Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mom's Visit; Day 1

Here is yet another post I've had sitting around in my drafts folder. I wrote it in November, and am just now getting around to editing it... we all know how great I am about regular posting!


My mom came down from Music City last week for a long-overdue visit.

Since the kids were out of school for veteran's day, we decided to pack in mucho fun.

We picked her up at the airport in Houston and spent the night in a beautiful suite. We woke up and picked the hotel's continental breakfast nearly clean, taking two trays and two bags of food back up to our little kitchen. The kids feasted like kings on Texas-shaped waffles (Do other states' hotels' continental breakfasts have waffles shaped in their state's likeness? We debated and reached a consensus that if you have to eat a waffle shaped like a state, Texas is really the way to go.) yogurt, Froot Loops, bananas, apples, muffins, bagels, and Lord-only-knows-what-else. Along with every drink suitable for breakfast. I drank something not-so-suitable for breakfast. Coke. Thanks for asking.

We were planning on going to the zoo, but the driving rain vetoed that. Which is fine with me. I mean, really, finding a porta-potty on a construction site somewhere in downtown Houston and hanging out around it all day wasn't high on my list of priorities, and the zoo smells about as nice, so I was okay with a plan change. We went to the Children's Museum. The nice, clean, climate-controlled Children's Museum.

We played. We climbed. We crafted. We laughed. We played some more.

I will now allow the 3,602 pictures we took to speak for themselves.

Okay, maybe I'll speak for them. Cullen took this spoon from the Mexican kitchen room. He carried it around with him, occasionally spanking me, throughout the rest of the museum.

Christian worked really hard on the Great Wall of China.

I really don't understand why it took, like, hundreds of years, or whatever, to build. It only took Christian about fifteen minutes.

In the science laboratory, the kids got to measure, weigh, and sort foam blocks.

They loved it. The entered the info into the computer, and then sent the block down the conveyor belt.

Except for Cavan.

He thought it was more fun to throw them on the floor.

But then when Hubs swung him upside down to distract him, he thought that was the most fun of all!

Cullen loved the train.

Every time he disappeared, we'd find him here.

He loved turning the wheel the most.

Which is good, because he got lots of "twains" for his birthday and Christmas.

Cavan loved the ambulance. Or, as he liked to think of it, "his" ambulance.

They had an entire city in the museum, that included city hall with emergency vehicles, cafes, banks, art studios, a tv station, and a grocery store.

Speaking of the grocery store... here is my mom in the mini HEB they had. It had all the departments you find at your local grocery store, fully stocked. Cullen loaded Mimi's basket full of stuff.

Then Christian got to play "cashier" and ring up her purchases.

Cavan wasn't the most competent bag boy the store has ever seen.

The computer actually worked. The kids tapped pictures of the items in the cart, and the number of items, and the computer added it all up. The customer "paid" and the kid-cashier put the money in the register, or swiped the credit card, and a receipt printed out as a souvenir. The kids could do it as often as they wanted, or leave and come back again. Which we did.

Next we went to the cafe.

Cavan LOVED this place. But he didn't really "get" that you weren't supposed to eat the plastic food!

Christian took our drink order and went to get me a coke with light ice. My favorite!

Chubs was trying to figure out where the "real grub" was!

Kids busily working the kitchen, while Mimi patiently waits for her food.

Next we headed to the art studio, where Chubs painted his first masterpiece!

And so did my Baby Love, Cullen.

My beautiful, Pretty Princess painted a rainbow for me! What a sweetie!

Cullen got the hang of this bike really fast... makes me wonder why he won't ride his real one at home!

Cavvie-Cav found a little friend! They were so cute, running back and forth together!

They had a vertical obstacle course of sorts. It was made up of a bunch of large plates, that you climbed up and down and sideways. It was a three-story maze that I attempted to conquer.

Christian was so upset! She was terrified that I wouldn't find my way out, and I'd get stuck inside the Children's Museum forever, and they'd have to leave me there, and she'd only be able to come visit me during summers and school holidays. So I decided to give up my dream. For her. Maybe cracking my head open on the edge of one of those plates had something to do with it, but mostly it was for her.

My mom (who will probably kill me once she sees this picture... HI MOM!!!) tried to do it, too. But she got stuck right away.

I was a good daughter and dutifully pointed and laughed.


For several minutes.

While I made Hubs get photographic proof of the event.

For our family memoirs, you understand.

Smile, MOM!!! She eventually got out, and we tried to persuade the kids to get in for a picture, but only one brave soul would dare.

 Who knew it would be him???

 We continued playing...

 and playing...

 and playing.

We went from floor to floor, exhibit to exhibit, learning, playing, crafting, and ...

 making music! The kids put little balls on this belt, and when they turned the crank, a different note was played when the ball dropped. It was really beautiful music.

They... wait for it...


We went to the lego cars room, where Hubs and Cullen tried to build the perfect lego racecar.

Christian was more interested in building the perfect paper machine.

Two of my favorite faces.

Then we raced their lego cars to see whose was the fastest... and could make it to the bottom of the track in one piece.

Cullen LOVED this part of the museum.

And I LOVED watching his little face just light up...

Each time he raced a new creation.

My baby love.

His excitement is contagious. When he's excited about something, he doesn't hold back. One of my favorite things about him is the way he hops up and down when he's happy. It's like he has springs on his feet, and never fails to make me smile.

 Two more of my favorite faces.

We had so much fun while Mom was here. The next day we had a party at my house... and the day after that Mom, Christian and I shopped around town. Mom took us for manis and pedis, and it was Christian's first time at the nail salon. She got to sit in a pink butterfly chair, and got the most outrageous nail style I've ever seen... and then made them do mine just like hers!

 Later that day we met some friends at a state park in the next county, for Frontier Days. They had bunches of people demonstrating old-world crafts. It was really interesting. After that we hiked through the park and took bunches of pictures.

That night, we probably stayed up until 2 am, talking. We just didn't want to go to sleep, because we knew the next morning we had to take her to the airport.
The worst part of her trip was taking her to the airport. It's always hard on me, not knowing when I'll see her again, but it's especially hard on Christian. She always gets so emotional when Mimi leaves. She cries and cries and cries, big, body-wracking sobs. I always have to have a distraction plan, and try to be upbeat. But it's hard on me, too, wanting to cry like a little baby that my mom is gone, and yet present a strong front for my own little girl.

And on that happy note, I'm going to sign off!

The boys are napping, and I need to get some crafting out of my system!


MaryAnne said...

That museum looks AWESOME!!! And visits with grandparents are the best!

The Boston Children's Museum has a vertical maze like that, but my kids would not go in the two times we were there - and I didn't even think to try! Maybe next time...

kelsey said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! We love that museum (even though it took me a while to get past the horror of all.those.GERMS).

And coke for breakfast is totally the best!