Mid-week catch up and Sawgrass Lake

October 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Monday we walked to school, but I didn’t take a photo. It looked like this:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-56

Later I went back to school to volunteer. Here’s my OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-3

20131021_101559-MOTION[3]

At school I cut paper…

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-4

put together homework packages…

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-5

and hung out with Mack while he had lunch.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-6

I can’t remember what else happened on Monday, but the next pictures I have are from Monday night when we watched The Walking Dead and I made a cocktail.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-57

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-1

That is the dregs of a NorCal margarita: tequila, club soda, lime. It’s really good, low carb, and I think it’s my new favorite drink.

I took these photos some time on Monday because Chewie looked so sweet in his spot of sunshine.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-7

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-8

On Tuesday I drove Mack to school because we were going on a fieldtrip that started early in the day. OOTFD (outfit of the fieldtrip day):

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-37

I love this top from Gwynnie Bee. It’s these same flowers that grow in our neighbor’s backyard and spill over into ours…like these that I took photos of at Sunken Gardens on Sunday:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-23

20131022_081901-MOTION[3]

The top is totally sheer, so it was the perfect thing to wear on a fieldtrip to a county park and environmental center on a 90 degree day with 90% humidity. Fall had not arrived here yet as of yesterday.

On the school bus:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-38

At Sawgrass Lake County Park:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-15

I have been to many (many, many) fieldtrips to this park, as well as many playdates there when the boys were little, but it is a gem.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-16

The kids first had to take a pre-test…

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-18

then they learned about all of the data we were going to be collecting that day. The kids had to break up into teams to test the nearby canal’s pH, turbidity, and oxygen levels, as well as air temperature and a couple of other things I’m sure I’m forgetting.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-19

They also had to record observations found in the environment and use fields guides to identify plants and animals that they saw.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-20

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-21

I got teamed up with Mack and his friend to test the canal water’s pH with a testing pen.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-22

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-23

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-24

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-25

The kids really got into the data collection. They were loving it.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-26

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-39

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-27

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-28

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-29

After the data was all collected, recorded, and discussed we went on a short hike around the park.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-32

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-34

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-33

Our teacher/guide for the day was fabulous. Here she has the kids demonstrating weathering, erosion, and deposition.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-55

Some of our observations…

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-35This is a juvenile alligator. You can tell that he/she is still a baby because they lose those yellow stripes between 2-3 years old.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-41American Beauty berries.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-43Apple snail shell. These are invasive to Florida and get their name because they are the size of an apple, or fist-sized. This one was empty, but these huge things are everywhere out there. People use them in aquariums so that’s how they ended up in our local waterways.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-40Fieldtrip shoes. The kids love them, so don’t judge.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-42

Our teacher/guide asked the kids how many stripes they thought are on the back of a six-lined racer, a type of lizard. It was disheartening to hear many of them yell out, “Three!” Luckily, most of them answered, “What do you think a rat snake eats?” correctly. Maybe there is hope for the future.

Once we got back into the classroom the kids took a “post” test (and improved their scores tremendously, as our guide gave them all of the answers throughout the day) and got to check out all of the animals and other interesting things on display.

Grady the rabbit roams freely in and out of the classroom. They just leave all the doors open, even the ones leading to the outdoors. He’s obviously pretty happy there.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-17

Mack got to hold a snake.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-36

I learned that the term “aquatard” is not an insensitive name for me during the first leg of a triathlon. It’s actually part of the water cycle in Florida.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-30

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-31

The fieldtrip was great, but it was also LONG. It took up the entire school day.

Last night my friend Amy invited me to come hang out with her out at the beach. We were going to get drinks and watch the sunset but then it was raining. So instead we went to a place in Treasure Island called Middle Grounds Grill for dinner. I didn’t photograph my food, but the seasonal salad and New York strip steak with veggies were excellent. I would definitely recommend this place!

I did photograph my drink. I was going to order a NorCal margarita, but then I saw this on the menu which was just sort of a fancier version of that.

MiddleGrounds drink

We both got one without the agave nectar, and it was delicious. I definitely want to recreate this drink on my own some time. Thanks for the invitation Amy!

Luckily last night’s rain brought a cold front, and it was so nice out this morning on our walk to school. It was still shorts and tank top weather for me, but the humidity had noticeably dropped and I didn’t break a sweat. This is Mack chastising Chewie for filling FOUR poop bags on our walk:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-44

He missed his evening walk last night because of the rain and he pretty much refuses to poop in our yard unless it’s a dire emergency. He is spoiled by his morning and evening walks.

Today I stayed home all morning doing laundry and catching up on some things. The afternoon has been the usual run-around of picking up boys at various places and taking them to other various places. Time to go make dinner.

Cya.

Family school breakfast and a fieldtrip

October 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm

This morning Chad drove Mack to school so that I could go to school early with Cal for a family breakfast.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-1

A couple of times a year the PTSA (like PTA with an “S”) hosts a “family breakfast” and invites all the parents to come have breakfast with the kids. Considering there are 950 kids at Cal’s school, the turnout is pretty sad.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-2

They ask for donations only, and have eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, hash browns, biscuits, muffins, Danish, fresh fruit, fruit cocktail, juice, milk, and coffee. I brought my own sweet potato and had eggs and bacon. They supplied the butter.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-3

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-4

The PTSA did a little presentation (I didn’t pay attention so I don’t know what it was about…asking for money probably) and then we all played a trivia game.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-5

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-6

Out of 36 possible points we got 25, which was enough to win a coffee mug (they had like 25 prizes to give away).

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-7

After breakfast at school with Cal, I went to Mack’s school for a fieldtrip. On the school bus with Mack:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-8

OOTFD (outfit of the fieldtrip day):

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-9

The fieldtrip was to The Science Center of Pinellas. I have been to many (many, many, many) fieldtrips there, but this was the first time I was going to go to their planetarium. Before that the kids listened to some instruction about astronomy. Here they are all observing how the moon phases work:

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-11

The light bulb is the sun and they all spun around and observed the shadow/light on their moon lollipops.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-21

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-14

They also did some game on the computer regarding moon phases.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-15

Then we went to the planetarium in another building.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-16

It was a tiny theater/planetarium, but the kids thought it was pretty cool.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-17

The bus ride home was not fun. Children on a bus are loud, stinky, and annoying. But Mack is worth it. He was glad I was there.

I was starving by the time we got back as were all the kids. It was an hour later than their usual lunch time. It was not even late for my usual lunch time, but I don’t think my breakfast was as awesome as usual. The leftover jerk-style shrimp scampi and citrus cauliflower rice (recipes from Well Fed 2) were delicious.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-18

I folded laundry and listened to my friend Kate on The Angriest Trainer podcast until I had to go pick up Mack.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-19

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-20

We were pretty much out of washcloths and towels.

The rest of the afternoon was running boys as usual: pick up Mack from school, come home for a half hour, pick up Cal from school, drop Mack off at karate, pick up pizza, come home for 30 minutes, go pick Mack up from karate.

I need to go do that last thing now. Boys are eating their usual Tour de Pizza and I’m not sure what I’m going to throw together for myself tonight.

Cya.