Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hunting for Eggs

The last few years with Cooper, we have held may an Easter egg in our own back yard, but we have not yet ventured out to the big public Easter egg hunts. My friend Megan suggested one that was happening at the Boulder CO fairgrounds, so we agreed to meet up. Megan's son is in Cooper's gymnastics class and she has a daughter just a few weeks older then Lauren. So we have great playdates :).  They had games and a bounce castle that were a great hit. Cooper, Matthew, Lauren and Anna all had a great time. It was also great to get some adult conversation with Megan and her hubby Andrew.
Cooper ready to find those eggs
Lauren has her basket ready to go
Cooper happy with his hall of eggs
Lauren just eating the candy
What do you have ?
Megan offered to take a family photo - chaos as usual 

We had a good day with good weather and good friends. Looking forward to spring and more days spent outside.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sunflower Farms

A few months back a mother of another child in Cooper's gymnastics class mentioned her daughter went to Sunflower farms once a week. So thinking it would be great to give Lauren a little more attention I started looking into it. Sunflower farms is a small farm located just a few miles from where we live on the South side of Longmont. The have a program called Sprout house where little ones can come and play on a farm, feed animals, and just enjoy the great outdoors. So Cooper started last week and he has been talking about it non stop since. I was able to take a few photos at the end of class. So here are a few shoots from our first day.

Crossing one of the rope bridges
The only time he would stand still for a photo

Why walk when you can run
Cleaning up our toys before leaving

Still running.....
Tractors and lots to climb and play on.

Cooper will go once a week through May. Once we get a few more weeks in we will see if he would like to try and continue through the summer. I think this will be a great experience for Cooper, Lauren and myself.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Children, Children EVERYWHERE

Well, after a really good day at the Natural History Museum, we decided to go over to the Children's Museum on Wednesday morning. After dropping Joel off at work and grabbing breakfast we arrived right when the door open and was it great. No one else was there.  In the first room they had a three story tree house that we were able to crawl around in. Mom certainly  got her workout crawling and trying to keep Lauren from crashing, but everyone really enjoyed themselves.

Tree house

So after crawling around awhile, I recommended to Cooper that we see what else there is to see and then we can come back later if interested. So off we went to explore. They had lots to do, a noodle forest with hundreds of water noodles hanging down to run threw. A store with little shopping carts, large marble runs, cars wash for tricycles, and lots more. We had a great time for the first hour really getting to look around.

Lots and Lots of Noodles - Lauren liked it only in Mom's arms
Lauren playing with the Marble runs
Cars, cars and more cars... we love to drive the cars

Cooper driving a tricycle through the wash :)
Lauren's turn on the push car
Dropping down discs
Checking out the mail box
Well right about the 10 o'clock time is when the place really started to get crowded. I think every day care and first grade classroom was at the museum. Lauren, who thinks she is a BIG kid, really tried to hang in there, but just ended up getting run over. So this was about the time Mom thought we should call Dad about lunch. It was a fun place, but not somewhere I would go to often, if given the chance.  We had an all day pass and I asked Cooper if he wanted to go back, but he decided he wanted the Dino museum again, which made me happy.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Birthday Video

Here is the birthday video for Lauren's birthday. Things I needed to get done this week.. this video, taxes, and start the house search. You can guess which one of these things is not done as of now :).
Her favorite song is Home...

Phoenix Natural History Museum

After a fun day at the zoo, on Tuesday I gave Cooper the choice between the Dinosaur Museum and the Children's Museum. He decided that the Dino Museum was the way to go, so after doing a short hike at Papago park, and meeting Dad for lunch we headed over Mesa where the museum is located. Luckily it was not a long drive and after about 15 minutes and only one u-turn (Mom is not great with directions even with turn by turn navigation on my phone :)  )

Outside the Museum had a very cute statue of a Polar bear and cubs which we have to say hi too

I was very impressed with the museum. Walking in the front door they have a full Mastradon and Woolly Mammoth skeletons. After taking a look at those, we moved into one of the main halls that had a three story waterfall with dinos perched on rock crops, including a T Rex and stregosaurus. They also had more skeletons and lots to see and do. We really enjoyed the museum and what made it great for a mom with smaller kids is that it was not busy at all. Not having to worry about the kids getting run over by 30 third grades make my experience so much more enjoyable. So much so that when Cooper asked if we could go back on Wednesday I gladly said yes. 

Our Favorite Dinosaur - Triceratops

Along with the great exhibits to see they also had a learning/ creative room that we spent about 45 minutes play and drawing. Lauren is really into coloring, so we went through our share of crayons and color pencils.

They had tables to fish out dinosaurs from, and places to organize dinos by color or type. It was a really great place and anyone with kids under the age of ten I would highly recommend this museum. Even for adults it was great.

After leaving the craft room we ventured through the rest of the place. They had Native American exhibts, along with a NASA, and hollywood sections, with a TV that you could put yourself on.

Cooper showing the size of his footprint

 One large magnetic wall had a large system of PVC pipes that you could run balls through. This was another room we spent a long time playing in. 

Cooper and Lauren collecting balls
Cooper dropping the balls through the pipes
This room also had a great Lauren really enjoyed

The final enjoyment was in a small courtyard they allowed you to pan for gold.(or Pyrite).They even allowed you to take your gold home with you. Here are some pictures of us panning the next day. (hince the different outfit)
Cooper in the Corner
Last thing that Cooper really enjoyed was a green screen that put you on the TV in a old western. Sadly Lauren was not quite tall enough and all you could see was the top of her head, but she did enjoy watching Cooper.

Here is a short video of them playing with the green screen :) Lauren was a little too short for it.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Arizona, and Day at the Zoo

Joel and I have traveled to Arizona for our 5 year anniversary, and that trip was spent running around the state and seeing some amazing places, but we were not able to see much of Phoenix. Now, I think Joel has had enough of the beautiful city, but it was very nice for the kids and I to have a few days to see the sights.
Having an adventitious flight down, which included returning to the gate not once, but twice before taking off.. which included de-icing both times, we made it too Phoenix. We landing in the late afternoon and had enough time to drop off our bags at the hotel before heading to dinner with Brad and Heather. It was so good to see her and finally meet Brad. Hopefully it will not be another 8/9 years before we see each other again.

Park bench at the Zoo

 After dropping off Joel at his office Monday morning we decided to go over to the Phoenix zoo. The weather was great and I was glad to be somewhere where I did not have shovel the snow, but the zoo was not great. We had to walk around for about 15 mins before we found an animal that was in there cage. I am not sure the kids really cared,  but I was a little disappointed. They did have several play areas that Cooper really enjoyed, so I guess that was something.... I guess.

Walking around enjoying the day

As for what Cooper remember best, it was all the cactus. He thought all the cactus was really interesting, so of course we have to take pictures with them :).

Cooper posing and Lauren trying to climb on things she shouldn't
 Another exciting cactus

Every time Cooper would stand in front of something for Mom to take a picture, then Lauren would back up against it too... so we have a picture of her standing an little farther down this wall waiting for her turn.

Every trip to the zoo is completed with a trip around the merry go round. Lauren can not wait to sit on and animal and after about 15 seconds can not wait to get off said animal. Cooper is always a fan.

The zoo was a nice way to spend the morning, and then we went off to have lunch with Dad. All of Joel's Co workers were extremely nice to us, and helped us have a great week.  Now off the the museums.......

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Loggin the miles

Joel and I have always enjoyed hiking, and getting to sit by a high alpine lake can really help a person keep perspective on life. I have always hoped our kids would be into it as well, and I think I can say that so far, they seem to enjoy it as much as we do. Now this is not to say that in about ten years we will not have much enthusiasm for the sport, but we hope to instill the love early on. So a few weekends ago we headed to Boulder to do a short hike at a trail called Settlers Park. It is just outside of Boulder and not a long trail, but has some steep terrain and can be challenging to the shorter legs. I was very proud of Lauren's effort. She was able to make it all the way up and around a short loop. We did put her in pack on the way down, more to ensure that she would not fall on the steeper places.
As always we have photographic evidence of the event :)
Starting up
 Little man working his way up the moutain
 Little sis doing her best to catch up
 Lauren and Joel
 Never too young to start bouldering
 Jill, Lauren  & Cooper on an overlook 
 Cooper with Large Boulders and a Big Smile
 Working our way uphill