Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Field Trips and Home Activities

Well, I guess that was a long, unintended break from blogging. The reason for it is actually quite silly--the hard drive on the computer keeps filling up with pictures, and every time I want to load on more from the camera I have to delete some from my files. :( I am torn between getting prints (although purchasing a couple thousand prints would be rather pricey) and putting them onto DVDs. I'm sure I'll eventually do both, but you can see my dilemma. And I just can't bring myself to delete many pictures of our little guy! Time goes so fast and pictures have a way of capturing a moment like few other things. In addition to that, we just got back from a very quick trip to Tucson. More on that (and the more than 40 hours spent in the car with an active toddler) to come later.
Anyway, here is an extremely picture heavy post, so maybe that will make up for the break. :)
I have been trying to do more activities centered around Talmage. Sometimes after he goes to bed I reflect on the day and feel saddened because I realize it really revolved around me and the chores that need to be done. I involve him, of course, in sweeping, vacuuming, doing dishes, folding laundry, making dinner, running errands, etc. etc. etc. and he stays happy. But I realized I wanted to shift my focus a little and do several planned activities each day that center 100% around him.
So we have been having a lot of fun with the different things we have been trying! My system isn't perfect yet, and I miss some days, but I'm trying to pick a theme for each day and do activities related to the theme. The other day the theme was circles, and after just a few minutes of pointing out circles around the house, he started showing me circles and "drawing" them with his finger on whatever surface was available. So cute! He has been much happier, and I have felt more fulfilled as a mother as well. I try to take him on a field trip one day per week and do planned activities at home the other 4 weekdays of the week.
Anyway, enough with the explanation. Here are a whole bunch of pictures of some of our activities!
One day we played with water in the sink (actually, a fairly common activity--it does wonders while trying to get dinner made). But on this day, Talmage discovered the joy of dumping water on himself!
Here he is offering me some water.
And here he is after the initial discovery of how fun it is to throw water on himself. See that delighted grin! They only got bigger! I couldn't stop taking pictures.
I mean, honestly, with grins like these (and a whole lot of laughter), can you blame me for posting 16 pictures of the same thing over and over?
He finished off his fun with a nice, long drink of water...then we sopped up the kitchen together. :)
One day we went on a field trip to PetSmart to look at the animals they had there. Here he is standing on his dresser/changing table, talking on his toy phone before we left.
Smitten with the birds
He saw this picture of a guinea pig and pointed at it, sniffing to tell me what a guinea pig says. I happened to capture his face at the perfect moment! We can hardly look at this picture without laughing out loud. It's honestly one of my favorites of Talmage. (Click on it to enlarge and get the full effect.)
Um, yes, he was rather infatuated.
We saw birds, rodents, fish, reptiles, and cats in addition to the other animals people brought into the store. In fact, after Talmage saw the cats he insisted that they didn't "meow" like he previously thought. The cats at PetSmart stayed quiet, so thereafter he would just sniff quietly when I would ask him what a cat says. He recently heard a cat meow and is back to believing that cats do indeed say "meow." He has a mind of his own, that's for sure!
We went on another field trip to a park a few miles away from where we live. In Houston, even the parks are Texas sized. Forget about little parks on every corner like you see in Utah (other than the private subdivision-owned parks). The city parks here are absolutely enormous, with multiple playgrounds, nature walk trails, exercise trails, ponds, rivers, picnic areas, golf courses, basketball courts, tennis courts, water parks, pools, etc.
There are very few city sidewalks or bike lanes, which irked me for quite some time. How was I supposed to exercise if I had to walk along the shoulders of busy roads while pushing a stroller?? Then I learned that the city claims riding bikes or walking alongside traffic isn't safe, so residents should take those activities to the park. Come on Talmage, let's go get in the car so we can go on a walk! Kind of odd in my opinion, but the parks are nice nonetheless.
We took a bunch of saved ends of loaves of bread to feed the ducks. Talmage caught on very quickly--he would throw the entire piece of bread at the ducks and ask for more. :)
"More, please?"
We loved the baby ones.
He followed these ducks right into the water while I was taking this picture. The water on his shoes and pants didn't make much of a difference since we were already standing in a disgusting quagmire.
Sam and I can think of so many captions for this picture! It looks like the duck and Talmage are having an intense conversation, doesn't it?
We eventually made our way over to one of the many playgrounds. It was covered with a huge canopy, and the ground was covered in those recycled tire bits that make for a very cushy landing. Nice!
He immediately engaged in his favorite park activity--climbing up slides.
He's recently gotten brave enough to climb up to a slide and push himself down it without any assistance from me.
The cushy landing was nice when his momentum carried him right off the end.
Rock climbing wall
This was a cool music area.
And drums
He looks so old to me in this picture!
And this one, too.
On the day we were talking about circles, we made him a Cheerio-necklace. He loved it! He walked around with the necklace in his mouth until the Cheerios were gone.
Those eyes are pretty amazing, huh?
So there you have it. Yes Breanne, we're still alive. And there are many more pictures waiting to be posted. :)


  1. It sounds like you need a nice big external hard drive to put your pictures on. :) That's what we had to do. What cute pictures on your post. I miss the big parks of Texas!

  2. Cute!!! I love it. Good thing you posted, too...I had just got out of the habit of checking your blog every day to see if you had anything. Now that you've gone private and all, I can't automatically see your updates on my blog roll, you know. :)

  3. Darling! I smiled and laughed at so many of these - there isn't room to make all the individual comments I want. I love the themed activity idea. It sounds like you guys have a lot of fun. And the cats sniffing is one of my favorite stories.

  4. That park looks like so much fun! Maybe one day we can take Jakob and Talmage together to play! Plus we still need to go to the zoo and Children's museum.


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