After a busy Monday through Wednesday of last week, Ava requested a trip to the Oklahoma City Science Museum. I was more than happy to oblige, though it paled in comparison to my previous Smithsonian Museum experience found here.
Both of the museums we frequent have these 'follow the ball around the track' exhibits. I'm not sure what they're called, but Ava is like a little cat when she watches them.
If our lives ever halfway settle I'd love to get a small aquarium. Ava adores fish. It's the reason she prefers Walmart over Target lately - Walmart still has a tiny aquarium section. Someday she'll understand the great sacrifice I make for her each week when she chooses where we should shop.
Normally the gymnastics exhibit is overrun with bigger and rowdier kiddos who do not follow regulation Bart Conner Cubbie rules and Ava will not set foot on the mat. Luckily only a few tiny children (who could be forgiven their non-compliance due to their age and cute factors, according to Priss) were playing that day and she actually had a fantastic time.
Ava and I tried out this little exhibit for the first time. She sat on one side of the table, behind a wall so I couldn't see how she was arranging her blocks. I sat on the other side with an identical set of blocks. Without either of us peeking, she had to describe step-by-step how I could arrange my blocks to look exactly like hers.
Here was my interpretation of her directions:
We ended our day at the planetarium. I wasn't sure she'd enjoy the experience, how much could a 4-year-old really 'get' the solar system?
While we were waiting for the planetarium program to begin I kept trying to make conversation with Ava. Because our chairs tilted back for optimum 'sky' viewing, it made for awkward neck angles for conversation. I had already prepared her for what we would be seeing once the show started. Here is my best recollection of our conversation:
Me: Ava, it's going to get really dark in a minute but I'll be right here. You can hold my hand or even sit in my lap if you want to.
Ava: You can talk to me, but look forward. You're going to miss it.
Me: The guy is still seating people, and all the lights are on. It's not starting yet. What has been your favorite part of the museum so far?
Ava: Look forward! I'm trying to find the stars and you keep interrupting me. *squints eyes to try and see the stars that are not there yet*
Me: I will look forward when they start the program. It's still going to be a few minutes. Do you need to potty before it starts?
Ava: Please just stop talking to me. I almost saw the moon but now it's gone.
Obviously she is her father's daughter. Game-faced the entire time, recollecting details learned with exact precision on the way home, remembering how I almost kept her from seeing the faux sunset. I guess I was the one not quite mature enough for the planetarium.
Later we made a quick trip to Ava's favorite grocery store, Homeland on Lindsey. They have the tiny carts that make Ms. Too Big For Her Britches feel even more grown up. Notice what she's purchased, watermelon and a Wonderpets watercolor book.
Ever since Katy sent Ava her Starbucks Barrista in a Box set,
she insists on wearing it when she cooks. Even the hat.
We picked out this delicious asparagus at the farmers market, and prepared it our very favorite way.
Step 1: Rinse and snap ends
Step 2: Place on a baking sheet in one single layer
Step 3: Brush with a generous coat of olive oil
Step 4: Season with sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper
Step 5: Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes
*princess and Starbucks attire optional, but recommended
To relieve stress, and I'll be honest have a little fun ourselves, Ava and I cooked up a Supergreatfun Treasure Hunt.
and carefully placing the booty all around the house.
The big surprise at the end of Daddy's hunt would be The King's Speech. (By the way, if you haven't seen this spectacular flick go now and rent it. Or just go ahead and buy it, trust me. Collin Firth in the coronation uniform alone will justify the purchase.)
To those of you who are curious, this particular prize was weed killer. I thought HLS might find it therapeutic during finals. You know, he'd be all "Grr, this transactional liquidator is objectionable and fraudulent. Blast this horrendous cite check." He'd want to kill something out of crazy frustration. Just in the nick of time he'd remember my thoughtful purchase and kill the rogue Bermuda in the back flower bed instead of the poor missionary trying to hand him a tract on the front porch. You're welcome little Mormon.
Some gum in the window sill along with another clue
Lately I've noticed that sometimes Ava will eat her salad and sometimes she won't. I realized a long time ago that she prefers to use the lettuce like a chip and dip it into her dressing, but some nights she still wouldn't touch it. Tonight I finally figured it out. She likes the purple lettuce. I've recently discovered (read our ghetto Oklahoma grocery stores finally started carrying) small heads of organic Artisan lettuce. Some of the heads are purple, some are green. Tonight she said, "I sure wish we had some of the purple lettuce." Well we did and we will from now on. Duh Mom, of course the purple lettuce tastes better.
In addition to Supergreatfun Treasure hunts, we make sure to have plenty of Andy Griffith saved up on the DVR for our poor stressed HLS.
I also remember to pack extra 'lunch' since his days at the law compound are about eight hours longer than normal.
I even sneak an extra layer of baby spinach onto both of his sandwiches, one from-scratch chicken salad and one turkey and cheese. Gotta' keep him healthy and sharp-minded.