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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Birthday at the San Diego Zoo

Big sister turned 9 today! Holy cow. I was going through my business card container yesterday, and found our zoo passes, so I asked if she wanted to go for her birthday. Both girls screamed “Yeahh!!”. That was funny.

Here’s brother looking at the flamingoes:
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Enjoying her favorite thing in the whole world:
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My favorite flamingo shot:
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Giraffe topiary:
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I was so shocked when I saw him eating both at the same time!
Well, why not?
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The birthday girl:
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I kept waiting to get a decent heart shape:
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One of my favorite things about the zoo – the peacocks are almost always up in the 2 giant trees at the entrance, and it’s so cool to hear them call out:
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A paw, lovingly placed on its napping mate:
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This looks like an Oriental willow to me, if there is such a thing:
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These pics really don’t do it justice!
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I’d never seen these, or heard of them – cabbage trees?
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I don’t know what this plant is called, but it’s skinny, and funky, and I like it:
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The skyline, overlooking Balboa Park and downtown, as seen from the skyfari:
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These white birds were perched waay atop this tree, it was cool:
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Waiting…

1. for our 1st ever playgroup meet-up tomorrow!
2. for this damn virus to go away
3. for my Delia’s package to arrive
4. for my Alloy package to arrive
5. for my sprained pinky toe to stop hurting

From Delia’s:
emma plaid
This plaid blouse, and one in black as well.
denim top
From Alloy:
denim dress

Stop laughing… I know they’re totally juvenile, but I’m hoping I can pull it off. I’m not that old!

New Year’s Day

We went to Buca di Beppo on New Year’s, in the Gaslamp. It was our 2nd time, the 1st time we went was for my husband’s company Christmas party, just 2 weeks before. He had been wanting to try Buca for years! Me, not so much. I’ll admit, the eggplant parmigiana was very good, especially the sauce. This is coming from someone who can’t stand eggplant, by the way. Other than that, I wouldn’t lose any sleep if I never made it back. It’s just OK to me. I’m just not crazy about that kind of Italian food, the heavy-on-the-tomato-sauce, mainly southern type of Italian food. My favorite in San Diego is Caffé Bella Italia, in Pacific Beach.

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Getting ready to eat.

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Playing hide-and-go-seek downtown.

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Looking up a tree, at what, I have no idea.

It was a good day to be downtown with the kids, not crowded at all, and sunny. A good day.

Halloween

This was an unusual year, in that I didn’t go crazy with the decorating/crafting/costume-making.  I did finally manage to carve one of the 2 foam pumpkins I bought years ago.  That was a huge pain.  I couldn’t find the tiny saw-like pumpkin carver we had in the kitchen utensil drawer, and I wasn’t about to go buy one, so I (stupidly) decided to use a plastic disposable knife, and my tiny craft scissors.  I flipped through all of my October Martha Stewart Livings, looking for an appropriate jack-o’-lantern face.  I finally found one in an ad, generic just like I wanted, and the right size.  I traced it onto tissue paper, then taped that to the pumpkin, and went over the outlines with a pin.  I learned that technique a few years back, when I tried the Lantern-o’-Treats. That was really neat.  So as you might’ve guessed, cutting out the facial features and trying to make them as clean-looking as possible was so difficult and time-consuming.  I even used one of our proper bread knives, a really small one, and I know you shouldn’t do that.  It didn’t help matters that I was worried about breathing in the tiny foam particles, either.  It was hard keeping the kids away.  So I was not having fun, and freaking out about any of us breathing that stuff in.  Oh, and I was doing all this on the dining table.  I cleaned up afterward, of course, but I really should have done it outside.  Idiot.  I finally got fed up when it came time to cut a hole in the bottom, for the fake candle.  That part of the pumpkin was hard as heck!  It was like metal, I swear.  So I brought out the big guns (or gun, in this case).  I used a drill to make little holes in the bottom, and tried again to cut a nice, round hole.  No go.  So I ended up just drilling little hole after little hole, and ended up with an effed up, misshapen hole.  I can’t even get the candle in or out easily, but at least it goes.  I’ll do better next year.   

My eldest wanted to be a witch, and instead of attempting to make a costume, or asking my girlfriend or mom for help, I decided to buy one.  I found a cute one online, that included a nice velvety hat.  I saw that they carried them at the Spirit Halloween store, so I looked for an online coupon.  I found a 20% off one, so ended up paying $25.  Not bad, I thought.  So all that was left to get for her costume were black tights, and a broomstick.  I ended up getting that at the last minute, the day before Halloween, at Party City.  It was perfect, rustic-looking, and cheap.  $3.99!  I got her the tights at Target, they were on sale that week, thankfully.  She already had black boots, so we were all set!  I was so grateful it worked out nicely.  Never mind that the hat was too small, as I suspected it might be, seeing as how my daughter is so little, and the dress neckline is so low, that I had to buy her a size S (4-6), and she’s got a big head, so I had to sew some elastic on to go under her chin, in order for it to stay on her head.  Did it?  No.  Welcome to my life.  And yes, I realize that was the mother of all run-on sentences.  

Now for my son.  That came easily as well, because my girlfriend’s daughter was going to be Spiderman, and I thought it would be cute if my son were some comic book super hero as well.  Her birthday is on Halloween, and this year we were going to trick-or-treat, and have her birthday party.  So we tried on both Spiderman and Superman at Party City, and Superman looked the best.  My son’s got a good head of hair, and I thought it’d look so cute slicked back, like Superman’s.  So that was that.  

My 3-year-old received a Sully costume (of Monster’s, Inc.) last year for her birthday, made by the aforementioned girlfriend, and it still fit, so she was happy to be Sully for Halloween.  All in all, a fairly stress-free Halloween.  Oh, I did cram in some crafty dessert making, but just a little.  I found these spider cakes online, and thought they were so cool.  I like to think I’m pretty good at copycatting! Of course mine are sloppier, but that’s ok. I did not manage to get any decent pictures of the kids at the party, but what can you do? I always beat myself up when that happens, and this time was no different, but I think I’m getting better at letting go.  Anyway, here are some pics.

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My children.

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Sully, Superman, Super Why, and Spiderman.

Punkin Patch or Bust!

This is what we did on Saturday:

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The pumpkin patch at Victoria’s Gardens in Lakeside.

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“U-pick”, but not really! Notice the strawberry plants underneath!

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The corn maze was neat.

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Success!

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Sad ponies…

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The flower maze was short & sweet, I thought the topiaries were cool!

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Lamb.

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Humpty?

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Goat.

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Bird.

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Deer.

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My son’s 1st petting zoo!

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Why, hello there!