Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Omaha: Part 2

Kensi and Finn loved venturing around their grandparents’ homes, both live on acreages. Kensi and Finn loved running and rolling through the grass as they both said it was so soft compared to what we have at home. Kensi also said it was so awesome to not have to worry about fire ants, lizards, snakes and alligators. We live around a lot of predators here. Hearing how excited she was about the simplest things such as the grass made me feel sad, like they’re missing out on things we grew up only knowing. We were constantly outside exploring and going on adventures. Whereas here before I let the kids out to the yard I scan everything for snakes, spiders and fire ants.

We spent a day at the Henry Doorly Zoo, one of our favorite places in Omaha, with Mike’s mom and brother, Matt. We were so excited to finally see the new African Sahara exhibit and it definitely didn’t disappoint. What a huge difference this exhibit has made in terms of the animal enclosures, especially for the elephants and cats. We could have stayed and watched the lions and cheetahs for hours as it was fascinating seeing them in a more natural habitat. Kensi and Finn loved the aquarium, butterfly garden and giraffes. We had lunch and Olivia had her first taste of frozen lemonade. Of course she LOVED it and it was the perfect fix to cool down from the heat. We didn't make our way down to the farm exhibit, but will definitely plan to go there on our next visit. 

Mike and I also took the kids to the Omaha Children’s Museum on St. Mary’s Street. This is one of my favorite spots in Omaha for family fun. We’ve been to a few different children’s museums including St. Louis, Charlotte and Baltimore and this one is great for little kids. It’s not huge, but it is very clean and has a lot to keep kids entertained for a few hours. This was one of Mike’s first visits and he was my fourth child. He loved the engineering room and it was hard to pull him away from all the contraptions. Kensi had her first experience with a mean girl in the kitchen play area where in the middle of making a pizza, it was completely swiped from her even after trying to use her words to let the other girl know she was playing it. It didn’t matter and the girl responded, “not anymore! I am!” This was my first time watching something like this unfold on my own child and my Mama Bear wanted to come out. Not only was it heartbreaking to watch Kensi just break, but the parents were sitting right there, chatting with other parents and didn’t say a word! Needless to say we moved on and found the window painting room.

This visit was especially fun, because on the second level where exhibits change throughout the year based on theme, it was a dinosaur dig. Kensi and Finn loved digging for fossils, putting bones together and climbing on the large dinosaurs.We rode the carousel and sat through a science presentation about bubbles, how they’re made, why they form and what shapes they can make! We all had a blast and can’t wait to go back.

In between running through the fields and running around Omaha, we stopped at a few of our favorite local restaurants like Mama’s Pizza and Blue, celebrated a birthday and of course spent some time in the pool with cousins. However, it just wouldn’t feel right without some sort of project so Mike and I planted my parents’ garden and installed a timed watering system to make it tending the garden easier for them. This trip was one of our best trips back and it was very difficult saying ‘later’ to everyone. Kensi had the hardest time because she really didn’t want to leave. Living away from family is so incredibly difficult. It’s easier to try not to think about it, but ultimately that just means I’m putting on a strong face every day, because when the kids ask why we can’t celebrate our birthdays with cousins and grandparents, or why we don’t have family come over for holidays, I have to. This trip tugged on my heartstrings. I miss our family. I miss our hometown. I miss our friends. I miss familiarity. Of course living away is an adventure I never intended to have and it truly is amazing. Until next time Omaha...

Family Fun
Henry Doorly Zoo
Omaha Children’s Museum
Memorial Park
The Durham Museum
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
Conservation & Wildlife Safari Park

Favorite Restaurants
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
Roja Grill
Mama’s Pizza
La Casa’s Pizzaria

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