Apr 292012
 

Lydia turned one today! We had a simple party with just our family here to celebrate. I made chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese filling for the cake, and frosted them with chocolate frosting.

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Nothing overly fancy, but oh so yummy just the same. One of my kids decided to try to snitch the filling from a bunch of cupcakes though:

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I’m kind of leaning towards thinking it was Dinah. After all I KNOW it wasn’t Lydia, she would have taken the whole cake if she could, and really, she can’t reach the counter. Chloe CAN reach, but she can’t see high enough to be able to dig right into the filling and only the filling. Dinah, however, can see high enough to dig her finger right into the filling and nothing else. And really, I’m seriously hoping the others are all old enough to not be messing with things they shouldn’t be!

For presents, I just wrapped up some baby toys that we have had hiding in the basement since Chloe outgrew them. The kids were kind of bugged at me for not going out to buy something new for Lydia. But really she has NEVER seen these baby toys, and why spend money to buy something new when I can give her what I already have and she loves it just the same?

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After she opened her presents, it was time to sing to her and give her cake.  We ended up blowing out her candle for her, so that she wouldn’t grab it, but we let her eat her cake all by herself. 🙂

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She has grown so much already! Here is a list of things about Lydia at 1 year old:

  • Walking is her preferred method of getting around the house.
  • She has 4 teeth with another 2 or 3 working their way through.
  • She dances when she hears music.
  • She babbles what sounds like she is trying to talk, but isn’t actually anything understandable yet. Sometimes it even sounds like she is trying to sing.
Apr 282012
 

I have heard about The Leonardo museum on the radio before.  It’s a recently opened place in Salt Lake City, with praises sung to it by the people on KSL News Radio.  I can never tell if they talk about a place because they genuinely like it, or simply because they are paid to, but when Symantec announced that they would sponsor a “Day at the Leonardo” for Symantec employees and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Utah, allowing them free entry, it seemed like a good chance to check the place out.

It’s located in downtown SLC, just a few blocks from Temple Square, next to the SLC Library.  Driving to it was a challenge, as I don’t frequent the one-way streets of downtown enough to know which ones go in which directions.  So, after a few times of circling about the area, I found a place to park outside it, and we went inside.

The building itself looks like an old office of some sort, and is pretty uneventful on the outside.  Once we got inside, though, it had more character to it.  The ground floor offered the usual ticket counter and gift shop, and we went through the special line for Symantec guests, getting a wrist band and some details on the events (we missed the official Symantec party upstairs, but there was probably food remaining.)  We then turned and started exploring the exhibits.

Here is what I thought really added value to the place:  everything in the museum is designed to be “hands on.”  We walked through the entrance to a table, where a girl was demonstrating lasers.  Instead of simply showing them off, she offered to let the kids play with them.  She had an assortment of laser pointers, and various mirrors and lenses (concave, convex, prismatic, etc) and let the kids play with what happens when you point them through the different lenses.  She had a paper maze that they had to get a single laser through, by setting up the different lenses and mirrors to bounce and bend the beam around, until it came out on the other side.  She also had some gelatin set up that they could cut into different shapes, to make their own lenses.

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We were next to a couple other exhibits, like a Symantec-sponsored one showing an interactive map of Utah and various statistics of it, and something similar that had the user put their foot on different “buttons” projected to the floor, to move about on the display.  These were too difficult for the kids to use, as they required a lot of reading, but we found another girl showing off algae and how it is used to create a gelatinous substance.  (This was right under a large display of what appeared to be plastic, bent and warped to form a large floating display overhead.)  The kids got a chance to squirt different coloured goo into buckets full of water (mixed with some calcium compound), that when the goo touched it, it solidified instantly into a mass like goopy noodles.  They could pull it out and play with it, or squeeze it if desired.  Getting their hands on (and wet) with this display was another aspect of fun.

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There were more displays that we didn’t take them to, but they did pause at the building block ones to create some simple buildings, and then they got caught up in the art room, where they could use various pens to draw on cardboard and make little items or designs.  I never knew that the Sharpie company made paint in a pen!  They stayed here a lot longer than expected, until I left to find the restroom, and Chloe tried to follow me, and then Dinah tried to follow me and ended up accidentally exploring the second floor.  (We never knew what was up there, specifically, but I heard there was a display of snowflake-like objects.)

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We then went up to the third floor, to find there was still food available, and some drinks (cucumber water, anyone?) and ate for a few minutes.  We noticed the kids acting antsy, and were losing their ability to behave, so we decided to leave.  I’m sure we’ll go back, if we find a good offer for a family pass or annual pass or something, although their advertised “annual family pass” was only good for a family of four.  Really?  In Utah?

 Posted by at 8:51 pm
Apr 212012
 

Lydia is now OFFICIALLY walking! I am glad that she decided to walk first, and not to just skip walking and go straight to climbing like some of her siblings did. Of course, since she is just beginning to walk she is still rather clumsy at it, and falls frequently. And that means bumps and bruises all over her body, usually on her head. I am noticing that when she falls, she may crawl for a few steps, but then she stands back up and goes right back to walking. I guess she has decided that crawling is just too slow and she can see where she is going and get there much faster on her feet.

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Apr 182012
 

Every year the kindergartners do an animal project. I think the project has kind of evolved over the years, or maybe the teachers just change it up each year for the fun of it. But I remember when Ethan was in kindergarten his class did their reports on dinosaurs. One of the other classes did whales and the third class did penguins (or something like that). I kind of thought it was about the same when Tyra was in kindergarten, but this year the kids in Jeremy’s class had a much wider variety of animals that they did their projects on. And this year they invited all the parents to come in the evening to check out all the different models that the kids made.

It’s always funny to me to see the projects that the kids turn in. The instructions have always clearly stated that we are to let our child build their model on their own as much as possible. So I’ve always tried not to interfere, maybe give some ideas, but let my kids build their models on their own. THEN we get to school on the day that they are due, and there are ALWAYS projects that it’s pretty obvious the parent did most of the work.

Jeremy chose to research bats for his project. I have no idea why, aside from maybe because Ethan did a report on bats last year. But Ethan had chosen to do his report on bats because Lego Batman was our newest lego video game at the time and Ethan was totally on a Batman kick. Jeremy plays Lego Batman, as well, but he doesn’t seem as obsessed with Batman as Ethan was.

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Jeremy was very excited for us to go to the school to see his project on display.

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Apr 152012
 

We went to Granny’s house for dinner on Easter. Karen had prepared ham and turkey, and some other things. The kids had a great time playing with cousins, as usual, while the adults just hung out. When it got late and was time to leave, Laurel threw out the idea of taking one of our kids for a couple of days, just for the fun of it. She thought it would be fun to take one of our girls so that Sylvia could have a sister for a couple of days, and Dinah came up as the girl of choice (mainly because she is no longer in diapers, and also is not a bedwetter). Sylvia would have preferred Chloe, but turned up her nose at the thought, when she was reminded that Chloe still wears diapers and that she (Sylvia) would have to change her the whole time she was there. Kyle and I threw out that we had thought that it would be a good idea for Ethan to spend some time at cousins house, just because it seems that no matter what I make for dinner, he “doesn’t like it”. We’ve told him about how creative Aunt Laurel and Uncle Roine can get in the kitchen and that what I make for dinner is really not bad or scary, and Kyle felt that maybe spending a few days at cousin’s house eating what they were expected to eat might make him more appreciative about the food I make and serve.  As we were plotting Karen kept reminding us that Laurel’s house still needs smoke detectors. We could be talking about whatever plans for several minutes at a time and she would just throw out that Laurel needs to finish putting up her smoke detectors. I don’t know if she thought that maybe my kids might try to set fire to the house while they were there, or if she wasn’t so concerned about Laurel & Roine’s kids being there, but was absolutely terrified thinking about what could happen to OUR kids if a fire started and there weren’t any smoke detectors to warn them. I don’t know what it was that caused her to keep coming back to the smoke detector thing, but she just kept bringing it up out of nowhere. In the end it was decided that Ethan and Dinah would both go, and we would decide later exactly how long they would stay.

Having them gone over the next couple of days, things just didn’t feel right. I felt odd, not having everyone together. I knew that Ethan and Dinah were perfectly fine, but our home just didn’t seem right without them.

Monday afternoon I went with my Girl Scouts to the Utah Water Conservation Gardens. We have been working on the journey about water, and thought it would be a good place to take the girls. We were given a tour of the gardens and were told about many drought resistant plants that we can plant in our yards, that would flourish, here in Utah without using a lot of water.

Kyle worked on putting training wheels on the bike that Ethan has outgrown so that Jeremy would have a bigger bike to ride. His legs look  super long on the tiny bike he has been riding.

Monday evening Kyle and I took the few kids that were home, to go buy some compost and mulch so that we could get the fruit trees that we bought before Easter, planted, and we ended up buying a few more fruit trees while we were out. 🙂

Tuesday morning we got most of our new trees planted, while the kids played around us in the backyard. After planting the trees we spent the rest of the morning just kind of hanging out. Laurel sent us an email to let us know that everything was great at their place. Dinah and Ethan were being good and Dinah hadn’t tried running away at all. But she did want to let us know that Dinah had thrown up during the night, most likely due to anxiety.

Tuesday afternoon we went to pick Ethan and Dinah up so that we could go grocery shopping (Ethan needed to go with to get that signed off in his scout book). They were happy to see us, I think. But they weren’t so happy at the thought that we were planning on taking them home with us. Ethan kept asking us if he could stay one more night. Honestly I was rather anxious to get my family all back together again, and we asked him when we were supposed to go to the zoo, if he was at cousin’s house all week long? It was decided that we would take our munchkins home with us, and that cousins would meet us at the zoo the next day.

So Wednesday we spent at the zoo:

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I don’t know why Ethan wasn’t cooperating in that picture. Like how Dinah and Chloe, in the wagon, look like they are pouring out their water to play with it?

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Dinah saw the elephant reaching up for her treat, and asked “Is that their pinata?” it was so funny.

A whole section of the zoo was roped off for construction. I guess they are creating a home for a panda bear, and some seals and sea lions and things of that nature, and also some grizzly bears. We’ll have to come back and check that out when it opens.

Wednesday evening, Kyle and Ethan had the cub scout pack meeting trip to the DI to go to, so we made sure to leave the zoo with plenty of time to get home so they could go to that. Kyle was going because he volunteered to drive so that they would have our large van to transport boys and leaders.

We had talked about going on a day trip to the Dinosaur National Monument on the Utah/Colorado border, a trip that was Laurel’s idea. But as the week progressed and we looked into it more, it was decided that that trip can wait for another time. Kyle and I are thinking that it would be better to make it a weekend trip, instead of a day trip though.

The rest of the week we just spent hanging out and working around the house. We had a good week, and I’m glad that we got to have some fun and also get some work done. And now it’s back to the daily grind.