Weekend Watch: May 2-3

Sometimes your kids do things that will bring you right back to your own youth. It could be as inconspicuous as a smirk or a particular look in the eye that validates the DNA. Or an action like in sports or interacting with their friends. Last night, I couldn't help but giggle at how my son has taken such a protective nature to his stuffed animals and plushies. My older son has a collection of what my husband refers to as dust collectors, but never was the type to carry them around or play with them. My younger son, through, is quite attached to his collection of buddies, and likes to arrange them, sleep with them, carry them up and down the stairs, put them in situations around the house and just plain hug them. Last night, he was all snuggled up in my bed relaxing while he watched some TV, and when I checked on him, he had gathered up all his "closest friends" to enjoy the show with him.

Andrew, about 7:30 p.m. last night

Me, 1978.

Unfortunately, this weekend calls for rain. I have so much on the activity list, and lots of it involves being outside for both kid and adult activities. However, in the spirit of the plushies, here's some how-tos I found to make your own. Fun can still be had indoors on rainy weeekends!




Let me know if you do one of them and we'll post your pictures!!

For those of you not scared to get wet, here are some of the items I've jotted down to check out this weekend:

Columbus Parent Expo, Saturday & Sunday
This takes place at the Columbus Zoo. Not a cheap ticket if you don't have a Zoo pass, but I've been to this Expo before and it's pretty entertaining and informative.

Gallery Hop, Saturday
I know we all know about this one, but everyone could use a little reminder that it's the first Saturday of the month.

Powell Street Market, Sunday
Over 120+ vendors will be there for a shopping extravaganza encouraging everyone to shop local.

Inniswood Gardens, Sunday, 2pm
Garden Adventurers: Who Lives Here?
Discover the different habitats at Inniswood.

And finally, some indoor options:

First Saturdays at the Art Museum, 10am
This is a great program that I've attended before and great for a range of ages from 3-8 years. Program is free with admission.

Mysteries of Ancient Eqypt
, 3pm
Discover the mysteries of Ancient Egypt through books, crafts, hands-on activities and more at the Northwest Library.

Have a great weekend!

The lima bean project

So. Monday morning. Now that we’re all a little sunburned, a little dehydrated, and a little worn out from all our weekend playtime, what do us weekend warriors do on Mondays? While your children are always ready to go, go, go, at all times, you probably are not. As for us weekend warriors, we spent a long and active day at KidzArtz on Saturday where there was live performance, a video screening, artmaking, visual art on display and crafty kid vendors on site. It’s an annual event hosted by the Mother Artists at Work Group and held at Junctionview Studios. I’m a really new member of the Mothers group (as of February), so I can hardly lay claim to any of the planning that went into the creation of this event, but I am really proud to be part of the group that dedicates so much of their time to the advancement of art appreciation to the next generation by hosting this annual event.

Sunday we spent much of our time outdoors. My husband and I are discussing the best spot in our backyard for our new vegetable garden that we plan to build. We have a pretty big backyard, so it allows us a few places to consider. Speaking of which, my son brought home a lima bean from school the other day and we’ve been nursing it in a small jelly jar full of a wet paper towel to get it sprouting. After a few days it began to grow, and so we transplanted it to a clay pot. I’m not sure whether this bean we have now will continue to grow or not, but I’m living on the edge just to see what happens. More to come on that.

But I digress... we were starting to talk about what to do on Mondays when I began to talk about kids art shows and lima beans. Here’s my free picks for the next couple days:

- Relaxing time can still be spent at the downtown Worthington library for story times on Mondays and Thursdays at 10am. Also, the Northwest Library has a story time on Wednesdays at 10am, and I can say with experience this is a great little break from the daily grind and gives me some great one on one time with my 3 year old son.

- Blendon Woods is hosting an event for preschoolers called “Flower Powers”. It takes place tomorrow, April 28th at 10am and 1pm. For ages 3-5.

And of course there’s always improvising. While the weather is still truly wonderful outside, it can’t hurt to keep the backyard fun going even on the weekdays right? I agree. So… now would be a great time to plant a garden and teach your children a bit about nature, right? Start with lima beans!

What to do: Weekend of April 25-26th

Perhaps the best, and dare I say, ONLY thing to do this Saturday is attend the 2nd annual KidzArtz! Held at Junctionview Studios, and organized by Mother Artists at Work, there will be art on display, live performance, face painting, artmaking, and lots of fun to be had! To learn all about the show, visit their website. To learn all about its development, you can also read an interview on Columbus Underground. It was conducted with one of the members of the Mother Artists group. Admission to KidzArtz is free! Yay! We like that.

Another discounted event this weekend is Family Friday night at COSI, happening tonight starting at 5pm. Admission is discounted at $7 per person. This event happens every last Friday of the month, and if you are not a member of COSI, this is a great and inexpensive way to experience what this great mammoth place has to offer.

Have a daughter? She may just love what’s going on at the Golden Hobby Shop this Sunday. The American Girl Style Show and Tea will take place from 1-4pm. While admission at $10 is a little more than what we usually recommend for events, it seemed pretty unique. Check out this site for more information.

And since it’s supposed to be great weather outside on Sunday as well as Saturday, it’s a great time to get outdoors. Inniswood Gardens is hosting a Children’s Garden Day from 2 - 4pm. This is open to all ages and is free to attend. It takes place in the Sister’s Garden and will introduce the family to gardening.

And if you don’t want to go far from home, there’s always special time with the family. Take a bike ride, plant a flower, build a sandbox, or just go to a park and ride the swings, which is always free. Enjoy the great weather! I know I will!

Wild Workshop

The workshop at Wild Goose was great! Check out the review.

Weekend Watch

As the weather teases us with some above-30-degree-days, I’m not going to suggest a romp in the park just yet, but I would suggest shaking off that cabin fever because things are heating up around Columbus. New events and activities are cropping up all over. But as new things come around, others go out for good. One such event going out for good is the Rockwell exhibit at the Columbus Historical Center. My son attended last weekend, and to quote, “It was totally awesome!” Is that descriptive enough for you?

While my son is unique for his passion for old-fashioned times, there are truly many interesting things kids will enjoy at the Ohio Historical Center whether they are history buffs or not. Particularly, the presence of a two-headed sheep in the natural history section of the museum will surely bring awe and wonder. And this can be enjoyed beyond the closing of their special exhibit of Norman Rockwell.

“Rockwell’s America” is the largest Norman Rockwell exhibit in the world. Visitors will travel through time in this exhibit as they recreate true Americana. "Rockwell’s America" will be on display though this Sunday, March 15th at the Ohio Historical Center at 1982 Velma Avenue – across from the Expo Center. If you have ever driven on Route 71, it is a hard building to miss. Check out ohiohistory.org for admission prices and directions.

As for a new event cropping up, the annual “Blooms and Butterflies” exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory is coming back. The exhibit begins tomorrow on Saturday, March 14th. It’s truly a beautiful site to behold at the Conservatory’s Pacific Water Garden as you share the space with dozens of illuminating butterfly species, fluttering their wings around you throughout the large netted room. And for those really feeling the winter doldrums, a day at the Conservatory in March is a fabulous way to rejuvenate the spring spirit. Check out fpconservatory.org for admission prices and directions.

As for an ongoing event, the annual illustration contest at the Library is in full swing! For all the budding artists out there, it’s not too late to get your pencils, pastels and paints ready for the Illustration contest at the Worthington library. The theme of the contest is “Get A Clue. Read.” The contest is currently going on until March 31st. Bookmark templates are available at the Worthington Library locations. Winning entry gets his/her illustration made into a bookmark, which is used to help promote the summer reading program. This is a great competition for those who are artistically inclined! I remember when I was a kid, entering art competitions in our local street fairs, and feeling the exhilaration from exhibiting my work for everyone to see. It’s a great self-esteem booster and art can be a wonderful self-exploration tool. Stop in at your nearest Worthington branch to find out more information.

Some other events of interest this weekend:
- St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Dublin
- St. Patrick's day crafts at the Worthington Park Library
- The Baby Expo at the Alladin Shrine

Where the Wild Things Are

So for those of you keeping track, we have landed safe and sound back in the Buckeye state. Hooray! The fear and dread of possibly ending my life in a fiery crash is over! Seriously, every Sunday that I watch the “Amazing Race” I’m all “I can do that!”, and then think, How could I ever handle all the flight travel? I’d never make it.

When packing for the flight, Andrew surveyed his array of stuffed animals and it was a toss up over Elmo and Curious George. I lobbied heavily for Elmo, claiming that he was a much better traveler. (In other words, Elmo could fit in my handbag and George could not.) Andrew did amazingly well on the plane, making sure Elmo was safe and sound, although he embarrassed us by complaining about the chincy amount of pretzels they handed out. Can’t take him anywhere.

Now, back to business on what’s going on in this great capital of Ohio. While going through all my feeds, I came across an interesting workshop happening this weekend at Wild Goose Creative.

According to their website, Wild Goose Creative is a community driven arts company. They exist to support, encourage and promote all forms of art and artists in Columbus, Ohio. I’m totally paraphrasing, so please visit their site for the complete run-down of all their good will for the arts.

Their workshop piqued my interest because, considering I have both a toddler and a 1st grader, it sounded like fun. And it’s cheap! Admission to the workshop is a $5 suggested donation. Art + fun + cheap = good deal to me.

Wild Goose Creative is located at 2491 Summit Street and the workshop takes place this Sunday on March 15th at 3pm.

Traveling with young kids

Later this week, it will be time for me to embark on something only caped crusaders or drill sargeants would be brave enough to endure: a plane trip by myself with a 3 year old going through potty training. (I take that back. Caped cursaders and drill sargeants are usually men. They've got nothing on moms). The pro is that the plane trip is only 1 ½ hours –- from Columbus to Newark airport -- the con is that I’m deathly afraid of flying, and how do I entertain/calm/cajole/bargain with a 3 year old while I’m gripping the seat with white knuckles? I can’t drink. I can’t take a Xanax. Remember, I have a 3 year old that I have to take care of. But do you think he could fend for himself?

Anyway, I found a really cool website that has lots of information and links for traveling with your kids: travelwithyourkids.com. Written by parents who have traveled the world, they give a humorous take on the oh-so lovely situations that can come up while traveling 30,000 feet in the air and other means of travel. (30,000 feet in the air? Gulp). Their articles made me giggle and have taken the edge off a bit so far. But today is only Tuesday. The flight leaves Thursday. Ask me how I am Thursday morning.

So why am I braving the trip if I’m so deathly afraid of flying? My oldest friend is getting married and my list of excuses for “why I won’t be able to make it” didn’t outweigh the “why I should be there” ’s. We’ve been friends since shortly after we both learned how to walk, so of course I should witness one of the most special days of her life. It’s been a long time since I first learned how to walk, so we go way back. We spent summers surfing the ocean waves of the Jersey shore on our belly boards, running from pool to ocean, ocean to pool in endless hours of youth-inspired indulgence. We went through 12 years of Catholic school together, and I can say with certainty that she is much more moral than me. She’s made me laugh until I peed my pants and we’ve cried together through the losses of our parents, and various other personal defeats. We’ve had times where we were not such great friends, and times of being inseparable. For better or worse, she is someone that will eventually be in my life longer than anyone closer to me right now. So, I have to be there right?

So back to the plane ride with a toddler. While I’m gripping the seat during takeoff, doing my best impression of Barney’s “Airplane Song” through gritted teeth, once we get in the air, I’m sure the novelty is going to wear off for him. So here’s what I’m thinking I will pack:

• Coloring books (I know it’s obvious, but he actually loves to color, unlike my older son)
• A small familiar toy
• Curious George (his favorite stuffed animal)
• A small book
• A new, unfamiliar toy
• Finger puppets
• Pacifier

The last time I flew with one of my two kids was with my oldest son, who was 8 months old at the time. Again, not a really long flight, but nerve-racking enough. He fared better than me and really enjoyed the flight, sleeping through most of it from Newark to Milwaukee. Of the tips I’ve read, the best suggestion to pass along would be to pack things you absolutely know your child will enjoy. Don’t pack what you read is the best toy, but pack the toys you see him/her play with the most at home, assuming they will fit in the carry-on. That way, you don’t go overboard. See for me I’m trying to avoid the baggage fee and traveling light, embracing my inner cheapskate. Hey, times are tough right? I'm hugging tight.