Love Overflowing

Da Zoo

I have been determined to get more use of our zoo membership this year. Not a hard thing to do considering we only went once or twice last year due to me having a broken foot for several months. I think this was our third or fourth trip this year. The weather was predicted to be beautiful. And it was going to be our last trip during the week for a while since Emily is starting pre-kindergarten Monday through Friday soon. I thought the zoo would be a great way to have a last “hurrah” before school starts.

We arrived around 9:30 and actually saw a lot of animals that we never get to see. A few being the butterflies, antelopes and wild pigs. I was surprised that we got to see so much this trip. We ran out of time before we made it to see the elephants or visit the Children’s zoo. We always have to ride the train and carousel. No matter what.

It was fun. I do enjoy living where we do and being able to load the kids up in the car on a whim and have fun like we do. It will be an adjustment when school starts….

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Museum of Transportation

A couple of weekends ago we found ourselves with a *free* day after church. All the errands had been taken care of and there was nothing on the calendar. To top it off, it was a beautiful day!!! We thought we would head to Grant’s Farm after lunch. As you can see, the title of this post is not “Grant’s Farm”. apparently everyone in the St. Louis area had the same idea. We should have known it was a bad idea as we turned the corner and came to a complete standstill. Creeping, creeping up the road with nowhere to turn around. we were trapped. Finally we hit the parking lot, with empty spaces. As we got ready to pay, the attendant told us that it was at least a 45 minute wait just to board the tram to get inside. 45 minutes. In the sun. With two kids. One of whom, was missing a nap. Despite having spent the past 25 minutes moving at a snail’s pace, we declined. Not enough beer in Grant’s Farm to recover from that one. So we decided to head back on the highway and go to the Transportation Museum. It was also on Emily’s summer fun list. And none of us had ever been.

It was fun. Lots of trains to see. We got to ride the tram and take a train ride around the location. They also have a building with old cars in it. Those were pretty cool to look at. Zachary wasn’t really impressed with the cars. Or maybe it was because he was stuck in the stroller….. It was a pretty good day all in all. I still want to go back to the museum during the week and check out their Creation Station that every one raves about. I am sure Zachary and Emily would enjoy it.

Another thing off the list!

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Laumeier Sculpture park

Beautiful weather in August? We’ll take it!

Last week we decided that we needed to head to the great outdoors and enjoy the nice day. Park? Been there, done that. Several times. Zoo? Was there not too long ago… I wanted to go somewhere that we had never been before and somewhere the kids would enjoy. More importantly, somewhere I could handle both kids by myself. So we drove to Laumeier Sculpture park. We have never been and I have always wanted to check it out.

It was a beautiful day and the park wasn’t crowded when we got there. The weather was perfect as well. Which was good because it is quite a bit of walking on some not always level terrain. I got my workout while pushing a stroller down gravel paths, up dirt hills and over grass. Whew! Zachary did get out and got to walk and play for a bit as well. Emily really loved looking at the sculptures but loved the ones that she could interact with more. I think Zachary’s favorite piece was the bleachers in the Children’s section. He could have spent all day climbing up and down.

We had a great day and had great timing. As we were leaving, 100 kids from a YMCA summer camp arrived. They were loud and a little on the rude side. After we left, we headed to Sonic for lunch. The kids their coupons for ice cream and slushes from the library program and Emily had been getting to use.

It was really a great day!

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To the farm…

Purina Farms that is.

The kids, Grandma and I headed to Purina Farms with our playgroup last week. What a beautiful day it turned out to be! The weather was perfect and the crowds weren’t bad at all. A great say to visit the Easter Village.

We had never been before so this was an exciting adventure for all of us. During Easter, they have an area set up with lots of baby animals to see and some to touch. Chicks, bunnies, piglets, lambs- just to name a few. They were very cute! Emily really enjoyed being able to touch many of them. Zachary- not so much. He was more concerned with why the women had floppy bunny ears on. He just couldn’t get over their appearance to focus on the animals. He really enjoyed looking at the kitties though.

There is also a cow that you can milk! Emily had no problem milking the cow. Which is kind of amusing considering she would not see Peter Cottontail when we arrived. Zachary just went with the flow for most things. I think the biggest hit of the day was the dog show. We got to see dogs and a pot bellied big play with Frisbees and go through the obstacle course. We even got to see them jump into a pool after the Frisbees. The show was really neat. We then went on a wagon ride before our picnic lunch.

It was a really fun day. Totally worth the 45 minute drive. The kids really enjoyed themselves, as did I. Zachary was so worn out that he fell asleep in the car. That rarely happens. What is even more rare was the fact that he went back to sleep when we got him into the house. He was farmed out.

Sorry about the poor picture quality. I remembered to charge my camera battery but forgot to actually put it back into the camera…. Doh!

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Butterfly House

Winter blahs. What can you do to take your mind off of the bitter cold? Head to the Butterfly House where it is always a balmy 82 degrees! This was Zachary’s first trip there and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the heat or the butterflies. We met our playgroup there so Emily had a great time, as always. Her little friend, Autumn, was there and they always have a great time. Emily even had one land on her head! She was following the advice of Fancy Nancy and was dressed colorfully and had on her butterfly spray (aka Bath and Body Works).

After we sweated and checked out all of the pretty butterflies, we headed over to the carousel. It was a day of firsts for Zachary as this was his first time riding one. Not sure if it was the best choice though as this one is really, really fast! Emily got to ride unattended for the first time. Nice hitting the magic 4 year mark! Zachary seemed to enjoy it as we were waiting for everyone to saddle up. Luckily, at last-minute, I decided to climb on with him. Once we started, he was a little more than apprehensive. He never cried though. Just held on for dear life.

It was a great excursion to mix up the winter doldrums!

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Possibly one last trip…

to the zoo for the year. Total spur of the moment decision on Monday. The weather looked fairly nice in the morning so we decided to head out to the zoo for our possible last trip of the year. Possible last trip with just the two of us.

It was GREAT! The zoo was pretty empty so it was similar to having our own personal zoo. Of course the first thing Emily wanted to do was see the elephants so we headed over to the River’s Edge. We didn’t see another soul in there until we made it to the elephants. I have to admit, it was pretty amazing. No crowds, being able to see without straining and letting Emily meander as much as she wanted (she wasn’t in a stroller).

We also saw the tigers, the bird house for the first time (usually she doesn’t want to go in there), rode the train, rode the carousel and walked quite a bit. We were there for about 2 hours and didn’t see as much as we normally do. That was to be expected though since Emily was a little tired and Mommy walks pretty slow these days. The most important thing is that we had a good time. Just the two of us.

Not sure if there will be any nice days in December but if there are and we have no plans, we might try to take another trip over there. I really want to go in the evening to see all the lights. They were in the process of putting them up and it looked like it would be neat to see.

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Oktoberfest 2009

Parades. Everyone loves them, right?? A parade to Emily means one thing…Maybe a few things but definitely one main thing… CANDY!!!!!!!! The funniest part about that is she usually only eats one piece and then forgets about it. Heck, I have forgotten where Stephen hid it. Might have to go find a Tootsie roll!

The Oktoberfest usually doesn’s disappoint. It’s not a super long parade and there aren’t wall to wall people. It definitely has a small town feel to it. This year was no different. Luckily, the rain held off until after the parade was over. We enjoyed the parade and made it about halfway through some of the booths in the park before the sky turned dark and threatening. Luckily, we made it to our car right as it started to downpour!

Of course, the weather was BEAUTIFUL during naptime. Of course. It always happens that way, doesn’t it??? We thought we would be able to check out the rest of the Oktoberfest fun after Emily napped. We got one ride in and a look through the German tent. And then it started to rain. We went home happy that Emily got to ride a ride, covered in mud and disappointed we didn’t get to feed our faces. But, as my hips can tell you, it’s ok. They definitely survived without the extra calories!

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Apple picking

We took advantage of an open weekend and great weather last Saturday and headed over to Eckerts in Grafton. We decided to take the long route and enjoy the drive. I must say that it was beautiful! I can only imagine how awesome it is when the leaves start to change. Might have to make the drive another time to check it out!

Stephen and I have gone apple picking once and that was about 6-7 years ago in my hometown with some of my family. It was  nothing compared to this! This was amazing! Luckily we got there shortly after they opened as there were no lines to get on the wagon. We rode the wagon out to the orchard and picked apples. It was opening weekend and it was totally worth it! There were so many apples to chose from! Everyone got a chance to sample them before we put them in the bags. Yummy!

After we picked our 15!!! pounds of apples (it truly didn’t seem like 15 pounds as far as quantity goes but there were some big apples in the bunch), we headed over to the kiddie area. On the weekends, they have pony rides and bounce houses in addition to the tire swings, horses, pig and slides. There were more activities but we didn’t make it to all of them. Emily ran to the tire swing first thing! Swinging is her favorite. She eventually made it to see the animals, go down the slide and bounce in the bounce house. We asked her if she wanted a pony ride. We really weren’t sure if she would want to because she is such a scaredy cat but she surprised us. It was really cute! They got her up on the horse and  she immediately started saying “Giddy yap!” and “Neigh!!!!”.

We finished up our trip with lunch at this little restaurant in Grafton. Their special of the day was fried chicken. What pregnant lady can pass up fried chicken?? It was delicious! Their kids meal was really cute too. It was character themed. Emily chose Dora. Came out with a Dora plate, Dora fruit snacks and her meal. For dessert, she had Dora Popsicle. They know how to please the kids!

It truly was a great day! We had a wonderful time doing something new as a family. I really see us making this a tradition.

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An evening at the Magic House

Stephen’s company is sponsoring an exhibit at the Magic House, the Soybean Story. In appreciation for their sponsorship, the Magic House graciously opened up Saturday night just for the employees of Stephen’s company. It was like your own private party! The crowd was just the right size so you weren’t bumping into people or fighting over the same exhibits. We had a blast there!

Emily’s favorite things were: anything that made music, the air shooter thing and the water table. She could have spent the entire evening in the new section where all the music things were. She was having so much fun that she didn’t want to sit still for 5 minutes to have any of the yummy sweets that were catered in!

I am not sure who was more tired on the way home- Emily or Mommy! It was such a great time. We just love the Magic House. Emily really enjoyed exploring the new section with Daddy. It was his first time since they opened it.

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Mommy and Emily day

Last week, I decided that a zoo trip was in order since the weather was still nice. Emily was a more than willing participant as she loves the zoo and must see the elephants every time we go. It was just the two of us. I know it might sound dumb, but it was the first time we have gone to the zoo alone. We had a blast! We were there from about 9:20 until about noon. Emily WALKED the entire time. We left the stroller in the car and went on our way. We had a deal. If she got tired of walking or ran away, we had to get the stroller. She did WONDERFUL! I was highly impressed, especially since she is still only 2 1/2. I was so proud of her!

The first thing we did when we got there was to check out the sting ray exhibit. Good thing we did that first because it was packed later in the afternoon! Emily didn’t want to pet a sting ray but she did like sticking her hand in the water! I petted a few of them. It was really neat!

We then did our circuit of elephants, hippos, carousel, etc. We even took a ride on the train! (Love being zoo members!) It was great! The weather was perfect and the zoo just started getting busy as we were leaving. Perfect timing for a perfect day!

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