Jump City

I took Eli to Jump City today and met a bunch of friends their. Eli had a blast, but they really need to provide some seating, food, and drinks for the grown ups.

It is a nice alternative to Jungle Java when the weather is poor and the kids are feeling energetic.

Skiing at 7 Springs

We enrolled Eli in ski-school, left Ollie with the grandparents and hit the slopes at Seven Springs. Perfect day and the 12 inches of snow we got a couple days ago makes for excellent conditions.

We also found where the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail passes through. We hiked this section of the LHHT about 8 years ago in the middle of the summer.

Experimental Update

I know you are all hanging on to the edge of your seats wondering how the banana experiment turned out….We had started it on Friday early afternoon, and by Saturday morning Bag “D”- the bag with the bananas, yeast and water, was swelling ominously.  I started keeping a closer eye on it for fear it would fulfill the promise in the book and explode in all it’s stinky disgustingness.  On Saturday afternoon, we all went out for a walk, and returned to find on the floor the ripped open remains of Bag D, a few tried and rejected slices of slimy banana and a guilty looking dog.  No doubt Morgan was totally bummed that after risking our wrath by jumping up on the dining room table to steal the experiment and carrying it off to eat it, it turned out to be really gross and not worth her trouble. 

 In an attempt to resurrect the experiment, I transferred a few slices from the “banana and yeast” bag to a new one and added water.  That one is once again swelling ominously, but as it is nearly one full day behind the others in the experiment, I fear we will not get the result we’re expecting.  Currently, the water and banana bag is looking the yuckiest, and Eli can’t fathom how that could be.  I tried to explain that we’d introduced the variable of time into the experiment, in a highly wonky way, and it was skewing the results, but his mind blew up at that point.  Sigh….I think we’ll need to start this one over from scratch.  And we’ll be sure to leave the bags in a higher spot next time….

Friday, sort of Winter Break, but not really….

Because Eli only goes to preschool Monday-Thursday, technically yesterday was the last day of the break, and today was just a regular old Friday where he was home like he always is.  But I thought it would be so…I don’t know…unsatisfying…to blog about Monday through Thursday and just leave off Friday.  So here we are.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into our daily existence.  After today, I won’t be ceaselessly documenting our every move like I have, but I will try to update more often than I had been.  Until now, I didn’t realize how much fun I was missing by letting Ryan be the main blogger in the family.

Anyway, today we woke up to more snow. Lots and lots more snow.  Ryan said it took him 2 hours to get to work.  Yikes.  We stayed cozy at home for the morning, doing housework and some experiments from Eli’s experiment book.  The first experiment involved oil and blue water in a bottle, which when tipped back and forth, replicated waves similar to those in the ocean.  Eli was somewhat un-impressed with the bottle, but he had a grand time playing with the leftover water and oil.  Experiment two is about letting bananas rot- yum!- in bags on the windowsill, in various conditions- on their own, with added water, with added yeast, and with both added yeast and water.  The experiment book promises that the bag with the added yeast and water may rot so ferociously that it bursts open, producing a horrific smell.  Awesome! Can’t wait!  We got so involved in all the experimenting that it carried on right past lunch, and we never got to make cupcakes like we had planned.  I got as far as opening the cookbook to look through a recipe, and it was time to head to swimming lessons.  Oh well- something to look forward to this weekend, perhaps. 

So soon we were bundled up and headed out into the snowy world.  The sidewalks had 4 inches or so on them, so were pretty much impassable with the stroller.  Our street hadn’t been plowed either, but the cars had at least compacted things a bit, so we walked right down the middle of the road to the bus stop.  Luckily, there isn’t much traffic in the neighborhood during the day.  We arrived at the Y in time for us all to get in the pool for a little while before Eli’s lesson.  It was packed with other kids home on Winter Break, and Eli made some new friends and left Oliver and I to swim by ourselves.  After the time for the lesson came, and no teacher had shown up, it became clear that Eli didn’t have a lesson this week- last week must have been the end of the winter session, and the new one doesn’t begin until next week.  So we swam a bit more and then got out.  After leaving the Y, we walked over to the U of M campus.  We had enough time for a brief visit to the Natural History Museum, where the ever social Eli made another new friend, with whom he spent 45 minutes or so exploring the Anthropology and Genetics exhibits.  His friend was 6, going on 7, and had recently visited the museum on a class trip.  She was thrilled to have a younger kid to teach things to and explained to Eli all about chimpanzees, DNA and what a double helix is, human viruses versus computer viruses  and Native American toileting habits, among other things.  He had a blast. 

We stayed until the museum closed at 5, and then walked to meet Ryan at a nearby restaurant, Good Time Charleys.  An old favorite of ours, this is not a health food establishment by any means.  We got their special breadsticks, called “count Twists”, which are cheesier and greasier than can be imagined.  And a plate of mini burgers to add to the gluttony.  We’re pretty sure that the only vegetable-like food on the table was the ketchup on the burgers.  It’s also possible that the dipping sauce for the twists contained a minute amount of salsa, but it was mostly ranch dressing.  My god it was good.

 And that’s it.  We headed home, and before too long the boys were  asleep in bed.  So there you have it- Winter Break 2008. We had fun- hope you did too.

It snows….again.Morning latte….essential mom fuel.Planning the day’s experiments is best done in the nude…..

Oliver supervises unloading of dishwasherMixing up the “ocean”

making wavesEli continues the experiment…..Explaining to me how it works

Need more oilstill more experimenting….experiment spills into lunchtime….

…………while little brother snoozesCutting banannas for experiment #2All ready- bring on the exploding stinky rotten banannas!

Oliver in the baby hammockAs far as we got in the cupcake making processToo snowy for the sidewalk.

We made it!Look who we found!awww….

Burgers are so much yummier when they are Eli-sized.

Winter Break…Episode Four, in which Ryan’s oatmeal cherry chocolate chip cookie doesn’t even last until 11 AM

Not too much to say today, I’ll let the photos speak for themeselves…if you’re dying for something to read, here’s an amusing exchange between Ryan and myself this morning:

From: Parke Wiegman
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:13 AM
To: McGee, Ryan (R.A.)
Subject: I tried to stop myself….
I really did. 

But I couldn’t do it.  Your cookie is gone.  Sorry, dude.  But seriously, you can’t leave something that yummy just lying around and expect that it will still be here when you get home.  J 

From: McGee, Ryan (R.A.)
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:18 AM
To: Parke Wiegman
Subject: RE: I tried to stop myself….

I actually mentally wrote that off just a few minutes ago.  I’ve known you for a while now.

Ryan McGee
Supervisor, Vehicle Controls Architecture and Algorithm Design
Sustainable Mobility Technologies
Research and Advanced Engineering
Ford Motor Company

  Oliver in a track suit.  Too cute.oliver worries if this monkey eats babiesEli starts the morning with a little computer timeEli might be getting a litte tired of having his photo takenBig lunch to fill up for the afternoon’s activitesYou’re never fully dressed unless you’re wearing your Barbie watch

Decorating a present to take to the partyReady for the birthday boy….Birthday party at Jungle Java…bring on the mayhemLots of room for mayhem.

Blogging Winter Break….Day 3 starts out bad, gets better, ends rather well

We didn’t get out to do anything exciting until this afternoon.  We got off to a late start due to….1. a lie-in.  Both the boys and I slept until 9- Excellent! and 2-a colossal preschooler meltdown, the likes of which I have never seen in my life- Not so excellent.  In fact, very very ugly.

But we did manage to pull ourselves together and get out the door and down to the bus stop after lunch.  And then managed to pack in quite a lot of fun stuff, so all’s well that ends well, I suppose.  Anyway, here’s the details:  Headed down to the bus stop, caught the bus downtown.  Usually I prefer to walk, but it is still super cold, so no go on the walk today.  Headed to Kerrytown, visited the toy store (birthday party to attend tomorrow), market (needed to buy the eggs and sour cream I failed to get from the milkman yesterday), spice store (’cause it’s spicy and fun), kid’s clothing store (Oliver, the spit-up fountain, needed a bib) and coffee shop (Mama needed a break).  After I refueled with a latte, we headed towards the Hands on Museum, stopping for Eli’s turn to refuel- at the cupcake store.  Got to the HOM, threw Oliver in the carrier since I needed to use his bassinet to carry all our stuff, and proceeded to hit all four levels of the museum- whew!  Found an exhibit we’d never been to before, even though we are there a couple of times per month usually.  Packed up and headed home for dinner.  Oliver kindly allowed me to cook without too much fuss about being picked up- I really need to figure out to use that carrier to put him on my back, as dinner making time for me is generally hold me time for Oliver, and babies and the open flames of the stovetop are so not a good combo.  Dinner ready, dad got home, bearing margarita mix, and I was so pleased to discover that my ice cream maker also turns out a frosty frozen margarita.  Headed off to the bath with my adult beverage while he handled bedtime for both boys. What a guy.

Ready to go outAsleep on the wayOn the Bus

Spices. Spicy!Coffee break.Eli wants so badly for these display cakes to be real

mmmm. cupcake.hands on museum- here we comeLeaving our mark at the AAHOM

No room for baby….Oliver hides in the ponchoHome for dinner

Chocolate and bannana pastry for desert. Yum.Apparently, my ice cream maker also makes frozen margaritas.  Thank god.

Blogging Winter Break Part Two

I never really intended to make this a series.  In fact, I never even intended to blog about the first day of Winter Break, but it just happened, and now here we are on day 2 and Eli and I again spent all day amusing ourselves taking pictures as the day wore on.  I know it seems impossible, but reviewing the shots from today, it seems we did even less than yesterday.  Who knew you could fill so much time with so much doing…..nothing.  Whatever, it’s a lovely kind of cozy and sweet nothing.

Just now, I’m terribly comfy and not so motivated to write a huge post like I did yesterday.  In fact, this post would not be happening at all if it weren’t for my fabulous husband, who brought me my laptop from the cold, cold family room to the bedroom where I am all cozy under the covers, candles lit, excellent music playing, and a glass of red wine.  He did so even after his humiliating defeat in backgammon tonight.  Yay Ryan.  Since the computer is here, and since Eli and I spent so much time taking the photos, I feel I owe it to him to at least put them up.  So here’s the short version, with photos below:

 Snowy snowy morning….. Got ready with Oliver strapped to my chest, yesterday’s alone time was totally a freak occurrence.  Am getting very good at applying makeup while swaying and bouncing.  Word of advice to those who haven’t tried this before- skip the eyeliner.  Totally not worth the pain that will occur with the inevitable eye poke…..Waffles for breakfast…..Ryan telecommuted from home, stayed with Eli while I took Oliver to the hospital for his latest orthopedic appointment.  Hips are doing good, he gets  OK to spend even more time out of the Pavlik harness.   Back in 3 weeks for another ultrasound……Ryan leaves for work, Eli and I watch the food channel…… Oliver hangs out in the baby swing, also known as the neglect-o-matic, since he would probably stay happily in the thing all day if I let him….. Having so much fun learning about pomegranates we missed the milkman, who left the delivery on the front porch.  No chance to adjust the order, now have too much skim milk and no sour cream or eggs.  Bummer……. Eli’s favorite lunch-  “snack tray”, eaten in the playroom because Oliver still snoozing away in the swing…..Quadrilla fun in the afternoon.  The End.

Waiting for wafflesSnowy snowy dayTelecommuter

my morning assistant and meharnassed!Freedom!!

Watching the food channelNeglect-o-maticMissed the milkman

lunchtime snack trayEating in toyroomQuadrilla beginnings…..The end!