Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Activities

Sunday we went ot the Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo. It was absolutely beautiful and we really enjoyed ourselves. Some of the animals were even out. We were able to see all of the fish and reptiles, an elephant, a couple of sloth bears, a couple of tigers, a flock of penguins, polar bears, seals, and a wolf. If you're in the area, we highly recommend going. Although we all thought it would be better if there was snow, so maybe we'll go again in December if it snows.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Beautiful Day in November

Yesterday was a beautiful day making it up to 65 degrees and sunny all day. We took advantage of the nice weather and played outside most of the day. Then we went to dinner and shopping (finishing our Christmas shopping). And we finished off the day decorating for Christmas.

Syd started the day by making another animal parade in her room. In addition to making designs and stuff with everything, she now chants the same phrase over and over and over in a whisper. She's either going crazy, is a highly functional autistic child, or is exceptionally intelligent. I'm pretty sure it's the last.

We had a lot of fun playing outside with the sun shining. Syd played with her friends Brody and Cade next door. She drove her jeep around, we played a little football as a family, and even Dani enjoyed the sunshine.

After playing outside we all got pretty hungry, so we decided to go to Don Pablos for dinner (Syd's idea as usual). Below she are waiting for a seat.

After Don Pablos we went shopping at a ski shop (for our ski trip after Christmas) and other stores to finish our Christmas shopping. As you can see, Syd found a shark hat at the ski shop and a Clifford to ride at one of the other stores.

We finished the day by decorating the Christmas tree and house. Syd loved helping decorate. She got to hang many of her own ornaments. She also loves the train set underneath. She won't leave the candy canes alone though.

All in all, it was a great day...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving at Great Wolf Lodge

This past Tuesday, we checked into the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio. They had a Gobble Gobble Special that included two nights in the lodge, with three days of swimming, and a Thanksgiving buffet on Thursday. Zack, Syd, and I checked in on Tuesday around 1:30 PM and hit the pool by 2:15. Syd has a swimming obsession so this was the perfect little mini-vacation for her. Grandma & Grandpa Burns joined us on Wednesday and had dinner with us Thursday. We all had a great time. And the lodge was amazing and everything in it was as well. They have the lobby decorated for Christmas so it's absolutely beautiful. Here are a few lobby pics.

This last picture is of Syd watching a show they have every night for the kids.

For some reason I am unable to put all the pictures from our trip on this one entry, so I have split our trip into different entries. This is obviously the first introductory entry. The next one will be the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark, then the Great Wolf Lodge Arcade, then Thanksgiving dinner at Great Wolf Lodge. So, to get the whole story you'll have to read all four entries. I have posted them so that you can read them in order top to bottom.

The Waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge

The waterpark at GWL is really cool. There are a bunch of different water activities designed for different reasons and age groups. There is a little pool as you walk in that is designed for infants and toddlers. It has little slides and buckets that dump water and goes from floor level to 1 1/2 foot deep. To the left of that there is a pool for swimming that goes to 5 feet and has a section for basketball as well as a section with floating animals you can play on. In the middle there is a very large jungle gym/fort thing that has tons of water related activities, mostly related to climbing. At the top there are two mid-size waterslides to get back down. Also at the top is an enormous bucket that constantly fills with water. Once the water gets to a certain level the bucket empties hundreds of gallons of water on the people below. A bell rings just before it dumps so that anyone intereseted in getting dowsed can get into place. To the left of that there is a small pool (goes to 2 1/2 feet) with three small slides designed for preschoolers. Syd spent most of her time here. She absolutely loved the slides. At the back of the building are two pairs of big waterslides. One pair you go down on your back or sitting up and the other pair you go down on an innertube. Zack spent most of his time on these and the fort. There is also a slow moving innertube ride that just brings you around a little island of sorts. This is the liesurely ride. And beside that is a hot tub area. Although kids are allowed in the front area of this, they are not allowed in the back area. As you can see from the pictures (they go in order of the description) we had a great time.

The Arcade at Great Wolf Lodge

We spent a lot of time in the Arcade at GWL as well. Syd had a great time playing the games, although sitting in the fire truck with Bert and Ernie was her favorite. Most of the games gave tickets that could be collected and turned in for a wonderful prize. As you can see from the picture below, Syd chose her prize wisely... A Christmas Sponge Bob. Grandma and Grandpa were kind enough to donate their earned tickets to the cause so that all total the four of us payed around $50 for this wonderful little Sponge Bob. We did all have a great time playing the games so it was probably worth it.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Great Wolf Lodge

The Thanksgiving Buffet at Great Wolf Lodge was amazing. They served so much food we were all in pain after dinner. They had prime rib, turkey, and ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, macoroni & cheese, green beans, a couple of different cold salads (marshmellow type ones), salad, cheese & crackers, stuffing, and much more. Then they had a couple of desert buffets with cookies, and tons of fruit and a chocolate fountain. It was amazing and wonderful as you can see from the pictures. We had a really great time and enjoyed having dinner with Grandma & Grandpa Burns. As you can see from the last picture Syd had a lot of fun and even got a little sassy with Grandma (she took this picture).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Two Exciting Events

Hello again

This last weekend included two events of note. First, on Thursday night, we went to Sesame Street Live with the neighbors. Zack, Syd, and I went with Brody, Cade, and Amy next door and Audrey, Keira, and Jess on the other side. The kids had a ball and loved every minute. They were singing and dancing and clapping away. Everyone had a great time and the show was surprisingly good (even for adults). As you can see the pictures didn't come out too well, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Sunday, Zack, Syd, and I went skating again at BGSU. As I said in one of the past entries, we decided to make this a weekly family event and so far that's what we're doing. As you can see from the pictures Syd is having a ball. We had her in all her gear and she even skated alone with the trainer. By the end of it she was really doing well. She was even gliding rather than walking. She seems to suddenly be picking it up. We'll have to keep going. I'm pretty sure we're going to put her in skating lessons in January. She has expressed interest in playing hockey and you have to be able to skate to do that. Soccer will be done in December so we'll switch those out. We talked to a mom (my arch nemesis, the other Amy Burns - who also works at UT) of a kid who used to be in Syd's class at school and she has him in the lessons there. She seemed really impressed with the people teaching it. And I think Syd and Derek (the kid from school) will be in the same class. We'll see if she keeps enjoying it until then. There's also a picture of Zack and Syd at Campus Pollyeyes in BG... we went there for dinner after skating.

This last picture is another of Syd's "formations." She was playing alone in her room and came running out to show Daddy what she had made. I thought we should have a picture.

That's all for this week. I'm sure they'll be more next week.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Random stuff...

This blog contains a bunch of unrelated things that have happened over the last couple of weeks that I haven't written about individually, but think you'll find interesting. Well, as interesting as anything else on Syd's blog...

First of all, I realized I hadn't added any pictures from Syd playing soccer. She's in a Monday morning class. It is a skills class. They don't actually play a game, but learn how to pass, dribble, and shoot. The coach does give them the last 5 minutes to run around and play a pretend game, but mostly they just all chase the ball and giggle a lot. This is the best part for the parents because the kids seem like they are having a real blast. Anyway, I've added some pictures above. In the first one she is dribbling the ball (she's in the red and white shirt). In the second one she is waiting in line to take a shot on goal (our neighbor Audrey is in the class and is in line just ahead of Syd). In the third and fourth pictures she is kicking the ball toward the goal (taking a shot). She actually made the second one. She seems to really like the class and is having fun. I'm not sure the YMCA is going to offer it again next session, but if they do we'll sign up again.

Second, Halloween... I realized I hadn't posted any pictures from Halloween. So, here are two that sort of came out. They are very dark, but not nearly as bad as the others I took. Sorry... Anyway, Syd was a firefighter (totally her choice). In the second one she is posing with Brody and Cade from next door. Brody is a power ranger and Cade is a skeleten. I took Syd around the neighborhood while Zack handed out candy. We went with the Pavlicas next door and the Holdcrafts across the street. It was very fun and Syd's bag was overflowing by the end. I had to carry it for her from house to house because it was too heavy for her. Again, it was a lot of fun and she had a great time.

This last picture is one that she asked me to take and add to the blog. It is her animal parade. I was doing some stuff around the house and she called me to come in and see her parade. It is very cute and she amazes me sometimes with her organization skills (OCD/scary tendencies). We don't have pictures, but other examples of this are when she's helping Zack remodel the basement and he turns around and sees wood stacked very neatly in a corner from biggest to smallest. Another example is when she's playing with the slot machine tokens in the basement and Zack finds little stacks of them in different formations. The other day she used her balance beam to line books up in a little row against the fireplace. Zack's sure we're going to wake up some morning and find crop circles in our backyard. Weird, but cool...

And finally, Zack emailed me this morning to tell me that when he dropped her off for school this morning he was getting her breakfast out for her to eat and out of the blue Syd says toMiss Amber (her teacher), "My Daddy likes privacy in the bathroom." This kid is too cute for words...

Another fun-filled weekend...

This past weekend was another fun one for the Burns family. Friday and Saturday night we went to a hockey game at BGSU. They played Lake Superior and lost Friday, but won Saturday. Our neighbors, the Pavlicas, went with us both nights as you can see from some of the pictures. Friday night Syd got a new BGSU hockey hat (see picture) and Saturday night we went to Miles after the game for great food.

Sunday Zack, Syd, and I went ice skating at the BGSU arena. We bought all of us some skates at Play It Again Sports (used are much cheaper than new). We decided we want to make this a weekly family event so we figured it was cheaper in the long run than renting skates for all of us every week. Sunday afternoon I went and picked up a helmut and elbow pads for Syd. Everyone we've talked to says she should have them just in case. The people who give lessons at BG require kids her age to have them so we thought we'd be safe and get them. She looks pretty cool in the whole get up. I'll have to take a picture of her next weekend when we go and post it. Jason and Brody from next door ended up coming skating near the end and we ran into one of Syd's friends from school (Donovan) and his grandma so we had a lot of fun. Syd's starting to get the hang of it. She gets frustrated too easily and gives up too soon, but we figure by the end of the season she should be on her way. She says she's having fun, that's all that matters.

Visit to Grandma & Grandpa Burns

On October 28th, we went to Cleveland to visit Grandma & Grandpa Burns. We also got to see Uncle Derek, Aunt Shana, and cousin Zane. We had a lot of fun and as usual they served great food. As you can see from the blurry picture we even had a Halloween cake. Syd had a good time and played with Zane. She also had fun playing numbers and letters with Grandma and army stuff with Grandpa. It was a great Halloween visit. We're really looking forward to Thanksgiving when we're meeting Grandpa and Grandma Burns at the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky. Time with Grandma and Grandpa, all the swimming Syd can take for three days, and a huge Thanksgiving buffet. What more could we ask for?