Monday, April 29, 2013

spring, broccoli, and mary poppins

 The spring colors in ohio still surprise me every year.  We've had a lot of rain lately- and the colors finally just broke through.  Our front yard is an explosion. greens and purples and pinks.

This tree is amazing.  When you open the front door- you can't believe the color.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

As much as I dislike pink- when it's in such a natural form- I love it.  It looks like we've had pink confetti thrown all over our sidewalks and driveway.

I took a bunch of closer shots the other day when it was sunnier out.  As much as I often moan about our yard and the work it entails- it sure is beautiful this time of year!

 I had to throw in a pic of metta.  she loves broccoli.  She'll shovel in giant pieces and just gobble them up.    I think I hated broccoli until I was twenty something.  She's a good little girl.

and finally- a couple of mary poppins pics. Mary Poppin- the broadway show-came to town and we had friends going and wanted to go as well- but didn't know kent's schedule until late.  We ended up buying tickets the day before the show!  The very last two tickets in the theater in fact :)  in the very back two corner seats.  it's a bit of a tradition for us to go to shows and get terrible seats.  we like to take our binocs and people watch before hand.  The back row wasn't actually all that far away in this theater- but I was still rather glad I had binoculars to see the details of the costumes and set.

It was a really really fun show!!  the music was wonderful.  I remember while growing up we'd always listen to a disney cassette tape when we fell asleep at night.  It had all of the classic mary poppins songs on it and I have loved them ever since!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kentucky!! the newport aquarium.

We've been meaning to check out the Newport aquarium for ages now- and with Kent having an afternoon off- yesterday was the perfect day for it!  Around lunchtime we drove down to Kentucky (right on the Cincinnati border) and spent the day running after sea creatures.

Metta LOVED every second of the day.  She had the most fun of us all- and we didn't even have to buy her a ticket!!  Kent had her chasing sharks through the giant tunnels and she giggled and laughed so much she kept falling over.
She was far more keen on touching all of the crabs and starfish and other tide pool animals than the boys were.  They obliged but weren't very enthusiastic.  Metta wanted to get in the water with the sea urchins.
giant snake of some sort.

Zeb loved reading about each exhibit.  These giant crabs were his favorite. He taught us a lot about his readings.

they were HUMONGOUS.  in the wild they can be 13 feet in length. and they can live up to 100 years.

I loved the big shark tanks.  they've got the world's biggest collections of shark rays.  Standing up against the glass was pretty crazy.  You feel like you are with the sharks!!
The 'faces' on the bottom of the rays are pretty creepy. and cute all at the same time.

  And speaking of rays- did anybody see that terrible "Tampa Rays" baseball sign joke?!  it's awful.  too soon.  although I did have to stifle a laugh.  only because it was so inappropriate.

 we totally lucked out with an empty museum (minus the giant school group that arrived at the same time as us!- but we let them go ahead of us and sat and waited for a few minutes until they left) for the day and got the displays all to ourselves.
They had an entire enclosure dedicated to these birds.  I kept thinking I'd seen these birds somewhere else before- and then we read a sign that said they were "australia's bird".  Check out this post- about our Australia adventures.  You'll see the very same birds- only in the wild.  As I was rereading my Australia posts- I realized I really need another vacation!!!

We bought a little cup of nectar to feed them and the kiddos loved it.
Metta was so enthralled by all of the fun animals!!  She grabbed the cup of nectar from my hand and took a sip.  She's fine today- so I'm assuming she didn't contract bird flu or any other strange ailment.
It really is so fun to see the world with a child's perspective.  So exciting.
such a cute smile.  rather unruly hair.

 There was an entire jellyfish room at the aquarium.  I love jellyfish.

the tunnels were my favorite part of the day.  we walked through them over and over and over again.  Metta ran through them.
she could have spent all day chasing the sharks.

the only thing the boys refused to do was pet the sharks.  they had a full tank of 20 or so different sharks to pet but zeb and Ike wanted nothing to do with them.
the penguins were my least favorite part of the day- but only because compared to everything else they seemed so far away.  You could pet a penguin for 25 dollars- but that wasn't in the budget :)

the aquarium is on the levee along the Ohio River.  There's a river walk and a mall of sorts to walk around.

and a candy store with delicious fudge and nerds :)
for dinner we ate at Tom + Chee's on the levee.  A fabulous eatery based around grilled cheese and tomato soup!!! yum. I got swiss and turkey with pickles on wheat with tomato basil soup.  It was PURE HEAVEN.  I love grilled cheese.
Metta is a holy terror at restaurants.  We can get her to sit still for about 7 minutes if we put a pile of ice in front of her.  
our day was splendid and made me again grateful for the opportunity to live in new places and explore new things.  Even though it's still a year away- it makes me excited for our next adventure!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

I want to be a naturalist when I grow up...

 This is Zeb's laugh face when I asked him if he sat on Mrs. Couch today.  She's the office lady.  and I love to pester him about her name.  "MOM!  she's NOT FURNITURE. She's a PERSON!!".

There's something about nature that I've always loved.  I think insects are incredible.  I love the mathematics of flowers.  I love watching ecology in real time  I love that evolution has created such amazing species to make the world as beautiful as it is.  Just the colors of our world astound me.  How can flowers be so vibrant?!  how can robin's eggs be so perfectly blue?!

 I want to be a naturalist when I grow up.

Today we spent the afternoon being our own little family of backyard naturalists.  

Metta ate a lot of these.  We aren't sure if all of the plants in our backyard are safe to ingest- but so far so good.  She's fine.

check out the perfect symmetry of the petals.  I love it.

And look what the boys spotted up in the corner of our deck overhang!  It's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get a good picture of. I nearly broke my neck retrieving these shots.  But it was totally worth it.  The Mama bird hangs out in here a lot.  Protecting her soon to be baby birds.
this shot was the killer. I had to cling to the deck overhang timbers with three fingers- perched across the railing on my tip toes- all while trying to hold my camera above the overhang and to focus through tiny slats.      
Three tiny almost birds.  I can't wait until they hatch!!!

 finishing our Earth day with bubbles.  Metta had some to drink.  Kent got some in his nose.
I love Earth.  What a fabulous Godly Creation. what a wonderful place to live.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

lazy mom.

Metta was in dire need of a bath this evening- but I had no desire to deal with the tub.  Kent is just finishing a run of nights and I'm pretty sick of the nighttime routine.

  So we improvised.  She's way too big for this!! but loved that she could simultaneously eat out of that big bowl of honeydew while she bathed :)
 Her hair is pretty long- but I don't know how to put a pony tail in it?!  the top? the side?  I don't like the antenna look so I may have to wait a little longer to try it.
A lot of friends here in Dayton have had baby girls in the past year- and we've been wanting to take a picture for some time now!  We finally got together to get it done this last week.  Metta is the oldest.  and was the hardest to keep contained!  thus the cheeto in her mouth!  so many bows.  and we didn't even have all of the girlies here!!

Metta has the best personality.  She loves everyone.  she loves to wave to Zeb's bus driver.  At church she stands on the pew and searches for all of her familiar faces and then waves and squeals at them.  She is best pals with her childwatch workers at the YMCA.   The only people she'll ever grimmace at are Zeb and Ike!! and it's only because they LOVE to tease her.  Ike thinks it's hilarious to steal her blanket and pretend to sleep on it. It makes her MAD.    She really is my happiest kid.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


all of my kiddos have become attached to a special blanket.  I love it.  it makes bed time easier. and road trips, too.    Although Metta's blanket gets mighty dirty crazy fast.  and finding a good time to clean it is pretty impossible.  I love this picture of her (I love all pictures of her).  Sometimes she'll just plop down where she is and put her head down on the ground on top of it- give a little smile- and then get up and go on her way.
the past few days we've had hellish weather. hot and humid.   I need at least two months where I don't have to turn on my a/c OR heater!    Kent has had a few days off while he is transitioning from PICU to nights.  (The worst two rotations EVER!!  ahhhhhhhhhhhh!  oh well- we'll get through them).

We've been trying to have some fun with the days he's off and yesterday we got 50 cent kites. We went up to the green space just above our house- and invited our neighbors to join us in the fun.

Our kites were terrible.  we lost one in the trees right away because it got to the end of the string and just flew away!!! and the other got tangled.  Our pals from up the street came with us though- and they let us have some fun flying their kite.  It was a dollar and apparently far superior.
all of the boys trying to get their kites flying.  our neighbors are the greatest!
metta's first time in flip flops :)
Kent took the boys to sonic for happy hour.  I'm on a seven day processed sugar fast - so I opted out.  I went sugar CRAZY over the past month or so (birthday, easter, etc) so I'm trying to detox.  I'm an addict.  truly.  So this week I'm going CRAZY for fruit.  and these amazing cookies- happy trails cookies.  Date paste instead of sugar to make them sweet.  pumpkin seeds and craisins, too. they really are super tasty.  But I am having withdrawals from sugar- so anything remotely sweet tastes divine :)
Metta is trying to participate, too :)  she loves all food.  and is such a good eater.  I'm trying so so hard to make her a lover of many foods- esp veggies.  so far so good.  She eats almost strictly fruits and veggies and whole grains 100% of the time.  I'm cutting back on dairy - but she does get some.   She loves broccoli!!  and pumpkin seeds!  and cucumbers obviously.  I made so many mistakes with the boys when it comes to healthy eating and it's still a battle sometimes so I am determined to make metta better :)