Friday, April 12, 2019

Memories, Laughter, and Exploring For This Weekend

Wow was this weekend full! Full of memories, laughter, and love for exploring. We began our weekend at the Bucs Arena watching hockey with friends. Saturday was a whirlwind I'm trying to remember/halfway forget. We had to be up bright and early, drop the oldest off for a play date, breakfast meeting, shoe shopping with the younger two, Snookies opening day, the Des Moines Children's Museum first open Saturday, and ending with me in bed with a migraine and upset stomach. I'm not sure what the minis and Hubs did when I went to bed but everyone was alive and well rested Sunday morning, so I assume it was just dinner and bed. It was such an exhausting day that I didn't mind missing out on our planned family dinner. While I like to keep our weekends busy and fun, this day was just a bit over the top (even for me!).

Sunday was our usual Sunday Family Fun Day. We made our way to Prairie City, Ia to the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, where we learned all about the importance of the prairies in Iowa. We ended SFFD with dinner at Goldie's. We haven't taken to kids to either place in a few years. It's interesting what they get out of these same activities now as opposed to our visits a few years ago when they were younger. 

All in all, it was a great weekend, even though I could have done without the migraine Saturday night. I love all of our time outdoors lately. It's really helped perk up all of our moods. Sure we have a long list of house and yard work that desperately needs done, but it will get done. Someday.

The minis with two of their favorite kids/friends.

Elizabeth preferred the cheese from the nachos.

One of our favorite breakfast/brunch places in Des Moines is Star Bar. My roasted red pepper and goat cheese omelette (with breakfast potatoes and toast) is always on point. The minis love their pancakes and waffles with fresh fruit.

I knew the minis were in need of new shoes, I just didn't realize how bad until they showed me holes in their shoes. Talk about a terrible mother moment! I would have ordered their shoes online, but I wasn't sure what sizes they needed. The oldest mini was at a play date, so the younger two were forced to bare with me as I danced in the aisles (to Stayin' Alive...because how does one not dance to that song??). They didn't complain when I left them with their dad so I could run to other stores quickly because, guess what? They outgrew their clothes too.

As we picked up the oldest mini from his play date and raced to the Museum to help out on an incredibly busy Saturday, I made the executive decision to stop at Snookies on opening day. I needed a moment to breathe since we had been running from one thing to the next all morning.

These cookies came on top of Hubs and my chocolate malts. I laughed because, as we're in the middle of summer vacation planning, these are how our typical conversations go.
Me: Maybe we can do...
Hubs: No
Me: Yeah, maybe we will.
Hubs: No
Me: Yep maybe

The minis had a great time exploring the new location of the Des Moines Children's Museum! We were there longer than expected, as it was a BUSY day! They'll be spending their fair share of time there in the coming weeks. The Museum was so crazy that we stayed longer than planned to help with clean up. By the time we were done, my headache had turned into a migraine and I just needed to sleep. We skipped our planned family dinner and instead ordered pizza from another local fave, Big Tomato. I went to bed and woke up refreshed Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon took us to Prairie City, IA to Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge. It had been a few years since our last visit and wow, what an experience we had! A few years ago, the highlight of our visit was feeling the animal furs and then having a meltdown as we attempted to walk the 2 mile trail to see the bison. For the first time ever, we actually sat through the entire presentation and the minis were genuinely interested in the history of the Iowa prairie. They took a lot of information away from each exhibit and excitedly (and easily) hiked the two mile trail. 

Matt (Hubs) and I remember the first time we attempted this trail with them. It ended with all three minis screaming, me leaking through my shirt because my baby didn't want to eat as we walked (she preferred a quiet air conditioned room), and one bee sting. I can easily laugh about that day now, but then it was such a horrid experience that I vowed to "never come back" as we left the Refuge. Obviously, we've returned a few times since then, but the older the minis get, the more enjoyable these outings become.

Max, giggling ridiculously: "hehehe, I'm touch the bison's butt!"

Apparently we have prairie crayfish in Iowa. I was shocked. Hubs said I've known this because I was shocked the first time I learned this as well. I wish I could remember that!

I swear we saw bison out there, I just couldn't get them in the pictures. There is a road through where the bison roam. However, it's not our most favorite road to drive, as it's dirt with a lot of ruts (and it's mostly mud this time of year). I think we've driven through exactly once. We choose to walk the trails instead to see them.

Elizabeth directed our photo shoot.

Small town eats. The minis loved sitting at the counter, ordering the burgers and ice cream!

After all that fresh air (not only at the Refuge, but they played basketball with the neighbors and jump roped in the morning and when we got home from the Refuge), wore the minis out. They went to bed early, while Hubs and I got to our Sunday night chores. Sunday night chores means the house gets a thorough cleaning: dusting, sweeping, scrubbing, vacuuming, etc. We added blowing up balloons to our Sunday night chores this week.

You see, we needed something fun and quick to do for April Fools Day the next morning. We thought it would be hilarious to fill the breezeway with balloons (both for our kids and parents and daycare kids). Turns out it was as hilarious as we predicted, but turned into the best day ever for every child! You can read more about our April Fools Day pranks. I'm not really sure how I'm going to beat this one!