Monday, December 31, 2007

Dinosaurs and Origami

We were off to Manhattan to revisit the dinosaurs at the AMNH. Mikro even paid attention to some of the hands-on learning stations. He's definitely growing up and exploring the world around him more. Of course, he came home with some new Schliech dinosaurs to play with...

The origami tree was amazing and inspiring. I bought the 2008 Origami a Day calendar, and am going to try to teach myself some simple folding. Mikro really doesn't have the fine motor skills for this yet, but when he's a little older, I'd like to be able to do this with him...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo

Since Mikro adores the Central Park Zoo, we've been meaning to take him up to the Bronx Zoo. This is complicated, of course, by the fact that we don't drive, and it's been thirty years since either of us has been there, on a school trip, and neither of us had a concept of how to get there. It's involved, but not undoable, and so, having heard they had a special event going on, we trekked into the Bronx for Holiday Lights. It was a cold day, with rain in the forecast, but happily it held off till late in the day. We caught the feeding of the penguins, saw real live reindeer, enjoyed the light displays in holiday and creature formats, and rode on the (was this designed with Mikro in mind?!? Absolutely perfect!) Bug Carousel. He was terrified riding the carousel at Central Park last year, but hey, for BUGS? He decided to give it a whirl. And loved it! He also loved the Very Hungry Caterpillar garden, stopping to identify everything the caterpillar ate, patiently letting us read him the insect info plaques, and even posing for pictures (and he has developed an unfortunately cheesy picture smile...) Firsts: enjoying a ride, willingly putting his face in those cutouts for pictures, asking for a hand stamp, staying reasonably dry under an umbrella, accidentally transferring the hand stamp to his face in his sleep... It started to pour, so we left earlier than intended, but the silver lining was that, on the way home, we got to see the holiday laser show at Grand Central Terminal.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas at Our House

Mikro came downstairs on Christmas morning wearing his special Christmas Eve pajamas. He deigned to pose for a picture before the wrapping paper carnage began.

He asked for two things for Christmas. Santa brought him Candyland Castle Game (something I swore I would not get him because the request was prompted by the unfortunate addition of commercials to PBS Kids Sprout.) Santa also got credit for the one-kid trampoline with safety nets, which I had expressed reservations about, but ultimately accepted because it is a recommended therapy tool for sensory kids. Santa has a limited engagement at our house, because I do not want Mikro making up telephone book sized Christmas lists like someone I know used to, on the assumption that nobody has to pay for anything. I want him to understand and appreciate the generosity of friends and family members, so he knows most of his gifts come from us. To each his own, but that's how we do things here... So far, anyway.

The other thing he asked for was a sleeping bag. Can't tell from this photo, but it looks like an Indy car, and has his name embroidered onto it.

We read a very simple version of the Christmas story (and some other wintery books), and ended the night with my idea of something age appropriate to make the connection for Mikro- a birthday cake for Baby Jesus.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve in Mikroland

This year, we put the tree up on the 24th because, as usual, we ran out of time and were rushing like mad to get it up before Christmas... Kev and Mikro did most of the work:

Mikro is proud of his handiwork.

Late in the evening, we let him open one gift -- well, a couple, actually... a pair of penguin pajamas, a penguin pajama-keeper, one diecast Indy car and a Tomten plushie. (The Tomten and The Tomten and the Fox, by Astrid Lindgren (sp?) (creator of Pippi Longstocking) are longstanding favorite bedtime books around here.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

In which we are silly, or should I say buggy?

Mikro asked me to draw some of his favorite bugs...

Which led to this...

And this:

Oh insect tree, oh insect tree/ How buggy are your branches/ Oh insect tree, oh insect tree/ How buggy are your branches/ You're creepy crawly and festooned/ With beetles, flies, and hoppers, too/ Oh insect tree, oh insect tree/ How buggy are your branches!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

First Significant Snow of the Season

Fed the birds, but guess who's coming to dinner?

There were a huge number (and a variety) of animal tracks to study. Unfortunately, my photos were sub par.

And finally, some birds!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Commemorating Our Summer of Bugs

In pottery. I made these:

I still have a lady bug plate, a watercolor palette in the shape of a lady bug (it's removable back is a water dish), and a dragonfly/ladybug brush cup waiting to be fired...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

On the Prowl for Owls

After the Native American Pottery program, we took off on a hike to try and locate the owls we had heard about. We found one long eared owl, but he was so high up in a tree, that the best we could do was a photo of his rump.

The we hiked The Meadow, hoping to spot some birds.

No luck there, but a deer leaped across the path about 20 feet in front of us. Another blurry photo was the result...

But the view of the river was fabulous.

And we all worked up an appetite for a late lunch out.