Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sunflowers & Scholarships

What better way to spend a gorgeous September Saturday than out in the country at a Sunflower Maze! We're trying to do all the fun outdoor activities on our list while the weather is so nice, and save the museums for the winter when there's nothing else to do. This was something I've always wanted to do, I remember my Aunt Bonnie & I used to try to talk my grandfather into planting sunflowers in the field just below the farmhouse. This maze was north of New Haven at Lyman Orchards.

 It was apparently in the shape of a guitar, as you can see on their website. I'm sure Oliver would have been even more excited had he realized he was walking in a guitar (word #2, pronounced 'tee-ta', in a whisper), but unfortunately, we weren't able to see the whole thing from even their viewing platforms, not enough to see the shape of it. I guess we could have driven up a nearby hill to see it, but didn't realize that until after we got home and saw it online.

Oliver loved it; he took off running the minute we got near the entrance. Well, running and falling, since he's not a great runner yet! Between the falling and picking up "rocks," which were actually clods of dirt, he was filthy within 2 minutes of our arrival! We should definitely have brought a change of clothes, lesson learned. Some things you may not have realized about sunflower mazes: they are surprisingly hot, even though it was only 73 degrees out, I was sweating like it was 90. And there are lots of bees. Happily, nobody got stung. 

See, despite most photographic evidence to the contrary, Oliver has a mom! A sweaty mom, and a dirty, sweaty boy with sunscreen not rubbed in all the way, so excuse his dishevelment.  And now for some Oliver cuteness. Whenever we see flowers, he likes to go "smell" them, because Paul smells the flowers in his Pat the Bunny book. He smells flowers in person, and he smells flowers in books. Of course, he doesn't actually inhale or really smell them, in fact lately, he opens his mouth in a big 'O' like he does when he's giving kisses, and sort of kisses the flower. Told you it was cute. Here's pictorial evidence: 

Don't everybody "awwwwwww" at once! Ignore the fact that he's not actually smelling the flower (or that this particular plant has no flower yet at all), to him, all plants are flowers. The photo not taken: Oliver ripping the leaf off the sunflower and tearing it to shreds. Hey, he's still a toddler!

After the maze we went to New Haven because we've been wanting to see the campus of Yale University. So we had a quick picnic lunch of Subway on the town green, then went on a walking tour with a guide who discussed the traditions and history of the school. Of course, the campus is gorgeous, so many amazing buildings, and we didn't even get to see all of it. Here's a photo of Oliver and Marty in front of the Library, just minutes before the meltdown that made us miss the end of the tour. But it had been a long, napless day, so he did great overall. 
Marty was even impressed with Yale. Yes, my husband Marty, who in general tends to disdain any evidence of wealth in anyone (seriously, he gets jealous of people on House Hunters when they are looking at houses over our price range. Which is pretty much every house). When we got home and put Oliver down for a late nap, he even looked up the tuition costs and was shocked that it was only $35,000 a year, compared to $50,000 a year for his dream school for Oliver, Northwestern. So yeah, now Yale is a bargain, and he's trying to figure out how to get Oliver in, because Marty is the ultimate bargain shopper (next to his mom). No pressure Oliver, but now you really have to be the genius we all want to think you are!


  1. Great post, Kel! And Go, Bulldogs! ;)

  2. Well I first knew Oliver was a genius when he selected his first care provider ( besides you and Marty) xoxo to all....miss you K