Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Montshire Madness

This past Sunday I hit a goal.  When we first moved here I had a list of places to visit (or things to do) with the boys.  There were a few places that I had to nix after speaking with other moms and realizing the boys were a tad too young, but overall I think we did pretty well!

Montshire Museum of Science has been on my "list" since we moved to Vermont . . . A KID'S MUSEUM!!!!  In addition, I've been trying to devise a way to meet up with friends from down southways for quite some time.  Kismet.

Also, Matt came with us!  Truly I don't think I could have done it alone.  The minute we set foot in the museum both boys were off at a dead run . . . in opposite directions!  It was 3+ hours of Ooohhs and Ahhhs and Look At DIS! and two parents trying to wrangle two kids (sounds easy, right?)  Also, I was trying to take all the pictures in the world because every millisecond Ethan was doing something cute or Toby was being adorkable.  And to make things even better, the lighting in there was strange - flash was too bright, no flash meant fuzzy pictures.  Yea, um.  Well, you will see.

So, here goes:  A picture story of our first (of many) visit(s) to Montshire Museum!
Gorgeous fall day in Norwich, Vermont!
In the door for 5 seconds and they are already touching everything . . . good thing that is exactly what they are supposed to do!
See this?  This is what Ethan looked like bouncing around like a ping pong ball completely overstimulated with all the SCIENCE!
Tiniest snapping turtles you ever did see.
So wee!
Brudders and fish!  (Mommy clearly forgot to use the flash.)
Toby was in fish heaven.
Not-so-little Toby Wee.
Ethan educating Toby on the species of fish in the tank.
I'm still not clear on the purpose of this exhibit but Ethan sure loved it!
The closest I got to getting him to hold still for a picture!
Clearly he was miserable.  Look!  I can blow air in mommy's face!
Cutest windmaker I know.
Using the hose the "right way."
Meanwhile, over at the fog machine.  A cute munchkin hanging out with daddy!
So many things to turn . . .
Best seat in the house for the turtle feeding and info talk!
And then he got to feed turtles!  (not pictured.)
And this is what Toby looked like the whole time . . . ZOOOOOOOM
Spying out crayfish with daddy.  *ahem* Or Fodder as he has been referred to as lately by Ethan Wee.  (For the record I'm known as Mudder.)
More fish Mudder!
AND THEN OUR FRIENDS ARRIVED!  (Idella and her daddy, John!)
Ethan showing Idella the ropes.
Must show them the tiniest snapping turtles in the world!  (Erin is holding Madelyn and Ethan is showing Idella the wee creatures!)

Look!  All 4 in one frame!  *flex*
Clearly Madelyn was still skeptical of me.
Ethan did it his own way and blew some of the best bubbles!!
Action shot!
BEES!  This exhibit was pretty awesome.  They had a tube (which you can sort of see on the left part of the photo) so they could come and go as they pleased.
Leafcutter ants exhibit.  It was mindblowingly awesome.  Seriously.  And Idella is manning a small camera that zoomed in on the ants in real time.  Those soldier ants were crazy buff!
Fossils!  (well, sort of . . .)
Drawers of awesomeness!  This one had some very well preserved snakes in it.  Very kid friendly except maybe the squashed finger hazard.  But Ethan was very careful!
Ethan and the girls checking out some turtle shells.
Curious minds!
Gila Monster skin!  Ethan was quite taken with the snake eggs preserved to show the snakes inside. 
Almost as tall as a dinosaur bone!
A million different types of nests.  Ethan was in heaven.
Pretty sure he is dreaming about how he wants these drawers full of wonder in his bedroom.
Smile!  Errrr, or just stay still!
Diversionary tactics!  (Toby had run out of steam at this point!)
Amazing butterfly exhibit.  I didn't capture all the other bug exhibits . . . but there were so many that Ethan never wanted to leave.
View from the top of the museum.
Gorgeous day in lovely Vermont.
Looking down from the tower.  Goodbye Montshire!  See you soon!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I Heart October

It is no secret that October is my favorite time of the year.  I'm not too pleased that it has reached the high 70's (and I swear we hit 80 at some point yesterday and today) this month.  However, it should be cooling off in the upcoming week so I'll let it slide.

When we first moved here I had a whole list of activities I wanted to accomplish for the boys.  Berry picking, apple picking and pumpkin picking were high on the list.  In a week we will be hitting another highlight but you will have to wait for that reveal!

So, while we weren't really going to be buying pumpkins (we already have quite a few at home) I still wanted the boys to experience a pumpkin patch.  We could have gone back to Mazza's (where we went strawberry picking) but we have inside connections to Whitcomb's Pumpkin Patch.  That is right . . . I'm connected

Our Friday playdate friends joined up with us for some corn maze and pumpkin fun.  Since it was so hot they served lemonade instead of coffee/cider.  See October . . . failing me.  We also had the foresight to arrive when they opened so it wasn't too busy.  The corn maze was HUGE and I later found out it was planted in the shape of Vermont.  I was dutifully impressed!  My friend and her adorable boys live down the street from the patch so they have had the pleasure of going through the maze many, many times.  Her eldest let Ethan lead.  Um, yea.  Pretty sure we went in about 12,000 circles but that is okay.  The boys had fun!  And then when they emerged they got candy (well, Toby didn't.)

Also, they had a sandbox which was pretty awesome.  You will notice in the pictures that Toby pretty much has a binky in his mouth the whole time.  There is a reason for that!  I let him go binky free the minute we got there and as soon as he found the sandbox a huge handful went right in his mouth.  Yup, that binky is protection!

It should be noted that we had one of the wettest springs in the history of the state seeing record rain fall amounts two months in a row.  Whole fields were underwater for long stretches of time.  This means that crops like corn (and pumpkins) didn't grow to the size they normally would.  But, in my opinion, the corn was still plenty tall.  Although, for the first time in a long time, Whitcomb's won 2nd place for the biggest pumpkin at the fair.  I'm certain next year they will reclaim the throne!

Gorgeous fall day at Whitcomb's!
Ginormous scary pumpkin!
The patch (rather, the spread.)
Dapper boy showing off some Indian Corn!
Lil' Brudder was equally fascinated.
Lil' hands . . .
Toby picking out his pumpkin (spoiler: we didn't get that one.)
The sandbox!

Moments after this photo was captured, Toby put an enter fistful of sand into his mouth.
Just love the fall colors!
Corn maze time!
Into the corn . . .
Free-range Toby.
Not *quite* as tall as daddy . . . yet.
Strike a pose!  (We made it out alive!)
Some seriously diverse pumpkins.
Back at a friend's house painting pumpkins!  (Toby sat this activity out - opting to play with a roomful of toys and chase their cat.)
Ethan's new smile for mommy . . . *sigh*
Or there is this one . . . *double sigh*
Cutest lil' 16 monther I know.