Sunday, November 29, 2015

Once Upon a First Day of School

Despite being seriously belated, I just can't help but share these adorable photos of Riker's first day of first grade all the way back in August!

Ari was less cooperative about his first day of Pre-K photos! This is the least blurry one I have as it's the only one where he wasn't darting away! He looks reluctant but I think he's actually enjoying the program.

His official preschool photo however is absolutely gorgeous!

I'm so proud of you two! I just love watching your beautiful (and very different) personalities emerge and I'm so glad I get to be your mama! (I might also be just a wee bit delighted to have a few hours to myself each week, but don't tell them I said that!)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Green Polka Dot Spectacles

A few months ago we started to have some concerns about Ari's vision. Occasionally one eye would appear crossed and as the weeks passed he started to complain of double vision. After several visits with a pediatric ophthalmologist, he was prescribed glasses for farsightedness.

Isn't he handsome in his chocolaty frames with green polka dots?

It wasn't easy to get him to wear the glasses at first. Left to his own devices he would choose to wear a stick-on eye patch instead. Now he willingly wears them most of the time which I hope means that they are helping!

On the way to a recent check-up appointment with the ophthalmologist we were chatting about the glasses and if they were working for him and if he liked wearing them. This is what he said, nearly verbatim.
One: They protect your eyes from the sun.
Two: You can see things inside of bodies.
Three: You can see inside of wood.
Four: You can see inside of the grass.
Five: You can see inside of houses without looking.
Six: When you're scared, the glasses make you invisible and you can see everything with the glasses on and do everything.
Seven: You can see in every direction at once. 
I think I'll get myself a pair of those green polka dot spectacles!

Take on the world my dear boy and don't let anything stop you!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Summer Fun

Returning now to that series of catch-up posts promised some weeks ago to share a collection of summer photos.

Riker expertly demonstrates the concept of leverage.

A bucket of chalk in the grandparents driveway provides hours of fun!

I find Ari having a sensory experience with the butter. Better to grab the camera than to get mad!

Love my little biker boy!

Lemonade stand with the cousins.

Stoked to find a splash park a short drive away and with free entry to boot!

Screen time outside.

Grandpa Carl runs the risk of being overtaken by forts!

Seeing the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Hill with Maria.

Love this funny and very social little boy!

Ari gets a wee bit closer to the terrific fireworks display on daddy's shoulders.

Stopping to appreciate a butterfly at historic Hale Farm and Village.

The boys play at Hale Farm while the parents sample wines on a rainy afternoon.

Ari and I visited Memphis Kiddie Park with a mother's group and had a great time!

Safe screen time.

We don't have a TV in our home and the boys are so much more likely now to choose activity books, crafts or imaginative play. Yay!

Tree climbers.

Poking around in the woods as children should.

Building a fort in the woods with neighborhood friends.

This summer was definitely more work than play for Brian and I and it's hard to believe it's so far behind us already! We're so glad the kids get to spend quality time with their cousins and that they frequently choose to built forts or poke around in the woods!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Five Hundred Posts and a Ten Year Anniversary

Dear readers, this is my five hundredth post!

Just as remarkable is the fact that last month marked my blog's tenth anniversary! That's some pretty serious seniority in blog land! 

It seems like a lifetime ago that I wrote that first post describing preparations for our departure to Australia for my time as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. And what a gloriously profound decade it has been! It would take, oh, I don't know, approximately five hundred entries to even begin to describe all that has happened since then! 

Lots of change has been chronicled in these pages and now that we've been back in the US for over a year, I've been pondering the future of this blog and the fate of its title in particular. Adventures Down Under is in its tween years and given recent hemispheric changes, the title no longer describes the current content. That said, while the blog might have outgrown its name, I just don't have the heart to change it. I've amassed a pretty impressive list of contenders for a new title but with a history and personality of its own, it doesn't seem right to change it mid life cycle. I'd also be concerned that changing the title would negatively impact search results, accessibility and how posts are retrieved from archives. And those of you who were kind enough to weigh in on my deliberations agreed that there was no good reason to divorce myself from the title for strictly geographical reasons. Then of course there's also the fact that a portion of my heart continues to reside down under!

So, I think I'll go with the suggestion of my very dear friend, Beth. Keep the name and give it a subtitle.

Adventures Down Under: There and back again

Nothing like honoring the past while leaving the future open to more adventures! And as Beth so wisely points out, a LOTR reference might boost search results :)

So while I plan to just keep on blogging under a slightly revised title, this seems a good time to say thanks to my readers. Some of you have been with me since day one and others have been collected along the way from far flung corner of the earth. Whether far or near, I appreciate all of you - your friendship, support, love and encouragement (and pageviews). This wouldn't be nearly so much fun without you. Let the Adventures continue - here, there and everywhere.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Fawn Season

We were so thrilled to look out the window one spring morning and see a doe and her fawn in the woods behind the house. Then we realized she had twins! Brian tiptoed out to catch a few shots of the fawns, still with wobbly legs.

We watched them happily all summer, grazing 'round the neighborhood and often bedding down in the woods at night.

The kids enjoy their presence as well and we've loved to watch them grow!

The fawns have now lost their spots and are looking rather grown up. They still stick close to their mama though and the other day we even saw them nursing! So sweet. I almost ran to grab the camera but am glad I didn't because she rather unceremoniously booted them off after not too long!

One of the twins in the neighbor's front lawn. Notice how the ears are alert in two directions.

After not seeing the trio for some time, I grabbed my camera and headed down into the ravines to see if I could find them. Crunchy autumn leaves underfoot are not a photographers friend but I did manage to catch one moderately decent image of the family from a distance before I saw white tails bolting off through the woods.

Since the deer were being elusive, I decided to turn my lens on some other forest friends like this cheeky squirrel sitting way up on the treetops.

I hope we keep seeing this family of deer all winter. Come to think of it, we may see them more than many of our human friends who tend to go into hibernation over the long, cold winter!