Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Heart Faces - Week 21

This is "Holly's Mom's" submission into Week 21 - Photo Challenge

Kids - Happy Birthday:

Pets - Anything Goes:

It was incredibly hard to pick a picture of Mizar. He is getting so big. He is about 6 months old now, and growing up so fast. he is well over 50 pounds, might even be 75. I had one of him in the yard with the leaves, and another close up of his face where he is making a cute expression, and I didn't know which would be better, the more "portrait" style or the close up. Sigh!

Check out the ones I didn't pick at the link above. It was so hard I changed my mind like 4 times.

I Heart Faces is a site where you can share photos and submit them into weekly contests, of faces, one for kids and one for adults. Check out other entries here: I Heart Faces

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dreamland - 5/10

Last week we went to the Dreamland Playground which is part of the Aquatic park system. I think this is a little known gem, and I hope more people find out about it.Because the park is tucked away in a more industrial and commercial part of town, near the waterfront, rather then in a neighborhood, it is more of a play destination, then a walk to the neighborhood park kind of place. Since you have to drive there, when we went, there weren't many other people playing.I would imagine on warmer weekend days it could get pretty busy, and I would hope so, because it was amazing, but for bigger kids. This is a park that I will need to review again in 6-12 months, and see how Holly fairs when she is older.It is very beautiful made of wood and designed like castles with mazes and pathways to climb. they were also pretty baby safe because they were walled in on the sides, so she couldn't fall off the edge.The problem was, she would climb, climb, climb and get to the top and want to go down the big slide. But the slide is too big for her to do on her own yet. In this case, we were able to slide down together. But the pathways she climbed on were rather narrow, yet I couldn't let her go alone, because she still sometimes forgets where she came from and sits back on the edge.There were other neat climbing structures like this spider's web, and there was a tire swing as well, so for older kids it is a delight of mazes and activity.Holly did have fun, but on the day we went she must have been hungry, because she wouldn't walk 2 feet without sitting down and trying to eat the tree bark. Eventually this got on my nerves. I tried to feed her, and although there were picnic tables, it wasn't easy or successful, and she only ate a few bites before trying to get down and eat the bark.You can see here an overview of the park and how fun and cool it is, and will be I am sure when we go back, but I can only say yucky so many times before i decide to remove her from the environment. With Sand, or even rocks, she is pretty good about listening and then moving on, but with the tree back, well, its the perfect bit size of a cheerio, and she wants to chew on it.She did have fun exploring and we did do some climbing, but she was frustrated that she couldn't go down the slides. So she defaulted back to her new favorite activity.Doesn't she look so sweet and innocent here, you would never believe that her mommy was shouting, yucky, yucky, and trying to get the bark out of her mouth. I suppose she might not actually swallow it, but if she did, it could rip up her stomach, its pretty ragged, and she doesn't really know how to chew yet, so she does swallow large pieces of food. So I have to be hyper vigilant.There were a few smaller slides that she might have been able to do, but because they were tube slides I couldn't hold her hand, and since I climbed up to the top with her, there was no one to catch her at the bottom. The base of the slide is rather far off the ground, so perhaps if we go again with Daddy, I will let her try some of them.We did find the swings and she of course had fun on those, and I'm not saying we had a bad time, but it was certainly a time that she needed much more supervision then i normally have to give, and I had to tell her no a lot which i don;t like to do. We will definitely be back again, when she is a bit older, stops mouthing everything, and can slide and step up with a little more sophistication, of course at 4 to 5 she would have a blast, but I think at the speed of her gross motor skills, even at 18-24 months, she would get a little more out of it.Slides - 1/2 - There were many, but we went down together, or she would need to be caught.

Swings - 1 - yes

Surface - 0 - Tan Bark, she ate it. Yuck. The play structure is wood too which is cool, but can give you splinters.

Shade - 1/2 - There was no natural shade and it was warm, but on and under the play structures you could get out of the sun.

Climbing - 1/2 - There were tones of steps and platforms to climb, but all needed supervision at this point.

Parking - 1 - There was a small lot near by

Bathrooms - 0 - to be honest I don;t know, I am sure there are bathrooms near by the Aquatic park is very large, but none I could see from the playground.

Distance - 1 - Maybe 5 minutes from home. Could even take a long walk there.

Friends - 0 - There were only a few older kids when we went, but when I revisit I will go on the weekend, perhaps there will be more kids then,

Fun - 1/2- She did have fun, it was huge and there was so much to explore, I could imagine her spending hours there, especially if she didn't stop every 2 minutes to eat the bark. It will be even more fun when she is older.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mabel / Haskel - Mini Park 6/10

Last week on our way home we spotted at a new park a few blocks from our house. It was on the corner of Haskel and Mabel.The park had two play structures, one for older kids with a cool bridge and lots of climbing bars. The other for little tots.There was an activity around every corner. Holly enjoyed playing with the xylophone, when you clanged on each it made cool ringing tones.Of course she also liked looking through to the other side and pressing her face against the cool metal.This was one of the climbing walls for the older kids, Holly had a go at it, but didn't get very high. and then wandered back to the smaller structure.She had fun walking on the bouncy turf, and at the time was still just getting the hang of things.You can see the big kid structure here in the background. Before playing, Holly always likes to completely survey her surroundings.But of course she will always end up at the base of a slide ready to climb up it. With her socks on it was a little too slippery for her to get very far.That of course didn't stop her one bit and with a little help from mommy she eventually made it to the top.One thing that was great about this structure was that it was pretty safe for Holly to play on by herself. The big slide was pretty shallow, and there was this cool second shallow tube slide.There was triangle platforms for her to climb up and down and the walls were covered with distractions, music makers, color tubes, steering wheel.She still sometimes is precarious on the edge of the various platforms, she climbs up ok, but when she isn't paying attention forgets the edge is behind her.She loved looking out of the little port holes and since it was pretty safe Mommy didn't need to stay on the platform with her.So we were able to play peek-a-boo instead. She would look out at Momma and smile and laugh and then run to another hole and look for me there.She had a lot of fun with this game and it provides hours of endless entertainment.ok, maybe not hours, but look at how cute she is looking for me. seeing the world from her little perch.It was also quite tasty to chew on the rim. I think if she had it her way she would lick and chew on very surface she comes across.Eventually she got bored and decided to give the slide a try. This one was fun because she could do it all alone and it was a tube.It wasn't as good as the big slide though, and she spent plenty of time going down that one too.When she was ready to go she walked to the car all by herself which was pretty cool.Slides - 1 - Two awesome slides she can do by herself and bigger ones for later

Swings - 0 - no

Surface - 1 - Bouncy turf

Shade - 1/2 - To be honest I don't remember, but from the pictures there seems to be sunny and shady spots

Climbing - 1/2 - The structure was perfect for climbing, but it was sorta small, so there wasn't a lot of places for her to explore and go to.

Parking - 1 - Easy street parking and technically walking distance

Bathrooms - 0 - none, and too far to count the one at home.

Distance - 1 - Very close

Friends - 0 - I didn't see any other kids, and it isn't in the best neighborhood, so I wouldn't go there at night. I think the kids probably go to the park closer to our house.

Fun - 1- She had a lot of fun, was very independent and there is more to do when she gets bigger.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Holly Gets New Shoes

Ding Dong goes the door bell, and there is a package to be signed for. No I am not Holly, but she isn't quite able to sign for herself yet I laugh as she tries to peak out the door at the mail man.She is happy to get her box and plays with it until her visiting Great Uncle Ty offers to help her open it. She is eager to find out what is inside.Woo Hoo she exclaims what are these colorful things inside this fun plastic container and how do I get them out. They look tasty.I think you are supposed to do something over here with this zipper, maybe if I pull on it, it will open, or maybe if I smile real cute Mommy will open it for me.Hmm.. What are these? They look interesting, I can carry them around and they are soft and very pretty and they do taste good.Perhaps I should take them over here and play with them and hide them in my toy box, oh wait mommy is calling me over, and wants me to sit on her lap.Hmm... These things fit on my feet, they look pretty good and they are pretty comfy too, they fit just right.Look at these pink circles and the green ones too, can I pull those off and chew on them? These are pretty soft, and they make my feet all cosy.Ack! Mommy expects me to walk in these, is she crazy, I can barely get to where I am going. If I am not careful I might fall right over, I think I need to hold on.
Hey, these aren't so bad after all. I think I am getting the hang of this. Thank you Granny!