Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fathers' Day

For Father's day morning I came home from work and got a sweet card and a happy Father's day song and dance from Graham. Later, we went out to the farm where Melissa and Jean temporarily released us from the time out cage so we could enjoy a nice dinner in the house.
Who knew being a Dad would have so many perks?

Lawn Mower

More "Farm Friday" fun as we helped Grandpa Paul get the riding mower down from the barn into the garage where we could work on it.

This one runs fine for now on Paul power, but I may have to put some wood blocks on the pedals if he's going to mow the lawn anytime soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Raptor Project

We put our membership to the Popp Butterfly Conservatory here in Oneonta to good use by taking Graham to see the Raptor Project. Jonathan Wood travels around the country showing his gallery of rehabilitated falcons, eagles, owls and other predatory birds.

Graham got to see a lot of them up close, including these baby falcons-

After the show we went inside to see the birds, lizards, turtles and of course, the butterflies in the conservatory.

It's not a big facility, but there's always lots to see, and it does let you get really close to the action.

When we entered the show we each got a little ladybug stamp on our hands showing we paid admission and as we left, the woman who runs the place offered Graham a few different stamps.
He got a little bird stamped on his hand, and then a very inky butterfly on his forearm. Unfortunately it was so inky that even after a short walk to the car it hadn't dried yet, and Graham, while wiping his brow, marked himself.

Luckily whatever they put in those baby wipes was good enough to get most of it off, leaving just a gray shadow for a day or two.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Citizen of the Year

The Colonel Harper Grange surprised my Mom at their meeting this month. She was awarded with a certificate for Community Citizenship. It was nice to hear how much her customers enjoy and appreciate her. There was a heartfelt speech about how much she does for them (you can take a listen below) after which we shared some very tasty cake.

We're happy for her well deserved recognition. Congratulations, Mom!

Graham was quite a ham during the festivities. Here's one of our favorite songs to sing when bedtime is coming too quick:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rainy Day

The terrible rain forced me to pull out the finger paints. I'd been storing them since Graham received them for his (first) birthday. They're as gooey as I remembered. He was over the moon when I told him what he had in store, "YAY FINGERPAINT!" And my child, true to self, refused to use said fingers, but chose instead the popscicle stick and a plastic fork to create his masterpieces. What a funny boy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Baa Baa Shop

It was Farm Friday again, where Graham and I go to the farm to see Grandpa Paul. Grandpa had called the day before and told us he had a big surprise for us... the sheep would be getting sheared while were were there!

I coached Graham on some appropriate humor:
Q: Where do sheep get their hair cut?
A: The Baa Baa Shop!
It never gets old!

Nancy (who also owns an ice cream shop in Morris) did the clipping while Graham watched and offered some reassurance to the little lambs waiting in the pen. ("It's OK babies, it's just a haircut.")

All clean and white, the sheep went out in the meadow to reacquaint with the lambs who didn't recognize them right away.

Then it was time for work. We all went to Filor Hill to load the trucks up with logs. Graham insisted we help him carry logs too big to drag with a truck, and when I handed him a small chunk he could manage himself, he told me he wanted to do it together with Grandpa like I had been doing.

After unloading my truck Graham had some time to investigate the fields with a new magnifying glass we got at a hardware store. Science is fun!

And so is visiting Grandpa!

Here's some action footage:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

It was really great to spend the weekend in CT and spend time with friends and family. (And for those of you we missed, we'll be back soon!)

Graham fell asleep before we hit the NYS border. Tuckered out, but quite happy as evidenced by the smile on his sleepy face.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Calf Pasture Beach

During out trip to Norwalk, we took Graham to my old stomping grounds at Calf Pasture Beach. This was Graham's first visit to an actual oceanside beach and he was eager to get his feet wet.

Mommy supervised the sand castle construction while Graham and I made several trips to the tideline to fetch water for her.

We even got lucky and found a crab!

Graham loved the water and sand, but was a bit skittish about the seaweed. He said he didn't like the way it tickled his feet. Melissa wanted to relax in the sun, so I told her Graham and I would go check out the playground. What we found however, was that the old snack bar (now run by Stew Leonard's) had opened and that they were serving ice cream.

After not hearing from us in awhile, Melissa came looking and we were busted.

After assuring her were were really going to bring her back something, we all walked out to the long pier to see the view and watch a few fishermen. Although dissapointed he didn't have a fishing pole with him, Graham was happy to find there was a spicket for splashing around in.

Here he runs all the way back to shore:

The beach seemed smaller than I remember it, but it still holds that same warm feeling of family for me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stepping Stones Museum

On Friday, we had a special morning with Gramma Strolin at the Stepping Stones Museum. There were lots of fun things to do but the best-- by far-- was the amazing water table room (complete with rubber smocks, a whirlpool, steam table and 2 rivers).

Here are some snapshots from our super fun morning:

And here are some clips of the fun games we played:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Road Trip

Here are a few extra photos from our recent visit to Connecticut. It seems that no matter how long we stay, there's never enough time for everything we want to do.
Our friend Tomas took these 2 pics after meeting us for a last minute breakfast:

We also attended Jeff's 40th birthday party, and in the chaos of the festivities we managed to take only one picture. Here's Uncle Bacci, Melissa and Uncle Cookie outside the restaurant:

Stew Leonard's is always a mandatory stop.
Here Graham enjoys a sip from a water fountain I drank from when I was a kid:

He enjoyed the many animatronic displays:

Here he learns that pushing a button can have surprising effects:

And last, but not least, I wanted to include this pic of Graham and Aunt Kit:

The webbed cage contains some newly hatched butterflies that the family raised from caterpillar-hood. We saw 2 butterflies emerge while we were there. (Mel's company actually takes the order calls for this cool product.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010


We went to Annutto's to buy herbs and tomatoes for our raised garden, and took some time to run through the sprinklers. Seeing Graham so happy really makes me miss being a kid. Fortunately I get to relive these simple summertime pleasures with him.

By the way, Graham is a pro at working the hose, so if you see him holding it, and it looks like he's struggling, be warned- It's a trick.