Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dr. Doolittle

Graham and I made a trip to the Tourtellotte Farm where we got to help feed the sheep, as well as enjoy a nice lunch with Grandpa Paul.

Afterwards we stopped at another farm that had a "Bunnies for Sale" sign posted. I asked the woman there if we could see a few, even though we probably wouldn't be buying any (since Melissa would kill me), and she was more than happy to let us take a look.

We're hoping that "Farm Friday's" with Paul will be a regular event for us as the weather warms!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Bunny Train

Auntie Liz, Melissa, Graham and I met Grandma Jean, Grandpa Paul and Great Grandma Shirley for a trip aboard the Easter Train.

The train departs from Milford, NY and takes you about an hour up the line towards Cooperstown. The antique cars were festively decorated and Graham loved being part of the train experience. Having been read "Train Mice" millions of times, as well as seeing countless "Thomas the Train" shows he was very happy to meet a real live conductor.

After a brief snack of cookies, chips and juice boxes, the real excitement suddenly began...
From the rear of the car strange figures were working their way towards us.
The commotion was met with silent disbelief.


(OK, Truth be told, it was really Bugs Bunny filling in for him as he did in this classic 1947 Warner Brothers cartoon but Graham didn't know that!)

Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Scooby Doo were with him as well!
Now for the past month or so, we've been watching the old "Scooby Dooby Dooby" cartoons on Boomerang (It's a cable network I like that plays all the old classic cartoons) and although Pooh and Tigger did score a few high fives, seeing Scooby Doo was almost better than meeting the Easter Bunny himself.
After a quick meet and greet, the train pulled up to a mini station where car by car we left the train to hunt for Easter eggs and get a little one on one time with the characters.
Here we are by one of the Easter egg trees.

Graham was proud to show off his found eggs to the Grand-Folks who waited on board, and was thrilled to learn an important Easter fact. Plastic eggs have candy in them.

Afterwards, having depleted his own chocolate supply, Graham is busted checking out purses for any lingering sweets.

The train reversed direction and headed back to Milford, giving us a few moment to pose for some shots.

Before we reached our starting point though, the kids were called by age to the open car at the front of the train for some giant Easter egg rolling!

Graham was a pro, and although he did pick up his egg once to give to Scooby Dooby, and kicked it a few times when it seemed unwilling to go where he wanted, he was the only kid in our race that made the entire trip up and around the cone. ;)
Here's some video of the trip-


The fun with Auntie Wizz (that's Liz for those of you rusty on your Grahamspeak) never stops... Jim will post more later about the Bunny Train, but first let me tell you about our Sunday morning at the Shaver Hill pancake breakfast.

We ran into Tucker and Joseph and everyone enjoyed their pancakes and sausage. Things didn't get out of control until Graham met the MAPLE QUEEN! Yes, right there in person. The excitement of meeting a queen was almost to much for him to bear. (no jokes, Lopresti!)

Add a little cotton candy mustache to that kind of crazy and who knows what will happen...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ikea, I love you

The Ektorp covers do indeed fit the Pottery Barn Basic Couch and Chairs and at fraction of the Pottery Barn cost. Oh happy day!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring at last

A couple warm days inspired us to get out for a walk. Graham's legs are getting too long for our stroller-- he'll actually put his foot in front of the tire if he wants us to go in a different direction. Clever, but not so safe. So for this trip, we opted for the wagon. When I watch this video it's hard to believe a year ago he hadn't yet taken his first step. He's been busy!

The weather also inspired us to deflate the snow tubes. Here's some bonus footage of our baby bird and some of his new catch phrases:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ukelele Strap

The Ukelele finally has a (robot) strap which is making it a lot easier to play. Check another project off the list.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Graham keeps surprising us with new words and funny ideas. The monster kiss in this video is something he invented one night while trying to push bedtime back just another few minutes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bike and Park

Warm weather has returned and we have started our daily bike rides around town!
Here Graham models his new "Wee-Ride" seat. (He's outgrown the "I-Bert" one from last year)

We hit the park, and not only has Graham conquered the old slides and swings, he's now big enough to try some new things as well.

Here's a short clip I took with my phone:

On our last trip with Mommy, we played until the sun began setting and we told him it was time to go. When he began his fake crying we told him "OK, One more time on the slide" to which he replied "5 Times". We bartered back with 3, then 4 and finally settled on 5 more times before we go. (What can I say, he's a great negotiator).
Each trip around, we'd count off the number of slides, until we reached the 5th and told him it was finally time to go.
This time he changed tactics and held up his hand and said, "No, 5 minutes".

Nice try kid. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Picture Day

Graham had his first school pictures taken last Wednesday.

I called my mom the night before to ask for wardrobe advice. After more than 40 school pics I was sure she would have learned some valuable lessons. She reminded me of our white dresses, sitting on wicker chairs in front of the white background. Aack! So I picked a colorful shirt, and crossed my fingers.

We weren't there to see all the magic happen and I got a little nervous whenever I asked Graham about how it went-- all he would talk about was Elmo. Of course I was thinking, Great, there's a huge red puppet as the backdrop. (Read: I am not an Elmo fan.) As it turns out, the photographer used an Elmo doll to make him laugh, and it was our dreaded foe The Wicker Chair that should have been worrying me.

Thank goodness for Mom's advice. They all looked adorable.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blustery Day

Graham has shown a bit more independence lately, insisting he do everything himself. (Any attempt of assistance results in a conniption, so we've learned to just wait until he asks for help.) Here we see how he put his own pants on (backwards) as well as his rubber boots (on the wrong feet) before he heads outside to jump in muddy puddles.

It started to drizzle a bit, so I tried to get him to come back inside, with no luck. He did settle for taking shelter in the garage which seemed like a good idea at the moment, until he saw the wagons.

I tried to convince him a ride in the blustery wind and rain wouldn't be as much fun as playing inside, but he wasn't buying it. Luckily Mommy produced 2 umbrellas that allowed us a quick walk around the block.

Mental note: We need a third umbrella. *Ahh-chooo!!*

Friday, March 12, 2010

Boys' Night

Melissa made her monthly visit to PA., and left Graham and I to enjoy our ritual "Boys night".

During a lovely dinner with one of our favorite ladies, (Thanks Grandma!) we ran into one of our friends from the Oneonta mothers group we belong to. It seems Nicole was having dinner with her 3 boys and was looking for something to do to keep the boys out of trouble, so we invited them over for a last minute hot tub play date.

Kyle and Dillon relaxed in the tub,

while Graham decided to stay indoors and make sure little Joe didn't play with any of his toys. (Lately, Graham's motto is "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine")
A compromise was reached however when Joe tried to play with the wagon. Graham took control of the handle, and Joe simply jumped in for a ride.

This seemed to work out nicely for the rest of the evening.

When the older 2 boys were done outside, I took them downstairs to see the mechanical horse (they actually doubted me when I told them about it) and the shooting gallery coin op game I restored awhile back. Nicole says they haven't stopped talking about me, and they've already asked for a revisit!

I like being the cool Dad!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pancakes and Maple Syrup

Tucker, Winnie and Graham made their annual trek to the Farmers' Museum to enjoy one of the earliest signs of spring-- Maple Sugaring! After a delicious pancake breakfast, we headed into the village to see the animals.

The village paths were slippery with mud. Despite all the hand holding, the boys each wiped out. Graham's sneakers (and the knees of his pants) were coated.
Looking at the photos from this outing last year, I can't believe how much the kids have changed.

Of course, some things were just the same, like how much they love sweet syrup, chasing the chickens, and riding the carousel.

Graham much preferred the "Vomit Comet" with Daddy to riding Bucky the Beaver.

We stopped at the gift shop for one last treat... Rock Candy (a.k.a. a Santa Pop). In the olden days (the 80's) they sold it on a string. I think it was made right on site then.

This event runs every Sunday through Easter. Make the trip to Cooperstown and you won't be dissapointed! (...unless you expect your kid to share his candy....)

The Wheelbarrow

When I was a bachelor
I lived by myself;
And all the bread and cheese I got
I laid up on the shelf.

The rats and the mice
They made such a strife,
I was forced to go to London
To buy me a wife.

The streets were so bad,
And the lanes were so narrow,
I was forced to bring my wife home
In a wheelbarrow.

The wheelbarrow broke,
And my wife had a fall;
Down came wheelbarrow,
Little wife and all.
-Mother Goose

One of the more interesting finds on our recent trip to the Farmer's Museum was a simple wooden wheelbarrow. Too heavy to lift alone, Graham enlisted the help of his friend Tucker.

Still not budging, Winnie offers a little girl power.

Oops... A little too much girl power! Those girls are stronger than they look.

Now if we can only convince her to give us a ride...

Oh, Happy Day

Uncle Jason popped in to surprise his favorite nephew yesterday. After some fun in the little house, there was a little bit of the, "Me go you, Jason. Me go you house." We reminded him Jason would come back with Abby, the Easter Bunny and some candy in a few weeks which clouded the topic enough to keep him out of Jason's back seat.

Graham helped Jason tie his shoes and sent him back to Ole Virginny.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Graham roped Grandma into some tower building before bath time. It's a long video, but shows how many times Mom says she has to go, and how many times Graham convinces her otherwise... When did she become such a pushover?!

If you don't understand basic Graham-mer, listen for "Not funny," "That's tippy," "Let's build tower," "No go home, you stay me," "More green," "Thank you," and the ever popular, "Stay! You play me."

Delinquent Blog Posts

Thanks to a few late nights, we're finally caught up with all the posts we missed in January and February, so if you are visiting us after this long hiatus, please click January and February to the right... there's new stuff to read and pictures and video to see, but it's buried in the archives!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

We celebrated the good Doctor's birthday by attending an event at St. Mary's school. "Step into Seuss" had several giant wooden books, with doors you could go through to play story-related games.

The games were cute, but Graham found the doors more interesting. Until he saw the dinosaur with the lollipop teeth behind the Mulberry St. book!

A short climb up a ladder, and a steady grip on a stick with a magnet taped to it and Graham scored a grape one!

With the realization that candy was involved in most of these games, they instantly became a bit more enticing. Here he tries his luck in the "One Fish, Two Fish" pool.

YESSSS!! A gummy Swedish fish was awarded!

Here kids shoot "butter" sponges over a piece of wooden toast behind "The Butter Battle Book." Graham didn't care to shoot the sponges, but happily collected a few to hand back to the kids.

Our final stop was behind "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" book. Two tables were set up and filled with shaving cream, and tiny Cat in the Hats were cut out and stuck in the foam. Kids used water pistols to squirt not only the characters, but themselves as well. Here Graham and his friend Brady size up the enemy, and discuss an assault strategy.

Graham takes a near perfect stance, aims and fires, repeatedly hitting his target.

I like this next picture, not only for his sheer delight in his successful marksmanship, but for the sweet older lady in the background diligently filling pistols with a Dixie cup of colored water.

She laughed when I told her she reminded me of those old revolutionary war movies where the women folk would quickly load the black powder muskets to hand to the fightin' men!
Here's some video of the fun: