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Friday, May 24, 2013

Fun at the zoo :)

It was a really hot day (and today I have my furnace on--what's up, Mother Nature?) so we spent a lot of time in the Bird House since most of the rooms are kept fairly cool.  When you first walk in, you are in a large L-shaped room with lots of different birds.  The benches (see the background of this pic of Iz) have bird feet and my kids get a kick out of those every single time we go.  And we ALWAYS have to sit on the "bird benches", at least for a few minutes :)

One of S's favorites is the owl--he is always dozing up on a branch when we come and we have to watch him for a while to see if he wakes up ;)  You can just barely see him up at the top of the photo to the right.  S got some little pocket pals as souvenirs and he wanted a picture of his favorite one (a hatching turtle) and the owl but unfortunately, it was one or the other ;)

Even with the cooler air inside the Bird House, my busy little B was still hot hot hot.  I call him my sweaty little man because this kid sweats all the time.  His preschool has even had to change his shirt before because of all the sweating :\  Poor kid takes after me--hot all the time!  Everyone else will be huddled under blankets and he and I are turning on the fan LOL 

One of our favorite rooms in the Bird House is the large open-air aviary.  There is a short fence bordering the walkway to keep people from traipsing all over the room but most of the birds are free to do as they please.  Iz just walks up and down the path, stopping to peek through the fence or screech BIRD and point at the flying ones.  B likes to stay in one spot and just stare at whatever birds come closest to him.  And S likes to go talk to the bird that is caged because he likes to bite people (he needs the company, Mom.  Most people don't stop to say hi to him). 

I think my favorite picture of Iz from that day is one of her in the large open aviary, walking down the path, swinging her arms side to side while she tries to imitate bird calls :) 

Now the boys, I couldn't decide on just one favorite picture so I have two picked out :)  They kept insisting on posing together so both are a "brothers" shot :)  First, they are in front of a giant inflatable elephant :)  May is the birthday of Louie, a male elephant born at the zoo (I want to say seven years ago?  Maybe eight?  I don't remember exactly) and every year they throw a party for him.  Elephants are my favorite thing to see and it has rubbed off on the boys and they are always excited to go see the elephants, especially now that there is another little baby elephant born last year :)  The second photo S calls "walking on water."  There is a wooden walkway/bridge that curls up over the hippo exhibit and a window on the floor lets you look down into the exhibit and possibly see the hippos again if they are in that area.  The boys love to look through the window and then stand on it LOL 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Bird

At our local Zoo, there is this rather large gray bird who lives in the last room of the Bird House.  I am not sure what kind of bird he is since I always forget to check out the sign but he appears to be a ground bird as I have never seen him up in the trees, always running about down on the floor of the enclosure.  He is loud and has a very distinctive "rawk!" that he belts out every single time he sees our little Izzy-bug.  She LOVES this bird so so so much :)  She can't wait to go into this room and run over to the enclosure to see "her" birdie and she rawks back at him and they have a good talk.

There are some new birds in the enclosure and so the windows are all painted a translucent white--you can still see the birds but the white ensures the new ones know the window is there.  There are several areas where the paint has been wiped off so you can get a clear look at the birds and Iz and the bird both made a beeline for a clear patch so they could stare at each other :)  He is a little hard to see in this picture because of the paint but he is the big gray thing to her left.  I really need to remember to check his sign and get a good picture of him :) 
Iz and her bird

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Once upon a time he was scared and now look at him go!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fun Times at the Park

There is a park not too far away that has an old railway car that the kids can climb up on and look through the windows.  My boys love to get up there and pretend they are railway conductors.

S climbing up to go to "work"

Checking the equipment
Calling the passengers, "All Aboard!"

Once S climbed down (and ran off to the front of the car to do it all over again there), B climbed up for his ritual--first thing he has to do every time is knock on the door and see if anyone is home:
Anyone home? 

This was Iz's first time at the railway car and she wasted no time letting me know that she could do it herself.  She was irritated that I hovered but she climbed up on her own!

It was a stretch but she made it
Once she got both feet up, it was easier

She was so proud of herself when she made it to the top.  She clapped and told herself "yay!"  Then she looked down and went "WOAH!"  Ha!


Of course, now that she was up, I had to hold her hand and help her down because both her brothers had run off to the front of the car and she could not be left behind!  So up she climbed again and had to check out the ground before playing for a bit with B.

Next came some time at the play scape (a big wooden one with lots of bridges and tunnels and spires and fun things) but I have no pictures--she kept me on my toes chasing her around ;)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Swim Lessons

I think out of all three of the kids, my busy little B is the one who most enjoys his swim lessons.  He is (most of the time) very eager to participate and will volunteer for everything.  He is fearless when it comes to jumping in and will get up and move down the line to try to sneak in an extra jump when the instructors are having everyone jump in one at a time :p  He is so enthusiastic about everything that they usually give him extra turns ;-)  And when he is waiting his turn "hanging onto the wall", he usually is practicing his skills. 
Practicing his kicks under water

Sometimes, he gets overwhelmed by all the kids and noise and instructions and chaos.  Poor little bub completely shuts down and ends up missing most of the lesson :\  He will just put his arms up on the side of the pool and put his head down and just doesn't respond to anything.  He just hangs there, head buried in arms, still and silent.  His instructors are great, though.  When it happened the first time, we talked about how when it happens, I check in with him but just let him be and once he pulls himself together, he will pop  up and act as though nothing has happened.  So when he gets overwhelmed, they will offer him the chance to rejoin the group whenever it is his turn and will leave him be if he is not ready.  Eventually, his little head will pop up and he will start volunteering to be first for everything.  One of the instructors usually gives him a little extra attention so he can practice everything he missed out on real quick while the second instructor is putting the other kids through their paces.  I really like the system they have going of two instructors because there is usually at least one kid struggling in some way and when the kid is comfortable enough to try something, they can give them that attention.  In another year, though, he will be out of the preschool class and the system changes and if you don't participate, you don't get a makeup session later.  He hasn't had a shut down at swim in a while so maybe by the time the Polliwog lessons begin, he will be okay :)

Looking for us so he can say "hi"


Monday, May 13, 2013

Trying out Sandals

Hi Mom!
Checking out the tic-tac-toe game
Tentative walking
Not so long ago, we actually had a day warm enough to be outside with no coat and Iz got to try out some sandals :)  She wasn't so sure what she thought of them at first LOL  They were B's sandals and a bit snug (her feet are much wider/taller than the boys ever were) but she liked the no sock thing :)  She has her own little pair, too, but they were still in winter storage and they are a bit wider so a much better fit.  Her feet have slimmed down a lot in the past few months so those little brown sandals may still hit the rotation this summer.  She ran all around the deck and then went with me to the end of the driveway to pick up B from the bus :)  She had tons of fun--it is amazing how much the little tiny things we see as inconsequential can really make the day of a toddler!

Making a run for it

Dancing :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Learning From Her Brothers

Most of the time, tv is a reward after things are done.  Once S comes home from school, he can't have screen time until homework and reading are done and then he gets one cartoon or a video game or computer time until dinner (usually just a half hour or less).  After dinner, he has chores and if he is done by the time I'm done putting B to bed, we watch Leave It To Beaver together and read a chapter of his book before he goes to bed.

B is also old enough that he has a few little chores to do after school and then he gets a cartoon before we leave to pick up S.

This morning, Iz was pointing at the tv and demanding ON!  I jokingly tell her that I'll turn it on if she does her chores and puts away the sofa pillows she threw on the floor.  Wouldn't you know, she went around and put them all away and then sat there beaming at me until I put on Super Why.  She doesn't normally pay attention to the tv, just stops to dance and sing if music comes on, but she has a little cold so she actually watched the entire episode.  She laughed, she clapped along, she repeated the major words and letters.  She had fun.  And then she took a nap lol.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Iz is currently bringing me her very first set of dandelions :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A new favorite?

Many years ago, I had a cucumber and tomato salad at my in-law's house.  It is super simple, just diced cucumber and tomato tossed with a little salt and lemon juice.  Very light and refreshing and the little bit of salt and lemon (sometimes I mix in a little lime juice, too) really brings out some delicious flavor.  Last night was the first time Iz had it and I do believe we have a new favorite.  She just kept pointing to her plate and demanding "MORE" LOL  I was starting to think she would never stop eating and I am pretty sure the only reason she did was because she wanted the bath we promised her ;)

One of the only veggies B will voluntarily eat every time is cucumber so I was sure this would be a hit with him.  But the cucumbers were not sliced and the tomatoes weren't grape or cherry tomatoes so he didn't want anything to do with it :p  But our rule is he must take at least one bite to see if he likes it so he very very reluctantly took a bite......and then couldn't stop eating it.  heh.  He has had it many times but not recently so I guess he forgot it was a favorite :p