Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Weekend Before The Caucus

The Iowa Caucus is a big deal. The kids got to witness some of the craziness that goes along with it this past weekend. The weekend was gorgeous for the end of January. The snow was melting, the sun was shining, but we had errands that needed running. However, our errands were downtown and in the East Village. As we learned, that's a PRIME spot for all of the candidates and news stations pouring into Des Moines.

We took complete advantage and chatted up some reporters while we had a picnic on the state capitol grounds. I used the opportunity to explain the caucuses/presidential election to the minis. They were confused and I wound up confusing myself (I feel like I need to take U.S. Government again). Sunday we stayed away from all of the caucus madness and headed to Raccoon River Park. We had every intention of hiking along the trail, but the minis were taken with the frozen lake and the playground. Either way, we were sure to get plenty of sunshine.

How did I weekend start out, you ask? With me nearly having a heart attack. The boys have been walking to and from school (when the weather allows). Friday was a gorgeous day and the boys took their time walking home. A half hour after school got out kind of taking their time. I walked down to the end of our driveway to see if I could see them coming and I saw them. Sitting in a mud puddle playing! We had to have a review of "walk home rules." 

We picked up our painted mugs that we made last weekend. They turned out great!

Shopping in the East Village, picked up lunch from Zombie Burger, and had a picnic on the State Capitol grounds. We had a gorgeous view and chatted with the reports and visitors roaming the grounds. We bumped into several people from other countries here to experience our Caucuses Monday night. They spent the weekend taking in the sites and sounds of Des Moines. I gave them a list of a few must see places and restaurants and they gave us some insight into how their country raises families. It was all very interesting.

This was by far my favorite part of the weekend. Despite the zoo that was downtown and the East Village, I enjoyed taking in all of the political action around us. I also loved that my minis had soooo many questions about what was happening in Iowa. "Why does everyone care so much mom?" my middle son asked. 

This was right before they got into trouble for running around the statue and into other people's pictures. Then they got in trouble for running away from me: "you didn't shout loud enough at us mom!" We left shortly afterwards.

A trip to Target for supplies was needed after naps. We went for groceries and coffee. The minis got all new clothes. Go figure.

The minis got new books at Target. The books kept them entertained (read: well behaved) during dinner. I treated myself to a much needed margarita.

Sunday we leisurely woke up and made brunch. The minis kept themselves occupied playing vacation. They packed up bags (filled with toys, but whatever) and even went as far as mapping out their route they would take. They had quite the vacation planned. I'm a bit jealous that I had to make brunch instead of taking that trip.

Eggs, homemade biscuits and gravy, and tea. Perfect Sunday breakfast before hiking. Although it wasn't much of a hike. We had every intention of walking around the lake at Raccoon River Park. However the minis were much too taken with the frozen lake and learning how to ice fish. So that's what we did, with a trip to the playground after.

Geese and an ATV on the ice had the kids in awe.

We started a walk around the lake on the trail, but soon hiked across the ice. Surprisingly no one slipped.

Sunday evening was relaxing with reading time for everyone in the family.

This was our last relaxing weekend for the next month and a half, but we have some unbelievably fun outings planned so it will be well worth it!