Today was the second day of constant rain. I knew I would be going to an evening class of Zumba so I decided to forgo the gym this morning. I was relieved that a friend of mine pulled up beside us at preschool this morning and agreed to walk Jackson into class for me so I wouldn't have to drag everybody out in the rain. The trio and I had a lazy morning at home. They've been considerably cranky and teething the past few days, so I put them down for a late morning nap.
At 12:35, I decided that we should go somewhere after we picked Jackson up. This meant I had ten minutes to make and pack lunches, pick out clothes and shoes, pack a diaper bag, and transport three sleeping toddlers into the van.
I decided to take the kids to the museum uptown since we just recently added that location to our membership. I gave the trio quesadillas and veggie straws to eat in the van, but I still had to change their diapers and get them dressed before we went inside.
The problem I did not account for was the sideways rain we encountered while trying to unload. I put the stroller and diaper bag under the walkway and planned to run back and forth to the van (no more than 20 feet away) to get the kids individually. I ended up making the one mistake that I've been most terrified of--locking the keys in the car with all four kids inside! Thank God Jackson was already unbuckled and he could open the door for me.
Everything took longer and I was dripping wet, but all four kids were clothed, fed, and dry. Onward to the exhibits! We arrived at a perfect time as three school buses full of children were departing. We only passed a dozen or so other people the entire time we were there.
One of the favorite exhibits is the aquarium. Each aquarium has steps so the kids can get a closer look. When Maddie noticed I was taking a picture of her, she turned around, grinned, and said, "cheese". Amelia kept following the fish with her finger as they swam by. Jackson was a great big brother and helped his siblings climb the steps. James rushed back and forth excitedly between aquariums.
There was an employee sitting at the steps with a tarantula on his arm. A few people gathered to listen to him talk about spiders. As soon as Jackson realized there was a tarantula, he said, "Let's go!"
We took the elevator up to the second floor. Anytime we're taking an elevator, going to the bathroom, or walking somewhere quickly, I put two in the stroller (unbuckled) and let one walk. I still bring the Ergo and double stroller, but I let the trio walk freely inside places most of the time.
We spent a fair amount of time playing with building blocks. This section is better than your average blocks area because it includes pieces that allows older kids to create complex structures. Jackson designed a school and playground with a slide, steps, dome, etc. The trio simply stacked things.
We spent a brief amount of time interacting with the "Cool Stuff" exhibit. Jackson cracked me up with his intensity on the bed of nails. He was so serious and was clearly concentrating on not moving!
I skipped the frog and rain forest exhibits so that the kids would have enough time to play in the early childhood area. Of course James' favorite part was the water table. He happily dumped entire buckets of water on himself multiple times. Even with the plastic apron, he was still soaked. I put him back in his pajama shirt. Jackson was engrossed in the giant Lite Brite. Amelia favored turning the gears. Maddie was more free spirited and checked everything out.
Getting the kids back in the van was a lot smoother process than taking them out. I'm happy that we have both museums to explore. It's impossible to be bored at either place.