Claudio has been playing hockey quite a bit lately with his recreational team and Alex has been so curious about what’s lurking around in his huge sports bag that gets dragged out each weekend. Claudio let him discover what was inside just the other day and quickly found out that he wanted to try everything on. Claudio put a few pieces on Alex and he was so happy. The hockey stick alone was about twice his height, and he beamed with pride to be just like his Papa. Now every time we walk by a sports store he says, “Mommy, I buy hockey stick now.” (Usually he’s pointing at a pair of skis in the window and insists they’re really hockey sticks.. Yes! Try explaining that to an adamant 3-year-old)! 😉
In October we joined my friend Katie and her son Alex (also known as Big Alex, so as not to confuse the two boys) to a very intriguing park tucked away in the outskirts of Dietikon. The park was designed by Bruno Weber, a Swiss artist and architect. There’s a ton of interesting information about why he made all of the sculptures the way that he did. I won’t go into all of the nitty gritty, but this short video below is a great introduction to the artist, and the amazing imagination & vision he had!
Now for a few pictures!
The boys were very eager to sit on every possible sculpture that was allowed to be climbed on! Each had their 10 seconds of fame.
This massive piece was known as the “winged dogs” and encloses the water garden.
These chairs I found particularly interesting as Katie explained that depending on the mood of the person, he/she would choose which chair felt most appropriate.
Both boys had a turn at the Alp Horn
Trying to play telephone with it. 🙂
Bruno Weber’s Home and Studio
We spotted a peacock relaxing on the balcony.
Enjoying a conversation over a table with legs (and feet!)
This is such a neat park with so many hidden little details that you don’t always catch at first glance. I highly recommend a visit to this park for little ones if you’re in Zurich/Dietikon.
A thought for the day: What can these 3 unlike objects have to do with one another? Answer will be found in the story below. 🙂
“Mommy, Mommy!” cried Alex from the living room as I was beginning to prepare lunch. How convenient of timing I thought as I walked briskly to see what was going on. “Mommy, this doesn’t work”, he told me while pointing to his Fisher Price cash register. I looked at where the coins were supposed to go down to see that there was a shiny silver object blocking them from reaching the drawer, which from a closer look resembled a child’s spoon. Hmmm.. not a mind-boggling question how that could have happened. I managed to get the spoon out with a pair of pliers and heard a few other items clattering around in the bottom of the cash register as I was doing so. After taking out the bottom screws to complete the analysis, out rolled 10 crayons; nearly one of each color happened to be conveniently resting in there. Next came out two larger objects, the rocks. For Alex, it was like Christmas day to see all of these surprises come out from his cash register.
After having a talk about what goes in a cash register (the coins that the toy came with), and what doesn’t (everything else). He was happy to have it back in working condition. So yes, the connection between these 3 unlike objects – crayons, rocks, and a spoon – are that they all can be jammed down a cash register by little mischievous hands.
Never a dull moment with this boy!
One of my favorite parts about this season is going to the Jucker Farm to see the pumpkin display. It has become a tradition for the past 3 years to visit the this adorable farm in Seegräben. It’s exciting to see what will be the next theme for the pumpkin exhibitions, as they’s always very creative and elaborate. This year the theme was the Olympics, and they showed off various sporting events, including bobsledding, discus throwing, boxing, swimming, and weight-lifting. We also enjoyed seeing the biggest pumpkins in Switzerland, a big haystack for climbing, hammocks (*new* this year), feeding the goats, delicious pumpkin soup in their restaurant & fresh apple juice.
The #1 biggest pumpkin ended up being MIA (Missing In Action) as it was in Germany, but the 2nd and 3rd place pumpkins were quite impressive.
“Help, please! We want to go up!”
I love how genuinely concerned the two look about Claudio climbing the haystack.
Happy to be at the tippy top
Alex was deathly afraid of the goats. He got upset each time one of them ever so slightly looked his way, so he insisted on being carried.
The boys relaxing by the hammocks
I believe I can fly
I could imagine one of these on our balcony.
More of the great pumpkin exhibits
Alex and Serafina on the pumpkins. It was so warm that Alex was able to just wear a t-shirt – such a surprise for the month of October!
As was going down
Family portraits (to Claudio’s dismay I always insist on at least one picture of us together)
We love the Jucker Farm! Happy Autumn!
I’ll admit right from the start that I love birthdays and tend to get a bit carried away, so needless to say I’ve gone a bit overboard again this year. I just couldn’t imagine it any other way. I love to see Alex’s reaction, as well as those of his little friends when they walk into a home covered in decorations.
Hand-made party hats personalized for each special guest
The Thomas inflatable we brought back from Mallorca made a special appearance.
Train of fruits & veggies
First peak at everything after waking up from a nap and he couldn’t wait to dig in to the veggies – that’s a pleasant surprise!
Eagerly anticipating the first guests to arrive.
Making a train craft
Getting ready to sing! Very eager to get hands on those cupcakes!
Alex’s little friends all in the same spot at the same time (with the exception of 1).
Claudio was the one behind the scenes that made a big pot of chili, helped decorate, and kept everyone hydrated. Such a tremendous help!
I’m so glad that 6 of Alex’s little friends and their wonderful mommys were able to make it. We truly have the sweetest friends in the world.
Alex woke up on his birthday (Oct. 28th) to a winter wonderland outside. Every child’s dream on their birthday (I guess even more so when it falls on a school day)! 😉
He had his favorites for breakfast – bread with butter and jelly, yogurt, and orange juice.
After eating, we were off to mass, followed by a visit to Alex’s great grandmother, where we had lunch and celebrated with grandma, grandpa and Aunt Martina.
Enjoying a game of rolling the new toys from Aunt Martina across the table. I think the entire restaurant was looking forward to us leaving! haha!
To finish the evening off, we had dinner and Claudio made a marble cake for Alex. Something that I think is so sweet is how Claudio faithfully makes a cake for his birthday every year without being asked.
Here we were singing to him (I apologize in advance for my horrendous singing!) :
*I had to laugh at the part where Claudio compares Alex blowing out the candles to a “little lake sea breeze”. 🙂
Opening a few presents from Mommy & Pappy
Happy 3rd Birthday, Alex!
On Sunday you turned 3! I just cannot believe how fast you’re growing up. We’re so proud of all of your accomplishments from riding your bike to speaking in full sentences in both English and German. You amaze us every day and you have the strongest determination I’ve ever seen. Below is a list of what you’re like right at this very moment in time.
At three years old:
You are such a people person! You love striking up conversations with random people (which is just the opposite of me). Your top two questions are: (1) whether the person is going home, and (2) if they have a bike. You crack me up! Just this past week you plopped right down in a seat next to an older lady on the bus and asked her if she was going home. You then followed up with telling her she needed to go to sleep. She was a bit surprised at what said (as was I!), but thought you were funny!
You love to build! You make some of the most creative things and ever so quickly. I love walking in the living room to find you building one of your masterpieces out of legos or mega blocks. You usually have some type of explanation about it. In the picture below you even included a piece that fell off of the rolly office chair (haha!).
You love to eat! From fruits and grains to even salad, you almost never stop eating. Each meal is basically the continuation from the previous one. I like that you’re even more willing to try a few new foods now.
You are very independent. You can more or less dress yourself completely now. You just need a bit of help getting your shirt over your head, but you’re able to put on everything else by yourself, including zipping your jacket and adjusting the velcro straps on your shoes. This is a big help for mommy! You also enjoy opening the door to our apartment. When I hand you my set of keys, you are able to pick the correct key and turn it in the right direction to unlock the door.
You are so incredibly stubborn STILL. When you have your mind set on something, you simply cannot and will not change it for anything. For example, wanting to wear shoes without socks, or having a treat before dinner. It takes a lot of coercion to have you see something from another perspective.
You love other children. Yes, you sometimes pick a few fights (particularly around nap time), but generally you love to be around other children. You are constantly talking/asking about one friend or another.. from Serafina to Jessica (from daycare) to Big Alex and your love, Katie (Big Alex’s mommy).
You go to daycare 2 days of the week now from 11 am – 5:45 pm. You have such a great time there! Each day you come home with an exciting story. Two weeks ago the caregivers painted a pirate’s patch over your eye and you were so proud of it. You put up quite a fight just to let me wash it off that evening! A true pirate at heart.
Oh Alex, I think the age of three is going to be a lot of fun with you. I’m so thankful for you. You bring so much joy to our lives!