Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkins and snow

Wednesday morning we woke up to find snow on the ground! I knew it was in the forecast, but I was still surprised to see snow in October. By mid-afternoon it was gone, but most of the day there were bits of snow coming down that didn't stick. The kids thought it was pretty cool, though I don't think they went out to play in it.

That evening Yuta had to work, and Yuta's parents dropped the kids off after a visit at their house. After jumping for a bit in the bounce house (have I mentioned how much I love that thing??), we decided to decorate pumpkins.

The kids painted theirs, while I set out to carve one of our larger ones. Taipan was eager to use the carving tools, but lost interest while I was scooping out the insides. When I was a kid I used to love getting the slimy stuff out ... Taipan didn't even want to touch it, and Taisim had enough after one handful.

The final product of their pumpkins is below. Taisim wanted to wipe her pumpkin clean after she finished painting it, so hers is pretty clean.

I didn't get a picture of my final pumpkin because I needed Yuta's help to finish it. I used a pattern, and got it misaligned and got stuck and worried that I had messed the whole thing up. So I figured I'd stop while I was ahead and ask for Yuta's help when he got home. He finished it late that night. Tonight we'll get some pictures when we put the candle in it (the part that I got stuck on is the cat's tail).

Lasers and flying

Earlier this week the kids and I made a trip to Target. Our shopping list included a birthday gift for a friend. I had some ideas in mind, but wasn't quite sure what we were going to get. While browsing the games I saw a what looked like a neat game - Laser Battle. It comes with two laser guns, and the goal is to get your laser to hit your opponent's target tower. It also has a bunch of mirrors to use to angle the laser to the target.

I've mentioned the Contraptions game before, and in that game there are lasers and mirrors and laser mixers and laser activated something-or-others ... and when Taipan saw a game that has real live lasers he was very excited. So excited that we brought the game home for us (there was only one copy, and Yuta came up with a better idea for our friend anyway). As soon as we got home Taipan was eager to show Yuta and open up the game and play. Not play according to the rules, but rather check out the lasers and see how they reacted to the mirrors and how the target towers work. It'd be really cool if we had a fog machine and could see the laser beam in between the mirrors:

And here's a photo of the kids flying - each one climbs on one of Yuta's arms, and then he stands up while they flap their arms. It's a blast. I feel fortunate to have a husband that is so good at lifting and running and throwing and bouncing and jumping with the kids. He seems to have neverending energy sometimes - he can go way longer at this type of play than I can. I get sore and tired much quicker.

The Bounce House

This is the bounce house we have, with the kids inside. They put all of our stuffed animals in it with them, as well as a couple of beach balls. They like to bounce around with things in there with them. We also have a game where they toss all of the animals out of the bounce house, Yuta or I collects them in a basket and then it rains animals on them (the beach balls serve as thunder and lightning in that game).

Halloween package

My mom sent us a Halloween care package and it arrived last week. We were all very excited to open it.

Taipan and I looking at the cool ceramic ghosts she made for us:

Yuta lovin' the candy and Taisim showing us her new coloring book:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taisim's foot and other stuff

I realized today that I haven't posted in almost 3 weeks. We've been keeping pretty busy ... working and playing. We've really been enjoying our lives!

We recently inherited great hand-me-down toys from two different families, and the kids have loved them. One friend gave us a bounce house! It is perfect for our unfinished basement, and is a great way for the kids to jump and bounce. They really like throwing things (soft things) in and out of it - stuffed animals and beach balls really.

We also were given a small drum kit - it's made for kids by First Act and a friend of ours was done with it, and Taipan always enjoyed it at her house, so she sent us home with it the other day. Taipan and Taisim both love it. The same friend has a full size drum kit, and Taipan would ideally have one of those, and we'll definitely consider it once he outgrows this small set.

Ok - about Taisim's foot. Last Thursday night she and Taipan were jumping off of our ottomans (as they often do), and Taisim landed wrong. I wasn't home, and Yuta didn't see it, but by the way she screamed out and the subsequent crying let us know that something was wrong. I got home about ten minutes after she got hurt, and she was still wimpering and couldn't walk on it. On Friday morning she still wasn't walking on it, so we decided to take her to our doctor. He sent us for x-rays, and after getting them he suggested we go to a pediatric orthopedist, and his office made an appointment for us for Monday morning.

So, Taisim and I got up bright and early (much earlier than we normally do) to go to the orthopedist yesterday. He looked at her x-rays and said she had a buckle, which would have been a break in an adult, but since her bones are more flexible it just kind of buckled.

Given how well she was walking by the time we went to our appointment he said that a boot would be overkill, and he could give her a stiff shoe for comfort. I suggested that if it was for comfort only then we could probably skip it - she has found a way to walk and even run a bit that doesn't bother her too much. I think battling with her to keep the shoe on would cause more distress than walking on her foot. The doctor said he was ok with that if we were ok with that. We go back in 4-5 weeks for another x-ray, and that's that! He also said it might take a month or two for her to walk without the limp. I'm glad we took her, and even more happy that there's not a serious problem.

Tonight we may go to the pool, or we might carve pumpkins. It's cold and wet and rainy here, so we may just hunker down at home and not do much of anything.

Friday, October 10, 2008

LENSC - October 5 2008

I'm almost current on my posts :-) This is from last weekend. The kids and I went to the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. We decided to go here because the kids were wanting to see turtles. You'll see below that there are turtles here, and visitors are also allowed to touch them (just not pick them up).

I think most of the animals at LENSC were brought there for rehabilitation. They've got foxes, owls, a vulture, a raccoon, deer, turkeys, hawks, a bald eagle, rabbits, and inside they've got a tide pool, snakes and fish. It's a neat place.

The also have a planetarium, and they leave the entry way open during the hours that the center is open, and 4-5 times a week they have shows. The ones that are geared toward a younger set are at 11am or noon .... and we don't usually get places before noon. Even on the days where we wake up fairly early, it takes us a while to get out the door. I'm hoping though that circumstances will align (right day, right time, right moods) to get out the door for one of the shows over the next couple of months. The kids were *very* interested in going inside the planetarium and seeing stars.

Taipan checking out the turtles, and Taisim in the entryway to the planetarium - we all liked to see our clothes glowing:

A volunteer with a barred owl, and the kids by the pond - the pond and the bridge were Taisim's favorite thing:

The raccoon (probably their favorite animal to see), and a bunny:

Outside there are paths, and we took a walk on a shorter, circular loop ..... the weather was beautiful, and Taipan enjoyed being able to go ahead a bit:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Need a tissue?

If you're looking for tissue in our house, your best bet is to look in a shopping bag in our pantry. I bought three boxes of Kleenex recently - one box had Princesses on it, and another had Wall-E. Taisim was pretty jazzed, and one evening asked me to open her "present". So opened it, and she had a blast with them:

I was a little bit worried about her slipping and falling. And she did slip and fall, but she thought that made it even more fun!

Then Taipan came in and joined the fun:

They made hats out of the tissue:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wedgits and TInker Toys

We've been building a lot with Tinker Toys and Wedgits lately. We build mostly robots with the Tinker Toys - the pictures below are of a very giant long robot Taipan built one night. And the Wedgits are usually towers and castles - the pics below are very giant tall castle Taipan built.

Decorating for Halloween

We started putting out our Halloween decorations a couple of weeks ago - Taipan asked me to get them out a day or two before we left for New York. So we found some stuff, put it up, and saved a little bit for later. I don't have any pictures of the more breakable things, but we've also got a lot of great ceramic decorations that my mom has made for us over the years.

Just last weekend we made some ghosts to put on our tree:

These are the pumpkins we got at the Littletree Orchards on our way home from NY:

Window clings on our storm door. We have more on our back sliding glass door:

Lighted pumpkins ... I've wanted to get these for a couple of years, but didn't think I had any place to put them. Now we have a different house, with some more shelf space, so I got two lighted pumpkins at Target this year:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Littletree Orchards - September 22

On our drive home from Hancock, we decided to stop by Littletree Orchards in Newfield, NY. I'd say it was probably 30 mins off of our route, and from our approach seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. When we left we detoured to Ithaca, and realized that the orchard wasn't quite as isolated as it seemed at first.

I found this place when I was researching things to do near or on the way to Hancock. I wanted to check it out because they grow many different fruits (vs. just apples), and they also have fields where you can pick your own flowers.

We got there, got our map, and were told that it wasn't a great year for flowers, but we could go check them out. We also found out where the ripe apples were, and saw that they also had peaches or pears available (I think - but now that I type it, it doesn't sound quite right). We decided to walk to the orchards, and based on that, we choose the closest picking areas, which were all apples.

So first we picked some flowers (I didn't have any water for them during the drive, and by the time we got back home they were pretty limp. After a night in water they perked up a bit and we got a week of enjoyment from them):

As soon as we got to the apple trees the kids wanted on to eat:

And then I did most of the picking - most of the good apples were up high. We did find a couple that were right at Taipan's height:

The kids want to make apple pie, so I'm hoping that I haven't put it off too long, and that our apples will be good to bake a pie tomorrow night (for company that is coming Saturday). If we have enough apples I might make some apple sauce too ... though I think we might go to a local orchard to get more apples for sauce.

We also got some pumpkins and yummy, fresh apple donuts at the orchard. It was a nice way to break up the drive home.