Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Carlos the Monarch

A couple of weeks ago, Ocean (very excitedly) found a nice, plump caterpillar. We carefully carried him home with some of the plant he was munching on, dubbed him "Carlos" and put him in a small habitat with the plant and a small branch, hopeful that he would morph. Two days later, he started to attach to the branch (see the two silk strands?). We read that cocoons usually change to blend in with their environment, and Carlos' chrysalis has since changed from green to brown. I'm now wondering if he'll overwinter since he hasn't emerged yet. We'll keep an eye on him!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ocean Art

I really like these, she was designing different fashions, suitable for the most prestigious of stick-limbed beings ;)
and the "Goodie Girl"!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

George's Island

We took another ferry ride to a different island, this time George's. George's Island has a big fort with hidden staircases and big rooms to explore. It is also supposedly haunted by "the lady in black." We hope to go back soon, with Daddy and some flashlights. Next time, I'd like to take a water taxi to explore some of the other islands, like Peddock's and Lovell's. George's Island has a whole row of adirondack chairs in front of the wonderful is that?!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

5-minute project: Chalk painting!

Whenever we go to the sprinkler park down the street, we bring some chalk. Add some water, and it makes a bright paint that dries like chalk (and washes off easily). It's a fun, messy project that always attracts a crowd of tots :)

One Fun-filled Day

Friday was a gorgeous day and we decided to take a Ferry over to Spectacle Island. I've only taken a ferry once, when Orange was about 4, to George's Island, and it's something I keep meaning to do! The islands are quite beautiful and offer an brilliant view of the city. Ocean loved riding the ferry. We sat on the bottom on the way there, but up on top per her request on the way back. Spectacle Island has a lot of beach, the west is lifeguarded for swimming, and the east is not. We walked along the east beach and much to my pleasure, it was absolutely covered with huge, beautiful chunks of sea glass and old pottery. I have recurring dreams of finding treasures and trinkets washed up in waves (seriously) so this type of thing is right up my alley. I filled my pockets with some choice items, and Ocean collected her own interesting assortment of finds. Even though the beach is absolutely covered in glass, you can walk barefoot. All the glass is worn smooth. There must be some kind of tidal phenomenon with glass washed up from the city and the way the island is positioned...I don't know, but however it happens, I've never seen anything like it. We stayed for a couple of hours (we never got to the trails, but spent a lot of time admiring the coastal treasures and soaking up sun on the beach) and then took the ferry back, just as a big black, ominous cloud approached. It started raining as soon as we got off the boat, which was perfect timing as I desperately wanted a nice big latte and Ocean needed a bathroom break so we scooted into the Marriot and waited out the downpour. It was one of those vehement but short-lived rain storms, so it was over in 10 minutes. I let Ocean play at the Christopher Columbus playground for a little while (it was half-dry in a matter of minutes), and then we walked over the carousal. I overheard a family talking about how they were going to Children's museum for the $1 Friday night special. I had totally forgot about that, and thought that might be a fun way to end our fun day. We followed them over there (I had no idea how to walk there from the waterfront), and again, we made it just in time. It started down-pouring as soon as we got to the door. We spent a couple of hours there, and then walked to Downtown Crossing to get on the orange line for home. I was very proud of Ocean for walking so far. She must have walked 5 miles that day, and she never complained. I feel so lucky to have such an awesome kid :) Ready to board the ferry, with an "Ocean Ave." popsicle (made locally): Sea-glass heaven! Ocean and her treasures: An ominous cloud followed us back: Ocean asked to sit on the top on the way was very windy! Carousal ride: and finally, the Children's museum! The treasures that made it home:
"I love you more than all the people I don't know in the world! I love you all the way to Earth!" -Ocean, June 12, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Audubon #3 and #4: Blue Hills Trailside Museum & The Visual Arts Center

This week, we ventured to the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton and then went to nearby Canton to check out the Visual Arts Center. The Trailside Museum is great. They have a bunch of wild animals that are rehabilitating such as hawks, owls, a skunk, and deer. We bought the kids their own walking sticks in the museum store. I did have visions of making our own this summer, but these are nice and sturdy with rubber tips so I succumbed.
The Visual Arts Center has a museum of nature art collections. The trails there wound around a running brook and through dense pine forests so it was a refreshing 10 degrees cooler. We saw lots of Lady Slippers and Jack-in-the-Pulpits.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Audubon #2: Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary

On Mother's Day, we decided to try out Habitat in Belmont. The girls have Audubon passports and if you get stamps from 10 different sites, you get a prize. So we're going to try to do that this spring and summer! Habitat has a gorgeous formal garden in back of their education center, which is a Georgian mansion. After picnicking there, we walked some of the trails around ponds (one full of turtles and the other full of bull-frogs), through forests and meadows, and over "troll" bridges. We ended our visit with the sheep.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5-minute project: Pet Rocks

We have quite the collection of rocks in our house. We are always bringing home a few choice specimens every time we go to the beach, so today we decided to transform a few into "pets." I have fond memories of my pet rock in the early 80's (named "Adam" after no other than Adam Ant!). We glued some google eyes on with "Weld Bond" and they've held up nicely. I love how they all seem to take on their own unique personality.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Window Sprouts

We planted some sunflower seeds and some garlic shoots in our kitchen window.** The garlic is super easy~ you just put the cloves right into the soil, leaving the pointy end up and they grow so amazingly fast so it's really gratifying for a 4-year-old to observe. When they're fully-grown, you can have your child snip them with scissors and cut them up to put in eggs, soup, or salad.
**Please disregard my embarrassingly, disgustingly dirty windows. I'm not quite sure *how* to clean them. I'm not even sure they've *ever* been cleaned. How do I do that? Do people hire window cleaners when they're on an upper floor?

We Woke Up the Earth!

Every year, JP has a Wake Up the Earth Festival (organized by Spontaneous Celebrations~ link). We've gone to the festival in years past, but this was the first year that all four participated in the parade. Cory walked with Orange who did stilts (she just started learning them a couple of weeks ago but she's already quite good!) with the Spontaneous crew and Ocean and I walked with the dragons. I "upcycled" Orange's old "purple sea urchin" costume, transforming it into a "prickly rainbow dragon." Not only did Ocean walk the whole parade without complaint (and it was quite long, maybe 2 miles), but she won the prize for "best kids costume" so we have gift certificates for and t-shirts from City Feed. It was a really fun, fun day and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year!

Clouds and Franklin Park

Look at these clouds...aren't they incredible?! They looked just like cotton balls.
The park has really filled out the last couple of weeks and everything is green, green, green! I love that we are fortunate enough to live so close to this urban gem. Ocean & I love exploring the old ruins and the overlook.
And last, but not of our favorite trees (right near the wall where we wait for Orange's bus):


A couple of weeks ago, we took the T downtown. We walked around the public gardens and the common, did the swan boats, and then went to Chinatown for lunch. It's nice to do that once in a while :)

Audubon #1: The Boston Nature Center

Ocean has been doing a weekly nature class at our local Audubon that she (we!) love. The classes consist of walks on the trails, outdoor games, and then art and stories in the classroom. We usually stay after the class and picnic lunch outdoors and then let the kids play in their incredible natural play space. Ocean & Orange played there one Thursday for FIVE HOURS straight. It just goes to show you that the best "toys" are those that are this case, water, sand, and wood.