Sunday, December 18, 2011


Yesterday I was puttering around the house as much as my horrific cold would allow when the phone rang.  It was about time for the husband to call at the end of his shift so it took my brain a moment when the voice at the other end introduced itself as Donovan's music teacher at school.  Apparently, there have been some behavior problems and, with the Big Wintertime Show coming up on Tuesday, he thought the time had come for us to have a talk.


So all this ooohing and aaahing about how well Donny has been doing with his developmental milestones and all the while he's playing badass in music class!  I had no idea.  I promised the teacher I'd speak with him--and I have.  I hope he'll behave long enough for everyone to get thru Frere Jacque on Tuesday.  I've been having daily sit-downs with him about it since the call but I have this sinking feeling that all he's hearing is "BLAHblahblahblahblah."

Tuesday.  Its coming up soon.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Guided by Donovan

Donovan has been writing "songs" lately.  I use the quotations because alot of them are scales, which he has taught himself to play.  I guess he figures he is the first person to discover scales and thus has naming privileges.  At any rate, here is a short list of some of my favorite song titles:

* I read a book to myself
* A new friend: The Friend
* A bee tells its Mom and Dad that it wants supper.
* Your name isn't Frankenstein; its Captain

Is this how Robert Pollard got started?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Well Hello There!

And the funny thing is? I thought leaving my full time job would give me MORE time!  I'm being facetious--it has indeed freed up much time but I havent used it to keep this blog up to date, that's for damn sure.  But part of that is thing have been so good and happening so fast...

So to get to it: Donovan is doing very well.  Very well indeed. My last blog post was about how crazy his schedule was but since then he has tested out of work with two of his four therapists (NO MORE HOME VISITS!) and we meet with the other two tomorrow.  The way one of them was speaking, she may pack up her worksheets and sign off with him too.  Her quote was, "its like he's a totally different child!"

And he is and he is'nt.  He's still silly and sweet and obsessed with his piano.  But he also has friends at school that he plays with--can you hear my heart singing? Friends!  And that has been, in my opinion, both the chicken and the egg of most of this.  Is he more social because he's made friends or does he now have friends because he's more social?

I like it too because his friends are at his level--some of the kids in his class are older, if not in age in attitude and/or interests.  There is, for example, this little subset of boys who play with these fighting tops--beyblades or something.  Which is perfectly fine.  Donny and his friends play a game they call "Go Down The Slide Without Using Your Bum."  And they play it every day.  And they hold hands and chase each other and just run, run, run just because they like to run.  He seems so much happier.  Not that he was sad but he's definitely happier.

I'm typing this as a break from completely tearing up the house (at 11pm on a Sunday) to prep the front room for the Christmas tree.  I realized in talking to Donovan a week or so ago that he has no idea what Christmas was.  Not in the biblical sense but in the Write a Letter to Santa sense.  I asked him if there were any toys he wanted and he said, ""  But he's super excited that we are getting a tree and he's pretty much memorized the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  He also thinks we should get Grammy Shanley a bike.  I suggested he draw her a picture of one instead.

More soon and with pictures!  Now back to putting the glassware back in the liquor cabinet, which I moved from the front room to the dining room to make way for the couch. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Need a Simplicity Coordinator...

I'm not sure how much I believe in astrology but I do feel very much like the Gemini I am.  I've always felt like the Gemini poster child and part of that is that I seem to be a lightning rod for irony.  Sometimes its big, scary irony but usually its just a constant stream of everyday little details that, when looked at thru the Gemini microscope, are ridiculous.

Take, for example, the fact that I'm signed up for a series of talks on Simplicity Parenting, but that those talks now conflict with Donovan's Suzuki piano group lessons.  And speaking of Simplicity Parenting, we got a flyer for the Steel City Earth Scouts and I'm thinking of signing Donny up.  Even tho his schedule would end up looking something like this:

School, one hour session w/ Ms. Keely at home, practice piano

School, speech therapist visit at school, practice piano

School, hang out for an hour an a half with Mom before group piano lesson, Group Piano lesson.

School, visit with occupational therapist at school, one hour session w/ Ms. Keely at home, practice piano

School,  private lesson w/ Ms. Kiki

Earth Scouts first Saturday of every month, the occasional playdate and/or visit to museum/library/etc., practice piano.

Only day off with both Mom AND Dad, Church, Earth Scouts every 3rd Sunday, occasional visits to Grammy and Grandpop in Squirrel Hill, practice piano.

Is this what simplicity is supposed to look like?  The kid's not even 5 yet!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Drinking the Twinkle Kool Aid

Donovan had his first group lesson for piano last night.  He has been taking Suzuki lessons for about 5 weeks now and I will admit to it making me grumpy.  First, it took well over a year to get him on their schedule and, when we did, we were relegated to a 3:15 lesson, which was rough because he gets out of school at 3:30.  I felt the weekly newsletters left out valuable information (exactly when the parent meetings were and exactly how important they were considered), that sort of thing.  It did not help that the parent meeting I went to was out in Carnegie and while the bus service there was good it was a rainy day and the bus stop was literally right on the road, right where there was a puddle the car tires would hit as they sped by.  I ended up putting Donny in the corner and standing in front of him to keep him dry--I felt like there was a blue screen behind us and they would photoshop in a raging pterodactyl attack.

That's all changed now because I got to watch my son ENJOY HIMSELF COMPLETELY last night.  There were 3 other kids in the class and they sat in the front row with their parents behind them.  Donny was possibly the youngest kid and definitely the newest student--the other kids all had at least a year of lessons under their belts.  The class started with each kid playing a piece, bowing to applause and sitting back down.  This happened twice and the second time, Donovan sat down and played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" all the way thru using both hands.

He had never done that before.

It was a major breakthrough that he played it all the way thru instead of stopping after each part but the two hand thing completely blew my mind: he saw the other boys do that and that was all he needed.  It was also great to see the pure joy on his face whenever he would clap for his classmates or when he would take a bow.

I'd been holding off writing the check because 1) its a big chunk of cash and 2) I wasn't sure it would work out.  Watch your mailbox, Pittsburgh Music Academy--the check is on its way!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fly Away Home

I went home to Ohio for four days, without benefit of the boy or the husband.  My goal was to clean my Mom's house and clean I did.  Of course the sidewalks get rolled up at night on a trip like that so one of the things I did to pass the time was go thru my phone's picture files.  I found this stash of photos from our last trip to the toy lending library.  Donovan insisted on wearing this ladybug costume even tho it was just small enough that it sort of acted like a neckbrace.  We were there about 3 hours, if I'm remembering correctly, and he was a ladybug the whole time.

I love that kid.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Art Imitates Life

This is NOT our car and NOT our house.  It is, in fact, the house next door to us.  And, believe it or not, the lady who was driving the truck apparently walked away.  When we got home that evening, we got out of the car and thought, "Oh, the neighbors are up late working on their house."  They were, of course, tarping over the damage and doing emergency work to keep everything standing.

Donny was impressed with the idea of a car crashing into a building and that scenario has been creeping into the stories he's been telling.  Our friend, Kirsten, babysat him for a few hours today and she said that his building of complex houses with his architectural blocks has now been enlivened with reenactments of the car crash using any variety of cars from his toychest.  "Imitative play!" was her assessment--and with all due respect to the neighbors and the driver, I'm ok with that!

Kirsten also said that Donovan was telling her about his brothers and sisters.  I did'nt get a chance to ask if he included any info on his cats (Gwinty and Linto) or his babies (Lil' Baby MoMo Charnival Shanley or Maestro Faestro Shanley).  Tonight he drew a picture of his baby, me when I was a baby, and himself.  He was much bigger than either Lil' Baby or me and he had alot of hair.  We were all smiling, which was a nice change.  I'm hoping the Frown Period of his artistic career is over.  I was starting to wonder if CYS was going to come ask why our child only drew sad and angry people.

*Photo by Zak Orszulak, who posted it on Facebook, but I stole it from here without asking anyone's permission. Let me know if I need to take it down and I will.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Try Not To Squeal...

...but there are major developments here at Chez Donovan.  We ordered a pizza tonight (too much rummage sale prep=me, make supper? You are insane...) and when it came Mike asked Donovan to wash his hands.  Donny's response was, "I'll wash my hands after I go to the bathroom standing up."  And he did.  This is the FIRST TIME EVER he has voluntarily and of his own accord walked into our bathroom and peed in the toilet. 

And here I sit up in the office, listening to my son practice his left hand work on the piano.  Piano may turn out to be a dude thing--Mike can get him to practice and I have yet to figure out how to do that.  Nevertheless: voluntary bathroom usage and piano practicing without tears.

If I had champagne in the house, I'd be tempted to break it out!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I don't want to jinx it or anything far this week, Donovan used the bathroom at school on Monday and today.  Today, apparently, he used it twice without any prompting or coercion from outside forces.  We still have miles to go on this issue but this is a major development.  And also a major relief!

We are gearing up for a huge yard sale this weekend.  Its been years in the making but was not the type of thing we could ever tackle with both of us working full time.  Not having a job has been great for finally getting this all together.  There is still much work to be done but today was the first day that I could actually feel the arrangement of the house changing and opening up.  And, frankly, it will be nice to have a little extra money.  I thought that when I left my big adult job I would easily take the veil, so to speak, and become the type of frugal hausfrau who is so savvy with home economics that she actually saves as much money as she was making.  Oooooh, that was a good one!  This past month saw very little change in my spending--and, yes, the kid did outgrow the majority of his winter clothes, but still.  I guess I've got a long way to go in my training as well.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wherein The Apple Falls Right Next To the Tree

Today was my first day volunteering at Donovan's school.  His room already has a lovely and capable "room parent" so I offered my services in the school library (yes, I'm not a librarian, but some of my best friends are...).  It was just a Get to Know The Place sort of session and I was done quickly.  Mike and I had lunch together and when we got home there was a big box on the porch, a box addressed to Donovan sent from his uncle in Denver.

It was a record player.

When Mike's nephew, Jack, was born, lo, these 14 years ago, Mike found a "phonograph" for him and sent it to Denver along with some Herb Alpert records. So now the phonograph is back in Pittsburgh along with some Read Along records, Snoopy and the Royal Guardsmen and (inexplicably) the soundtrack to Easy Rider.

On the way home from picking up the kid, Mike wanted to stop at Paul's CDs in Bloomfield. All three of us went in.

Four of us if you count the monkey.

Donovan made himself at home by running laps around the huge island of CD bins.  One of ploys to slow him down was to say, "Donny, LOOK--now that you have a record player, you could play ANY OF THESE RECORDS on it!"  He liked that idea and immediately started handing me albums, "I think I would like this one.  And this one.  And this one..."  Luckily, the nice guy who worked there pointed out the Bargain Box and we diverted Donny's attention there.  He chose a Count Basie album and a 12 inch single of an instrumental on Motown.  I forget what and who it is but all Donovan really cared about was that it said "Motown Sound" on the front.  I think he liked saying that. 

So the vinyl torch has been officially passed.  Soon, once we get the skinny room cleaned out enough to stand in, I will make a sweeping gesture towards the shelfset that holds my and my husband's massive merged record collection and I will get to say those words every matriarch/patriarch dreams of saying: "Someday, son, this will all be yours."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chocolate Pie and Birdseed Cakes

Yesterday, Donovan was a whiney little brat.  Today he was a loving and enjoyable angelchild.  So goes it in The Land of the 4 Year Olds.  Today started off a little dicey as we went to church, which we havent done in a few weeks.  If we can manage to go for a few weeks in a row, he's fine with Sunday school.  If we miss a month or so, its back to clingy, weepy square one.  I stayed with him until it looked like he was involved enough not to "need" me and I left.  I don't think he cried in class but he was wearing the Pagliacci face when we went to get him. 

Mike had to run off to work so it was just me and The Boy I'd Done Wrong.  I apologized for making him sad and we had lunch.  By then, everything was better.  I'd thought we'd go to the fancy playground in Regent Square but Donny wanted to go home.  So we did and we made a chocolate pie.

The chocolate pie is very specific: Donny is still obsessed with Down At The Zoo and one of the songs on it we all like is called, "We Are The Tigers." Its a song about how tigers like to sleep, roam around and eat chocolate pie. It was a rare moment that we had graham crackers in the house for the crust and damn, if we did'nt have all the ingredients! So we made a Chocolate Chiffon Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust.

 That is the crust.  I forgot to take photos of my child beating a bag full of graham crackers with a rolling pin
The recipes for both crust and pie filling were from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook.  Its one of those cookbooks where you can find a basic recipe for basically anything.  The filling had a custard base to which you add...
 ...6 TABLESPOONS OF COCOA!  Notice the glee with which my son is anticipating making a mess.  Actually, he did quite well with the spooning, which is good because cocoa is pretty easy to scatter.

After we got the filling into the crust, we cleaned up a bit and made some new birdseed cakes.  This is a little craft Donny and I started doing over a year ago and its been a really great thing for us.  For a boy who is pretty freaked out by animals, feeding the birds and watching them thru the window is a nice way to make a connection to animals.  This is a recipe that is NOT in Fannie Farmer so I am providing it here.  I stole it from somewhere off the internets but tweaked it a little bit so hopefully I won't get my ass sued:

Recipe for Basic Bird Seed Cakes

• 3/4 cup flour

• 1/2 cup water

• 3 tablespoons corn syrup

• 4 cups bird seed, any type

In large bowl mix all the ingredients together.

 To mold, pack into small bowl and turn out onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Put in warm oven for a few hours—remember to turn heat off: you're not baking them, just helping them to dry out. Also, you should flip them after a couple of hours so the bottoms don't stay damp. Hang in plastic mesh bags (they type used to bag lemons etc.) so the birds have a place to hang from while they eat.

I asked Donovan what the birds would say when we put these out, and he said, "'Thank You! We needed that!'"

Mike got home, we had dinner et voila! We unveiled the chocolate pie! I will confess to thinking it would not work structurally. The crust was not easy to shape and it seemed like it needed one more binding ingredient: it did not. I should have known not to doubt Fannie Farmer. She's always right.


And, if I do say so myself, the pie was much better than I thought it would be.  It was seriously good.  Plus, it was a dream to cut and serve, which is not something you can say about alot of pies. 

So it was a wonderful, sweet Sunday with the added bonus of pie.  Now the kid is taking a bath to get all the pie off of him.  Good end to a great day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

And So It Ends...

...Summer, that is.

Today is Labor Day and here in the Burgh, its raining with no signs that it will stop.  That's fine with me--I'm not a summer person by any stretch--but it does mean that I need to find one more day of stuff for Donovan to do here at home.

Mike's been out of town at a conference so its just been me and the boy since Friday.  For the most part its been a good time but Saturday night I suddenly hit a mental brick wall.  Part of that was the aftershock of getting stuck in Oakland for THREE HOURS, first because Pitt closed one of the streets in Oakland be did'nt bother to put up any signs at the bustop where our bus would'nt be stopping and, second, because it was so hot all the buses kept breaking down.

But today, all I have to get thru is today.  And I'm trying to come up with good things for us to do, landlocked as we are.  In case you find yourself in a similar situation, here is a list of Youtube videos that Donovan asks for on a regular basis:

The Little House, Walt Disney.
Anyone who knows me knows I am violently anti-Disney.  This is one, however, for which I will make an exception.

The Water Babies, Walt Disney
Please see above.  Also: early Disney humor is largely butt-based: Discuss.

Bring On the Dancing Horses, Echo and the Bunnymen
Good song, good video AND, if you know your history, you can play Hey, Is'nt That Sort Of Like All Those Dadaist/Surrealist Theories and Games?  Yes, that's what I'm foisting onto my 4 year old.

I Spit Roses, Peter Murphy
Speaking of foisting... Donovan likes the octopus that changes color and he likes "The Bad Guy."  The Bad Guy does not refer to Peter Murphy, who I am trying to get Donovan to refer to as, "Petey."  So far, no luck.

Weapon of Choice, Fatboy Slim
No Donovan Top 5 List would be complete without, "The Guy."  The Guy, of course, is Christopher Walken, and about a year ago Donovan would insist on watching this multiple times in a row.  It was a good set up when I needed an extra 20 minutes to fold laundry but I have to wonder about the long term implications of letting Christopher Walken babysit my child.

Here's hoping this list will provide you and yours with some new things to look at and think about.  Especially if you are held captive by Dora.  We have thus far been able to escape the Napoleonic like Dora invasion but many of my closest friends have not been so lucky.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Trip to the Zoo, or, They Can't All Be Winners

Where did I go wrong as a mother?  Why does my son not like animals?  I loved, loved, LOVED animals when I was a kid--what connection are we not making?

We took Donovan to the Zoo for the first time on Monday.  All weekend he was looking forward to it; "Are we going to the zoo today?" "MONDAY we are GOING to the ZOO!!!"  Within 5 minutes of getting there: "I want to go home.  I want to go home. Let's G-O."  He said he was afraid of the animals, which I believe--I can't even get him to pet the neighbor's cat, but I thought just looking at the animals from a long way away would be alright: Nope.

It was a tough time--he was pushing all my particular buttons and I was not being the patient mother I strive to be.  Part of it was that I was hot, part of it was all the walking, part of it was HOW FREAKIN' LOUD the zoo was (on that part, Donny and I agreed).  Also, it was very expensive.  Everything cost money.  Everytime I reached for my wallet I thought, "Leopard Chow: you are paying for Leopard Chow."

I will say we made the rookie mistake of not starting at the Kids Kingdom.  And if you don't start there, you sure as hell can't get there unless you walk the whole zoo.  Or unless you pay to take the tram.

He did like the elephants.  And the aquarium.  And the Merry Go Round ($3 for 2) and the kiddie rides ($.50 and $.75, respectively) at the end.

We need to work on this animalphobia.  If I think about it too much, it makes me incredibly sad.

 I tried to get a good photo of him in the Aquarium.  As long as the animals were encased in both glass and gallons of water, he was fine...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pure Imagination

In the past week or two, Donovan has started playing with his stuffed animals.  We have a bunch of them in his toychest downstairs and a bunch in a basket next to his bed.  As a kid, I was way too butch for dolls and my early world revolved around Ted the Bear, Simon the Kitten and a cast of supporting stuffed characters.  I would gladly spend big bucks on stuffed animals for my child 1) if I had big bucks and 2) if he paid them any attention.  A couple of years ago, despite the fine array of stuffed animals procured for him by his loving mother, Donovan's best friend was an empty yogurt container--when I moaned to Sheryl about it she suggested I draw a smiley face on the damn thing.  It gets funnier the more you think about it.

Since it's summer, we've been letting Donovan wake himself up so the past few mornings when I've gone to check on him all the animals are on his bed having a birthday party.  So far Giraffecow, RayRay and Puppy have had birthdays (Giraffecow does not like chocolate cake, apparently, but had a strawberry one instead).  Donny has also been building elaborate houses out of his architectural building blocks and then taking his Flowers (the generic term for a set of wooden play figures he has that are based on flowers and trees) and placing them in the house: "Bluebell is talking to Acorn about food.  Little Baby Mushroom is sleeping on the roof--that's where his bed is" and "Bluebell is their mama and Redbell is the sister and Buckeye is the sister and there are THREE BROTHERS!"

Love, love, love it.  Imagination: I hope it never stops.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And Then, Kennywood...

 Yesterday, we went to Kennywood.  We were planning to go all summer but, suddenly, it was really the very last day we could go before their fall schedule and our fall schedules got all wonky.  That seemed to be the case for everyone else as it was pretty busy for a Monday.  Donovan, of course, was all keyed up about going--he's been doing this thing lately when he gets excited where he jumps up and down with this grimace on his face, going, "YEYEYEYEYE!"  Its as if he's so excited he might explode.  The first ride he went on was The Jackrabbit.  He did so well on the Rollo Coaster at Idlewild, we thought it might work.  It did'nt--but he was a big boy and did'nt cry or anything.  Mike said, right before the double dip, Donny turned to him and said, "I'd like this to go a little slower, please."  Poor kid.
 We tried to rebalance him with a stop at the Merry Go Round.  Kennywood is really marketing the fact that they are going to have events in December.  That could be why the Merry Go Round was playing "Silver Bells."  I took it very personally, in a good way, however, when they went into Bach's Toccata and Fugue and then into The Addams Family Theme.
 From there it was onto Kiddieland.  You'd think you could be in and out of Kiddieland in an hour or so.  You'd be wrong.
 Donny wanted to take full advantage of all the rides there, which is why we came.  It was just crowded enough, tho, that it made for sloooow going.  He was just fine with it all but Mom and Dad were a little irritable by the end.

 Meet my son, the Lion Dentist.
From Kiddieland, we went over to Lost Kennywood, where the only ride Donny could really go on was The Whip.  Luckily he loved it.  It didnt hurt that he got to sit in a RED CAR that had a RED SEAT and also had HIS FAVORITE NUMBER ON IT.  All the stars came together on that one.
 Finally, as we were leaving, I caught a whiff of one of my favorite smells: burnt sugar.  Turns out there was a little cart where someone was actually making FRESH cotton candy!  I put FRESH in all caps because buying a bag of cotton candy is no problem at Kennywood but if its not fresh, why bother?  I immediately got in the long line and took Donny with me.  He was fairly crabby as he did not want to leave Kennywood--which is a completely normal response but still hard to deal with when its your kid and its time to go.  When we got close enough, I held him up and showed him the gal making the cotton candy:

                     D: What's she doing?
                     Me: Making Cotton Candy.
                     D: But what is that?
                     Me: Clouds.  She's putting sugar in the big pot and she's making clouds.
                     D: We're going to eat clouds?
                     Me: Yeah--pink ones! 

That was all the kid needed.  The magic was back.  And, damn, fresh cotton candy: the first 5 minutes before the air calms it down; its like heaven.  Sticky, sticky heaven.

 While we ate our clouds, the All Marching Band And Float Parade started. 
 We watched a little bit but then we reallllly had to go.  Donovan very much liked that the heart on the way out said, "Good Night."
 Good Night, Kennywood.  Thanks for the clouds and the good times.  See yinz next year!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And We Had A Grand Time!

Last week we took what will probably be our Big Family Vacation for the year--we went to Ligonier and stayed overnight at a Ramada so we could go to Idlewild Park two days in a row. 

Sometimes I take the trouble to check who is looking at my blog and why--two entries tie for top honors: if there is anyone checking in from another country, chances are the entry I entitled "Define Baby" will be what brought them there.  The other big hit is my entry from two years ago about Storybook Forest.  Storybook Forest is part of Idlewild Park and I was very surprised two years ago to find out there wasnt a webpage for Storybook Forest.  After this year's visit, I've decided that was less an oversight and more a component of an Idlewild Park plot to just ignore Storybook Forest until it goes away.  I know times are tough for all businesses but the condition that part of the park is in was heartbreaking.  Seriously, Idlewild employees, its an historic site.  Get your act together, hire someone to write you some grants and do some restoration work!  Also, your giftshop: maybe you'd want to, oh, I don't know, SELL SOME BOOKS.  Product tie in and all.  I would'nt be so pissed off if I did'nt love that place so much. 

But enough of that and onto the photos.  We spent the first, rainy and drizzly day in Storybook Forest and the next lovely, sunny day in Idlewild.  Being a cemetery historian I know just enough about landscape architecture and the history thereof to be easily offended.  Most historic amusement parks have long forgone their original designs of gardens and shade and flowers and trees because those things get in the way of the New In Your FACE rides they have feel they have to add every summer (I'm looking at you, Cedar Point...).  Idlewild has not made that particular deal with the Devil and their grounds are green and lush and lovely.  That original design really gives a nice placement for their rides.  There is an actual Kiddieland but there is also a non-Kiddie specific area and Donovan was able to go on alot of those rides, including the Rollo Coaster. It was his first real roller coaster ride and, at the end of it, he was so excited and happy he was actually vibrating.  He insisted on riding it about 6 more times, alternating between Mike and I as his partner. 

It was a wonderful getaway and we all had a great time. We will probably do it again next year and now that we understand how Ligonier is laid out, we will have lunch at a nice little cafe and not drive all over nowhere to come back to the hotel for Chef Boyardee pizza.

And without further ado:

 The rain drove us into the Jumpin' Jungle part of Idlewild and that is where Donovan discovered the Amazing Floating Balls.  All of us could have stayed there and played with them All. Day.
 This is the Entrance to Storybook Forest.  You walk into a Huge Book and Mother Goose is waiting to greet you.  I love the book and did'nt have the heart to take a full photo of it as it looks really shabby.
 Not sure what nursery rhyme the anthropomorphic dog is from.

 The Little Engine That Could was full of bees.  They must be nesting all the way thru it.

 Mike lifting Donny up to see the Papa, Mama and Baby Bear beds in the House of the Three Bears.

 My Son, the Third and Most Wistful of the Piggies.
 Completely crashed out the next morning after a night of jumping on the beds and dancing around the room.
 The Idlewild Merry Go Round plays The Pennsylvania Polka (also known as The Steelers Fight Song), Alley Cat, and Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.

 We ended our second day in Kiddieland.  Adorable Kiddieland.  Could'nt be any cuter.