The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

My kids had their Spring break last week, and while we weren’t able to go out of town, we did manage to do something fun with them. Every native San Diegan visits the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center during their school years, and that’s exactly what comes to mind every time it’s mentioned. I’ve only been there a handful of times since, and I think that’s a pity. I mean, it’s always been interesting, given that they’ve always had hands-on exhibits of some sort. But it just never struck my fancy in a way that would warrant repeat visits. I took my toddler last year, on “Free Tuesday”, and visited their “Kid City” for the first time. I wasn’t aware it existed. It would have been nice to have known about it before then, since I was a stay-at-home mom with little ones. Which I still am, only my little ones are not so little any more (Kid City is only for up to age 5).

However, before I digress any further, I must say that this time around, I grew quite enamored with it! I don’t know what it was… I mean, it was still crowded, and I did have 4 kids to supervise (my 3 + a niece, with my husband’s help), but I just wasn’t as stressed out as I think I normally would be. And I really enjoyed their exhibits. One thing in particular, where my son and I spent a good amount of time: the high-sided table downstairs (there’s one upstairs as well, which I wish I’d known about, because then we could’ve been close to my daughter who was playing with the building blocks with dad — must go back to spend a good long while with my son doing that!), with the huge metal spinning disk in the middle. It has smaller, plastic/resin disks that you spin onto the metal one, which causes all sorts of cool reactions. The smaller disks would either spin straight across and right off the other side, or fall flat and shoot off, or, if you were lucky, the wide ones would spin on their flat side, and sort of do a dance across the thing, sometimes even with one side slightly raised! It is the coolest thing. The wind storm and vortex displays are cool too. Then you have your old standbys, like the “whispering secrets” one, where you sit on one side of the room and whisper into a giant red concave circle, and the person in front of the other one clear across the room can hear you. How does that work?? Pretty cool.

So, in conclusion, now that we have a membership-AND IT COVERS UP TO *SIX* KIDS!-we will be visiting a lot more. $53 for a year’s admission to the science center (which does not include the IMAX theater, but that’s ok), for 2 adults and 6 unspecified kids is a damn good deal! That means I can bring 3 extra kids if I need to, or 5 extra kids if I only bring my son, while the girls are in school, for example. My mind is reeling! I’m such a dork! But seriously, Kid City is pretty cool, and I’m excited to be able to take my son whenever he wants. The poor guy doesn’t get out much. We should’ve become members long ago! He’ll be 5 in June, and that’s the age limit for Kid City… not that I foresee us getting kicked out or anything, but you get my point. There’s a Fire Engine! And a car that seats us comfortably! It feels like a Mini Cooper, kinda. Not that I would know what a Mini Cooper feels like. So go forth, and visit the science center! I highly recommend it.

Please excuse the blurry iPhone pictures:

A hair-raising experience!

Boys & steering wheels

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Milestones

School starts in a month. My eldest is entering junior high… what the eff. I feel so old, and yet I’m not… I hate that feeling. Her desk broke when we moved in March, so I started looking for a desk + hutch on craigslist. Found a very nice one for $75, had my husband go look at it after work one day. Told him if it looked good, buy it. So he did. That day it came home, as we were cleaning & arranging it, my husband asked her if she wanted the Twilight books (which I’ve read, but wouldn’t let her). She said yes, because of course she has wanted to read them, and she’s seen the first 2 movies. She asked me if that was ok, so I thought about it. Why did I have to think about it? Why did I never let her read them in the first place? Because they are technically “young adult” books. Key word being, “adult”. They explore feelings & emotions I was not ready for her to be exposed to, even though so many of her friends had read them. (Hello, Eclipse & Breaking Dawn?!)

So, taking all this into account, and the fact that she’s already heard age-inappropriate things at school, I decided I may as well bite the bullet. I told her to close the door. We had “the talk”. She covered her face in disgust. She cried. I was only a wee bit mortified. :p

On an entirely unrelated note, this lonely blog of mine turns 3 next week. Wow. Will I dream up a fancy way of celebrating? In a perfect world, I would. In other words, probably not. We shall see.

xox

hutch + pompoms from our double birthday party

new desk

And so it begins…

Little sister started Kindergarten this week. After waiting, not so patiently, for TWO YEARS. She’s been SO ready, so excited. The poor thing hardly ever had any playdates, and we never had neighbors she could play with. I mistakenly told her last year that she’d be able to go to Kindergarten. I was so crushed when I found out she didn’t make the cut off date. Apparently in San Diego, you have to be 5 by December 5th. Her birthday’s on the 17th. Grrrr!!! That really chapped my hide. So now she’s the oldest in her class, I assume, since she turns 6 this December. I feel like I might’ve blogged about this before…

Anyway, as we were walking on campus that first day, she announced to me, “I’m gonna have a crush on my first day!” I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes. Well, sure enough, she picked someone. Much to my chagrin, he’s a blond. I prefer brunets. Not that it matters! But there are at least 2 really cute brunets in her class… but I digress (and yes, that is how you spell the masculine form of “brunette”). By the 3rd day of school, she had gotten an “I love you” out of him. ??? I’m really uncomfortable with the whole idea. Kindergarten? Honestly? Geez. It must be her big sister’s influence. They are 5 years apart. Ohhh, heaven help me.

My three musketeers:

outside school

Checkin’ out the line:

checkin' out the line

Bittersweet.

bittersweet

First worksheet!

1st worksheet

The 5th grader:

the 5th grader

A miniature sleepover

My eldest turned 10 last month. *sigh*

She said she didn’t want a party, because “no one has parties anymore”. ?? Which really ticked me off, because lately (well, actually, probably for the last few years!) all she wants is to be EXACTLY like her classmates. “Mom, can I have a —? So-and-so has one.” Or, “Mom, I want a sleepover. So-and-so AND so-and-so are having one!” And on, and on and on. I tried to explain that she should really be herself, that it really bothers me that she has to copy everyone. But a child wants what a child wants, and I’m ok with whatever – within reason.

So a little grudgingly, I acquiesced. But I wouldn’t let her get away without picking a theme. I have to have a theme. So we settled on “miniature”. She has this American Girl book, “Tiny Treats: Fun Foods to Make and Eat”, that has some really cute ideas and projects. That was one of the inspirations for the mini theme I got stuck in my head a long time ago, the other was this project on the DIY website: mini treasure chest.

mini-envelopes2

mini-envelopes

I used a tag craft punch for the mini banner:
minibanner

minibanner2

I decided this was the perfect time to try some mini burgers; I originally wanted the ones from Jack In The Box, because they looked so cute, and the commercial cracked me up. But we went with the ones from Burger King instead.

miniburgers

I made mini cupcakes for her to share with her class, as they are allowed to do that on their birthday, but sadly, forgot to photograph them. I saved some for each child that was going to be here during the sleepover, including my little ones, and this is the only photographic evidence left:
birthdaycandle

A very blurry close up:
minicupcake

One teeny, tiny cupcake would hardly suffice, so I was going to make a chocolate cake while the girls played, but we decided to go for an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. I had a $3 off coupon, which we get by email before everyone’s birthday, as part of their birthday club. I did want one of their tiny, round cakes, to go along with the theme, but they’re supposed to feed only 2-4. So that was out. Big sister chose cookie dough ice cream+chocolate cake.

cookiedoughcake

The next morning:
sleepover-breakfast

Ach, the mini cardboard suitcase saga… these things are expensive, and not widely available. Only online, as far as I saw, and no one likes to sell them individually – maybe 2 or 3 vendors do. These are from Kate’s Paperie in New York.

minisuitcases

I recently discovered we have a Japanese “dollar store”, in the Convoy/Kearny Mesa area, where everything is actually $1.69. Unless marked otherwise. So many cute things! It’s called Marukai, or Daiso Marukai. I was so happy they had lots of tiny things to choose from.

minifavors

These bookmarks are from Target, on clearance:
minibookmarks

I bought an envelope template ages ago, you can choose from 6 different tiny ones, all on one plastic sheet.

envelopefavors

finished-suitcase

openingsuitcases2

openingsuitcases

Now onto the next one!

What we did Thanksgiving morning…

Little sister saw these on Noggin, and begged and pleaded for weeks… I told her we would make them, and planned to make the dough from scratch, but typical me waited until the last minute. It was the night before Thanksgiving, and I was at Target, so I just decided to buy everything there. They didn’t have the refrigerated dough, but they had a dry mix, and tubs of frosting. So bad for you, but so convenient! It worked out just fine, and they were yummy. I only dyed 2 small amounts of frosting, it was plenty, and there’s still some in the tub. The kids LOVED ’em. I didn’t mind them being imperfect, I just wanted the kids to participate and have fun. That’s something I need to work on.

Little sister’s hand made fairly big cookies:

turkey-cookies

thanksgiving-cookies

turkey-cookies2

My Budding Artist

My son started drawing this summer… he’d scribble here & there before then, but he actually, out of nowhere, started drawing. It might’ve been my influence (well, whose else could it be?), but he out of the blue said, “Happy face”, then drew a circle, eyes, nose, and mouth. And he said everything aloud, in that order. I might’ve drawn a happy face for him a few times before then, but nothing consistent. The thing that kills me though, is the expressions on his faces. They are the most expressive toddler “happy faces” I’ve ever seen. Granted, that’s not saying much! But just let me boast! Every face he draws has a distinct look, and it just floored me when he started. It was just too cool.

I’m pretty sure this was his first “face with legs”:

He’s such a cutie patootie.