Sunday, August 29, 2010

downtown phoenix public library

Jimmy loves when I take him to "The Big Library" downtown instead of just the small branch one by our house.   We made a few treks there this summer to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and then to go collect our prizes (Note to self:  I still have a D-Backs ticket to redeem if it is not too late).  It is obviously more thrilling for many reasons. 
The Glass Elevators are hands down the most exciting part.
We ride to the top just for fun.
The puzzles in the Children's Section are also much more exciting than the ones we have at home.
If he is good, he gets to throw a penny in the "fountain" before we leave.
If I wasn't so bad at returning things on time, then I would probably even let him check out some books. I always just figure it will probably end up being cheaper if I just buy some at Goodwill.
Hopefully, he doesn't even get the concept of checking out books, so he doesn't even ask. 
Someday he will realize that I have been holding out on him.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I didn't realize that Sorry would actually be a good game for Jimmy already.  We don't have a lot of kids games at our house yet, so we tried this one time and he loved it.  He doesn't completely get the rules, but usually I tell him what to do and he goes along with it.  What I have loved about it is that it has actually taught him all kinds of things.  It has helped him recognize his numbers.  He used to only go up to 10, but thanks to Sorry he can now go all the way to 12!  It has helped him with counting in general since he has to count the spaces.  I have been impressed with his ability to follow the rules and actually remember what most of the numbers mean.... I mean I knew he was a genius, but Sorry is such a complicated game (right Mary and John McMahon?).  It also cracks me up when Jimmy says "Sorry" after he has sent me back to Start with a Sorry Card.  He says it with so much sympathy that I am not sure if he is really just saying sorry because he feels a little bad or because he knows it is the name of the game and is copying what other people say.  I, however, prefer to say it like Gilly.  He usually laughs at me, but I am glad he hasn't caught onto copying that yet.  I don't need to start hearing that when I am asking for a sincere apology, although it would make me laugh.

Anyway, the point is:  Horray for Sorry!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Well, my son definitely has his parent's genes when it comes to being dramatic.  He can put on a good pout, but mostly what I am referring to his desire to play make-believe all the time.  Usually he wants to act out Disney movies.  This all started with playing Peter Pan with his cousins, but he now he wants to "play a movie" every time we are done watching one.  Jimmy usually still wants to be Michael in games of Peter Pan, but when it is just him and me sometimes he wants to be Peter so I made him a little hat which makes the games seem even more fun to him. 
He also likes to dress up like a fireman and drive around on his digger with a jump rope that he pretends is a hose.  This keeps him occupied for at least a little while, but he usually ends up telling me that I am on fire numerous times and he has to spray water on me while I react dramatically.  Then as soon as I am out and thank him for helping me, he says: "Mama you are on fire again!"  I usually have to distract him by saying, "The couch is on fire hurry over there and put it out."  However, it usally isn't long before I am on fire again.
More later on other ways we "play movies"
... Sometimes I have to get pretty creative.

Monday, August 23, 2010

fort fanatic

Well, if you read my last post (or if you knew me as a child) then you know I am sort of obsessed with forts and I do consider myself rather good at the task of building them.  My best friend Cory and I used to make forts so often that we developed a large repertoire including "The Boat Fort" or "The Washer and Dryer Fort."  One time my mom actually let us use every couch cushion in the house and turn our entire living room into a "Maze Fort."  Then we sent my little brother in with a flashlight and he got lost for awhile.  Then like the awesome Mom she was, she let us keep it up for a whole week.  I will certainly let my own children do such things someday even if it tears my whole house apart... I mean how could I not?   I am excited Jimmy has gotten to an age where he can finally appreciate forts more fully.  Fort building of some form or another has become a frequent summertime activity for us lately.  My presence is usually requested in the forts and it can start to get a little hot, but he is slowly getting better at playing by himself.  I just love when I find him in the forts talking to his stuffed animals and then he tells me to "Go Away Mom!"  The forts I included here are hardly some of my finest work and they usually only stay up for a day before Jimmy is done with them, but I know I am starting him on the right path and he will one day follow in my footstep as "Master Fortbuilder."  This first one was right after we got home from the Children's Museum and he wanted to make his own version of "The Climber."  The fact that all my furniture are hand-me-downs makes it easier to watch him jump all over them.  I don't think I will be investing in any valuable furniture for awhile.
While not actually a fort, this cushion slide is the most frequently seen at our house.  It is easy to put up and down so I suggest it a lot.  Originally we used to pretend it was Splash Mountain (since he couldn't go on the real thing), but know he mixes it up.
He has lots of different ways of sliding down such as "Sideways", "Summersault", "Crazy", and the following one which he usually calls "Lizard" or "Snake" (complete with sound effects).

We recently opened Jimmy's bed up to be a king-size bed when we had some family visiting, so of course he thought that was really cool and wanted to keep it that way forever.  I let him for awhile, but we ended up making his whole room into a fort so that when it was time for it to come down, the bed had to go back to normal too.
And of course flashlights always make forts more fun.
This last one was sort of a half-hearted attempt to make Jimmy a little house out of old boxes on our porch.  Not that impressive to look at (especially since I took this on the last day we had it up and it was starting to fall apart), but he thought it was fun.  We made a tunnel entrance, a little stove, a bed, and a beer box fridge.   I drew pictures on the wall and he decorated them all with chalk.  It was really only good in the early mornings and usually I was the one wanting to go inside, but it was good in June.  I managed to make taking it down into a fun game of smashing boxes so he wouldn't be too traumatized when it came down.  I was ready to see it go.
I am sure there will be more forts to come in our future.  
Now go make a fort yourself and have a happy day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

phoenix children's museum revisited

Now that the Hawaii posts are finally done I still have some catch up to play.  I guess most of my posts for awhile will consist of the various ways I find to keep us entertained in the Phoenix heat now that we are back to the reality of living in a place where it isn't always 75 degrees outside.  My first suggestion is to get a Culture Pass toa nice air conditioned, indoors place.  Back in June we went with my sister Emily and her kids to Phoenix Children's Museum. We have been before, but not since they made this:
It is called "The Climber" and it is pretty amazing. It is sort of maze like with lots of ramps and tunnels. Sometimes you get into a little bit of a traffic jam, but the kids seemed to like it... well, it took a little time to grow on Lucy.  Most of the structure is steel, but there are a lot of other interesting elements such this flying bathtub:
It also incorporates a lot of found object art and there are lots of cool sculptures hanging from the surrounding ceiling.
One of the only problems with the museum is that each exhibit is so fun that it is hard to get your kids to move onto the next thing.  It usually takes a little convincing, but then once they have moved on they are usually happy that they did.  Jimmy loved pulling the crank on this cactus that made spiders and things fly off the top. 
And the "Noodle Forest" is always an adventure.  Jimmy (as usual) just wanted to follow Lucy the whole time.  
He is lucky she is so nice to him.
More levers to pull at the race track:
Another fine pizza creation from my little cook:
One of Jimmy's all time favorites, "The Car Wash":
My favorite new edition since last time, "The Fort Room":
When we got into the room is was kind of mess and there were not any good forts to be found.  Being the master fort builder that I am, I put Lucy, Finn, and Jimmy to work while the other mom's just sat around talking letting their kids throw pillows at each other.  We made our fort and then we connected it to one two other girls had made behind the door so we definitely had the biggest fort in the room.  Lucy liked having some other girls in the fort and were happy to share it with lots of new friends that came crawling through. However, one little girl did tell me that we had hogged all the good fort building stuff.  I felt slightly bad, but I knew it wasn't really true since I could see lots of stuff still lying on the floor.  She just wanted me to give her permission to steal some of our pieces, but I just told her that this fort was for everybody so she could either play with us or go cry to her mommy.... okay, I didn't really say that last part, but I wanted to.  I think the point of this story is that I rock at building forts and I make other people jealous.  Such is life.
Anyway, the kids played in it for a really long time and once again didn't want to leave.  They had each made their own "bed" so Finn and Jimmy were even ready to take naps in it.  I kind of wish they had.
And there is always fun stuff to do in "The Craft Room."
This is a castle that gets painted with a new color everyday so the paints just keeps getting layered on.
And Playdough and cookie cutters will certainly entertain for awhile.

Thank you Culture Passes for getting us in for free...
Seriously, folks if you want to go find a way to avoid paying!  It is way too pricey in my opinion.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

goodbye hawaii

I can't believe it is more than a month later and I am still posting things about Hawaii.  I guess that means it was an eventful and fun filled trip, but I am ready for them to be done and move onto some more current things happening in our little lives.  So for my last Hawaii post I am throwing together a collection of pictures.  The first are of us cruisin' around in Papa Weisse's (aka Nano, Marty, etc) cool convertible and other adventures in the car... of which there were many since much of our time was spent driving.  At least in Hawaii, the scenery on the drives make them worth the time.
Sometimes Jimmy would get a little antsy and we would have to entertain him with songs and snacks and silly games, but I think he spent most of his car time like this:
There were always lots of rainbows to see. 
Nano says there is always a rainbow somewhere on the island. 
I think it is kind of like Neverland in that way.
Here is one way it is not like Neverland:
I just had to include the picture above because the contrast of the beautiful rainbow and the barbed-wire fence kind of makes me laugh.  Also, I think it is nice to include the imperfections of life in my chronicles.  So many blogs make everything seems so perfect and ideal and I worry when mine starts to seem that way.  It is hard to not have Hawaii seem perfect in pictures, but even Hawaii has lots of poverty and run down buildings that are easy to forget about.  I didn't take pictures of them obviously, but this gives you a little idea.  But let's move on...
On our last night we went to Kona Brewing Company where we got to sit outside with a nice view of the bay as the sun slowly set.
Cheers to Hawaii!
We miss it already, but mostly we miss the people that we saw there.
Thanks for a great trip!

kailua and lanikai

These two beaches are right next to each other and they are two of the most beautiful on the island.  
Kailua is a popular public beach and a lot of people do windsurfing and other water sports there which is cool to watch.

I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I am pretty sure we had some good naps there.
Lanikai is a private beach a little father down 
(I don't know what the real difference is other than maybe the public ones have potties and lifeguards).  
We spent our last beach day there and it was a great one.  
The waves were really calm so Jimmy could have some good boogie board time without worrying about getting knocked down.  
And he was loving swimming under the water here too.
The sand at these beaches is super fine and soft which usually means it is more cloudy, but the water was actually really clear since the waves were so calm--nearly perfect if you ask me.
Well, of course it was beautiful and a great last beach day.  
We went and got our last Hawaiian Shaved Ice on the way home and that only helped to top off the day.  
Hawaii posts are almost done!