Dad is always right

... or so he likes to think he is most of the time. Yesterday, he was right!

Chris texted me yesterday asking what our plans for the day were. I was standing on a terrain of unfolded laundry while Ryan and Conor were yelping about boxing on the bed, and Elise was having the time of her life with the crinkly wipes package. There were no plans for the day except for play catch up so I texted back with my favorite smart alack response, "Idk my bff Jill." (Does anyone remember that commercial??) He's been married to me for almost half a decade (nowhere near as cool as half a century) so he didn't have to ask what I meant with my weird texting and just responded, "Go exploring!" I glanced at the Superman underwear, stained onesies and mismatched socks I was standing on and thought that exploring sounded much better than the present. 

Two hours later ... we finally made it outside. 

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Almost right after we exited the apartment building, Ryan exclaimed, "MOM I HEAR A BIRD!" like it was the most newfangled and stupendous sound he had ever heard. We walked very slowly at a Maria-Montessori-approved pace to the woods. Conor stopped every two and a half seconds to stick his sword in the snow. Ryan was Raphael, Conor was Leonardo, and the hypothetical coyotes were the bad guys. We off-pathed it a bit down a stretch of snow covered with almost erased footprints. We stopped a few times to scratch our heads and guess to whom the mysterious small tracks in the snow belonged. Conor was rarely without, "snowball fights," known to everyone else as "snowballs." His term alludes to his current terrible-two way of life. Ryan wanted me to take a photo of him running through the snow. The supreme moment of our great adventure was most definitely spotting a red-tailed hawk perched in a tree. 

(A little aside ... this kid! Last night after dinner, in the amount of time I went to pick Elise up from her horribly late nap and helped Ryan in the bathroom, he managed to eat half a stick of butter that was left on the table).

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The walk back was drudgery. Snails would beat us in a race. Many threats of no hot chocolate were thrown up in the cold air to add some pep to their step to no avail. 

That was our exploration. We saw four airplanes, four birds, five nests, one red-tailed hawk and, although I thoroughly checked when Conor asked to hold my hand three times, no flying pigs. 

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Also - isn't this the best St. Valentine's Day gift you've ever seen?