Monday, July 21, 2008


Cool moment, terrible photo! Maya and Seth saw this snake in a friend's driveway last week. It hung around in the driveway, letting us get fairly close (well -- maybe close would be a bit of an exaggeration -- this picture was as close as I ever got) and watch it for a nice, long time before it headed off into the grass, where it was amazingly well camouflaged. We figured the picture might not come out well since I had to take it with my camera phone, so we tried to pay close attention to its features so we could look it up in the field guide when we got home. We couldn't quite identify it from our field guide alone but used the extension service's Kentucky Snake Identification site and then Google and Google Images to narrow it down. It turned out to be a rat snake.

Maya and Seth's excitement and interest remained for quite a while after we got back home:

Here they're looking at one of their favorite snake books/model kits, Uncover a Cobra.

Here's Maya, who can amazingly and quickly find anything she needs in her very full and often very messy room, playing with some of her snake toys. (I cannot do that -- I just see a sea of "stuff." But she's really good at spotting things in those hidden picture puzzles, too. Oh, and finding lost keys!)

Learning Through Play

Last week Matt had to work night shift, so we took the opportunity for Maya and Seth to do some things Riley doesn't enjoy so much anymore. He was able to stay home while Matt was there-but-sleeping. Here are some pictures from our afternoon at Totters Otterville.

The outdoor splash area.

Post office

Maya organizing a group building project

The grocery store

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Maya's Room

Inspired by this post from Danielle Conger's blog, I decided to take pictures when I cleaned Maya's room a couple weeks ago for her. She spends a lot of time in there pretending and playing with all sorts of things, and it quickly gets overwhelming. I don't clean it up every week, but once I (or occasionally she and I) get started on it, I always enjoy the treasures I find in there and the stories she tells about what she was doing with this or that -- little peeks into her imagination.

The beginning

Some drawings

A homemade paperdoll and a dressed up Raggedy Ann

The beginnings of a doll she's making

Some extra mouse cage litter (hey, at least it wasn't used mouse cage litter) as play pet food

A pipe cleaner leash

The gift of a clean slate for the next round of creations

Rainy Day Fun and Learning

Drawing, writing, and playing with play dough

Games (Apples to Apples Jr. and Cranium Cadoo)

Building with Lego's with a neighborhood friend

Researching and reading about Big Foot, Yeti, and Chupacabra; playing Adventure Quest; and goofing around with another neighborhood friend

Gliding on pedal-less bikes