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Friendly iguanas, tide pools, constellations

2018 January 11

When Henry asked if he could take a photo with the Rebel, I figured he’d lose interest after two shots or drop the camera, but instead he walked all over the Nature Center taking some decent shots and looking like a hilariously tiny photographer. And — bonus — he didn’t drop the camera.

Here he is checking to make sure he got a good shot. So funny!

Here are a few of my faves (shot by Henry):

And this one of the sweet iguana who wanted to be friends with him.

Here they are holding hands. Henry kept coming back to him. Pals!

They have a new interactive constellation exhibit where you can stick stars to the wall. Look out for that North Star, buddy!

Life on Mars:

Thanks so much for checking out our adventures! Leave a comment, and let me know where you’ve been hanging out this winter!


Green things growing

2018 January 5

When Nora was one, we started going to the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse on New Year’s Day. I think we picked it because it’s one of maybe two places in Cleveland that are warm, easy to take toddlers, and open on Jan. 1. But it was way more amazing than we expected, so we keep going back every year.

It’s been around since the early 1900s, but something about the giant swirling fans, decades-old glass panels and metal wheels, and the trickling fountains and ponds make this place feel like you’re visiting Gastby’s secret greenhouse. We take a picture under this sign every year.
We run around, put our hands in running fountains, make wishes with pennies in the tiny side room with the benches and the bright green ground-cover. There’s something that seems so perfect about starting the year in a greenhouse —  a place where things are just starting to grow and a reminder that the new beginnings — not just the final grown thing — are so beautiful.


The last gorgeous day

2014 November 7
by Laura

My friend Sara and I keep saying that it’s the last gorgeous day of the fall, so we better get outside with our kids one last time. It’s become kind of a joke because we’ve been saying it for a month, and we keep getting amazing days — fall leafy, apple cidery, warm breezy afternoons. Earlier this week, Nora was napping, and I was hanging out in the living room in the splendid afternoon fall-light soaking up one more last gorgeous day. Henry’s at the age when he wants to smile and play all the time, but he can’t really move anywhere, so I spend half my day lounging on the floor with him. I can remember doing this with Nora too. It’s such a temporary but lovely phase. Here’s my Henry, on a quilt on the living room floor.

The debris of Nora’s constant outfit changes, left in the pretty November light:

We went outside after Nora got up. She’s trying to liberate herself from her sweater. 55 degrees? T-shirt weather.

In a rare show of solidarity, Nora decided she should match Henry today. Getting her to lie still for a picture was another story. But check out Henry — he always has his eyes on his sister. He rolls over and grabs whatever he can — a handful of hair, a fist full of tutu. He’s like, “I’m adoooooorable! Hang out with me!”  It’s driving her nuts, but it’s so cute.

Don’t worry, Holden

2014 November 1
by Laura

Last Saturday was one of my favorite days this fall. It was warm and sunny, and we headed out to this little park on Bradley Road to play at like 10 a.m. There wasn’t anyone else there, so we had the playground all to ourselves. It’s surrounded by trees and has this fantastic little duck pond.The trees were all glowy in the sun. It. was. splendid.

You’re not really supposed to feed the ducks. But we happened to have some spare bread.

Which always makes me think of Catcher (the ducks as the weather gets chilly, not the bread).

Hey, Henry!


All Hallows’ Eve

2014 November 1
by Laura

Rain on Halloween? We’ve got sweaters, puddle stompers, and grandparents with umbrellas. The squirrels ate all of our pumpkins this  year,  but, as it turns out, you can buy pumpkins for 1/2 price on Oct. 30, so we got a hatchback trunk full for about $11. Hooray! Nora likes to change her clothes about 15 times a day, and she must always do it by herself, so it was a small miracle that she got dressed and let me put a sweater over her costume. I can remember being super pissed about coats over costumes when I was a kid, so I thought it might be payback time.

Sometimes, like when I look at pictures like this one,  I’m reminded of the bigness of having a family. Even though I spend every day with them, I’m still kind of surprised that they’re mine, that this is our little family.  They’ll turn into adults, and they might look at this picture and not really remember it but know that it’s this tiny little part of their lives. I guess sometimes it just shocks me — the bigness of their whole lives and that things like this are a part of it.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees. Candy.

More sweetness.

Mischief managed.


Sunday Plain Dealer

2014 October 31
by Laura

It takes me like a week to read the Sunday Plain Dealer. We put it on this chair in the corner of our kitchen, and I try to work through it when I have a few minutes free, which doesn’t happen very often. Or there’s something else that needs to be done. Or it gets used as a Play-Doh tablecloth first. But I try to at least read through the front section and Forum. But Ryan always reads the Comics with Nora and Henry before Sunday is out. Which I love.

Nora’s first heartbreak (things that get away)

2014 October 28

This pink balloon made it all the way home from Mitchell’s Ice Cream on W. 25th Street (which is gorgeous, by the way, but also reminds me of my everlasting regret for not visiting Moda when it was a super-sweet looking dance club with an Art Deco marquis on the front). We tried to warn her to keep it inside, but, if you have a toddler, you know  you gotta pick your battles.

And we all know what happened (“My balloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon!”):

Saddest picture ever:

We told her it went to visit the moon. But we still had to go for a walk to try to find it. The other day, I was changing Henry in his room, and I heard her playing the uke and singing a song, so I kind of snuck out to listen to the words. “Balloon goes away. Balloon goes away.” And then something about the moon, and I totally should have written it down because it was really pretty.


2014 October 27
by Laura

My, oh my.

Henry Huckleberry. Sweet as pie.




2014 October 26
by Laura

A few Fridays ago, we went to the Bay Homecoming parade because it was only one house away. Toddlers are so adorable in bunches on curbs. Especially when they are Jack, Mae Mae, and Egan.

I’m really trying to talk up marching band, so she won’t play contact sports.

But she’s mostly just interested in eating as many suckers as possible:


October hiking

2013 October 27

We’ve gone on some pretty good hikes lately since we live right across the street from these fantastic Metropark trails. I like to think Snores is into the woods since we did some backpacking while she was in utero. It also explains why she loves The Head and the Heart. We’re hoping that she’ll be so into the woods by the time she’s 10 that she’ll be begging us to take her on the Appalachian Trail (again). Fingers crossed.

Baby in a backpack:

Checking out the leaves:

Sunday was a completely marvelous fall day. Apple cider weather. This is getting me psyched to teach some Emerson and Thoreau in a few weeks!

Post-hiking naptime: