Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Kansas

Kansas was VERY exciting, because it had entirely new bird books:

And it snowed on Christmas eve:

(Yes, we forgot to pack our mittens and had to wear socks on our hands).

And for Christmas there were bird shirts:

And new Thomas engines:

And cute cousins:

Even the over-ten crowd had a good time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The amazing superhero team, Superman and... Bob the Builder.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Alex and Ben

New Bob (the Builder) and Wendy! (Thanks, Ebay).

New Bob costume! (Thanks, Evan Seufert).

Ben eating birthday cake.

Playing with the balloons ("loons"-- because it's a bird joke, not because they can't say balloons) before the party.

Birthday cakes before being eaten. OK, these are out of chronological order. Or else the cakes spontaneously reassembled.

Identifying all the birds in the new storybook from Grandma and Grandpa Y.

Matchbox cars (also thanks Grandma and Grandpa).

Toby and Bertie! (Thomas characters. Honestly, what planet do you live on?) Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa L!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bird Geeks, Continued

Playing with bird sounds. The book makes bird calls, but since the boys can't find the right number on the bird book to play the bird call they want (without help), they take control of the process by making the bird sounds with the piano, their play-a-sound books, or of course, they can make the sounds themselves.

The book Alex is using here (below) has fanciful rather than species-specific drawings of birds in it, leading him to nice bird-neologisms like "Red-Crested Chickadee," "Falling Falling Bird," "Pileated Owl," and my favorite, the "Spotted Red-Chin." (He clearly has the form down). On the other hand, the sounds of many of the real birds are rather accurate imitations (Willow Ptarmigan, Ring-Necked Pheasant).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bird Geeks

The thing to keep in mind here is that we had just returned from the public library with this book, which they had not seen before. (Alex holding the book and Ben doing the identification, largely). Only grandparents and birders are likely to be interested in the entire five minutes of this video (I did delete long arguments about the id of various birds. Incidentally, "Bison blackbird" is the house name for Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. And Alex did correct "Snowy Flycatcher" to Loggerhead Shrike, but it got zapped somewhere in the upload process.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New York Report

Highlights of our New York trip for Ben & Alex were playing in the pool with their cousins, eating street food in Manhattan ("I had four treats today!"), chasing (not poisoning) pigeons in the park, and riding a train, bus, taxi, and carousel.

Alex on the carousel at Bryant Park

Come back here, pigeons! (If you click on the picture to enlarge it you'll be able to pick out A&B. Maybe see what book that guy is reading, too).

Alex appropriately reading a Thomas book on the train from Grand Central Station to White Plains

Yeah, we forgot to bring their bathing suits to NY. This picture is family-friendly, though.

I just like this bear statue.

Guest blog appearance by ice-cream-eating cutie cousin Eric

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bird Lineups

Ben and Alex have a new birdsong book which is inspiring all sorts of re-naming of stuffed animals. Here, Ben names the "birds" he's got lined up; Alex is listing his last stuffed-animal lineup from memory. I'm not sure how the jaguar got in there, but it might be a pun on "Jaeger."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Underwear Season

In the summer, trumpet-playing, what passes for dancing, and most other activities, are pants-optional. (I know, the dancing is not very interesting, but the accidental synchronous dancing just before the modulation is cute.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Making Faces

Grumpy Alex

Sad Ben

Mad Ben

Excited Ben ("Think of Christmas morning")

Cross Ben*

Mad (Disgusted?) Alex

*anachronistic British emotional vocabulary courtesy of Thomas the Tank Engine stories