Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tip for the day.

How to get rid of a 2 year old box of pasta, without cooking it.
  1. Put pasta in cupboard in reach of 17 month old.
  2. When said child opens cupboard, let him pull out all kinds of items, because it keeps him busy while you make dinner.
  3. Allow child to take boxes of pasta over to his window sill, where he likes to play.
  4. Listen as he shakes the boxes all around, but think nothing of it.
  5. Continue making dinner until the child's father gets home from work.
  6. As Daddy takes his bike out to the balcony, act totally surprised, when he looks at the floor, near window and gasps.
  7. Come over to see what he is gasping at, and be totally surprised.
How to clean up an entire spilled box of Orzo Pasta, using a 3 year old and a vacuum cleaner.
  1. Pull out vacuum cleaner, and start suctioning up pasta.
  2. When 3 year old comes over and starts scooping up the pasta, and holding it under the vacuum hose, hand the hose to the 3 year old, and let her vacuum it all up.
  3. When 3 year old is mostly done, take the vacuum and run it over the remaining pasta, to leave the carpet pasta free.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Utah Trip: Family Week: Day 2, Thanksgiving Point: The Dinosaur Museum and Cabela's

About a month before we took our trip, I had taken the kids to playgroup. On this particular day, playgroup was at a park, that had a nice little wooded area with walking trail, near the playground. When it was about time to go, I coaxed Cinderella onto the stroller. Actually I think I probably picked her up, kicking and screaming and strapped her down. Anyway, I decided we would take a little walk through the wooded area, before we went and got in the car. Cinderella was mad. She was screaming. Anyway once we got in the trees, she asked me if this was a forest. I told her it was. Forests don't have to be big right? Anyway, then she asked me if we would see a deer. I told her I didn't know. But deer only come out when it is quiet. They don't come out when we are screaming and yelling, so she hushed. Well I didn't think we would see a deer, but you never know. Well we didn't, and Cinderella was understandably upset. Well I knew that we were planning to go up into the mountains and go to a lake, at least one of the days that we were visiting in Utah. So I told her that maybe we would see one when we were at Grandma's house. She took that for a promise that she would see one when we visited Grandma. After she mentioned a few times that she was going to get to see a deer when we went to Grandma's house, I figured I had better see what I could do to make sure she saw one, if at all possible.
So I called my mom. I told her about the situation, and she said, "well we are going to go to the zoo so we should see one there." Well Hogle Zoo doesn't have any deer. Unless there are some you can see if you ride the train, which we didn't do. So then my mom had the idea of Cabela's. Now for those of you who like me before I went to Utah on this trip, have never heard of Cabela's, it is an outdoor sports store. But it is more than a store. Inside the store they have a small aquarium, they have a big "mountain" with taxidermy animals perched all over it, and they even have a small animal museum filled with taxidermy deer. Well it was our one guarantee that she would see a deer. Albeit a dead deer, but it is a deer.

Anyway, we had told Cinderella that one of the things we were going to do that day was go to the Dinosaur Museum, which was what she was really looking forward to. She asked me if she was going to see dinosaurs. I told her all the dinosaurs had died a long time ago, and all we would see was their bones. She was quite concerned that all the dinosaurs were dead, but accepted my saying so. My brother S had a date that night and had to cut out late, so when we finished with the gardens, we ate a picnic lunch and headed over to Cabela's so he could join us there. On our way over to Cabela's, Cinderella asked me if she was going to see deer. I told her yes. She then asked if all the deer were dead. I didn't know how to answer that question, because all the deer we were going to see were dead, but not all deer are dead. I tried to not laugh and tried to explain it to her. I think she understood.
After the gardens that morning, most people were all pictured out, so unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the animals at Cabela's except this one.

Thankfully the deer at Cabela's satisfied Cinderella's interest in seeing deer.

After we left Cabela's we were all worn out. Except for Cinderella who still really wanted to see dinosaur bones. So we went over to the museum, and toured it as quickly as we could.

The kids playing on a dinosaur.

Isn't that a big shark? They are guessing due to the size of fossilized shark teeth, that this is about the size they used to be.

My Utah Trip: Family Week: Day 2, Thanksgiving Point: The Gardens

OK so first for anyone not familiar with Utah, there is this place called Thanksgiving Point. It has a dinosaur museum, a IMAX theater, awesome gardens, a golf course, and I'm not sure what else. Anyway it is normally quite expensive. I think the regular rates are something like $10 per adult and $5 per kid. Which when you have a group as large as the one we were dealing with, is just unthinkable pricing.
Fortunately for us however, in the month of August, every Tuesday, each attraction was only $2 per person. A lot more affordable. So we decided that we would go to the gardens, and the Dinosaur Museum. The day was forcasted to rain, so we decided to go to the gardens in the morning, before the rain started, and then the Museum in the afternoon. We met T and D in a parking lot behind the museum and were quite glad we had chosen to go to the gardens first. The line for the museum was horrendous. However there weren't that many people going to the gardens. It was a nice day to go to the gardens. It was overcast, which meant it wasn't a scorcher. It was a little humid, but I didn't mind that. It was like a nice day at home.
It was nice to get an opportunity to stroll casually around with my husband, because others were eager to push our children around. My dad rented a wheel chair for my mom and grandma. And we all had a great morning. Somehow we managed to have both of our cameras left out of the diaper bag that day. But lucky for you, many other people had cameras and let me have copies of the pictures they took. Here are my favorites from the gardens.
I know I've posted this picture before. This is my brother T and his wife D in the gardens.
Another repeat I know, there will be a few repeats, because most of the good pictures we got of people were taken in the gardens. These are my sisters C and M in the gardens.
My sisters L and N.
N and Cinderella

My two single brothers S and P
My little family
My Hubby and I
My Nephew A
Our "little" group
Cinderella loves to smell flowers.
Don't you love how it looks like she is trying to kiss the flower?
Scrunched up nose :)
My mom
This picture was taken at the top of a large hill in the gardens. If you look closely behind L you will see the sagebrush covered hills, that contrast with the green of the garden.
My dad was pushing the wheelchair that had my grandma in it throughout the gardens. When we got to the top of a hill we stopped to rest and enjoy the view. My dad commented that his leg had been hurting him. So my grandma joked that she should push him. So they decided to get a pose with him in the chair and her behind.
Here is my hubby on top of the hill.
Kids in the stroller
M, D, Cinderella, and N taking a break
D and C
Climbing the pillar
Aunt D with Cinderella by the waterfalls
Uncle T and Aunt D were taking pictures with Cinderella down by the waterfall, when someone asked them if they would like their picture taken with Cinderella too.
Cinderella by the waterfall
Cinderella and me by the waterfall

Because there were a lot of pictures taken at the gardens, I am posting them all by themselves. Stay tuned for Cabela's and the Dinosaur Museum.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Utah Trip: Family Week: Day 1, Zoo

So on Monday we had plans to go to the zoo in the afternoon. Cinderella woke up that morning, still sick. I was really bummed, because I really wanted to take her to the zoo, and the zoo had been planned largely with my children in mind. I knew she would be really upset if everyone else went and we didn't.
At the same time, Monday was the only day that week with forecasted clear skies. Every other day predicted rain. So I really couldn't ask them to postpone their trip for our sakes. My mother suggested that we wait and see how she was feeling come that afternoon.
T, D, S, P, and L all decided to take the morning and go hike Mount Timpanogas. My husband graciously declined the invitation, because he felt sorry leaving me with a sick kid.
Thankfully by the afternoon, Cinderella's illness had cleared up, so we all headed to the zoo.
Hogle Zoo closes their gates at 5, but keeps the grounds open till 6:30. We showed up around 4, and met the Timpanogas group there.
My dad rented a wheel chair for my mom, so she wouldn't need to walk around all day. We had a lot of fun seeing the animals. Cinderella has loved alligators since she saw "The Happiest Millionaire" so I was excited that this zoo has a large white alligator. (Just kidding about the picture. That isn't a white alligator, nor is is real. It is just on the playground, in case you couldn't tell.)

They also have two baby alligators.
We also saw Elephants, Giraffes, Monkeys (OK so I think the technical term is primates, because it wasn't just monkeys.)

The kids really enjoyed the animals. Guy loved being able to get out of the stroller and see the animals. Although I think he got more excited about the different ball shaped items in various cages, than some of the animals themselves.

However for my children I would say the highlight of the zoo was definitely the Carousel, and at the playground. Cinderella, rode on my mom's lap for a good portion of the zoo. At one point I heard my mother say to her, that she would need to ask her mom. So I turned to see what the question was. She wanted to know if she could ride the Carousel. Well to tell you the truth, I hadn't planned on her ridding it. I had thought we might ride the train, but not the carousel. I suggested the train, and she was quite disappointed. My youngest sister, N said that she had brought some money and would gladly pay for her and Cinderella to ride the Carousel. So we headed over, and I bought a ticket for Guy to ride as well. I figured if he saw Cinderella on there, he would want to be on there too.

The Carousel at the zoo has all kinds of different animals on it that people can ride. Cinderella chose a praying mantis, so N and Guy took the ones on either side. Guy ended up on a bear. At first, I wasn't sure how Guy was going to handle it.

He was chomping at the bit, and not sure he wanted to stay on the bear. Once it started moving though, he was having the time of his life. He loved going around and up and down. Cinderella loved it too. She didn't want get off when the ride was over. She wanted to go again. I had to hand Guy over the railing to his Daddy, and pick her up and carry her kicking and screaming away from the ride.

We decided to go from there to the playground. She loved playing on the playground. And had a great time. As it appears everyone else did. She was able to get her fill at the playground, and was content when we left the zoo.

We then drove to a nearby park, and had a picnic dinner. It was a fun, but long day.