Thursday, May 31, 2012

To the Museum!


Christopher wanted to visit the Children's Museum.  And since it looked a bit rainy today, we headed there. There were a few exhibits that had opened since we'd last taken Christopher and Sam there, which I think may have been back in December, maybe.  Anyway, for a place that we visit often, things had changed.
For example, they had an x-14 bomber in the atrium.  The kids thought it was cool, but were pretty bummed they couldn't get on it, in it, or touch it.  OK, one thing in the whole museum.

So we moved on.  To the Lego exhibit.  This one just opened up a couple months ago, and we hadn't been in to see it yet.  But it was kind of neat, legos and traveling, and various methods of transportation.  The boys were in hog heaven.  

First they flew a plane together. 

Then they raced a car, as you can see they didn't stop moving,  and the car was entirely made from legos.  

How would you travel?  RV?  Cruise ship?  Train?  All of the above Baby! 

They even had a build your own car and race it with lego duplos.   

We stopped for a snack, then zipped across the hall to the brand new Hot Wheels For Reals exhibit.  But since that one just opened up this past weekend, it was a little bit bonkers with crowd in there.  I hope we get to go when it calms down some more, maybe there's a member's night coming up, because it was cool but crazy.  They had half a dozen cars in there to see, and even one that they could pretend drive.  And tons of little hot wheels ramps and stuff for the kids to play with/on. 

Zoom Zoom.

As much as the boys dug the motorcycles, there was an even cooler thing they wanted to do.  There was this long line, and it wrapped around, and climbed up a staircase.  On one hand you could launch a tiny hot wheels car and it would zip down a ramp and through a loop-de-loop, then the kids could sit down and go down a Real slide too.  Oh yeah, kid heaven.  Chris did it once, and Sam went crazy, he wanted to do it too.  But of course, he was less patient with the waiting.  But Chris leapt into great Big Brother role, and prevented Sam from cutting in line, which he was desperate to do.  . 

He looks so stern.  I know, wonder where he gets it? Me.  But it was sweet.  I only wish Sam could've understand how we were trying to help him.  Because when it came time for Sam to launch his car,  he thought we were taking it away, and he Flipped Out.  Big time meltdown lead us to immediately leave the exhibit, which caused Chris to melt down too.  Big Time.  So we had to go home and put everyone to bed.  Not exactly the happy ending everyone wanted, but it was still a good visit.  

I tell you what, THAT is why we have the membership, in the event that we have meltdowns we can leave, and come back another time.  So we shall, sweetboys, so we shall.

Wordy Wednesday Top Ten


Since the weather had cooled off, it looked like it Wednesday was going to be a perfect day to go to the Zoo.  So the boys and I packed up, attended our prayer group, and headed from there downtown to spend a couple hours communing with the animals.  Everybody had their requests of favorite animals that they wanted to see, Sam likes tigers and elephants, Chris wanted Lions and Cheetahs, and I voted for the new bird exhibit they had just opened up.  Continually, I tried to get great pictures of the kids and the animals, but neither was very cooperative.
However, here's a Top Ten of our favorite photos from our trip downtown.

1.   Chris finds Joy in fresh blueberries.

2.  Chris checking out the baby giraffe.  They both are a lot bigger this year. 

3. Sam checking out the zebras.  Usually they are further away, so this was a neat opportunity to see them. 

4.  Both boys couldn't wait to see the rhinos.  But really, their favorite part is jumping on the Rhino bridge.  

5.  We found the Flights of Fancy exhibit.  They've moved the flamingos to the entrance.  They seemed pretty happy there.  

6.    So we went into the Parakeet house.  Sam was enthralled with all the little birdies.  

7.  Pretty little budgie. 

8.  Then we went into the Lorikeet room.  They were bigger and didn't make as much noise.  They seemed pretty interested in us.  

9.  Christopher was actually scared of the birds, he wanted to get close, but he'd venture close, then come running back to my leg.  

10.  This little fella was smack talking us as we were leaving the lorikeet room.  Bye Bye to you too! 

Cold Swim


It rained Monday night, and while that is Wonderful for my plants, it was not so wonderful for my Plans to go swimming with Aunt Amy on Tuesday.  They are skipping town for a month, and it's going to be a long time before we see them again, we thought we'd get in a swim at their place, since it will be a while before we can play there again.  But the rain made it cold.  I was disinclined to follow through with our plans to go swimming.  But the boys disagreed.  Strongly.

I thought they would get distracted by the toys.  And they were, for a while.  But then, they glanced out the window and wanted to go swimming again.

Sam and Amy's kitty Artie are hypnotized by Chris and the RC Eva toy that he was zipping around the kitchen.  

I'd forgotten how much I love kitties.  Artie is sweet and playful, and she reminds me of the things I missed never having a kitten.  Both our cats were older when we got them, but still sweet.  I miss having a cat.  

We did end up going swimming.  It was chilly, but we managed to confine the kids in the baby pool, and Aunt Amy brought all kinds of fun goodies to play with.  They boys had a wonderful time, and played until they turned blue.  Considered a Mission Accomplished. 

Being Free to Travel


Sunday night the boys were showing signs of being better, so we visited the park.  I was particularly thankful that they were feeling well, because I really wanted to cross one more item off our first two weeks of Summer to do list.  I wanted to go visit my friend Amy who is expecting sweet baby #4.

She'll probably shoot me for posting this picture of her.  But I think she looks great, considering what this little has been putting her body through.  She's on Bedrest, and has to spend all her time with her feet up, or her body takes Revenge.  It's been impossibly hard, I can't even imagine.  But only 3 more weeks.  I was pretty excited to be able to give her the baby blanket I made for little Aiden.  Looks like it fits just right, doesn't it?

The kids had been missing each other something fiercely, asking us all the time to go visit.  It's been a rough adjustment for all of us going from seeing our friends weekly, or more than weekly, to maybe once every three months.  But the weather was cooperating, and it was a great day for the kids to break out into the pool.  The air was significantly warmer than the water, so the kids were in and out again and again, but it gave the grownups some chance to talk.  

Then the kids figured, while they were changing clothes....

And fun was had by all.  After lunch, the boys started getting a little antsy, and I knew we'd have to leave soon.  But I also knew Eric wanted to see the Camp that wooed our friends away, and that he rest of us have been drooling, and can't wait until the kids are old enough to send to camp.  Well, technically Chris is old enough to do Day Camp, but we'd have to carpool or invade our friends for a week, and neither of those is feasible right now.  
So, before we left, I made sure the boys (plus Shay) went over to the camp to take a look around.  Ben gave Eric a really great tour, and I sat behind, and sent him with my camera.  

So I did not take the rest of these pictures - disclaimer required. 

Ben showed the boys a special view of the Tippecanoe river.  

The kids riding "Bucky".  Adorableness. 

Now I haven't been into this nature center where they hold Day Camp, but the kids got a kick out all the stuff they could check out.  

They played on the Day Camp playground too.  I think Chris would have so much fun here. 

Ben even brought out Skya, the mascot goat, who is very child friendly, but my children would have nothing to do with her.  This was as close as Christopher dared get.  

Still, for a couple of City kids like mine, or like me, getting out in the woods, and just playing freely, and even meeting a nice goat is a big change.  Combine with some Quality Time with friends, and it makes for an Excellent day.

And this was Memorial Day, and the gift of being Free enough to travel, and go to whatever woods I want to walk in was fought, bought and paid for me.  And I'm so Grateful for that.  Those soldiers are in my heart and mind, all the time, not just on Memorial Day.  But I did mess around with this picture of my brother in law, who is always on my prayer list, but especially right now as we wait for him to come back from Afghanistan.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Taking the lions to Lions Park


Hurrah! Hurrah!  
Chris was feeling better today.  Still a little whiny and clingy, but no sign of fever.  He informed me he wanted to go to the park.  Tonight also marked the first night in a while that we haven't had our Financial Peace class.  Not that I'm glad it's over, but I'm kind of glad it's over in that we have our Sunday evenings back.  It was refreshing to let the boys nap as long as they wanted, then go to the park.  An evening of leisure.  

This was the only lion we could find at Lions' Park, a semi-working water fountain.  The boys loved it, and kept trying to tap the water out of it.  

The boys have never been to this park, the first time was Tuesday, as a celebration for Sam's end of the school year.  Only Sam got sick, so we had to cut out early.  Chris had the mother of all meltdowns on the way home, and he made me promise we'd come back.  He picked Sunday.  I don't know why, but I was kind of happy that his demeanor perked back up today, so that we could come.  Even it was just for a brief bit.   We didn't think it would go too well, as it was obnoxiously hot today, in the 90s, and it was still 90 when we went to the park.  Blessedly, though, this park was well shaded.

The boys have become quite the climbers.  Christopher made it all the way across this stegasaurus in his Flip Flops!  Impressive.  Sam wimped out about halfway, at the tallest point, of course, he started calling for Daddy.  Just gotta get over that fear of heights thing.  Then again, if it's an unstable precarious height, I'm not going to work too hard and making sure he's fine.  I just want to make sure he isn't afraid of escalators and clear staircases like some other people we know.  

I just thought this tree was cute. 

Sweetboy at sunset.  I love how the sun just caught his eyes.  If I wasn't so exhausted, I'd play around with some of these pictures, crop them down so Sam and his pretty hazel eyes would look extra amazing, but these are all straight off the camera. And I'm too tired. 

The boys were being really sweet playing on the Teeter Totter, or See-Saw as some folks call it.  We tried to get them on the same thing at the same time, but that only lasted about two seconds.  This pic was snapped by Eric, as I was on arm exercising duty, pushing the boys other halves down.  It was quite a little workout.  But that's good, right?! Right. 

I just liked looking at him from this angle, so I snapped it. Turned out pretty neat I thought. 

After we gave them the countdown for the last 5 minutes, we said Last Slide, and they wanted Daddy to hop on too. So here they are:

All My Crazy Boys

Pitiful Chris


Chris woke up yesterday morning, and simply wanted to watch cartoons.  Didn't want breakfast.  That should have been my sign.  An hour later he was puking.  And he was in my arms, his whole body literally shaking as his body temp shot up with fever.  God Bless Tylenol.

He curled up with me, on the couch, and watching Yo Gabba Gabba and whatever else he wanted to.  He didn't want to be more than arms length away from me all day. 
 It's hard to take it, but I realize that it's only for a limited time. Right now, I am a big source of comfort, and that me holding him makes him feel better.  
No, I do not like it when my back cramps up, and my arms hurt from holding him for 2 or 3 hours straight.  But I do like it that I am able to bring comfort to him when he's hurting.  If holding him until I hurt takes away some of his hurt, I'll do it.  If getting boxed in the head as we 'sleep' together helps him sleep better to get him healthy, I'll do it.  

Anything for this face.  I can't resist this face.  

Sam's Turn


Friday, Sam finally felt better.  After both of them running into the bedroom to me, Christopher comes tearing into the bathroom, "Daddy! Great news! Sam's all better!" Then  Sam comes along following, "Daddy! Grape news! Brunna (brother) is all better!"

Eric left for work, and not 10 minutes had passed when they wanted to go for a swim.  Especially Sam, who had cried the largest tears and had the worst, most pitiful tantrum Ever while brother swam on Thursday, and he didn't.  So, I let them.  I broke out the new suit I picked up for Chris, with shirt, and let them out.  I know it was 70 degrees and that's warm, but the water was still a bit chilly for my blood.  

Cold doesn't stop Sam. He was having  a wonderful time.  

They didn't come out until I made them come out, because Sam was Blue.  Then they weren't very happy that I made them come out.  

Why is it children are utterly unphased by being cold when they are wet?  They don't care that they are blue.  They don't care that they are cold until they are in the house and their wet clothes are freezing to their already frozen skin, and they Won't just TAKE THEM OFF.  Ugh.  Crazy kids today.  Well, luckily, I used my logic on them, well, we'll go back out again when our suits are dry.  They didn't get dry, because they got rained on instead, as the humidity hit 99.9%.  There weren't any clouds, it was just so humid that rain just spontaneously appears.  That was Friday.  Something leads me to believe that the kids are going to swim a lot this summer, and they aren't going to care if they are putting on cold wet suits, or freezing frozen blue.  They are going to Love swimming this summer. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Berry Wonderful Treat


Something old. Something new.  Today I got to try something new, making a strawberry pie.  My friend Elizabeth made this Fresh Strawberry Pie last year, and she and our friends were going gaga over it.  So, when I found myself with many a strawberry from the pickings this week, I wanted to make this pie.

Eric always loves anything fruit, and I love to bake, but I'd never made my own pie crust.  I know, I know.  What kind of domestic goddess doesn't know how to make a pie crust.  Um, me.  Still really don't either.  This one got lucky that it turned out tasty in that it's hard to ruin Nilla Wafers, sugar, and butter.

But I lost a battle with the Magic Bullet, and my cookies didn't crumble.  So they were a little unevenly broken.  Still looked good, and tasted even better.  I was so excited that for once I had all the ingredients for a recipe on hand.  (Except cool whip, and I ran out for that before dessert time.)

Sam, who was feverish this morning, but with no sign of pukies since gagging at 7 a.m. yesterday, was very interested in my strawberry stash.  He really wanted to help.  

But all he helped with was picking out the ones that he ended up eating.  So he had 4 strawberries and didn't get sick.  No strawberries were actually touched by cootie fingers in the making of this blog entry.  

I love the smell of boiling sugary strawberry goodness.  

This was my favorite picture, putting the ooey gooey strawberry glaze over a bed of fresh berries.  Oy.  The recipe tells you to sift out the pulp, but my friends said they didn't bother, I love strawberries, so neither did I

The Final Product.

After we got home, we pulled out a slice or two for the sampling.  It was so good.  So fresh tasting. Nice sweet berries.  All the goodness that a Fresh Strawberry Pie should be.  So if these pics call to you, go out and get you some strawberries, because Dang, it's a Good time for picking...and Eating right now!