Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cousin Camp Preview

Next week is my family's "Cousin Camp" where the dozens of cousins will get together and do all kinds of fun activities at Grandma and Grandpa's "resort." My mom had T-shirts made up, and she just picked them up on Friday. Bruce offered to model a shirt.
Unfortunately we won't be here. We're off to Scott's family reunion soon.
But we've seen most of the cousins this month - and we are contributing some huge pinatas for Bruce's cousins to smash.
This is one thing Bruce discovered this week: the hose. All of Grandma's plants are getting a little extra water.
And the ducks are getting extra corn and bread from Bruce too. Unfortunately three of the ducklings disappeared in the past two weeks. Mom thinks it's a hawk. Or a big fish in the pond. I think it's the neighbor's cat (I don't like cats). Anyway, we're down to one duckling.

"Race Cars"

Bruce loves the movie Cars. But if you ask him about the movie, Cars, he will correct you and tell you it's Race Cars. You can't convince him otherwise. This is how Bruce spends much of his "downtime": on the floor pushing cars around.

Farmer Bruce

This week we visited a small farm that had chickens, roosters, fish, frogs, pigs, and acres of flowers and salad greens. We didn't get to see the pigs (there were new babies and the mom was being fiesty), but we got to walk around the chicken coop. Bruce has been talking about it ever since.

Bruce Breakdancing

Monday, July 21, 2008

Romantic Getaway

Scott and I have never left Bruce with anyone longer than a few hours.

I take that back. The only exception to this was when we left Bruce in the NICU for a few weeks when he was first born. But that doesn't really count: it was too emotionally and physically draining to be "romantic" or even "relaxing."

This past week Scott and I had our first real getaway. My parents offered to watch Bruce for a few days so I hopped on a bus to Pittsburgh. Scott and I ate at a really good Thai restaurant, window-shopped on a ritzy avenue, watched movies, and played Xbox (which we were horribly bad at since we haven't played in years. It took us at least a half hour to get through the first level of Halo on the easiest setting).

Scott still had to work during the day, so I took a full morning to scrub the whole apartment down (we stayed at his friend's bachelor pad while his friend is away). It needed it.

I also went to Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park and checked out an entire botany exhibit about chocolate. I felt a little old walking through an exhibit by myself and enjoying it. It was nice to actually take the time to read all the names of plants and things instead of chase Mr. Short Attention Span through the place.
This was the older portion of the conservatory. It's a huge place.
This is the coolest lawnmower I've ever seen. His name is Moe and he's a robotic sheep that sings "Mary had a Little Lamb" while walking around and cutting the grass.

The conservatory is like a jungle crammed in a few large greenhouses. No air conditioning in this place. It was in the 90s too. I pretty much had the place to myself.
More orchids.
I just about sneezed when I walked past this. My nose was really itching.
There was a whole room full of butterflys and plants they like.
One weird thing about this place was the obsession with fake flamingoes. They were the "tour guides." Since the current exhibit is about chocolate, these flamingoes were "dressed" as M&Ms.
There was a kids' section where kids were encouraged to water the plants.
These dahlias were bigger than my head.
Cacao beans in the shell.
Here they are crushed. This smelled so good.
When I saw this, I missed Bruce. There were a few trains that ran through a bunch of plants. He would have loved it.
I like gardening (theoretically; it's not like I have much of a garden right now), but I don't think I could ever devote this much effort to it.
These are tiny buds on a banana tree.
I'm always behind the camera, but I wanted some I was there shots.
Only after my trip did I find out that the Andy Warhol Museum is in Pittsburgh. Drat!
Bruce was well taken care of. In fact, my parents told me he didn't ask for us once. He had that much fun (or he really is tired of us). Thanks to my parents, Scott and I had a relaxing few days.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


If this isn't spoiling, I'm not sure what is. Grandpa took Bruce and me out to ice cream at the local roadside stand. Bruce got chocolate ice cream with sprinkles.
This is a "kiddie cone," but this kiddie couldn't eat it fast enough.
He rode on Dino while Grandpa fed it quarters.
Notice the hand holding this ice cream cone. It melted quickly and ran down his arm, dripped from his elbow, and got all over everywhere else.
Now notice the lap of his pants. He left a trail of melted chocolate ice cream and sprinkles all over the patio behind the ice cream stand. I couldn't find a hose to clean him up, so I settled for a wad of wet paper towels.
Oh, and did I mention this all happened after bedtime? Yep, Bruce is officially spoiled.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PhD to the MD

Scott got his MCAT score back. I'm sure he would be totally embarassed if I put up an actual number on the blog, but let's just say he did AWESOME.

Really awesome.

As in, only one percent of those taking the test did awesomer.

Can you tell I'm proud?

Monday, July 14, 2008

2 + 2 = 4

Bruce and I stared at the ducklings pretty much all day. Another one hatched out last night, bringing the total to three.

They ventured off the nest for the first time this morning. The nest is next to our back door, and the pond is in the front yard so it's a long hike.
They gobbled up bugs (and there are plenty of them) along their journey.

Finally the pond is in sight.
Babies' first swim. How do they automatically know what to do?
Of course there are so many lilypads they can just about walk across the water.

While momma duck was off the nest, my mom checked out the remaining four eggs. One of them had a little crack in it. When she picked it up, it started chirping at her as if to say "Let me out! Let me out!" The ducks were off the nest for about an hour, then we chased them back to the nest so the mom would be there when the next duckling hatched.
It took another five or six hours for the duck to hatch out, but it finally made it. You can see it as the black slimey thing laying there by the duck's foot. Now we have FOUR ducklings!
Bruce picked some wildflowers for me. What a sweetheart!
Here he is with his "Chick Hicks" race car. He keeps running around and saying "Holy shoot!" - perhaps the only phrase from the movie, Cars, that I don't want repeated. He's had two time-outs for saying that today.

There are lots of flowers around and so there are plenty of bees too.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Make Way for Ducklings

Bruce and I have been watching this duck sit on her nest since our arrival at my parents' house. She gets off her nest for a half-hour every morning, covering the nest with feathers and leaves before she heads out to the pond. Besides that excursion, she stays on that nest no matter what. We've had to bring her water and food every day because she just won't budge. Two ducklings hatched today, and there are still a few more eggs under there (she didn't get off them enough to see how many there were).
They are so cute and tiny. Bruce and I stared at them for awhile today - although most of the time they huddled under their mom's feathers.
Bruce shared his popcorn with the little duck family. The babies couldn't eat it of course. The babies pecked at it but it was way too big for their tiny little beaks.