I’m Not Sure My Kids and I Would Survive

On Friday, I decided a “fun” outing was in order as the beginning of school is only a week away. I decided upon Heritage Hill which is a living museum situated just down the road from us in Green Bay, WI. It is 50 acres of land that contains several buildings and houses from the 1800’s. Most of them are original buildings that have just been moved to this spot and restored.

As extra bonuses, it was a “free” week for kids and I roped my mom into coming along to help me keep the kids from breaking any valuable antiques and from losing anyone (eh….I mean just to come along for fun)!!

I thought this would be a great opportunity to give the kids some Wisconsin history lessons and make them appreciate the luxuries of the 21st century!

We started out in the Belgium farmhouse and explained to them about the lack of electricity, the fact you had to pump your own water and then boil it for your bath, bring in your firewood to heat the house and about the lack of bathrooms.

The Belgium House

Grandma, Bency and Iris walking around the farmhouse

Sheep outside the farm house

The stove in the farm house

Cesar wearing his puppy ears in his umbrella stroller in the farm house

A cupboard in the farm house

Cesar in the farm house being happy as can be

Iris pretending to churn butter. Iris has a blue dress under this green princess dress. She was playing dress up before we left and asked if she could just leave it on!

We left the farm house and I felt good about the attentiveness of the children, the quality of their questions proving they were indeed listening and the fact no one had touched or managed to break any of the irreplaceable 1800’s heirlooms!

Our next stop was the olden day cheese factory. This one we were not allowed to walk inside only peer through the open door into the replicated set up of the building. My mom was busy explaining to the kids the process of making cheese when I noticed my five year old; Bency, had wandered off and was busy examining a water drainage pipe. Really awesome!!!

The old cheese factory

The next few stops on the tour proved to lose Bency more as he asked to wait outside while we poked around the hospital and officers’ quarters. He clearly did not care the soldiers and the people who needed medical care in the 1800’s were made to lay on cots with mattresses made of hay or the fact that the pharmacist’s office stocked chocolate to help with constipation!

One of the buildings Bency didn’t want to linger in

We set off and walked farther down the path on our way to the fur traders section. Bency stopped to check out a drainage grate in the middle of the road and was mesmerized by it! Really awesome!!

Bency mesmerized with the drainage grate

The kids enjoyed the fur trader’s station because a man there in period clothing had them guess what each of the pelts was. Of course, Bency guesses zebra for the muskrat because he had no idea what it was and he uses any chance he can get to the say the word “zebra” because he loves them!

By this time the kids were getting hungry, thirsty and their legs were tired! We were clear across the other side of the park!! Really awesome!!

We continued walking with me making promises of a nice lunch and drinks when we got home. I let my almost 2 year old, Cesar, out of his stroller and gave the older kids turns in the umbrella stroller. Grandma didn’t whine but I’m sure if I could have fit her in the umbrella stroller she wouldn’t have minded a lift either. This park is built on a huge hill!

Our last stop was at the church. This is actually where my husband Alex and I were married in 2004. It is a great memory and whenever we have come here I’ve taken pictures of the kids in front of the church. Today Bency and Cesar weren’t so cooperative…actually not cooperative all!!

The kids in front of the church where my husband and I got married!

Now Cesar is mesmerized with a different drainage grate….we clearly need to go on a tour of drainage grates for our next outing!

We finally made it back to the van. Bency made a request, “Mom, please don’t ever bring me here again.” REALLY AWESOME!!!

As much as I love the pioneer days and sometimes romance the idea of being catapulted back and living a simpler life; I sure was happy to have that van to get us home so quick so I could whip out that bread and peanut butter I bought at the store and make my kids a nice lunch and put them on their soft comfortable mattresses for a nice nap!

One of the vegetable gardens in the park

Beautiful rose hips on the rose bushes all over the park

Iris and Bency standing in the place where the first court house in Green Bay once stood

Standing on a wooden bridge looking into the creek

Bency is obsessed with the crucifixion lately and is positive that this is the location and cross that Jesus was crucified on

Let’s Not Have a Fabulous Day at the Zoo

I love a good zoo outing. It’s an awesome time with three children. No one ever says their legs are getting tired an hour into the visit when we’re clear across the other side of the zoo. No one ever says they’re too hot or too cold. No one ever asks for popcorn or hot roasted peanuts when the tempting aromas start filling the air. No one has almost got lost because we thought they were right behind us when in fact they decided to stay glued to the glass partition of the lion cage. No one has ever argued about the path to take when we come to the fork that can either lead to the primate section or the petting zoo area. No one has ever said they had to go to the bathroom when we just asked them 10 minutes earlier and they didn’t need to go and now there is no bathroom in sight.

Yes, as much as I love a good zoo outing, once a year is quite sufficient.

Whenever I get an itch to see some animals in confined areas in between our yearly zoo trip …off to the pet store the kids and I go.

This always proves to be an ideal field trip for a number of reasons:

  • No one ever gets tired from walking
  • The temperature is always perfect
  • There is no tantalizing odors filling the store
  • It’s a confined space so the chances of losing someone is minimal
  • Bathrooms are easily accessible at the back of the store

There is still the potential for arguments on which animals to see first.

The kids and I went to Petco last week and had a blast.

Bency, the 5 year old, is in love with Seek and Find books so trying to find those lizards and frogs is a virtual Seek and Find book for him.

I gave the older kids the challenge of counting the guppies. After 15 minutes they finally agreed on 163. Cesar, the almost 2 year old can only count to 10, so we stuck to the tropical fish tank for him where there is only a handful of fish to count.

Some of the animals had names and a card outlining their personality traits (shy, friendly, outgoing, curious, needs a lot of attention, calm) and we decided which of our family members they were most like.

The animals that were nameless were given fantastic names by us.

We read some of the books that were there and learned about different species of birds.

We watched a dog getting groomed.

We rounded off our trip by playing with the dog squeaky toys and voting on the best dog outfit. The Superman outfit was Bency’s favorite. The ballerina tutu was Iris’s choice.

An hour and a half after we had first arrived we were on our way out the exit door. We said good-bye to the clerks, the dog who had just arrived with his owner, and the joy of having not spent a dime, learning a few things and having an amazing time!