Saturday, June 26, 2010

At Maymont

We took our totally awesome across-the-street neighbor on an adventure with us! We went to Maymont, where we could pet the goats and stay in the shade. We actually had a harder time with the heat than we had at Jamestown, partly because they guy who usually sells water in the gardens didn't show.

Joey took his Zhu Zhu Pet, to make sure they got to pet the goats and stuff.

So we did some goat petting, and some looking at the peacock and the chickens and the pigs. Then we wandered into the zoo, to see the bears and stroll through the gardens.

We stopped at the pavilions along the way to stay rested and cool. We also joined up with another little family who was equally disappointed by the lack of water in the garden. Fortunately, the stand in the zoo opened up.

Joey got hot the quickest, as he is heavier and doesn't like heat at all in the first place. He actually handled things very well.

We did enjoy the Japanese garden, which has a waterfall and lots of shade to keep things cool. When Joey tripped, the other mom got to him even faster than I did (that's saying something!) to help him, and all was well, no melting. Thank you, other mom!

Andy and our neighbor enjoying running about the rocks and over the stepping stones in the pond, though we had no cracker to feed the fish and the ducks. Most of the ducks were wisely sleeping, anyway.

After the hot walk, even with snowcones, we cooled off at the nature center and watched the otters play for a while.

Maymont is unfortunately no longer free. This isn't a big deal for us, as we are members, but it was sad to see admission, and that the nice gift shop had been dismantled. Another casualty of the recession. But they had done a lot of upgrading in the nature center, lots of maintenance, and things were looking good. It was also quieter than usual, which makes a big difference for my little guys.

And so our summer has begun. Next week: Andy heads to Hazelwild, and Joey and I have Science Camp! Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Joining Camp Stimey in Jamestowne

So the gracious Stimey came and picked up the JoeyAndy Clan, and we were off to Jamestowne! Woo-hoo!

We picked the hottest day of the summer, of course. And Stimey lives over an hour north of me, and Jamestowne is almost two hours south of me. So we were already kinda hot and tired when we got there. Well, I was good, because Stimey didn't let me drive, and I had her to chat with. And the Zhu Zhu Pets. My kids insisted on bringing theirs, so we thought it would a good idea for Camp Stimey to include a general and complete round of Zhu Zhu Sidekicks, and then Andy had to bring two, so we had six Zhu Zhu Pets cooing and squeaking all the way up and down the road. Whee!

(By the way, Stimey has an awesome car. I recommend roadtrips with her. In her car.)

The only real hiccup we had was when we initially arrived, and Joey's Zhu Zhu Pet fell out of the car, and onto the pavement. This really gets Joey upset when his toys touch the road and get "dirty". However, we assured him that the Zhu Zhu was fine, and could come with him into Jamestowne (because he's hurt and needs to be cuddled!), and the world righted itself. So we were off and running!

We decided to head straight down to the boats, which is the farthest point, and thus be there with the least amount of heat. It almost worked. We wandered through the Powhatan Village first. The boys liked ducking into the huts and seeing how Native Americans lived and where they slept.

We soon also had a running theme of "where's Jack?" Jack is such a wonderful little guy, so quiet, so patient, and so very curious. He has a mind that is turning a mile a minute, and he wants to go see what this is, or what caught his eye there. Because he is so quiet, he is easy to lose- the other guys, you just take a listen and you know where they are without even seeing them. Even Joey is motor-mouthing, especially with the heat. With Jack, visual contact is must. Stimey and I spend a good deal of time making sure one of us had visual contact.

Then we made it down to the boats. They have three replicas of boats the original Jamestown settlers crossed the ocean on. They are very small, especially considering there were some 40-50 people on them for four months solid. You can go on the boats and have people in costume telling you about the boats and the crossing and that sort of thing. I stationed myself at the only on/off ramp to ensure we had no escapees while running about the decks and cabins.

The boys bobbed and ducked all over the boats, down in the hold, through the cabins, onto the decks. The decks weren't too bad, but the lower hold, with none of the deck breezes, was pretty stifling. Joey liked the cabins, he came in and out of this door a few times. It was also pretty shady on the middle deck, they had canvas stretched over it like a tent, which made it more inviting.

Here's Quinn on the boat. Kind looks like Peter Pan to me, complete with Zhu Zhu Pet. To keep folks cool, I brought along drinks in ice in a cooler, and dipped washcloths in the cold water. By the end of the day, Quinn was running around with one on his head, then around his Zhu Zhu Pet. Absolutely precious. Those boys take good care of their Zhu Zhus.

Andy was having a grand time running about the boats. There is something about boys and the call of the sea, swinging about the rigging and running up and down the decks of ships. Pirates, ahoy!

Andy and Sam were, as usual, mostly inseparable. Andy luvs him some Sam. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more letters and pictures exchanged between them this week.

The heat was coming on fast, and we kind of had to hurry the boys along instead of letting them run about in complete happiness.

Joey and I share sun sensitivity, so I surrendered my hat to a hot and tired boy as we headed up to the fort. We weren't there long before I started giving the signals of Joey being done with the heat (something to the effect of, "Eep, Stimey, Joey's done! Where's Jack?")

We did discover the good-sized and airy church structure, which I found architecturally fascinating, but will have to spend time going over the quick snaps I took rather than being able to wander at my leisure to admire the wood work. This was a reproduction, mind, but it was still lovely. Andy liked the pews. Even my bouncy one needed a break.

Yes, Andy and Sam definitely had a good day. They got to see a musket fired, they got to play on three boats, any one of which could have been directly out of any pirate tale you like, they got to pretend to be Powhatan Indians and even try out the beds, and they got to be with each other! Total WIN!

WE then strolled back up to the museum, where you aren't allowed to take photos, and found some places to stretch out, watch educational films, and play with our Zhu Zhus while we cooled off. And as we drove off into the sunset, we saw the thunderstorms building and ready to strike, so our timing was fabulous.

Being with Team Stimey is always a pleasure. We should do it more often. And when it's cooler, so we can make it together longer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Then The Morning Comes

My good buddy Stimey and I are going to Jamestowne tomorrow. And she isn't going to read this post, because she is WAY too busy packing stuff for her kids to eat and stuff, and getting ready, so she's going to just mosey on along to maybe NIksmom's site, or Xtreme Parenthood, or somewhere else cool supermoms hang out, she's not reading this one here.

Is she gone?

OK, I'm a little anxious about tomorrow. I mean, if you knew one of the super-coolest, most awesomely awesome jazzy wonderful fabulous people on Earth was coming to your house, even for just a minute, you'd do some prep for that, right? Maybe clean, get some wine, put up decorations, something. I've done nothing at all. Poor Stimey is going to get hit full in the face with my glorious lack of housekeeping skills. And all sorts of other skills. I don't usually have folks over to my house, especially this time of year. Christmas is better- the house is cleaned and decorated and sparkling, literally. But the beginning of summer? Not a chance. I'm lucky to see my livingroom floor. Except that I think it has playdough smeared on it right now. Oops.

My plan for prep is to take a shower. That's a rare thing here, a real shower in the middle of the week! At least she won't know I'm normally stinky on top of being messy.

I know it is going to be a rockin' day, even if our plans get turned up-side down by the heat- because we'll be in Camp Stimey. And if you are still here reading, Stimey, I can hardly wait- this is better than Christmas!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!