What’s Bell Isle..?

As a family, we had never been to bell Isle… I know, right. Natives to Michigan, we have simply never really ventured to that side of Detroit. However, last week, we where invited to accompany with some family friends, and we drug our kids along; Good ol’ FFF (Forced Family Fun).

The announcement of this little adventure was meet with slight grumbles, after all it was a hot and humid Michigan summer day.  I think I was asked by more than one child, “What’s Bell Isle, what do we do there?”

To which I replied, “well…there’s a museum, and an aquarium, and a conservatory…”
“Wait…what’s a conservatory?”
“It’s a place where they have plants and flowers?”
“Like a greenhouse?”
“Kind of like that, yes, but…”
“UUUGGGGG, Noooo, it’s going to be so hot…”

So…after some convincing…and some threats, we had everyone ready, and in the car. We meet up with our accompanying family at the corner gas station to begin our caravan. Both families fueled up, and played a quick game of car seat shuffle, and we where off.

Interesting bit of information, Michigan LOVES road construction, I think there is a state statute that stipulates something along the lines of like 80% of the roads need to be under construction at all times, except for the roads that really need it, and those will be ignored. needles to say, the drive to Bell Isle was interesting, and the kids got a nice tour of downtown Detroit, so really it was like to adventures in one.

After making our way through Detroit, we crossed the Bell Isle bridge, and made our way around to the parking for the Aquarium. However upon paking, we realized that the Dossin Great Lakes Museum was right next to our parking spot so we went in. It’s a pretty cool  museum, it covered some of the early ways settlers traveled on the great lakes. it also had a section that covered Boblo Island, a theme park located on an island in Lake Erie that I went to a lot as a kid, but sadly no longer exists. the museum also had some pretty cool lighthouse lenses, and some hands on activities, However the jewel attraction of this museum had to have been the cabin taken off a tanker, and placed on the back half of the building. It looked out over the water, and was really cool. the kids could touch all the buttons, knobs, and wheels.




Outside of the museum, since the building was right next to the water, and there where some large ship anchors, what better time than this for a family pictures.

After pictures, we ventured back to the cars to gap some snacks, all the while keeping an eye on the flock of seagulls, hoping they wouldn’t descend and attack us. After snacks, we walked about a block to the aquarium. The aquarium was small, and hot…like really hot. but it was neat, they had a lot of interesting fish. The building is the original building built in 1904, and the architecture is really cool. just look at the detail on the entrance.

After the aquarium, we walked to the Conservatory, which was right next door. The conservatory was amazing, they had some really cool plants, from all kinds of climates.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next we made our way back to the cars so we could drive to the other side of the island where the Nature Center and light house where located. We also made it to the waters edge, and the kids had fun playing on the shore.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We managed to make it to our cars to head home seconds before the heavens opened and rain poured down all around us, but as FFF goes this was a good one. No one complained on the way home for ‘making’ them go, which is almost as good as a ‘Thanks for taking us’.

The Week That Senta Went to Arizona

No…this is not about Senta’s trip to Arizona, this is about the week that I had while she was in Arizona…Let’s start…


Sunday started out with waking up at like 5:00am to get Senta to the airport, not really a big deal, we had here there well before her flight was supposed to leave and I was going home to get back in bed…all was good…or so I thought. I got home at like 6:30 ish, climbed in bed only to be greated a few minutes later by drew and Berkley who wanted breakfast, and seconds after that Nolan who wanted to play the Xbox. My visions of sleeping a little longer where shot, so up I got. The morning went like most Sundays, kids complaining that they had to dress “nice”, and “…why do we have to go to church anyway?” I said because, that’s what we do on Sunday, we look nice and we go to church…this made me no friends. Once everyone was dressed, and ready, we set of for church at 12:00, “But your ward doesn’t meet till 1:00, why so early” Well we went early because Zoey and Jack where taking part in a special “Youth Only” Sacament meeting, and they had what could only be considered a Dress Rehersal at 12:15. So we all got an extra hour of sitting in the chapel, super fun.

Sacrament meeting went of wonderfully, the rest of church was pretty typical, and we all made it home by 4:30. Dinner went well, and we had zero extra meetings that Sunday, which was good. The kids all got to watch “Once Upon a Time” and I got to watch my favorite show “The Amazing Race”. Kids went to bed at 9:00 and I got some homework done. I was in bed and asleep around 11:30.


With how well Sunday went I was thinking it would be a pretty easy week…then tragedy struck…Berkley started crying about 2:00am, she was sick, slight fever, and a really upset stomach. We where both up most the night, she finally fell back asleep at 5:30, just in time for me to drive Zoey and Jack to seminary. I got back, and started my morning routine of setting out clothes and making a lunch for Nolan. Berkley was still not feeling well, so I decided rather than dropping Drew and Berkley off at a fiends house for the morning, only to return at lunch time to get drew on his bus for his afternoon at Preschool, I would just Change my half day off to a full day of, and hopefully work a little from home. all was well and good until I realized, I didn’t have the number for the person I was dropping the kids off at…I wasn’t about to text Senta, because 8:00am in Michigan was 5:00am in Arizona. I eventually got the number from another friend, and was able to let her know. She of course offered to watch them later that week, to shich I said thanks, but i’m pretty sure that we are good for the week…little did I know what was still instore for me that week.

I spent the rest of Monday cleaning, doing laundry, and all they other things Senta typicly does during the day. I got drew on the bus at 12:10 and continued with house maintenance. befor I knew it, Zoey was walking in the door at 2:30. I left with Berkley to get drew at 3:00, then on to get jack at 4:00. at this point I should back up to the previous weekend…Drew got into legos the past weekend…like really into them. He played with Nolan and Lucas’s sets and on sunday Nolan and Lucas decided that maybe that wasn’t th best idea, so they told him he couldn’t anymore…this made him really sad, and I felt bad for him and made the mistake of tell him maybe he could get his own set…I ment to say  for your birthday, but didn’t so he took it as I ment tomorrow. So back to picking up Drews from school, the first thing he said to me was…”Are we going to get me Lego’s now…” Crap I though, at this point I couldn’t really tell him no, he had been building it up in his head all day, so…after we got jack I took them to Meijer, I needed to get some Milk anyway. If you ever take your 5 yr old into the Lego isle to pick something out, well…just avoid it. It was a nightmare, he had his heart set on the set that they sell at target with 100 guys and all the vehicles from that old movie…you may be saying, what, I haven’t ever seen a set like that, and you would be right…he wanted me to buy him the Lego Star Wars display case they have set up in Target…

Jack and I both attempted to explain that you can’t buy that, but he wasn’t hearing it. We eventually settled on a “minifighter” x-wing set, and he was happy, Berkley on the other hand discovered they had Logo’s for girls, so…she got a small set to. We got the other things from Meijer and left for home. By this time, Nolan and Lucas where home, and already playing the Xbox. I made them stop, to get chores done and that was pretty much the next 2 hours of my life. Dinner was made, eaten, and cleaned up. the kids got put in bed, and at 9:00, I drove Zoey to her Dance class, I was home an hour later. I got stuff readt for the next day and headed to bed myself.


Big issues Tuesday Mornig…I woke up at 7:00

10 things I said my children wouldn’t do

I didn’t write this, I borrowed it from scarymommy.com, but I so could have written it…this is my life. 620-x-400-frazzled-mom The people who can raise a perfectly well behaved child are those people who don’t have any children. You know who these people are because they don’t have dried pudding on their jeans, and there wasn’t a toddler close enough to quietly put a booger in their hair while they struggled to adjust the cart seat strap. Before I had kids, I was also an expert on raising children. Here are some of my “expert declarations” and a brief rundown of my “actual” findings…

1. My kids will never behave that way in public. 

By “behave,” I meant they’d never throw tantrums in the store. Those hysterical fits that sound like they’re being chased down the cereal aisle by an actual shark. When tantrums actually happen in public, I react the way anyone in my situation would. I ask random people if these are their kids. Or, I’ll whisper to the people next to me: “I’m the nanny.” Occasionally I compliment my children on their form as they thrash and contort their body in ways that defy both human biology and physics.

2. My kids will not eat crappy food. 

My toddlers are picky. So, getting them to eat anything that isn’t a sticker or a crayon is a small victory. If they pass on green beans and carrots and choose to inhale chicken nuggets or pepperoni, it’s an amen-arm raising-hallelujah-kind of moment. I always toss in a gummy vitamin twice a day, this is how I live without guilt.

3. I will never leave the house looking like that. 

Oh, but I do. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look. I mean, mostly I don’t really care how I look, but a lot of times I actually forget to do things like brush my hair or put on makeup or brush my teeth. I have, however, never forgotten pants. You’re welcome.

4. My house will never look like that. 

My house looks like a Build-A-Bear Workshop exploded in it. There are stuffed animals, clothes and toy parts scattered everywhere. I’ve learned that cleaning up after kids while they’re awake is like trying to clean up splattered food from an open blender, that’s still running. It’s exhausting. The only way my house will ever be clean is if it spontaneously combusts.

5. I will never be late anywhere. 

The slowest my children ever move is when we have to go anywhere that has a start time. On any given day, my kids burn around the house like their pants are on fire. They move with the energy of 80 toddlers, breaking the sound barrier as they circle the dining room table for the billionth time. The second I have to be anywhere, time goes backwards. It turns into negative time. That’s how long it takes them to get to me. -15 minutes. Don’t get me started on putting coats and shoes on. Let’s just say that no one can put their arm through the coat holes when they’re too busy trying to put their shoes on their ears.

6. I will never negotiate with my children. 

Negotiation is a powerful tool. It gives my children the chance to exercise decision making. Thus pushing them towards successful independence. Just kidding. It gives me my way. For example, if little Susie wants ice cream, she has to eat three more chicken nuggets. If she doesn’t eat them, everyone else at the table gets ice cream. Raising a child is like a business. It’s all about incentives. Okay, maybe it sounds more like bribing. To-may-toe. To-mah-toe.

7. I will not allow my children to watch TV.

During winters such as these, when your family is one snowflake away from mumbling themselves into full-fledged cabin fever, TV is a sanctuary. A magical box that emits irresistible sounds and colors that buy me at least 15 minutes of motionless activity. Where I can resume banging my head against the wall without interruption.

8. I will never get annoyed by my children. 

Sometimes I initiate a game of hide and seek that I don’t tell anyone else about. Then, I’ll hide in places where a 3-year old would never think to look, like inside the dryer. And I eat candy.

9. I won’t let my kids stop me from traveling. 

Taking a trip to Target requires more items than settlers needed for the westward expansion. If our forefathers had mostly toddlers in tow, they’d have made it as far as Ohio before one of them realized they left a toy behind. After the meltdown was over, everyone would mutually agree that Ohio was “west” enough. We do travel now that we have kids, but I’m not up for discussing our experiences. I’m still trying to sort it all out in therapy.

10.  My kids will listen to me. 

I honestly believe that early childhood development doesn’t include the ability to listen. Hear, yes. Listen, no. For whatever reason no one hears me until I’m in full blown auctioneer mode, rattling words off at 115 decibels. By the time anyone in my house responds, I’ve sold a sheep and four tractors at a farm auction six counties away. There’s nothing more humbling than becoming a parent. There’s no experience in life that challenges your character, patience and endurance like raising children. Well, maybe surviving the Alaskan wilderness in the winter after being chased by a pack of ravenous wolves is more challenging. Hopefully those wolves were chasing you at -40 miles per hour and mostly kept their boogers to themselves.

Originally posted by Christina, for ScaryMommy