Sunday, March 31, 2013

In which I try to get a decent Easter picture

Unsure about this whole outside-wind-dress thing...

Egg!  Wind!

Um, are we done yet?

Muuuch better!

I'll smile and move at the same time so you can't get a non-blurry picture!

This Nana blanket makes things better outside.  Two eggs don't hurt, either.

Happy Easter, y'all!  And, happy 10 month birthday to me!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A tale of two children's museums

While in Indiana, we got to visit not one but TWO children's museums.  One was a science museum while the other was a children's museum, though they were both for kids.  The first one was in Bloomington and was the science museum.  While smaller than the one in Charlotte, it was still pretty cool, and Sophia definitely enjoyed exploring.  There was a water table in this one too, but it didn't have the nifty seats that were in the Charlotte museum, so Sophia didn't get to play, as I didn't feel like dealing with a soaking baby.  The upstairs of this one also had things for older kiddos, and there was quite possibly the coolest climbing structure ever going from one floor to another; I think it was called the caterpillar climb or something.  Basically, carpet covered leaves enclosed in netting that you climbed up.  I was highly tempted to put Sophia in it just so I could "chaperone" her.  Because she wanted to climb it.  Yeah.  But, not this time.  Maybe next year, when it would be more believable that it was her that wanted to climb.  

There were trucks!

And blocks!

Blocks are great!

A climbing "wall."  More like slope, really, but she still loved it.

And steps to go up and down and up and down and up and down get the idea.

And more steps in a row

And giant stuffed dogs who didn't care if you grabbed their nose and poked their eyes.

Hi mom! 

A cool "cave" with a drumset that plays nature sounds

And tasty drumsticks

We went to the children's museum with bonus sister and brother on Sunday.  This one was in Indianapolis, and was more of a "museum": more to see, less to do.  There were manipulatives and a cool gecko exhibit, but I was underwhelmed with this one, must say.  It would probably be better for 7-8 year olds, but not much else.  Which is sad.  That being said, we still had a lot of fun!

Hey, bonus aunt....hey.....hey...

Lemme help you with that talking box thing, 'kay?

Bonus sister preserving her modesty.  

And playing in the kid toys.  Doesn't it look like fun Sophia? 

Hmmm, you know what?  That does look fun! 

Hi bonus aunt!

There was a special gecko exhibit with bunches and bunches of different geckos and information about their feet and habitats and such.

Climbing structure to test out gecko grips.  And/or baby climbing stills. 

Checking out the gecko grippers. 

Bonus aunt showing how things work.

Come on mom, let's go! 

I got places to go and geckos to see!

There was also the world most coolest clock ever!!  Colored water ran through it, gathering in containers for minutes and others for hours.  A pendulum in the middle ticked off seconds, and helped move the water along.

The whole thing.  Hours are on the left, minutes to the right.

Closer in: you can see the minute marking (right hand side: 10, 20, 30, and 40).  You can't see the hour markings in this picture, but they're there, I promise. 

The other special exhibit was superheros.  While Jordan and bonus brother geeked out here, Sophia wasn't quite yet capable of geeking out.  But, she will learn the ways of live-long-and-prosper, quiddich, nocturnal echolocating flying mammal man, kryptonite, and midiclorions.  

Hark!  I sense someone in need!

Not now mom, I'm saving the world

Cutest superhero ever!

A superhero who bonked her head still needs daddy cuddles

Super family!


Final verdict: the science museum in Charlotte still takes the cake for the best museum we've visited, hands down.  But, these two were pretty nifty, with the science museum being better for her at this age.  When she is able to appreciate exhibits, a return visit to the children's museum will be in order.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Trip to Indiana!

During spring break (well, mine...Jordan doesn't get one), we fiiiiinally made it out to Indiana to visit bonus sister the first before SHE COMES BACK HOME!!!!!  (no excitement there, if you couldn't tell)  We made the 10 hour drive in 9, mainly because we left at 8p so Sophia would sleep the whole way there, which she did like a champ.
Oh, good, we're here.  I was getting cramped in there!

On our way to the Bloomington science museum, we stopped by a deli place (way overpriced for just okay food) and found out that Sophia likes pickles.  No, I'm not joking.  I was eating mine (a personal favorite), and she let it be known that she would prettypleaselikethatpicklerightnow!  So, anticipating a funny face, I obliged.  I did not expect her to eat half of it!


The pickle won out over the usual favorite: bread

Bonus sister was busy during the day saving the world, one music therapy session at a time, so we got to hang around her house and relax.  Not a bad deal, other than missing bonus sister time.

Relaxing.  Yes, I'm really asleep. Photo credit: Jordan  

Sophia sleeping.  Her spare room is wonderful for picture much natural light comes in the window, and the blue of the bed is lovely!  (I took this proud!)
Sophia did a full kitchen inspection.

And we visited more local restaurants (well, one was a chain).  Bonus sister took us to an awesome brunch, after which me and her had girl time and Jordan and Sophia had bonding time.

Taking care of the talking box.  She gets quite confused when people are on speaker phone.  You can almost see her thinking "where the heck is that voice coming from??  I don't see anybody!"  

Playing with keys at brunch and sitting in her own chair!  That lasted for a while, then our food came and she wanted what was on my plate.  So, she had some toast.

Why, yes, bonus aunt, I would love to play with your wallet.  Let's see, where is that magic plastic.....

Going after dad's wallet already....a bit young, doncha think?  Jordan and I went on a date to Olive Garden (a favorite of ours) and split two lunches.  Sophia decided that the bread sticks were quite yummy, thank you, and had a death grip on hers.

The trip was wonderfully relaxing, the visiting was amazing, and it was great to not think about lab for so long.  Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so we headed home (into snow) at 8p again, putting Sophia to sleep in her car seat.

Saying goodbye to bonus brother.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New favorite snack!

I have a new favorite snack:  roasted chickpeas.  Now, let it be said that I am NOT a bean person.  I hate the mouth-feel of all beans....kidney beans, black beans, pork 'n' beans.  Been there, tried that, nearly vomited.  NO thanks.  But, when I went to visit my bonus sister (I know, I know, that post is coming, I promise), she had this snack.  She does the "eat all natural, organic only, good for you" thing, and is a maestro (maestra?) at freezing food and making freezer meals.  I'm a bit jealous.  Anyway, she was showing me her handywork, and we opened a cabinet, and she pulls out a jar of what looks like peas, but not green, brown, and tells me I have to try them, they're roasted chickpeas.  I was hesitant, because I know that chickpeas (or garbanzo beans if you prefer) = icky, yucky, disgusting, horrible mouth feel.  But, I was brave and tried one.  Then I tried about 50 more.  And later, more.  Because these do not have that horrible mouth feel.  They are yummy and crunchy and spice-a-licious (yes, I just made that up) and...heavenly.  I put a significant dent in her jar of them.  Not bad for a bean hater, eh?  I decided I how to make these, so, awesome bonus sister that she is, took me to the co-op thing to get more chickpeas (she gets them dried in bulk.  Genius!) and proceeded to show me how to roast pre-hydrated chickpeas.  I got to take some of the dried ones home to make my own.  Oh, the excitement!!

If you would like to play along at home, here's what ya do:
1.  Get access to hydrated, cooked chickpeas (from a can'll do)
2.  Season them.  Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, creole seasoning, greek seasoning, heck, I'm sure ginger powder would give an interesting taste.  Whatever you like.  If you're looking for tame, stick with garlic and salt.  Want more kick?  Go the creole seasoning route, or even chili power or red pepper flakes.  Be adventurous!  You get all these yummy spices to stick to your chickpeas by mixing them in a bit of olive oil.
3.  Roast them!  Sheet pan, 375-400 degree oven, hour-ish, "stirring" occasionally.
4. Eat the deliciousness that results.  

My remaining chickpeas.  They'll be gone soon, I'm sure.  This is the only glass jar with a lid I had, and it's one of my favorites, because it reminds me of a wonderful day in my big rower's life: her wedding day!  I was so honored to be a part of her big day, and I love that I have the memory of it in these jars.

Weekend shenanigans

This weekend was nice: I came home a bit early on Friday and was able to get some errands run and got supplies for an Easter craft for family (post pending).  While Friday and Saturday were nice, Sunday brought more snow, and we had our Easter egg hunt in the snow.  

We learned a new skill from aunt B: changing a (non-poopy) diaper while standing.  She had no intention of laying down and all intentions of holding on to the wheel for dear life and occasionally beeping my horn, so she got changed while standing.  Happy, clean baby = win for me!

During our craft foray in the....hardware store?  Yup!  We also needed a big pot to re-pot our Christmas tree (blue spruce) so I don't kill it like I did our first one by planting it in rock cement our yard.  Sophia decided to test out said pot.

I grew a Sophia!  (no, really, I did...)

Saturday morning nap time.  She wanted to sleep on the big people pillow, and would have it no other way.  Who am I to say no when she's that cute?

Blocks!  Even better, blocks in a bag!  They can all be taken out...every single last one.  And then the bag played with and the blocks eaten.

Happy Spring!  Hey, March?  I'm pretty sure it's in like a lion, out like a lamb.  And, those April showers?  Yeah, they're rain showers, not snow showers.  Get with the program!