Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pittsburgh - Day 1

Last week we spent a few days in Pittsburgh for Rodney's work. It's been awhile since we've been out there, I guess that means he's doing his job, so has less training to do. Good overall, but the girls had been missing our favorite museums, so we were excited to go back.

Our first stop was Carnegie Science Center. LOOVE it!!! The last couple times we've gone, things have worked out to have Daddy come with us, or one year, my parents came through Pittsburgh while we were there, so they came with us. This year it was just us girls. Which had it's challenges since the stuff the big girls love the most is in a building that doesn't have much for Little Bit to do.

The area Little Bit likes best (the "toddler" area), has enough open ended-ness that the big girls can entertain themselves pretty well, but they don't want to be there ALL day . . . so we had to do some taking turns and juggling, but it all worked out.

First we headed to the Sports Building. That would be the big girls' favorite part, where there's not much for Little Bit to do.

Actually she COULD have jumped on the trampoline (which I took pictures of, but as I suspected, the huge windows behind it turned them into shadows, so nevermind, sigh . . . At least the way I was reading it, the only requirement was that they be over 30lbs, which she is. But she is cautious enough to not want to. She did make a very cute cheerleader for her sisters though, chanting "Go Sassy, Go" while Sassy did backflips and such, so sweet.

Then we moved on to the rock climbing wall. She actually MIGHT have been able to do that one too, it said children under such-and-such a height must be accompanied, or somesuch, but again, she was to cautious to want to try, so I didn't bother asking for specifics. The guy who was supervising the rock climbing was AWESOME!!! In the time we stood there (not very long, there was only one group of kids ahead of the girls) I saw him climb that wall probably 6+ times, to help various kids. The picture above is the only one I got of both kids climbing. And you can see that he's helping MiniMe find a foothold. When Sassy got up closer to the top, he actually climbed up beside her and let her use his hand for a foothold to get up the last little bit, she made it all the way to the top (22 ft, I think it was).  MiniMe wasn't willing to use his hand as a foothold once she was up higher, so she didn't get as high, but she sure tried to find the holds on her own, she kept trying different routes until he said time was up.

Meanwhile, Little Bit discovered the "spinning thing". I didn't pay attention to what it's called, the POINT of it was to stand on the circle and get it spinning really fast, then lean out to slow down and lean in to speed up. She preferred to stand on it and make it b-a-r-e-l -y move, but she loved it, and the place was empty enough that nobody was waiting for her to be done so, whatever . . .

After that we moved on to the toddler area so Little Bit could have some age-appropriate stuff to do.  As always, her favorite was the water play and she would have happily stayed there all day. She did also enjoy the drums (shocking isn't it?" and "planting" vegetables in the farm area.

Some of the other fun included, MiniMe's attempts to build an earthquake-safe structure, experiencing what it's like to be in a diner during a hurricane (I was abit nervous as to how Little Bit would react when the big girls invited her to join them, but she did fine. Don't think she really understood it but she didn't freak out, so it was all good.

Little Bit and Sassy also got to meet and pet a turtle, I tried to get a picture but the child who literally pushed me out of the way as I was snapping the picture kind of messed that up, and since he, and others, were being equally pushy to Sassy & Little Bit, I just encouraged our group to move along, sigh . . .

The "feature" exhibit right now is music, specifically guitar-related stuff. Which explains the huge guitar in the top picture, it was a "Rock 'n Roar" Guitar, get it?.

The big girls enjoyed a computer-based exhibit of "simon says", trying to play the "chords" (touch the right part of the screen) in the same pattern as the computer had played it. Little Bit just thought it was funny to see the "ooops" picture if you didn't do it LOL.

Little Bit DID really enjoy hitting the different types of wood to hear the different sounds, or maybe she just figured it was a fun "drum", who knows, but it kept her well entertained while her sisters were playing with the above mentioned game.

I think this is the first year that Little Bit has really gotten into the aquariums and fish. She immediately noticed that there are big magnifying glasses in front of each tank, and had great fun "spying" through the magnifying glass. I'm not sure she was looking at anything specific, but she was having fun LOL. We all thought it was pretty cool when we realized that one of the tanks had seahorses, since a favorite part of last quarter's Ocean Theme in Little Bit's class at church was to pretend to be seahorses hiding in the seaweed, and then to take little plastic seahorses to hide in the seaweed. So it was pretty cool to see REAL seahorses hiding in REAL seaweed.

 You know the 3 year old has had a full day when she ASKS to "take a nap on your back". LOL. I had assumed she WOULDN'T nap in the chaotic loudness that is the museum, and since our day was shorter than we would have liked anyway, because of needing to go pick Rodney up afterwards, I didn't want to lose a chunk of the day by taking her out to the car to nap. So I'd figured, she's fighting naps anyway, I'll just let her go without and then she'll crash in the car on the way to pick Rodney up. But she got to the point where she did, indeed, ask to take a nap on my back. Of course, since I wasn't anticipating that, and try to carry as little as possible, I'd only tossed in a thin, short, wrap, that I figured would do in a pinch. Not ideal for a napping 3 yr old. Especially one who rarely lets me wear her, so my babywearing muscles have NOT kept up with her weight, sigh . . .

But we tried it. I'm not sure I've ever done a Rebozo style back carry before (which I know means nothing to most of my readers, but just in case I have a couple other babywearing mamas who read my blog), but it worked well and she fell right to sleep. I wouldn't have wanted to do a 20 mile hike like that, but for her short nap, it worked out quite nicely and I wasn't as sore the next day as I thought I might be.

The loudness and chaos did mean that her nap wasn't super long, which I expected, and was fine with, since she did also crash in the car on the way to pick Rodney up. But it at least caught her a short nap that made her not soo tired she couldn't enjoy our last little while at the museum.

One thing Little Bit loves about this museum is that, instead of stairs between floors, they have ramps so she loves to run down the ramps. And *I* love this picture of all 3 girls running and skipping down the ramp together as we were leaving. I would have taken a video so you could also hear them singing "Three Sisters, Three Sisters . . . " (their own made-up song), while they skipped but it was soo incredibly LOUD in there that you wouldn't have been able to hear them well enough to bother.

So that was our day at Carnegie Science Center. . . check back later for the rest of our trip ;)

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