Zoo Morning

We are still enjoying beautiful weather here, so the kids and I headed out to the zoo this morning. We should have gone to the grocery store, but I decided it would be better to play at the zoo this morning and have a pizza picnic instead of cooking dinner. It was the right choice.

We have a membership to Blank Park Zoo. It’s a small zoo only 20 minutes from our house. We visit often; it is not unusual for us to go every week. I love that we can visit until the kids are starting to get hungry and tired. It is a great place to spend a morning.

This was the first day this year that we have been at the zoo when it has been warm enough for the giraffes to be outside. It was nice to see them enjoying the sunshine instead of looking depressed in their enclosure.

Both kids wanted to bring their animals into the zoo. Now that I’ve discovered the mitten clip trick¬†having the animals with us is less terrifying.¬† I ended up being happy that giraffe came with us when Audrey had giraffe look through the fence at the other giraffes.

Other than the giraffes we looked at the rhinos, fed the goats, peeked at the monkeys, and spent a shocking amount of time looking at the people cleaning the sea-lion and seal pool. We spent a little over an hour there, which is a long time for us. It was a great visit, and Audrey is already talking about the things she wants to do the next time we visit.

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Spring Day

It was a beautiful day in Des Moines today. It was in the low sixties by 10. That meant a walk to the park was in order.

We have three parks that we like to play at within a twenty-minute walk from our house. There is also a fourth park (the closest to our house, actually), but it doesn’t have much for little kids to play on. Today I let Audrey pick the park. She chose Beaverdale Park. I was pleased with that choice – it is a nice 20 minute walk for us and there are lots of hills on the walk to make me feel like I’m actually getting a workout in.

Today I was struck by how big the kids are getting. Audrey is now climbing on the equipment she was scared of last year. She now prefers big kid swings to toddler swings, even though I barely push her when she is on a big kid swing. She didn’t swing in a toddler swing at the park at all (nor did she in our yard this afternoon).

Her new obsession with big girl swings appeared to be wearing off on Elliot, as he asked to go in a big kid swing too. I am happy to report that he only lasted about 30 seconds before wanting to go in the toddler swing. Occasionally realizes he that he is not three.

It feels like spring might actually be here. The forecast for the next week looks beautiful, so we will hopefully be outside a lot. I need to dig out the sunscreen and summer clothes. I could probably put the winter stuff away, but after the spring we’ve had I’m not quite ready to do that. I’m worried I would jinx the weather and we would have snow again.

Am I the only one that is going to cry if it snows again this spring?

Minnesota Children’s Museum

While visiting with my cousin and her kids in the Twin Cities this week we headed to the Minnesota Children’s Museum. The main reason we wanted to visit is because they currently have a travelling Daniel Tiger exhibit. The kids and I love Daniel Tiger.

If you aren’t familiar with Daniel Tiger, you are probably familiar with the inspiration for the show – Mr. Rogers. Daniel Tiger is based on the Land of Make Believe from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. It has a lot of the same good life lessons that Mr. Rogers’ had, often with a helpful little song. I get some of my best parenting advice from that show.

The exhibit was packed full of things from the show, from instruments at Music Man Stan’s shop to the clothes the kids use for dress up at Daniel’s school. They even had a post office with letters for the characters. The kids could be Mr. McFeely and deliver the letters to each of the buildings.

It was like a dream come true for the kids. We spent about an hour in the room, letting them run and explore. They have Daniel Tiger books in O The Owl’s room, so you can curl up with a book in O’s reading nest or one of the chairs they have around the exhibit. Audrey loved being able to explore and play and read a book. It isn’t often you get a story while exploring.

We finally decided to leave the Daniel area and headed to a room with a fire station, hardware store, farmer’s market, taco truck, and post office to play in. Elliot found a wall of switches to play with, so he was pretty happy. There was also a fire truck to ride in. It was overrun with school groups, and it was hard to explore it all. The big kids were not excited to share with the little ones.

The museum is four stories, but we only made it to half of one story before Audrey was ready for bed. She got a little overwhelmed by all of the kids and asked to go home. I was also ready to go, as it was getting too crowded to watch over four kids under four with only two grown ups.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about the Daniel Tiger exhibit. It was well worth the price of admission (around $45 [including parking] for the kids and me). I wish it was a permanent exhibit, as I can see going to visit it again and again. I hope we continue to visit the museum as the kids grow. I’m sure we’ll be able to explore more of it each time we get there.

Road Trip Update

We got back from our trip earlier tonight. We had a wonderful time in the Twin Cities, and I plan on telling you more about it soon (when I’ve had some sleep).

I did a good job preparing for the trip there, but did not do a great job thinking about the drive home.

When it came to snacks we were good for the drive up to Minnesota, but I totally forgot about snacks for the way home. The kids and I ended up eating cookies from a gas station for a treat. Gas station cookies aren’t very good. Elliot decided to “take it apart” instead of eat it, and now I hope that soaking his shirt in OxiClean will get all of the chocolate out of his shirt.20180419_1454272054893516.jpg

I let Elliot put diggers in his back pack, which is a great toy for him. I didn’t think about how playing with trucks would keep him from sleeping on the drive. He didn’t sleep on the drive there, yet I didn’t think to take them away until after he slept on the drive home. So he didn’t sleep in the car either way.

On a positive note, at the Children’s Museum yesterday I thought to clip Giraffe to Audrey with her mitten clip. It made the visit much less stressful for me.

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I love travelling, and I’m glad I went even if the kids didn’t sleep in the car. I am hoping to go on several trips this summer, and I will eventually remember things like snacks on the way home and not giving the 2-year-old his favorite toys to play with at nap time.

Do you have any travel tips for car trips with kids?

Picnic Weather

It was beautiful here yesterday. It was in the low 70s, which we haven’t seen since December. After swim lessons I decided to be fun mom and pick up McDonald’s on the way home.

We pulled out the picnic table and enjoyed lunch in the sun. They both ate a lot of their meals, which they did not do the last time we had a picnic. Because they actually ate, I plan on trying another picnic again soon. If the weather cooperates.

Busy Day

Oh my gosh. I have had the busiest day. It’s 10:30 and I’m just getting time to sit down and write.

Let me tell you about my day. I got up with Elliot at about 7:30. I had coffee, he had milk, and we watched the news. It is how we start every day. He grabs the blanket and crawls into my lap and asks for the news. The kid love CBS This Morning as much as I do.

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After breakfast (scrambled eggs and blueberry pancakes) Audrey and I headed out to Target so she could pick out a present for Elliot’s birthday next week. She also picked out a fingernail polish color, as she is currently obsessed with nail polish.

After Target we headed to the YMCA for Audrey’s tumbling class. She loves tumbling. I love how it wears her out so much she naps after class.

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After tumbling I took Audrey home, said hi to John and Elliot, and ran out the door to go meet Ivy for lunch and knitting.

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After knitting I ran to the grocery store, as we were precariously low on milk and fresh vegetables. While I was putting the groceries away the babysitter pulled up (my mother-in-law and father-in-law are generous babysitters). John filled her in on dinner plans while I brushed my hair, then we were out the door.

We went to an early showing of A Wrinkle In Time. I had just read the book and expected great things. I was not impressed. I actually found myself hoping that John would lean over and suggest that we leave.

It was only in the 40s, but it was sunny. We took advantage of the sun and headed out Greenwood Park and walked around the pond.

After our walk we headed to a birthday party. We ate tacos. We ate cake. There were mustaches. It was a lovely time (even though my hair was doing a weird flip thingy).
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I am finally home for the night, and I’m exhausted! Tomorrow will not be as busy, and I’m looking forward to it.

I hope you had a great day!