Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pilkey Love

I'm going to the library today to pick up some more books that we've requested. We will finally get to read about the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus, one of the books in Dav Pilkey's Ricky Ricotta series.

We've also got some of the books from his Dragon series on hold.

These are awesome books, and we've read the ones we have numerous times. We might buy them to add to our library. It's espcially fun to hear Yuta read them because he does cool and funny voices for all of the characters.

I'll be looking to check out Dogzilla and Kat Kong next. We've yet to read Captain Underpants, though I have one of the series lying around - they weren't interested when I showed it to them a while ago, but I'll bring it out again at some point.

Nature Realm July 20, 2010

Last week we went to Nature Realm in Akron with some friends. Here are some pictures from that trip. It was a bit hotter than I expected, but we had a nice time nonetheless. It's a beautiful place and I'd love to go back in the fall.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Ch ch ch changes

We've been having such an awesome summer. We've been to a few new places, and have gotten to spend a lot of time with friends. And most importantly we've been enjoying each other on a day to day basis. One of the reasons the summer has been so great for me is that I've been off of work since Taiko was born. It's been quite a while since I've so much time with them. It's fantastic. And it's especially nice because Yuta's not working either; it's made the adjustment to Taiko easier for us all.

But it's about to change. I go back to work the first Monday in August. Fortunately I'm able to ease back into a 40 hour week. I'll work 2-3 days a week through August, and go back to five days after Labor Day. I think the transition will go ok, though it will likely be hard on Taipan and Taisim when I go back full time in September.

Enough of that though - now let me talk about other changes, specifically in Taiko. He's over two months old now, and he's growing and changing so fast. Physically he's growing at a pretty good rate - he's wearing 3-6 month clothes now. And he is a very smiley baby - we saw his first smiles around six weeks or so, but it's only been the past couple weeks that he smiles at us all. the. time. And he smiles at Taipan and Taisim too - it's obvious that he enjoys them, and they think he's great too. He's still got his faux hawk going on, and he coos quite a bit. He continues to be a fairly mellow baby. He loves the sling, and has even gotten a few long naps in the Ergo with Yuta.

Here are some pics from the past few weeks. Taipan loves to have Taiko lay on his chest/belly, and Taisim prefers to cradle him.

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Fun with dish soap

One day earlier this month Taipan was looking for something to do, and I suggested a number of things, none of which he really wanted. He eventually found something to do, but I was kicking myself for not pulling out some of our cool books with ideas of things to do - things that are new and interesting that I'm pretty sure would have fit the bill that afternoon. So I got the book out (belatedly), and suggested we try one of the experiments.

The one we did was about surface tension (though we didn't discuss that at all). In a bowl we put water and sprinkled pepper in it, then dipped a toothpick in dish soap and put the tip in the pepper water. The pepper all moves to the edge of the bowl. Then we did the same thing with food coloring in milk, and created some cool swirl effects (not any great pics of that). Taipan and Simi thought it was pretty cool, and each repeated them 3 or 4 times.

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Yuta took Taipan and Simi to the Western Reserve Model Railroad Museum (WRMRRM) a couple of weeks ago - it had been a while since we'd been to see model trains, and it was a nice opportunity for me to get some rest with Taiko. We'd been to WRMRRM once or twice before, but they've since changed locations, so this was the first time any of us had been to the new building. Yuta said it was pretty cool, and there's some new stuff since the move, most notably a train that kids can ride in.
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4th of July

This year we stayed home for the 4th and had some friends over for a BBQ. We had a ton of sparklers, smoke bombs and a few other explosives that came in a pack from either Target or SC.

Yuta was the master of ceremonies, and had a great pace and flow going. The audience sat in on the lawn, and the kids would get up after each firework to chase the smoke or hoot and holler in amazement. It was a great time.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

9 years!

Yuta and I celebrated our nine year anniversary yesterday. It was a low key day, but a nice one. When I woke up this picture was my desktop background, put there as an anniversary surprise by Yuta (for those that don't know, we were married in Las Vegas on 7/7/2001):

(click on the picture to see it larger)

2nd half of June 2010

The second half of June was very fun-filled. We've been spending a lot of time doing board games. Some friends of ours were playing Stratego one evening while they were here, which renewed Taipan's interest in the game. It's a Lord of the Rings Stratego game that we've had for a while, and in the past have played with the pieces, but not in the Stratego way. Last month Taipan wanted to play a modified version of Stratego, which is usually followed by some LOTR role playing.

Yuta's youngest sister Ling came to visit with Chadwick, and while she was here Taisim asked Chadwick to play a game of checkers, which led to Taipan asking about chess, and since then he's been playing quite a bit. In addition to playing on our chess board he plays on the iPhone and his computer.
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My good friend Kiersten came to visit a couple of weekends ago, and she came with lots of fun stuff. Her son had been asking to do experiments, which she brought to our house. First we did dropped Mentos into Diet Coke - all of the kids enjoyed seeing the huge geyser.
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Then she filled sandwich bags with water and vinegar, to which we added paper towels filled with baking soda. We were supposed to shake the bags and drop them and wait for the pop, but the reaction was so quick that we barely had time to zip the baggies up before they popped.
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We also: put a string on ice, sprinkled salt on it, and then watched as the string froze into the ice for us to pick up; and crushed up iron-fortified cereal and then picked up the pieces with a magnet.

We had lots of other sweet moments, and here are a couple - the first is playing at our neighborhood pool. We didn't take advantage of this pool last year, but this year we've been a couple of times so far. The kids can both touch in the shallow end now, which is nice, and less physically demanding of me and Yuta. I sat at a table with snacks and towels at the ready with Taiko in the sling while Yuta swam with Taipan and Simi. The second picture is Taipan reading a book to Taisim - it's happened a few times over the past month or so. It's sweet to see. The last three pictures below are of things Simi has drawn. We submitted the giraffe to the one million giraffes project.

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