Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Practice Parenting

This is what I've decided to call it when I get to babysit my nephews. They were able to stay with me and mine a little over a week ago, and it was great to have them in our home, loud and goofy and rambunctious. I call it practice parenting because it is a really great chance to practice all the skills I anticipate needing to be a great parent. Love, Order, Chaos, Problem Solving, Mediating, Cooking, Cleaning, and Entertaining, all at once.

When the boys first got to our home they got comfortable with our dogs. They're from out of town and this was their first time at our new home with our pets. Although the youngest was hesitant to be around them, he did warm up eventually. His brother on the other hand was all about giving Lola shoulder massages right from the beginning.

After getting comfortable with the house and new setting, we set off to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes (a vegetarian friendly, healthy-type, buffet). The boys are extremely picky eaters and I thought a buffet would both expose them to new foods and allow them the comfort of some items they're used to.

My husband and I escorted my younger nephew down the salad line, while my dad took my older nephew down the line. We ended up with completely different combinations by the end.

Our chaperoned plate had a wide assortment of comfort veggies, such as tomatoes, salad, cucumber, and a few new items like cauliflower and more. When we were asked what he wanted to drink I promptly said water (no need for extra sugar or high fructose corn syrup).

My dad's chaperoned plate had raisins. That's all, just raisins, a lot of them. 3 scoops to be exact. And for the drink; my dad, their loving grandfather, let him have sprite. Awesome, Dad; you will be supervised while around my child.

After the initial salad bar situation, the boys proceeded to help themselves to Jello, cantaloupe, watermelon and more. Although, I have to say my younger nephew was the more adventurous, both of them ate enough nutritionally rich food, to get some frozen yogurt. Even if my dad did let my older nephew get a refill of lemonade after his sprite. Dad; seriously?!

Overall, dinner was successful. They were full, mostly of good stuff and ready to get some much needed rest for their day at the Phoenix Children's Museum the next morning.

After our French Toast Breakfast, we headed to the Phoenix Children's Museum. It was a really cool place, sort of like a giant playground with educational emphasis.

This was the amazing Vacuum display which sucked up scarf like fabric and shot it out the top. It was a solid 10 minute entertainment for both boys.

Here is my younger sister and nephew walking up the stairs, notice the light display above their heads. Beautiful. And, notice that camera around my nephew's neck? It's his when-I-visit-my-aunt-in-Phoenix-I-get-to-take-lots-of-pictures-with-her-old-digital-camera-because-I-like-taking-LOTS-of-pictures-camera.

This was a really neat sand box meets light box display. It was a layer of Plexiglas over colorful lights, with a thin layer of sand on top. It was like a giant sketch pad, we drew pictures them promptly erased them and replaced them with more images.

Here was a cool up-cycling project. Old discarded CDs were drawn on by kids and hung up on the wall to create a sparkly display without waste.

Inside the art room, here is a great paper mache project. Love the ostriches (and their eggs)!

Shoe Display for kids to put their shoes in before they go in the play area upstairs.

Cute lil' shoe detail, they were sprayed with something to make them mushy but firm, very weird.

Another detail, this one of a little sock bird.

Another great installation. This one of silverware distored and damaged to create a beautiful ceiling sculpture.

It was a really fun experience seeing all these great sculptures and play areas with the boys. They had a lot of fun, and like I said I enjoyed practicing my parenting skills. I love them. So happy to have them living 2,000 miles closer than before!

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