Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Philly continued

Friday we went to visit Dad’s office-a huge building downtown with 4 floors. It was originally a very fancy house. We brought zucchini bread for snack and were able to meet dad’s coworkers. Then we went to the Philly Zoo. It was amazing. It was sad that we missed the elephants by just a few days-they are being moved out of zoos into places with more room. Both of the kids (and all 4 adults) really enjoyed seeing all the animals. They have a ton-everything from snakes to huge turtles to giraffes and polar bears. We were able to see the penguin being fed which was hilarious-a few of them have figured out to wait on top of the rocks to catch fish like Snoopy does bones. The others were just waiting in the water and fighting Robert stood and watched and watched and watched. We had a stroller, backpack carrier and a puppy harness and were able to rotate the kids through them (well Robert wasn’t ever in the backpack!) which was helpful-plus having 4 adults! Robert was really captivated by the aviary-he just loved the birds. A lot of the big game were sleeping around-lions, tigers etc so not very interesting in his mind. We stopped at one point and had ice cream for snack which the kids ate as fast as mom and dad could shovel it into them! The zoo also had a petting zoo which was rather hilarious-especially the tractor with a climbing platform to get up into it, they also had some goats, some chickens, pony rides etc. Mary seemed to enjoy it all-especially the parts where she could get up close to animals. She was very chill the whole time. The walk from the zoo to the parking lot was long and hot (Robert’s phrase from all week “I’m HOOOT”). Mom had made supper ahead of time so we chilled out while mom finished it, ate and collapsed into bed.

Sat we got up earlyish and went to the Please Touch museum. It was fabulous. The place is huge. We started in a river room with boats, ducks, water of all types. As kids get older they can do more with them. For the littles there is baby duck pond with water that goes in a circle and little rubber ducks. Then there are streams for bigger kids where you can adjust air, and locks that you can open, or buttons to create bubbles. The cafĂ© is excellent and not horribly overpriced. In addition there is a vehicle room, again with different stuff for different ages. You can drive a car, fix a car, ride in a bus or a train run in a huge hamster wheel…. There is also a craft area with paints, playdough etc that was doing vehicle crafts which included running a car though paint and then on paper. It was really cool! It was neat to see Robert and Mary painting-Mary especially. I bought some painting stuff at their gift shops. Robert did really well at the easel painting. Downstairs there is a Alice in Wonderland maze and stuff, play store, play hospital, play construction zone (you move these “bricks” to a hand propelled conveyer belt to this upper level where you can move them via wheelbarrow to the shoot to send them back down again. Robert did this for ever. In fact is was in the construction area that I found him after 10 heart stopping minutes when I couldn’t find him. I was going down the ramp after Robert when I saw Wes who mom was waiting for, stopped for just a second and when I got to the bottom of the ramp he was gone. We looked around a few minutes on our own and then alerted staff-but then I went thorugh downstairs again and saw him running like a maniac through the construction zone. And cried all over him. I now know that he doesn’t get scared when he realizes that no one is with him-and that is really freaky. So the puppy harness came back out. Mary and I had a good time in the hospital and the house area (mostly with the stroller). We also saw a puppet show about planes, cars etc which was hilarious. We got there at 9:30 and finally left at 3:30-I was hoping to make it until 5 but we were all exhausted. We did go to the park near mom and dad’s house which was really cool-spraying fountain, 2 different big playsets, merry go round etc. Mary did nap a few min in the stroller but that was it. We ordered in chinese for supper and again collapsed into bed. Robert had some trouble sleeping that night and ended up in bed with us on and off (ugh).

Sun we went to church with mom and dad at Fox Chase Pres Church It’s a small church and very nice. The kids made it through the children’s sermon and then went to the program (run by a preschool teacher and her daughter) afterwards. I don’t think there was any lesson or anything-just free play with a huge room of toys. They had a blast and never looked back when they got in the room. It was fabulous. After church there was a social hour with great snacks and some time with someones service dog (Teddy). Teddy enjoyed cleaning up after our kids! After lunch Mary napped and then we tried to go to the park but the fountains don’t run on Sundays and it was HOT so we came home to play with the hose. Trying to convince the kids that they could only be in a 3 foot radius (mom and dad’s “lawn”) was amusing when they’re used to having the run of 2ish acres! But that went well until Robert pooped in his underwear and we had to get cleaned up (YUCK!)

Mon we decided to take all the forms of transportation available and took the bus to the train to the trolley to the train station and ride some escalators on the way. This is something you only do on purpose with transportation obsessed 3 year olds. The train station was really cool and we had lunch there (and Mary threw up at the very end-she evidently found that the end of the ketchup packet she had managed to eat at some point not very digestible-yuck!). We had cheesesteaks and then nutella banana crepes (YUM). Then we went and did some of the Ben Franklin stuff which was interesting. The tour person played one of his inventions an armonica which is based on running a wet finger on a glass but on a huge scale-it was so cool to hear! By this point the kids had been going, going, going and even Robert sat quietly on my lap for a 20 min movie about Franklin! We stopped and got the kids cheese fries for snack and then went home and took the kids to the (fountained) park where we stayed for about an hour before coming home for supper (pizza from mom and dad's local pizza place).

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I've been trying to find time to blog before I forget all the cute little details... so many of them so far this trip.

We left Thursday afternoon around 3 pm. Mary slept some on the way but Robert never did. They did OK with the DVD player and toys though. We ran into an accident so detoured through Winchester on 11 and Winchester is going though major road work (sigh). We stopped at 6 for supper (Mary was crying it turns out that she was wet through) at Arby's. It was good to get out and run around. We played ring around the rosey and jump up and jump down. The rest of the trip from then until we finally got here at 10:30 was um eventful. The kids were fussy, our directions took us the wrong way and then I got here to realize I had no contact lense solution or glasses so after some googling I found a 24 hour pharmacy and mom took me-at midnight. By 12:30 we were all snuggled into our beds and asleep. Well better get ready for church-more later

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not My Child

OK, so for this weeks not me Monday it's a not my child Monday. Which is usually what my not me Mondays are about...

My child would never eat gravel, peach pits and dirt. And if my MIL were to tell me that she had been eating poop (as she washed out her mouth) I wouldn't say nonchalantly "at least all the dogs are on worm medicine".

My 3 year old would never have a game that consisted of running the dog over with a plastic dump truck. And we would never have approved of this game at the beginning.

Summer Living

It's been a busy few days trying to catch up from our trip to the beach and then work and then keep up with the yard, house, garden. We're just getting our first tomatoes from the early girl plants and I finally got all the tomato plants staked. Between my patch and the joint one with Roger and Peggy we have 20 odd tomatoes, plus a volunteer. It looks like I have a volunteer squash in my compost and there is a volunteer melon or cantaloupe on the edge of the field where R+P dump their food scraps! The zucchini and squash are really coming in. I spent yesterday cooking with them-squash casserole, zucchini cake, bread, muffins. The chocolate cake is delicious and the pumpkin zucchini raisin muffins are fabulous too!I still need to get grandma's recipe for squash casserole. It was good but not great. Peggy and I also made bread and butter pickles (and some squash/zucchini relish) with our load of cucumbers (one plant worth-we've made 3 batches and have enough for one more I think).

Well, I had typed that outside while playing with the kids and then that got derailed and I'm back oh 4 hours later :) I had really hoped for a nap today-I work 11p-7a tonight (better than the normal 7P-7A!) but the kids were not feeling the love of naps. And then Robert woke up all hyper and for the second they seem contained. Except that Mary's diaper is full. But she'll be OK for a min :) I've been trying to get the house cleaned up today-I think it's pretty well done-still want to work on the counter and above the TV area some more but the bathrooms, floors etc are done. I feel like I never get caught up-my cupboards are overflowing with stuff I jam in, my desk is a mess, there are kids clothes that need to be sorted out as to what will fit this year and what needs to be saved... but it seems to get pushed back with laundry, dishes, cooking, picking up endless toys.... I did put away 1/2 of the living room toys today-Robert refused to put them away so I told him if I put them away I was keeping them. I've also done a ton of laundry today, I've got the last load in the dryer. And I feel like I'm just not consistent-not with Robert and the never ending potty training ARGH and discipline stand stills, not in my requirement of picking up toys or on my own of picking up the rest of the stuff and keeping it put away. I told Wesley yesterday that he could either start picking up or I was going to dispose of 1/2 of the stuff in the house. We are simply drowning in STUFF. OK rant over :)

Robert has been doing more imaginative play recently. He's been making food for the stuffed puppies and it's hilarious. I am alternately completely captivated with him and ready to kill him. It depends on whether he is being cute and creative or running away from me shrieking with laughter when he is supposed to be going potty (or picking up toys, coming to supper...) or trying to run me over with the dump truck or ringing the doorbell to make Snoopy bark...

Mary is still talking like crazy and is over all still sweet. She was trying to unfold washclothes that I was folding today and I finally got her to hand me the ones to be folded instead. That was nice. Most of the time the kids helping means it takes SO much longer (case in point today while Robert helped me sweep-oh my there was more dirt when he finished than when we started I think!) but that actually helped and she stayed with it for the rest of the basket. Her main issue is eating anything she gets her hands on-dirt, gravel, crayons. It makes it very hard to spend time outside with her.... Today it was old peach pits and extra dirt. YUCK.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Oh my goodness did we ever have a great week at the beach. It was sublime, perfect (except for getting up too early every.single.morning except yesterday morning when we needed to be up early-of course the kids slept in! The kids were so stinking cute! Mary has turned a perfect shade of brown with bleached hair and Robert is brown and his eyes had a perminant sparkle. We went from beach (sand and baby pool and running around) to pool, to playing with relatives to watching movies. We (or rather he) must have watched Milo and Otis a 10+ times (Robert was so cute all perched up on our big king sized bed watching TV!). I even heard some sentances that I have never heard from Robert before "mommy I want to go to bed" and "mommy I need a nap". Who is this child??? Wesley and I even got to go out for an afternoon AND supper all in one day! Add to that girl time with my cousins in the hot tub, time to read, time to play on the computer, time to doze in front of the TV, time to watch food network and you know that I have been mightily spoiled! Plus mom made breakfast everyday and was willing to stay at the beach house and monitor sit so we could hang out at the other house and play games (tank do mommy!), we only had to cook one night, a trip to Wilmington, good food, time to catch up with people and did I mention that the kids were so cute?!? By the end of the week the kids were splashing in the shallows and Mary was running headlong into the waves (of course!). Mary charmed all the relatives with her amazing vocabulary that sprouted even more over the week "tank-do mommy" sentances? really? Baby girl don't grow up so fast, please! Plus her attention to baby, blowing kisses, snuggling, discovering etc. Robert learned or tried to learn the rudiments of slap jack (with all the other face cards removed), played trains with the cousins, playdough, cars, gloried in all the helicopters flying around and the toy helicopters that aunt Ruth got him (plus a dune buggy AND a car!). On the way back we stoped at chick f-il-a and gave the kids time to play which worked out really well. We were there about an hour and it was the only stop we made. I think we stopped 4 times on the way there so that was a decided improvement! I couldn't have immagined a better trip, it was really, truly perfect!