December 31, 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise

If there's one thing you can count on living in Western Washington, it's the rain. We did have a white Christmas, which is rare, but since then the rain has washed all the snow away. It makes me sad. The kids can go outside and play in the sun, the cold or the snow, but not the rain. So cabin fever is starting to set in. I don't help this matter much because if left on my own, I would never leave the house. That's not really acceptable when you have 3 kids.

In a short lived burst of energy and determination, I decided to set my alarm so that I could actually get up in the morning and get something accomplished. Ha ha ha! I am so funny. So yesterday as I lay in bed listening to the radio since I couldn't remember how to turn it off, I heard the DJ announce that you could get into the Pacific Science Center for only 94 cents. Perfect! It normally costs $11 to get in and we don't get to go very often because of that. So I told the kids to hurry up and get ready and we were going. Yeah, easier said than done. I also had the brilliant idea of inviting other kids to join us. That entailed many phone calls and arrangements. To make a long story short (if I'm even capable of that), we arrived in Seattle 3 hours later.

Most of the kids' friends are out of town for the holidays and my niece and nephew couldn't come with us so it was the 4 of us and a little 4 year-old boy named D. The Pacific Science Center is so much fun. It's right next the Space Needle which is the center of lots of fun and activity in Seattle. I've now been there probably 4 or 5 times, usually on kids' field trips with school. There is never enough time to see and do everything. In all the times I've been there, I've still never seen it all.

We spent about 4 1/2 hours out there and had lots of fun. The kids were all very good and I didn't lose anybody! We saw the animatronic dinosaurs, all the nasty insects, the naked mole rats and reptiles. We even stopped and watched the planetarium show. It's really cool. You go into a room with a big domed ceiling and they turn off the lights so that you can look up and see all the stars projected above.

They have a great butterfly house there that I always make the kids go to. You would think that kids would love to see real live butterflies but then again, we're talking about my children. It's about 85 degrees in there and butterflies are flying everywhere. You have to watch where you step and sometimes they even land on you. I could stay in there for hours. But my kids jumped every time one came anywhere near them. They were constantly asking, "Are there any butterflies on me?" Not out of hope and excitement, they were just really scared that one of the butterflies might actually touch them. Ewww! They were always ducking down and sideways, wrinkling their noses at the thought. But like most things, it was really just the boys doing this. Sassy wasn't nearly as freaked out. To make it even better, I went through almost a whole roll of film in there (yes some people still use film) just to find out that I had it loaded wrong and I made them all walk through it again so I could get pictures! Hee hee.

Part of what's cool about going there is that it's fun AND educational. I've been sneaking this past my kids for all this time but Bubba finally started catching on. There's one section that has all these displays that light up and make noise and have lots of buttons and levers to push, again-all educational. Bubba was waiting for his turn on one and I suggested that while he was waiting he could try another one. Whenever you pushed one of the buttons, it would like up one of the systems of the body-the nervous system, the skeletal system, etc. He got mad after trying it out and yelled at me,"But then I'm learning something!" He said it with such disgust. I guess the cat's out of the bag.

In spite of that, we all had a great time and the kids were all really good. Even D, bless his heart, who skipped his nap so he could go. But driving home from Seattle at night, in rush hour traffic, exhaustion started to hit me. I didn't have a problem driving, but I could feel my lack of sleep catching up with me. When we got home, I let the kids play on the Wii and I tried my best to stay awake until bedtime. Apparently though, my muddled brain forgot to set the last timer for the kids and they ended up playing until after bedtime.

With MC gone, I haven't been sleeping and it had caught up with me. I knew that if I went to bed by myself, I would just end up reading all night again and I'd be even worse off. So I had this great idea to let the kids climb into bed with me. That would actually be fun! Yeah, my brain is definitely fried. First of all, the four of us in a queen size bed is an awfully tight fit. Second, Howdy and Sassy were so excited that they didn't fall asleep until after 10pm. I'm not exactly sure what time I finally fell asleep but it didn't last long. Howdy and Sassy have a tendency to talk or shout in their sleep. Two of my children, I won't name names as to save them from humiliation, apparently spend all night passing gas. Howdy woke up crying from a nightmare, which also woke up Sassy. She went right back to sleep but it took awhile to console him. I woke up at one point wishing I could have taken a picture. I was on my side almost hanging off the edge of the bed. Howdy had snuggled as close to me as possible and thrown his arm over my neck. Bubba was hanging off the other side of the bed. Sassy was in between the boys but at the other end of the bed. And both the dogs were sprawled out among us. Needless to say, I woke up this morning completely exhausted and looking forward to a nap.



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