Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ready for a photo op?

I've been wanting to go to the Orchid Show at the Bronx Botanical Gardens for several weeks now. The photos and Instagrams that people have posted on line are great, and make it very tempting.  Today, I seized the opportunity, and took Jake for our weekly "Jake and Mommy Day". I felt it was a bit of a stretch to keep him interested in a flower show for too long, so I turned it into an adventure.

I reminded him that Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) was a photographer for The Daily Bugle, and we stopped to get a cheap (pink) digital camera from the drugstore for him to use on our "photography adventure". The little camera was perfect (except it's a piece of junk, and I can't get the photos off it). He was so proud of it, and it kept him interested for the entire day. I handed it to him at one point and asked if he wanted to play with it, and he said, "Mom, you don't play with it, it's not a toy!" I guess that message sunk in!

The show was designed by French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc. The orchids, displayed in different climates are turned into amazing vertical gardens throughout the Conservatory. I played with various settings on the camera, trying to create some artsy shots. The subject matter was inspiring. You can also visit the show for the Orchid Evenings (with signature cocktail). It would be a great date spot...(trés romantic!) How do you think my artsy shots came out?

My sidekick was a trooper (or maybe I'm the sidekick?)

After touring the Orchid Show, we made terrariums at the Children's Garden which was also really cool. Jake was getting a bit tired by that point, so I knew we had to make a quick get away. 

It's exhausting being a super hero w/ a dual identity. On the way back to the car though, he still kept wanting to take more photos. He's say, "Mom! Stop! Photo op!" Such fun!

If you happen to go for the Orchid Evenings event...please tell me how it was, and have a "signature cocktail" for me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Super Heros Unite

(design © Heather Zschock)

As always, we've had a busy several weeks with lots of birthday fun, lots of work, and not enough time. Thus, this blog has not been updated quite as much as I would like. For one thing, I think it needs an overhaul, and I'm starting to gather a few ideas of things I'd like to do. Like most of my larger projects (like our guest bedroom, and basement), it seems that things take about 6 months to come together if I'm truly honest with my time constraints! I also have a tendency to play with Jake at any given moment. Redesign blog, or play with Jake? Clean out basement, or play with Jake? Hmmmm...which would you decide? (He is pretty cute, isn't he?)

In March, Jake turned 4, and we celebrated with a really fun Super Hero party. I had a few indoor games like "Pin the Badge on the Super Hero" planned, but I really didn't have enough to keep 11 kids reasonably happy and under control for an hour and a halaf. FORTUNATELY the weather cooperated with us. If it had been a rainy day, I would have been in big trouble!

(design © Heather Zschock)

The highlight was a visit from Spiderman himself (who wishes to be anonymous). When the children arrived, we gave them bags with capes I had made, masks that my sister graciously made, with stickers to decorate. (I made 12 capes!??! What was I thinking!?!?) When that activity was winding down, Mr. Anonymous snuck upstairs and put on his Spiderman costume (doesn't every man own one?). I announced that a "bad guy" had taken the goody bags...which may have scared a few of the kids (oops!), and then I asked them to all call for help from Spiderman. They obliged, and out popped Spiderman! Who also scared them, until we told them who he really was (can you guess?).

Spiderman led the little super heroes on a "clue finding mission" around a nature preserve by our house. We had set up clues and goody bags with "power rings", "heat ray vision" glasses, etc. At each stop, Spidey would pass out the goodies and announce that his "spider senses were tingling", and it was off to the next stop!

They all had fun, and I think this will be a memorable party for him...which for me, is the most important!