Monday, June 20, 2016

Wrapping Up Most of June . . .

Last October we were studying the American Revolution in history and I wanted to include the nearby field trips at that time, but we were a bit distracted with buying a house! So, I put it off. And then it was winter . . . and then we were busy getting our old house ready to sell . . . and then I blinked, and it's JUNE!! And we FINALLY made it to Independence National Park. Which is the official name for all the historic, founding of our country, stuff in downtown Philadelphia. Lexie and Ashlyn already have their Junior Ranger for Independence, but Little Bit earned hers. 

We had hoped to be close enough to the end of the school year to avoid school groups, and early enough to avoid the summer vacation crowds, but alas, the school groups were still there! Talking to a ranger, the elusive "in between" we were hoping for doesn't exist because of different parts of the country getting out of school at different times. But we did manage to find parts of the park that are, apparently, less interesting to school groups, that weren't super crowded, and enjoyed our day anyway.  
After most of the school groups had left for the day we were able to get to the Liberty Bell without battling crowds. The big girls were vetoing all photo ops that day, so Little Bit is the star. 
Needless to say, much of our time this month has revolved around kittens. They're soo cute, and active and fun! They have a strange obsession with shoulders (the kittens we used to have when I was growing up seemed to like shoulders too, so apparently it's a kitten thing . . . ) 

Another field trip that's been on my "to do list" for awhile is Landis Valley Museum. We went a couple years ago and enjoyed it, so now that we're back to the 1800s in history, I wanted to go again. Different buildings are open different days, so I watched the calendar and chose a day that sounded fun. It was, though it started raining before we finished, and enough of it is outside, and it's close enough to home, that we decided to just go back on a non-rainy day to finish up.  Before the rain started we discovered an unadvertised open building that had a room where kids could play house with old fashioned stuff. Little Bit had a blast! And Lexie occupied herself trying to figure out how a spring-loaded metal toy was supposed to work (I don't think she ever figured it out for sure). When I finally said we needed to move on, Little Bit begged to come back another day.
The kittens keep growing . . . Meanwhile, campmeeting time came around. It was only a weekend this year, so we didn't take the motorhome up and camp up there, just drove back and forth for Friday evening, and Sabbath. Little Bit enjoyed her first year in Primary, though I think all the meetings on Sabbath were a bit much for her. She was showing definite signs of being overstimulated by the end of the day.  Lexie and Ashlyn were in Earliteen (7th & 7th grade) this year, but for some reason, this year, Earliteen was combined with Youth (high school). They enjoyed the speaker, but I did feel the afternoon activity wasn't age appropriate, so we spent the afternoon meeting time visiting with friends instead.

Even Rodney can't resist cuddly little sleeping kittens . . . Sunday was Shavuot. Shavuot celebrates the harvest, as well as God giving Moses and the Israelites the Law on Mt. Sinai. Since the harvest is the "fruit" of the farmer's labor, fruit is generally eaten on Shavuot. And since the Torah is sweet like milk & honey, dairy, especially sweet dairy, is also traditionally eaten on Shavuot. So, we had fruit smoothies for breakfast, ice cream and fruit for lunch, and mac and cheese for supper. Little Bit declared it a very yummy holiday! We also decorated the house with flowers and greenery, and then, on Monday, planted those that could be planted outside.  

Monday and Tuesday my parents were here working on some final details on the Oley house in preparation for the appraisal and inspection. Much to Little Bit's delight, they took her with them to the Oley house on Tuesday and she got a whole day of of Mama and Papa to herself. The big girls and I took advantage of the quiet to get lots of school accomplished that day and, much to Lexie's delight, I went and picked up a Genetic curriculum that a local homeschooler was giving away. It's high school level and so far Lexie's finding it entirely too easy, but at least it's the subject she's been wanting to focus on for science this coming year. We also discovered that MIT puts their coursework online for free, including an undergraduate Genetics course, so once she completes the high school level course, she can try out the college level one, either back-to-back or in a couple years.

Wednesday we were planning to go to a free "Farm Days" at a dairy farm near Lancaster, but when we got there it was SOOO crowded, that we decided to skip it. I hadn't expected it to be that crowded, so hadn't worn walking shoes (it was going to be a hike from parking to the activities), or brought a bag to carry water bottles and such with us (it was hot!). We were literally right down the road from Landis Valley Museum so we went back there for a little while instead.  The buildings weren't open like normal because of some special classes that week, but the "playhouse" building wasn't being used, so we just went there (we have a Pennsylvania Heritage Membership that gives us unlimited admission to various PA history sites, including Landis Valley, so it doesn't cost us anything extra to just go for a little while). Lexie was an awesome big sister and "played house" with Little Bit until we were all hungry and ready to head to Costco for pizza.

 This weekend our friend, Kathryn was here visiting. She was interested in seeing Valley Forge so we went there on Friday. After seeing the museum and video, we did the driving tour (the gift shop sells a CD that gives you tons of information about Valley Forge as you drive the tour, so we enjoyed that), with a stop part way through for a picnic lunch. Then we detoured through Amish country on our way home to make sure Kathryn saw some horses and buggies and such. She took tons of pictures, so I didn't bother taking any, if she's willing to share, I'll post a few :)

The rest of our weekend has just been hanging out closer to home. Playing with kittens, grilling out, and enjoying time together.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Things We've Been doing BESIDES Playing With Kittens . . .

Since the last update pretty much focused on the kittens, I thought I'd share a few OTHER things we've been up to recently . . . 

A friend from church is getting ready to move. Since I know just how challenging packing can be with young children, we've gone over a couple times to help. Little Bit has fun playing with her girls, which also nicely keeps them occupied. And the big girls and I can help pack, carry boxes, etc. And sometimes be silly when we find sunbonnets and such :) 
Last fall, just as we jumped into the whirlwind of buying our house and moving, we came the American Revolution in history. I had good intentions to do several field trips, but moving took precedence, and then winter . . . (though when I mentioned that recently, the girls pointed out that going to Valley Forge in the winter would have been more authentic LOL) . . . and then this spring we were frantically trying to get our old house ready to go on the market. . . so the field trips didn't happen. SO . . . a couple weeks ago, we finally made it to Valley Forge! 
We've been before several times, but this time Little Bit was old enough to do the Junior Ranger and of course, as the big girls get older, they enjoy different aspects and understand things on different levels.  It was a fun day, despite the frustration of one of the roads on the driving tour being closed, with no indication of how to get around that and continue the tour (thank goodness for GPS *and* having kids old enough to read maps. We put the visitor center in GPS and Ashlyn paid attention on the map, and we were able to re-enter the tour route at a different point and continue). Here are a few pictures. 

Exploring the fireplace in one of the cabins (because how often do you get to check out a chimney from INSIDE the fire place? And testing out the bunks in the cabins . . . I think she prefers her loft bed! I can't imagine grown men sleeping in such a narrow space!

A couple weekends ago we heard from our realtor that he was finally ready to list our old house on the market. Rodney, Lexie and Ashlyn spent ALL DAY that Friday finishing up/freshening up the landscaping over there. On Sunday we all went over to put the final touches on it. It looked great! It was listed on Tuesday, and by Friday we had two offers, and accepted one of them. I'll heave a HUGE sigh of relief once all inspections are done and the buyer's loan goes through and all that, but we are so thankful for such a quick sale! And I must admit, selfishly, I'm thrilled to not have to spend weeks running over there to sweep and generally clean up after showings. 

Sunday was our end-of-school year evaluation. We actually officially ended our school year in February . . . since we school year-round, we don't have an end/beginning to our school years, but since the state requires more record keeping than I otherwise consider necessary, we keep those records for the required 180 days, and then declare the school year "done" and continue with our schooling, with less paperwork for me, until it all starts over again in July . . . but busy schedules meant we finally got around to meeting with our evaluator and doing the official evaluation. 

And Monday we went on a homeschool group tour of an adorable little family owned bookstore in a nearby town. After the tour, the coordinator from the homeschool group had also organized a "teen day out" where the teens went out to lunch together and played board games and such, and just had fun. So, Little Bit and I got our own "day out" while Lexie and Ashlyn were making new friends and having a blast. 

Little Bit and I got ice cream and pizza for lunch and went to a nearby park and she had fun playing on the playground, and meeting every dog she could find to meet (Ashlyn's trained her well. . . every time she saw a dog, she asked to pet it, and then, assuming she was given permission, proceeded to ask it's name, breed, how old it was, etc. . . But I think her favorite part of the afternoon was the ducks! They're hard to see in the picture, but there were some TINY babies . . . sooo cute! And there was a machine with duck food. Many of the adult ducks were, apparently, too well fed to care, and the tiny babies didn't notice the food when we tried to throw it near them, but there were some larger babies who LOVED it! They gobbled it up, dove to the bottom for any pieces they missed, and looked at us like "is that ALL?!?!?" when it was gone. Little Bit's already asked that next month for her "date" we take more food and go feed the ducks :) 

So that's some of what we've been up to recently!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Playing Catch-Up . . . and Introducing our Newest Additions . . .

So, some highlights of what's been happening since we got back from western PA . . . 

Friends from NC came and spent the night with us before heading to Shriner's hospital for their oldest daughter's back surgery (which went perfectly, and E is doing great!).  It's always so much fun when they come to visit. Little Bit and their girls get along sooo well! Their little boy (3) has claimed Lexie and Ashlyn as his personal playmates and drags them around the house to play with him. He's little and cute, so they don't mind.  I had to laugh when, at one point, one of his sisters came to play cars with him, and he told her NO! I want the big girls to play with me! 

A couple months ago, Starla, from church asked if Lexie would do a violin/flute duet with her for special music at church. Soon after that, Lexie got her new violin, so we delayed things a bit for Lexie to get used to the new violin. Their special music was a couple weeks ago (Starla's mom, Sharon, joined them on piano). 

Little Bit has always been my gift-giver. And has suffered some from living in a house full of . . . not-gift-givers . . . Daddy and big sisters aren't real good at helping her with her desire to give gifts. But this year, much to her delight, her Sabbath School teachers had the perfect craft . . . they had the kids all make vases for their moms for Mother's Day (the week before, so it had time to dry) and then brought flowers for the kids to put IN the vases, and give to us moms after church. Little Bit was SOOO excited to give it to me.  Isn't it pretty? :) 

Our other big Mother's Day news was that the stray cat who "adopted" us last winter, became a mother in our flower bed.  By the time we got back from Pittsburgh, she was definitely pregnant. I had been afraid of that, but was also afraid that, with the return of warm weather, she'd go back to whatever family she used to live with (I can't imagine that she didn't have another family, she's much too friendly to have been a feral cat). She hung pretty close to the house for the rest of her pregnancy, but during the night that night, she'd been picking fights with our other cats, and I got tired of it waking me up, so I put her outside. The next morning, Little Bit was playing outside and came in all excited because Tracy had kittens! She had 2 kittens at that point, but as the morning progressed, she ended up with 5!!! For a small, young cat, that worried me. . . We had plans to go to a baseball game that day, so made sure she had food, water, and shade . . . I warned the girls that one of the kittens didn't look like it was doing well . . . so I wasn't sure what we'd find when we got home, and we left.
When we got home, all 5 kittens were still alive, but she still didn't seem to want to stay with them very well. We decided to bring her, and them, inside. So set up a box for her.  The next day, Ashlyn came and told me that she thought one of the kittens had died, and that Tracy wouldn't get in the box with the kittens at all. When I checked on them, 2 of them were actually dead, and as soon as I removed them from the box, she got back in. So, I'm assuming that one of them was the one who had never looked like it was doing well, and either it died, and then she wasn't willing to get in the box as long as the dead kitten was there, and the next weakest kitten couldn't survive even a little while, without her in with it to keep it warm, or something happened that both of them died at the same time.  Regardless, while it's always sad when a life ends, I have to admit, I was relieved, I felt like the other 3 kittens had a better chance, and it would be healthier for such a young/small mama cat, to have 3 kittens instead of 5. And because it was so soon after they were born, the girls hadn't bonded with them, so handled it ok. 
Tracy continues to not be a great mom. . . .for the first week she'd only stay in the box with the kittens during the day if people kept her company, so the girls took turns doing their school work and generally hanging out next to her box.  She did seem to stay in the box with them pretty well when we weren't home, and at night, at least. But if we were around, she wanted people near her. 
Friday afternoon, Little Bit was on kitten duty, and all of a sudden called "Mommy, Tracy has a kitten in her mouth!" Lexie followed her, and she carried it and tried to stash it behind stuff in the cabinet under the kitchen sink (that someone had left open). Needless to say, we moved the kitten back to the box, and made sure all cabinets were kept closed. During the night Friday night, I woke up to hear a kitten crying. Went down to check on them, and Tracy was out of the box, behind the big chair, nursing one kitten. Eins, the kitten that was crying (the girls named the kittens Eins, Zwei, and Drei (1, 2, 3 in German), Zwei & Drei look so much alike that I haven't figured out which is which but Eins was darker, and mouthier), was out of the box, about halfway between the box & Tracy, and the 3rd kitten was still in the box. I couldn't reach Tracy & the kitten with her, so I opted to move Eins, and the kitten from the box, to where she was, but then I was afraid if she left them, they'd get too cold on the floor, and might crawl under the chair, trying to find her, so I stayed with them, the rest of the night. About the time I needed to go get ready for church, Tracy left them, so I crawled in behind the chair and moved all 3 of them back into their box. 

They were still in the box, and Tracy was mostly staying with them, when the girls and I left for church. But just as Rodney was getting ready to leave (he comes later because we have to be there early for the girls to help serve breakfast, and one of the girls, and I to set up our respective Sabbath School classrooms), Tracy moved the kittens (I think all 3 of them this time) behind the chair again. Rodney texted me to see what to do, and I suggested moving the chair out, and putting the box where she seemed to want the kittens. He tried that, and she moved the kittens to the kitchen, under one of the kitchen chairs.  So he decided he better stay home to make sure she didn't hide them someplace else.

When we got home, she was still under the kitchen chair with them. We moved her box from the sunroom to the living room, and apparently that's what she wanted, she hasn't moved them any more (knock on wood).  This week the kittens' eyes started opening. Two of them (Zwei and Drei) have gotten soo much bigger, but we noticed that Eins wasn't growing nearly as fast, and his eyes didn't open as soon. He also seemed to still get really cold if Tracy didn't stay with them. So we started making sure to cuddle all of them, especially Eins, whenever Tracy got out of the box. We also started trying to make sure Eins got to nurse whenever she did get in the box (the other two tended to push him out of the way), but he still didn't seem to be gaining much weight, his eyes did eventually open) and even when we tried to make sure he could nurse, a lot of the time, he wouldn't. . .
Just as it seemed like he had a little more energy and might be doing better, last night when the girls started to put the kittens back in their box so they (the girls) could go to bed, Eins, who'd been sleeping on Ashlyn's chest, wasn't breathing :( Needless to say, it was a very sad bedtime. Eins had been such a little fighter, and was Little Bit's favorite :( In this picture, he's the one "hugging" Lexie's thumb. I feel like there must have been something wrong, and there probably wasn't anything we could have done, but this loss has definitely been harder on us, because we'd bonded with them. I feel pretty confident that Zwei and Drei seem to be strong, and nurse well whenever Tracy does get in the box with them, so hopefully they'll continue to thrive. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A VERY Belated Post About the Final Day of Our Trip

 I know, I know, our trip was WEEKS ago . . . and I have no real excuse . . . but here, at last, is the last post about the trip.

The girls and I spent a fun day at the Erie Zoo.

The animals were super active when we first got there.

I had to laugh, there some monkey-like animals (I don't remember what they were called) that were screaming at each other at the top of their lungs in the morning. When we walked back by their cage after lunch, they were both curled up on the grass with their "blankies", sound asleep.

Little Bit had fun with the various sculptures that are there.  And as she does so often, managed to make new friends at the playground, who she was sad to leave :)

There was much eye rolling from the big girls when I asked all 3 of them to pose by the same penguins that they've been posing at since we first went to the Erie Zoo in 2011 (and again in 2013). But Lexie and Little Bit were willing to humor me :)

And that, finally, finished up our trip to western PA!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

I'm finally continuing with our trip to western PA. On Tuesday, we planned to go to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, but the client Rodney was meeting was farther out than I realized, so I decided we'd just hang out nearby that day and go to the Children's Museum the next day. So Tuesday was a playground in the morning, and swimming at the hotel once we got back. 

Wednesday we headed to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. It's always fun to see what Little Bit does and doesn't remember from places we've been going to all her life, but only once a year or so . . . she was very excited to see the huge glass bird sculpture in the lobby and, when I explained that it's too tall for me to effectively take a picture of her with it (it would be her standing by it's metal legs), she commandeered the camera and took her own pictures of "her bird". 
One disappointment was that there were LOTS (and lots and lots and lots) of school groups there. I'm not sure why there were SO many there and NONE at Carnegie, maybe Monday is a non-field trip day? Or we just got lucky? Anyway . . . We did a pretty good job of going where the school groups weren't, and waiting it out until they all left for the day. THEN we went and spent more time in the areas that had been so crowded.  While we were waiting, we discovered that most school groups never went to the 4th floor water area. Understandably . . . If I was a teacher I wouldn't want to have to deal with a whole class full of wet kids. So we spent quite a bit of time there. At first we tried to do the "don't get soaked" parts, the best of which was playing with SNOW! They make "snow" (pretty much use a shaved ice machine, I think) and put a pile of it on a table and have various molds and other "sand toy" type things to use so the kids can play with the snow. Little Bit went back to that table multiple times while we were there.

The big girls have pretty much outgrown this museum overall, and definitely didn't feel the need to play in the water and snow, BUT conveniently tucked away right next to the water play area was a little sunlit nook perfect for reading! They very happily hid away in this nook the whole time Little Bit played on that floor.

Once she was tired of the snow table she begged and pleaded to get really wet! If it had been one of the hot days we'd had earlier in the week, and/or if it was the last thing on our agenda that day (AND if we weren't going to be driving for a couple hours to the next hotel when we left the museum), I probably would have just let her get wet in her clothes, but given all those factors AND conveniently we did HAVE her swimsuit in the car because of being between hotels. And even better, through some twist of fate, hers was near the top. So I went out to the car and got her swimsuit and let her change into it.  Then the water play began in earnest. She had sooo much fun (note to self, MUST bring swimsuit (or go in swimsuit and bring change of clothes) next time, she really did love it!) There was all kinds of ways to experiment with water and just have FUN with it. I kept my distance since I wasn't in MY swimsuit, but she had a blast. When I told her that the school groups had cleared out and we could now go enjoy the rest of the museum in peace, she was reluctant to leave :) 

One of the things we knew we wanted to check out, but NOT while it was crowded, was the current exhibit in the changing exhibit area. It was tunnels and things to crawl through made out of packaging tape . . .MILES and MILES of packaging tape.  Socks were required, and I wasn't sure I'd fit very well anyway, so I didn't go in, but asked Ashlyn to take some pictures while she was in there. They turned out great, and Little Bit had a blast! AND since we waited until there were no crowds, they could play in there as long as they wanted, instead of making one quick trip through like the kids had to do when it was crowded. 

Little Bit also had fun with the gears in the Make Shop and actually spent quite awhile learning about electricity in the Make Shop. One of the employees sat down with her and explained how it worked and kept asking questions . . . "What would happen if we hooked this up?" It was the most focused I've seen her on something, and definitely worked better than if I'd been trying to help her :) It was fun to  watch.
As we were leaving we had to pause for a picture next to the giraffe sculpture because . . . it's a GIRAFFE after all!!! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Carnegie Science Center

Last Monday, after dropping Daddy off at a client's, we headed to Carnegie Science Center. This has been a hands-down favorite ever since Lexie and Ashlyn were Little Bit's age! One minor disappointment was discovering that none of the exhibits have changed since last time we were there (over a year ago). I'm not sure what's up with that, in the past, they've changed more than once a year. Perhaps budget cuts, but it's too bad, part of our love of this museum is learning new things every time we go. Little Bit still had a blast, but the older girls have been often enough that the main draw (at least in the main museum building) is to see what's new.

One area that never gets old there is the Sports zone. A whole separate building full of interactive sports type stuff. To make it even better, when we go on a week day during the school year, we generally have the Sports zone almost to ourselves! There are very short lines, if any. Little Bit's favorite is the big trampoline. I think she went on it 8 times all together that day. By the last time, when she got there the employee just laughed and said "you know the drill" instead of going over the steps to get her ready to jump.

She was also willing to try the rock wall this year, though she didn't go very far up. She DID find out that it's fun to rappel back down, so she climbed up (just 5 or 6 feet) several times and rappelled back down.

Lexie and Ashlyn have been climbing that rock wall since they were Little Bit's age or a little older. So they can easily climb to the top of the 2 easy climbs, and get very close to the top (there are hand/foot holds missing that make them not quite tall enough, even now) of the medium and hard climbs.

Lexie also did the way up in the air bike thing again (both Lexie and Ashlyn did it last time we were there (that was the first time they were tall enough to do it).  Technically it was closed, but when Lexie asked about it, the girl said she could do it since there wasn't anyone (other than Ashlyn) there who was even tall enough (I think there was one other kid and his parents in the whole building). To give some perspective, the yellow beam going through the rock wall in the picture above is the beam the bike is on. So it's about 15 ft in the air. It's attached to the beam, and you're buckled in, so you can't actually fall off of it, it's just the whole heights thing. The employee who let Lexie do it, was impressed that Lexie went the whole length of it and back. She said most people only go part way and get scared and come back.

Since we didn't spend as much time at the regular exhibits as we would have if there'd been new stuff there, we decided to go to a "class" on making ice cream. It was nothing too earth shattering, just demonstrated making ice cream by shaking it in a bag of ice/salt, and then also demonstrated making it using dry ice. But was somewhat interesting. I would have liked her to get into more of the science of WHY you put salt in with the ice, for example. And what dry ice is. But oh well . . . the big girls already know it, and Little Bit probably wouldn't have paid that close attention to the "why it works" parts anyway. Little Bit did go up and help make the ice cream in a bag.

All in all, it was a very fun day!

Wrapping Up . . . Field Trips Galore!

A couple weeks ago, Rodney asked me if the girls and I wanted to with him when he went to Pittsburgh and Erie for work. It's been over a year since we've traveled with him, so I really wanted to make it happen. BUT . . . it's been over a year since we've traveled, so we didn't have an active museum membership, and he'd only given me a little over a week's notice. Most museums will give you a receipt when you buy a membership and then mail you a permanent membership card. The receipt generally works to get you back into THAT museum, but it's iffy, at best, to try to use that receipt to get into reciprocal museums. Buying a membership at one of the Pittsburgh museums doesn't work because there are 2 museums we love and they won't reciprocate with each other. So I dove into researching nearby museums that we might be able to get a membership card in time. And settled on the Lancaster Science Factory. 

It's reasonably priced, nearby, and the website said that if you came in and bought a membership they'd give you your membership card that day. Perfect! So, Tuesday before last, after music lessons and lunch, we headed to the Lancaster Science Factory. It's not huge, but we had fun. BONUS they give a homeschool discount on the membership, so it was even less than I'd expected! The "Factory" in the name means it's in an old warehouse/factory building (or maybe just a building that was built to look like one?) So everything was in one big warehouse-ish room. Which was AWESOME because it meant I could keep an eye on everyone while they each did what they wanted, instead of having to all stay together. Lots of the exhibits were things we'd seen before at other museums, but Little Bit didn't remember them, so she had a blast. Lexie found some robotic cubes that she spent most of her time figuring out and building with. Now she wants to add them to her Christmas list :) Ashlyn spent time figuring out how to run a sound board, but had trouble convincing her sisters to talk into the microphone so she could figure it all out. It was a nice afternoon, and is close enough that on super hot or super cold days when we need a change of pace, we can pop back over there. And, as promised, we got our membership card the same day, woo-hoo!

Later that week when we went to Sonya's for co-op, Ashlyn found out that Heather (the other family that comes) was bringing their dog Maggie (the lab we watched over Christmas). AND since Maggie would be there, Sonya was going to at least try having their dog (whose name I can never remember how to spell) out and see how he did with Maggie. The dogs did fine together. The weather was gorgeous so we spent most of the time outside soaking up the sunshine and fresh air, and Ashlyn was IN HEAVEN! And Lexie was pretty happy to get to play with the baby without having to share with Ashlyn :) 

Sabbath afternoon we loaded up and headed to Pittsburgh. It occurred to me that Little Bit is now older than the twins were when Rodney started travelling. It's definitely worlds easier now with 3 big kids instead of a baby and two little big kids. One of the things Little Bit remembers from previous trips is her "hotel breakfast". I shudder a little bit about the huge quantities of simple carbs and other things that I try to limit, but it doesn't happen often . . . she spreads yogurt on a waffle and then sticks fruit loops into the yogurt *shudder*!! I have faith that, like her sisters, she will eventually realize that fruit loops are nasty, and move on to at least slightly healthier options when eating at hotels (but our hotel breakfasts are most definitely not up to our usual health standards). 
Sunday we hung out at the hotel, went swimming, and did some school. I figured crowds would be worse at the museums and such on Sunday, and didn't feel like fighting them. 

And . . . this is getting long, and we had a BUSY week last week, so I think I'll wait and continue our adventures in a second post :)