Saturday, April 23, 2022

ch-ch-ch-cherry blossoms

Not much to say here, just wanted to share some cute photos we took while the cherry trees were in full bloom at the end of March. We tried taking the kids for some quick photos the day before these ones were taken, but it was so cold that it was snowing!! We lasted only a minute at the park before we hustled back home for hot chocolate and warm showers. Grandma and Grandpa visited the next day, which was a smidge warmer and sunnier, so we had a chance to take a few cute photos! Fortunately the snow didn't damage the blossoms.

Mae wins for most photogenic photo. She's at the age where sometimes she forgets how to smile and just bares her teeth, so I love catching her with such a sweet expression.
She also wins for silliest photo. (Classic Mae photo... half my camera roll looks like this.)
Colin is such a cheerful, easy-going toddler now, but his smiles are SO FLEETING they are hard to catch even with my camera on the rapid-fire setting. He's also teething, so he's not always at his smiliest self these days.
See what I mean about the teething?

Thursday, April 21, 2022

act 3: the zoo

On Friday, we checked out of our hotel and drove to the zoo. The highlight for me was seeing a kiwi bird awake, eating, and running around its enclosure digging in the mulch. They are one of my favorite animals! The next best part was petting the stingrays. Unlike other animals I've encountered in touch tanks, the stingrays were SO EXCITED to be handled. They were swimming up the walls and pushing each other aside to get petted! Mae and Colin both recoiled a little after touching their slippery skin, but were both brave enough to keep putting their hands in the water!
They definitely made an impression on Mae. This was the picture she brought home from school on Monday!
We spent a lot of time watching the baby elephant, Frankie. He was very playful, and it was fun to watch him interact with the older elephants. The adjacent rhino must have felt some pressure to compete with the entertainment value of the baby elephant, because it spent the whole time trying to balance a large ball on its head... no easy feat with no arms to actually lift the ball up in the first place.
Colin also liked the sharks... which were actually manatees. This photo makes it look like he's really excited about the turtle, but he's actually screaming, "SHARK" at the passing manatee.
Lest it look like my kids are happy and well-behaved all the time, just know I had to bribe them with fruit snacks to get this cute surfing photo. I tried earlier in the day and they were both crabby and pouting at being made to pose. When we passed the same playground later in the day, I tried ye olde bribery trick with much success.
It was a fun-filled, exciting, exhausting spring break!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

act 2: cosi

After Dan finished work on Wednesday, we drove to Columbus for the second half of spring break. We stayed at the Residence Inn downtown, and it was really nice to have the extra space. We got pizza for dinner and then walked along the Scioto River for a bit to enjoy the beautiful spring evening. Back at the hotel, Mae got us hooked on watching "Is It Cake?" on Netflix. It's is a game show where the bakers have to make cakes that look like everyday objects (e.g. a sneaker) and the judges have to pick out the cake from a lineup of real, non-cake items.
On Thursday morning, we walked to COSI (Center of Science and Industry). We hit up all of Mae's favorites from the last time we visited: dinosaurs, gadgets, kids zone, and the submarine. While Mae was waiting to climb down into the submarine, Colin had fun scooping and carrying water in the Oceans area.
Both kids left the room soaked! Good thing Dan remembered to pack dry clothes!
Mae was insistent that we go to the show in the planetarium! It was really cool, so I'm glad we got to see it towards the end of our visit. Colin had stayed awake the whole day, but finally fell asleep cuddling me to the soothing sound of Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about dark matter.
We had lots of fun learning about science and energy and space and dinosaurs and everything!

Friday, April 15, 2022

spring break, in three acts

Act 1: The Grandparents

We (and especially Mae) had a busy, fun-filled week for our first real school spring break! Mae spent the first half of the week at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and they packed a ton of activities into just a few days. On Monday they went to the Children's Museum with Emily, Oliver, Archie, and Lillian. Mae was particularly excited about digging for dinosaur fossils and taking care of toys in the Doc McStuffins exhibit. The carousel was a big hit with everyone!
On Tuesday they went to the pool with a "lid" (roof). They said it was nice and warm and they only left so that they could get some dinner at Freddy's before everyone got too hungry! Mae said she wants to learn to swim this summer, so I hope we are able to make lots of pool trips once it gets warm.
On Wednesday, Mae played with Archie while Oliver was in school. They did craft projects, and she painted some cute little wooden peg people.
In the afternoon, Colin and I drove to collect Mae and have a small picnic with Grandma and Grandpa at a park half way between us - the same place we celebrated Grandpa's birthday last year! We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and Colin carried his apple all over the park. He's a little apple-obsessed right now.
When we got home from collecting Mae, we gathered all our stuff and set off on own spring break adventure as a family!