Tag: Toddler

The Last Time

We’re several hours into the first of what I imagine will be many cross-country drives. We’ve only stopped twice, we just booked our hotel room for the night, and barely anyone’s cried.

Today was was the beginning of a whole new world of firsts. And the end of six weeks of lasts. The last time we’d roll down our favorite hill. The last time we’d eat at our favorite breakfast place. The last time at the big mall or Eagles Nest or our local Target. And the really hard lasts: the last hug from all of our favorite people. The last play dates with my very best friends. The last dinners. The last coffee dates. The last photo dates. The lasts.

Last night was our last night in the house we loved so much. The house we brought Wilson home to. The house we had our first day of school in. The house we laughed and cried and rebuilt. The house that we wallpapered with photos I took of all of our favorite adventures. The house that we made so much our home.

And now, a new chapter. A big, scary chapter filled with new firsts. With all sorts of firsts and unfamiliarity. And we absolutely cannot wait.

It was hard, all of the lasts. Well, most of them. Some things were welcome goodbyes. But the best things in life are hard, right?

If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.

– Tom Hanks

Go do big things your heart longs for. It’ll be totally worth it.

Ice Skating in St Paul

Some families see Santa once. That’s their Santa. That’s not how we roll. Much like fall, we’re working on exploring as much of our local seasonal activities as we can. We’ve learned a lot this last month. I think we’ve tallied our list on things we would try again, things we’d pass on, things we’d do earlier.

I am a huge wuss when it comes to the cold. I’d rather experience it as little as possible. This late winter arrival surprised us with one last glorious weekend to do two things that were on our to-do list all of last winter and we never got to (or even attempted to do…).

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Saturday night, we loaded up the kids, threw the coats in the trunk, and headed down to Rice Park in St Paul for Christmas lights and Wells Fargo WinterSkate. You guys. It was wonderful. It certainly helped that it was a balmy 40 degrees out, but it was so fun to be out after dar, surrounded by so many of my favorite things: little white lights. And my family, obviously.

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Parking was a breeze, even during a Wild game (leaving was another story. IDK WTF St Paul Police was doing to route traffic, but it was a mess.). Parking stresses me out, and I like to be close knowing that we will soon lose our shit and need to book it to the car. Even with the accidentally leaving at the same time the game got out SNAFU, I did prefer the parking situation in St Paul over the Minneapolis one.

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We wandered Rice Park and headed to the Wells Fargo rink. Totally worth the $4 to skate. One thing that I did prefer at the Holidazzle was that they have the little handle bar contraptions to help kids skate. For newbies, like us, those would have been pretty awesome.

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I honestly didn’t know what to expect out of skating. Wilson can be one of the grumpiest kids you’ve ever met and has strong opinions about most things in life, including all winter outerwear. He happily ripped off his shoes in exchange for skates, and even willingly wore his hat and gloves.

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We will definitely do this again. Okay, let’s be real. If it’s open and it’s above freezing, we will definitely do this again. Any recommendations for indoor skating rinks in the metro?

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Next time, I think I’d like to make more of an evening out of it. I’d like to check out the European Christmas Market at Union Depot, but we ran out of time (and patience).

The Works Museum, Bloomington

I always thought my kids were too young for The Works Museum in Bloomington. And then something happened. They grew up. We got free tickets a while ago at a local mommy event and they sat in my kitchen for quite a while, waiting to be used. I always thought, meh. My kids are too young. They’d be so bored. Maybe next time.

In September, my sister in law asked if we’d join her and her youngest son (a teenager) in one last adventure before school started. I really like her, so of course I said HECK YES and dusted off those free passes that’d been taking up valuable space in my junk mail sorter.

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I was so wrong. This place is wonderful. My three year old, six year old, and the teen all had a blast. Let me start by saying, this place isn’t as fancy as our other local favorites. It’s small and has a definite DIY feel to the exhibits. Activities are much more limited than we’re used to, but my kids didn’t get bored.

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How could you possibly get sick of building towers only to knock them over again? Or seeing which K’NEX race car design goes the fastest (spoiler alert: it’s always Matilda’s, nope. Wilson’s. It’s always Wilson’s. Oh wait. You get the point. Arguments ensue.) They have a pinewood derby inspired race track that provides the race results, which makes cheating a little harder.

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They have a whole list of awesome sounding STEM activities and family events that you can take part in, including fort building over Christmas break. We haven’t tried those, but they sound like the could be a really great time, resulting in uncontrollable laughter.

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We went in September and Matilda begged to return until we finally did for Ryan’s birthday shenanigans. We picked a school day, so it was pretty busy with hoards of large teenagers, but the kids were all really nice and we just skirted around the much taller car builders and tower knockers.

According to their facebook page, they have Pre K Mondays, which sounds all sorts of amazing for many reasons, one of which is that all the other local museums (Minnesota Children’s Museum and the Science Museum of Minnesota) are closed on Mondays.

I’d love to meet up for a local Minnesota Mom Monday hang out! Who’s in for some half-priced play with littles?