Monday, July 08, 2013

City Museum

On Sunday, we wanted to get the monkeys out of the house for a little activity.  Carl and I were going over all the options...the zoo, Grant' Farm, Science Center...all the usual suspects, but I wanted to do something different.  Then I thought of the City Museum.  We don't go to the City Museum a lot because it is geared more for older kids, but I thought it might be fun for a little change so we gave it a whirl.
 This is the rooftop of the 14-story building, equipped with a massive preying mantis, huge slide, a bus hanging over the side of the building, and a fully operating ferris wheel.  (Somehow Lily managed to convince me to go on the ferris wheel.)
 The coolest part of the building (in my opinion) is on the ground floor at the entrance.  It really is a work of art with lots of spaces to climb and underground caves to explore; there is a magical quality to it.  However there are many small spaces which young kids could get into but would be very challenging for an adult to squeeze into should a rescue be necessary.  Also, it is nearly impossible for an adult to track kids once they disappear into the nooks and crannies.
 Emilia checks out the fish and turtles in the tank.
 William had a ball and was able to enjoy more elements in the museum than I thought he could.  Having Lily there undoubtedly gave him more confidence.
 There is a small area for the 6 and under crowd which Emmy enjoyed.
 The museum has a very urban/industrial/art deco feel to it.  Elements like this one which can be used to run or slide exemplify the museum's vibe.
The building is filled to the brim with these structures.  These climbing tunnels twist and turn between different floors, again posing a challenge for adults to follow.  So, all in all, it's not the most relaxing outing you will have as a parent of little ones, but they did have a great time and did not want to leave after two and a half hours.  We will undoubtedly be back for more explorations at the City Museum, but I think we need a few months recovery time in between.

From harvest to home

It's that time of year again: blackberry picking season.  Actually, it is the end of blackberry picking season here.  Somehow it never fails that we seem to remember these things at the very end of the season so that the good berries are few and far between.  Carl claims that we just want more of a challenge.  Yes, that's it.  I need more of a challenge when taking 3 kids berry picking on a 90-degree day in the summer.  Luckily, Lily has become an expert berry hunter.  She takes great pride in finding the perfect berries and even has to carry her own basket so our inferior berries do not get mixed up with her stellar finds.  William and Emilia were not so in to the activity this year.  But, if our experience with Lily is any indication, they will be berry-picking with the best of them in no time. 
 Closely examining her find.  Emmy tried a couple berries and then clearly identified them as fruit so that was it for them 

 Lily's up for the challenge
 Old-fashioned candy sticks are the perfect treat after working hard in the berry patch
 There's my crew
 The berries were a little tart this year so I thought they would be best in a baked dessert.  We opted for blackberry bars, and the kids couldn't wait to join in process.
 My tiny helper
 The more experienced helpers with very different techniques.  Lily carefully examined and gingerly added each berry while William threw the berries in like he was playing basketball (with sound effects and all).
The timing for this baked dessert could not have been better.  Unbeknownst to us, it was the birthday weekend of Kit and Rebecca.  Carl found a red star candle (which happens to be the symbol for American Girl dolls), and it was party on.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Look who loves the potty!


Following in the footsteps of her brother and sister, Emilia started talking about the potty right around 18 months.  Just as with them, we are not potty training Emmy right now but let her play around with the concept when she shows interest.  Hopefully, she will continue to take after them in this matter.  If so, we will be done with diapers next summer....yay!

Zoo day

One morning we got up and got the notion to go to the zoo.  So away we went!  One of the best parts about being able to stay home with the kiddos is the flexibility and spontaneity it allows.  It was a great morning with my little monkeys.  I really hope they remember these times together.  (If not, I'll be sure to remind them).  :)

End of year softball celebration

Lily decided to play softball this sping/summer, more in a show of support to Ava than any genuine interest in the sport.  I give credit to Lily for continuing to attend practices and games, but I wouldn't say that this was exactly Lily's sport.  Even though I really, really liked her coaches, I'm not sure this is a sport we will commit to next year.


Visit from Carl's Aunt Carol

Carl's Aunt Carol came into town a few weeks ago to visit her mom and sister.  We had a very nice lunch together and look forward to her return!

Camp #1

Lily's school district offers a 3-week summer camp for its students.  You can choose from a number of fun classes, and this year Lily chose a cooking class and a CheerReading class.  She really enjoyed both.  On the last day of classes, the CheerReading class offered a demonstration of all their hard work throughout the camp.
 Lily's personal cheerleaders

Look at that girl rockin' it!  She took her job as a base very seriously.  :)

Friday, July 05, 2013

In Never Never Land

Lily has participated in two camps so far this summer.  The second one was a musical theater camp.  It really was a fun camp.  The kids went to an "audition" (all kids got a part) about a month before the camp began.  Then they received their role and a script with a cd of the songs from the play.  They practiced at home until the week-long camp began.  Lily had a great time and even made a new friend.  I asked her if she wanted to do this camp again next year, and she said that she did not want to wait until next year to do it again - she wanted to do another one right away!  Yay...success!  (Even through they do not offer it again until next year.)
 Noodler, the pirate
 The set
 Lily's dramatic debut (notice Lily's eye patch - hee hee)
 The capture of Tiger Lily
 Nothing like a good swashbuckling song to get you going!
 My mateys
 Lily's pirate friend
Mee-maw joined our adventures in Neverland too!  (And, no, Carl is not right.  We are bound to end up on an inappropriate family pictures website with this photo.)