Apr 212014
 

My boys are experienced travelers. They have flown to Disney World every year since my oldest was five and the little guy was 21 months old (they are now nine and six). We always fly to Orlando out of Providence, RI, so it is a short flight for us (about two and a half hours or so), but this is the second year in a row that we have flown across the country to San Diego (which is where I am right now). That is about a six hour flight from Boston, so it’s almost double the amount of time on an airplane than what they are used to.

They are generally really good about entertaining themselves, but you never know when one of them is going to get bored, so for long flights, I always bring a carry on bag filled with things to keep them busy.

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As you can see it’s filled with puzzle books, Mad Libs, mazes, Where’s Waldo books and most importantly – snacks!  I also make sure I have sharpened pencils and a pencil sharpener so that they can actually do the Mad Libs, puzzles and mazes.  I make sure to charge their 3DS’s and Kindle Fires the night before so that they are fully charged before we leave and that way they should last for most of the time we are up in the air. Continue reading »

Apr 082014
 

If there is one thing you can count on in Boston, it’s that the Big Apple Circus comes to town every spring.  The circus is set up right on City Hall Plaza under a big old tent. We’ve gone to the circus a few times in the past, but when I heard several of my blogger friends were giving away family four packs of tickets to the circus, I entered a few of their giveaways and wouldn’t you know – I won one of them.

My hubby, Chris, works in the Federal Building right next door to where the tent is set up, so he was kind enough to snap this picture of the view from above.

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Chris and I didn’t tell the boys in advance that we were going, so they were really happily surprised when they found out.  We’ve been seeing lots of commercials on tv for it and they asked to go every time one came on.  When we arrived, they were each given clown noses, which made their day. Continue reading »

Apr 072014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to see Blue Man Group in Boston in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in anyway**

Have you ever seen the Blue Man Group?  I recently had an opportunity to go see the show with my family and I don’t even think words can express how much we loved it.  I was super excited to take my family to see it.  I had seen the show three or four times in the past, but it was the first time seeing the show for my husband and boys.  Knowing them, I knew it was going to be a hit with all three of them and I was so happy that they all liked it even more than I thought they would.

Ok, so you’ve heard of Blue Man Group, but you’re not really sure what it’s all about, huh?  Well, it’s really hard to explain, so here’s what they say about the show on their website:

Blue Man Group combines music, technology and comedy to create a form of entertainment that defies categorization and appeals to people of all ages. Blue Man Group’s shows have been described by critics as “innovative,” “energetic” and “wildly entertaining.” But the only way to truly understand Blue Man Group’s global popularity is to see the show for yourself.

The show is about an hour and 40 minutes with no intermission, and it flew by.  I was shocked when I looked at my watch and saw that the show was nearly over.  Blue Man Group is fast moving and highly entertaining.  We were not bored for a second.  Honestly, if you are looking for something different to do with your family, check out the show – it’s very family friendly and so much fun! Continue reading »

Apr 062014
 

It may have been 40 degrees out a couple of weekends ago, but to us, it was a great day to head to the zoo.  We have memberships to two local zoos and one of them is reciprocal with the Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, MA, so we took a ride over there.  The zoo is only about 20 minutes from my house and it’s quite possibly the smallest zoo of all time, but they have a nice playground, so that kind of makes it worth going.

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Continue reading »

Apr 052014
 

If you are a regular around here, you probably already know that my nine year old takes karate. My little man did it for about six months, but it’s just not his thing, so he’s on hiatus right now. My nine year old, though, found his calling and is thriving at the sport.

A couple of weeks ago he tested for his next belt: brown.

Here are a couple of action shots from the actual belt test, which was done in class.

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The students had to do their form correctly with power and enthusiasm to pass the test. My guy passed and here he is getting a stripe on his green belt to signify that he was advancing. Continue reading »

Apr 022014
 

If you read my Christmas recap post in January, you may recall that my nine year old got this awesome book from his uncle for Christmas.  I may or may not have been more excited about it than he was and I couldn’t wait to dig and do some of these experiments with the boys.  My goal is to complete all of them by the end of the year.  We’ve done several of the experiments already and you can read about the other ones here if you’d like.

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I like the experiments in this book because they are all relatively simple with detailed instructions. Continue reading »

Apr 012014
 

You may remember that a ways back I took the boys to Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.  It’s a collection of battleships that you can board and tour. Since I had taken so many pictures the day we were there, I decided to break up each battleship into separate posts rather than bombarding you with 859,234 pictures all in one absurdly long post.

Today I am sharing some of the pictures that I took while we were on board The USS Massachusetts.

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Continue reading »

Mar 312014
 

About two weeks ago, I got to chaperone my first grader’s field trip to the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford.  My family used to be members there, so he was familiar with the place, but for many of the kids, it was their first time there.

Three out of the six first grade classes went on the field trip that day & the other three went the following day.  The people at the Ocean Explorium split each classroom into groups and we went through four separate stations as a group.  The Ocean Explorium is relatively small, so I think that was the best way to run things.

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Our first stop was Science on a Sphere.  Using high-speed computers, multiple projectors and advanced imaging techniques, Science on a Sphere creates an image of the planet in 3-D. Continue reading »

Mar 292014
 

I got a chance to go into my first grader’s school for a presentation recently called the Habitat Happening, which was a project done by all the first graders at the school.  There wasn’t much information on the flier as to what the presentation was actually about, and of course my six year old just shrugged his shoulders when I asked him.  The flier just said to be there at 2 pm on a certain date, so that’s where I was.

habitat-happening-first-grade-animal-presentation

Once all the parents and three out of the six first grade classes piled into the cafeteria, the teachers explained why we were there. That is after they talked about the common core standards for the project first.  Side note:  I hate common core! Continue reading »

Mar 222014
 

Sometimes people ask me what some of  my go-to inexpensive activities to do with my kids are.   Visiting the Bass Pro shop in Foxboro is high up on the list.  My boys could spend hours in that place (actually they have).

Bass Pro Shops/Outdoor World, Foxborough, Massachusetts

While you’ll find a huge selection of outdoor gear, Bass Pro Shops stores are also part museum, art gallery, antique store, aquarium, education, conservation and entertainment center.  Using more than 3,500 area artifacts, antiques, pictures, mounts and memorabilia, the store becomes a living museum of New England’s hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies.

The store is huge.

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Bass-pro-shop-foxboro-store-boys

We went there a few weeks ago and the first thing we did when we were there was to grab a snack.   On the second floor of the store, there is a snack bar which has ice cream, fudge, coffee, pretzels, nachos and things like that.  The boys got some ice cream while Chris & I split a chunk of fudge. Continue reading »

Mar 182014
 

On March 8th, we had a major milestone in our house – my six year old lost his first tooth!

Lost-first-tooth-face

It had been wiggly for quite a while and I had given it a few gentle tugs in the week leading up to it coming out, but the tooth just wasn’t ready.  The day it came out, he was out at a birthday party & when he got back, the tooth was literally hanging out of his mouth.  Because I was afraid he’s swallow it in his sleep, I gentle pulled it out for him. Continue reading »

Mar 172014
 

Yesterday, Chris & I took the gruesome twosome to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Abington, MA.  Back in the day, I used to go to the big parade in Southie (Boston), but the crowd can get a little rowdy in the city, so I wanted to take them to a smaller event like the one in Abington.

As far as parades go, it was a pretty decent one to be honest.  It was our first year attending that parade and the boys loved it.  Maybe I should clarify, though.  They loved all the candy they collected from the people throwing it off of the floats.

Abington-St-Patricks-Day-Parade-boys

We got there a little early so that we could get a good spot to see the parade. Continue reading »

Mar 142014
 

You may remember that a ways back I took the boys to Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.  It’s a collection of battleships that you can board and tour. Since I had taken so many pictures the day we were there, I decided to break up each battleship into separate posts rather than bombarding you with 859,234 pictures all in one absurdly long post.

Today I am sharing some of the pictures that I took while we were on board The USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.

battleship-cove-side-john-p-kennedy

the-uss-john-p-kennedy-jr
Continue reading »

Mar 112014
 

We recently took a trip into the Museum of Science in Boston with the boys.  It’s one of their favorite places to go because of all the hands-on learning they get to do there.  They think they’re playing, but they’re really learning at the same time!

museum-of-science-boston

There are three floors of exhibits, so it’s usually a jam packed day whenever we go there.

museum-of-science-boston-exhibit-halls Continue reading »

Mar 062014
 

Yesterday you read all about our adventures in bones and taxidemied animals and as promised, I am going to show you a few of the pictures I took the in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

From their website:

Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery

This renovated gallery displays thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones in both rough and cut examples, including a 1,600-pound amethyst geode from Brazil. Exhibits highlight new research and offer a broad overview of the dynamic processes and events that formed our planet and that have shaped its continuing evolution. Visitors can touch rock and mineral specimens that date back to the beginning of our solar system. Uncover mysteries of our planet’s origins revealed in ancient meteorites and terrestrial rock containing some of the oldest minerals on Earth, zircon crystals that have survived intact for 4.3 billion years!

Here is the 1,600 pound amethyse geode:

harvard-museum-of-natural-history-geode
Continue reading »

Mar 052014
 

Last weekend, Chris & I took the boys the The Harvard Museum of Natural History (yes, THAT Harvard) because of a friends recommendation.  I am so glad we listened because the museum was amazing and my boys LOVED it.

The museum was sort of split into two sections.  One was filled with fossils & taxidermied animals. The other was the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery, which has thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones on display.  Today, I am going to show you the pictures I took of the fossil & animal galleries.  Why?  Because I took SO many pictures that I didn’t want to overwhelm you all in one post.

We got there right when the museum opened and walked right into the EVOLUTION exhibit as soon as we got there, so we spent a while examining the fossils on display!

EVOLUTION invites visitors to examine the fossil, anatomical, and genetic evidence that all life is connected through a shared evolutionary history. View animals and plants that sparked Darwin’s theory, dramatic displays of diversity within species, and computer simulations that demonstrate how natural selection acts.

See a model of the 375-million-year-old fossilized remains of Tiktaalik roseae (see image below)—a fossil fish dubbed the “missing link” between fish and land animals—discovered in 2004 by a team of scientists in northern Canada.

EVOLUTION offers a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing evolution research at Harvard, from exciting new discoveries about human origins, to surprising insights from new genetic and developmental studies on Darwin’s finches.

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Continue reading »

Mar 032014
 

Over February vacation,  we had a warm day, so I decided to take the boys to Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.  Battleship Cove is a is a nonprofit maritime museum and war memorial that houses a collection of military vessels of local, national and international importance.

Welcome-to-battleship-cove

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Continue reading »

Mar 012014
 

Over the February vacation, we had a chance to meet up with some friends.  Since the kids love to bowl, we decided on Ryan Family Amusements in Buzzards Bay.  We usually visit the Raynham, MA location, which is a little bigger than this one, but our friends are out of town and Buzzards Bay was about half way between us.

ryan-family-amusements-buzzards-bay-bowling-lanes

They way they did it at Ryan, was the kids played until they were done & then you pay at the end. That works better for us because sometimes my boys like to play a couple of games & sometimes they get bored quickly and only end up playing one. Continue reading »

Feb 282014
 

During the February vacation, we were looking for something to do with the kiddos and I ended up coming across a post on Facebook about an Owl Festival that was being held at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.

The way the building was set up, was that there was an EcoZone Museum to the left and then the Owl Festival was being held in a big function room on the other side.  We decided to see what was in the EcoZone Museum first. Basically, it is a multidimensional, interactive exhibit area that focuses on the ecosystems of southeastern Massachusetts.

South-Shore-Natural-Science-Center-eco-room

Continue reading »

Feb 252014
 

Recently, the gruesome twosome got to try their hand at snowshoeing.  We were at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell, MA and snowshoeing was included as part of the admission price on the day we went (tune in later this week to hear about our visit to the Science Center).

A snowshoe is a type of footwear used for walking over the snow. Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person’s foot does not sink completely into the snow (also sometimes called “flotation”).

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Continue reading »