Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Around Town (sort of): Sci-Quest

Whit and I visited our friends Amanda and Pierce earlier this month in my sort-of hometown of Huntsville, Alabama and caught up before the holiday craziness. We could have a great time just talking for hours, but decided to get the boys out of the house for a bit. And we chose one of my old employers as the place to go: Sci-Quest. I was a tour guide for Sci-Quest for a couple of years after high school and it was such a fun job! I used to do shows for kids about boogers, set stuff on fire, played with liquid nitrogen... it was great work for someone who will always think of herself as a kid. So I loved the idea of talking to Whit about the exhibits like I used to do for older kids and seeing his reaction.

The boys checking out the tornado simulator. Bonus points if you find Ghost Ashley.

There wasn't a ton for kids their age, but there was a lot more than there used to be! That whole room in the background was blocked off for the younger ones with a lot of toys. And of course there's always the river table which is addictive to kids and adults. I could have stayed there a LOT longer.

Yeah, those boogers I was telling you about? Sci-Quest has a whole section of exhibits about Grossology, and we used to do shows based on it. It's based on a book about science of our bodies and can be really interesting... just not for people with weak stomachs!

And the earthquake simulator was a HUGE hit! 

So I have to honest it was a bit strange coming back to Sci-Quest as a visitor. Like visiting your old teachers from high school when you're in college. And to add to the strangeness, it's not in the same location as it used to be. And the new location is so sad compared to what it used to be. I just don't know what happened. I had heard a lot of people I worked with left, including the executive director, so maybe that has something to do with the sad state of affairs. (Although I think my ex-boyfriend still works there. Yikes!) 

Aaand, to pile on here as I was googling Sci-Quest to see if there was a good stock photo of the outside I could borrow I saw that they filed for bankruptcy this week. It sounds like they won't be closing their doors, just rearranging things. I really hope they can turn the place around. I know we did a lot of good twelve years ago and would hate for that to end. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

October/Halloween Photo Explosiganza

Since I'm a terrible blogger and have way too much time between posts I have a bagillion pictures of people who visited, places we went and crafts we half-did. So here's the evidence:

My youngest sister, Jolie, helping build a giant tower at the Barnes & Nibbly. Whit told her "Good job, Aunt Jo!"

Whit NOT HAVING any part of pumpkin gutting/carving. He kept saying it was gross!

My finished pumpkin, thankyouverymuch. :)

Cajun pumpkin seeds!!

There was much play-dohing, now that someone's done trying to eat it. 

Another "I'm not really a Pinterest mom" moment. I had imagined making Whit a BamBam costume for Halloween, or maybe even Charlie Bucket (of Willy Wonka fame). Buuuuut, I saw this on sale at Target and said eff it. But he loved it and so did everyone who saw him in it. He spent most of the month (and still) grrrring and growling at people. 

Mama's way too easy costume: Rosie the Riveter. Lots of denim, red lipstick, pinup hair, bandana, and a "we got this" attitude.

Headed to the Ghouls at Grassmere event at Nashville's Zoo.

 I may or may not have jumped into those bubbles...

Even the faux animals were dressed up
The zoo looked AWESOME! Not that you can tell from the pics because, you know, it was dark. They have the whole zoo decorated with Halloween stuff and lights. And along the path, they give out candy and toys to the kids. In the other half of the zoo there's a haunted hayride, games, food, and a kiddie dance floor....where they played "What Does the Fox Say". I died.

The play I was in ran and was great! One of the best shows I've been in and we sold out a few nights! Everyone got along, there was no drama, no serious glitches aside from a minor shoe fiasco, and I made a couple of new friends. For instance my friend Jeremy, who would kill me if he ever looked at this blog! :D I also learned a lot about myself and where I am in my life right now. I need to remember to write about it so I can remind myself from time to time! 

Then we finished up our last Music Class for a while. If you live near one, you should totally check it out. We loved both sessions we enrolled in. But we're taking a break for the holidays, plus I have too much on my plate right now and I'm having to practice saying "no". This is from our last class which was bittersweet. Whit finally got very comfortable with mimicking patterns in front of the class, and it was our teacher's, Temple, last day. She is off to London to share the Music Class there!

We did a lot of Halloween-y crafts. We made a wreath for Whit's room, ghosts, mummies, pumpkins, spider webs, cookies, all sorts of stuff!

Did I take pictures of the finished project? Well, of course not! There's one of the wreath somewhere, but I'm having trouble finding it... Anyhoo, everything gave Mom some quiet time and Whit some practice.

And then there was Halloween. Which we didn't do much on the actual day since it was insanely cold. All October had been fairly warm, until Halloween. It was near freezing and really windy. So we trick or treated/visited a local nursing home (which you should totally consider, the residents LOVE seeing the youngins. So you're doing some good and getting some candy. ;-) and Publix (which had candy and games, and a kick ass pumpkin carving contest). Then we went to a couple of houses nearby and went home to give out candy. Mostly it was teenagers, which I have no problem giving candy to! I wish I could still trick or treat! In fact, I'm thinking of having something to give out to the adults next year, too.

So there you go! Phew! It has been really busy around here and I should have a post about why. If Whit keeps up his sleeping in habit, I can.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Around Town: Amuse'um

So let me start off by saying, the quality of pictures on this blog are going way way down. Trying to keep up with a two year old has me almost only using my phone. And he moves so fast most of my pictures are of his back, top of his head or blurry. C'est la vie!

I've heard about Amuse'um from Facebook and the women in my mom's group for about a year now, but we've never made it there until last month. We met our friends Amye and Ben there to check it out since the weather had been so miserable that week. And it is... interesting.

It's a fairly small kid's museum as far as those go, but huge considering the area. It's in an old store front in downtown Columbia, which is a 20 minute drive for us. The location was gorgeous with all the leaves changing and I love a good downtown square. You go in, pay your admission (or it's free on Mondays) and just let your kids go. It's one big open room with little areas for different kinds of play. There's a grocery store, a tree house (which thanks to a really steep staircase, was terrifying), a firehouse, a hospital and a vet office (to name a few). Whit LOVED the vet office.

He would give the puppies a bath, brush them, and gave them LOTS of shots. Then he would put the puppies in these little carriers, and give them treats and walk them around the place.

He also really liked the hospital nursery area.

You could bathe, weigh, clothe and swaddle the babies. And even fill out their birth certificate.

And it's hilarious they point out this isn't a real one!

There were also a few things the kids could ride on. Thankfully the camaro isn't one of them! I loved Ben's ingenuity and using a waffle as a steering wheel. Necessity is the mother of invention!

There were also a lot of costume pieces to try on. And a lot of Amuse'um had exhibits geared towards older kids, so the place can keep up with your child. I think we'll be back again once it starts getting too cold to be outside. Which is getting closer and closer :-( We have snow forecasted for next week!

Oh and I just have to share this in case it changes after this weekend's game: my favorite college football team is ranked #1!!! AHHHHHH! Go Dawgs! Unfortunately we play Alabama, who is my husband's favorite team. Which means we can't be in the same house and watch the game. One of us will need time to mourn afterwards!