Thursday, July 19, 2012

I have made a few day trips to Houston with the kids on Thursdays. The Children's Museum there is free on Thursday evenings with reduced parking rates as well.  We have gone in the afternoon and played with friends who moved there and found a fun play area at the Memorial Mall.  They love that mall as it has huge hallways. Cole calls it the airport mall.  It is sort of open like an airport.  The play area is made out of the same material as a Bumbo baby chair so it is soft and bouncy and a little slippery - great fun for sliding down and jumping on.  Lyla is always hesitant to play on it though.

The second time we went she didn't play at all. She just sat on my lap.  I enjoyed the cuddles.  She was definitely nervous. Those fingers were in her mouth the entire time with the other hand grasping her blanket. Speaking of those fingers...she started sucking them so much that she got blisters on her fingers.  I wrapped them up in band-aids to try to let them heal. The first night she cried a few times and whimpered a little in the middle of the night.  But she didn't want me to take them off the next day. In fact, we kept them on for three days.  She started to suck them again after that and I would remind her of how much they hurt when they got blistered and she would pull them out. I never told her again after day four and suddenly I realized she never did it again. Now the thought even seems silly to her! 

I already kind of miss these classic Lyla poses - going to put the fingers in her mouth.

When it was time to leave, I wanted to see the other parts of the mall before heading to the museum so we walked around. When we walked through Macy's and passed the lingerie section, little girl CAME TO LIFE!  Seriously!  She was all giggles and ran around picking out panties and telling me which ones I should get and try on. It was so funny.  That was the first time I had seen her "shop" and it hasn't stopped. This girl KNOWS what she likes and panties are definitely one of them.  Now why isn't she potty trained?  That's probably mom's fault. I'm still a little scarred from Cole and he isn't even done.  I think at this point I will wait and tackle them both at once.

(A little side note: we passed Victoria's Secret at the mall today and Cole told me that was a good store and I should like it.  I have never mentioned the store before and never gone in.  In fact, I signed a petition years and years ago that I would not shop there or their affiliate stores because of the runway show on local network TV during family hours.  It should be on a cable station.  And I haven't shopped them since...  Anyway, I asked him why I should like that store and he told me he really likes their "clothes".  Quote: "They are really nice. I like them mom!"  Should I be concerned?  Haha!  Boys.) 

Anyway, back to the mall - Cole loves it the play area and gets all sweaty from the craziness and running around.  He just can't get enough of it...until I tell him the museum is open!  Then he is super excited to go on to the next event.

The museum is quite large and we still haven't seen all of it.  The kids like to revisit the same places so we don't seem to have time to get to the other places.  But one of them is the baby section (which Lyla might still like, but it is always SUPER crowded) and the other I think is for older kids.  The outside exhibit is their favorite. It is all water and physics exhibits.  Who doesn't love to play with water!


The big attraction at the water section is this big bowl that the kids fill up until it dumps out on them. Cole gets soaked so now I know to bring extra clothes!  Here he is standing on the button to make the water spray. Loving. Every. Minute.

But he also enjoys shooting the water at these propellers to make them turn.

Near the baby section is a little outdoor patio filled with riding toys for toddlers.  They did NOT want to leave this area.  They even had Stop and Go signs and cones to avoid.

They also really like the Lego and indoor physics section. You can build a car and then send it down a ramp to race or see if they'll hold up - because ours never do.  We just build them again!

You can also shoot different object through these wind tunnels.

I don't even have pictures of every thing they enjoy because my phone will die or the lighting just isn't good for phone pics, but Lyla does enjoy this one. You stack the bean bags on these tiny shelves. When you push the big button it knocks all the bags off the shelves. Eventually, they will both realize you are supposed to match the bean bags by number or color to the correct position.

We also joined the local children's museum.  The Bryan/College Station museum is really just a place for the kids to be indoors in the heat.  They have lots of train tables, reading areas, a large chess set, a grocery store, and craft section.  Lyla and Cole enjoy painting on the easels and Lyla really wants to learn to cut and glue.  She tries and has fun but still can't really do it herself.  AKA - she gets upset.  She does that whenever she can't do something by herself but REALLY wants to.

We have been doing some fun museum stuff at home too thanks mostly to Pinterest ideas. Some favorites they ask to do at home repeatedly:
Painting Bread (milk and food coloring - you toast it and eat it!)

Sizzling Colors (food coloring & vinegar - dropped onto baking soda) Keeps Cole entertained as long as it lasts.  We could spend oodles on baking soda and vinegar for this activity!

Another science-y activity Cole has gotten very good at is building towers and mixing toys to do it.He tries to get it as high as he can and was VERY proud of this one.

Cole loves to count anything he can now and tries to pick out sight words. He also is pretty good at most letters and their sounds and recognizing what a word starts with.  "W" confuses him because, well, saying the letter doesn't match the sound it makes. He also just learned to play "Go Fish" and caught on after only one game. I enjoy that game so I'm glad he grasped it quickly. Yes, my babes are growing up.  

Wait! Not that grown up.  But he sure loves to do whatever daddy does!

Ahem. And Lyla too.  She got a kick out of herself trying to pee standing like daddy too.

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