Sunday, August 29, 2010

At the Zoo in Syracuse

A fine and fancy ramble to the zoo In late August, we finally made a trip to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. It is not a very big zoo, but it made for a good day trip with Oliver, and allowed him to see real live elephants and penguins. There were many other animals there as well, but the elephants and penguins were the easiest to see, and the most fun for Ollie. The tigers were impressive, but I am not sure Ollie was able to see them very well.

Penguin swimming Meet the penguins
Tiger, tiger The elephants are kindly

It was a good trip, though it left me feeling a bit down. Seeing the animals in cages was sad. And seeing all the carefree kids running, shouting and pointing excitedly was also sad for me. We had to keep lifting Ollie up out of his stroller so he could try to see the animals. Lifting and carrying him is becoming harder and harder on our backs as he gets larger and heavier.

It's all happening at the zoo
We did bump into this good looking family of penguins. I think I deserve a medal for holding Ollie and getting both our faces in those holes at the same time!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Farewell, Mr. Toad

It was a lot of fun taking care of Mr. Toad this summer -- watching him metamorphose into a toad, and then grow from being miniscule to being merely tiny.
Toad on a quarter

I was so attached to him that I thought about getting a larger aquarium and keeping him all winter. But it was tough finding enough food for him to eat. I'm sure fruit flies are yummy, but Mr. Toad needed more to fill his belly, and finding bugs and worms that were just the right size for him was surprisingly difficult. As the summer went on, it became clear that it was time to let him go so that he'd have enough time to establish himself before winter set in. Shami, Ollie and I decided to let him go near a small pond in Sapsucker Woods.

Leaving with the toad Waving goodbye

Here's our cute little guy leaving the nest. I hope he'll find lots to eat and be a fat and happy toad.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Taughannock Falls with the Grandparents

It is very special that Oliver can spend time with all four grandparents. This weekend we all drove out to Taughannock Falls State Park. There is a look-out point above, and then a nice wide flat trail below, great for wheels, leading to the base of the falls. We all enjoyed the sights and the amazing weather. Due to a lack of rain, there was only a trickle of water over the falls, but it was spectacular nonetheless.

Taughannock Falls, late summer Stairs at Taughannock park
The Falls, cut by ancient retreating glaciers. Compare the same view from last fall. And here are the steep stairs to walk down to the lookout point.

Maini and Baba at Taughannock Ma and Da at Taughannock
Dadu and Thamma, Papa Dadu and Nainai.

Shami, Dadu, and Oliver Thamma, Shami, and Ollie
Three generations of Chatterjee boys, and Ollie with his dad and Thamma.

Bridge at Taughannock Dibs, Ma, Ollie at Taughannock
Below the falls, Ollie with his mom and grandmother.

After the waterfall, the creek runs over a rocky bed and empties into Cayuga Lake a short distance away. Shami, Ollie, and I wandered down to the shore after the grandparents left for home. We skipped some stones across the water, absorbed some of the peace and quiet, and then drove home ourselves. It was a nice outing.

Meghan and Oliver at Taughannock At the south end of Cayuga lake

Cayuga lake shore

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nainai and PapaDadu's Anniversary

Oliver's Ithaca grandparents had their wedding anniversary in early August. To celebrate we invited them over for a sit down Indian meal. Several dishes were whipped up, and Oliver's Thamma spent the day making a special payesh (rice pudding) for dessert. Ollie offered to taste-test it beforehand to make sure it was good - just kidding - but Thamma gave him a taste anyway. It looks like he liked it, doesn't it? Never trust a picture! It took a lot of effort to coax that smile out of him. But he did have some fun playing with it on his tray.

A taste of rice pudding? No way! Oliver playing with rice pudding

Ollie joined us at the table and it was a lovely dinner. And everyone (except Ollie) agreed that the food, and especially the payesh, was delicious!

Anniversary dinner for Ma and Da Anniversary dinner spread
Anniversary dinner table Rice pudding for dessert