Monthly Archives: August 2013

Playscape Preview

Last night, Lucas, Isaac and I spent the evening at a special preview of the new Playscape at The Children’s Museum that opens Saturday, Aug. 31st.

I’ll be honest: I used to feel like the old Playscape was in a cave. No windows and no natural light. Great things to play with but in small, cramped spaces. While my kids liked playing there, I really didn’t like spending time in that part of the museum at all.

Until now. You guys, this new Playscape? It’s amazing.

Don’t worry. There’s still water.The Creek at Playscape

There’s still sand.The Sandbox at Playscape

But there’s SO! MUCH! MORE! including two full walls of windows. There are large, open play spaces. There are BALLS.Balls at Playscape

Okay, so not just a bunch of balls, but this: the Reaction Contraption.Reaction Contraption at Playscape

Lucas has always loved the tracks and ramps in ScienceWorks, but it’s just too big and hard for him to maneuver. Well now he has one built just for him.Reaction Contraption at Playscape

And when he’s done working with the ball tracks, he can move over to building towers with blocks. Just a bit of inspiration in the middle.Block Tower at Playscape

Tired of sitting still while building a tower? Then move those legs on over to The Pond and climb to the top to get in the boat.The Pond at Playscape

There’s also an art area with inspiration from nature all around, an amazing music room with tons of instruments to play and the Whirly Twirly Tower. And there’s also Babyscape within Playscape – which is far from a place for just babies. It’s designed for infants and toddlers and Lucas had a blast in that area too. Isaac is just a bit too young, but man, he’s going to LOVE IT come this fall and winter, when I’m sure we’ll be spending a TON of time there. Me & Isaac

One more thing: there’s a Mother’s Room, built for moms and kiddos only. There are three separate, private spaces for moms to feed their babies or rock to sleep with a tv and a basket full of books for that older child who is with you. Ahem, exactly a space for me, Isaac and Lucas.Mother's Room at Playscape

We spent two hours in Playscape and Lucas was NOT happy when it was time to leave. There is so much to do, and since there are so many windows and natural light, you don’t feel trapped so you can stay with your 5 and under kiddos for a LONG time.

You want to go, don’t you? Well, lucky for you, because The Children’s Museum gave me two museum admissions to give away! All you have to do is leave a comment about what you are most looking forward to seeing in the new Playscape!

Want to increase your chances of winning? You can earn up to 2 more entries by:

  1. Sharing this post on Facebook. Come back to this post and leave another comment telling me you did so with a link to your personal Facebook page.
  2. Following me on Twitter (@katieunscripted) and tweeting about this giveaway. Something like this: “Enter to win 2 admissions to @TCMIndy to see the new #Playscape from @katieunscripted. http://wp.me/p2QiXQ-gF”. Again, come back and leave another comment telling me that you tweeted with a link to the tweet.

Details: The contest is open through Wednesday, September 4th. The winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Thursday, September 5th (so please make sure your email address is included in at least one of your comments below so I can reach you). The winner will have 24 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen. No exceptions.

Want another chance to win 2 admissions? Visit Meet the Fagans (till midnight 9/9).

Thanks to The Children’s Museum for hosting me and the boys for a great preview of the new Playscape. We can’t wait to go back to play more!

Grow them slowly.

My two cents on Miley: It just makes me really sad.

I didn’t watch the VMA’s last night. Adam was watching something else and I was working, so we were taping it. (Yes, I know that “taping it” shows my age. I guess “DVRing it” is more accurate nowadays.) But I saw the rumblings all over social media. Miley had performed and made quite an impact apparently. Which was, most likely, exactly her point, I might add. It’s not like Miley’s known for being a sweet little innocent girl anymore.

So when I had about 15 minutes while the boys were napping before going to get the girls from school this afternoon, I flipped on the TV to see what I had missed.

Initially, I sat there totally confused. I didn’t understand what the hell Miley was doing with her tongue. I didn’t understand what the hell she had done to her hair. Or what she was wearing. Or why she was trying to act all thuggish. Or why there were stuffed teddy bears all over the place. (???) I just didn’t get it. “Maybe I’m just too old to get this anymore” I thought.

And then the “dancing” started. I think “raunchy movements” is more accurate, but let’s stick with dancing because it’s easier to write and read. And we’ll say Miley was “singing” because the word singing doesn’t by definition mean it sounds good.

And then Robin Thicke comes out to sing his summer hit “Blurred Lines” (that I have HUGE issues with) with her and Miley lip syncs all of his duet parts with him and then shakes her rear in his crotch and rubs this big foam finger in her crotch and then in his and I JUST DON’T GET IT.

So we have a combination of Miley’s complete raunchiness with a song, albeit extremely catchy, that is about “good girls” and how “you know you want it.”

I’m not gonna lie, I really like Robin Thicke’s voice and music style. I have one of his CDs. But I will NOT let my kids listen to one of the summer’s biggest hits. The meaning of the song and the suggestions it makes about women is so wrong. On so many levels.

This isn’t what I want my girls to grow up in. Or my boys for that matter. For either to think that women should act as Miley or be treated the way “Blurred Lines” implies.

I just don’t get it. I really don’t get it. As a woman, why would you want to act like Miley did last night? It was so… gross. There are motions that should be saved for the bedroom. And when those bedroom moves come out in a loving, married relationship, I think it’s a good thing. Sex is good. Sexuality is good. But when you put yourself out there like that, it cheapens everything about what sex should be, in my opinion.

I’m not surprised at Miley. It’s been done before. Madonna, Janet, Britney. It’s not new. And honestly, it’s all relative to what else is going on in the world. Madonna seemed bad in the 80’s because the world was bad in the 80’s. Miley’s performance seems worse now because the world seems worse now. I am finally starting to understand, and appreciate, why my mom wouldn’t let me listen to “Like a Virgin” when it came out in 1984. I was 6.5 years old. But the song was catchy and was being “danced” to by a popular artist. Sounds familiar, huh?

As sad as it makes me, for Miley and all the girls and women who watch her and think that’s who they need to be, I’m SO thankful for good people who take interest in my kids, love them and help me raise them to understand there is SO MUCH MORE to life than what they see from people like Miley.

Raise your kids well, friends. Listen to what they listen to. Watch what they watch. Make sure that what’s going in (and ON) their bodies is good, pure and age appropriate. Grow them slowly. Don’t rush them. Let them be young. Let them play and have fun. Preserve their innocence.

They have their whole lives ahead of them. Don’t let them become misguided. Don’t let them become Miley.

Shifting focus

For the last 3.5 months, the focus in this house has been solely on surviving. Making it day to day, getting the minimal done, all without killing each other. And almost all over summer break. It’s been hard.

Last night I decided that needed to change. And today? Boy, did today confirm those thoughts.

It was a rough day. Really rough. Without going into details, let’s just say that Adam took the day off work and by 3:40 he wished he hadn’t. It was going to be one last fun day together as a family before school started, seeing “Planes” and running last minute school supply errands. It crashed and burned. We did in fact see the movie and run those errands, but almost everyone was in tears by 4:30.

Things had to change.

And then I made dinner and we sat down together as a family, like we always do, and something happened. I don’t know what it was, but sitting together over dinner brought us back together. And before we were done, I was trying to photo-bomb pictures of the kids (that ended up just being a crazy picture of ME).Crazy mom

And we ended the evening in tears from laughter, rather than sadness. Even Isaac had the giggles.

And I realized again that the focus has to shift. Not just because the girls start back to school on Thursday and I start working back at the office a week from tomorrow (rather than from home like I’ve been doing since Isaac was born). But for the health of our family.

We’ve got to start taking better care of ourselves as a family. Loving each other better. For me, that starts with taking better care of myself personally. I’ve got to go to bed earlier (which will get easier once I’m back at the office rather than working from home at night). I’ve got to take time out for myself. These kids take so much out of me that I end up leaving nothing in the reserve for me or for my marriage. EPIC FAIL.

Remember when I told you I was going to start running and refueling with chocolate milk? Well, I started. But I haven’t done nearly as well as I’d hoped or planned. I’ve let life ~ lack of sleep (due to being up in the middle of the night with Isaac or working too late) being the main one ~ get in the way. I’ve worked up to 2 miles in 25 minutes and let me tell you, sometimes the only thing that keeps be going is knowing that I’ll be drinking a nice cold glass of chocolate milk at the end of my run.

But it doesn’t just taste good. It really helps me refuel. The last time I ran regularly, I had major knee pains. So much so that I couldn’t run more than a mile without hurting so much I had to stop. And my muscles hurt for 2 days after each run. All I was drinking was water at the end of my runs because I was thirsty and hot. This time? I’m drinking chocolate milk at the end of each of my runs and have noticed a significant difference in how my (older) body is handling the increased stress. I haven’t had to stop once because of knee pain and have only had mildly sore muscles (which feels good actually).

I run my first race this Saturday. It’s the 7th Annual Running for World Water 5k and I hope to finish in 36 minutes. I know that’s pretty darn slow, but I’ve got to start somewhere, right? And *when* I finish in 36 minutes, I’ll have a nice cold glass of chocolate milk waiting for me at the finish line.

And I’m not going to share it with any of my kids. Nana nana boo boo.

 

Refuel Runner AmbassadorDisclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am working with Indiana Dairy and their Refuel Runner Ambassador Program. I’m super excited to be part of the program and to share with you my opinions and experiences. Of course, those opinions and experiences are all my own. Now go refuel with chocolate milk.

A ceiling fan awareness party. Fo’ real.

One of the things I love most about the metro-Indy area is that there’s always something to do. From sporting events to First Fridays, from walking the canal to seeing Shakespeare in the park, from seeing great concerts to watching bike races on Mass Ave. There’s always something fun, and almost always free, that we can take our whole family to each weekend from Spring through Fall. (Let’s just pretend there’s no such thing as winter, just to make me happy.)

One such event is happening this Saturday, August 17th in Zionsville : Fanimation’s National Ceiling Fan Day Awareness Party. I know, a ceiling fan day awareness party? What am I thinking?!

But seriously, give me a minute and just check out what they have planned:NCFD Awareness PartyWhat I love about this event is that it’s geared towards adults (free food and beer!) AND kids (face painting and music!), And we’ll all love seeing the classic cars and bicycles. They’ll also be giving away prizes and tours of the only antique fan museum in the country, which I’m excited about because I love cool old vintage fans.

{A side note about Fanimation: They have AMAZING fans. No joke, these are the coolest fans I’ve ever seen. Like, I want to just put one of these or one of these in every room of my house as part of the decor. Since we don’t have central air, fans are more functional than just part of the decor at our house, but how nice would it be to have something double as both?!}

You should join us Saturday. We’re totally going and would love to see you there.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Though, as always, all thoughts and opinions are completely mine. (And we’re going to the party ourselves because it sounds like fun! That part’s not sponsored. It’s just fun.)

A Dig IN Giveaway!

As a parent of four kids, the oldest being almost 11 years old, I can hardly remember what life was like before kids. I have no idea what I did with all the free time I had then. I really don’t even remember what we used to do when we weren’t working. It’s crazy how you just forget what your life used to be like.

I do remember two big changes to our daily life once Alaina was born though: starting to eat at our dining room table and thinking about what we were eating and where it was coming from.

I’ve always been much better at taking care of my kids than myself when it comes to nutrition. From the moment I find out I’m pregnant, I switch into “mom mode” and my nutrition knowledge somehow comes out from under the rug and from that point on, I’m really good at keeping my kids eating balanced meals because to me, loving them is more than giving hugs and kisses. It’s taking care of their bodies too.Heart full

But eating balanced meals has become only one part of what’s important to me in what we put in our bodies. Now I want to know where my food is coming from and that it’s as local as possible for our meat and fresh foods.

So I’m super excited about another great Indy event happening in the month of August: Dig IN, A Taste of Indiana. The fourth-annual event, presented by Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFOF) with premier sponsor Central Indiana Community Foundation, will be held on Sunday, Aug. 25 from noon-5pm at White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. Dozens of Indiana chefs, brewers, vintners and food artisans will gather in the park to celebrate all that Indiana agriculture has to offer. Dig IN will feature tastings of Indiana food, beer, wine and other local refreshments plus live entertainment, discussion panels and cooking demonstrations. Combining the freshness of farmer’s markets and Indiana’s greatest food minds, Dig IN promises a feast for the senses.

Dig IN isn’t only about the food and those who cook it though (which is why I love this so much). As important, it’s about the local ingredients and the families who grow them. Dig IN attendees will have the opportunity to meet and are encouraged to talk with a wide variety of Indiana farmers at the event while enjoying delicious dishes made from protein raised on their farms.

The Details:

Food: More than 35 of Indiana’s finest chefs will prepare a unique dish based on fresh produce and meat and poultry from Indiana farms. Attendees will be able to interact directly with the chefs and some of the producers while dining on tastings. Come hungry and fill up on the nearly three dozens offerings available at the park. Sweets from Just Rennie’s Cookie Company, Circle City Sweets and Nicey Treat as well as some vegetarian options will be available.

Beverages: Dig IN has partnered with the Indiana Wine Grape Council and the Brewers of Indiana Guild to provide Indiana-made wines and beers. More than 20 wineries and breweries are on tap, as is Bjava Coffee & Tea with a signature iced coffee and Natural Born Juicers with a special Dig IN juice. Beverages will be available for taste and purchase.

Entertainment & Speakers: Enjoy a wide range of music from local bands that will be playing in three areas around the park. Demonstrations will include cooking classes on a large stage and smaller stations featuring ongoing education throughout the day. Look for topics such as Indiana barbecue, canning and food preservation, and other ways to savor the bounty of Indiana’s agriculture. Indiana experts will be on hand to discuss nutrition and the latest concepts on the local food scene.

IFOF wants you to come to Dig IN to meet, talk with and learn more about the Hoosier farmers who are responsible for our most local of foods. So they are letting me give away two tickets to this event! To enter, simply visit Dig IN’s website (here) and leave a comment below telling me whose goodies you are most excited about tasting at the festival.

Want to increase your chances of winning? You can earn up to 2 more entries by:

  1. Sharing this post on Facebook. Come back to this post and leave another comment telling me you did so with a link to your personal Facebook page.
  2. Following me on Twitter (@katieunscripted) and tweeting about this giveaway. Something like this: “Enter to win 2 tickets to @DigIndiana from @katieunscripted thanks to @FamilyofFarmers. http://wp.me/p2QiXQ-gd”. Again, come back and leave another comment telling me that you tweeted with a link to the tweet.

Details: The contest is open through Wednesday, August 14th. The winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Thursday, August 15th (so please make sure your email address is included in at least one of your comments below so I can reach you). The winner will have 24 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen. No exceptions.

For another chance to win tickets, visit my friend Sarah’s blog at Redefining Perfect or Crystal’s blog at Mom For Less

If you don’t win tickets, you can still go! Buy tickets here – tickets are $40 (or you can grab early entry tickets for $60 and get in at 11am. All children 4 and under are FREE and kids 5-10 years old are only $10.

______________________________________________________________________________

IFOF Ambassador

Disclosure: As an IFOF Ambassador, I received two tickets to attend Dig IN and two tickets for this giveaway.This is a sponsored post. Though, as always, all thoughts and opinions are completely mine.

Indiana State Fair : Take One

On Monday, the White family spent 12 hours at the Indiana State Fair. TWELVE HOURS.

We began our first day at the fair with other local bloggers and their families at Indiana’s Family of Farmers Blogger Family Day. We were treated with breakfast from the Indiana Dairy Barn and then headed over to see the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball and the new Glass Barn.

Glass Barn Popcorn BallPopcorn is one of my favorite foods, so seeing this huge popcorn ball was so fun! It looked like a huge ball of caramel corn with all the “glue” keeping it held together. The kids were given honey sticks in the Ag/Hort Building on our way to see the popcorn ball by a sweet lady working at her sister’s honey booth. We also tried cinnamon spun honey, which OH MY GOSH is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

After wandering the Ag/Hort Building and talking at length to a Bonzai tree expert (IT WAS JUST A SIMPLE QUESTION!!!) we headed over to the new Glass Barn. It’s so beautiful (and air conditioned!) and we learned so much about Indiana farming – like that 96% of all Indiana farms are family-owned. We also watched a video about local farming and then got to FaceTime with hog farmer Heather Hill. It was so cool to be able to interact with her from the Glass Barn – the kids got to ask questions and see live little piglets at their farm.

After eating lunch from the Dairy Barn and Indiana Pork and Beef tents (the pit-a-toes at the pork tent are TO DIE FOR!), we decided to stay for the rest of the day. The kids had to visit Little Hands on the Farm (they LOVE this and do it every year) and of course had to climb all over the John Deere tractors.tractors

We also decided to let the kids do Midway rides for the first time this year. It was $15 wristband day for kids, so for $15 each, the kids got to ride unlimited Midway rides for the rest of the day/night. At first I wasn’t sure it was a smart idea for Cami and Lucas, since Cami went on about three roller coasters at Kings Island last year and Lucas, well, Lucas is two. But they ended up having a BLAST and it was well worth every bit of the $45 it cost us. (There’s another $15 wristband day for kids on Monday 8/12 if you want to give it a try.)Midway

On one of our breaks from the Midway, we took the kids to the DNR pond and let them fish. We haven’t done this in a couple of years and thought Lucas would love it. Except that you have to be 5 years old to participate in the clinic. But Lucas handled it well and watched the girls fish (for real fish!!) for about 15 minutes.Fishing

We’ve never spent 12 hours at the fair before. (I know, surprised?) But with the kids having so much fun and Isaac being SO good, we had to take advantage of the beautiful day/evening. I mean, where else can you dance with a walking street band, pet a baby calf and take a picture with a pig wearing an Indiana Pork apron? (Alaina just thought that was so wrong. “But he doesn’t want to BE pork!”)

Fun

Even though we were there for so long, I feel like we DIDN’T do so much! The only animals we saw were the cows in the cattle barn and the goats by the DNR building and pond, so we definitely need to spend some quality time with the animals when we go back later this week. We need to play mini-golf, play on the indoor playgrounds, pet some baby animals, listen to some good music (which we’ll do on Monday next week when we take Adam back to see Styx) and see some fun shows.

Oh, and eat some more fried food (veggies for me and elephant ears for the kids) and milk shakes. Because we can do that since we’ll walk so much, right? 🙂

The only thing I need to do before we go back Friday morning is to finally buy that double stroller. Because I don’t think I can do the fair with all four kids by myself without one. (Yes, I did just admit that the State Fair is the reason I need a double stroller. It’s ok. I know my obsession.)

 

Thanks to IFOF for hosting us for a wonderful morning, providing us with Fair tickets, food and goodies!