Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Hannah - Family Day

Today was all about Hannah.  Awhile back she mentioned wanting to go to a museum to see dinosaurs.  David isn't going to be here for her birthday party tomorrow, or her birthday on Sunday so we decided to take her up to Raleigh for the day today to celebrate her birthday.  We thought we'd take her to the Museum of Natural Science and then spend the day doing whatever up there.  We were on the road by 830 and at the Museum by 10.  We found a blue whale skeleton, which Hannah really liked.  We walked through the land of dinosaurs, a living conservatory and stopped to look at all the live animal exhibits.  She really got a kick out of the skeletons.  She called the tyrannosaurus rex Rexie, because that's the dinosaur's name in Night at the Museum.  We spent about two hours there, then decided to take her to the Kids Museum, which was just a short walk away.  Then we spent another two hours there, where Hannah and Daddy had fun running around playing hockey, surfing, being a veterinarian and much more!

One of the first exhibits we stopped at.  Hannah had an agenda, she knew what she wanted to see and we let her lead the way.  So there are exhibits we didn't see, and some we saw many times, like this blue whale skeleton.  

The dinosaurs, Hannah's main agenda.

This exhibit shows the different stages of a moth turning into a butterfly.

Staring at a butterfly.  One actually landed on her while we were in this room.

Butterfly's were everywhere in the living conservatory.  

We also watched the sloth come from down from his hiding place, grab something to munch on, then head back to his hiding place.  Seeing him is somewhat rare, as they do not like noise.  


We had a little snack right outside the conservatory.  After that we doubled back, going to look at the things that Hannah wanted to look at again.

Then we headed over the the Kids Museum, Marbles.  

It had two floors of play.  They had different themed areas of play.  This was in Around The Town.  
She was a fireman with daddy.

A veterinarian, taking care of a sheep.

She was a cowgirl.

This is in Splash Town, which was less Splash and more water life.  They had a small water area, where kids could play in the water.  The majority of this area went to a submarine and a pirate ship.  

I almost got her smashing it and the dart flying up!

I don't think she's afraid of heights.  

This is in the Power2Play area,  where she played in different sports and dance areas.  Some how I missed snapping a picture at her dancing around, waving pom poms.  

She played hockey with daddy.  She was the only girl in the rink, so I was relieved David wanted to go in there with her.  

David was goalie for a little while.  Then some kid told him he stunk as goalie, which cracked me up.  

In the soccer arena.


This is in IdeaWorks.  

This was in Moneypalooza, which is an area to show kids how to earn and save money.  
This was Rossi, he was stubborn and did not want to stand up.  This was in the Pet Sitter area of Moneypalooza.

So we got a more cooperative dog.  

After the museums we went to REI, because David loves that store.  It was located at North Hills Mall, so we walked around but not for long.  Then we went to Trader Joes, for me.  Then we headed to dinner before driving back to Fayetteville.  I made a command decision, as David was taking way too long to pick, and we went to The Melting Pot for two reasons: one, it was in the parking lot with TJ's and two, I thought the novelty of dunking her own food would be fun for Hannah.  David and I weren't really into the concept, but we thought Hannah would enjoy it, and the day was about her.  First thing we noticed is that is wasn't cheap!  But we stuck with it , David being less optimistic than I.  When we sat down, we explained to the waiter that we had never been there and were confused by the menu.  Our waiter, Terence, did an excellent job of explaining how things worked.  David and I got the diner for two menu, which was four courses with a Latin twist.  Hannah shared our meal, at no additional charge, which is always a big plus for me.  Our first course was the cheese fondue, which we switched for Hannah.  We started with Spinach Artichoke fondue.  The ingredients are brought to your table and prepared in front of you.  Hannah likes to watch people cook, so she just stared as the waiter put together our cheese fondue.  We had bread, chips, apples, and mixed veggies for dippers.  Hannah liked dipping apples best.  Our second course was a Shrimp Ceviche Salad, which was delicious.  Our third course was an array of meats, which were brought to the table raw.  You then pick a cooking style, we went with Mojo which is described as Caribbean with a citrus flair.  Anyways, this broth and herb based dish is prepared in front of you and everything is cooked in it. Meats take 2 minutes, seafood takes 1 min 30.  We had lobster, filet mignon, pork tenderloin and shrimp with mixed veggies.  It was very good.  Then we got dessert!  We had mentioned that it was Hannah's birthday, so our cheesecake sample came with a candle.  We ordered dark chocolate with dulce de leche and sea salt fondue.  Dippers included bananas, strawberries, rice krispie treats, brownie bites, pound cake, and marshmallows.  

Here's Hannah going after the last marshmallow.  My expression is a result of the melting chocolate nearly coating my hand!  

There we go.  

Notice the nice chocolate mustache.  She thanked David and I three times throughout the meal so I think it's safe to say that she had fun.  

Throughout our meal, which took almost 2 hours, the manager stopped by a few times.  Once to ask how we were enjoying the service since it was our first time.  Another time, he dropped by with a birthday card for Hannah.  Overall, the staff was accommodating and friendly.  We didn't feel rushed or out of place even though the restaurant was a bit fancier than we anticipated.  It turned out to be one of those really great dining experiences, and it was completely unexpected.  

Friday, April 29, 2011


Yep, we got another dog.  In truth, we've been talking about it for months.  Since October to be precise.  Brady is a yellow lab/husky mix that is just over a year old.  She comes to us from a young military couple who are not able to keep her anymore.  She's housebroken and listens pretty well.  She has lived in an apartment her entire life, so she's not used to being outside without someone.  But her energy levels match Rossi's! And that is what we wanted.  The two of them run and play most of the day.  Which means you can actually sit outside without Rossi constantly pestering you with one of his toys.

She loves the water; Rossi does not.  I remember when we got Rossi, knowing he was part lab, and being excited about getting him in the water only to get him home and discover that he hates it.  So I'm happy about her love for water.  I can't wait to take her to the river!  The first couple of pictures were taken the day we got her.

At least half of their waking hours are spent doing this....

and this.......

I took these yesterday.

She also likes to submerge her head.  If there's a pool with water in it, she play then jump in it for about 5 minutes to cool off.  Then she plays some more, then breaks for another dip.  

This is the extend of Rossi's love of water.

More playing

We've had her since Sunday.  The agreement with the other couple was to give it until today to see how she worked out with Rossi, the cats and Hannah.  She hasn't gotten aggressive at all.  David has done is usual kid training of pulling hard on her ears and tail.  I think it's safe to say that she's going to work out.  I like that she compliments Rossi so well.  It's so hard having a dog with so much energy.  The lab in Rossi means that he will continue with puppy like behavior for the better part of two more years.  Now, with Brady, he has someone around that has as much energy as him.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Pool Play

We're getting ready for water parks this summer.....

Prep.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what David had in mind.  I thought I had it figured out to start but he went a different direction.

Setting up the slide.  It's the one from Hannah's swing-set.

Attaching the mister to ensure easy sliding.

Testing it out...

The mister had to be adjusted.

Down we go!

And now head first.

Loved it!

Non stop water sliding action.

She actually got airborne a few times.  She reminded me of a rock being skimmed along a water front.  Hannah had so much fun.  David is concocting a better set up in his head.  He wants one that adults can venture down.  We'll have to see how that turns out.  It was a good setup and Hannah loved it.  The good thing about this set up is that it's getting her used to having water splashed into her face, which she's disliked in the past.  When she goes headfirst her head is partially submerged, another part of swimming that she's shied away from.  Hopefully, this will make water parks and large swimming pools easier with Hannah.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pool Play

We started out with a small one.  David didn't want to put up the big inflatable pool because he didn't want to kill the the sod.  I get it, but it's hot in NC, and I have a giant belly!  So I improvised and bought one of the small plastic kiddie pools, just something I could sit in with Hannah or rest my feet in.

I also picked up two of these water squirt things.  

Hannah likes them.....a lot!

She had fun playing with Papa.

About two weeks ago, David came across another pool that he thought we might like better.  After careful inspection, I agreed!  The nice thing about this one is that it is deep.  If I filled it, I could sit in it with water to my chest.  Hannah likes the slide.  She's already started going down head first, which we think will help her become more adjusted to water being splashed in her face.  In this picture Ethan is wetting the slide to better sliding action.  

And that's what we call money well spent!