Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ah, the Exploratorium! Engaging science activities for kids with ADD! Seriously, it's a huge warehouse filled with hands-on science activities, designed for flitting from one to another, all of which can be manipulated without having to so much as notice the concept that drives them. Right now, our kids love it--Sydney is still at the stage where mere manipulation, cause and effect stuff, is happy for her brain, and Will has the deep focus to concentrate on one single activity for half an hour at a time, undisturbed by the mania around her, before wandering off to another one. So, among other things, we sat in a photo booth and chose videos of people relating their own particular "sound memories," made three-dimensional shapes from geometric figures edged with Velcro, used hands and tools to draw designs on a rotating wheel covered in a light layer of sand, used a column of air to hold a beach ball aloft, played drums to accompany a Nirvana song, and etc. Matt and I always try to give a simple explanation of what's going on with each activity, but if we homeschooled here, we'd probably come all the time but steer the kids to activities that illustrated just the couple of concepts we were interested in focusing on at the time.

The symmetry mirror was fun to moon over-- --the rotating curtain made me nauseous, but not the kiddos--
--Sydney mesmerized herself, and perhaps fried her brain, in the light wand camera--
--and we seem to not be able to go a day without a visit to Crissy Field:
Before we hit the Exploratorium, however, we drove around the city for freakin' ever (no left-hand turns! Argh!) looking for The Curiosity Shoppe, a crafty little store I've been dying to visit. We only had three quarters (30 minutes), so I shopped really quickly, and fortunately found nearly everything I'd been eyeing in their online shop. I bought this birdhouse kit made of laminated cardboard, the Sublime Stitching book (I justified this purchase of a new book because it's got iron-on embroidery transfers in it--those get used up! Logical, right?), and inexplicably, not because it's not awesome, because it is, but because it was insanely expensive, this card catalog card. I am a library nerd, but still. I've had to retroactively justify the cost by asserting that I'm going to matte and frame it in my study. The justification engine is fully functional, you see.

I was a little sad that they didn't have the Built by Wendy Simplicity patterns that I've been wanting. They had some, but I specifically want the Slim Pants, Capris, or Shorts pattern, the Pants pattern, and the Jacket pattern, all in my curvalicious size. Odd because the online shop shows them in stock, but then I probably should have just asked the proprietor--that's what regular people do, isn't it? Ask shop proprietors when they need help? Not just quietly slink off? Huh.

The fam did manage to figure out how to make only right turns to get to the Out of the Closet thrift shop, however, where I contemplated buying a massive old store mannequin, but finally settled on Singer-Quilting by Machine. As a self-taught seamster to whom straightforward skills like, oh, zipper sewing, still seem impossible, I appreciate myself some how-to manuals.

Boy, I got a lot of knitting done!

There have been a lot of out-of-town relatives around, on account of the wedding to which my children are not invited. When out-of-town relatives sit and gossip, I knit and eavesdrop.

Next time: Garage sales! Rehearsal dinner! The rant about the wedding to which my children are not invited!

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