By: Jennifer Murray

The Blog Post in Which I Open A Can of Worms…

 worms

Alright, so around this time last year, our family took a roadtrip, to celebrate my parents’ anniversary.  You might recall our episodes that chronicled our "Ad-Venture" in the Chevy Venture that croaked on our way to Tennessee.  If you missed the video bloopers you can watch them all HERE. In spite of those few hours of stress, stuck in the van in the pouring rain with 4 one-year olds, we tried to make the best of it, counted our blessings, and took the opportunity to make a memory. 

Although I hope we never experience prolonged car trouble on a family vacation again, I’m glad that I used video taping as a coping strategy, so we can look back at it and laugh at the craziness for years to come…

So what’s that have to do with opening a can of worms you ask?

Excellent question.

Today I had this crazy idea (that I just might regret later), that this summer would be a fun time for some video adventures in the Honda Odyssey.  (Insert Snazzy Title Here.)  I really want to "push" myself to trying more and more with the boys this summer on my own (and with Brad too)!

Things that maybe non-multiple moms might even do on a regular basis, that we might be missing out on….

Things that may take some preparation and force me out of my comfort zone of our neighborhood bubble…

Things that might even be stressful, or take additional planning on my part….

Things to chalk up to good memories at the end of the summer.

We have RSV Lockdowns behind us 4ever, and many many adventures ahead, and I can’t hardly wait to watch the boys inspect, observe, wonder, and learn as they continue to experience the world from their 2 year old eyes (all eight of them)!

So here’s where YOU take over this post.  I need ideas, Bleeps! (That’s my new affectionate name for y’all. It’s a combo of Bloggers and Peeps. I’m calling ©Copyright! How does it suit ya?) I’m open for suggestions and in return I’ll do some video episodes of our adventures.  It may not always be pretty, but we’ll make memories for better or for worse!

Think BUDGET and LOCAL (Indianapolis Area). Unless the CEO of SeaWorld or Disney just happens to be reading…RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

So there you have it, the can of worms is OPEN for business! Can’t wait for the suggestions, Bleeps!

37 Responses to “The Blog Post in Which I Open A Can of Worms…”

  1. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    Take them to the gardens at Butler!

  2. mamalouise
    May 8, 2009 at 8:36 am #

    The State Fair in August (I realize thats a ways out) but that stresses me out and I only have one! And they would LOVE it I am sure!! We are going to “brave” it too this year! I am pondering…if I think of more I will get back to you! 🙂

  3. Kate
    May 8, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    Roadtrip to Ohio! Come visit us to hang out on my new deck. 🙂 It’s gated to keep toddlers IN. 🙂

  4. Michael
    May 8, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    Here’s a few from my childhood and a few we’ve done…

    U-Pick strawberry’s and blueberries
    IMA
    PBS Kids at the park
    State Fair
    Pumpkin Train
    Raccoon Lake
    Farmer’s Markets
    Cross Country Road Trip (My family trips across the country are hands down my best childhood memories. We have not even attempted anything like this seeing as the kids are not old enough to appreciate or remember the sights, people, etc.)

  5. Becky
    May 8, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Our church’s mom’s group goes out every Tuesday during the summer for some local fun. We’d love to have you join us AND there would be lots of eyes to help you keep a watch on wandering toddlers. So maybe not “quite” as stressful. 🙂 I’ll send you our schedule by e-mail. Take care and have fun this summer!!! You can do it!

  6. Julie
    May 8, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    Blue Kangaroo Books playgroup. Every Tues at 10:30 and 1. We sing, work on our alphabets, have a story, and a snack and of course play time!
    And it’s FREE!

  7. Jorja's Mommy
    May 8, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    I’ve been told there is a park on the North side (?) called Holliday Park complete with gigantic and amazing new playground equipment and trails etc. Also-what about a day at Turkey Run? Camping for one night? (i might be pushing it), going to the Zoo with Jorja and I…Paris can come too for extra 2 hands of help.

  8. crabapple
    May 8, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    the apple family farm? it’d probably take 60 minutes or so to get there

    http://www.applefamilyfarm.com/

    i’ve never been to it since they’ve made it open to the public. i went to high school with some of their kids 🙂

    also, schools and pre-schools do field trips there. it looks like a huge petting zoo!

  9. Melissa
    May 8, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Don’t forget the children’s museum! Mud puddles are also coming to my mind, but your kids have probably already explored them.

  10. Leah
    May 8, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    The Zoo! I don’t have 4 two year olds, but I do have a 1 year old and two 8 month olds, and we went to the zoo a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t bad at all! We plan to make it an aleast once a month trip! I also found it to be a nice little workout! Which I need!

  11. Emily H
    May 8, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    i selfishly agree with a raod trip to ohio–the cincinnati zoo is a great place, and i could come along to help out!! 😉

  12. Meg
    May 8, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    You know what my friend just did? She took both her kids and her hubby to Disney for the price of ONE adult ticket. Both of her kids were under 3 and they went on her birthday (it’s a disney promo) so they only had to buy her hubby’s ticket! I thought it was a great idea!! I don’t know when your birthdays are but it might be somethign for the future since the boys won’t be three until next Feb!

  13. Meg
    May 8, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    We go to the library for the special program there for toddlers.

    Local churches (in winter) offer “toddler gyms” where they pull all the toys out in their gym and let moms/dads bring their kids.

    We go to the park and actually explore/try out all different parks to keep things interesting.

    We got involved with a local momsclub at “meetup.com” and did playdates. They are nice because everyone kind of looks out for all the kids and herds them so you aren’t the only one taking care of them.

    Are there any local aquariums? zoos? children’s touch and feel museums? children’s amusement parks?

    You asked at a great time because most places let kids under 3 in free.

    A friend of ours started a stroller walk and we do that two days a week to keep me in shape and get my boys out.

    HTH!

  14. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    ya’ll can come down south! I’d keep ALL FOUR of them while you and Brad go ANYWHERE 🙂 hehe -sioby 🙂

  15. Jennifer
    May 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    SEATTLE!!!

    Okay, it’s SO not local, but still…it’s pretty, and we’d love to meet you and show you around. I have two 4 year olds and a whole bunch of teens (4, to be exact) to help out. It would be such fun! 🙂

  16. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    Fair Oaks dairy. Trader’s Point dairy. Conner Praire. The Zoo. The Indy 500 track (Maybe the boys can get Danica’s autograph). The canal downtown.

    If you go on a weekend, I’ll be your helper.

    Amy C.

  17. Erin Steele (previously Domeyer)
    May 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    It would still be a 2 hour drive or less but the Louisville zoo is awesome also…very cool!! If you get a family pass from the Indianapolis zoo you get in free to over 50 zoos thhroughout the US..So you save lots of money on your trips…Maybe when visiting louisville make it an overnight and visit the science center also!! Or keep on driving here to Evasville In. and visit the LST war ship or children’s museum….New Harmony indiana is right close and many famous people come to relax and enjoy the old time feel. Hope you find some good ideas.

  18. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Columbian Park in Lafayette,IN has a zoo, water park w/area for little kids, playground, and small amusement park rides.

  19. GibsonTwins
    May 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    Although I admire you for wanting to do more with your boys, I am perfectly content to stay within comfort zone and do things easily manageable with little ones.

    I no longer stress myself out trying to manage two kids at the playground, I just take an extra set of hands. I do look forward to seeing your video adventures though!

    PS- have you considered a mother’s helper for the summer (or anytime)? I never knew how handy it would come in having sisters 12 years younger and since they’re only just 13 this year, they can’t have “real” jobs so they will be at my house all summer playing with toddlers (who think it’s pretty cool to have someone close to their age around!).

  20. Hi! My name is Janet.
    May 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    The Indianapolis Museum of Art is free (save special exhibits) and has extensive grounds for the boys to roam!
    farmers markets are a great idea! plus kids get to learn where their food comes from!
    I’ve heard of this place called the Bounce Zone. Let ’em run amuck. http://www.gobouncezone.com/

    title suggestion: Adventures in the Odyssey (a take off of a christian kids radio show) or just Odysseys since it means: a long series of wanderings or adventures, esp. when filled with notable experiences, hardships, etc.
    what a conveniently named vehicle! which i think you could refer to as Homer…

  21. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    You can go “Rock Hunting”. My papaw did this with me when I was little and I loved it! You go to a park or area with rocks, and you look for “big” rocks with a different shape. Then you take your rocks home and wash and paint them. We would paint them as socks, flowers, balls or whatever the shape looked like to us. The younger they are they really just like to paint them and they don’t look like anything. Also, painting with fruit is fun. You can use any fruit. I liked using apples. I would cut them in half and the kids use them as a stamp. They would stamp apple shapes on their paper and they loved it!

  22. Mamma Sol
    May 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    A challenge for me this summer (with my one-year-old twins) will be taking them to the swimming pool/ water sports centre. We have not taken part in any baby swimming courses so it’s just a matter of holding them in your arms letting them explore the water. Also, I’m buing UV wear and life vests because I’m taking them back home to go play on the pebble beaches. Best of luck with your summer!

  23. Ambulance Mommy
    May 8, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    oh, i don’t live in the area, so I dont have any local suggestions….
    but if i had to think about taking myself out of my comfort zone, or making it a personal challenge for me…. ummmm…..

    i would say it would have to be something with crowds. I don’t like big crowds, and avoid them like the plauge. so something like a big state fair, or a really popular toristy spot in the summer, those are always out for me.

  24. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Lurker here, LOVE your blog! Just wanted to toss out the title “Quadysseys”- a combo of Quads and Odyssey. Have fun 🙂

  25. Jenna
    May 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Hey Jen! It would be a bit of a drive for you, but sometime you need to check out Fair Oaks Farms – it’s a straight shot up 65.

    http://www.fofarms.com/

    We took a family trip there a couple weeks ago and had an absolutely amazing time! I’ll be posting pictures soon on FB so you can check them out too 🙂

    Good luck deciding! No worries, you will have fun with whatever you do!

  26. Meg
    May 8, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    This isn’t local but it’s not far and it is worth it…the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. It is top notch!

  27. Hughes & Company
    May 8, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    We are big fans of local parks. We love Lions Park in Zionsville (smaller playground equipment for the little guys), West Park in Carmel (sprinklers for the guys to run through – wear your swim trunks – and a nice walking path complete with a dock where you can feed the ducks and fish – bring your own bread), Holliday Park on Spring Mill Rd (LOTS of nice shade, nice for a picnic, and the playground equip is age appropriate). We haven’t tried out Central Park in Carmel, yet, but hear it is great. There are a few others, too, that I look forward to trying this summer.

    We also love Trader’s Point Creamery. If you go at 4:00pm, you can watch them milk the cows. At any time of the day, you can freely roam around the farm. They have chickens everywhere, usually some calves to see, and of course, the big cows. They have a dairy bar where you can get a treat when your done or before you start, you choose!!! On Fridays, they have a farmer’s market and you can have dinner on the patio. We’ve done that for a special treat! Check out their website at http://www.tpforganics.com. for more ideas.

  28. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    I will COMPLETELY agree with Lions Park in Zionsville!! It’s about a half a mile down the road from where I will be this summer, and I have permission to take the kiddos there. We could meet up for some playtime and picnic lunch 😉

    You know I would LOOOOOVE to tag along on your summer plans if it weren’t for this job. Maybe next summer I won’t have to work. (hahaha)

    Emily U.

  29. The Curtis Clan
    May 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Hello! I am not sure how far is too far…but we took my son when he was two to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. We also went to the Crayola Factory. It was so much fun! I am sure that your boys would just love it! There are so many things to do to keep the kids occupied.

  30. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    I am not local either…but here is what our tribe of 3 try to do during the summer months:
    – children’s museum (Target sponsers a day each month that is free)
    – Minneapolis Institute of Arts (or something like that in your area) also does a day each month for kids and it is free with activities/crafts
    – zoo – big hit with our family, we buy the annual membership and go for an hour or all day
    – parks – locals may be better able to give you ideas for the best ones in your area
    – trips to see weird things like ‘the Jolly Green Giant’ in Blue Earth…google your state to see if you have any interesting tourist attractions
    – probably visit the Spam museum this summer. 🙂
    – oh…and the youngest child who is the only boy loves to go fishing off the dock at any location that you can catch little sunnies or perch

    Love your blog.
    Faithful Reader in Minnesota

  31. lovey
    May 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    I thought strawberry u-pick too. Here’s a website with strawberry u-picks in central IN – http://www.pickyourown.org/INcentral.htm

    Also, it is labor day, but the Blueberry Festival in Plymouth. Or you could cross the state line into Indiana later this year and pick cherries in Niles, MI with me..I’ll help! Also I thought of Nappannee (2 hours north?). It has a waterpark now, but it is a great place with a slow pace of life..Amish Acres..great eating places and a wonderful market.

    Or maybe you could come up to Granger (near South Bend) and give your wise, aged, and sage advice to the newly born Coleman quads!!

    Also Indiana Dunes Amusement? Too young??

  32. Joe and Carrie
    May 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    I’ve never tried it with my twins, but a friend of mine LOVES the music classes she takes her daughter to. It’s through a community center. I have felt nervous about taking the kids with the whole two to one ratio I’ve got going on, so I’m not sure how you will feel with 4!

    I did just get back from a 2 1/2 month missions trip to India with my 2 1/2 year old twin boys! Though it was a lot of work, it was totally worth it and we did and saw some amazing things! I posted lots of pictures on my blog if you are curious!

  33. debbale
    May 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    We just took all four of our 2yr grandchildren to the u pick strawberries. It was great and so much fun they stayed right with us in fact they sort of just sat down and chowed down on the strawberries. I think they ate more than we brought home. And we have some great strawberry juice face pics too.

  34. Jessica
    May 11, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    On the first day of the State Fair, they do a sunrise hot air balloon race that is fantastic to watch! So many parks now have splash pads, they boys would love it. West Park is one, it has a farm theme for the play area and is super cute. Across the street there is a wonderful children’s village at Coxhall Gardens.

  35. Anonymous
    May 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    I really enjoy going to Avon Gardens http://www.avongardens.com It’s beautiful, with lots for little boys to discover and is free unless you decide to buy something for your garden. I also love Anderson Orchard. http://www.andersonorchard.com Also free, but of course you have to pick some apples and buy some fresh produce…their tomatoes are the best! They also have a concession stand with elephant ears, fried biscuits, fresh apple cider and frozen apple cider…YUM!

    Melody

  36. Chelsa
    May 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    come to southern indiana and visit 🙂

  37. Pam
    May 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    I agree with Meg. I just took the kids to the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo on Monday. It’s a really nice zoo. The kids loved it.

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