Sunday, August 25, 2013

Making Memories with Mini-Me

Hanging out on Mars
It's been such a great weekend... I hate to see it end later today.  Our little angel has really been so much fun!  It's been so long since we've had so many days in a row with her, and we are trying to cram so much into it!

When she wakes up we are going to take her to the zoo, if she still wants to go.  Yesterday was all about the Science Center.  St. Louis, is a mecca for children.  If you have children in this area and they ever utter the words I'm bored... there is something seriously wrong!

We spent a total of 6 hours in the science center yesterday and easily could have spent another six.  There is so much we never even got a chance to do. It wasn't completely free, but that was by choice.  You can spend hours, even days there and never spend a dime.  They do not force you to pay for the extra's or eat there. But we wanted to see the Mummy exhibit and Grampa has been dying to see the Air Racers in the Omnimax Theater.  And of course after six hours we did need lunch and a snack for after the movie.
Digging up Bones

Sifting through the sands of time

Tar pits have many secrets

Wonder how big this bone is?

I can barely contain the excitement

Gotta get away from T-Rex

Is this a triceratops thigh?
 Mini-me was dashing from place to place.  Looking, touching and trying everything.  She loved exploring the "tar pits" and digging for fossils in the dinosaur lands, touching the fossils from Missouri and a real triceratops head horn. Looking at the amber and coals and learning how they came to be.  And jumping with surprise and mock terror when the huge mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex gave out a blood curdling roar.

This Camel is not cooperating!

I do not want to be a pyramid builder!

She sat on the camel, built a pyramid, saw a real mummy and sarcophagus. Learned out to seal a jar, read an archeology site, look at x-rays of bones from inside a mummy and read the hieroglyphs on the walls of the tombs in Egypt.  She hauled blocks to build pyramids pieced together broken pottery.

So that is how a windmill works

One more substation, transistor and power on!

This is a lot of work for a piece of toast

Grampa... look at how much energy I make!

Lets see how much we make together

While exploring the energizing electricity area she learned that her and Grampa can put off some serious electricity, and Gramma not so much.  We held hands and made a complete circuit, and learned how to make our own power with a bike, she built complete circuits and lit up a town.

Why yes I can lift Mars

Getting ready for the F-18 ride with Grampa

It costs how much to send me into space???

She stood over the highway, clocked the speeding cars, used telescopes to see the football game at SLU High School.  Lifted Mars and danced on the red planet, looked at a space module, rode the F-18 simulator and went into the Bermuda Triangle.
Astronaut food??
Interesting... this is their bathroom?

Touching the hands of an astronaut

Stood in the access tube to the space station and played in their private spaces.  Learned that in zero gravity she is 4'1" tall, about 3 inches taller than she really is.  Danced around the solar system and saw the stars in the planetarium.
And Go!!

Mixing music for our laser show

Lights, camera... action!  Mini-Me and Grandpa made a laser show

Mini-me and Grampa ran in the Hamster wheel to make the balls fly through the air, she learned about inertia and the power of dropping a bowling ball to make the tennis ball fly up.

Together we built and destroyed an arch, blew the roof off a house, and learned how bridges are built the strongest.

All of that happened before dinner. Mini-me burned so much energy just watching her made you tired.  The best part was watching her and all the other children with their excited smiles and laughing eyes, learning so much and never realizing it.  They were all so involved in serious deep seated play, that it never dawned on them that they were learning more than they learn in school, simply by doing.

She readily makes friends and at one point I saw her and a little boy digging through the "tar", deeply interested in what discovery they might make.  They were both passionately searching, the light from both of them so powerful.  He was maybe three, and she was so kind helping him.  We have much to learn from little ones.
Sun is sinking on our day at the St. Louis Science Center

We had thought about going to the Drive-In with her, she's never been. But honestly after all that time travel and excitement all of us were simply wiped out! Instead, we curled up in the living room and watched "The Color Purple".  I had never seen it and Grampa felt I should.  It was incredible and Mini-me loved it too.

When I headed off to bed, she was sitting in bed, unwinding, playing more educational games on my Nook.  I love things that help children learn through self discovery and both of our Nooks are loaded with them.  She thinks she was playing a game, I know she was learning math and reasoning skills.

Today will have more fun tucked into it before she heads home.  Our weekend has been full of fun and excitement, laughter and good times.  I love being a grandparent.  It is so much less stressful than being a parent was, and I had always thought that was the greatest joy in the world!