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Kids can often be afraid of hospitals and medical professionals. I know that my boys do not have fond memories of visiting them. Of course, being rushed on an ambulance and having people be unable to get an IV in a child can be traumatic. Thanks to this, we wanted to help ease the boys’ perception of hospitals, doctors, and others that work in the emergency fields.
Albany Medical Center held their tenth annual “Teddy Bear Hospital Day” over the weekend. Children in the community can bring their teddy bears (or aliens) to the event to have check-ups by a medical student. The kids actually rotate around different stations, where they learn about medical procedures while getting hands-on experiences.
When we arrived and parked our car, we went over to see the First Responders that were parked outside. The members from Western Turnpike Rescue Squad had their ambulance to give kids a tour. NHL was in an ambulance years ago when he had a febrile seizure. Poor JSL has been on one many more times after a hand full of febrile seizures. Neither of the boys recall those rides, but I do. They really enjoyed looking around inside the truck to see all of the equipment.
Members of the Engine 9 from the Albany Fire Department were also there with their truck. The kids were able to walk around the truck, ask questions, and explore. Oh and they also were allowed to jump into the truck for a great photo opportunity. I know these first responders are often the ones that show up at home, so allowing the kids to see how kind and patient they were was priceless.
From here we wandered through Albany Medical Center to the cafeteria where the event was being held. The boys had their stuffed friends ready. First, we signed them in and got our bags. Next, we waited on line for Stitch and Duffy to get their medical gowns and ID bracelets.
After this, Stitch and Duffy had check-ups from one of the medical students. The boys were allowed to use stethoscopes and other medical instruments to assist in the exam. From here, we wandered around the different stations that included: Emergency Medicine, Anesthesia, Hospital Adventure, Psych-Neuro, Clinical Nutrition, Orthopedic Surgery, Dermatology, Tar Wars, Lyme Out, and more. In addition to this, the kids were able to get ID badges made with photos of them with their friends. This was by far the cutest part.
Stitch and Duffy did really well, although they both required a cast. Stitch ended up having a broken ear as he went around with NHL. He got that fixed up and did really well in the end.
Poor Duffy ended up breaking his little tail when he went to get some shots. At least that is what JSL told them when they asked what happened to him. Thank goodness they had the supplies to help and stabilize that break.
A huge thank you to Albany Medical Center, the staff, professors, and medical students that ran this. It was so well done it was a pleasure to take the boys to. If you ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend it.
Have you ever been to an event like this one? I would love to know what your family thought and how it helped your children.
Imagine walking into an art exhibit that not only is visually appealing, but will also help to feed families within your area. This is the reality of the 3rd Annual Capital Region Canstruction at the New York State Museum. Canstruction is a design competition that has been taking place all over the country. In the Capital Region, local architects, engineers, contractors, and students participate in this event where the goal is to create imaginative art that is simply made of canned goods.
The exhibit will be on the 4th Floor of the New York State Museum (free) from March 28 to April 11. Once the exhibit is closed, all of the food will be donated to the Food Pantries of for the Capital District. If you decide to go, please bring some cans with you. Part of the fun is voting for your favorite structure. Each display has a bin in front of it where you can donate a can as a vote. The one with the most donations will win the Community Choice Award.
Let me take you on a tour of the festivities. When you enter the New York State Museum, a display is within the lobby area. It was made by Tech Valley High students and faculty members and contains 3,814 cans. As you will see, each display has a board explaining the inspiration, who designed it, and what cans are included. This display was the Community Choice Award winner last year.
When we went upstairs, we circled around the exhibit. I spent some time sending out Instagram photos, while the boys and TechyDad looked around. Our first stop was In Our Dreams which was made by Price Chopper. This had 4,000 cans of soup, 200 bottle of white grape juice, 48 cans of chunk light tuna, and 48 cans of albacore tuna. At first glance, we missed that the brain actually lit up. This was a very fun addition to the structure. Thanks to the extra feature, it won JSL’s vote for favorite and a can was placed in the donation bin.
From here you could quickly see the focus of the next display. Look carefully for the peace sign. Yes, this display was called CAN You Imagine World Peace? and was made from 5,778 cans of tuna.
One of the most colorful displays was next. Lucky LepreCANS – Catch them if you CAN had 7,500 cans. At the bottom of the rainbow and pot of gold is an outline of New York State made with cans. I’ll let you in on a secret – this was almost my favorite.
From here, we walked back around to the other side of the 4th floor to check out The Volumizer. This won the “Best Meal” honor and when you look carefully you will probably understand why.
Next up are some fun little fellows that you will likely recognize from Despicable Me fame. The Minions are part of the Minion-Mize HUNGER that had 5,450 cans including tuna, macaroni and cheese, instant bouillon, black pepper, cherry gelatin, chocolate pudding, Slim Jims, and roasted coffee. This was also the structure that captured NHL’s vote for favorite.
Across the way from the Minions was another very famous critter. Yes, Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar was the focus of The Very Hungry CANerpillar. This colorful creature, who stole my heart, was made up of 5,770 cans. As a teacher, the nod to literature and creativity on so many levels won my vote as favorite.
Heading back around the corner, we dove into some 8-Bit Mario game nostalgia. The game stats for SOUPER MARIO BROS. was very impressive. It included the following cans: 924 chicken broth, 777 tomato sauce, 414 corn, 380 tuna, 211 black beans, 144 green beans, 20 wax beans, and 110 boxes of spaghetti. I almost think the skillfully hidden question mark for a power up may have been what made it TechyDad’s favorite.
As we followed the yellow brick road along the exhibit area, we came to We’re not in CANsas anymore… which won for structural integrity. This fun recreation of Oz is made up of over 3,000 cans of tuna, green beans, dices tomatoes, pink salmon, jello, split peas, and sardines.
The last of the structures that we saw won for the best use of labels. When you see this, it is not hard to understand why. Can You Imagine an End to Hunger? features the face of Albert Einstein. When you stand back it blends beautifully together to look like the picture. Also note his famous formula underneath – I missed that when there.
We really did enjoy our visit to the 2013 Capital Region Canstruction exhibit. I know that the boys learned a lot, had fun, and so did we. We look forward to going again next year. Oh and be sure to look at #Canstruction on Instagram and Twitter because the events all over are fun to check out.
Right now my brain is whirling around and I feel like I am flying. Flying with dragons, of course, so it is a good thing. Thanks to just getting back from an amazing time at the DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular at the Times Union Center. TechyDad was contacted by PR from the show and he shared some of the specifics about it recently. After watching the movie with the boys the other day, I was excited to see what the VIP Hero’s Welcome would be all about. As JSL (5) says, it was stupendous!
A huge thank you to the amazing VIP tour gentleman who was stationed outside. He was fantastic chatting with us and answering questions from our boys. He told us about previous cities and more about the upcoming shows throughout North America. After this, we were whisked away into the arena before they opened for the show. We received our Hero’s Welcome badges, bags, and posters. Then, we were taken to an area to get dressed like Vikings for a family photo.
The crew helping to dress our Viking family was fantastic. We never told Papa about this part and he played along and had fun. Before long, the five of us were sporting chic Viking styles for our photo shoot.
We were not able to get a photo with our camera dressed up, but we took a quick picture of the one they gave us. Yes, I present you with my Viking family in their finest attire and all of their weapons and shields.
Although it took some time to get this done, it was a worthwhile experience. Seeing the smiles on the kids faces and knowing that memories were being made was priceless. After we returned our Viking items to the bins, it was time to wait for the official Hero’s Welcome. We went a small area with seats to wait and meet Hiccup and Astrid who are some of the stars from the show.
This was just the start of an amazing adventure with the Vikings and Dragons. More coming soon about the show and the Dragons 101 session after the performance. The session after was a geeks dream come true and the VIP team member from this part was also super (wish I could recall his name from the 11:00 am show). If you are in the Capital District and have a chance to see the show before it leaves town, I highly recommend it. It will also be touring to many other cities in the United States and Canada in the months ahead.
If you are interested in attending a show, you can find tour dates and tickets by going to http://www.dreamworksdragonslive.com/tickets.php. You can also save 25% off the cost of select seats by using the promo code "MOM". Oh and do not forget to think about the VIP packages that you can add on for your family. All of the items seen above were thanks to that.
Disclaimer: TechyDad received tickets and the VIP package to the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular for our family. No other compensation was given and all of the enthusiastic Tweets, Instagrams, and posts that follow are 100% my own opinion of the show.
It is no surprise that I love our library. I write about them, the amazing librarians, and the programs they schedule often. Last year, I fell in love with one particular day when the Tang Museum came to make Story Towers inspired by the artwork of Josh Dorman. This year, I knew that we HAD to head to the afternoon when Tang was again reaching out to the local libraries to do projects.
They started off talking to the kids about three dimensional art and what it means. Then they showed a poster of one of Oliver Herring’s sculptures. What I didn’t realize until I went to their website at home is that the Me US Them, Queen Size Bed with Coat is huge. I knew they said it would take up the space the kids were sitting in. It is actually a sculpture made of Knit silver Mylar and 12 x 57 x 88 inches. As a knitter, I am intrigued to learn more about this type of sculpture. They showed this to the kids and asked them what they saw. Many mentioned a pillow, shining objects, and more. Then they saw another piece before it was time to learn about their projects.
Since the theme of New York State Libraries summer program is Dream Big READ, the Tang Museum decided to make Dream Pillows. As you can see above, the supplies needed were on the table for the kids. Foam pieces, scissors, bubble wrap, double sided tape, and their imagination. The only additional item needed was some colored tape to make a frame around their art when the top layer of bubble wrap was added. Before the kids were sent to the table to be creative, they were shown a few examples. Here are two that I took photos of to share.
As soon as NHL and JSL sat down, they seemed to have an idea and got started. While I was chatting with a friend who came in to surprise me, the women from the Tang Museum helped the boys to find items that they needed (thank you). By the time I arrived, they were already taking shape.
NHL decided to make a scene from Back to the Future (he’s been watching those with TechyDad lately). JSL opted to make a fun robot. Here are the boys holding their finished dream pillows.
Thank you again to our wonderful library and the Tang Museum for bringing more art education into the lives of children in our community. My boys have been asking to visit the museum soon and I hope to be able to do that. I would love to know, have your children done craft projects while learning about a new artist or style of art work? Art mixed with education is a powerful tool and I would love to know. Please share in the comments below.
In a few weeks, I will be the mother of a nine year old. This is hitting me hard because, in a year, my kiddo will be in the double digit years. In an attempt to figure out some ideas for NHL’s birthday present, we went out in the rain to Toys R Us. While NHL and I were looking at some school supplies, we noticed someone rather tall coming from behind us. We called for JSL and he came over to get a photo with a very special giraffe.
Geoffrey was beyond patient and posed for two photos with NHL alone, and then the boys together. He even got down to their level for a sweet photo. Little did he know that we are big giraffe fans.
While I was looking at things for NHL’s Muppet birthday party, the boys went over to a table to do some coloring. Shortly after I went to look at them, someone else joined the table.
The boys were alone and coloring with Geoffrey for quite a while. I have to say, this is one talented giraffe. He was able to color neatly and stay in the lines. Meanwhile, my little artist was showing his latest style of coloring. JSL seems to be going more abstract these days. Rather than stick with simply blue, he likes to maximize color exploration. It may look like scribbling, but he is very exact about the destination of each color and section it is placed into.
After coloring, we went to explore the store for a little while. NHL gave us a few ideas, some Legos and Nintendo DS games. Still, we need to try to get other ideas before his big day. Until then, I will be switching my attention to TechyDad. His birthday is in less than a week – yikes!
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