Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Night at the Museum

It's been all sickness all day for the last few days around the Fisher family. We've been managing, but please don't come by the house, because it really is a disaster area.

Because we were feeling slightly better, and since this is a three-day weekend, we ventured out last night to the Lehi Hutchings Museum. They have a special night once a year they call "Night at the Museum." The museum really does come to life, and it is really cool. If you get a chance next year, you should go. It's $3 a person, which is a bargain, really.

Volunteers dress up in costumes and take on rolls of people from the past. We met Christopher Columbus, Benjamin Franklin, an African explorer, Annie Oakley, an Egyptian mummy, native American dancers, Betsy Ross, a Utah pioneer, and many more fascinating people.

When we'd stop to talk to some of the characters, they'd tell you all about their life and what they did. Each volunteer had to learn quite a bit about the history of their character.

Annie Oakley was a really cute woman, who told the girls, "People always told me, 'You're a girl. You can't shoot guns.' But I showed them. Don't ever let people tell you something you can't do. Prove them wrong."

I thought that was great for my girls to hear.

And Benjamin Franklin was great, too. He told us all about living in England for 11 years while his wife had to stay in America. And how his wife died three months before he got home (or something like that). I asked him if he ever remarried, and he said, "No, but I did write a lady in France." He was a darling old man.

Here are some pictures from that night:

Get some shoes on that baby! The girls at the entrance of the museum.

This T-Rex was waiting for us as we entered. It actually moved and everything.

An English African explorer and his helper "Tuk."

Lissy pointing to a Utah geode. Grandpa C. would love that rock, as he used to collect geodes.

"Dumb, dumb. Give me gum, gum."

They had two little girls behind this frame dancing ballet. It was amazing how well these little girls did. Their faces were beet red from dancing for all that time, but they kept at it. My guess is they started out with great gusto, but as the night went on, their dancing faded a touch. By the time we got there, they mostly just positioned their arms differently, and did a plie every now and again.

This guy was hilarious. He was behind glass, but he beckoned for the girls to come near him. Closer, he beckoned. Closer. And then he turned his head, and turned it back around really quick and scared them. He posed like this for my picture.

Afterwards we met up with Kulani for ice cream. Kulani and Dave went to a post-training dinner at Rodigio.

Nono Grows Up

"I want a Tinkerbell party," Nono told me in March of 2010.
"I want a Snow White party," is what she asked for in April.
"Sleeping Beauty," was what she wanted in May.

Each month it was something else. Until the day arrived, and because I thought I could make a Rapunzel cake, I convinced her to have a Rapunzel party. And she agreed, which is rare for Nohea.

Because Nohea is a contrarian. About everything.

But I had a vision. I could build a cake with a cake tower and pipe long, golden icing flowing down the tower symbolizing Rapunzel's hair. I am not a cake decorator, but I thought I could manage that.

And I could make a pinata of a castle with a doll head sticking out. And the kids would yell, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair!" And I would lower the pinata and the kids could wack at it.

I could do this. I could give Nohea a great 4-year birthday party. Her first party with friends.... And then this is what happened.

I built the pinata two days before the party. Because I didn't trust my own brain, I researched the Internet for pinata-making ideas. Every site I found said, "Put paper mache around a balloon." So instead of just decorating the box and tower I made, I cut parts of the box out and put a balloon inside, thereby weakening the structure of the box. Here are pictures of what I'm talking about.

I was going to combine these two, and wrap them both with pink crepe paper...

but noooo. I had to cut out parts and put in balloons.
I can't believe I don't have a picture of the final product. It actually turned out okay, but I only put one layer of paper mache, and so with one wack, the thing fell apart. It was pathetic.

So then the cake. Easy enough. Make two cakes. One cake would be the base, and the second cake I would cut out round circles and pile them on top of each other to make a tower and place the tower on the first cake. Then frost it all.

Except, cutting out the round circles meant the sides were way to fluffy to frost. Here's what the crumbled cake tower looked like:

Kulani had to intervene at this point. It was not my finest hour. But he managed to think up another brilliant idea. He made the towers out of construction paper, and we frosted those instead. Here is the final cake. Not too bad.

It's supposed to be the top of Rapunzel's castle. The cake did taste good, so there's that.

And then we invited neighbors and friends from preschool. I thought it would be fun to give the boys pirate eye patches and the girls tiaras, and we'd play a game I created called "Princesses and Pirates." I was the alligator in the middle and held a green feather duster to signify my alligatorness. The boys sat on one side of the living room, and the girls sat on the other side of the living room. The goal was for the boys to run across the "ocean" and tag a girl on the hand. Then they both had to run back across the ocean without getting feather dusted by the alligator.

I had Lilia and Melissa show them how it was done.

"I don't want to do that," one little girl said. Then the other girls joined in. And soon, no one wanted to play THAT game.

So then I proposed another game I called the Boat Trip. One person is blindfolded and sits in a chair. I pick up the chair with the child on it and act like she is going on a boat trip. And the waves come, and the chair gets rocked. And the child has to jump off the chair to safety, but by this time I've lowered the chair to be near the ground.

Again, "I don't want to play THAT game."

Almost 10 minutes into the party, and I'm already running out of ideas.

Thankfully my friend Lindsay and her boys show up at this time. I ask the girls if they'd just like to play with Nono's dollhouse and dolls. Yes, that's what they want to do. And the boys just want to play Wii. So they do that. And me and Lindsay talk.

And it was a pretty lame party, but turns out, 4 year olds don't need a lot to be entertained.

We had cake, opened presents, and generally actually had a good time. Nohea said she liked the party, and that's all that counts.

The week before her birthday, Nohea took the scissors to her hair. She said she wanted a haircut like Dora's. After scolding her about her personal haircut, she ignored my insistence in not using scissors anymore and gave her Dora doll a haircut. She wanted to make Dora look like her. I really don't think she'll do that again, because I can tell she hates her haircut. She says she "looks like a boy."

Nono and Dora with matching haircuts.
But you can't keep Nohea down. She seems to be our most resilient child. She does as she pleases and she doesn't care if you like it or not.

She tells us that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. I thought that was odd. What 4-year-old wants to be a doctor? So I asked her why.

"Because doctors work really hard."

What? Our other daughters wanted to be artists at this age or singing teachers.

I don't know what goes into Nono's head most the time. She has this look when she's concentrating on something. Let me see if I can find a picture somewhere...oh yes, here it is. She's digging for fossils with her sister Lissy. That's Nono in the bottom, left corner. Look at her concentrate.

Always with that furrowed brow.

We love our little bug. She's metamorphasizing into a unique little butterfly.