Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Exploring KC & First Official Haircut (Finally!)

Hello there Bloggettes,
July has pretty much flown by. Our weekends have been filled with birthday parties, pool time, and family fun days! Two weekends ago we spent our Sunday afternoon in Kansas City. We packed in several activities post-nap, and if you have small children and are looking for stuff to do in the KC area, here is my 2 cents:
1. Union Station - This was our first stop. I have only been inside Union Station once before, and it was pre-kid, so we weren't really sure what we could do with Oliver there, but, as it turns out, alot! If nothing else, there is a massively long and open space that is great for little kids to cartwheel down, run down, scream down, and/or any other sort of physical activity that involves traveling through space and time. Also, there is Science City. We hadn't planned on spending the $10 each (for adults), but we had some time to kill before going to the aquarium (next on the list), so we decided to check it out. Even though Oliver is technically too little to really understand most of the activities one could do at Science City, it is more than entertaining to wander around that place with any size of child. There are lots of tunnels and caves and elevators and flashing lights and bells and whistles to ooh and ahh at, and we definitely could have spent longer than the 45 minutes we had there. So, an A+ goes to Science City inside Union Station.

2. Sea Life Aquarium - This was our main reason for coming to KC. I had read good things about it and Oliver enjoys a good turtle, so we decided it would be worth it to fork over the $27ish dollars per person (adults). Hmm. I have mixed reviews on it. I am definitely glad we bought our tickets online in advance. NECESSITY! The general admission line to get in at 4:00 in the afternoon (which is when our assigned time was on our advance-purchase tickets) was crazy long. Like, I would never have made it into the building b/c my patience would have worn out about 15 minutes in. So, please make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time.
Okay, so we made it into the aquarium in a fairly short amount of time due to good planning on Mom's part (sometimes I actually do make good decisions). However, once inside, there was still a fair amount of standing in line waiting to get from one room to the next. And, really, it's not all that big. So, even with all of the waiting (read, pushing, shoving, crying kids EVERYWHERE), it only took us around 40 minutes to tour the entire thing. Oliver did enjoy looking at all of the fish, and there is one tank with sharks in it that got alot of oohs and ahhs, but in general, I was a little underwhelmed. If going again, I would try to go earlier in the day when it's maybe not so crowded. So, a B- goes to Sea Life Aquarium.
Legoland shares the same area as the aquarium, but we are not quite to that stage in life, so it will have to wait for next time!
3. T-Rex Cafe - Holy Theme-ville! Oliver's mind = Blown! Taking a 2 year old boy to a restaurant where there are giant dinosaurs everywhere you turn is hitting the motherload. He absolutely loved it and is still talking about all of the "big dinos" 2 weeks later. It was a hit. How was the food you ask? Who cares?! My child was entertained the entire time. And, they serve wine there, so I was good. :) A++ goes to the T-Rex Cafe. And, mind you, this was a place I would pass by pre-child and say to myself and others, I will never set foot in there. My how times and priorities have changed. All for the better, of course!

I bet you would like pictures and/or videos of this fun day in KC, wouldn't you? Yeah, me too. I had them, LOTS of them, on my iPhone, which got lost and/or stolen this past week. Sigh. Some days you're the pigeon, other days you're the windshield. Let's just say that last Wednesday, with a lost phone AND a broken air conditioner to boot, I was definitely the windshield.

Moving on! This past Sunday Oliver encountered another milestone:  A Haircut! A haircut with a real, live trained professional stylist, not just his mother running around with scissors trying to hold him down long enough to get a snip here and there to attempt a minimal amount of order amongst the chaos of his unruly hair. O did great! We opted for scissors over a razor, so he had to sit still for quite a while before the gal was done with him. No tears and he got Orange Leaf afterwards as a reward, so, all in all, it was a very low-key non-traumatic experience for him. He did great and he looks great, but he also looks very different. At least to me. Every day since Sunday, I have been staring at him, thinking to myself, "this cannot be my baby. This kid is so OLD-looking." Sigh. I think it will be a long while before he gets another professional cut!
Here is a before and after photo (he did not want his picture taken on the way to the haircut), and a video of the actual cutting process. Hooray for a slow Sunday at Supercuts! Oh, and a cute pic of Oliver and his best bud Charlie Griffith hanging out together watching a movie. That Mickey Mouse couch is getting alot of traction these days around the house. Another good purchase decision by Mom. ;)

Don't look at me, Mama!
Ice cream makes everything better.
2 minutes worth of video from about 15 minutes of snipping.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Oliver goes to the zoo & other adventures...

Last Sunday the Family went to the Topeka Zoo. It was our first visit ever. We went early to avoid the blistering heat. It was still hot, but bearable. Hey, speaking of bears, we saw some! :)
Oliver was finally able to see in person all of the wonderful animals he has only seen in book after book after book. He thought it was pretty neat. Except, the Topeka Zoo doesn't really have any monkeys, and well, monkeys are Oliver's favorite. I didn't really know that until there were none to be found, but now I do! So, we made multiple trips to look at lemurs and orangutans as substitutes. Oliver even got to feed a giraffe. Way cool! See video below.

In other news, I decided to take last Saturday and make it Hard Core Potty Training Day 1. I'm not sure what I was thinking, since the very next day we wento the zoo and therefore thwarted any progress that may have been made on day 1. But, this is my first kid and well, I'm not known for extremely well-thought-out plans. Half-cocked hair-brained schemes, yes. Amazing execution, not so much.
Anyways, we introduced training pants on Saturday and are now in full-on bribe mode for making potties. I'll keep you posted. Daycare has yet to pick up the torch and run with it. I still have to buy another round of training pants so that I am not spending every single day doing laundry - only every other day!

In other events, we celebrated the 4th of July with friends and a pool, and it turns out that Oliver is not the least bit fazed by fireworks. Like, the kid sleeps right through what I take to be probably a good comparison of what it sounds like to be in a war zone. We live by a field. Enough said.

Oliver really likes to play hide-and-seek these days, which coincides well with his early attempts at counting to the number 10! So, along with the giraffe video, here is a cute video of Olivery counting to 10 before finding where Daddy is hiding. Oh, and yes, as you can see in the vid, my house is not clean these days. I mean, really, what's the point?
Lastly, in parting, I am always thinking of creative outlets that are within the scope of my modest crafting abilities. Mind you, there are very few finished projects (see above about me and execution), but still, always looking...anyways, saw this funny the other day and thought I'd pass it on. I have a jar of wine corks sitting on the windowsill in the kitchen, just waiting for inspiration to find them. True story.
Any ideas? :)