Friday, July 31, 2009

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

Fall clothes are showing up in the stores, kids at year-round schools have already started classes and so I've been thinking about what the Fall holds for us. I'm excited to be a part of the MOPS groups at my church, Crossroads Fellowship, once again.

If you're looking to become a part of a great mom's group this Fall, check it out at the Crossroad's MOPS website.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Durham Museum of Life and Science

Since my husband was off of work a few days last week, we decided to check out the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. I had heard great reviews from friends but until I started looking at the website, I had no clue all that they had to offer. The museum itself is on 70 acres (which I had no clue was just sitting in the middle of Durham), 13 acres of which are outdoor exhibits (so you may not want to go on a rainy day). The museum opens at 10 a.m. for non-members which made us feel a little rushed to make it home in time for lunch and an afternoon nap. Admission was $12.50 for adults and then the lovely free admission for kids under 3.

Because we only had around 2 hours and we weren't sure what was ahead, we walked past many of the indoor exhibits that related to aerospace and weather that were a little too old for girls. Our first big stop was at a indoor play area for toddlers and infants. Here's Anna watching balls go down various ramps.

at Durham museum of life and science at Durham museum of life and science

Next we ventured outside to an area called Loblolly Park. There were various metal items and drum strung up for kids to beat on with sticks and listen to the different noises they made. There was a water area where you move the pumps (a little hard for small kids) and then the water flows in different areas. There was also a sandbox and wooden play area (which we shielded the kids from this go around :)).

Playing drums at Durham museum of life and science more hitting things at the museum

As we made our way around the park, we saw butterflies, bears, wolves, lemurs and farm animals. We sailed sailboats, flapped our wings like a bug and watched pretend seeds fall from a crane.

Anna sailing at Durham museum of life and science Anna "flying" at Durham museum of life and science

We saw and did so many things and yet there was so much more to do! (There is even a big dinosaur exhibit that opened over the weekend that would be interesting to go back and see.) I loved how there was something to learn from every exhibit and the hands-on nature of it all. I think we'll definitely go back.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mini park

My adventures to new parks in the Raleigh area have continued (thanks Meg!) and this past week I found myself at a self-proclaimed mini park. I'm not exactly sure what constitutes an official "mini park" but I thought the sign was funny.

New Message

Roanoke Park is located on Cherokee Drive in the downtown Roanoke Park neighborhood of Five Points. It was the subject of heated debate last year as the community and the Raleigh Parks and Rec argued over parents leaving toys at the park. The toys were removed last year but there was still lots to do. The park has a sandpit, swings, and play equipment with lots of slides. The park itself is not fenced in but rather in between two quiet streets that are lined with trees and homes. The shade was nice but I recommend bringing along some bug spray. There is also some road construction currently going on near the park which makes things a little noisy and may be tempting for some little kids :).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Mom's Weekend

This past weekend I had the opportunity to have a mom's weekend away at one of my girlfriend's lake house. My husband graciously volunteered to watch the girls so I took off from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. There were 6 of us and we spent the time reading magazines on the dock and learning more about each other. We, of course, also spent much of the time talking about our kids.

I've heard some people say that when you are "away" you should avoid talk about your kids but I think talking about Anna and Maddie and sharing joys, achievements and frustrations was exactly what I needed. I needed to step away from the day to day grind to miss them and appreciate the girls' individual God given personalities. To hear stories from friends to know they are going through the exact thing same that I am. To laugh together about parenting "mistakes" which helps heal those old wounds. It wasn't a time to forget about what we were leaving behind, but a time of appreciation and rememberance.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting Bigger Every Day

This morning I was sitting downstairs having a cup of coffee when I heard it... "mama". It was Maddie calling me to come get her from her crib - she was ready to start her day. As I walked up the steps I reflected on just how "toddler-like" Maddie has become over the past month. Maddie is a watcher and a fast learner which combines to make a very intelligent child who at five months of age was trying to plug the vacuum cleaner into the wall socket to make it work. Just last month at the beach after watching us play Rockband a few times, Maddie snuck in the room with the microphone and started singing into it.


Over the past month I've also noticed that Maddie has gotten better at understanding what I'm saying to her. One sunny day we were at the pool; I laid out a towel on the ground and told Maddie to go sit on the towel and I would bring her a snack. Surprisingly to me, she did just that. My favorite was the afternoon that I started singing the clean up song and Maddie started singing her own version while picking up toys and putting them in the exact bin that they belonged in. What joy! :)

As I put on twitter last night, Anna's view of the world is that daddy works, Anna and Maddie play and Mommy watches Maddie (apparently Anna is a big girl and doesn't need supervision :)). How I love being home to watch Maddie (and Anna!) grow into the little girls God has created them to be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Tutu's

After visiting the Marbles Kids Museum and watching the girls try on tutu's, I decided to try to make them one. Since I do not know how to sew I found a no-sew tutorial on YouTube that was very easy to follow. For two tutu's it cost me about $11.50 at Joann's Fabrics and took about an hour and a half total. They need a little more work but the girls are enjoying wearing their princess skirts and dancing around the house.

The Tutu Ballerina Too We're Tutu Cute

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Eating Local

This morning before leaving for work my husband said to me: let's make a challenge where for one week we only eat items that are grown/made locally. He had heard the term localvore on NPR Radio on his ride into work and was intrigued to give it a try.

I think it sounds interesting. It will "cause" me to shop at one of the many local farmers markets. It will "force" me to be more conscious of food labels. In the end, I hope to have a better idea of how I can support my local economy and eat better doing so!

Here's the August 1st to August 7th Facebook Triangle Localvore Challenge:

Eating local can improve the local economy, improve the environment in many ways from minimizing supply chain carbon emissions to increasing the nutrients in the local soil, and improve the social health of an area.

What is a localvore?
Its a person who prefers to eat locally grown/produced food.

How local is local?
I would say within 150 miles. That should cover most everyone that makes it to the local farmer's markets and even local seafood. It also covers many products sold at grocery stores (like the creamery milk from Fresh Market).

Why start on a Saturday?
Saturday is a traditional day for many farmer's markets in the area. These farmer's markets can provide meats, seafood, cheeses, and produce. The week I choose also coincides with a pretty good harvest week often for the farmer's market.

Does this include beverages?
Since asking people to give up coffee or sodas may be too difficult, we figured we would keep beverages out of the first challenge. If you would like, you can try some local coffee sellers this week (like 3 cups or Falls River Coffee) instead of the big national brands which will help the local economy.

Does this mean I can't have X?
The challenge is to eat as much local as possible. Some things, such as condiments and spices, may be too difficult or expensive to find locally. We would encourage you to try your best though. There are some local vendors you may not have heard of which offer great products like Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce. Additionally, there are even local mass producers of things like ready to bake cookies (Immaculate Baking Company) and other such. Other things, like flour, sugar, etc will also be limited locally. But, perhaps buying locally made breads would be possible. I've even heard Neomonde Baking Company sells greek yogurt.

I hope you will join us!