Friday, July 18, 2014

Museum of Fine A**

I took my kids to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, taking advantage of the Highland Foundation's Free Fun Fridays. I had taken my older two when they were 7 and 5, and being the bizarro kids they are, they loved it.  We went again a couple years later, and again--they were thrilled.

So when I found out it was free I jumped at the chance to go.  Even though the baby is just 19 months, I was sure I could handle it alone.

I had forgotten how many things were in reach in the Museum, and also, how many paintings of nudes there were.  Of course this led to some giggling.  I'm ok with that, as long as it's good-natured.  But eventually this quickly turned to an embarrassed teenager telling her tween brother to "grow up."

Punkgirl has anxiety, especially in strange places, and sometimes takes it out on everyone she comes in contact with.  I tried to quash this, and of course Rose took the opportunity to become a full-fledged "me my mine do it myself!" toddler.   

We made it through at least three temper tantrums of epic proportion and two proximity alarms (whereupon I cursed myself for bringing a toddler to a place where they can't touch anything!) when we arrived at a gallery full of European Art.  Punkgirl had headphones in at this point, stressed to the max by the little terror dressed in purple and her ear-shattering squeals.  In the corner was a woman who saved our entire trip to the Museum.  She had large clipboards full of sketch paper, and every sort of pencil created.

Rose colored with a pencil.  

Happyboy sketched a European silver service set

I almost hugged the woman.  She gave me two minutes straight where Rose wasn't setting alarms off or screeching hysterically, and bonus, Happyboy got to enjoy sketching too!

After that, even Punkgirl enjoyed herself.

And we got to see a giant baby head:

And this guy:

And last, but definitely not least, we got to see this:

Psst! Look behind the dancer!

You can't tell me that placement is accidental.

All in all, I probably wouldn't take a toddler again, but the sketch pad was a huge hit, and I got the kids to take a family picture with this nice couple:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Farmer's Market Madness

There's something about fresh air and crazy, crazy sweet strawberries that makes me insane.  By insane I mean that my normal cheapne--uh, thriftiness disappears and I suddenly need to purchase every fresh veggie and fruit that crosses my path.  

Now, there are two reasons I visit the Farmer's Market.  The first is that I like the idea of supporting farmers.  After all, they did all the work, and I get to eat all the yummy food.  The second is that I have discovered in myself a love of fresh fruits and veggies.  Am I paying extra?  Sort of.  But I'm coming home with things I can't get anywhere else--because if you think there is no difference between farm fresh and grocery store veggies, you haven't gotten quality pieces from your local Farmer's Market.  Here is what I came home with today:

Notice that one of those is a plant.  Yes, even though I have a brown thumb, I bought a cherry tomato plant.  It was the fresh air.  And the strawberries.  But it was also the instant gratification of this:

...and knowing that if I don't kill it in the first three weeks, I'll have even More. Yummy. Tomatoes!

It's also a great place to take the kids:

...not to mention the colors!

And when you get home, the kids love to wash the veggies...BONUS!!

And last but not least:

It's great family bonding time!  There were no tantrums, no rolling eyes, no bored's the fresh air.  And the strawberries.  (Ok, maybe it was also the gluten free cinnamon rolls, the freshly made ice cream, and the muffins...)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

We're a little bummed out--one of my favorite cousins had to move her annual 4th of July party to Saturday because of Hurricane Arthur, and we already have plans on Saturday.  Today has been spent playing video games and avoiding going out in the rain.  Still, it's never the wrong kind of day for a tutu photo.

It's quick, it's easy, and with the Pic Collage app, it's a simple jump from a cute pic to a fantastic greeting card photo.  Go download the app--it's free! And enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Lake and a Trebuchet

I've been slacking this week in Camp Awesome--between appointments and a sore knee I haven't put in as much effort as I normally do at the beginning of the summer.  But I wanted to make up for it a little today (even though I had another appointment before my knee surgery this month.)  

The kids asked if we could go to the local lake, and normally I hate going anywhere water related with all three kids by myself.  I hate cold water.  We live right near the Atlantic, and as much as I like the beach, and dipping my feet in the water, I really don't like going in far enough to actually swim.  As in, I would rather you drive nails down the chalkboard for hours on end, as long as I don't have to put my body in that freezing cold pit of hell.  But Rose loves it.  When I say loves it, I mean you have to pry her screaming little body out of the water, and as you're trying to gather your items to go home, she's running back towards the water.  

Punkgirl and Rose enjoying her reflection in the water.  This was right before Rose melted down diva-style about leaving.

But it was particularly hot and humid, which meant the lake, unlike the Atlantic, wouldn't be so bad.  

We had a great hour, and when we got home I felt like we had had such a great time that it brought home how much I had really slacked.  I usually don't let them go anywhere without a challenge first!  Well, it was too late for that, but I did do one other activity from my lesson plan.  It's "Dangerous Camp For Kids" Week, so we built a trebuchet!  If you're wondering what that is, so was I until a friend explained it.  It's basically a catapult, with a weight on one end.  

When my friend had said she built one with her kids, I looked it up, and I decided it was beyond me.  I am not in any way, shape, or form mechanically-inclined, and I have zero depth perception.  

But I really wanted to teach them how to make them!  So I did a little research and found this:

It was so step-by-step easy even I could do it! (Ok, there were one or two spots where Happyboy had to read the instructions and explain what he was supposed to do...he totally has Coffeeguy's aptitude for science!)  

Happyboy could use the hot glue gun, with supervision.  This is the base of the trebuchet.

Zing!! The weight pulled down, the basket pulled up, and voila! The trebuchet is a marvel of medieval science.

This was so much easier than I thought it would be. But it still kept him busy for two hours--although, because of the hot glue gun use, that meant I couldn't really leave!  

All in all, it was a productive day (as far as the kids go), even if I did manage to stick my finger in hot glue, bring a pound of sand into the car, and get a sunburn on one small patch on my arm. (Hey, I don't call myself the suck at home mom for nothing!)