Saturday, April 24, 2010

perfect window

Thursday morning it was still pouring rain, but I decided to chance it and head down for the free day at the Botanical Gardens. Total flood heading sound, until around 120th, and then gorgeous sunshine and blue skies. Our timing was great - TULIP MANIA!

Everything was shiny and sparkling, and my friends had a grand time splashing in the puddles - Max was a huge hit with passersby - and NOT getting to climb on the sculptures that have replaced the dinosaur exhibit.

Alex still loves a good water feature.

Katie had a good time taking alternate trails and meeting up at the opposite end - occasionally a brother would join her. This only caused problems a couple of times when Alex took a wrong turn. :)
Here are some of the things that caught Katie's eye. For some reason, needle-bearing plants were particularly exciting. I'm sure she would have snapped another 100 photos had the battery not died.
After a few hours, as we exited the parking lot on our way back north, the rain started up again. Hitting this window of sunshine saved ALL of our sanity.

And now, we're off to the beach and the kids are off to Oma and Opa's for the sleepover of the century - everybody wins!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the second greatest show on earth

Last Saturday we went to the El Jebel Shriner Circus, and it was excellent! So kitchy! So awesome!

This circus has it all: cheesy trapeze act, tiger act, jugglers, balancing acts, acrobats, really bad clowns, performing bears, rope climbing 'power girls,' and more.

Before the show and at intermission, the floor was open for mini-horseback rides, elephant rides, and pictures with the trained bear. I'm still shocked Oma didn't go for the bear picture, but since she got to actually HOLD a bear in Moscow she was able to resist.

Bubble-mania! Alex had a great time covering the back of Opa's head with bubbles. He originally chose the green dinosaur flashlight, until he saw the excellence of Max's bubble gun, and made a trade that Max is too young to know better about. Oma went back and got own bubble gun. It's hard to say who enjoyed their toy more.

Roger was creeped out by the performing poodles the most. For some reason he couldn't believe that wasn't their natural color.

I think Dad said his favorite act was the elephants.

Motorcycle cage.
The grand finale was a HUMAN CANNONBALL! This guy had to be about 70 years old, and Saturday morning he flew 163 feet across the Coliseum. What a perfect ending.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

best ROI hands down

The sandbox has already hit #1 on my top ideas for kid entertainment.

My friends average about 3 hours a day playing out there.

Once I get the boys to stop eating and throwing sand, the time spent in the shower afterwards should go down.

Oh yeah, and I still need to find somewhere to dump the remaining sand due to my excellent math skills.

Monday, April 19, 2010

in honor of our friends down under . . .

I overheard someone say that there's no point in going to the zoo more than once, because what could you possibly see a second time? Oh, those folks don't know what they're missing! We spend most of our time trying to match the fantastic animal adventures we caught in January, here are the new things we saw on our outing a couple weeks ago.

We caught this bad boy RUNNING!

The spider monkeys were making their way across the top of their cage, often hanging by only their tails.

AND we went into the Lorakeet Adventure for the first time. At one point there were three birds on my arm. Katie was really patient and gentle and had a number of birds grab her finger with their claws. One was not so pleasant and pecked her, but the drama was actually fairly short lived and she came back for more. Go Katie!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

how mom celebrates spring:

watching tulips fight through the snow;
cutting and soldering glass - small and doinky, but the first projects I've done in a couple years!
chocolate experiments with liquid centers - YUMMMMM! (bad photography, but good mint and caramel centers!);

expanding the sandbox - well, the handyman actually got up from a nap and built this, since he knows of my irrational fear of cutting off my leg with the SkilSaw;
from this:

to THIS!
and, just a side note, 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet - just in case you were going to be off by a factor of 3 like someone who no longer uses any math.

hopefully, the peas will also make it into the ground before May.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

happy easter

I really want to learn the secret to getting more than one kid at a time to actually face me when I'm taking a picture! Max thoroughly enjoyed his day of candy.

Easter bunny and flowers garland hanging in the kitchen.

Coloring Easter eggs with Oma.

Katie's 'Easter baskets' to take treats to friends. (photo by Katie)

Sugar cookies for deliveries to some friends.

My attempt at home-made 'Kinder Eier' - idea and tips from NotMartha. I used a drill bit instead of a Dremel tool - next time, though, I need to make bigger holes so I can get more in the eggs besides just small candies.

Excellent Easter basket for mom courtesy of DiscoMom, who arranges an Easter basket exchange every year. SO PERFECT!

Katie spent the day playing with Polly Pocket - my new best friend as well!

Alex tore himself away from his new crane for the train tracks to look for a couple eggs.

Max quickly discovered how to crack open the plastic eggs and get to the candy. That little tornado is totally a fan of jelly beans, but would start jumping around and laughing when I'd peel him a chocolate egg.
And I now have plenty of candy to keep the Beehives quiet for weeks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

littlest bookworm

Max awake.

Max asleep.

Needlesstosay, this delights me to no end.