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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Houston.....Part Two

Sorry....I was going to post yesterday, but when your kitchen is completely empty of food the trip to Walmart {and Sams, Sears, Lowes, and Red Lobster} seems to take all day!!

So on Tuesday, Jason had to go to some plant and check out a piece of equipment that his company was buying {the whole reason for the trip to Houston}. While he was working, I took all three of the boys to the Children's Museum of Houston.

We waiting until around 9:45 to leave the hotel, because the hush hour traffic from where we were staying into downtown Houston was HORRIBLE! By the time we left, it had pretty much cleared up though and it only took us about 15 minutes to get there {thanks in large part to the GPS again}.

We paid {a reduced price because part of the museum was closed for construction} and got a map and started exploring. I have to say that my boys have the attention span of a gnat. They would look at an exhibit for all of three seconds {just long enough for me to read half the sign to them and think "This is SUPER cool"} and then jet off to the next thing that caught their eye!! Needless to say, it was like pulling teeth to get them to stay in one place for more than a minute or two.

One of my favorite parts of the museum was the Farm to Market Investigation Gallery. It started with a farm scene with real eggs {in incubators} and real chicks. There was also a {fake} cow that you could sit down and try to milk {SUPER CUTE}. The market part of the gallery was really cute too. There were grocery baskets and shopping list that the kids used to shop around the market and then proceed to the checkout to ring up and pay for the items they had gotten. I think there was fake money too......but the boys didn't have the patience to deal with that. We shopped around at the market for probalby 20 minutes {which is a record attention time for my kids} and then moved on to the next part of the museum.

We explored Moneyville, the Inventor's Workshop, and the Think Tank. All of them were SUPER cool learning exhibits {some were over the boys' head a little, but they still had fun}. We also did face painting, paper bag inventions, built a clubhouse, and watched a short movie about bugs {twice so Eli could finish his lunchtime bottle!} We went outside {which wasn't the best idea ever since it had been raining for two days and everything was soaking wet} to look at the Flowworks exhibit. After the boys were suffciently wet, we went to the Kids' Cafe to share a PB&J, some fruit, and chips for lunch. After a long {and might I add expensive} look around the gift shop, we were all ready to head back to the hotel and get ready for dinner with daddy! I have a few pictures of our adventures to post, but I have to say that it is SUPER hard to take pictures while dealing with all three boys in a huge museum with a ton of other people!!

Henry working on getting everything on his shopping list at the Market.

Grant ringing up all the things he was "buying"at the Market.

Straw engineering

Grant "milking" the fake cow.

My attempt at getting all three boys in a picture together!
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Houston, We have a problem....

So, we don't really have a problem.

Except that I wanted to blog while we were in Houston....and I couldn't because our hotel charged $12.95 {per 24 hour period!} for wireless internet access. Call me crazy, but I am used to getting internet services for free when we stay in hotels.....especially a nice hotel like the Marriott! I just couldn't see paying that much just so I could blog about our trip.

The boys and I tagged along on Jason's work trip to Houston this week. He actually only had to work on Tuesday, but because of the long drive he was going to be off work on Monday and Wednesday. So we decided to leave early on Sunday and spend Monday together at NASA. Then Tuesday while Jason was at work, I would take the boys to a children's museum and we would head home on Wednesday.

Sounds like an okay plan, huh?

Three kids in one car for eight hours times two is NO FUN!

Actually, the ride to Houston wasn't that bad. Henry and Grant played their Vsmile game or watched a movie for the first two hours, and Eli slept until we got all the way to the Texas/Louisiana state line. They all slept for a least a little while, which made for happier kids when we finally got to the hotel in Houston.

The hotel we stayed at {a very nice Marriott} was not in the best part of town. Kind of in the industrial part of South Houston.....which means lots of factories and buildings, but not many nice neighborhoods, shopping spots, or restaurants. We made our way Walmart that night to pick up some water for Eli and were a little concerned about the area that we were in! It is kind of scary to be driving around in a town you don't know....especially when it is dark and rainy outside. And I have to say that, while probably very effective at minimizing traffic, the roads in Houston are SUPER confusing!!! We made it back safely to our hotel {with the help of the GPS} and settled in for the night {after fighting with the boys to go to sleep for about two hours}!

We got up the next morning and headed across the street {which entailed going down the service road to an underpass, going under the interstate, and going back in the direction that we had just come from.....see, I told you SUPER confusing} to get some donuts at Shipley's for breakfast. Then we headed to Space Center Houston, the visitors center for NASA's Johnson Space Center. It was a really neat place for the kids, though a lot of the stuff was over the boys' heads....they still had a great time looking at all of the space themed stuff. {Jason did point out how coincidental it was that they had gotten "Planet Hero" toys for Christmas!!}

There were some fun age appropriate things for the boys to do, like the Kids Space Place and Martian Matrix, which is basically a huge indoor playground with rockets and planet stuff to climb on and play with. We also watched a few short films about astronauts and went on a Tram Tour of the Johnson Space Center facilities where the real astronauts train! I don't know if Henry and Grant really learned anything, but we had a good time anyway {and Eli got a good nap during the films and the Tram Tour}!

Tomorrow.....The Children's Museum of Houston.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Waiting for the Ball to drop...

We had a few friends {I think there were 17 adults and 17 kids!!} over for a New Years Eve Party last Wednesday. This is the first time that Jason and I have had a party of our own.....we usually go over to my parent's for New Years Eve. Once you have kids it is kind of hard to hang out that long at a party where there aren't any other kids!! So we had our own BYOKs {Bring Your Own Kids} New Years Eve Party instead!!
{Karen will be mad if she sees this picture, because I didn't give her time to pose! LOL}

FOOD, FOOD, and more FOOD!! Everybody hung out in the kitchen!

Watching the football game {though I'm not sure which one!}.

Our party went pretty well....and I think most everyone had a good time. We did have few mishaps {severe accidents} with that many people {and wild kids} running around. Grant got a major black eye from none other than his big brother Henry. Who seemed to hit more than one kid with his plastic golf club that night {I think he got two other kids too, but their injuries weren't nearly as bad as Grant's}. And the big event of the night was not the fireworks {which were very pretty! Thank you, Jason!} unfortunately. No, it was Kim's little girl jumping off the trampoline {it's only 22 inches off the ground} and breaking her arm in two places. They spent the rest of the night in the emergency room getting x-rays and talking to {completely drunk and/or high} ER doctors. Sorry Kim and Ken!!! We ended the night with a BANG that is for sure! Maybe someone else should host the next party!!
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