Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not so long ago in a galaxy only 2 hours away

Earlier this week, I had the chance to visit the U.S. Space & Rocket Center along with The Huntsville Times for an exclusive early look at the "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit. Yesterday I returned with Misty and the girls for the Space Center's media and family event.

We drove up to Huntsville the night before and stayed in a hotel, making the trip feel like a mini-cation. There was a cardboard cutout of C-3PO in the lobby, which the girls thought was super-cool. Misty, on the other hand, delighted in our dinner at La Alameda, a Mexican buffet.

The girls have turned into quite the little Star Wars fans, so they were very excited about the exhibit. Kendall loves Princess Leia (especially with "her loops"), Chewbacca, RT-TTO (which is pretty much how she refers to both C-3PO and R2D2), and Yoda. Meanwhile, Emily has been enjoying playing the Lego Star Wars game.

They liked the exhibit as much as any kids their age enjoy a museum (which is to say, it held their attention for about 10 seconds), but the real treat for them was meeting the characters. There were tons of people there in costume -- from Darth Vader and Obi Wan to Tusken Raiders and Rutian Twi'leks (yeah, I didn't know either -- I had to look it up). Emily and Kendall got their pictures taken with as many as they could. Here are more photos from the event.

Afterward, we had lunch at lunch at Tortora's, which we found to be deserving of its title of "Best Pizza" from a Huntsville Times readers poll. We had their house salad and a pizza called the "Sydney," both of which were superb.

Despite being full, we followed up lunch with dessert at Gigi's Cupcakes. That place is a little girl's dream come true; the cupcakes are so fancy. I was shocked that neither Kendall nor Emily wanted the Princess cupcake, though. Regardless, they loved their desserts -- which they're still working on finishing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Goodbye, Tulip

Kendall pets Tulip
Originally uploaded by MCuthbert
Alas, poor Tulip has departed our family. She's gone to a better place -- back to the pet store while their two-week return policy was still valid.

Tulip was definitely cute, and the girls did love her, but she prooved more than we were ready for. Originally, we thought she'd be a better option than a dog, requiring much less care. Everything we read said guinea pigs make great first pets. However, everything we read also said that guinea pigs require a lot of attention -- they need to be taken out and handled frequently, and they are best in the company of another guinea pig.

It seems strange, then, that this would lead us to un-adopt Tulip, since holding and petting her is exactly what the girls want to do. But that's also what we're afraid of. They have a hard time gauging the fragility of a tiny life, so we'd have to constantly supervise them while holding Tulip. Not only did we worry they might accidentally break one of her little legs, but we knew it was only a matter of time before one of them let her escape their grasp so that we'd have to tear the house apart looking for her. Couple that with the fact that Kendall is home with Misty's mom during the day and could very likely decide to open Tulip's cage herself, and we were left with the realization that owning a guinea pig isn't quite right for us.

Farewell, Tulip. We will always remember your little squeaks and your "popcorn" jumps when we opened a bag of food.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Surprise visitor

Surprise visitor, originally uploaded by MCuthbert.

This huge frog just jumped onto our living room window and scared the heck out of Misty while she was playing Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Emily and Kendall go bowling for the first time

Misty and the girls joined some friends from church for a free bowling event today. Unfortunately, I was at work, so I missed it, but Misty took pictures and recorded video clips for me.

Emily and Kendall had never bowled before, but they say they loved it. They want me to go with them next time. I do too.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Meet Tulip

Tulip the guinea pig, originally uploaded by MCuthbert.

This is the newest member of our family. Isn't she cute?

Tulip the guinea pig has taken up residence in the corner of our kitchen. Her name is pronounced "Too-lup" (according to Kendall).

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Learning to swim

All smiles after swim lessons, originally uploaded by MCuthbert.

Emily and Kendall began swim lessons today at the Wald Park pool in Vestavia Hills.

Kendall has always been a fan of the water -- to the point of being oblivious to danger. She'll sink under the water, and we'll have to pull her up coughing and sputtering, but she'll gladly go right back for more of the same.

Emily, on the other hand, hates getting in the pool -- even with a float. She doesn't want to do anything more than sit on the steps. If we approach her, she darts to safety at a deck chair, afraid that we'll pull her out into the water.

So it was a big relief that Emily loved her first swim lesson.

Kendall did too -- you just can't tell from the picture because she was mad that it was over.