Wednesday, March 31, 2010

City Search

It was a chilly and wet Sunday in New York, but we made the best of it by hunting for Easter eggs in a little park on the corner near Nana and Ba's apartment.

Nana and Connor (I mean the Easter Bunny!) went down first to hide the eggs...And Grace and Ryan searched everywhere to find them!
Grace had a little help from Ba......and Nana.
Some of them were up too high for her!
Can you believe everyone stopped long enough for a photo?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reflections

Kellie took these photos last weekend...We are headed to New York on Saturday to see my parents....I am sure there will be lots of photos to share next week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sweet as sugar

We can thank the Native Americans for discovering that the sap flowing from maple trees every spring could be used to sweeten their food, a tradition we still practice today. Harvesting maple sap is confined to a small portion of the world, predominately in the northeastern part of North America. Akron and Cleveland’s locations in the northeastern part Ohio, in addition to the elevation and average temperatures, make this an ideal area to harvest maple tree sap.On Saturday, we met our good friends Dawson and Mayna (and their super cool moms!), at nearby Hale Farm and Village to see maple sugar being harvested. Their website describes this outdoor historical site as "a 19th century outdoor living history museum. With no electricity in sight and no planes overhead, it doesn't take long for travelers to realize the shift in time. Each day guests engage themselves in an interactive experience with a variety of family-friendly activities. The landscape includes 32 historic buildings, a working farm, craft and trade demonstrations, and interpreted sites with historic costumed staff".
It started out as a chilly spring morning, but quickly became sunny and warm. We enjoyed a pancake brunch and then the girls had a fun time running around in the leaves and grass and stopping at different buildings to see what was going on inside. We saw a blacksmith, some old fashioned carriages, the inside of log cabins and "fancy" houses, some animals in the fields, and lots of other buildings (church, school house, etc.) that weren't open yet for the season. But Grace, Mayna, and Dawson liked going up to the doors to knock and see if anyone was home.
Jumping was one of our fun activities!

So was running!
And climbing!And riding!
And hanging out together enjoying the spring sun!
I was surprised to see that the maple sugar sap coming from the trees was almost like water. It takes a pretty complicated process to make it the maple syrup we put on pancakes and waffles. The girls just seemed to enjoy looking into the buckets attached to the trees!

Mayna looking for some maple sap.Dawson wanted to look, too!
Kellie took a bucket down to so our girls could get a closer look.I think our girls are sweet as sugar!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's MY Daisy

This morning Grace wore a new shirt to school for St. Patrick's Day. I loved the shirt when I bought it because, although it was green it wasn't a St. Patrick's Day shirt so she would get more use out of it than just this one day.

Now you have to understand....dressing an almost-3-year-old at 6 AM is usually not an easy task. She is tired and just wants to cover her head with her blanket. Most days she holds her arms down at her sides so it makes taking her pajama shirt off and putting her daytime clothes on difficult. She swings her feet around so they are moving targets that I have to catch to successfully put socks and shoes on. And, don't even get me started on the whole hair situation! Some days Grace has the worst case of bedhead and it requires a lot of coaxing, begging, and bribery to get her to allow me to spray a little water to tame it in a bow or ponytail. Are you getting the picture???

So, today, I tried to get Grace interested in wearing her new T-shirt by pointing out the pretty flowers. Hmmmm....that got one eye to open from behind the blanket. Then I told her the flowers were called Daisies. Uh oh. Daisy? Isn't that the dog's name? So she asked, "Where MY Daisy?" (meaning Daisy the Dog) as she tried to understand what I meant by calling these flowers "Daisy". It was like the "Who's on First?" episode of The Three Stooges (or was it Laurel and Hardy?) for a couple of minutes there while I tried to explain that our Daisy was named after the daisy flowers that were on her shirt. Huh?Actually, Grace eventually got it. When she was eating breakfast she showed me the flowers on her shirt and said, "Mommy, these Daisy". Yes! And then on our way out she asked, "Where MY Daisy?" I could see the dog, resting on the couch, lift her head up at the sound of her name....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fancy that Nancy

Kellie and I took our "fancy" girls to see the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet perform an original ballet based on three books from the Fancy Nancy children's series by Jane O'Connor.

Nancy, the main character in this series, adores dressing up. It would be an understatement to say that this little girl loves glitz and all things girly. Fancy Nancy can never have too many boas for playing dress up, nor does there seem to be a limit to how many sparkly accessories she wears in her wonderfully tousled, curly red hair. Each story in the Fancy Nancy series (and there are a lot!) provides a lesson about being true to yourself and expressing your unique personality.

The show, set in a museum where the art comes to life, was a lot of fun and our seats (third row center!) were great. The upbeat music and colorful costumes kept Grace and Dawson entertained the entire time. It was very different than the Wizard of Oz last year, but just as enjoyable. You can check out the fun video clip of the ballet here.

Kellie and I tried multiple times to get a good photo of Grace and Dawson together, but stubborn toddler personalities won and we didn't succeed. Dawson was dressed in true "Fancy Nancy" style with a colorful dress, necklaces, and her dog Frenchy. Here she is reading her new Fancy Nancy Easter book!Grace donned her velvet skirt and pink panda tights for the performance. Her outfit was enhanced with a pink boa from Kellie.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Jumpin' Judy"

Grace recently discovered The Doodelbops, a kids' television program from Canada. We bought a DVD at a consignment shop a few weeks ago and she has been enamored ever since. Every day when we get home from school and work, the first thing she says is, "Doodlebops, please, Mommy." One of the episodes has a guest named Jumpin' Judy who, you guessed it, jumps!

Today, my Jumpin' Judy (aka Grace) wanted to go to the mall to do the EuroBungy jump. She is right at the 30 pound minimum, but with some help from the workers, she manages to fly pretty high up in the air.

Getting strapped into the bungy.And jump,jump,jump!
It is incredible that Grace really isn't afraid of anything. I love how she just gets right in there to try.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chispitas

My mother is newly retired and since she is home now and able to watch "daytime television" she finds out all sorts of cool things. This morning she called to tell me about a new program through UNICEF called Project Sprinkles.

Jenna Bush Hager and a group of young professionals (UNICEF's "Next Generation" group) are committed to working to reduce the number of preventable child deaths around the world. It is estimated that nearly 1/2 of all child deaths are the result of chronic malnutrition.

But there is a simple solution found in a food fortification product called "Sprinkles" or "Chispitas" in Spanish. The powered, nutritional supplement provides the iron, vitamins, folic acid and Zinc required for healthy physical and cognitive development in children ages 6 months to 5 years. Jenna Bush and Next Gen have concentrated their efforts in Guatemala, the Latin American country with the highest rate of malnutrition. In some indigenous communities in Guatemala as many as 80% of children are suffering due to poverty and rising costs of food.

Since its launch in July 2009 Next Gen has raised $175,000 through fundraising and donations for Sprinkles in Guatemala (click to donate). The funds will be used to purchase Sprinkles for 35,000 children over the course of a year and to support staff, training and monitoring of Sprinkles distribution and effectiveness.

The cost of a year's supply of life-saving "Sprinkles" for a child is about $3.50. Seriously? I can skip one Starbucks latte to make sure a child gets all the vitamins she needs for a YEAR? Sign me up.

I made a donation today. How about you?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'll huff and I'll puff....

More outside adventures from the weekend....
Wet, soapy, bubbly fun!Grace was trying so hard to blow bubbles!
After a little practice she got it to work, but it was windy so they blew away quickly. I'm not sure which she likes better - blowing bubbles or trying to catch them!