Friday, November 29, 2013

Dinosaurs Live!

Our tradition is that the day after Thanksgiving we avoid the stores and go see dinosaurs. Wonderful Husband has to work so I take the kids to see the Dinosaurs Live exhibit at a local nature sanctuary.

These are all life size animatronic dinosaurs.


Some you can touch and some are roped off as you walk the path.

My kids loved saying hello to each of them.

They weren't always as excited when the dinosaurs said hello back...

I just love this photo op. Clearly the kids were rather happy about it as well.

To give you an idea, this guy is 48 feet long.

So once my kids understood the dinosaurs were going to talk to them they began to expect it. They told this guy all about Thanksgiving, before he would return the greeting... haha

This was my favorite video from the day. This dinosaur doesn't look any different than the others...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

We usually decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I just had to share this photo now. My favorite part? His jeans are on backwards. They have been dressing themselves for a long time and the phase of putting pants on backwards just makes me happy.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Parenting Win!


My kids just got out a board game and told me they want to play by themselves, not with me. Unless you have spent months playing preschool board games for hours on end, I'm not sure you can appreciate just how much this rocks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fire Station Party

We were invited to a birthday party at a local fire station. The kids loved it and still talk about the things they learned at the party.

They were given fire hats and sat in the living room to listen to the firefighters talk about fire safety. 

They got to see each piece of equipment put on and what a firefighter will look like crawling toward them. This may seem strange, but if you think about it, in a fire what the child would see coming toward them would be a scary mask and someone who can't hear well. Having the kids know that before they need to can only be positive. 

Then the kids got to learn all about the engines. In addition to getting to go inside, they also got to see what is kept in the different side panels and learn about how you can tell what type of truck it is and what station it is based at by the markings on the side. 

My kids finally ate cake. I don't think they either one finished, but at least they tried. 

Then we went out back to hit the firetruck pinata.

After each child took turns hitting it, one of the firefighters used a pocket knife to make a weak spot. It still took the firefighters a few tries to get it break open. The kids collected the candy as their party favor (in addition to the hat). It was a great party and I would suggest asking if your fire station would let you party there.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Exploring Nature

Autumn is the perfect time for getting out in nature. It's not incredibly hot and it's easy to see the changes taking place and let kids lead the way and the conversation.

We always start with a lot of energy and no one really paying attention to the surroundings. 

Then they see something. In this case, a tree where part of the branches have bark and part of them don't.  

Can we climb into the creek? Absolutely! Yes, we are in a drought. 

They did try to pick up a coupe of the roots. That just led to another great conversation.  

In case you think we are just wandering, we are clearly on a marked trail. The fact that the trail arrows are pointing at each other just made me laugh.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Crying

"Mama, how come when I cry you don't just give me what I want?" -Sweet Daughter

You would think this observation would result in less crying, but so far that's not how it has worked.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oklahoma City Science Museum

To continue our love of Science, we visited the Oklahoma City Science Museum. I remember going there as a kid a couple of times, so it was fun to be able to take my kids there.

This is the best photo I could get of the tractor. Clearly a hit with Sweet Son. 

A fire house with a pole? Both of my kids climbed up so excited. Then refused to slide down. The pole was only about 5 ft high so it's not like I could do it. (Trust me, I considered it.) 

Since we couldn't do the fire pole we found a little something for the adults. Here Wonderful Husband is learning how to drive a Segway. The kids were standing by the side cheering him on. 

A round xylophone is always fun. 

 
There were lines of kids waiting to take a turn on these swings. These are great for core muscle development and we now have one in the backyard. 

A giant robot!! Sweet Son was so excited. He wanted to follow the robot around from that point on. Sweet Daughter was terrified. She was scared the robot might follow them or want to give her a high five. 

Look, Grandma is an astronaut.

This was the favorite part of the entire museum. The kids have ask repeatedly for us to get one of these at home. The answer is still no. The tree lights up based on the sounds around it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scooters

My kids loved riding on scooters at a P.E. class they took, so when I saw a sale on these, I knew we should get them. These are great for gross motor and core development, but more importantly they are fun.

The kids started by sitting on them and holding the handles, just like they did in class. 

Then they switched to the stomach method using both their hands and feet to push. 

Eventually we brought the scooters inside, which is where they still are a year later. The scooters fit nicely under the learning tower, so they are out of the way when not being used. The kids use them in many different ways, but this was one of Wonderful Husband's ideas. We hooked up a tow rope to the bottom of a chair and let the kids pull themselves across the room.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hot Air Balloon

So after our experience at the balloon festival, this post may surprise you. We had the opportunity go to up in a hot air balloon (tethered to the ground) and decided to try. This was literally behind our house. It was so much fun. There was too much to look at in such a brief ride. Sweet Daughter and I were watching as we lifted off the ground. I looked over and the boys were both watching the fire. I had to tell them we were already up, they had neither one noticed lift off. It was so smooth (except when we reached the end of the tether, that was a bit rough) and offered a great view of our neighborhood.

Inflating the balloons 

Sunset 

Yes, it was cold. At least by our standards. :) 

Inside the balloon looking up. 

In our backyard after our ride. 

Switched the camera to night mode and took the same photo.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Great Grandma

My kids have 6 grand parents and 2 great grandmothers. This post is about one of their great grandmothers.

Great Grandma C had recently moved to this assisted living facility when this photo was taken. The kids enjoyed visiting her and seeing all of the statues of dogs and cats that were outside residents' doors.

The other great thing about Great Grandma C is that she always travels with toys. You and I would call it a walker, but the kids thought it was awesome. There's a place to sit, something to push around, and a pocket to carry things.

Of course this blog is written a year in the past. Great Grandma C is not doing as well now. I'm glad my kids have memories of her when she was relatively active.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Zoo Trip

You know how much we love visiting the zoo off season. When it's cool, cold, or rainy the animals are more active and it's less crowded.

Here we are looking at the elephants and ostriches.

Giraffes, zebras, and a couple of others that are difficult to see in the photo... 

Up close with a Red River Hog 

The waterfall as viewed from the monorail. 

A traditional photo with the elephant statues 

A less traditional photo :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crash Pad

My kids like to run and crash into things. This has caused many injuries and yet they still continue. After doing some research (shocking, I know), I decided to make them a crash pad. Essentially this is just a large pad they can safely crash into. I read about many different ways to make one. Then I used my problem solving skills to do it the lazy way.

This is an old duvet cover that has a couple of holes in it. It is filled with old pillows. You know when pillows get so flat they aren't comfortable any more? Well I couldn't throw them away because that seemed wasteful, so we had an entire collection.

As we have found more pillows it has just gotten bigger and softer. A year later and we still use this daily. Usually for running and jumping on top of - sometimes for sleeping, getting wrapped up like a taco, or hiding under. We have yet to have a single injury on this!

This Summer I saw they are now selling something called a crash pad in the store. It was $45 and only about a 1/2" thick. This was cheaper and better. The only downside is it takes up a lot of space and doesn't look great when it is out. A pretty good trade off for something that was free, gets used daily, and my kids haven't gotten hurt on or broken.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Trampoline Park

We decided to take the kids to one of those new indoor trampoline parks. We went on a weekday afternoon and practically had the place to ourselves.

This was in the "toddler" play area. They had balloons on these smaller trampolines. The kids mostly just ran around here, but they loved it.

We also went to another area that was set up for dodge ball.  All of those photos are just blurs of movement, so you will have to take my word for it.

This was taken from the toddler area looking into the main trampoline area. Yes, the place really was that empty. You can't really see it, but there is also an area you can swing on a rope and drop into a giant foam pit. However they said our kids were too young to try it.

Here we are in the main trampoline area. This was actually the least blurry picture. This was great exercise. The kids were tired. The parents took advantage of the comfortable chairs to watch for bits of time. I know there has been a lot of negative publicity about these places recently. Usually it's related to safety - too many kids, not enough supervision, double bouncing, etc. Clearly none of those were issues when we were visiting.