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Archive for December, 2012

Wow what an amazing December we’ve had. Our Chanukah was incredible – now that Zoe is near 3 years old, it was so nice to spend each night lighting candles and experience her excitement opening presents. THEN we saw cousins in Boston and had a taste of Christmas, and ended all the holiday madness by mid-December (which mommy kinda liked – I had the end of December to kick back and enjoy the season). During this past week Ezra had his winter break from school. We spent some of the week exploring Manhattan, and the rest of the week romping in the snow in Connecticut (more on all that snow – soon to come!)

Meanwhile ..
the start of last week our cousins came in to visit us from DC/Maryland. We had Dim Sum in Chinatown, followed by ice cream (yes, so good you even want to eat it in the cold) from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory:

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We went back to the Liberty Science Center in NJ and found they happened to have an exhibit on solar power – Ezra’s favorite subject! Of course we couldn’t be there and not visit the I Explore area with it’s amazing ball machine, troth of rice where kids can dig, and Climbing Challenge whose bottom level is modeled after what lives under the street (rat exhibit included!)

But really the highlight was the Solar Race Car exhibit … if I could, I would purchase the whole thing and put it in Ezra’s room. It included solar panels that he could expose to light, to stop and start individual cars. It could easily keep him occupied for hours.

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On our way back from the Boston area we stopped in to the New Children’s Museum in Connecticut. They had the most interactive kid’s Egyptian exhibit I’ve ever seen, and a feeding hour where the kids got to see all the animals around the museum getting fed. We loved the giant ‘light bright’ board and toddler room with magnetic wall and a play log cabin. Zoe got to do a weather forecast and Ezra found the basement level full of lego buildings and race cars.

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photo from Martha Stewart

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It doesn’t get any more fun than hanging with friends in the bright lights – big city:
(see more fun city pix here via one of our favorite blogs)

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Rockefeller Center's tree by day

Rockefeller Center’s tree by day


a fountain filled with pine branches

a fountain filled with pine branches


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covering all holiday bases

covering all holiday bases – but where’s the menorah?

holiday lollipops with friends

lollipops after meeting a Santa

Bryant Park's tree and skaters

Bryant Park’s tree and skaters

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Yup. Most people have chips and dip at their house but my new-found snack is gelt dipped in peanut butter. Yum! I’ve read various other things to do with gelt (put in a blender to add to milk shakes or smoothies) but really I can’t hold out to process them any further than getting them out of their thin, tight little gold wrappers. I’ve maybe made the effort to cut up bananas and sandwich a slice between 2 pieces of gelt (somehow I’ve convinced myself that this is a slightly healthier take on the Oreo) — it’s no wonder I’m loosening my belt, over gelt!

Next year I promise not to buy the humongous bulk pack from Costco.
What are YOU snacking on this weekend?

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he waits for his electric scooter to charge...

he waits for his electric scooter to charge…

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Paul as Santa's helper

Paul as Santa’s helper

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wiped out

wiped out

the tree at night

the tree at night

sweet sleep over

sweet sleep over

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This past weekend we visited cousins Paul and Sophia in Massachusetts. We celebrate Chanukah in our home – but can visit their house to see a little Christmas spirit if we need to. Their mom loves to decorate every corner with Christmas stuff and Zoe got her first real taste of living with a tree in the house! Ezra of course loved the electric train that circled underneath the tree, and all the relatives came by with more presents for the last days of Chanukah. Ezra got an electric scooter, Zoe got ballet slippers and a princess Play doh set. As much as the gifts were exciting, I honestly think Ezra and Zoe enjoyed seeing their cousins (and their dogs) more than anything. I do know they are happy to NOT have an ‘elf on a shelf‘ watching their every move this season – creepy!

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little engineer holds on to the train's remote

little engineer holds on to the train’s remote

Zoe checks out the tree up close

Zoe checks out the tree up close

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Zoe's new best friend

Zoe’s new best friend

tearing open presents on a faux 'pre-Xmas' day..

tearing open presents on a faux ‘pre-Xmas’ day..

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Zoe discovered that ‘doll museum‘ that I was talking about! Hopefully she won’t figure out that you can actually buy the dolls.. there are just too many to choose from!

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And some ‘Disney museum’ perhaps?
so.happy.head.gonna.blow.off!!

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When we did this last year I thought even then that Ezra would run out of steam on his love of trains (pun intended). Instead this trip only inspired Ezra to ask us for an electric train for the holidays.
The odd thing is, this year’s train had less ‘Christmas’ to it. There was a hill of fall foliage (unlike all the snow and the huge tree in last year’s exhibit) and no ornaments hanging from the ceiling. We were a little disappointed that there are no longer ‘buttons’ along the edge that allow kids to activate workers on the tracks or traffic lights.

That said, I’d love to find the equivalent for Zoe (American Girl store is crowded around the clock… so we haven’t gone to that ‘doll museum’ in months!)

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