Friday, September 27, 2013

Another Day at the Zoo

Here we are congratulating the panda daddy on his baby's birth.

 Theodore is in that stage where he asks questions about everything, so taking him to the zoo is a bit of a different experience now.  But his statements are just as interesting as his questions.  The things he comes up with are just so amusing to me.  I never know what his little brain is thinking.  My three favorite conversation snippets from yesterday:

Mama:  See the big orange fish in the koy pond?
3-year-old:  Yes, can we eat them next week?

Mama (reading from sign):  The big bad wolf (gray wolf) eats moose, deer, beavers and rabbits.
3-year-old:  And bacon.  Pigs are bacon.

3-year-old:  What is he doing? (When they let the elephant out into the walk area.)
Mama:  The elephant is going for a walk for exercise.  Like we walk the dog.
3-year-old:  Elephantses don't need leashes.

Walking on the elephant's footsteps.  All of them.

We also seemed to be very lucky today because without really trying we stumbled across four different zoo-keeper talks/demonstrations today.  They were each really interesting, and I hope to plan a whole trip around catching as many of them as we can sometime.  This time we saw:  Sloth Bear Talk (10:30), Elephant Training (11:00), Seal Feeding (11:15), and Meet a Naked Mole Rat (2:00).

And I even got a chance to play with my new (and already broken and repaired) camera today.

Always a successful day when we leave with one asleep, and one who soon followed.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Children's Museum of Richmond; Pocahontas State Park

When Mariah found out her husband would be in a training in North Carolina, we went straight to a map and plotted the midway point between our house and her hotel.  As it turned out, southern Richmond was just about in the middle for us.  So, we set about finding a couple things to do so that we could meet there and keep the kids occupied while we had plenty of time to talk.

Apparently the Children's Museum of Richmond has three locations, and one was toward the southern end of the city where we wanted to meet.  This one, the newest location, is in Chesterfield.  The cost of entry is $8 a person, which is a little steep for a one-time visit for the three of us, but they do offer dollar nights and free entry on Bank of American weekends.

It was a great place for taking a pre-schooler and one year old.

The water station was a big hit.

The "sand box" is actually full of tiny plastic pieces instead of sand.  Pretty neat!

 They have a full size firetruck and metro bus.
 They have an electric train that runs every half hour or so.  A huge hit with T.
 I loved the art station.  There were several different tables with all sorts of different materials for the kids to dive right into.
 I haven't saw too many vet stations in children's museum, so this was a unique addition.  Mariah cracked up when Eli started hissing at the cat Theo was working on.  He really does this (he thinks it's the sound cats make)!  I'm going to post a video of proof soon.
 And I can never get enough of play markets.  I liked that they had shopping lists so kids could check off their shopping list like mama does.  The museum also had a play restaurant next door to the market.

 And of course the crawler area is still a big hit with Eli.  He is resisting walking yet, but I know I shouldn't complain because he'll be even more into everything once he does.
We packed a lunch and ate at the tables inside when it was time for a break.  The small lunch area had a microwave (good to know) and vending machines with drinks and some snacks.

Later, we decided to head out to a nearby park so Eli could sleep in the car and Theo could get some time outside.  Pocahontas State Park was nearby.  It was a beautiful place, and would be gorgeous in the fall when the many trees change color.  I'd love to return to camp there sometime.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Bucket List 2013

I'm not sure why, but every year I seem to love fall more and more.  I don't think I was ever very excited about fall as a kid (other than my birthday towards the end), but now I'm so in love with the season.  This year, I decided to go ahead and write up a bucket-list so I'd be sure not to forget anything we like to do.  (We've checked off a handful of these things already!)

-Pick Apples
-Go on a hay ride at dark
-Watch ASU play (getting harder and harder to see the games without cable)
-Make Apple Pie
-Make Kids Costumes
-Collect Leaves
-Make pumpkin muffins/breads
-See DC United play a game
-Roast Marshmallows
-Do a Corn Maze
- Do a fall craft
-Watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
-Cheer/play at Soccer Games
-Make homemade apple sauce

-Get one jug of apple cider
-Go for a scenic drive to find changing colors
-Pick Pumpkins
-Go to a live football game
-Find some good fall books for pre-schoolers
-Make Pumpkin Pie
-Harvest the squash from our garden
-Go for a hike (and have a scavenger hunt)
-Have a photo shoot in a leaf pile
-Make Pumpkin Dip
-Decorate/Carve Pumpkins
-Give Thanks

And hopefully, learn to take better portraits when mama wants to take them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Baker's Dozen Owls

Elijah: 12 months

Today at 8:08 am we finished snuggling you awake as we celebrated your first birthday!  You happened to be in bed with me already as you had apparently tried to protest getting older the night before, crying from about 11pm-2am last night.  It was definitely the first time that I couldn't console you quickly, but eventually some medicine helped you get to sleep.  Then for your nap today you napped almost four hours!!  Which never happens since you are a very finicky napper.  You are full of changes today (and this whole last month).

Weight:  22 lbs 13 oz
Length: 29.5 inches
Size:  We still squeeze you into the 12-18, and 18-24 months summer clothes.  We actually decided to switch over to cloth diapers this month (since we finally have a dryer) and you are in the second size of diapers available. 
Feeding:  Carbs are definitely your favorite.  You've been known to snatch a bun out of Theo's hand if he gets too close.  Bread of any kind is a favorite of yours.  You will still eat just about anything if it is a puree, and can feed yourself using the squeeze pouches.  You've been getting finicky with fresh fruit and veggies lately, so I started just giving you those same choices frozen, and you loved it.  Apparently that helps your emerging teeth.  You finally got some teeth this month, four to be exact!  We will finish up nursing in the next few weeks.  We were blessed to have a fairly easy nursing experience, and I am forever thankful for that.
Sleeping:  At night in your crib, for about 8 hours.  Then you sleep with me for an hour or so in the morning.  For naps, you will pretty much only sleep in your stroller (or car-seat).  I plan our daily walks to coincide with your nap schedule (10am, and around 4pm).
Likes:  Making any sounds you can (hissing, clicking, squealing), banging on windows or doors, flying when being spun around, crawling away as fast as you can when we change you, crawling up the stairs at record speed, helping walk Cori by holding her leash, getting into kitchen cupboards and saying "Dadadadada".
Dislikes: Being kept out of the bathroom (your favorite place to play), not getting fed fast enough and having to sign "more" while eating, all your new teeth, walking without us holding your hands.

We were going to have a picnic supper tonight on your birthday, but that got rained out.  So we had pasta here, and then you got to have the other half of your cake that we froze after your party a couple weeks ago.  You were not at all interested in your presents, but Theo had fun opening them for you.

You decided to resurrect your old serious face while I was trying to take photos of you, but I got a few smiles.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Boys' New Room

It only took about a year before Eli got to have his name up on his bedroom wall.  The perils of being a second-born.  While I like the playroom, I really love the boys bedroom.  What started out as an ocean-themed nursery is now a bright and happy space for both my pre-schooler and my baby to read, listen to music, dress, and sleep in.  I have kept the blue and green color theme, and added red accents as well. 

Like our toy room, most of the furniture is from Ikea and have been re-purposed.  The billy bookcases were originally white in my first studio apartment, and were painted a few years ago for our first nursery.  The crib, shelf, and most of the frames are from Ikea as well.  I had to add the curtains and found those at the Land of Nod.  After the first few months of changing Eli, I pretty much stopped using the changing table so it is no longer in here and is being used as extra storage in our bathroom.  I found all the blue and green baskets years ago at Babies 'R Us.  The fish light was a great shower gift that we still use every night as a night light.

My favorite details include:
-This gallery wall that I threw together using extra frames and a mirror we've collected.  I love the Indiana print, with the heart over our hometown (where all their grandparents and many other family still live).

-This print from "Where the Wild Things Are"

-All the board books at ground level so Eli can get to them (and he leaves the more fragile books alone)

-Our "calendar" of prints.  When I realized we had twelve of these frames (they used to contain scenic photos of our favorite places), I thought I would find a photo that had both boys from each month of they year.  It is cute to see them grow through the pictures, and we can talk about the different months, holidays, seasons, and birthdays with a visual in mind for the boys.

-Theo's duvet cover and bed skirt that were on clearance and matched almost perfectly

I tried hard to limit the toys in here.  All of Eli's fill and spill toys are here, as well as the firetrucks, block-trains, and a basket of baby toys.  The night stand is actually filled with all of our puppets and puzzles.
And the large closet has room for all of the boys current/past/future clothes and all their blankets.  Which is great.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Day of Pre-school


I thought it would be cute to book-end Theo's first day at pre-school with photos.  Afterward I asked him to tell me what he learned and all he would say was, "how to eat cookies!"  I went ahead and edited it to say crackers-since I know that was what I packed for his snack.  He did practice opening the zip-lock bag on his own before he left, so maybe that's what he meant.  Not surprised that the highlight of his day was snack time.