our playgroup went the the fort worth botanical gardens today and toured the japanese garden inside…it was fantastic!!  while jasper, jon and i go to the botanical gardens all the time, this was the first time that i had been to the japanese part – it was very, very beautiful!

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and apparantly, i am the only mother in the world that lets her child walk around instead of stuffing them inside a stroller – the other 3 moms had their strollers piled high with kiddos, purses, sippy cups – you name it, they probably had it!  now two of the babies were just that, only babies – both were about 8 months and not walking yet so that made sense and i admit strollers are nice for carrying things (the younger they are, the more you seem to have to carry) but that is about it cuz my stroller never ends up carrying the actual child 🙂

but here is what i discovered – strollers are really only good for children that aren’t walking yet!  once jasper lilith started walking, i found out very quickly that she did not like to be in the stroller for very long…which means it became  cumbersome to deal with jasper and the stroller by myself – i always felt in danger of losing one or the other!  so i quickly ditched the stroller in favor of letting jasper walk to her hearts content which meant three things:  1)  sometimes i have to carry her far more than i want to, 2)  since i know i will have to carry her at some point, i don’t want to carry anything else!  and 3)  we go slowly…very slowly…and then sometimes very fast as jasper lilith runs…and then slowly again 🙂

i don’t mind any of the above – i usually like it – i get upper body exercise from carrying her, i have learned how to just carry my keys and my camera or at least use a backpack if i have to and i like walking with jasper…we chat, we look, we explore and We.  Take.  Our.  Time…of course, there are days when she walks for all of about 5 minutes oand then just wants to be carried…those would be the days that i am seriously wishing i had a stroller with me but honestly, those days are pretty rare…

and now i have come to appreciate this slow pace even more as i have been around stroller moms – they move so quickly and in such a pack that they seem to miss everything!  they move from one let’s-take-a-picture spot to the next…jasper and i just hang back and do our normal thing until the other kids inevitably clamor out of their strollers to join us…and then i am left being very thankful that i don’t have a stroller in addition to my child!  ah, see?  foresight, people…foresight…

ok, back to the gardens!  we had a great time meandering through the little asian paths and i met a couple of other moms that i enjoyed talking to so all in all, jasper and i had a great morning!  so far, i like this group of moms and i think jasper is going to benefit from it in a huge way! 

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as you can see, jasper was enthralled with the huge koi fish!  she got a kick out of feeding them as well…it was a big open-mouthed maelstrom of fish once we started feeding them…kind of creepy but you can’t take your eyes away 🙂

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here was the gang for today…jasper lilith, ellie, ethan and benjamin – all out and about enjoying the weather and the gardens…

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jasper and ellie are so fun to watch!  they kept pointing out stuff to each other – one would point and babble-speak (jasper does know the word “duck” and she said that alot today!) and then the other would point at something else and babble-speak…pretty cute stuff!

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here is jasper being comtemplative 🙂

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and here is jasper and ellie exploring (explaining?) what the sign says…by the way, it says, “please stay on the paved walks at all times”…ah, well 🙂

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casey (ellie’s mom) had the great idea to get them to hold hands with each other and they seemed to enjoy it…or at least, they didn’t want to let go of each other when it was time to go 🙂

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ellie sees something that she just has to share with jasper…

and even now, jasper is sitting on my lap while i write this post out and every time she sees a picture of ellie, she points to the moniter and (i think) might even be saying her name…or a jasper-version of it 🙂

hope everyone planted a tree for earth day!  we didn’t but plan to this weekend…cross your fingers that we have time to plant our tree! 

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