Sunday, June 3, 2012

Yerba Buena, Butterfly Nets, Lost Tooth, Sword Fights, Tony Hawk...phew!

We started off our week with yet another trip to The Dollar Tree.  The kids tend to use their quarters on the gum machines inside the store and forget that they want to use them on this carousel sitting right outside.  There hasn't been a time that we've gone that they haven't asked.  Finally, we had enough quarters and they got to see this machine in all of it's carousel-glory.
I think their curiousities were sated, lol.

Last weekend, we had to take Lanny to the airport as she was flying to Rexburg, ID to meet up with the rest of the Lybbert clan for a long weekend.  After dropping her off, we headed to the Creativity Museum in the Yerba Buena section of San Francisco.
When you first walk up, you see this awesome looking carousel.

And this is the museum itself.

We actually didn't see much, but we still had the kids are making their own music video using special video effects.

The kids are looking at a tv screen and camera that is capturing them on this green-screen slide.

The main area of the bottom level (we never got to the top level).

Of course we had to hit the art station.

They have a lot of animation stuff there--this is the room where you can create clay figures and then they have several video cameras with mini-backdrops set up so that you can create your own film and they'll even burn it for you on a DVD so you can take it home!  We were happy with just creating our figurines.

Sam got bored with the clay and wanted to move onto something else.  We found this area where you could control the lights, cameras, etc.

 The best shot I could get of Sam and I together.

Then we moved on to Legos.  This is the house (he furnished the insides as well), and then he built a giant garage/play room after this.

Brooklyn and Russ found us and showed us their sculptures.  This is a princess with a flowing dress.

And Russ's Dude.

We were done with the museum once the kids saw this out front...

A giant sand pit (Brook was in heaven).

Why yes, my son is indeed drinking out of the nasty fountain....insert gag here.

Sam spent a good 20 minutes on this slide with this little girl--I even went to go slide with him and he said, "I have to wait for my friend..."  So cute!

Brooklyn loves to make rivers and lakes--she'll dig out her outline and then let the water run and run and run until a river starts to form.  Then she adjusts her plans and lets the water run and run and run again.

Out front of the museum there is this statue.  When we first saw it, we noticed it moved...

It stands up and sits down.  Turns out, the trigger is the seat that is directly across from it (there are 3 benches, and the middle one triggers him to sit down or stand up).
Oh, and yes, the kids decided that they needed to be smushed by the world...why not, I guess?

The Yerba Buena Gardens were just across the street so we strolled over there to check it out.

Sam found this interesting statue that was illustrating a man moving.  He had a total of 5 legs, 3 faces (I think), and who knows how many hands.  It was actually really neat looking.

Across the street there was a very neat looking bell tower.  When we got closer, we saw that it was St. Patrick Catholic Church.  The kids have a thing for neat churches (okay, I do too--especially old ones!), so we had to go in and check it out.
It was BEAUTIFUL!  Here's a link to a Google Images search showing pictures of the inside.
After this we headed home, eager to beat the rush hour traffic (but not quite making it...sigh).

We moved one of the kids to the back seat to better accommodate having a fifth person traveling with us often, but you can't just put one kid without putting the other as well!  Unfortunately, the LATCH system is only in the middle and on one side (?!?!).
Can anyone guess how long this arrangement lasted?  Yeah...approximately 2 days.

Getting fed up with our dinky nets, Russ set out to make the kids bigger, better butterfly nets out of stuff we had around the house and some tulle.

Brooklyn in search of some poor unsuspecting insect (she was hunting for dragonflies).

Although no dragonflies were around, Russ caught a hummingbird!

Last weekend we also hit up one of the local thrift stores that has a 50% off everything sale at the end of the month.  I have been wanting a handheld non-electric mixer for awhile and Sam found this one...and bought it with his own money.  I asked him if we could let it sleep in the kitchen drawer and if maybe I could use it occasionally.
He agreed.

Then we went to Half-Price Books, who was having a Memorial Day sale and Sam found an electronic marble works for $5.

Brooklyn testing out her butterfly net.

Another kitchen item that the kids love using...the garlic press.  The love experimenting with items to see what they'll do.  In this instance, they chose something relatively easy to clean up--string cheese!

Of course there were Dominoes and blocks.  This is Sam's structure.

Russ caught a Blue Garner!  Brook was jealous and wanted to catch her own...finally later that week she caught TWO!  Both Flame Skimmers, but I wasn't fast enough to get a photo before Sam released them (much to Brook's chagrin...she and Russ have been sketching their bugs (Russ is really good!)).

We were all sitting around one morning and Brook was wiggling her super-duper loose tooth and said, "Hey Mom, I can twist it all the way around!"...and about two seconds later, "Oh, it's out."
Funny kid.
She wrote the Tooth Fairy a letter and taped it on her door.  It read:

Dear Tooth Fairy:

I am going to keep the tooth for a little while. For my present I am going to really want an airplane that has remote control so we can fly it in our park for a little while. And I kind of want lights on it and bees and I want it red. And so I will put a bag there so my toy airplane can fit in it. And my tooth is in the bag for my presents. So I want the wrapping paper covered w/ B's (the letter B's, not the real bees).

Dad caught a dragonfly today. I think I'm gonna end The End. This is The End. this will go on the door and I will be sleeping on the bottom bunk. And I am six. Look for me with the gap in my teeth. And wet hair. It's the house with the little house in the backyard. Just look for the bunk with the 6 on it.

Love, Brooklyn

P.S. Look at the back of this letter for more instructions too.

Here's the "6" on her bed.
Russ wrote a really cute letter telling her that of course she could keep the tooth for a few days and that she uses the teeth she collects as a main ingredient in fairy dust.  And that he included a gold dollar and perhaps if she saves up all of her gold dollars from all of her 20 teeth, that perhaps she can buy her own plane when she loses them all.

I found someone getting rid of large boxes on Freecycle.  I couldn't pass that up!
So I brought them home and Russ crafted this house for them.  It was Brook's idea to put it in the backyard and put all of the flowers around it.

Sam was going through a growth spurt last week and was in bed between each night somewhere between 5:30 and 7pm.  It was really nice because Brook is more of a night owl (and yes, Sam is an early bird--not easy for a momma that likes her sleep, but I love the individual time with each kid when they are at their happiest), because Russ and I got a lot of time with just Brook last week in the evenings.
This particular evening she said she wanted to play Tag with us.  It was pretty fun!

Seth, one of the neighbor kids, left his swords at our house, so we put good use to them.
(Notice the new cowgirl boots--she found them at the thrift store for $4 and bought them with her own money.)

Russ was practicing his whip skills with an old tree branch.

Russ was pretty handy with a sword and kept flipping it out of Brooklyn's hand, which she found quite irritating, lol.

I love this picture!  She was SO into it!

After dinner, Russ passed out exhausted and Brook and I had a late dinner of sloppy eggs and cheese.  We figured we'd might as well have a candle-lit one!
This turned into about 45 minutes of pyromania--lighting matches and candles, putting toothpicks in the flame...and Brooklyn said, "I've done this before...don't worry, I blew out the fire after I started it."
This is why I love moments like these...I learn so much about my kids and we have the opportunity to have a better relationship because of it.
And now Brook knows that I will let her play with fire in my presence whenever she wants--granted she bring me any matches she finds before using them!...eek.

I had to take Sam to the dentist this past week...yikes.
The poor kid has already been 3 times for cavities and was scheduled to go another time after this...but this morning was so emotional, it's a wonder that we even got to the dentist!  I was sobbing because Sam was sobbing (and locking himself in his room, etc.)...but we made it there and THANKFULLY the dentist was able to just get them all done in one fell swoop (it helped that Sam fell asleep once the gas was turned on, woot!).
Afterwards, we hit up Jamba Juice and the kids got to pick out whatever they wanted.
Sam and his Large smoothie.

Brooklyn's Large frozen yogurt.

....aaaand of course a Brain Freeze.  AHHH!

After Jamba Juice, we headed to "the big park" in San Ramon.  I figured I'd let the kids play until they were ready go to...phew, I should have brought some food!  They lasted 4 hours!!

Earlier that day we were talking about different parts of the body, and I was delighted when Brooklyn said, "Mom!  Can you come push Sam and I in this Sternum Swing??"

The back part of the park--it has a water feature back to the left and there's a little creek that runs through the park.  The kids got soaked!  Fortunately, it was so hot that they dried off pretty quickly and we made a beeline for the nearby Costco to  stuff ourselves with samples.

...putting that hand mixer to his granola...

We went to pick Lanny up from the airport on Thursday, and we all needed some time to just chill out that day.  So I packed up all of our swimming stuffs and we high-tailed it to Del Valle to swim in the reservoir.

Yesterday (Saturday), we went to Lawrence Hall of Science for the opening of their new skateboarding exhibits, including a performance by Tony Hawk!
It was a bit crazy though, so we mostly hung out inside, checking out the exhibits, while everyone else was out saving their spots by the skate ramp.
The exhibits were alright, but most were not for the 4-6 year old age group.

There were a few fun ones though...testing friction.

We decided we'd better head outside to see the performance.

I was a bit bummed--we were all starving and the kids weren't wanting to watch much, so we only got to see about 20 minutes worth, and most of it was the skaters warming up, but they were still amazing!!
Here's Tony doing his thing:

Until next week!

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