Friday, November 19, 2010

Gracie Discovers...

As noted in Another Week Gone... there was just too much to talk about to cram everything into one post. Cousin John turned four this month, so we all went to help celebrate.

Happy Birthday Iron Man!
Once again, when the Happy Birthday song was sung, Gracie got a funny grin on her face - certain the song was for her. She didn't seem too upset about not getting any gifts... probably because there was cake.

After cake and ice cream, we headed to the Discovery Museum near my sister's house. They had a fantastic program, not to mention the view:

Yes, that is the real Golden Gate bridge in the background. (I'm not that good with Photoshop.) And the blue sky dotted with beautiful white clouds? Yup... real. And my husband wearing short sleeves in the middle of November in a Pacific coastal town? Well, he's just crazy.

Actually, it was an incredibly beautiful day, and while we live quite a distance from my sister, it was fun to go visit and let the kids play together:

The Cousins.
My two are the bookends, pinned down
lovingly held by unseen family members.
The above picture is somewhat of a minor miracle, as it is the first time I've ever seen a picture with all five children's faces looking in generally the same direction, and not one of them has burst into tears. It must have something to do with the large spaceship taking off just behind the camera - because I can think of nothing else that would have brought this to pass.

The Discovery Museum is designed for kids under age six, so John and Grace had a blast. I had never been to a place geared for this age group. Gracie hit the jackpot - there were so many fun things to do there:

Someday the hula hoop will seem small... but today it
was a giant circle of fun!
The museum had a "stream" where toy fish would float from one end to the other, even under a small footbridge. The height was just right for little fishermen, and of course, everything was hands on:

I can handle this, but baiting a hook might
be a problem...
Inside this area was a room with water streaming between plexiglass and a tunnel that went through it all, connecting "ponds" that moved like waterbeds - so fun to jump on!

I know it's blurry, but see how deep the tunnel
floor is behind her? How did she manage to get off the
ground like that without hitting her head?? Crazy kid.
Outside was a large play area with "sunken ship" remains, an underwater cave, a bridge to climb, and a big area with gravel that could be scooped up and dumped into bins to fill up the large Tonka dump trucks underneath. Great fun!

Wow. Shoveling rocks is a lot of work. I could be here
for hours!
The setting was beautiful, and Grace had fun heading off into the woods on any path - or sometimes none at all:
Gracie the Explorer, heading around the corner!

One of the most innovative areas was the art room - kids were able to "paint" onto a large plexiglass wall with thinned water based paint. A water bottle is used to spray the glass down, a squeegee clears the paint and water into a trough at the bottom, and the "canvas" is ready for more art. Very cool!

Here she is demonstrating her amazing ability to draw a "cirque":

Circle! She's in her Geometric art phase.
There was also a sand table in the art room, kind of like those zen sand gardens for your executive desk decor, except this one had miniature baking pans and playdough rollers. It was still relaxing though, until there weren't enough scoops to go around... we just improvised:

This is the look of complete and utter exhaustion.
The sign of a fun day at the museum...
And that concludes Part Two of Another Week Gone. Thanks for tuning in to our extra long show this week!
Until next time, we'll leave you with this mystery:

The world may never know.

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