Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up - March 25

We've had a busy week!

Tuesday we celebrated our friend, E's birthday. His party was at an awesomely fun place called Ballocity. It was a multi-level thing with tons of slides and "obstacle courses" and balls that you could shoot at each other or shoot up into the air or have dump on you. We all had a blast. Since Little Bit is still 2, I was required to stay with her all the time which would have been fine except that pretty much the entire thing is too short to stand up in (well, SHE could stand just fine, me, not-so-much). This has been one of the only places I've been in the past 5 or 6 years (since I started wearing skirts and dresses all the time), that I REALLY wished I was wearing pants. Crawling in a skirt gets old fast! And there was tons of crawling up and down ramps and such too. My legs HURT the next day! Which means it was great exercise!! LOL.

Wednesday the girls and I headed to Mama and Papa's house. The girls were anxious to see how their playhouse was progressing, and were thrilled to see so much progress! The outside of the playhouse is pretty much done. As a point of reference, the building on the left is my parents' house, the building behind the playhouse is the garage. There's a deck that comes off the house and the playhouse is attached to the deck, and at deck-level with storage underneath.
The playhouse itself has the main floor that's the full size of the playhouse, then a ladder up to a half-size second floor, with a door out onto the playhouse deck. The other half is a "loft" that they can climb into from the 2nd floor.  The arm coming off the deck is a new addition and Papa isn't telling them what it's going to be until their birthday (on the 28th).  It's going to be a climbing thing and swings, shhhhh . . . don't tell!

We've even been doing school in the playhouse some days. Of course when I agreed to that I assumed we could do school on the main floor, but once we got out there the girls insisted that it was more fun if they could sit in the loft to do their school, which, of course, meant I got to climb up that ladder, with the school books, but they had fun. They've also taken their independent school work out to the playhouse, apparently it's much more fun to learn about the continents and oceans when sitting on a hard wood floor with a ceiling right above your head. Call me crazy, but I think the nice comfortable sofa or recliner in the living room, or even the kitchen chairs, would be a better choice. But I've been accused before of not having a sense of adventure.

The days we've stayed at Mama & Papa's house the girls have also kept busy helping and playing. Some things they've found to do include raking leaves:
 Hauling the wheelbarrows-full of leaves to the leaf pile.
 Mixing concrete for that mystery addition to the playhouse.

Little Bit had been having fun riding bikes. We had a couple different "bikes" stored in the garage at Mama and Papa's, so Little Bit now has 2 "new to her" bikes to play with. I'm hoping before we go home, she'll decide which one she likes better and we can take ONE bike home.I'm pretty sure we won't have room to take both of them home with us, plus we need one bike to stay at Mama and Papa's house for when we visit here again.

 And finally, a picture that I just thought was too cute to not include. She was just running across the yard but I somehow managed to catch her "mid-stride".

Friday we went to the National Zoo. One reason I for sure wanted to go to the National Zoo THIS trip is because I much prefer the National Zoo (with it's steep hills and not a ton of shade) when it's not too hot. But I think we failed . . . it was HOT even though it was only March. Oh well, we had a good time anyway. The lions were the most active I've ever seen them. The male lion even roared for us, which was pretty cool!

Little Bit's favorites seemed to be some turtles that lived in the  water in the Lemur cage. She insisted that baby turtles are called "cubs" and nothing I said would change her mind. She would happily have stayed there watching them most of the day LOL.

On a not so great note, last summer when we were going to Erie, PA and wanted to go to the zoo there, I checked reciprocal lists and confirmed, based on what's listed on the website, that Erie Zoo's membership was reciprocal with the National Zoo (I also checked several other zoos that we like to visit whenever we can). The National Zoo is listed on Erie's reciprocal list. Since the only "charge" at the National Zoo is for parking ($22/car!!!!!), I think it was a logical assumption on my part that this was what the reciprocal membership was referring to. That said, I *do* typically confirm, upon arrival to a place, that the reciprocal arrangement is still in effect. But the zoo parking is set up such that there wasn't anyone TO check with. When we left, we were informed that "the reciprocal arrangement is only for admission" so we were stuck paying the parking fee. Note that the National Zoo does not HAVE an admission  fee, only the exorbitant (IMO) parking fee. So, as far as I'm concerned, it is blatant false advertising on the part of both zoos, to have the National Zoo listed on Erie's reciprocal zoo list (yes, I will be e-mailing both zoos about this as well).

Sabbath was rainy, and cooler. We wanted to at least SEE the cherry blossoms since they're in bloom, but weren't sure we wanted to brave the crowds OR the rain, by actually getting out and walking around down there. So, since another thing we wanted to do this trip was drive around Washington to see some of the places mentioned in a recent read-aloud Washington Adventure, set in the "Federal City" as it was being built in 1800. While we were in the area we also stopped by Pierce Mill, and the Rock Creek Nature Center. Once we got to the Nature Center, we were busy for the rest of our day. Little Bit happily spent her afternoon playing in the sand (that is designed to "hunt for" plaster footprints, she just had fun playing in the sand), doing puzzles,
and looking at the exhibits. The big girls worked on their Junior Ranger for Rock Creek, and then we went to the Planetarium show. It was pretty cool, was talking about the current night sky, and then took us on a "trip" to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons.

So that's been our week. The girls and I are at Mama and Papa's for a few more days, so I'm sure we'll get lots more adventures in before we head home.

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