Tag Archives: hanging out with your kids

Sandbox Adventure List 16: Urban Cowboys

29 Jul

I felt the need to wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Unfortunately I’m a baseball cap wearing city slicker and I had neither. But they still let me in. It was Cowboy and Cowgirl Day at the Autry National Center and the Guats were about to get our country on.

Billy The Kid.

Annie Oakley.

Bill Picket.

Wyatt Earp.

Doc Holiday.

Wild Bill Hickok.

Gene Autry.

With all this cowboy heritage and hospitality we felt right at home, even if we did say “dude” instead of y’all. We were introduced to the ways of the wrangler and this Sandbox Adventure List item was something we all enjoyed.

 

This is where the fun began.

This is where the fun began.

 

We started with rope tricks and realized we lacked the wrist action to be awesome cowboys ... we were urban cowboys.

We started with rope tricks and realized we lacked the wrist action to be awesome cowboys … we were urban cowboys.

 

Then the game of horseshoes began ... first my daughter gave it try. It was so awesome that she was out there for half an hour. She hit the peg once, but it was a spectacular one.

Then the game of horseshoes began … first my daughter gave it try. It was so awesome that she was out there for half an hour. She hit the peg once, but it was a spectacular one.

 

My son went on to the Big Leagues. He wasn't doing the plastic horseshoes. He felt grown up enough to try the real deal.

My son went on to the Big Leagues. He wasn’t doing the plastic horseshoes. He felt grown up enough to try the real deal. He definitely had some muscle behind those throws, Glad there were haystacks lying around to help protect people’s shins, because let me tell you … those horseshoes definitely hurt. Definitely. Note to self … stand behind the haystacks.

 

Then we headed into the museum to check out the exhibits, cowboy scavenger hunt, and horseshoe crafts.  Nothing like feathers and pipecleaners to make things fun.

Then we headed into the museum to check out the exhibits, cowboy scavenger hunt, and horseshoe crafts. Nothing like feathers and pipe cleaners to make things fun.

 

The masterpiece.

The masterpiece.

 

After the educating ourselves on the life and times of the cowboy, we decided to be part of The Gold Rush era and pan for gold. There was water everywhere.

After educating ourselves on the life and times of the cowboy, we decided to be part of The Gold Rush era and pan for gold. There was water everywhere.

 

We headed out

The day ended with an awesome gunslinger and lasso whirling show. A definite wild west photo opportunity.

 

The day ended with an awesome gunslinger and lasso whirling show.

With a name like Loop Rawlins this guy definitely caught our attention. He had mad cowboy skills.

 

By nap time we were all pooped out. Being a cowboy is tiring, even if it was just for a day.

At the end of our cowboy adventure, we were pooped out. Being a cowboy is tiring, even if it was just for a day.

 

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Sandbox List Adventure VI: Curious George Strikes Again

18 Feb

I never would have thought a monkey would inspire so many adventures. But apparently if it happens on Curious George, chances are that my son is definitely interested in adding that adventure to his Sandbox List. Well in truth anything on PBS and The Sprout Channel tends to get his curiosity going.

Just wish the flu wasn’t so powerful. It’s been tough to kick this one. I’ve battled 12 rounds and it had me down for the count, but I’m back up again, thanks to multiple trips to the CVS in my proper middle-of-the-night sweats and a t-shirt uniform. I may have looked crappy, but I’m doing my best to try to regain my energy so that it meets my son’s everyday standards. I think I need more vitamins. Even though I’m finally turning a corner the crappy-sick feeling continues attacking my immune system, but adventure and a four-year old do not wait for you to be at 100 percent. So I cowboy-ed up and tackled another item on The List. Something requiring worms.

Yeah that’s right … worms. And you know me. I needed a little assistance, because slimy crawly creatures and The Guat … they don’t mix. I mean Curious George didn’t need any help from The Man in the Yellow Hat. But it’s a cartoon. The Guats are living in a little bit more challenging circumstances, but we did all right on our first fishing expedition. We may not have caught any fish that day, and my son may have been a little disappointed, but at least we had no hooking eye-gauging incidents with the fishing pole or falling in the lake accidents, and that’s what really mattered. A successful failure. Well probably not. Catching a fish would have been totally cool, because you know that Curious George caught three of them. But maybe it will happen on our next fishing adventure, you know when there are no suspect teenage characters throwing pinecones in the lake, scaring the fish. Yeah … we definitely need a teenage-free lake environment.

 

Hiking up the hill, having our Andy Griffith Show-Opie moment.

Hiking up the hill, having our Andy Griffith Show-Opie moment.

 

 

Teaching his sister the ins and outs of his new fishing pole ... well at least everything he saw on Curious George.

Teaching his sister the ins and outs of his new fishing pole … well at least everything he saw on Curious George.

 

 

My son practicing the reeling part of catching a fish.

My son practicing the reeling part of catching a fish.

 

 

Getting some pointers from his dad before he gets ready to cast his line.

Getting some pointers from his dad before he gets ready to cast his line.

 

 

The excitement was building and he was ready to do this on his own. I was worried about the sharp hook at the end, but he assured me he was being careful as he checked his fishing equipment one last time.

The excitement was building and he was ready to do this on his own. I was worried about the sharp hook at the end, but he assured me he was being careful as he checked his fishing equipment one last time.

 

 

Fishing 11

His sister was more interested in yelling at the ducks than our fishing adventure.

 

Fishing 20

The ducks that caused all the commotion.

 

The Waiting Game. Something that required a lot of Goldfish Crackers and inventive stories on how he would catch all kinds of fish. We lasted about forty-five minutes. Better luck next time. Definitely.

The Waiting Game. Something that required a lot of Goldfish Crackers and inventive stories on how he would catch all kinds of fish. We lasted about twenty-five minutes before he lost all hope and wanted to play Angry Birds. Better luck next time. Definitely. And there will be a next time. He assured me. “We just need more worms, mom. Curious George had a lot of worms and a bigger lake.”

 

 

 

 

Sanbox List Adventure V: Checking Out the Stars and The Sun, And Carrying More Quarters

1 Feb

I don’t know why kids always want to check them out. They’re never really clean, probably slathered in germs. They’re always out of focus and for some reason they’re really heavy, probably made out of some 1960s submarine or Master Driver parts. I don’t know, but it’s heavy. And for some reason kids always become explorers whenever they see them. They have to see through it. Just have to.

Telescopes.

I’m usually all out of quarters. I never have one. Ever. Or I say that it’s broken. It’s always broken. This is usually followed by disappointment, a sigh, and a shaking of the head.

But today he got his chance. We ventured out to the observatory to check out the moon, stars, planets, galaxies, that weird, cool pendulum thing that still puzzles me even after the very detailed explanation by the tour dude. And telescopes. Many of them. He got a chance to look through as many of them as he wanted, as did his one-year old sister. None of them were broken. And while they were enjoying the wonders of outer space, I found myself enjoying the whole process. I realized … I shouldn’t always be in a rush, I should always carry Purell, and most importantly I should carry more quarters.

 

He was excited that we didn't have to park a mile away. The parking lot is extremely small and for the first time in history I got front-door parking to something. He ran towards the entrance.

He was excited that we didn’t have to park a mile away. The parking lot is extremely small and for the first time in history I got front-door parking to something. He ran towards the entrance.

 

 

Checking out some elements that are found in outer space explosions and other star stuff.

Checking out some elements that are found in outer space explosions and other star stuff.

 

The pendulum thing.

My daughter was mesmerized by the pendulum thing.

 

Once we got to the stars ... everyone was in a wow-state of mind.

Once we got to the stars … everyone was in a wow-state of mind.

 

My daughter thought Saturn was pretty cool.

My daughter thought Saturn was pretty cool.

 

My son thought Mars was cooler. There was a microscope and scientific data involved.

My son thought Mars was cooler. It was so cool that he took his hat off. There was a microscope and scientific data involved.

 

And this ... this was the best part for both of them ... exploring through the scopes.

And this … this was the best part for both of them … exploring through the scopes.

 

And although the best part of the day for my kids were the telescopes and exhibits, my favorite part of the day was watching the sunset with my kids. Our first one together.

And although the best part of the day for my kids were the telescopes and exhibits, my favorite part of the day was watching the sunset with my kids. Our first one together.

 

 

Weekly Image of Life: Create

10 Nov

Noah’s Lego Fire Truck

 

What do 243 Lego pieces create?

Enthusiasm.

Excitement.

Patience.

More patience.

Deep breaths.

Frustration.

A chocolate break.

Careful attention to ALL of the directions and steps.

Progress.

Success.

A Lego Fire Truck.

A TA-DAAAAA  moment.

High-fives.

Smiles.

Happiness.

Play time.

Crossing off an item from your Bucket List.

And memories.

243 pieces create a lot of memories.

I’m hoping my son will remember some of them.

 

 

.

 

Weekly Image of Life Challenge courtesy of This Man’s Journey.

 

 

Green Scooby-Doo Balloon To The Rescue

21 Apr

I thought I had it all. I’ve become accustomed to thinking ahead. That’s what you do when you’ve got kids, or cranky adults. You prepare.

Festival of Books

The Festival of Books. It’s a huge event with massive crowds of book loving people who also like freebies and samples from the corporate sponsors. I’ve gone just about every year for the past eight years. But now that I have a three-year old and a nine-month old. The trip becomes more like a mission to avoid any meltdown from any child.

Coppertone Water Babies UVA/UVB Sunscreen 50 SPF.

Three Cuties oranges.

Two Ziploc bags of Cheerios.

One container of Gerber Puffs.

Two juice boxes.

Three pacifiers.

Two sippy cups of water.

One bottle of milk.

One apple.

One banana.

One Clif Kid Bar Z Crispy Chocolate Chip.

Two Clif Kid Z Fruit Ropes

One peanut butter and banana sandwich.

One diaper bag filled with baby essentials.

I thought I had it all, but it was out of my control.

After a meltdown-free morning of construction, train, and dinosaur book exploring, arts and crafts doing, and music loving under a blistering heat for three hours, we encountered the balloon. We had it for five minutes. The red balloon from the Chinese Dragon stall. Then it popped. Thin layer I guess.

I saw it coming. I got the look and then the shoulders slumped. The eyes got watery, the lower lip did the I’m-about-to-cry pucker. Then his voice cracked, and I knew it was coming.

I forgot to pack an extra balloon.

The crowd at The Festival of Books.

No worries we’ll get another one. After fifteen minutes of weaving in and out through the crowds, we found the stall. Sweet. No one was in line. However no one was in line for a reason. No more balloons.

I got the look and the shoulder slump …

I saw someone with a purple Scooby-Doo balloon. We raced back through massive pedestrian traffic past the Mystery Machine and found the chick passing out the balloons. There was no red. Just Mystery Machine colors.

Scooby-Doo Balloon

“Green. Mom. Green is my favorite. Red is no good.”

So after three Cuties oranges, one banana, one apple, half a peanut butter sandwich, two juice boxes, two bags of Cheerios, one container of puffs most of which trailed behind us courtesy of the baby, one bottle of milk, one Clif Bar Z Crispy Chocolate Chip, and two Clif Kid Z Fruit Ropes, it was the green balloon to the rescue.

We lost one sippy cup and two pacifiers in the process, but the green Scooby-Doo balloon is still in tact.

The green balloon that saved us floats among the crowd.

 

Note to self: pack an extra balloon.