Friday, July 31, 2015

High Five for Friday

Hi there! I'm linking up with Jennie today to share some fun stuff from the past week.

1) Saturday was the third swimming lesson so we're half way through. I sort of don't feel like he's getting as much out of it as I'd hoped but I'm trying to stay positive about it.

2) After swimming lessons we decided to run some errands for school stuff and had a really great evening. After some clothes shopping, we had dinner at a re-vamped shopping center which was near their new play ground so Grant got to play a bit after dinner. We wandered around for a little bit after play time, found a cupcake shop and got some yummy dessert to go. It was a pretty great Saturday!
Dinner at Red Hot & Blue
Followed by the playground
Then some heavily frosted - and delicious - cupcakes
from Gigi's for dessert.
3) I've been neglecting exercise lately. The only time I really have available to go is in the mornings and that is soooo hard to do. But Sunday morning I decided to get up and go and it was such an awesome morning! (Too bad I haven't been able to motivate myself any other morning this week.)

4) There's been some backyard baseball this week in the evenings at our house and we're having so much fun with it! Somehow, I've become the pitcher and I'm pretty terrible at it but Grant has no idea...for now.

5) Monday was Grant's kindergarten assessment. I had to drop him off at his new school for a couple hours and then this afternoon we find out who his teacher will be ON MONDAY. Seriously? Kindergarten on Monday. I'm going to get through this, right?

I had promised snow cones after the assessment, Grant
went with the dinosaur flavor.
6) Today is Grant's last day at preschool. I think I'm more emotional about that than I am about his first day at kindergarten. He's been at this daycare/preschool for 4 1/2 of his 5 years and they've done so much for all of us in so many ways. To say thanks one last time, I baked some brownie bars for the teachers/staff and Grant wrote them a little note. I know he's really going to miss it there and we will too!
On the left is a picture of him "playing outside" and a flower on the right
Twix Truffle Brownies!
Happy Friday everyone!
Have a great weekend!
The Diary of a Real Housewife

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kiwi Crate - June 2015 "Backyard Adventure"

So, initially this Kiwi Crate box was a bit of a let-down for me. I felt like the name was a bit misleading. I see the name of the box when it ships, so when I saw "Backyard Adventure" it led me to believe that we'd, stuff outside. Or at least end up there. This was not the case (though technically one activity could be done outside). 

That being said, Grant had a lot of fun with this box. One activity was a growth chart (he loves to have us measure him so he can see how big he is) and the other was backyard golf (which could be played outside if you have a good spot for it - we don't, so it stays inside). I let Grant choose which to do first and the golf game won.

All the pieces included and the detailed instructions.
For this one you make little bugs and flowers from the pipe cleaners, felt pieces, and googly eyes.

I couldn't resist the urge to make some too!
Then you weave the pipe cleaners through the little holes on the golf arches.

Then you add the bottoms to the arches and assemble your stick.

And since they included a ball in the box - it's time to play!

This past weekend, we did the growth chart. A growth chart is something I never bought for Grant. I've always measured him in the doorway of his room and made marks, so this activity was fun and came in handy :)
Everything you need including a ribbon for hanging.
There were three sheets leaf of stickers, some rubbing crayons, and a plastic texture sheet. You put the crayon sheets over the plastic texture sheet and rub the crayons over the stickers and the texture plate makes them have lines like real leaves (they actually designed it so the right leaf would have the right patter (oak leaf, maple leaf, dogwood leaf). I thought that was very interesting and well thought out!

Grant had a hard time keeping the stickers on the plastic while he colored, so helped him hold it quite a bit (and, yes, I colored too). But we got it worked out.

After the stickers are all colored, you just add them to the branches on the growth chart.
He filled up the top and all the little branches along the tree, so
since he loves jumping in leaf piles so much, he put some on the ground too.
Then you just pick a spot and hang it!
I hung ours a foot off the floor.
There was also a fun little bingo game in the booklet that comes in the box. We haven't done that yet but definitely will soon.

We already have our July box, that came earlier this week. It's called "Interesting Insects" and I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

I was really skeptical about getting (and keeping) this subscription. I think I said in my last Kiwi Crate post that $20 per month is a lot, to me, for a craft box. But so far, I'm really impressed with it. They really do include everything for you. With school starting in just over a week I'm not sure how much time we'll have for these so I may have to put the subscription on hold (I love that you can do that). But so far, we've both enjoyed what they've sent us and I think I look forward to the box showing up just as much as Grant does!

Friday, July 17, 2015

High Five for Friday

Hello! I'm linking up with Jennie today to share some fun stuff from the past week.

1) On Saturday, Grant started swimming lessons! He was really excited about and is even more excited to go back tomorrow. He's definitely the least experienced of his group but I think he'll get the hang of it. He didn't want to go under water at all and by the end of the first session they had him sticking his head under!

2) Also on Saturday, I got to make an elephant themed baby shower cake! It was a for a good friend's brother and his wife. I've been able to make all the baby shower cakes for their family :)

When I saw this fabric, I had to make them a blanket too!
3) Grant loves to demonstrate his "ninja moves" for us. 

4) Isn't kids artwork the best?? This elephant made my day!

5) One of Grant's favorite teachers turns 21 today, so we made her a cake to help her celebrate! ("We" meaning Grant helped me add a couple things to the batter and then told everyone at school that he made the cake.)

Happy Friday everyone!
Have a great weekend!
The Diary of a Real Housewife

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Grant & Mama Day

A couple weeks ago I took a random day off so Grant and I could spend the day together. With his first day of school fast approaching, I knew I wanted to do a Grant & Mama day soon. So I just picked a day and told Grant to pick a place. He always picks the Museum of Life & Science in Durham. Dinosaurs, a train, and you're allowed to touch almost's like a dream come true. I was pretty excited about going back too. I read about a new play ground they put in and that some new tree houses were going up.

Funny thing about planning this trip...I forgot that it was June. It was HOT (although, I think this keeps the crowd low). Of course, Grant didn't notice. As soon as the doors opened to the outside exhibits, he was ready to go play. First stop being the new play ground.

Husband always calls him a monkey and this monkey
was more than happy to climb all over that stuff!

After the climbing we moved on to their barnyard animals. This exhibit was really smelly that day, especially with the heat. I don't typically pay too much attention to animal smells but it was hard not to. Even Grant felt the need to announce "Yuck! Something POOPED!" But while in the barnyard exhibit, Grant found some saddles to play cowboy with. He asked me to take his picture for Daddy.
We moved on to the "bug house" after that. Grant loves all the creepy-crawlies in there. On our way in I saw a bunch of black-eyed susans. They were my mom's favorite flower, it always brightens my day when I see them!

Huge cockroaches (or "coproaches")
Some fish in a little pond that's inside the butterfly room
We still had some time to kill before our train ride so we wandered up to the dinosaur trail. This was all Grant talked about on our drive to the museum!
Telling this Albertosaurus that he needs to be nice

Can you tell he's sticking his tongue out at me?
And then we wandered down to the wetlands are to hunt for turtles.

And we found some! A lot, actually.
Grant & Mama Day selfie! (I hate that word)
I don't think we'd ever been this sweaty but
we were enjoying our day together!
The bears and wolves exhibits are down near the wetlands so we tried to get a peek a them but they were all hiding. It was too hot for them too! So we circled back to wait for the train.
Train happy!
After our train ride and some lunch, we headed toward the "Catch the Wind" stuff. Grant vaguely remembered this from last year. He had so much fun in it, I don't know how he forgot. But when we got closer to the exhibit, it came back to him.  
Before changing into his water clothes, we played with this seed dropper thing (I don't remember what it's called) since no one was there. It's like a big crane that drops oversized seeds so you can see how the wind takes them. Grant loved running around trying to catch the "seeds" as they fell.

So then he got changed and hit The Mist!
You wouldn't think that it will get you as wet as it does
(especially if you get down on your hands and knees like
Grant did and stick your face right in a mist sprayer).

(This one seemed a little dangerous to me...those
stones/steps were a little slippery!)
We spent a while in the mist. Besides the all the places that has mist coming out of  the ground, there are neat tunnels for the kids to explore (and get dirty, since now they're wet). It's such a fun part of the museum! 

Across from the mist, there is a spot tucked back in the woods with these mounted drum type things. You use them to shoot air at this shiny thing (for lack of a better word) and watch how it moves. We had a lot of fun there too (especially when Grant figured out where to aim and how hard to hit the drum)!

Next to the mist they've got a little pond with sailboats, so Grant tried that out (it didn't work out well).

After all that...I was ready to go. We stopped by the lemur habitat:

And then headed back toward the main part of the museum (and the exit). But Grant couldn't resist some more play time on the now empty playground.

We wandered around a little inside the main building.
Fun interactive wall
They have some animals inside, too, so we checked those out and then played with some of the hands-on stuff they've got going on in there. After some time inside, it was time to head home. I feel like he and I go to this museum a lot but he never gets tired of it. The new tree houses that will be opening some time this year. With Grant going to kindergarten this year, I told him that we'll try to go back to see the tree houses this fall when we both have a day off. We always have so much fun, I'm looking forward to going back!
Grant loves the "rocket ship" at the entrance.

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