We went to a really popular local park today and took a great bike ride around a lake. Katie did great!!
And then the playground afterward.
This is inside a faux stump—they get to it in a cave!
He’s been going out biking a lot with the neighbor kid and he said he was finally ready to take the training wheels off. Tom had moved them so they were still on but up high enough where he couldn’t really rely on them. So we made him ride down the street and I followed him to see if the wheels ever touched. They didn’t, so Tom took the wheels off! Then it was time for the first real ride!
And of course sister was with us, too, because she is a bike riding fiend.
And getting his reward for learning to ride—his new (adult!) bike!!
I told Gramma that for Katie’s birthday, instead of giving her stuff, to take her on an adventure. So she did.
In Gramma’s words:
For Katie’s 5th birthday this year, we went on an adventure! (Yes, in Grayling.) We played at three parks, went wading in the river (along some of the racers practicing), went to the grocery store for picnic lunch supplies [where Katie could pick anything she wanted—she got a Lunchable, strawberry yogurt covered pretzels, strawberries, cashews, and chocolate milk], threw stones in the river for a half hour, went for a 3-mile bike ride (yes, I fell), and had an ice cream cone at Wimpy’s. We were gone 7 hours and mom and dad were starting to worry! What great fun we had! Happy birthday Katie Bug!
Gramma says Katie could have pedaled for hours!
Gramma says: I am so glad Katie didn’t fall. We were too close to each other and her back wheel caught my front wheel.
Tom and I got new bikes today and Owen is practicing to earn his new bike (also bought today)!
It’s challenging to take a picture while riding! The whole time I was trying I kept saying “Don’t drop the phone. Don’t drop the phone.”
A pic of my new beauty:
It was more than I wanted to spend but after sitting on a bunch and testing them, it was the clear winner. It’s a Specialized Roll Sport Low Entry.
And they would do it 24/7 if we’d let them. Unfortunately, this silly subdivision only has sidewalks on one side of the street—and of course it isn’t our side so I still have to sit out with them for now. I was taking a pic of them when I caught Owen mid-fall (he falls in slow motion 99% of the time so don’t worry). 😂
Me: Owen are you okay?
Owen, snotty: It’s none of your business, mom.
Getting ready to race. (We bought the orange cone so drivers will see something different and maybe slow down. They go tearing down our street doing 45 which is impressive since we’re only three houses from a stop sign on either side.)
Getting ready for race #2 (I feel better with at least one of them on the sidewalk.)
Owen being silly.
Both kids have been troopers about moving, but they’ve both been sad and missing their friends (as would be expected). It was weighing heavily on me, even though there was nothing we could do about it (as would be expected). So we took them out to ride their bikes and get their mind off things.
And literally within 10 minutes, neighbors with two kids (a 5yo girl and 4yo boy) walked over and introduced themselves. After talking for a few minutes, the kids were off riding their bikes together in the cul-de-sac and then were invited to bounce on the trampoline. The parents offered to watch them for a bit while we worked. 💕
They were the perfect welcome for the neighborhood. And their kids (plus another neighbor’s 7yo son) are just what mine needed after leaving their besties.
When I went to retrieve them about two hours later, Katie was on the trampoline in a gymnastics leotard and when I joked about it the mom laughed and said they had a costume change and they might also have makeup on. I said I would expect nothing less.
[Note after a few days: So both kids have apparently found their new best friends. Our very next door neighbor is the 7yo boy and him and Owen are already thick as thieves riding bikes, playing catch, and playing basketball. The little girl is two doors down and is also starting kindergarten! They both come ring the doorbell and ask if the kids can come out to play. We love it.]
So you all know how much I hate potty training, right? Well, I hate teaching the kids to ride their bikes tenfold. It always ends up with whining and pouting and refusal to try because it’s too hard. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. But I keep trying.
So Katie finally got her reward for pooping in the potty!
Unfortunately, as usual, she forgot that it’s hard to ride a bike and it wasn’t any fun when I stopped helping her. So there was whining and pouting…and she had to drag her bike home. (Well, part way home down the sidewalk—I’m not a monster.)
We had high hopes of having the kids practice riding their bikes on vacation since Gramma Jean and Grandpa David have a great driveway and live on the corner of two (basically) flat roads…but we were so busy that we didn’t get to it until our very last night. Uncle Rob was tasked to help out!
Tom said they actually did pretty good…but they still need LOTS of practice. At the rate we’re going, they might be able to ride without training wheels by high school.
Both kids were SO excited to get out on their new bikes and Katie was SO excited about her helmet…
I’m not sure what this face was about.
She, of course, couldn’t do it by herself and I don’t have the patience, so Tom did most of it. I know there’s a learning curve, but I’m seriously ready to just get rid of all bikes for about five years. Both want to be able to ride but neither wants to actually work to do it OR pay attention when we tell them how to do something.
Owen eventually started to get the hang of it (again), but not before falling off a few times—he refuses to steer so he ran into the curb and tipped over into the grass…and he seems to think the training wheels will keep him from falling over so he’ll lean too far and tip.
We only lasted about 10 minutes, maybe 15. We would have tried longer but one of Owen’s friends saw us out the window and waved and yelled hi…so both kids completely lost any concentration.
Waiting for daddy and Owen to come down the hill.
Interestingly, when trying to pedal, Owen can only seem to slam his feet backward to brake. But! When going downhill and he needs to brake? He can only seem to pedal. :/
Anyone want to teach our kids to ride bikes?!
We got Katie a real bike with training wheels tonight. She did better on that in the aisle then she ever did on either tricycle! (So now I have two tricycles to sell.) I do feel a smidge of guilt for not getting either the Frozen or Doc McStuffins bikes, but those had a premium price ($20 extra).
She also got a purple ladybug helmet. She wanted the pink cat princess with the crown but it was for ages 5+ and was just too big.
We also got Owen a 20″ bike (up from a 16″) but we need to buy training wheels. He fit on the 18″ bike but the seat was already all the way up! So we’re hoping to future-proof a little bit!
Since we preferred to save $25 per bike, Daddy gets to put them together this weekend!+
Both kids wanted to go ride bikes. I knew it would be a challenge because Owen has not ridden his bike since last spring before we moved—and at that point he was still just learning and wasn’t that great at it—and because Katie has never successfully ridden either of the tricycles we have for her.
And that was it for Katie. Grand total of time spent on the bike, 95% of it whining that she couldn’t do it while being pushed by daddy? Five minutes. However, she did love running! She spent the rest of the time chasing after Owen or running ahead of him or just randomly through the parking lot.
Taking a break to stretch…and take a drink.
Owen was a hot mess for most of the time. He’s grown so much that he is really way too big for the bike we have and we obviously didn’t have another one for him so he had to use that one. And it’s been so long since he’s ridden that it was, in essence, starting over from day one. I’m glad Tom was there to deal with it because I DO NOT have the patience. That said, by the end of our time, he had started to get the hang of it again.
So now I’m on the hunt for a cheap used bigger bike.
After bikes, the kids wanted to go to the “playground” even though I knew they hated this playground as it’s not a real playground. It lasted under five minutes.
Katie liked bikes. However, the regular tricycle we already have is too big for her. The big-wheels-type tricycle we bought for her was too big (so we returned it). We tried a seated scooter thing that she hated so that went back, too. So we finally found a bike that she fits! Now, the challenge is to get her to ride it!
Pushing the bike!
She likes it up there—and it keeps her from wandering!
Coloring at the farmers market! Do you see that “YES” by Owen? He did that…starting with the S and working backwards!
She pretty much just sat there the whole time scribbling while mostly people watching!
Walmart! Someone got a new bike helmet!
We also got Katie her own pink Radio Flyer trike—stay tuned for pics of that!
We then lucked out and ran into the Easter Bunny! Owen refused, but Katie was excited! Her first Easter Bunny pic! It only took me 12 shots to get this perfect one (in about a minute)!