Monday, November 15, 2010

So many candies to try... so little time

We've been slowly parsing Tovina's candy out to her. It mostly based on finishing dinner - she eats a good dinner and can have a piece of candy. She's not hungry enough to eat dinner, then no candy. On average it seems to come out to 1 piece every 3 days. Not that T minds. She really enjoys just playing with the candy, organizing it, sorting it, pretending to paint with it, making towers, talking about it. I almost think the candy aspect is just icing (if you'll excuse the expression.)

Not to say icing is not appreciated. In fact, she just tried Nerds. Her reaction?
Tovina: Daddy, what are these called?
Michael: Nerds
Tovina: I love Nerds.

The child takes after my own heart.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Last day at the park?

Today was gorgeous so Michael had everything ready and jumped in the car with T when I got home from work. We had the privilege of spending maybe an hour at the park before the sun went down. Tovina stayed in a swing for all but about 14 minutes of that time - that child sure does love her swing!
She even made, another, new friend.
Going to miss the park this winter.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Protect those ears

Its getting to be that time of year when ears get cold. So we decided it was also that time of year to buy something to keep them warm. There were many choices. Some Tovina liked better then others.

Of the 4 we tried only 2 lasted long enough on her head to get a photo.
We went with the striped flower option.
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bambi - sort of

We've got us a whole mess of deer that come through our yard. Yesterday afternoon there were 3 groups of them. Just outside the master bathroom were 2 does and a baby buck whose antlers were just nubs. I called Tovina over to see him.
'Bambi' she said. Well, not exactly. She actually said Bamkee. We watched the movie that Disney calls Bambi together the other day. I've asked her a few times on this one and she is quite sure that Bamkee is her name.
'Sweetie, Bambi is a boy.'
'No Mommy. Bamkee is a girl.'

I have so much to learn.

Monday, November 01, 2010

No blog - researching votes

Nothing cool to say today, spend the night researching candidates.
Good news: ballot is ready and the polls open at 6:30am so I'll only be an hour late getting to work!
Bad new: reading campaign information makes me feel vaguely ill.

Tovina asked what this was all about. We told her that we were preparing to vote.
Choose who gets to be our 'line leader' (a very prestigious position at school, heavy with responsibility.)
She wanted to know if she could vote too. Yay! Good little citizen!
Now we just need to keep that enthusiasm up for the next 15 years till she is actually old enough to cast a ballot herself.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


We had trick-or-treating on Sunday in our county. Here are the usual suspects.

It was hard to get Tovina to really stand still for photos. She was, shall we say, a little teensy tiney bit excited. Yes, this is a mid-air shot. One of many actually.

There was a flower for the butterfly to land on but that was not used until the butterfly was cold and tired and just curling up on my lap at the end of the evening (sans wings or flower for that matter.)
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Remember summer?

Winter is pretty close to being here. We've had a fire going to warm the house for a while now. I'm back to wearing fuzzy socks around the house and sweaters and jackets at work. Even more startling, Tovina is actually sleeping under the covers. Its times like this that remind me of summer.
This summer we joined the nature center that is not too far from our house, Rowe Woods. Lots of great walks there.
And lots of ways to get around, both by backpack and with just good ol' muscles.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween costume - take one

Tovina had a costume party at preschool today so we decided it was a good time to test out her costume before Sunday (that's Halloween in case you didn't know.)

I learned many things while working on Tovina's costume:
1) Fabric is harder to work with then cardboard. I think knowing how to sew may have helped but I am not convinced.
2) I really like working on Halloween costumes. Really like. Spent-all-day-thinking-about-it-and-couldn't-wait-to-get-home-to-work-on-it like.
3) Tovina likes making costumes too and can even work a glue gun (as long as I am also holding on.)

So what did we make? Hah! We're not telling! But we will let you see some photos and make your own guess.
(Luckily for us, Tovina and I already think that Tovina's costume rocks so we are not about to have our confidence swayed by anyone who might have absolutely no idea whatsoever what it is suppose to be. Confidence is a wonderful thing however misplaced that confidence might be.)

First thing to do before donning the rest of the costume was to get the head gear ready. (Michael went far and beyond my expectations!)

We still have a few days to change things up so if you have any suggestions then please please pass them on! Tovina already found the shiny beads that I forgot and wants to glue them on - right now Mommy!
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Monday, October 25, 2010


I asked Tovina, Brendan, and Emma to do ninja poses for me. (No I don't remember at all how this came up.)
Brendan thought about an appropriately spectacular response.
Emma tried to help Brendan out.
Tovina leap into action - I didn't even know she knew what a ninja was!

I decided to try again.
Emma and Brenda were ready with their accurate and terrifying poses ready.
Tovina was.. interested in watching Emma and Brendan.

Charlie's Angels this crew is not.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Swings and ponies

I realize that normally swings and ponies aren't associated with each other, but stick with me here.

A couple of weeks ago we visited Carriage House Farms for their Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association farm tour series. It was a great afternoon and as an added bonus while we were there Michael found the biggest swing set I have ever seen!
How big?
Well here is Michael and Tovina getting ready to take off

 And here is the rest of the swing. The down side? We didn't spend the 20 minutes that we estimated it would take to reach an adequate swing height. But the possibilities boggle the mind!
While we were at the the farm we saw some horses. This prompted Tovina to ask, "Can I ride the horse? Can I ride that horse? Mommy, when can I ride a horse? Why can't I ride a horse? Which horse...." and so on. I had no idea Tovina liked horses this much/ Lacking a better answer I told her someday I would find a horse for her to ride for a while. And that, I thought, was that.

Then came today's birthday party for one of Tovina's cousins. And this party, being pretty darn awesome, had ponies! 2 to be precise and Tovina tried both of them. The brown one is Elvis and the black and white is Oreo.

For some live actions shots:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween face painting

Everyone wanted to show their Halloween spirit
Emma is showing you a candy corn flower.
Brendan has a green and red snake.
And Tovina rounded out the group with a glittery spider (which Tovina called 'plain'. Maybe because it didn't have a smiley face? This was after we explained, 4-5 times, that there were no butterflies to be had)

On a side note, Emma's flower reminds me of fractals for some reason. It could just be that I learned today that Benoit Mandelbrot passed away so I have fractals on the mind.

These images from

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin pictures

For the last 3 years we have gone to Shaw's farm during October to get us in the Halloween spirit.

It seems to work.
What struck me this year is that we somehow started a family tradition when I wasn't looking.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bright Lights, Big City

Tovina was impressed with Calgary especially the bright city lights at night - and by night I mean 5:00 am Mountain time when she was waking up. Admittedly this was right around 7am Eastern time which is when she normally wakes up... but still, the principle of the thing was rough.

She would wake up, make her way through the darkened hotel room to the floor length windows, duck behind the opaque curtains, and then... just... stare.. at the street lights.

'Mommy, the sun is up.'
'Sweetie those are lights down where people can walk. (Not that anyone was moving around outside of the hotel at 5am.) Its still sleepy time.'
'No. See. The sky is bright.'
'That's a reflection of the light down here. We're in a city. That brown color? That is what the sky looks like here at night.'
She was not convinced but she did think it was fascinating.

I think now that we are home and she is once again stuck in the middle of a forest she might be a little disappointed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More fruit

We also have 2 pear trees. This year one of them decided to produce pears. Lots and lots of pears. I picked one the other day because I thought it was ready.
T checked it out for us.

It was not quite ripe yet, (very hard) though still tasty. We are expecting to try again soon.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apples and Honey

Shana Tova! A Happy and Sweet New year to everyone. One of the ways we celebrate the Jewish New Year is by eating apples dipped in honey. This year, as an extra special treat we had honey from lavender flowers from Carriage House Farms (I was surprised by how clearly the light lavender flavor came through) and an apple from our very own apple tree!

This tree already existed when we moved in but we had not seen fruit on it our first two years here. This year we got one whole apple! We have anxiously watched is grow for the last couple of months. It finally turned from light green to solid red and came off with a single twist. We tasted it the same day and it was... DELICIOUS! Still have no idea what kind of apple it might be but we are pretty sure it is under the 'yummy' category.
I think this bodes well for our new year.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Today Tovina and I made zucchini muffins. And when I say 'we' I really do mean WE. Admittedly 'we' took over an hour to mix everything together rather than the 20 minutes it may have taken on my own, but other than that, I'd say it was flawless.

Tovina measured every ingredient other than the vanilla, the first cup of flour and the first teaspoon of baking powder. Even with the exceptions she still poured the vanilla and measured the 2nd cup of flour and the 2nd teaspoon of baking powder. I had no idea she was capable of leveling out a teaspoon of anything much less keeping is all in the container it started in while measuring.
T even cracked the eggs herself. (I did fish out one teeny tiny piece of shell, but I often have to do that for myself so this does not seem very important.)

My job?
I turned on the oven, read the recipe, handed her the ingredients, oversaw measurement verification, did some final mixing (its heavy mommy), and transferred the batter to the muffin tin. Though even then Tovina told me which spot to put the next spoonful of batter.

When I told T, "I'm so proud of you. I didn't know you could do all of that."
Tovina said to me, "I can do lots of things. I’m 3.’

I'm thinking that I might be able to have her bake her own cake for her 4th birthday.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Great day

Today was just a great day.
I finally made some progress with a group at work with whom I have not been able to make progress for the last 8 months. Felt good!
Was able to solve the problem of my knee high stockings falling down by using a glue stick. Easy, fun, painless, and made me giggle all day as I thought about it.
Michael spend a fair chunk of the day cleaning and house and it looks great!
This smiling creature greeted me when I got home.
We had crunchy yummy food for tonight and we all had a nice dinner together.

And tomorrow is looking equally promising as well as being Shabbat!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New shoes and new tricks

My little girl sure is growing up. Last weekend she discovered heels.

She then discovered what goes along with heels - falling down and feeling twinges in one's ankles. That was when she decided that she didn't need to wear heels any more.

And speaking of learning things quickly, one of her new tricks at night after we read stories and I am getting ready to give her a kiss goodnight before leaving her room is saying, "Don't go, I need you Mommy."
Its nice to be needed, but man-oh-man is that a low blow. Sweet too. Very tricky child.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Petting zoo at the zoo

Baba and Zaida took T to the zoo. The first stop was the petting zoo within the larger zoo. This is yet another first in T's book of many adventures.
T was up for trying it all out, but only if she never EVER had to let go of Baba's hand.

Why is it important to never let go of Baba? Because you never know when the wild creatures might swarm!!

Or at least when the crazy domesticated animals might decide to become a little more persistent when asking for food. As long as Baba has your hand she'll save you.
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Monday, August 09, 2010

and Go Carts too!

What game of putt putt is complete without a chaser of go carts? We had the track to ourself and those of us at the side divided up our cheering efforts between the 3 active teams.

T's thoughts?
Rockin cool!!!
As the red light went on and they had to bring the cars in, Tovina asked Mari, "Why are we slowing down? More!"
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