Archive for April, 2010

This time two years ago…

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 by Jen

I was on a pitocin drip and not so happy. Tonight I had a much more pleasurable activity. I finished up Josie’s birthday cake for tomorrow. Josie helped me make the cake part today, per her request. Children’s book readers will hopefully recognize it, I’m not much of a cake decorator so I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. Shhhh… don’t tell Josie about it yet!

Creativity and train tracks

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 by Jen

Josie has learned how to play creatively, making up her own games and situations. She now has her little people taking trips to New York and staying in the hotel. She even found the pictured styrofoam pieces that came from a package and made them into train tracks, a road, and then chairs and tables for her puzzle pieces. I love to see her new ideas and creativity. It helps her play time be a little more fun for the grown ups too. One of her favorites now is playing ‘house’ which means taking our tumbling mat and putting it on it’s side to make a fort. The cats always get into that one too, trying to get into the house.

Most everything lately is being made into train tracks and roads.

Playing with buddies

Monday, April 26th, 2010 by Jen

My mom’s group from the Calvary chuch friday morning support group is still going strong after about two years now, we hang out at least once a week with some people, more like once a month with those who went back to work. We gathered at Justine’s house a few weeks ago on a gorgeous afternoon to socialize and let the kids play. Josie is getting more into digging in dirt and rocks and such. She has a great companion with this endeavor with her buddy Nolan. He is a big fan of getting dirty. Lucy likes to get in on it too, but she’s a few months younger and still doesn’t quite remember yet that dirt and rocks do not go in the mouth.

Exploring the dirt, and then the rocks.

Josie and Lucy also love to share snacks. Josie is good at sharing but equally good at begging and Lucy often has some good things to share! Lucy is almost six months younger than Josie and likes to follow her and watch a lot, which makes Josie’s day to have a companion.

Finally, as with most group outings, we end by stacking the kids in a pile for a big picture!

Making up with penguins

Sunday, April 25th, 2010 by Jen

After the trip to New York, Josie seemed to not be fond of penguins but that did not deter us from going to the Aquarium (because we had library passes) the following weekend. It has one of the best penguin exhibits around, tons of birds, three species and close vantage points. Thankfully it looks like Josie managed to forgive the penguins for their transgressions of eating fish and she enjoyed watching them again, and petting the various penguin statues.

She also liked to watch the divers in the big tank. She’s learned a bit about them because we read a scuba magazine at home so she see’s lots of interesting pictures of people swimming underwater and sort of understood what the divers were doing. She still won’t go anywhere near the touch tank though and didn’t even want us touching it.

Just a little bit

Saturday, April 24th, 2010 by Jen

Josie has picked up one of my mannerisms/habits in saying we can do X ‘in a little bit’. She wants to blow bubbles ‘a little bit’, or go outside ‘a little bit’. She has also been very interested lately in the world of opposites such as big and little, clearly she’s starting to understand the idea of quantity and relative sizes. Thankfully, she always releases her joy and happiness in very big quantities!

Dinner tonight

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 by Jen

Tonight for dinner I tried a new recipe. Tex-Mex Rice Cakes from a website I’ve just started reading for some more meal ideas. We’ve gotten into a serious rut and I have been completely uninspired to get us out of it. These were a pretty good success, although nothing crazy but they were quick and used up leftover rice. Josie enjoyed helping to make them, eating most of the ingredients as they went in. And she is slowly lingering over them this evening even though they weren’t too exciting to start with. Jordi compared them to crab cakes, minus the crab flavor.

I made some small modifications, I didn’t have cilantro, so I threw in some taco seasoning for some flavor. I also thought corn plus rice plus bread crumbs was a little much so I swapped out half the corn for black beans. We had some avocado on the side too, I’d add a salad, soup or other nice veggie rich dish to go with it.

Ew Ork on Monday

Monday, April 19th, 2010 by Jen

Monday, we were still in New York, but Jordi had to work, so it was just me and Josie hanging out. I was not brave enough to bring out Josie and the big camera at the same time and have to keep my eye on two valuable things at once. So the camera stayed home and there are no pictures.

You might be wondering what is Ew Ork? That’s how Josie says New York. I guess the hard N and Y are too tough right now to say. She’s also developed the habit of saying ‘my’ to mean all of the following: my, me, mine, I. As in “That’s mys!”, “daddy pick my up!”.

Meanwhile, back in Ew Ork. Josie and I went out for breakfast at a place called “Eat Here Now”, just a little diner on Lexington Ave, conveniently near the central park zoo. We had a nice quick breakfast where Josie tried and rejected grapefruit for the first time. We heckled a local who was bemoaning the Red Sox winning the game the night before but didn’t get kicked out.

We moseyed over a few blocks to the zoo, but it was only 9am and it didn’t open till 10 so we killed some time watching the sea lions from the sidewalk and trying to pet people’s dogs that walked by. We enjoyed the main part of the zoo in the morning, Josie’s favorites were the sea lions and the snow monkeys. I have really loved the polar bears in the past but they were drastically unexciting this time, spending their entire time sleeping other than one rubbing his neck on a rock for about 5 minutes straight.

The only incident was with the penguins. We went in, Josie really liked watching them and we were awaiting the feeding demonstration. Then I had to mention what penguins eat, fish of course. Josie said ‘swim swim fish?’, and I confirmed that fish swim and she quickly started asking to see any other animal she could think of “go see lion? go see polar bears? go see sea lion?”. Seems my daughter isn’t too fond of the idea that penguins eat fish. Good thing she doesn’t seem to be bothered by the cats eating tuna FISH, or you know grandma and grandpa although she probably hasn’t seen them do it. So we had to leave, even though I really wanted to see the feeding. I learned to keep my mouth shut for the sea lion demonstration where they were again serving fish of course and we really enjoyed it.

Mid-day we went back to the hotel, grabbed some soup and sandwiches on the way, had lunch and took a nap. We definitely made the right move getting to the zoo right when it opened, it was a mob scene by noon.

In the afternoon, we (read I, pushing a stroller) walked back to the zoo to visit the children’s zoo section, which is separate. We saw yet more ducks and then found the feeding farm animals section which was Josie’s favorite. We fed the sheep and a very slobbery cow. Josie also learned how to wait for someone else to feed a sheep, then take advantage to pet the sheep while the sheep is busy eating. They had an alpaca which “Josie no like” because the thing wouldn’t come over to eat or be pet, it just looked scared stiff. They kicked us all out at 5, we played at a nearby park for a little while and we hopped a bus back to the hotel to have dinner with Jordi, considering it was our wedding anniversary and all!

The next morning I packed us up and Josie and I took the train back home while Jordi stayed for some more work. Thankfully the trip home was perfectly on-time and uneventful.

Sunday in NYC

Sunday, April 18th, 2010 by Jen

Sunday morning, we slept in a bit after our long day at the zoo and out to dinner. We took our time and ambled around the area of the southeast corner of central park. Jordi and Josie played in a dry fountain climbing up high.

I hung around trying to take pictures surreptitiously. Josie often tells us to put the camera away when she see’s me with it or she’ll just avoid looking at me completely. Once I was at a distance I was able to actually take some pictures. Back to NYC… Josie was a huge fan of the horses with carriages at central park and we visited them every day to see them. Sunday evening, to celebrate our anniversary, we took a ride on the horses too. This one in particular.

They’ve got a bit of a racket going on with the horses as the signs all say $34 for half an hour, and you get in the carriage and they tell you $40 for 20 minutes. Because the trip around does only take twenty minutes, but perhaps with the loading and unloading it’s about half an hour and since this place is mostly tourists, often international ones, they’re ‘including’ their tip in the price. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the ride through the park on our horse Rudy.

In the middle of the day we also took Josie to F.A.O. to see all the crazy toys. She liked the trucks section, the art supplies and the stuffed animals the most. We had a big parade of hugs through the stuffed animals. First it was the panda’s.

Then the turtle

Then back to the panda’s

And onto the zebra stacking. Apparently zebra’s are for riding, by dolphins,

And clifford the dog got in on the action too.

Finally we said goodbye to the llama and headed out for lunch

And after all that, what did we buy her? Nada, nothing. And she didn’t even ask for anything actually which was lucky because she certainly knows the words ‘Mommy buy it’. I guess she just enjoyed the experience and so did we. Later that night we met up with my cousin Will and had dinner at a nice Mexican place on 1st avenue.

Yes the place was really that pink. They were also in a New York frame of mind it seems with the bill, because the tax they put on the bill could be most accurately called a round estimate rather than a calculation. This was unfortunately the end of our play time with Daddy because he was off to work the next day and Josie and I had the day to ourselves.

Bronx Zoo

Saturday, April 17th, 2010 by Jen

Saturday morning we were in New York we went out to the Bronx Zoo to check out the animals. That place is big and after we got past our transportation issues (hint, don’t take the bus, take the subway) we dug into the zoo. We saw tigers and spent lots of time in the children’s zoo section. There we saw the prairie dogs (got to pretend to be one), feed the goats and ride down a big huge slide built into a tree. They also had some great bigger-than-life pictures of the caterpillar from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” which Josie enjoyed giving hugs and kisses too. Josie managed to take a nap her in stroller, we rode the carousel, had some ice cream and the afternoon was over far too quickly! We took the subway back home and met up with Larry and his girlfriend for dinner, they both deftly avoided the camera which we were too exhausted to remember to pull out. After a full day in the sun walking around we were beat and slept like rocks that night and had an extra long nap the following day too.

Here we are at the prairie dog exhibit, it sure is convenient to have one tall and one short parent. Jordi couldn’t squeeze into these kid size tunnels, but I sure could!

Here is Josie at the bottom of the big tree slide. You should have heard the collective gasp of all the women waiting at the bottom for their kids when Josie slid down like this. Thankfully she stopped at the point you see her there, and I was able to grab her before anyone came down behind her!

It was hard to convince Josie to open her fingers up for the goats to eat, because the food would start to drop, but we figured it out. We fed sheep, goats and looked at the chickens and the pigs.

Shortly there after, Josie took a nap, Jordi made some phone calls for work and I played with the camera and my depth of field adjustments.

Here’s the caterpillar and Josie posing with it. She really started to ham it up for her audience as people coo’d at her kissing and hugging it.

More PDA for the pictures.

We successfully rode on the carousel. Josie was on a ladybug which we ran to get for her, not wanting to find out the consequences of not securing the right ‘ride’ for her. We took the tram to another part of the park, found out they close some exhibits earlier than the official closing time (argh!) and missed the monkey exhibit she’d been asking for. We’re learning better that time just gets away from you with a toddler so do the most important things first, always even if it’s not most efficient. Also toddlers like walking through the nature path playing with acorns about as much as seeing the animals, so don’t make things too crazy.

Hello Kitty!

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by Jen

Sorry for the slow updates for our loyal fans but we’ve been busy, Jordi went to London for almost a week leaving us girls at home and then we all went to NYC for 5 days where Jordi also had to work part of the time. My computer also died and it took three weeks for the computer company to fix it, turned out there was an abundance of cat fur clogging the fan. Thankfully we had the most beautiful weather you could ever ask for during our visit to NYC, warm and sunny and had a great trip. The first morning we went out and randomly stumbled upon this huge Hello Kitty statue. Who knew? I guess you can find most anything in that big city.