Monday, January 18, 2010

best zoo trip EVER

We took a trek to the zoo last week, and it was terrible - in terms of animal activity. We still had fun, but we got spoiled from all the animals out and about when we went with Julie, Andrew and Lizard a couple weeks earlier. We need the 'animal whisperers' to come back soon so we can actually see animals in motion again.

The lioness was going crazy at the glass of the viewing area. She kept standing on her hind legs and pawing at the window. Did she think Max looked like a tasty snack? He didn't seem to mind, and it made everyone else really happy to see her so close up and personal.

We alternate between the train and the carousel on our zoo adventures. Katie always talks big about wanting to ride on an animal - not yet one that moves up and down - but her face in the bottom right shows how she really feels.

In case you're curious, the temperature at the zoo in the daytime in January was around 40 degrees both times we went. It's just bizarre to see all these animals native to Africa running around in the snow. The giraffes had the good sense to stay inside.

In the upper right Alex is checking out the Komodo dragon with his lunch. It's not a stuffed rabbit, and yes, he did go for the soft underbelly first.

Max is just so handsome he, too, can't stop kissing that cute little face.

We did actually go into Bird World for a change of pace, and some of the birds are pretty tame. This one was sitting on a guy's leg for a while - until Max walked over.

The other animals weren't terribly active last week, but there was one woman who was entertaining for me to observe. We kept crossing paths throughout the zoo, and then ended up in the 'Great Ape House' together. She'd been taking pictures like crazy all day, and then at the orangutans finally huffed: If I don't leave this minute I'm going to be sick! Keeping these magnificent animals in cages is just disgusting! Does she really think her 'brother' the orangutan would have a better life fighting for his survival in a decreasing habitat out in the real world? Alas, no adults with me to poke fun at her with. Katie's not quite ready for sarcasm.

a few christmas highlights

Lots of visitors. The kids had a hard time getting used to just mom after all the fun with Julie, Andrew, Tom, Liz, Mark and Grandma Dorothy. Mag, Kalle and Summer had a surprise layover on New Year's Day, but we were too busy playing to take any pictures.
New train stuff - there are those who might argue that this was really for mom.

Lots of trucks.

A Flamenco dancer outfit for the queen of pink.

Tie dying with Aunt Lizard.

Alex opened all of his presents with the help of Alfie the Excavator car. An excavator hasn't been far from his hands since.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Train/playdoe/construction guys table: BRILLIANT idea. Worth it's weight/size in gold.

Black beans as construction material: great for creativity, not so great on the bare feet. They are so much worse than Nerds. Even Max has learned that they don't taste good raw.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the remainder of the advent activities

This picture isn't about anything in particular; I just love Max's profile after dinner. Those tiny little legs contrast nicely with his big Buddha belly.

Every year the model train club in Longmont has a show down at the fairgrounds. Alex still can't get enough. One of these years maybe we'll win the raffle for the model! - yeah right. At least we're supporting the club.

Longmont has a 'parade of lights.' We didn't last for the fireworks, but Roger had the good sense to set us up on Main Street right out front of Winchell's donuts. The floats were fun to watch - apparently anyone with a vehicle and some lights can enter - but it was not the warmest night of the month, that's for sure.
We decorated sugar cookies - boy does Max like his cookies! He sees that Tupperware container and just goes bananas.

We made deliveries to our friends, and took some candy and cookies up to the guys at the fire station. A couple of firemen - who were HUGE - took us into the garage and let the kids climb in the truck. My posse of friends is not so adventurous, but Katie did eventually hop up in the driver's seat and turn on the lights. I modeled a fireman's jacket for the kids - boy is that thing heavy!

We went with Uncle Tommy to dinner and to check out Zoo Lights. They had a 'Fire and Ice' show in addition to all the lights. The 'Firemancer' totally made us want to 'Vote for Pedro.' What a funny job to have as an adult, but the kids were fascinated. Most of the animals were already in bed, but we did get to pet a couple of reptiles. And of course we rode the train.

We made gingerbread houses with Julie, Tom and Liz. The big picture is the grin on Alex's face after Liz told him to just pop a handful of candy in his mouth - like he needed encouragement! Alex made an engine with a tender and Katie decorated a house with her usual precision. As with most projects, she concentrates and is totally focused on getting things just where she wants them.

We had a sleepover - or two - at Oma's house.

We did a toy audit, choosing toys to go to Goodwill. This is always harder for mom than anyone else.

We drove around many nights checking out the Christmas lights. Maybe next year we'll add our own blow-up monstrosity to the yard. One of the funnest houses is a pair of duplexes in a cul-de-sac that have their lights synchronized to Christmas music, which you can listen to through your car radio.

Sickness and cold prevented a trip up to the mountains for some sledding, but the snow is still here, so maybe I'll feel adventurous one of these days.

Roger's folks sent up a steam-powered tractor, and that is no end of entertainment for all the kids in the house.

We read lots of Christmas stories each night. The book order is one of my favorite things about Katie attending preschool, and Scholastic had a nice variety of Christmas books, telling the story of Christ's birth from different viewpoints and at different levels. We have found some new favorites.