The Adventure Starts Here: September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall Festival | Front Porch

Like I mentioned yesterday, we went to the Morristown Fall Festival on Sunday afternoon. (You can read about last year's festival here).  They close down the "Green" and have a bunch of booths set up.  They consist of different business and organizations as well as lots of restaurants offering small plates of food.  A lot of the booths are pointless (in my opinion), but we did get to do a few fun things and eat some yummy food.  Noah got to spray a firefighter hose and see an old fashion fire engine.  He was also happy to eat mac and cheese, pulled pork, and frozen yogurt!  

It's nothing fancy, but I recently decorated our front porch for the Fall.  I got some fake pumpkins and a scarecrow at Michaels.  I put some mums out (we have some in the backyard too) and I hung my fall wreath (from a few years ago).  

^^^ the light pink ones started off white!

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Pictures

Another busy weekend for the books.  On Saturday, Noah had swim class.  Then I went to a Baby Shower for a good friend I've known since high school.  I loved that instead of your typical shower at a home or restaurant, they had it at a ceramic studio.  We each got to pick a ceramic piece and paint it while enjoying some yummy food :)

Marlaina, Kristen, and me

While I was enjoying some time with friends, Chris took Noah over to his parents' house for lunch.  Noah had such a fun time and decided to wait for me to come home to take his nap ;)

We are... Penn State!

Time for dessert!

That evening, we had one of Chris' friends (also from high school) come over with his family for dinner.  Noah LOVED playing with the girls (5 and 6).   They played with Noah's kitchen and toy food (video here) almost the whole time and then Chris chased the three of them around the whole house.  

On Sunday morning, Chris took Noah to the grocery store and to get some donuts.  We did a little photo shoot for Noah's 23 month post.  We also went to Gymboree Open Gym with Chris :)  

After Noah's nap we went back to our old stomping ground.  Morristown was having their annual Fall Festival.  This is now the third year we've gone.  It was a super warm day (in the 80s) and while the food was yummy, we were hoping there would be more activities for Noah.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday | Learning about Zoo Animals

I mentioned last week that I'm doing an informal "Toddler Preschool" with Noah.  Last week we learned about "Fall" and this week we focused on "Zoo Animals".  Here are some of the things we did with Noah...  

One - Trip to the Zoo

Last Friday, we took Noah to the zoo.  I think "field trips" are key to helping a child learn.  When a kid is having fun and having real life experiences, they are more apt to learn.  

Two - Animal Water Play

I'm all about the sensory bins for little kids.  I found this link of Pinterest about Zoo Sensory Play.  Originally I planned to do this in the bathtub.  But we were at my parents, and they have a toy of A-Z Zoo Animals.  Noah loves playing in my parents' kitchen sink, so I brought all the animals from the toy and let him wash them in the sink.  He (with my dad's help) washed them, rinsed them, and then put them on the drying mat.  He had so much fun and it kept him entertained for at least 20 minutes!

Three - Bubble Guppies Zoo Episode & Books

We are not one of those families that is against TV.  I think that it's another great resource to help with learning.  Noah watches Sesame Street and Bubble Guppies.  One of the things I love about Bubble Guppies is that each episode has a theme so you are learning something new while enjoying the catchy songs and cute stories.   This week we watched "The Lonely Rhino" which is specifically about the zoo and "The Elephant Trunk-a-Dunk" which is all about elephants.  

We also love to read... before bed and just in general.  Here are a few of our favorite zoo books:

Four - Songs

Noah loves music and I think it's a fun addition to our day.  My parents' were singing this song to Noah when we went to our local zoo, so I looked up the lyrics for the entire song.  We just sing the chorus :)

Going To The Zoo (Preschool Song)

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo;
How about you, you, you?

You can come too, too, too.
We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.

Five - Puzzles

Noah has gotten really good at doing puzzles.  I love that it not only helps with their fine motor skills, but you can use it as a jumping off point to teach so many other things.  We have two puzzles with zoo animals.  He would pick up the elephant from one puzzle and show me that it was just like the elephant in the other puzzle.  I would ask him where an animal was and he would show it to me.  If the animal makes a noise I would either ask him what it makes or I would make the sound and he would repeat it.  

I'm linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm for "Oh Hey Friday"

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Date | Baseball Game

For Christmas, I gave Chris "A Year of Dates".  On Christmas, he opened a stack of envelopes, one for each month of 2014.  Inside the envelopes are pre-planned (and some pre-paid) dates for us to enjoy each month.  At the beginning of each month, we open the envelope and schedule a day to go on the date.   I will be recapping our dates each month.  

For this month's date, we went to a Minor League Baseball Game.  I have to admit that many of my planned dates got moved to different months or the plans changed.  I'm totally okay with that because the point of this gift was to get us going on dates, regardless of the activity.  This month, we decided to bring Noah along with us again.  I know, is it really a date if we bring the kid with us?  But we really like hanging out with Noah and we both love watching him experience new things!  We also love "breaking the rules" ;)

Anyway, we went to our local minor league game on Saturday night, and it was also Irish Night.  By wearing green, we got $2 off the already affordable tickets.  We bought the tickets at the gate and were shocked when we were able to get front row seats right behind home base.  Originally we were going to get higher up seats to avoid being hit by balls, but since they had the net we were safe :)  

^^^ trying to get Noah's hands out of his mouth... we all ended up looking silly instead ;)

I'm sure he will enjoy the actual game as he gets older, but right now Noah likes the same things about a baseball game that I do... the food and people watching!  Noah was having a blast watching the pre game entertainment, eating some french fries, and playing with the net.  

^^^ I skipped the corned beef and cabbage and instead went for my favorites... nachos and funnel cake!

Noah was interested in the mascot from afar, so we decided to bring him over to have a picture taken.  Noah wasn't a fan but didn't freak out until after the picture was taken and the bear went behind my back to say hi to Noah.  He startled him/scared the crap out of him!  Noah jumped and knocked into the ice cream cone Chris had just bought him :(  We cleaned Noah's hair the best we could, but Noah was so shaken up that he sat hugging me for the next while and wouldn't even eat the cone.  Thankfully Noah calmed down once he saw that the mascots were on the field and not near him.   Even when he saw him later, he was smiling and looking as long as the mascot was at a distance.  He remained super cautious if he came close though!

^^^ Noah's face on the right is priceless... "I'm watching you buddy!"

^^^ Another "mascot"... General Admission!  It doesn't look like Noah liked him much either

As for the actual game, it ended up being a pitcher's duel, as neither team scored in the first 5 innings.  The home team Somerset Patriots didn't even get their first hit until the 5th inning.  Also in the 5th inning, one of the players was arguing balls and strikes with the umpire, so he was ejected.   The manager came out and ended up arguing fiercely as well, and was also ejected.  He made the crowd roar though because as he was walking towards the dugout, he motioned with his hands that the umpire was jokingly ejected as well!    The game ended with the away team winning 2-0.

^^^ the game was being streamed online and you can see us in the stands!

It was a really great night.  We ended up leaving in the middle of the 6th inning around 8:45 PM.  Noah was still in a good mood, but I wanted to get him home to bed.  I was shocked when he didn't fall asleep in the car ride home... this kid is a real trooper!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's The Little Things | Going to the Zoo!

On Friday, Chris took of work and we went to the Bronx Zoo.  Be prepared for lots of pictures!  Chris got free tickets to go and we were excited to finally use them.  They were general admission tickets and we ended up upgrading to the total access pass since a bunch of the exhibits were not included with general admission.  We arrived shortly after the zoo opened and were surprised that it wasn't busy at all.  It was cool enough that we needed to wear our sweaters (except for Chris who never wears a sweater!).  I love going to the zoo in this kind of weather because it means the zoo doesn't smell as much and the animals are out walking around instead of sleeping in a corner!  

First we walked through "Africa" on our way to the Asian Monorail.  I had done some research online before our trip and knew I wanted to take the monorail.  It's one of the things you pay extra for unless you have the total access pass, but I knew that Noah would love going on a "train".  It's also the only way you can see the elephants (my favorite!).  

After the monorail, we went into the Jungle Experience.  Before leaving for the zoo, we told Noah he could pick out a toy animal to bring with him.  He chose this toy turtle that my parents bought him when we went to the Turtle Back Zoo.  He carried it around the entire trip!  He was super excited when we saw some turtles and liked comparing his toy to the real thing!

We then stopped to get some lunch.  I have to admit it was pretty good for zoo food.  No finished his fries on the go, and even tried to offer a few to some of the animals ;)

A highlight for me was seeing the lions and giraffes.  I was a little bummed that there wasn't a male lion out... I'm not sure if Noah knew these were lions since they don't look like the pictures he normally sees.  I also felt bad for the giraffe that was inside... not sure why they did that?

Next, we stopped at the bug carousel.  This was another attraction that normally you pay as you go, but with our upgraded total access passes, we got to have unlimited rides!  I think we went around 4 times :)

At this point it was getting close to Noah's nap time, so we said we'd look at a few more animals and head home.  But Noah was in such a good mood and having so much fun that we ended up seeing a lot more!  Once again he loved the turtles!

We then stopped by the Tiger exhibit... it was so cool!  There were three that were super close to the viewing area and when we first arrived two of them were playing/fighting right near us!

^^^ Doesn't it look like the tiger is walking right past Noah???  Thank goodness for the glass wall!

 ^^^ No visit to the zoo would be complete without some ice cream... and of course Noah had to share with his turtle!

^^^ This tortoise is 100 years old!

The last exhibit we went to was the petting zoo.  It will be part of the new Children's Zoo that will open soon.  They had a preview of it when we went.  Noah got a little scared since the animals were pretty loud and got really close to the fence, but it was still a fun time.  

We ended our day with a trip to the gift shop where Noah picked out three little stuffed animals... an elephant, a tiger, and another turtle!  He then passed out immediately in the car!

Make sure to stop by Jess and Ashley's blogs for the link up!  

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