Adventures, Books, History, Science

Beaches and Trains

We’ve been taking advantage of this beautiful Seattle summer and going to the beach! The water is too cold to swim in, but there’s lots of exploring and digging to do.

Continue reading “Beaches and Trains”

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Adventures, History, Science

Northwest Railway Museum

The Northwest Railway Museum is located in Snoqualmie, Washington, just a short distance from Snoqualmie Falls, a beautiful hike involving a large waterfall. We went for the first time to the train museum a few weeks ago, and it was an interesting experience. It is a small, non-profit, volunteer based museum. When we visited on a Friday morning, there were only 3 or 4 other people looking around. You cannot go onto any of the trains, but you can run around the train yard as much as you want. Also, on the weekends they offer train rides that take about 2 hours to complete.

Even though we didn’t get to go on a train or train ride, the boys (2 & 4) still had a lot of fun running around.

See Inside Trains

See Inside Trains by Usborne – I bought this at the train museum’s book store and I am very glad that I did. It has a ton of information about different types of trains and how they were developed and how they work. Also, the flaps. My how the boys love the flaps. It keeps them interested in the book for ridiculously long periods of time (as long as I keep reading, that is).

Adventures, Daily Lessons

Life Lessons at the Zoo

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We dropped my mom off at the airport today, so I am now alone with 3 little people while my husband is at work.

So my first order of business was to seek reinforcements by visiting with a friend at the zoo. We hadn’t seen our friend since before the baby was born, and the boys were very excited to both be at the zoo and see their friend.

These orangutans (boys) were LOUD. They yelled off and on nearly the whole time. Finally one of the zoo keepers explained to them that their yelling can disturb the animals (and people) around them. I’d been telling them that for the last hour, but it’s so much more effective (scary) when it comes from a stranger.

This is good, though. I want my boys to be able to tell people if they are made uncomfortable by something; and other people have the right to tell them if we are making them uncomfortable. I WANT the boys to be aware that the people and creatures around us are affected by our actions.

Their fun was not spoiled by this interaction as they were ready to sit down and eat a snack anyways. And, they were blessedly quiet for a little while.

About, Adventures, art, Parenting, pregnancy

T- 8 Days / Everything is okay as long as the sun keeps shining.

As Pete the Cat always says, “The Sun is shining, I’m feeling alright!”

We’ve been getting a lot of outside time, soaking up as much sunshine as we can. We’ve even had a few days that we can describe as “warm”, and I am so thankful for it.

I tried to let some sun on my big belly in the hopes of encouraging the baby to come out, but that did not work. I’m still pregnant, but at least we are now in the single digits of this countdown.

My feet hurt, my back hurts, my head hurts, my groin joints hurt, my hips hurt when I lay in bed. Today the baby was squished up against my rib and I couldn’t turn my body to the left to look behind me when switching lanes very well.

We went to the zoo and playground and the boys had a brilliant time. The Tapir was running around and making a barking sound. The orangutan came right up to the window where they were watching. We saw the daddy and mommy lions sunning on the rocks, and then 6 baby ducks floated by in their little pond. We had a lot of fun and nobody got lost this time.

I did discuss beforehand with my 4-year-old what he should do if he felt lost and he agreed that he would stand in one spot and wait for me to find him. Luckily, though, he stayed fairly close to hand the whole time.

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We haven’t done a huge amount of art this week because we’ve been spending so much time outside, but they have been painting on the easel which I keep on the deck. We also made tape collages. Tomorrow we are going to the beach with a friend.

Yesterday, I felt a different sort of pain in belly. It was a sharp and squeezing sensation that was more painful than the ones I normally feel, but it didn’t last very long. Nonetheless I got a little excited until I realized 2 hours later that it wasn’t going to happen again. Both my husband and I feel that I probably won’t go into labor before the C-section next Friday, but I can still hope. We have no science to back up our “feeling” just thinking along the lines of, “Shouldn’t my body be doing something different if I was going to go into labor soon?” As far as I can tell, the baby hasn’t even dropped into my pelvis yet. Even though this is my third child, it would be my first labor so there’s a good chance it wouldn’t happen until after the due date anyways. All I can do is keep waiting.

 

Adventures, art, pregnancy

17 days..no wait, it’s 18.

Mr. 2 enjoys matching games. He always seeks these out in the sticker activity book we sometimes use. It’s easy to make your own, though! Draw simple shapes or pictures and encourage your child to draw a line from one to the match on the other side.

Afterwards he saw some glue (Mr. 4 had been gluing stacks of paper together to make a “birthday cake”.) and wanted to put glue on top of his paper. I had to remind him several times to put things on the glue, but I think he mostly just liked the act of squeezing the bottle. We are now out of glue.


The doctor has scheduled us for a May 4th C-section. May the 4th be with you. My husband is very pleased. He said to me that all of our birthdays are easy to remember and May 3rd is just not an easy to remember date. Also, he likes Star Wars.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind having the baby 5 minutes ago, but I suppose I need to be patient. We could still go into labor before that day. It’s a possibility. I am trying (and failing) not to obsess over it.


It’s been really rainy here, but every once in a while the rain will stop.

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We are just trying to have fun and keep busy. Wednesday night, my husband will take me to the Astros at Mariners baseball game. And, last weekend we took the boys to Great Wolf Lodge.

Great Wolf Lodge is an interesting place, and I haven’t heard anyone say anything negative about it. I’ll be the first, because my kids just aren’t ready to really enjoy it yet. Mr. 2 was fine, he liked sticking his hands and feet in all the water spraying, and he even tried the tiny kid slid. He also enjoyed the wave pool. Mr. 4 was overwhelmed by all the people and noise and didn’t really like the water, either. (They have only gone swimming once in the last year, and that was last month.)

Mr. 4 also had a hard time falling asleep in the hotel room. Most of the traveling we do involves us flying to Texas and sleeping at Oma’s house, so he doesn’t get a lot of hotel and sleeping in strange places experience. Mr. 2 just seems more naturally adaptable and slightly more adventurous. Also, the food wasn’t great.

Still, I can see why most people have a wonderful time there. When the kids get older and more confident I believe we will try again.

Adventures, Science

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Last weekend we drove 45 minutes south of Seattle to go visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. 

This was our first time visiting the zoo, and although we had a rough start to the day we had a beautiful time at the zoo and got to visit a restaurant chain we like but that was closed down near our house. It was a really good day.

The worst part was when we realized we forgot Mr. (a)4’s jacket after 10 minutes of driving and had to turn around and drive back home to get it. The best part was:

The scenic view of the Sound, the amazing animals, the engaging children’s area, the beautiful weather, and the POLAR BEAR!!!!!

Honestly, we only saw about 1/3 of the park. We didn’t even make it to any of the aquariums and I had to hurry through the Asian forest (tigers, elephants, etc!) but I would highly recommend this park to any family. We are already planning to go back after the baby is born, because my mom would love it.

Adventures, Daily Lessons, Gardening, History, Science

3 months to go!

Did you know… that today’s birds are actually theropod dinosaurs? (According to Dr. Scott the Paleontologist on Dinosaur Train.) 

With this impending baby, time seems to be moving simultaneously at warp speed and super slow. We have 3 months until we meet the little one, which seems forever away and yet each day flies by so fast I can hardly keep up.

My car battery has been giving me a bit of trouble. It doesn’t seem to hold its charge if I don’t use it.

Continue reading “3 months to go!”

About, Adventures, games, Parenting

Hooray for Holidays

Good Evening!

I don’t know about you, but I have literally gained 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks. I told my doctor she didn’t have to worry about my previous unsatisfactory weight gain; I knew the holidays would get me on track.

The problem with gaining the weight so quickly is it adds to my physical discomfort.

I didn’t think I was being extra unhealthy, but after a 7-day cruise and 2 Christmas dinners…man, oh man.

Continue reading “Hooray for Holidays”

Adventures, History, Science

Museum Free Thursday

(I wrote this at 2 pm but failed to submit it.)

Hello! I am hiding under the blankets again. I got rid of the cat by pretending to sleep.

It’s rather late for our daily nap, but Mr.1 was playing so nicely with the magnet tiles and I didn’t want to tear him away. Honestly, if you are scratching your head about Christmas presents and you don’t already own a set of these, I think you should make the investment. They get used EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

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Except maybe yesterday, but it was a wonderful and strange day.

The first Thursday of every month is Museum Free Thursday in Seattle, where a number of museums let you in for free.

Yesterday we went to the Burke Museum of Natural History which is located on the UW campus. Parking was awful and expensive ($9 for 3 hours) but the Museum was awesome.

It’s a rather small museum; you could run a lap around the top floor in about 35 seconds. I know this because Mr. 1 was all about running away from me.

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Mr. 3 wanted to stay in their “class room” area and do floor puzzles.

The lower level is dedicated to cultural artifacts and the top level is dedicated to dinosaurs and also a volcano.

In fact, they were in the process of cleaning a T-Rex skull that was found recently. You could watch them do it! According to the museum there have only been about 15 complete skulls found for the popular Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

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We had so much fun that Mr. 1 fell asleep in the car and Mr. 3 fell asleep in his barn. (At that point he was Snowflake the horse.)

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The rest of the day seemed like it was spent playing “fire truck rescue” and “ambulance driver”.

The strange part was at dinner. Instead of eating, Mr. 3 insisted on taking a bubble bath. This was his first bath since that time I told you I got in the tub with them… a month ago?

Mr. 1 ate a little bit and then joined his brother. We had to drain the tub once due to the little one pooping in the tub. Yuck!

Adventures

Bowling

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We tried something new with the kids this weekend. Bowling!

We only stayed for one game, which took approximately an hour, which was just as long as the attention span of my 18 month old. Both the 3 and 1.5-year-old had a little trouble taking turns and wanted to roll the ball down the ramp all the time.

When it WAS their turn, they would get super excited. Mr. 3 had no trouble carrying the 5 and sometimes 8 pound balls, but we helped the really little boy carry and guide the ball to the ramp.

We also distracted them with hot chocolate when it wasn’t their turn.

Overall the experience was interesting, and the boys really seemed to enjoy themselves. Bowling is a fun, turn taking game. The boys both really enjoy knocking things over, so this game is right up their alley. (Haha)

You can also practice counting the pins standing or knocked over. You can practice simple take away math if your child is interested. (You knocked over 3 of the 10 pins, how many are left? Your brother gets two tries, how many does he have left?)

Honestly, the most difficult part of it was trying to leave when the 3-year-old noticed the slices of cake at a family’s nearby table.

Have you gone bowling with your children? How do you make the trip a success?