Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We hope you have an enjoyable Halloween with trick or treating fun and all the activities that comes along with this holiday. Stay safe and Have fun. I know we will!

Some Pictures from Our Wonderful Trip to Portland

We recently had the opportunity to take a trip up to Portland. One of the greatest points in our trip was visiting Stinky's new and only cousin on my side. Right away she wanted to give him little kisses. After the kisses she spent the rest of our visit attempting to play with the cat. Unlike our dog's the cat was not cooperative in her desires to hold, pet, and play with it. She did enjoy chasing it and every time it came out of hiding she giggled. I think it was teasing her more than her teasing it. Every time she would lose interest the cat would mysteriously come out of hiding just long enough to gain her interest again. We are trying to convince my DH she needs a little kitty but having no luck.

Our main reason for the trip was a wedding, but once the wedding was over we had some time for some sight seeing. We went to Seattle, took a tour in down town Portland and visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Here are a few pictures from our sightseeing.
Portland has a open air market on Saturdays and Sundays where those selling items are the makers of the items being sold. We had a wonderful time walking through the little shops, stopping for a bite to eat and enjoying the crisp air. Great free activity that put our trip off to a good start.

We were amazed by the drinking fountains in Portland. They are constantly running. In California we are in the midst of a drought so the idea of wasting water like that is foreign. We were told by our tour guide that Portland has an abundance of water. So much so that they use what they need, sell a lot of it off (to California) and still have water to waste. It is interesting how different things can be just two states over.

Friday, October 23, 2009

OOHOOHOOHOOH!

While in Costa Rica we went on a monkey excursion and by far this was Stinky's favorite experience. She loved the monkeys. She can still remember what sound they made, that we were on a boat when we saw them and that they ate bananas. She giggled with so much joy every time they moved and sat in amazement watching them the whole time. With what little words she knew she was able to say, "ooh, ooh, ooh, boat and nana." We bought her a little monkey to bring home and she sleeps with it every night.
So guess who is a monkey for Halloween. I had already started collecting items for a different costume but switched gears when I saw how much she loved the monkey's. It was one of the first time's we saw her interested in something on her own and we wanted to encourage it. She loves her monkey costume and I am sure she will be playing dress up in it until it doesn't fit anymore.
The pattern was fairly easy to follow and it only took me a few hours to complete it. I used flannel instead of the thick fur they had suggested. Being in California it doesn't get cold enough. I am glad I made this change because both times she has worn it the weather has been in the upper 70's.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Trip to Costa Rica and the Animals We Saw

Recently we went on a family vacation with the chu's to Costa Rica. My DH and I had been there for our honeymoon. We were back in the country we fell in love with four years earlier, but this time with friends and our little Stinky. It was the best way to spend our anniversary.

A few weeks ago Stinky and I were sitting at story time in the library when Ms. Nancy pulled a butterfly puppet out of a box and asked the audience of two year old if they knew what the animal was. As the children quickly responded I thought back to our trip we had returned from only a few day before. Not only had Stinky seen a butterfly, but she had held a butterfly, she had been surrounded by 100's of butterflies, and she had watched one detached from it's little cocoon and fly away. She had experienced butterflies. At that moment I was very grateful for the experiences we provided for our child. I thought back to all the animals Stinky saw, touched and experienced in nature. She lived it instead of watching it from behind a fence or glass. She had lived for two weeks in their natural world watching, listening, and touching all that they are.

This lovely iguana wanted our lunch. We had a picnic down by the ocean and he was relentless in attempting to get our food. He had no fear, he would scurry towards us, we would shoo him away and then he would come back. Sometimes he even brought his friends. Stinky watched, sometimes a little nervous, but most of the time unfazed. She had seen many lizards like this on our trip. Every morning they would be sun bathing outside the condo we were staying in.
We took a walk through a national forest and decided to skip the expensive tour guide. Instead we looked for animals on our own. One tour guide was hunched over with two tourist staring at something. I asked what they were looking at and he said they were staring at an over sized rodent. As I stepped back, I look up and just over their head was a 13 foot boa constrictor in the tree. I pointed the snake out and the tour guide jumped back a little surprised. They had no idea they had been standing under this large snake. It was amazing to see such a huge snake in the wild just relaxing on the tree. This by far was my favorite animal sighting.
We saw many sloths. A little boring as they don't move much, but interesting to see just hanging in the trees.
Our crocodile excursion was amazing. Everyone was surprised that we took the girls on a night tour of the river, but we were glad we did. For the first half we were able to spot eyes of huge crocodiles but as we got close they would go under the murky water. In pitch darkness, one of our barefooted tour guide tells the person captain to stop the boat because he spotted a croc. He jumps of the boat, turns off his flashlight, and SPLASH...... followed by a "Wooaaa". He walked back to the boat with this three year old croc in his hands. Of course my DH pretends to eat it. I am sure he was only half joking, he wants to eat anything with meat. I believe Stinky's response was, "No, No, No, Bye, Bye." She was able to touch it and even hold it on her lap. She thought it was funny when we had it's tail tickle her. Right after he let the little guy go. Both Stinky and Chu fell asleep and the we were able to enjoy a nice boat ride back. What a great experience. Stinky has had a crocodile sit on her lap and she isn't even two yet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Painting Pumpkins with Daddy, Little Chu, and Her Daddy


Stinky gets very excited to see her friend Chu. Just yesterday my DH came home from work and knelt down with his arms open exclaiming Stinky's name. Stinky said, "Chu, car" and started walking toward the car. I had told her that when Daddy came home that we would be going to Chu's house for dinner. My DH was a little heart broken, but it is exciting to see her bond with someone and be excited to see her.

During Sunday night football the mommies stepped out to shop for materials for Halloween costumes. The daddies were given one task; Art during half time. Chu and Stinky had fun painting pumpkins with their Daddies in an effort to get ready for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dancing Fool!

video

Stinky loves to dance! Dancing is such a great way to blow off steam, enjoy life and laugh together. I make sure our family has plenty of dance parties. And it shows! We have been to 6 weddings this year and when I mention we are going to one, Stinky immediately does the dancing sign. (For those of you who don't know we have taught her simple sign language.) She can sure tear that dance floor up and entertain the older folks while she does it.

A Walk in the Fall

Living in the city and particularly in an area where we are surrounded by cement, Stinky doesn't get a chance to walk and explore nature often enough. As we were running errands this morning we passed by a park filled with trees and leaves blowing everywhere. Spontaneously I decided to stop. (For me this spontaneity doesn't happen often.) I am glad we did.

I noticed as she swung on the swings she would lean back and look up into the trees. The trees had just a bit of sun shining through. As I looked up I realized how calming and relaxing this view was. I never would have experienced it without Stinky taking it in first. When she was done swinging we took a little walk. We collected all sorts of different leaves. Stinky was excited about the leaves until she saw the 5 squirrels playing in the trees. Taking her lead we stopped and just watched the squirrels for some time. She asked me what they were, she told me they were eating and had questions about what they were eating and why they were chasing each other. What a great experience! To stop and experience the world around us. To stop and observe without time restraint and through the lead of a toddler.

I was so thankful she took me along with her in this little adventure. Thanks Stinky

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stinky's Halloween Party

According to my husband I cut off a little more than "we" could chew. After an all day drive home from a weekend's trip we had to prepare for Stinky's Halloween Party. I had decided to make Jack-O-Lantern fruit salad. I had seen this in a magazine.

The end product turned out cuter than I had expected. The fruit inside included pomegranate seeds, oranges, pears, apples and grapes. The children loved it and the fruit inside was really good. Not with out the help of my DH. He carved each orange even when it start to hurt.

Now what to do with the leftover orange guts. Any ideas?
I am sure the orange juice will be good though.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Stinky really enjoyed the pumpkin patch we visited. There were so many pumpkins all over, she attempted to pick up a few but realizes they were a bit heavy for her.

A rare site. I realized recently that we don't have too many family pictures of us so it was nice to get a picture where all three of us could be seen.
The best part for her was hanging out with her BFF. They really enjoyed chasing each other through all the pumpkins and playing in the little maze they had for the children. We refrained from buying pumpkins here because they were a bit pricey, but the experience was fun non the less.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween Here We Come!


We excited for Halloween this year. Stinky is a little older and she really enjoyed helping Daddy put up the decorations. We are a little limited as we live in a condo, but the fake spider webs and spiders is a good start. In the next few days we will make some more decorations to add to the inside.

The fake spiders bothered Stinky at first. When I pulled them out of the package she pulled away and would say, "no, no, no". A little more exposure and she was ready to hold them and hand them to daddy when he needed them.

I am not sure who enjoyed it more Stinky or Daddy. He spent quite a long time placing, replacing, analyzing and then replacing all the spider webs. He was surprised about how much fun he had putting it.