Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finally, Something is Right in This World!

The title to this post was my friend's response to something I learned at this museum. Read on to find out what little-known factoid made her day and mine. I have always wanted to visit the Birch Aquarium. This Friday, the kids and I finally did and I was not disappointed.
I had to crack up at Ian's expressive grunts as we viewed various large creatures. The first one was just outside the entrance. For the longest time, Ian was stopped in his tracks. It took him a few minutes to cross that line in the sidewalk... you're about to see why.
Finally he did it. His sister had already circled the enormous statue and pond, and so Ian decided it might be safe for him to join her.
"Here I come! Wait up!" (This is a direct translation from Ianese.)
The big grey whale statue and fountain
Great curb appeal, Birch Museum!
I am so disappointed that we've latched onto the Disney culture. I won't say who's to blame for joining the Disney movie club in our family, but most of you could probably guess it wasn't me. At any rate, everything at this museum was either Nemo-related or not. We were not the only visitors have these type of Nemo-comparison discussions.

I think eels are just about the ugliest creatures ever!
The different varieties of jellyfish were pretty fascinating.
I have decided that one of my children is much more adventurous and brave than the other. You'll probably never guess which is which.

I couldn't resist capturing the view from behind!
Here's the beach down below. There were those pay-per-view binoculars that stood right at the edge of the cliff. Of course, I was totally ridiculously cheap and didn't even check my wallet to see if we had the 51 cent fee. I probably figured we go to that beach all the time, why do we need to see it from binoculars? Okay, maybe we could've seen a grey whale migrating. Oh well.

This has got to be luckiest species on earth! Why? The MALES carry and birth the babies! Is this not a dream come true? Brooklyn and I agree that this was our favorite part of the whole visit! I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that the male seahorse spends most of his life pregnant! Seahorses usually have a single partner for life.
The lucky ladies actually give their eggs to the males who then fertilize and hatch them 2 - 4 weeks later. There must be a 100 or so babies that are expelled at a time. A dozen or so fly out with each sharp contraction. Sadly, very few babies survive to adulthood.
Alright, it was worth the 10 bucks just to learn that fact. Now that you've heard it from me, you can thank me for saving you the trip!

Model Train Museum

Since there were only a few days left of the month, I figure I had better take advantage of the 50% off museum pass for most San Diego Museums in the month of February. Here we are at the model train museum.It's pretty sad that in the nearly two years we've lived here, I've only taken Brooklyn to one other museum. There must be at least 8 - 10 different museums at Balboa Park alone. We've gone to the zoo quite a bit (also part of Balboa park), but never ventured to do much more beyond that. It was about time.
Here Brooklyn's pushing a button to start and stop one of the trains.
In one of the rooms, there were several trains that ran through so many different scenes of a miniature town. Above is the snowy Christmas village section. There was a frozen pond with ice skaters, and back behind the big hill, there were also some sledders. I was amazed at all the detail in each scene.
Lots of old-fashioned cars were parked outside of this SuperChief Diner. The diner was of course, the shape of a train car.
Brooklyn and Calvin waited to watch a train pass by on the spot where the glass was removed for closer viewing.
Yes, there was even a baseball game going on in town.
Miniature people sat on park benches, and there was even a kissing couple in the gazebo.
Here was the gas station with workers and a girl jumping rope near her home.
There was even a camp ground on the outskirts of town.
Who are those goofy characters on that flatscreen? I couldn't resist. One of the trains had a video camera on the front of it so that you could feel like you were on the mini train. When it came close, we had to say hi!
The main drag
A Thomas the train play table for the kids
The carnival with spinning rides

I enjoyed it and could have stayed longer had the kids not been hungry and tired and if Brooklyn would stop letting me know she was done by saying, "Let's get out of here." Obviously, we have some learning to do in the museum etiquette department. Perhaps just etiquette in general.

Lilly's 1st Birthday

Our Lil' cupcake turned one and we had a great time celebrating her birthday with her.
We played pin the strawberry on the cupcake. There were two cupcake pinatas. The smaller one may resurface again circa March 9th. Unfortunately for Caden, who was standing nearby, Brooklyn had a powerful swing! It wasn't however, strong even to bust the thing open. That was done by Jacob, Jeff's nephew in the brown hoodie below.
Candy all around! I like how Stephen is pictured in the background, shaking the rest of it out. He hoisted the target.
I don't think I've ever seen a pinata with just too much candy, until now.
The birthday girl and her admiring cousins.


Have you heard about the latest sleepwear for children? Introducing: the leg cocoon. Too bad it doesn't mend legs that run away from parents into legs that stay and obey them.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Love Is...

Happiness in the home, even though most days do not look or feel like a walk in the park.Love is 3 years of bright blue eyes, curly wild hair, and a toothy smile.
Love is realizing that this dress might only be worn once, and not forcing the issue.

Love is sharing too-funny-to-reveal movie kisses, initiated by a 3-year-old. Maybe she learned them from watching her mom and dad. More likely, it's from the movies.

Love is passing along the passion for creating things. Finally, love is making dinner together, peacefully. Isn't there a saying, "too many cooks spoil the broth"? Usually one of us does the cooking and the other cleans. V-day was different. Stephen helped me cook, and we both cleaned up the kitchen afterward. Nah, I think it was mostly Stephen. Either way, it was nice. On this day of love, rule number one, so often repeated in our Family Home Evening theme song, "Love at Home," was happening during that usually stressful time of meal preparation. The menu included chicken cordon bleu, steamed asparagus with lemon-dill butter, carrots, and rice pilaf. Sparkling cider was the beverage. Stephen got me the orchid, and his boss, Vicky, sent us home the paper whites(?). The valentine tree was my creation. Here's Ian enjoying the din-din. He was asleep during the afternoon photo session. Next year I'll try to coordinate a red tie for Ian too.

Reader, Ragdoll, Organizer

These three descriptions currently fill Ian's working resume.These first two accomplishments came with a little help. Dad on the above activity, and Brooklyn in the dressing below .
The last thing, he did on his own. I found that he picked up these apple bits and put them into the circle from a shape-sorter toy. Apparently, it doubles as a dish.