Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Charlotte Children's museum: the second time around

We left the beach Tuesday, I stopped in at lab, and then we headed to Raleigh, then Charlotte for a day trip to visit the seester and her man.  And, perhaps, the totally awesome children's museum there, again, to see how Sophia would like it now that she's more into her surroundings.

Heading out with seester (make sure to duck!)

Playing in the kid zone, vertically mobile this time!


And, scooting with seester.

So, I got on the purple scooter thing, too (thank GOD there's no photographic evidence).  It held my weight, but it made this very sad, sighing noise when I sat down.  I almost felt bad for it.

Hudson came to visit! 

Hi Hudson!

Come here often?

Hudson is's not Sophia's diaper, promise!

Sophia, on the other hand, enjoys the water table!

She can even stand at it this time! (and shakeatoyreallyfast!)

Um, Jordan?  That's a racetrack, not a slide.  Besides, slides are one-way events, we don't walk up slides.  I have no urge to ever see the inside of a skull, kthanks.

Playing with the green scooter.  Another little girl came along later (when Sophia wasn't even over there) to play with it, and Sophia walked over to take it from her.  We need to have the "don't be a bully" talk, it seems.

Hanging out in the crawling/walking sensory path thingie.  Walking through it this time.

Where's Sophia?

Oh, hi.  Well, see, I moved the bucket out so I could crawl in this fun looking alcove.  That's cool, right?

Seester is all tired out already.

After letting Sophia run around the kid area, we got bored we decided to go through the rest of the first floor before lunch/naptime.  Also included on the first floor is a science lab type thing (way too old for her), a mini-aquarium, and the bottom story of the two story "rain forest" exhibit.

Veeeeeeery similar picture to the first time we looked in the tank.  She loves her fishies.

Be one with the fish!

Super-model seester....and Sophia trying to eat her hand.

Crawling through the rope bridge.  She wasn't a major fan.

After the "rain forest" we had lunch at an Italian place, and Sophia helped seester with her pizza crusts.  They make a great eating team: seester eats the business end of the pizza, Sophia eats the crust.  And some chicken from my pasta.  After lunch, it was naptime for me and Sophia (and I'm pretty sure Jordan napped, too).  Mom and seester went to go watch a cow eyeball being dissected.  Try not to be jealous.  After naptime, we headed back to the museum to get the second floor, and let Sophia play with her favorite exhibit up there.

Balls on jets of air!  Fun!

Ball hog.  Seriously, she had this thing on lock-down.  When we would go somewhere else that wasn't immediately engaging, she would head back for this.

Seester got her play time in with Sophia, and/or used her as an excuse to play with the kid toys.  Not that I can blame her.  That's what bitties are good for: letting adults play with totally awesome kid things without getting funny looks.  Or at least without getting the cops called on them.

Balance board

So strong! 

Thank goodness seester only weighs like 50 pounds so she and Sophia could go up on the air chair.  There's a 175 lb weigh limit on that thing, and I wasn't about to send her up alone.

And, of course, the adults tested things out, and got to play.

Mom is sooooo strong!

Building blocks

Nail bed.

Last thing we did before leaving was check out the "grossology" exhibit, which was meh for the most part, but had a slide that Sophia enjoyed.  The first time Jordan tried to take her through she wanted nothing of it.  There's a climbing section that she wasn't sure what to do with.  But after I took her through, and carried her over the climbing section, she loved the slide, and went back a few more times.  She even climbed the climbing section with minimal help.

Getting ready to come down!

(I've found that feet-first-belly-down is one of the best ways for littles to go down slides.  They don't get scared, they won't topple, and they won't face-plant at the bottom.  The only thing to be careful of is doing this on slides without a run-out at the bottom.  If there's no run-out, they'll smack their face on the end of the slide, and that's no fun.)

As usual, we had a wonderful time here, seeing seester and her man, and hanging out!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Little reader

Sophia has been blowing my mind a lot lately.  The latest reason?  Knowing that she's holding a book upside down, and turning it right-side up.  She does love her books, though.  No clue where she got that from.....

Reading at the beach

Reading in a box

Reading at lab!

Va Beach Aquarium

While at VA Beach, Jordan and I took the two oldest kiddos (Sophia and B) to the aquarium.  I love looking at fish (don't believe me?  Ask my big rower how many times I've been to the Chatanooga aquarium), Sophia likes to look at fish, and B does, too.  Hence, trip!  We didn't get to see all of it, since it closed at 5 rather than at 6 like we thought.  But, we still had bunches of fun and saw lots of fishies and other animals (like turtles!).

Nifty little bubble thing in the turtle exhibit.

Close-up of us in the bubble!

Really cool tunnel THROUGH the tank.  As in, fish everywhere!!

Me and Sophia and the fishies

See?!  Fish above us!

B on a dolphin

And, add Sophia!  She was clearly not interested in daddy and the camera.

Looking at a GIANT alligator.


More fish!

Jordan and Sophia

Oh no!  B got eaten by a shark!!

Now we all did!  Save us!

Jordan and the girls.  Notice how only one of them is paying any attention to me.  *sigh*  More interesting things abounded.  As they should.


Climbing the steps in the butterfly exhibit was a highlight.  The butterflies, however, were hiding.

 Petting tank with horseshoe crabs and hermit crabs

Petting a horseshoe crab

Trying to eat more sand see what's in there.

"Here, look, Sophia!"

On the way home.  A 10 minute drive, mind you.  I think we got her good and tired.  :)

The aquarium was very kid-friendly, with interactive learning exhibits to go along with the fish.  There were also multiple "petting" tanks, which was cool, and each one had a hand washing station.  We missed the nature trail and other half, but will have to go back again to pick it up.  The part we did see, we enjoyed quite a bit!  The path through was a bit confusing at times, and we almost missed a tank or two, but managed to catch what we wanted.