Archive for April, 2012

On a quiet rainy Sunday we got to go with E and Z’s dad to work. While my husband photographed this event, the kids took in this new visual stage play presented by China National Theater for Children at the Skirball Center at NYU. It was such a treat – the costumes were incredible and the stage set was so vivid. Both Zoe and Ezra were transfixed through the entire 90 minute performance. Even 2 year old Zoe didn’t protest once or try to run in the aisles as she usually does. It was a story about each animal of the Chinese Zodiac with a message of conservation at the end (a hint: the dragon is a symbol for ‘water’ in China), and the kids got to make their own masks out of recycled materials during a craft session before the show.

Zoe is ready for her first trip to the theater:

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Whew! Spring Break and traveling is over … but the weather here had been SO amazing that we just could not seem to justify hanging out indoors. (At least not until temps dropped this week.) Of course Zoe is not only obsessed with the little sister of Ezra’s friend Lea (asking ‘see Mia?’ every morning when she wakes up) but she also now has a thing about patting animals or just seeing live animals in general. So with that fueling us – we took a short trip to our local Queens Zoo. I have to say – I was hugely impressed with this little zoo. I think I’ve spent so much more time at the larger zoos (Bronx) and had been frustrated with how distant the animals are. (As much as I love to see them roam freely it can be rough pointing out a camouflaged animal to a toddler for the first time.) The Queens Zoo seems to have exhibits that are built around the viewer’s paths, without trapping the animals in small pens. And what an amazing aviary they have! Just a walk on the inside of the dome was great – and viewing birds in their habitats was a bonus as well. There’s a petting zoo at the end, and a fun playground area with a migration theme that got my little birds ready to fly home (only 30 blocks from us by bus or train.) Thanks to Lea and Mia for reminding us of this local fun!

Sadly this big guy frightened Zoe away!

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Well look at this: I found one last batch of Mass photos hanging out in my camera!

En route home to NYC we stopped at this amazing place that our friends recommended. The Ecotarium is located in Worcester Mass and is an indoor AND outdoor museum and learning center for kids. What could be better than THAT in the middle of a four hour car ride? There were nature trails, a train to ride on through the woods, river otters that frolicked in a tank after coming up from the river, and a dinosaur in the forest! Indoors we found a ‘hurricane machine’, all sorts of water/wind exploring games, some live animals mixed with some taxidermy and a giant chess board amidst tables of other board games and puzzles. It was a great diversion for restless kids in the car (and a reprieve from traffic). We were good and sated for the rest of the ride home.

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And a side note …

Lately I pour over gorgeous mom/family blogs (like this one) and get green with envy that their lives seem so perfect. I wonder how these stylish, attractive moms can have two or more kids and still look great while running after them all, posting about cooking (which I rarely do) or crafting – and have their homes look pristine in the background of their photos. I do have to be honest – my children (as lovely as they are) DO drive me completely crazy at times. This weekend it really hit a new high while my husband was away. I think Spring Break was intense as well – as it seemed I had to do a lot more ‘refereeing’ between Ezra and Zoe than ever before. They are sparring more and more these days — now that they are old enough to love yet thoroughly annoy each other as all siblings do. I have two younger brothers: I know this all too well.
I think we tend to get out of the house so much because by 9 or 10 a.m. everyone is melting down or bored so … finding a new diversion ALWAYS works to keep kids (and parents) from losing their minds. It always makes the kids more calm, happy, connected to each other and us. Maybe other families find the opposite to be true but frankly our excursions are my way of coping with stir crazy kids (and tiring them out for hopefully a decent night’s sleep, which totally was NOT working this past weekend). Below is a photo that caught a rare moment where they were enjoying each other and not fighting. Zoe even allowed Ezra on her bed for the first time.
I hope to see more of this although I wonder; will it slow down our excursions and my blogging?

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Some time ago my husband and I saw an episode of Best Food Ever and discovered this restaurant that started as a mobile food truck. When we heard that Clover was started by vegetarians who wanted to ‘show the world that vegetarian food could taste good’ – my curiosity was definitely piqued. (Oh, had I mentioned I’ve gone from being a life-long carnivore to a vegetarian in the last couple months, due to some revelations by Mark Bittman of the New York Times ? More on that later.)
Clover didn’t disappoint. Not only is the stationary food lab located on the cutest street in Harvard Square – but everything is fresh and prepared in front of you. (Their trucks usually hit all the weekday lunch spots around offices in Boston.) My husband was pretty nuts about all the new technology involved in ordering (waiter with an iphone keys in your order and swipes your credit card, and live menus on LCD tvs that update in minutes how quickly you’ll get your food.) The kids loved making drawings for the walls and checking out the veg and herb garden on the second floor. The chickpea fritter platter was so yummy that we returned the next morning for their pop-overs and breakfast sandwiches. And Zoe loved the peanutbutter, honey and banana pockets. Yum!

mmmm super fresh coffee in the morning!

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While in Cambridge we came across this really great hat shop called Goorin Bros. Walking into the store was like taking a trip back in time, or walking on to a period movie set!

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This past weekend was the first time that we really got to drag my dad out of his comfort zone and make him join us while we explored Harvard Square some more. This ‘crowded student’s neighborhood’ (my dad’s words) is a lot of fun – and let’s face it, it feels like a big diverse city which is just exactly what we are use to and what we love to explore! Add some spring blossoms and it was a picture-perfect weekend as well.

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