Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Break Shenanigans

I'm that rare breed who never had spring break in college. Technically yes, college was out for one week in the spring, and I had some friends who got to travel somewhere and live it up. I did not, I usually just worked more at one of my three jobs because I was broke. So no shenanigans were had by me, which worked out because that means there are no incriminating stories and/or pictures of me in questionable situations.

+1 Sara

Now that the kids are in school, they are all about spring break. Because we've had almost no snow this year where I live (highly unusual, which means we'll probably get a snow storm the day I go into labor), we've had no snow days. You don't realize how critical snow days are until you're old enough to appreciate the greatness of a spontaneous day off. But we've had none of those and so the haul from Christmas break to Spring Break has felt like a lifetime. Sure, we had a couple of scheduled days off for teacher development days but blah- not the same.

Plus, with the arrival of Penelope soon, I promised the kids we'd do one fun thing on spring break. I wasn't sure what it was going to be because we are genuinely broke, but all of their friends got to go on fun trips or do fun things and I didn't want them to be the losers with nothing to say when they go back to school. I was always that kid and it's awful.

SO. I planned a day where we would drive down to St. Paul, MN (a little over two hours away) and go to the Science Museum. They had never been, and they are both at the age where doing hands on things is fun and they like learning. They still appreciate a museum. Of course, they were so excited when I told them the special exhibit was a space one and that we could learn about all things space. Both kids are highly interested in space and Jackson declared he wants to know how astronauts poop and pee in space if everything floats.

Because of course that's his main learning point.

Matt took a day off work, I asked my mom to give Twinky a walk while we were gone since I wasn't sure what time we'd be back, and we left in the morning. As soon as we got there, the kids were VERY excited, far more than I thought they would be.

The first thing we did was do the space exhibit because I wasn't sure how much time to give for the day, and I figured if we run short on time, we at least saw that. The kids were basically amazed. A favorite was the astronaut glove and trying to stack blocks in a pressurized box that simulates space.

 Jackson thought it was absolute crap he couldn't stack blocks.
Olivia giggled and then declared her arms are useless. (I reassured her that it's clearly genetic because my arms are basically here for decor, not function.)
Matt could do it, but you could tell he was really straining the muscles in his arm. Jackson thought that was the coolest thing, that HIS dad could do it while other dads couldn't.
Then they were using a robotic arm to pick up a ball and move it into a target area only using the cameras. Again, Matt is a rock star at that and Jackson said maybe his dad should just be an astronaut.
The obligatory space photo.
Oh yes, the space toilet. I couldn't get Jackson to sit on it, mostly because he said it was scary. Which, after the time we made him use a vaulted toilet in a state park and he screamed so loud I'm sure park goers thought we were murdering and/or kidnapping him, I let it go.
But we learned that they pee through a tube thing and it gets processed into drinking water. Olivia was absolutely disgusted by this. The sign made no mention of where poop goes but we learned that the toilet you poop into is a like a vacuum so it clearly goes somewhere.
Neither kid wants to live on Mars.
Oh yes, easily the best exhibit was the peanut butter table. They had a jar for each planet and it was the same ounces, same jar of peanut butter. BUT, these jars were weighted so you would know what that jar would feel like, weight wise, if you were on that planet. Jupiter was by far the heaviest.

Another exhibit we did before leaving the Space area was the simulated space station. We went into this small tube that represents a room in the space station and the walls basically move so you would get an idea of what it would feel like to be in space. Neither kid got sick, but Olivia kept leaning over the railing to try to make the up sensation of rotating. It was kind of hilarious.
After Space, we started walking towards a lunch area and came across buffalo bones. Jackson obviously had to get his picture next to it. That boy is a fan of buffalo.
We found the musical stairs and my huge ass hiked it up them to the 6th floor. I also hiked back down to the 3rd floor, only to realize we had to go back up to the 5th floor to get into exhibits. It goes without saying that my ass was exhausted by the time we got to the exhibits. I declared we were not taking any more stairs, we would elevator it like losers.
We decided to work our way from the bottom floor (third) up (fifth) so that by the time we got to the fifth we could just head right out the door. Which meant our first thing to see was the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, there were a TON of schools there on field trips, so we missed out on a lot of informational talks and had to skip a few exhibits in the museum because there were just too many kids.
Miss Olivia, queen of puzzles, couldn't figure out how to build a champosaur. She was really disgusted by this.
They sat inside of a tube that represented the size of stomach of a 15 ton dinosaur. Jackson said he'd like to sleep in there.
Another floor was all about mechanical things, circuitry, magnets, and basically how things work. All read like a foreign language to me, but it was pretty cool because Matt knew all about it all. Apparently, a lot of that stuff is what he does at work (aside from designing and making tools), so the kids asked him a million questions. With the shit week we've been having, and how detached he sometimes is as a parent, it was really great to see him interact with the kids like this.
Easily the BEST photo of the day. I have never laughed so hard in my life. I almost peed my pants right then and there. There was this chair, which years ago, was used to help people with constipation. Essentially you sit in it, hold the handles on the side and it shakes your entire body. You were supposed to do this for awhile and it would stimulate your bowels and make you go to the bathroom. Of course, Olivia didn't read the sign and I made her get up there for what will likely be a great photo to show to her husband someday. Afterwards, she got mad when she read the sign BUT, the chair actually works! You guys- this kid demanded that we stop at the bathroom because she had to go. And SHE DID. I told Matt that he may have to build this.
We did a lot of other things while there, including the body exhibit where the kids got to see their skin close up and look at Matt's eyeball and pick a simulated scab. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, they loved it.

Afterwards we hit up the souvenir shop and they bought there own thing and declared I was the best mom EVER for taking them to such a cool place.

Then I tricked Matt into taking us to IKEA so I could buy fake plants and a spice rack. He wasn't pleased but knew better than to question me. But I was also able to find a rug for Penelope's room to cover the paint incident (more on that later) and I got the kids lap desks because they are forever writing on books using them as lap desks in bed. So for $15 each, I solved the senseless vandalism of books that don't deserve it.

Overall? It was a pretty good day. The day was long, and by the time we got in the van to go home, my ankles were swollen, I was half asleep, the kids were just about asleep as soon as we pulled out of IKEA, and we all crashed when we got home. Maybe a little too much activity for one day for me, but oh well. It was worth it.

1 comment:

The Flynnigans said...

Sounds like it was an awesome day but how were YOU feeling after all that? Pretty tanked, I'm sure. I'm sure your kids adored you for taking them there. Pretty cool stuff. :)