rain as we were walking to our car. It was a unique moment for us to walk in the rain and as Colby said, "Dad, I'm not really getting all that wet - this is fun." We then headed to eat pizza at Cici's (his choice) where he stared at a TV watching Scooby-Doo cartoons. (Of course, it was also the night of the great Cowboy victory over the Bills so I was enjoying some pre-game TV on ESPN so all was well in boy land!!)

Again, a big plug for Switcher-Roo Weekends with your kids. It was such a blessing to have that time with each of my boys. In a way, I think I'm already detecting a difference in our relationships. They seem alot more close to me but I'm sure alot of that has to do with the way the Lord used this Switcher-Roo Weekend to help me be a better dad. Thanks God for the time with my boys!

God bless you all,

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Switcher-Roo Weekend with Tyler

I know it's been a while since I posted but I couldn't think of a more fun way to get back into blogging then with "Switcher-Roo Weekend" photos. What is "Switcher-Roo Weekend" you might be asking? Several weeks ago I devised a plan to take advantage of a couple of days off that Tyler had from school (fall break!). Kendra and I had been talking about trying to find one-on-one time with the boys, especially the older ones, Tyler and Colby. Well this was going to be the perfect weekend plan. So we mapped out that on Friday, Kendra and Colby would spend a large portion of the day together and I would have the same opportunity with Tyler. Then on Monday, we will "switch kids" and I'll then have Colby for some time and Kendra will get her time with Tyler. My wonderful parents agreed to come in town to help watch Brady so that was perfect.

Tyler and I started our day on the train that runs between Ft. Worth and Dallas (the TRE) as we were heading towards downtown Dallas. We had a blast on the train talking about stuff and just having some fun "I sure love you Tyler.... I sure love you too Daddy" time. It was priceless time with Tyler. We arrived at Union Station and got off and walked several blocks (Tyler announced that his legs were sure tired and needed oxygen!! I think he got that from a Magic School Bus DVD but it sounded cute!) to our destination of the Fountain Place.

I chose the Fountain Place because of several reasons: 1) it was a place that I had not been to and I knew Tyler had never gone there before either 2) because of the heat that day, a place with lots of fountains and water sounded like a cool place and finally 3) I know my 6-year old and if there's a fun place with shooting water, he'll love it... AND HE DID !! The place is really neat because it's nestled into downtown Dallas and it's behind one of the larger buildings in Dallas. But once you are there, you can enjoy lots of peaceful water falls and fun, shooting water!! Of course, it helped to have a cookie to enjoy while we watched the water.

After that, we made our way back to Union Station and went back to train station near our house. We then went to eat at Wendy's because I promised Tyler a fun Frosty treat for walking so much and for hurting his oxygen-deprived legs!!! HA We had a fun time just visiting and eating our special treat.

From there we went to the batting cages. I thought Tyler would enjoy watching and trying to hit balls coming from a machine. My sweet Tyler has never been the most coordinated athlete but I thought he'd enjoy this experience. And I was right again ... at least for a while. When we arrived, a couple of college guys were hitting from the "high fast pitch" which Tyler thought was so fun to watch. He was fascinated that the ball was coming out of the machine so fast and even more amazed that these guys were hitting it. He even said one time, "Dad, he's hitting the ball like the Texas Rangers". While cute, I didn't think it was appropriate to explain to Tyler that the Rangers stink and maybe they could learn a thing or two from those college guys!! :-)

After watching for a bit, we got our helmets and bat and tokens. Tyler wanted me to go first and so I made my way to the "slow pitch softball" section because I knew I didn't want to embarass myself in front of my 6 year-old son!! So after I finished a round, I got Tyler in the cage with me. We went through some techniques and he was having fun. But after 2 solid swings that just barely missed, Tyler made contact on the 3rd one... unfortunately though so did his thumb. It broke the skin a little bit but really hurt him. I was disappointed because he was having so much fun to that point. So we left a little earlier than planned but Tyler was so strong. He was tough little boy after the initial pain (and shock) wore off. He actually couldn't wait to come home and show Mommy, Nana, Papa and Colby his hurt thumb. It was cute.

So that was our day. I will tell you that I'm extremely excited about this becoming a tradition with our family. We will be able to add Brady into the "Switcher-Roo Weekend" at some point but there is nothing like spending one-on-one time with your son. Again, thanks to my parents for watching Brady in order for this to happen. I'm looking forward to some time on Monday with Colby. I'll have a report on that day in the coming week so check back in.

God bless you all,