Once again, while Andrew was on staff at SCSC training, Elisa and Mommy headed to Grandma and Grandpa Rood’s house in Minnesota. Mommy finished teaching on Friday and we left on Monday (grades were submitted in the hotel Monday night.) The theme of the week was definitely playgrounds!! We visited playgrounds pretty much daily (and sometimes twice or three times daily), with at least five different playgrounds visited. Elisa always kept a lookout for other kids she could play with, but Mommy was a good substitute – though Mommy did refuse to do some of the things she might have done if not 5 months pregnant! Elisa is becoming remarkably creative. One playground with a play firetruck served one day for the obvious purpose of fighting fires with Grandpa and Mommy and a couple days later, the firetruck was a dune buggy and the teeter-totter was a surfboard.
One afternoon we visited the new Rochester Children’s Museum, where Elisa’s favorite activity was definitely the face painting that she got to do herself. We also played with cars that raced down the race track and a variety of things that sent balls down a track for spirals or loop-de-loops or to see how far up the other side they would go.
While there, Elisa also enjoyed playing games – and doesn’t settle for the kid games. She did discover Cooties for the first time and has learned to recognize numbers on a normal die quite well. But she also wanted to take on Trivial Pursuit, so we had to adapt the game with asking each other questions – Elisa gets asked simple phonics or addition/subtraction problems. Even though Elisa asked Mommy very similar questions to start, the questions degenerated, with some recent ones including “If you had seven balls, what would you do with them?” I think we lost the idea of a right answer – but that is OK!
We also visited with a few of Mommy’s college friends and their kids. Elisa impressed some of them with her ability to play Blokus and keep track of corner to corner – if only she had the attention span to finish! Some of these Elisa took to well and Elisa did get a gift of a hand-me-down dance costume which she has very much taken to heart. In the first day, she had it on and off at least three times to dance and has often taken it out to dance since we’ve been home – often on top of the coffee table with her Dora guitar.
Mommy took advantage of the trip to do a lot of shopping that had been accumulating for the last 2-3 months: shoes, a few additions to Elisa’s wardrobe and some concerted maternity clothes shopping. Elisa’s favorite purchase was by far an umbrella. She had shown interest in them before – and broken one – and has taken to this one so heavily that it is one of her favorite toys for going outside. She even wants to take it for walks when it is bright and sunny. After one attempt with this, though, Mommy and Daddy plan to avoid this because we can’t walk alongside her on the sidewalk and whenever she turns around to talk to us, she almost takes us out with the umbrella! Daddy has compared the image to the little girl on the Morton salt containers.
So it was a good trip to Minnesota – and a good chance for Mommy to relax and refocus away from work a little.