Monday, May 23, 2016

Mom and Minis Weekend

It was the minis and myself most of the weekend. Hubs had quite a few plans and things to get done this weekend, so the minis and I kept ourselves busy enjoying numerous activities around Des Moines. First of all, the weather was absolutely perfect. It's either been raining or too cold lately to enjoy the outdoors, but this weekend we got warm/hot days and cool nights. Everything was pretty much perfect all the way around.

Friday night the minis and I went to Members Night at our local zoo (Blank Park Zoo). We got to be some of the first people to engage in an all new interactive Curious George exhibit. While the minis and I played, Hubs picked up the rest of our furniture order. We finally have a completed living room with all new pieces. It's been much needed and much deserved!

The Curious George exhibit was very neat! We didn't spend a lot of time going through it but we're looking forward to exploring it throughout the summer on our numerous zoo visits.

One of our favorite parts about Members Night was that there were quite a few zoo keepers and workers on hand, spewing out facts about the animals. We learned that the flamingos were trying to mate, which means we saw the males spread their wings, make interesting calls, and march around their pond. It was actually pretty neat to see.

Max had fun mimicking the flamingos marching.

The minis got a late night dinner/treat from McDonald's on our way home.

On Saturday we took in the sights and sounds of the downtown farmer's market for the first time this year. It was incredibly crowded, and a bit nerve wrecking with the three minis in tow, but we still managed to grab our favorite grilled cheeses (yes, for breakfast), mini donuts, coffees, and walk around downtown.

If you're in or around Des Moines, Iowa, the downtown Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings is a MUST! All of the fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, spices, local businesses, farms, foods, and more all packed on Court Avenue with a few thousand people. This week the minis and I enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches from one of our favorite vendors, Say Cheese, for breakfast. Then we walked around, met Lauren for pictures by the river, we walked the Riverwalk a bit, and then happily got out of the craziness of downtown. I've never been happier to see the suburbs than I was after spending a few hours in a crowd of people. We made a quick stop at the grocery store, then home for lunch, and naps (one of my favorite parts of the weekend).

We stopped by Cowles Commons for some piano playing and running around before we went home.

After naps on Saturday (because yes, I was in desperate need of a nap), we went to Union Park for our yearly spring ride on the carousel and playing on the rocket playground. The kids said the only thing that would have made it better was if the splash pad was open too.

It's not a party til somebody's crying. In this case it was Elizabeth....because we made her try a new food.

Crying because he apparently didn't want to ride on the carousel...even though it was his idea to ride it.

The night was gorgeous as we enjoyed a late night root beer float on our patio and catching lightening bugs in the yard (the first year the minis were terrified of them!).

They're catching lightening bug gear.

Sunday was our Family Fun Day. We slept until 8 a.m., had brunch at Americana, took a walk around the Sculpture Park, had family pictures taken, went for coffee at our favorite local coffee shop, ran through the sprinkler, and grilled the minis favorite steaks for dinner.

This was our first time enjoying Americana's impressive brunch buffet. I have wanted to try it for years, but was reluctant to take the minis because I wasn't sure how kid friendly it was. Hubs and I decided to bite the bullet and try it out. It's typically a bit more than we like to pay for brunch ($20-$30 for adults, $9 for kids), but it was so incredibly worth it! There was something for everyone and the kids definitely ate their share of food. We will for sure be going back to Americana for future brunches.

Elizabeth packed some food for her doll in her purse and made sure the doll ate while we did.

Max ate more than Hubs and I combined. He wanted to try a bit of everything: breakfast, salads, fruits, taco bar, grilled cheese station, and of course, dessert. My stomach hurt for him!

A walk around the Sculpture Park was in order after our big brunch. Elizabeth cradled her baby as we walked and pretended the baby was crying because "the sun is in her eyes."

After our picture sessions (with the one and only Lauren Campbell Photography, also known as the other half of Kidsperts), we enjoyed coffee at Grounds For Celebration.

Our run through the sprinkler and milk and Root Beer in beer glasses (I stupidly told the minis to "choose your glass" rather than choose your cup...oops!).

It's tough to beat a weekend like this one!