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Galactic Gathering: A Selfie Space Oddity

We ventured out to Town Center today to check out the new Galactic Gathering exhibit. Like previous exhibits at Town Center, the experience is free and spread throughout the area. Unlike previous ones this one doesn't have a "starting point" with a gathering area near the fountain. This time you can get the map by downloading the free Turf Wars app and you can compete against others to find and take selfies with all of the statues. 

Included in the list are a range of space movies including Star Wars, Star Trek, Wall-E, ET, Transformers, and what I think was Alien vs. Predator. Most people out and about were wearing masks, and it wasn't uncomfortably crowded. 
We stopped into a few of the stores and noticed that they were getting into the spirit too! I love, but don't need, everything at Paper Source! 

Easy Make Recipe: Peanut Butter Balls

When it comes to afternoon snacks, this one is not only a crowd pleasure, but super easy to make. It's gooey and great for kids to help with. We kind of use whatever combo of ingredients we have on hand, but the staples are always oats, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. We also add in peanut butter powder or protein powder, flax seeds, granola, vanilla, and raisins from time to time. The directions are simple, but it into a bowl and mix. Roll into little balls, stick them in the fridge until they are hard. I love these for a sweet tooth craving snack or even breakfast sometimes for the boys. 
I love cooking with RT because we can add in math and science and because it is a great way to get him interested in eating the things we are making. These disappear quickly every time we make them! 






Childrens' Museum of Richmond

(This post has been edited because the restaurant I originally listed at the bottom... my favorite has closed. So sad!) 

We drove up to Richmond for an overnight mini vacation. I knew I wanted the Children's' Museum to be our first stop partly because I was so excited to try it out, and partly because it should have been cheap. We have a membership to the Children's Museum of Virginia locally. When you get this membership, it lists tons of museums that have reciprocity. On the Association of Children's' Museums page, it says that you get a 50% discount. 

We drive up there with an excited little man, get in, and the woman says "oh, we don't do that." What? We just drove all this way; I must have heard wrong. Apparently, on the bottom of the page the small print says to call first, because some museums choose to back out of this deal, and the four Children's Museums of Richmond don't honor it. I tried asking about teacher discounts, AAA discounts. Nope, there was nothing which the woman told me with an attitude. If I wanted a discount I was told to come back at 4:00 for the discount price... they close at five. It was thirty dollars for R, Bubbie, and I to go in. That's so expensive! It didn't even include the marry-go-round and it was ONE floor! We thought about turning around and leaving, but we decided that for 30 bucks it had to be awesome. It was.... okay.

Maybe I've just taken advantage of the fact that we have so many awesome things in Tidewater. They did have a splash pad, which was cool. They had a slide inside and a backyard area with some metal drums. They did have an area for younger kids which R enjoyed. There was a garage where kids could work on a car, an ambulance and medical area, and some water play. There was a small area for digging up dinosaurs. We spent the most time playing in the leaves in the back of the museum and in the splash pad, two things which we can do for free back home.  Also, at our local museum you can see people putting back toys that have been played with. At this one there were piles of legos and baby dolls on the floor and the backyard area totally needed some TLC. It was a nice morning once I got over the disappointment of the cost, but in comparison, I now love our local museum ten times more! Funny how going away makes you miss home.
This is what Bubbie and I did while big man was in the splash pad. Enjoying the shade. 

ISR Swim Lessons

A few summers ago one of my best friends went to a beach house in the OBX with her family. It was one of those moments where everyone thought that everyone else was watching the babies while taking trips in and out to unpack the car when a splash came from outside. Her son had fallen into the pool in a matter of seconds. He had taken ISR classes, and immediately rolled to his back and began to float. 
I didn't put my first born in ISR. It comes at a price, and it includes a heavy commitment. I was worried about hearing him cry, but after hearing the story about my friend's son, I knew that the cost of having a baby drown was much more than any other price, commitment issues, or hesitation. 

ISR begins at 6 months and lasts between 6 and 8 weeks. Children take lessons one on one with the instructor to learn how to roll on their backs, float, and breathe until help arrives. Locally taught by Dee, lessons take place five times a week for ten minutes each day. For information on lessons contact Dee at d.fogle@infantswim.com or visit https://www.swimwithdee.com/. 
Check out this video of my guy floating. I wont lie, at the beginning it can be hard to watch, but at the end of the day in comparison to losing my babe.. it's an easy choice. 

Pumpkin Patch: Hickory Ridge Farm

We ventured out to Hickory Ridge Farm Pumpkin Patch last weekend for a bit of fall festivities. Hickory Ridge has a pumpkin patch, hayrides, barrel train rides, pony rides, and vendors. There were food trucks and vendors, plus the farm was selling all sorts of produce and fall decor plus hot apple cider and cider donuts along with an array of cakes, pies, jams, fresh flowers, eggs, salsas and more. 
The Children's play area is free for ages 2 and under, or $3.00 for over 2. The play area includes sand pits and trucks, play houses, a hay bale maze, slides, a petting zoo, and more. The $10.00 combo ticket for children over 2 includes the hay ride, play area, and barrel train. Items can also be purchased individually. 
Be sure to head to the back to check out the corn maze. That was our favorite part! I am disappointed to report that even though their daily Facebook posts clearly ask for people to wear a mask, that we were honestly shocked by the amount of people who were not wearing them. We ended up leaving as it got crowded because of it and not getting to ride the barrel train which we had paid for- bummer. If we go back I think we will shoot for an hour before closing rather than the hour that they open to try to avoid a crowd!