Saturday, May 9, 2009


I think that any parent of a child more than a few years old has experienced that certain objects or places that seem perfectly innocuous, even boring to adults, a child will find endlessly entertaining. The "shell park" is one of those places for us. To me it looks like a few worn, fiberglass blobs, but the kids are always begging us to take them to this holy grail of parks. It's about a ten-minute bike ride away, so we don't go too often since there are at least a dozen parks (no exaggeration) nearer us than that.

Tonight, though, we yielded... and for the first time ever, Dylan rode his little bike, training wheels and all, down our streets and the bike paths to get there! (It was also Avery's first extended bike ride in the seat, but that was far less noteworthy at the time, somehow.) Dylan is really close to riding without the training wheels, but he just needs that last little bit of confidence.

They then had loads of fun chasing each other around these asymmetrical thingies, which just goes to show once again that a parent is no judge of fun.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


John and Ashlie are here visiting, so we decided on a special treat: a visit to the Nemo science museum in Amsterdam. The building itself is a pretty spectacular contrast to most of the Amsterdam skyline; it's supposed to evoke the big ships that have visited the harbor for centuries. The kids liked the interactive exhibits, but it was rather crowded since school's out at the moment so there was a little more than the usual amount of shoving required to get to utilize the more popular exhibits. They loved getting to blow bubbles bigger than their bodies, and they waited for something like 20 minutes to get to use the "elevator" that utilized kid power to turn a huge screw and raise them a whole floor. Here's Aisie trying to decide whether she'd rather use 1, 3, or 5 pulleys to lift her body weight.

I was surprised to find that I'm still far more prudish than I ever would have suspected pre-parenthood when I saw the exhibits intended for teens. We decided to steer our non-teens elsewhere after we saw the posters depicting the different sexual positions. Then there was the video exhibit where you push a button to "feed" doses of different drugs to a woman dancing like she's in a club. Each dose causes her to dance differently -- more quickly if you give her cocaine, more languorously if you give her marijuana -- and is accompanied by practical advice for taking said drugs (a la "If you take two hits of ecstasy you might find yourself very thirsty, but be sure to rest and not to drink too much.") I mean, seriously?! It was a caricature of what people expect of Amsterdam, or the outrageous asymptote that American conservatives would conjure up to try to keep sex and drug education out of the schools. Pretty hilarious.

At any rate, the rest of the museum was more than enough to do in a day. Nemo also has a huge roof where you can just go and enjoy a pretty incredible view of downtown. It would've been great to have slightly warmer weather, but the kids weren't deterred from running through the water. Heck, we were going to get wet from the rain anyway.

Oh to be young enough not to notice your impending hypothermia.

Hoofin' it

We've had everything from Great Danes to Jack Russell-Dachshund hybrids to one very grumpy-looking cat walked past our house on leashes, but this was a new one this morning...