by Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media
It happened to be a free day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, so we decided to take Aja and Amber there since we had the time. Amber hadn't been there in something like ten years, and it was the first field trip we have been able to take Aja to in awhile. While most of the special exhibits happened to be paid ones on this particular day, we were still able to see all of the free stuff.
To chronicle our time there, Lyn and Richard took many photos that document most of the major sections that we were able to visit.
At the beginning, there was a guy in a walking dinosaur that was out greeting people. It actually freaked out a few little kids, of which there were many on this day. Next, we visited one of the smaller first-floor exhibits which featured the life cycle of butterflies.
Then, we visited Space Odyssey at the Coors Visitor Center to the Universe. There were many interactive displays here, and we would have liked to spend more time here. However, we were trying to see everything in a limited span of time, so we only spent a few minutes here.
Outside of the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals, there were a few service puppies on display! One of them looked a lot like our Shih-Tzu Bo-Bo! He/she did have a white patch on his head and is smaller than Bo-Bo, but the coloring was almost the same!
We decided to take the elevator to the third floor and work our way back down to the Gems and Minerals exhibit later. On the third floor, we first visited the Egyptian Mummies exhibit on the third floor, one of the older ones at the museum. Rich got a little carried away with the mummy silliness, but it’s a fun little experience.
Next, were the Wildlife Halls exhibits on both the second and the third floor. After that was the Prehistoric Journey exhibit.The large dinosaur models built to scale, which are pretty awesome to see.
The North American Indian Cultures exhibit (should be Native American Cultures, honestly) is one that we had missed on a previous trip since it’s located behind the Wildlife Halls on the second floor. It’s pretty cool. Rich learned about the Utes, and he thinks he knows how to say it properly now. Since Lyn and the kids have Native American ancestry (Rich does have a tiny bit, as well), this was a particularly interesting exhibit. We also were quite intrigued by the Navajo Hogan dwelling.
Our final stop on our tour around the museum was the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals. It’s both dark and a bit awkward to take pictures in close quarters. So, we don't have many photos of that.
We were able to see pretty much everything in the course of about an hour and a half or so. There were a couple of exhibits that we missed, including Expedition Health which actually did not require a ticket although we thought it did. They had people waiting outside because there are certain items that they don’t want brought in there. We’ll have to check this out on a future visit.
We could have spent more time in individual exhibits, but we only had a limited amount of time to see everything, as was mentioned earlier. The other exhibits all required tickets, which would have added up quickly.
Here are some of the photos we took as well. Click the photos to see the full view, as well as to enlarge them.
(There's more to the story after the gallery)
All in all, this is one of the best museums to visit on a free day. So if you happen to be in the Denver area for whatever reason, see if they are having an SCFD free day. It’s quite conveniently located and while parking is often full, you can always park nearby at the zoo, which is right next door.
All Images © Lyn Lomasi; All Rights Reserved
All Videos © Richard Rowell; All Rights Reserved
Most of those following our pregnancy journey with Nova Skye have come to know that I’ve been struggling with even mundane tasks most days. A couple weeks ago, I just could not cook dinner and no one else felt like doing it, so we ordered pizza -- and ended up getting it for free. Thank goodness because we honestly couldn’t afford it and should not have been getting it anyhow. But that’s beside the point. We got a bunch of FREE pizza. And let me tell you, it really was a ton of pizza because our home is quite crowded right now.
When the 17 year old ordered the pizza online, it was quite the usual boring process it always is. My card was charged, the email saying it was on the way came, blah blah blah. But when the status said it was delivered and we still had no pizza, I became suspicious.
I called up the local location we ordered the pizza from and they let us know one of the drivers had slipped on some ice and got hurt. I felt so bad for the driver and they apologized and said they’d give us some coupons for free pizza for the inconvenience. I accepted. They were remaking the order so it would be fresh and it would be coming out with a different driver.
Then, again it took too long. We didn’t receive a call, so I had to be the one to call again. They insisted our driver was on the way, but it had been quite a long time, so even though they apologized, I was becoming quite annoyed. It was a school night and it had already been a couple hours past the time we initially ordered. The kids needed to get fed and get to bed. Also, I’m pregnant and I was hungry and emotional and vulnerable.
The driver finally gets to our house shortly after I called, so we’re thinking the ordeal is over. But, not quite. He locks his keys -- and our pizza -- in the running car. I actually felt bad for the driver. However, our family still had the issue of hungry kids on a school night with a hungry hormonal pregnant mama bear. He also explained that his GPS led him to the wrong address initially and that’s why he was a bit late.
I let the driver use our phone to call the pizza joint and let them know his predicament. However, they did nothing to help their driver get back into his car and we hope they didn’t fire him over it. They did promise to send out our order once again with another driver. After I let the driver use my phone to get some help, I called them back to explain it had been 2 ½ hours and we really just needed our food. I was actually quite nice, considering.
However, we did end up getting all of the pizza for free on manager approval. But we still had to wait for them to make our order yet a third time. Thank goodness, it did eventually arrive -- over 3 hours after the initial order. The kids were tired and cranky, Rich was ready for bed, and my pregnant self was ravenous and exhausted. I did still tip the drivers, as it wasn’t their fault. So, I guess it wasn’t completely free. But that was my choice and the pizza part was free. Despite the huge and weird scenario that is likely to never happen again, we ate and enjoyed our very free, very inconvenient pizza.
But hey, it was free! And at that point, it tasted like the best pizza we ever had. We even had leftovers for another night and now have coupons for more free pizza.
I can’t guarantee this exact scenario will ever happen to anyone again. However, should you want free pizza, this is surely the way to get it.
*Note: I’m purposefully not mentioning the pizza company this happened with (and please don’t ask because we won’t answer). This was a very freak and unusual situation that is likely to never happen again and wasn’t necessarily their fault. One driver got injured on some dangerous ice during a snowstorm and the other just had bad luck. We don’t wish them bad business. But there’s no way we could go through that and not write about it. No way!
Sometimes kids can teach us good lessons, we don't expect. My kids often teach me things, simply in the way they live. Today was one of those days -- and it was full of silliness (VIDEO proof below).
After a busy, somewhat stressful day, Rich and I decided to take the younger two to the playground for some fun. That's when I realized we hadn't taken enough pictures recently with all the running around.
We snapped the selfie above, which is my current Facebook profile pic, of course. Now, you know that was NOT the only shot. There were goofy faces and pretend mad faces etc until we got the right one. After that, we had fun watching the kids goof off on the playground.
That rest was much needed. We then got some more work done when they took off to the pool with one of their older sisters and played at their friend's house afterward.
Once I went to go get them, with an extra trailing along (one of those friends, of course), Aja (the 11 year old) proceeded to be funny with her swimming goggles. You can see a video of part of that below.
Have you ever noticed how much kids laugh in a single day? When was the last time you did that?
Today's Momtrepreneur Lesson: Put a little bit (or a lot) of silly in every day. You need it. We sure did.
Often, when rainy-day activities come to mind, people think of arts and crafts or board games. We do those things as well, but sometimes we like to be a little bit more creative. Whoever said you had stay inside the house on a rainy-day? Provided there's no thunder and lightning, you can bet it wasn't me. That's for sure.
As long as there is no sign of thunder and lightning, my kids and I will gladly go right in the yard, just like any other time. Of course we wear jackets and whatever other rain gear might be necessary, but running in the rain is a rainy-day activity that the kids and I enjoy as often as possible. Just seeing their cheerful faces enjoying the fun is always a great motherhood moment.
A while back, my kids and I had one of those fun, rainy-day adventures. It was my job to crank up the music and act as DJ, while the kids danced on the patio in the rain. They requested songs and danced away until the rain stopped.
At the time,. my kids ranged in age from preschool to middle school age and they all enjoyed this fun activity. When you add creativity and think outside the box, it's often a big hit with kids. One of the best things about kids is that they are always open to having fun, even on a rainy day.
For me, parenting is all about living in the moment and taking things as they come. These tiny little moments of fun in motherhood mean everything. My mom always taught me to treasure the small stuff. Before you know it, the kids will no longer be kids and motherhood will have taken on a whole new meaning and role.
"Girls" My Age? Ssh, I'm the Mom!
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
The other day, my two teen girls and I were browsing around in a few stores. When we got to the clothing section in the thrift store, a kind helpful employee overheard our conversation about the affordability of this particular store. So we struck up a conversation with her.
About mid-conversation she says "Oh yeah, we have lots of great stuff for girls your age." She then proceeded to talk about fashion and such. Once she finished, I said something like "I'm the mom, by the way." She was in disbelief for a second because she actually believed that I was a teen, like my girls.
She then asks me how old my kids were. She thought my kids were at home and smaller. Well, she was halfway correct. The younger two were at school. I informed her that the 15 and 17 year old were those ages and were in fact my kids.
The conversation continued into more talk like that for a bit.
I’m never sure whether to be flattered or feel immature when people mistake me for a teenager. This isn’t the first time. Most of the time I take it as a compliment. But sometimes I wonder if looking too young may not always be a good thing.
Until the next adventure!
*I originally published this on PersonaPaper (I have since removed it).
Kids Belong At The Beach
If you've been reading my work, you'll know that there are many places I feel kids belong in, such as outdoors and in trees. Kids also belong at the beach. It's where they can immerse themselves right in nature -- you know, beach mud, water, and the like.
From building sand castles with their mommy's used Mountain Dew bottles (yeah there's unfortunately enough to go around) to collecting shells on the shore or squishing sand in their toes from the ocean floor, my kids thoroughly enjoy beach time. Being in Denver, we haven't had any of that in a while and these are older pics. But I can't wait until our next visit to New York state -- and finally our move there in the future. They'll get some much needed beach time there, for sure. There's a man-made reservoir not far from us, where ironically these photos were taken. But it's not the same and has been getting dirtier and dirtier over time so we haven't been going there anymore, unfortunately.
Back to my point, beach time is both fun and necessary. Humans have a special bond with dirt. We like to get dirty. But that's really not the whole of it. Mud and sand is actually good for our skin -- and our soul. It has important nutrients that smooth our skin. But maybe more importantly, that feeling of squishing beach sand between the toes is irreplaceable, as is sifting the dry sand through our hands. Splashing in the water, feeling the ripples of the waves, and even feeling little fish swim between your legs is all a part of the experience as well. It's sad to think that some kids will never experience these things.
Watching boats, duck families, fish, and more from the pier is also a peaceful action that satisfies the soul. Kids these days are so stressed out and I firmly believe that it's because many of them are so immersed in television, video games, and other manufactured forms of entertainment that their brains never get a rest. Kids need nature, such as the beach in order to truly be at peace. I'm not saying they can't have a little fun with those other things -- mine do. But make sure your kids to a beach or other form of nature often. Let them get right in the thick of it, get dirty in it, meditate in it, explore in it, just have fun.
As I write this, I am at a park with my kiddos and their friends and they are relaxing out in a field of sand on some large rocks but were disappointed that the water in the small creek bed has dried up. It's a natural thing for kids to do to gravitate toward sand, water, and nature in general. Kids belong at the beach and elsewhere outdoors. When we can't get to the beach, we try to create that scene in other ways by getting out in nature the way we can. Before we had an apartment, we even built a mock beach in our backyard.
Have your kids been to the beach lately? If you are like us and don't have one near you, what other things do you do to replicate it?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
A few weekends ago, the kids had some good friends over and being a holiday (though, not one we celebrate in the most popular way), I had promised I wouldn't work too much. I never promise a whole day off because I'm a workaholic and a single mother. I also work at home so my work is readily available, but I digress. An opportunity presented itself to wing it, so I did.
Forming A Brilliant Idea
Because we had nothing better to do, I get this brilliant beyond brilliant idea to take all of my kids, both of our dogs, plus some of their friends and an extra dog to the park. I don't have a vehicle, so of course the plan was to walk on the trail that led us to the intended park. Our nature trails can take us to several parks, depending on which way we choose to go. We chose the largest park and headed that way. Yes, I am insane enough to take a walk with six kids and three dogs with only me as the sole adult. Us single parents know how to work it whatever it may be.
Learning the Many Ways To Wing It
The kids wanted to play on the way, of course. So who was going to walk the dogs? Why me, of course. Yep, winging it because I had never walked the extra dog before, nor had she been walked with our dogs and here I was about to hold all three of their leashes together. Thankfully, it worked out well. They had been introduced briefly a few times and apparently that was enough to satisfy them all. In some situations, you just have to go with the flow and let the chips fall as they may.
The restroom and drinking fountain were closed and of course the kids needed both so we made use of a nearby store for both purposes and went right back to playing. The dogs wanted to run around and the kids wanted to use the playground so I found a spot in the field that was next to the playground so I could run with the dogs while watching the kids.
Life Lessons In Winging It For Everyone
Throughout this walk and park visit, many interesting situations came up where I had to wing it. But that's life. No matter how much you plan things, sometimes you just have to wing it and in the end, you may find out that winging it is the both the best lesson and the best fun you've had in quite a long time. It's quite fine to plan things. You have to have goals. But it's also good to just let it go and let it flow.
All of these scenarios could have been stressful and some may not have gotten involved in the whole thing, to begin with. But I've quickly learned in many experiences that if you have an open mind and are aware of your surroundings (and all the many ways you can use them to your advantage), life can lead to some fun adventures.
Just wing it! Your life is waiting for you!
Moving Again? What?!
You're moving again? Seriously? Yes friends, I am packing up the kids and moving across the country once again.
This move may be my biggest one yet. Those who know me well know that I have lived in Denver since I was a small child. So about six years ago, my then husband (now ex) and I made a bold move and hauled the kids all the way to Houston. But of course, Denver called us back -- a whim decision made on a vacation. That was a couple years ago.
Things have been awesome. However, another place is calling me. In fact, it's been calling me since I left as a child. So, once again, I am going to be packing up the kids and pets and headed across country -- we are moving to the New York City area. Yes, the big one. Yikes! Well, that's what some are saying. I'm saying "Yippee" and every other excited word -- shouting them off the rooftops. Unfortunately for my neighbors, I am doing that literally by blasting my favorite songs that make me think of it -- and singing to them in my loudest voice too, of course. It's a good thing I have great -- and equally loud -- neighbors.
No, I am not from the NYC area. I was born in a small town in upstate NY. So why NYC then? I want to try something new that seems like me, while also getting back to my home state. I miss the water, for one thing. We are so deprived of that scene here in Denver. Colorado is awesome, actually. But it's not New York -- and its not me. I need lots of culture, art, yummy food, theatre, and so much more -- things Colorado has, but at a much smaller scale. have you ever tasted the cheese back East? The Italian food? Even the chocolate tastes better in New York.
I really can't even begin to describe all of my reasons. But my heart has been in New York since the day I was born and I need to bring it back where it belongs. Yonkers is our first choice. But suggestions for areas no more than an hour from NYC are welcome in the comments section. Stay tuned for updates.
What this means for you, my faithful friends and readers: Well, I hope you really, really like to read what I have to say. As I save to make my dream a reality over this next year, I will be writing and publishing more often than ever on just about every venue available to me. So expect more here, the rest of my sites, and mostly everywhere else I publish.
Ideas? As always, they are welcome at my Ask Lyn page.
Previous post: Don't be Afraid to Let Good Things Happen
UPDATE 3/13/2017: This move didn't end up happening, due to life being everchanging. A bunch of other things did, though. Who knows? Maybe someday it will. But right now, it's just not in the cards. To keep up with our recent antics, follow all of our blogs here, but especially RV'ing Successfully, The Nova Skye Story, Kymani's Travels, and of course Momtrepreneur Moments.
Bible Park has baseball fields, plenty of open space, several trails to explore, a playground, a basketball court, and more.
Our personal favorite area is the creek because there are areas where we can rest on the rocks or climb across.
Or maybe it's the trees. The kids seem to enjoy climbing them (and scaring me in the process, no matter how skilled they are).
Hey, don't cal me weak for being nervous when they do that. All you other moms do the same thing.
I think our dog Buddy has the right idea when he relaxes in the grass.
After chasing him and the kids around, I think that might be my favorite spot of the moment.
Have you been to Bible Park in Denver? What's your favorite spot?
<-- Ugh, I am getting worn out just looking at the picture of her running around like that.
We had a long day at the park yesterday.
And I'm crazy enough that we're sure to be doing it again soon.