Friday, August 31, 2007

Part I

Since David's school was closed this week, Seth decided to take this time off from work, so we could go away for a couple of days. We've been talking about our vacation options (for months) for this year, with a toddler who is going though terrible two's and a baby who doesn't want to sit still for a minute. For me, if it is not international travel, then it is not worth boarding a plane. Our idea of a vacation is not spending time on the beach, so Mexico was out. Our kids are too little for Disney World and spending thousands of $$$, when they don't even know who Mickey Mouse is, didn't make any sense. So instead, we decided to save some money for the future European vacation and do something local that David and Julia would both enjoy (and simultaneously exhaust Seth and myself.) So, what do our kids enjoy? Amusement rides, ice cream, cookies and Elmo. So, we put our heads together and came up with Sesame Place. We had heard both positives and negatives about the park, but we decided to check it out and judge for ourselves.

This park definitely can't pride itself for the most fun rides for the toddlers, but it has something that not many parks do -- Monsters... TV Monsters... and lots of them.

The kids were shocked, yet mesmerized to see the life-sized monsters, since they looked so much smaller on television; so much, in fact, that it would take a few takes to take a good picture of them as David kept staring at the monsters instead of at the camera. The best part of the visit was meeting up our favorite monsters such as Elmo,

Big Bird,

Abby Cadabby,


Cookie Monster

and Ernie.

The day was filled with plenty of rides,

some play time

and a few performances by our favorite monsters.

The park also has a lot of water rides which we didn't bother going on as we heard they were not the cleanest (can't confirm it as we didn't even visit that part of the park) and because neither child knows how to swim. Unless Julia becomes the biggest fan of Sesame Street program, I can't see us going back there anytime soon. The kids had a great time though. Julia even stopped running for 10 min (unheard of) to watch Monster's Parade at the end of the day and this picture says it all about David's take on the day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How much driving is too much?

David's been on so many rides this summer that you'd think he wouldn't go on any anymore as long as he lived. But no, while he was busy burying his sister in the sand at the Point Pleasant beach, the sound of a train caught his ears and off he ran. Among dozen or so rides he could go on, David chose to ride the same 5 or 6 over and over again. Of course, there was no surprise that one of them was a train and others were carousel, a swing, a truck and a fire engine. David is strong willed (a.k.a. stubborn), so if he sets his mind on a particular ride, there is no way of convincing him otherwise. So, he'd stay on the same ride four to seven times.

Meanwhile Julia waited patiently at the exit gate for David to get off his ride.

But when her patience ran out, she started going through people's bags and pulling out stuffed animals that they won. One woman couldn't resist our daughter's adorable smile, pulled out a stuffed penguin out of the bag where Julia's hand was just in and gave it to her. (When we were on a cruise and David was 8 months old, he had the same affect on older people, so much that one of them took our home address and sent him a pair of robeez shoes.)

Even back home, David doesn't stay away from the engines. He practices riding his tricycle while his sister accompanies him in her car which she "inherited" from David.

David is getting pretty good at steering although he doesn't seem to get a hang of pedaling yet. Well, he's been spoiled by automated engines, so he doesn't want to do any work by himself, but rather have us push him in his tricycle. I just hope his navigating skills will be better than mine and Seth's are.

Fun in the sun.

Last week we decided to revisit the Point Pleasant boardwalk since David had so much fun last time. Since Julia had never been to the beach before, we packed some sand toys, swimsuits and headed to the beach before going on the rides. Julia quickly made herself comfortable in the huge "sandbox"

and started exploring every inch of it.

For some reason she kept putting sand into her mouth and would get extremely upset if I tried cleaning her hands. Of course, Seth was having more fun than anyone else. He kept digging up holes, sticking Julia in there while David saw it as an opportunity to finally be an only child again.

David, where is your sister?

Whew, here she is!

Monday, August 13, 2007

It is an animal weekend.

Early morning last Saturday, Seth went to the gym and I took the kids to the local park. The morning was cool and breezy. We hadn't had such nice weather in months and it was a perfect day to spend outside. So, in a spur of a moment it was decided -- the Bronx zoo.

Even though Julia had been there 2 months ago, she acted totally different this time. She was more curious and attentive to the animals.

She was fascinated with the fish.

Julia was even braver than me on the Sky Skyfari ride which features a treetop view of the park. She was looking all around while I kept my eyes shut for the duration of the ride. David loved the Wild Asia Monorail ride -- not because of the view, but rather because he felt like he was riding a train. His life revolves around going to the train tracks nearby our house, watching train pass and weekly train rides in the Van Saun park. So, this was a real treat for him.

Meanwhile, Julia was flirting with the other passengers and trying to get out of the car. Just like her brother, she doesn't stay in one spot longer than a minute.

After having so much fun on Saturday (some of us more than the others), and despite Seth and I being tired, we headed to the Central Park on Sunday to meet up with their cousins Marko and Daria. Prior to meeting up, however, the kids played in a few playgrounds and went to the Central Park Children Zoo, where the kids watched a puppet show, ran wild, climbed a spider web and were amused by the noises coming from the mini animal statues.

On Monday, he was still excited about having visited the zoos. In fact, during his morning appointment with his speech therapist, he was talking about the animals he saw this past weekend and the noises they make. I think it is going to be awhile before we return to the zoo, but then again, you never know when you have little children.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.

Julia turned one on August 4th, 2007. Not that she knows what that means, but a child's first birthday is very important to the parents. There's something strange about that first birthday that tends to make parents go overboard. This party was no exception. The party took place on the second floor of a firehouse. The party allowed a lot of free space for the kids to run around, which is pretty much all kids want. Add in a buffet of food from Jerry's and an entertainer who thinks she's a moose, and you have the makings of a fun first birthday party that Julia will never remember.

The kids seemed to enjoy the entertainment with nutty Marcia the Moose, who played a guitar, sang and performed a magic show. I disliked her as soon as she started performing since she made my nephew, Marko, cry. But she did gain a few points back seconds later after I saw Marko having a good time.

Thankfully, the kiddies were too young to notice Marcia's wackiness and they rather enjoyed her show.

Of course, the stars of the party were all the munchkins that helped Julia celebrate her Birthday:

Cousin Kayla who left an earlier Birthday party to make it to Julia's.

Friend Jordan who looked so adorable in his grown up hat and refused to take it off for the most part of the party.

His baby sister, Mina, who can out-screech David and , I am sure, soon will out-talk him as well.

Cousin Daria who was chasing David to kiss him and happily "chatted" with the rest of the guests.

Friend Olivia who was a social butterfly of the party.

As every party, it had to come to the end , but not until the Birthday cake was served and not just any cake, but a Carvel ice cream cake. Jordan called it a "high five cake" and since it is coming from a desert expert, I take it the cake was a hit.

Happy 1st Birthday, sonechko!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Is David In His Right Mind?

Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Picasso, Michelangelo, and... David Meyer? What do they all have in common? Well, yeah, they're all male... but that's not where I was going with this. Okay, here's another clue: Angelina Jolie. Now what do they all have in common?

Like all the people in the group above, it looks like David might be left-handed. Okay, so maybe we're jumping the gun here - after all, David isn't even 2 ½ yet. However, he prefers to eat, throw, and push Julia with his left hand.

Granted, it is still probably too early to label his handedness quite yet, but we're leaning in that direction. If handedness is a genetic trait, it's interesting to note that his grandfather is left-handed.