Archive for May, 2015

  • Chapter 113- Cuban Day Street Celebration

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    Thanks to Miltown Moms, I heard about Saturday’s Cuban Day Street Celebration.  The weather was cooperating, so I packed up the kids and headed downtown to Milwaukee St. in front of Cubanitas restaurant.

    The celebration included a stage with some wonderful live music, space for dancing, tables and chairs, a small booth or two, and a very large inflatable slide.  Because I have four kids, we made a dash for the slide.  Since the celebration was still starting, we had it all to ourselves!

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    Soon after, a few other families came in and the kids took turns going two by two through the maze/slide.

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    And then my sister-in-law and her son showed up!  My kids were beyond excited that they got to go down a giant inflatable slide AND see their cousin (they often literally squeal with delight when they see him!).

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    After some convincing, we decided to leave the inflatable and head to the food.  Little T insisted on pushing the stroller which was a very independent and big kid thing to do.

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    When I went inside Cubanitas to check out the food situation, I read the sign that said “$13 per adult, $6.50 for kids ages 5-11 and free for kids under age 5”.  I bet they didn’t think of my family when making those prices!  The food was delicious.  We ate some rice and beans, fried plantains, plantain chips with guacamole, delicious roasted pork and more.  The kids mostly focused on the white rice, chips and guacamole, but I’d say 75% of them tried 50% of the food.

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    The tables were all full so we set up shop on this doorstep, which made for a nice backdrop.

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    I’ve been letting the kids use my camera periodically, and the above portrait and below family shots were done by my three year old nephew.  Pretty good, I’d say!

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    And this one just because Little T looks like she’s hitchhiking.

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    Oh!  And then we realized that Indulge was part of the celebration, and stopped in for some free cotton candy.  The woman making the treat was nice enough to make really small ones for my kids, because I was already tempting fate by getting the kids all hopped up on sugar right before departing.

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    Little T scarfed down her treat and promptly made herself into a unicorn.

    Which happens to be a fantastic parting shot.

    Thanks to Cubanitas for hosting such a fun adventure.  I can’t wait to head back to the restaurant for a date night with my husband.  I’ll get to do that someday, right?  Have a night out without a headache of planning and paying a sitter?  Yeah, it’ll come.

    A. Storm

  • Chapter 112- Performing Arts in the Park

    I found out through the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page that the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) put on a cool and free event to bring arts to families.  There were events at Humboldt, Lincoln, Gordon, Mitchell, Lafollette parks and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.  We chose the latter location because First Stage was there, and my kids wanted to see some acting.

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    Me and the brood, plus a sweet little girl in pink whose mom took our photo.

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    We were welcomed inside and the folks from First Stage greeted us and invited the kids on stage!  My kids were excited to head on up, and only one got shy periodically.

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    The kids got to join in on warm ups, using their imaginations, and offering suggestions for the storyline.

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    My youngest even joined in 🙂 She spent the rest of the time walking up and down the stairs to the stage.  And fell on her face twice.

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    The kids got to be on stage for like 45 minutes, and were FULLY engaged the entire time.  They thought it was a morning of playing, basically.  There were no specific acting methods and no rigid instructions.  Instead, they got a general outline for how to tell a story on stage and an opportunity to share ideas about the story.

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    We even won a free book from First Stage, and Little T has been reading (looking at) it since!

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    After the event was finished, we walked around the community center a bit, admiring the architecture, the fish…

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    …and even got to watch some kids doing gymnastics!

    Thanks UPAF, First Stage, and Milwaukee County Parks for a fun morning.  I only wish the performances throughout the city were staggered so we could have attended more!

    A. Storm

     

     

  • Chapter 111- Milwaukee Public Museum

    Today, Little T went on a special date with her aunt and cousin, so I took the other three kiddos to the Public Museum.  We’ve been doing a lot of around-the-house playing lately, without much adventuring.  But today I had requests to see dinosaurs and butterflies, so we headed to the MPM for a visit.

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    We first stopped in the lobby to eat some oat/maple/banana bread (recipe from Thug Kitchen’s new book) and admire the wooly mammoth.  And because members now get free admission to the dome theater, we went in to see the show “Wisconsin Stargazing“.  I had never taken J and Little A to a theater before, and certainly not S, so I was a little nervous.  BUT, my fears subsided as we headed in, and my three kids under age 4 sat down and had no idea what was going on so they were still and quiet.

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    We got to see the sky in the evening, and then later at night after the moon arose.

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    We got to see where Jupiter lies in our sky, which is really cool because two nights ago I saw it in person.  In my backyard.  You see, I got Theo a telescope for Christmas and we’ve been getting really good use out of it.  Little T is really interested in natural sciences and astronomy currently, so we’ve had lots of moon/Jupiter/Venus viewing sessions in our back yard as of late.  And two nights ago, I saw Jupiter (even the two red lines!) and four of its moons.  Very cool.

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    After the short planetarium show, the twins chose to see dinosaurs first.  The above photo is approximately 2 seconds after I asked Little A to keep her feet on the ground.

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    Next we headed to the butterfly garden.  You can’t really see (well maybe if you know her really well), but above, S is thrilled to point out the butterfly above.  Her eyebrows are raised and she was squealing.

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    Little A played photographer for a bit, after we saw the insects.

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    The kids were starving (like always) so we went to the lobby to eat our lunch of pita, hummus, veggies and spicy pretzels (my friend Brooke shared the recipe with me a year ago and it’s a staple snack in our house).

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    And after lunch and just a few exhibits, we had to head home for nap time.

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    We held hands through the parking garage, loaded up, and made it home.  Thankfully we have a membership so we can take lots more time to see the rest of the museum.  There’s a new permanent exhibit which looks great, so that’s on the top of the list for next time.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

    A. Storm