November 7, 2008

Reading Confession...

OK, so I know many of my friends LOVE to read. Well, many of you know that I don't particularlly enjoy it. I LOVE the Harry Potter Series which I listened to on audiobook. I began listening to the Twilight Series (and enjoyed it), because many of my friends were excited about it. However, something has come over me lately. I actually tried to PUSH myself through a book for fun. I don't think that's happened since high school & those trashy romance novels I borrowed from Jessica (you know the hot & steamy "I should throw this out" kind?). Anyway, not too long ago, I read Wicked & the sequel Son of a Witch. Then, I did finish the Twilight series by listening to Breaking Dawn on my computer as I worked to complete misc. projects.
After that, while I was searching for some books my son, I noticed Fablehaven. A couple of my friends have read it (not near as many as Twilight), and I've heard good things. It is such a good book! I really like it. I finished book 1, then hurried out to get book 2. I loaned book 1 to a friend who looks forward to reading it too.
Adam (my 9yr old) has asked about the plot, and if I thought he could read it after he finishes the series he is currently reading. He loves reading already, but I think he is interested to see me reading something for a change. Especially that it is Fantasy rather than non-fiction. I like this so much, it would even be good for Adam & I to read together.
Last night, I went to bed with ONE chapter left in the book. I was simply too tired to continue reading. I finished book 2 this morning, but now I'm dying to start book 3! Trouble is that book 4 won't be out until April 2009. So, do I wait now? Or wait later? I really like the story. It is a little transparent & predictable at times, but there is enough suspense, adventure & mystery to make it a really good story.

I know Jess...Who am I? And what did I do with Kim.

November 5, 2008

Pacifier Problem

OK, it's normal for kids Allison's age to put items inside containers...take them out...out them Well, Allison loves her binky. She put it in a sippy cup & put on the lid. She then could NOT get the lid off. She was very upset, because she could see her binky in that cup, but could not get it out.
She has now discovered that it is stuck, and she needs help. (Please mom, I'm trying to look pathetic.)
She really tried to get it out. You can see it pretty clearly in the cup.OK, so I finally took pity on her after I got my pictures. Doesn't she look happy now? Time for bed!

Lincoln Park Zoo

A couple of weeks ago, we took a mini-vaycay to Chicago. We spent 2 nights & had a great time as a family. We went swimming at the hotel, went to the Museum of Science & Industry and to the Lincoln Park Zoo.This is another Free zoo. - No admission cost. I guess living in AZ, I kind of take for granted that in other places animals would need an indoor & outdoor enclosure. In AZ, the animals have areas to go to get inside from the elements, but they cannot usually be seen when they go in. I guess it must be more of an Eastern thing, but I think it's cool that most of the animals here have an inside viewing area & an outside one. There are also buildings like the Primate House & Lion House where you view the aniamls inside. So cool!There were many areas where people were set-up to answer questions & share interesting facts.Another odd thing was that the park was right amidst the buildings & city itself. There were several gates to enter & exit the zoo. Many people could walk right through, or come on their lunch break, etc. It was more like a park that happened to have animals, rather than what I think of when I think "zoo".I liked the gorillas. Hear, Adelaide looks like she is calling to him as he sits outside.Hear are some more cheesy pictures of everyone. Of course they love to smile until I want to try to "organize" them.

Daddy is such a good sport. - He doesn't really like the zoo.Adam never misses an opportunity to use the camera. Say cheese!

Museum of Science & Industry

We went to the Museum of Science & Industry in August while Grandma was visiting, but we were able to see very little of it. We went back to see what we missed and had a good time.
Thanks to a friend, we were able to park for free (which is almost unheard of in Chicago). One of the first areas we explored, had all types of space exhibits. The kids liked getting their picture taken & looking like an astronaut. Too cute!

We also liked the circus hall that had all the funny mirrors. Mia looks stretched. I love the picture of Adelaide...her legs look like they are different lengths.
Adam was climbing the walls!
Another photo op! Too bad I only had 50% cooperation.
One of MY favorite things, were the shadow walls. When you kept still, the butterflies landed on your shadow. - Adelaide has a butterfly on her head!
Adam stood very still to see how many butterflies would collect on him.

We even got to see a little show (demonstration) called Poop Happens. It was very cute & funny, but a bit disgusting at the same time. The premise was that this guy had his science project about digestion. First, he had cereal in a container. He added milk & had a volunteer used a potato masher to simulate "chewing". Another volunteer poured the mashed stuff from the container into a clear pastry bag (esophagus). Another volunteer squeezed the goop from the esophagus into another baggie (stomach) where they added honey (stomach acid). Then, as he talked about chemical & mecahnical digestion occurring in the stomach, he kneeded the baggie making it a smoother mixture of goop. Another volunteer squeezed the goo into another container (small intestine), where some drops of color (enzymes) were added. Then to another container (large intestine) where cocoa powder (wastes & other leftover chemicals) was mixed into the goop. Adam was the last volunteer. His job was to help pour the goo (which now resembled poop) from the large intestine into the rectum (another clear pastry bag). Then, he got to "poop". The guy cut the end & Adam got to squeezed the stuff out. GROSS! It was SO funny. The video clip is just the last little bit, but it's funny to hear the reactions of the audience.

We Love to Stay at a Hotel!

One of the kids' favorite things about staying at a hotel is swimming in the pool.
Adelaide loves the pool, but she prefers to hang around by the steps.
Amelia uses her flotation vest, and she loves swimming. Of course, Adam loves bugging his sister.
Allison likes the pool, as long as Daddy stays put & doesn't move around too much. She loves to splash & play.
Kick-back & make yourself comfortable. Aaah...

Tricks or Treats?

The WEEK of Halloween is always full of sweets & fun. It also marks the beginning of the downhill slide into the chaos surrounding the holidays. We had lots of fun around here and had plenty of opportunities to dress-up.

On Thursday, the girls were able to wear their costumes to preschool. The children were then led from class to class at the high school to trick-or-treat (TOT). They came home wired (duh), and brought home a boat-load of treats. Every year on the 30th of October, the shops downtown pass out candy. We got us all together & went to TOT there Thursday night. After TOT-ing, we stopped at the clubhouse in our neighborhood for the neighborhood party. It turned out well, because they had pizza & other snacks. Yes, MORE candy.
Here is Mia playing a game at the neighborhood party. Yes! The ball bounced in!

My little Dorothy! She was happy to wear her "Dorothy Dress".I still had this little lion costume left from when Adam wore it long ago. Can you believe Adam wore this when he was about the same age?I already had a Dorothy & a lion. Luckily, I was able to convince Mia to be the witch. Wicked is showing in Chicago. When we were TOT-ing Friday, a couple of ladies thought she was the cutest thing. "There's a little Elphaba!" - "You're our favorite witch."Unfortunately, I was unable to persuade Adam to be a scarecrow or a tin-man. He used his "robe" from last year with a few new accesories.Of course, we ended up with a TON of candy from TOT. We had a great time TOT-ing with our friends. Adam's friend came over & then stayed to play until late. Thanks everyone! It was fun.