Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Garage Sale: Day One

This morning we got up EXTRA early to set up for the MOMS Club garage sale, and then Alex and I took off around 7:30 to head to our graduation meeting with the 8th graders at Minneapolis Academy. Alex had fun playing on the floor of the copy room that I've spent OH so many hours in... she did a great job during the meeting, as well-- even without her morning nap.After our meeting, we headed back to Prior Lake to man the garage sale (which had a VERY successful opening day). Alex did a great job sharing her pack n' play with her little friend, Noah, while mommies worked. Copper, on the other hand, was not at all happy with the arrangement of being stuck inside during the sale, and was very vocal about her displeasure until I rigged up a little spot for her next to the money table.All in all, it was a lot of work, but we've already made over $300 for our local charity, and have two more days to go!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


If this isn't an 'impish' look, I'm not sure what is.

In-between trying to get organized for the MOMS Club garage sale we're hosting this week, Alex and I went to our fitness walking class and then took Copper on a long-awaited walk. It's finally liveable again outside, and we stopped at the park for a quick swing. Now she's fighting her

afternoon nap.... sigh.... I know we're going to give them up soon, but I was hoping not THIS soon-- she gets so tired!

Monday, April 28, 2008

First Mother-Daughter Lunch

Alex has had a very full day. She and her friend James enjoyed playing with the large drum at the beginning of Kindermusik. Alex just kind of 'petted' it, while James rocked out! The difference between girls and boys, perhaps?

After class, I had to go return some clothes at the Mall of America. I was worried about Alex being too tired, but with the MOMS Club garage sale happening later this week, it was my only opportunity. We had a fun time shopping the sales at Hanna Andersson, Gymboree, and Janie & Jack (don't worry, Daddy-- we didn't buy anything too extravagant-- a lot of socks).
On a whim, though, I decided to try and take Alex out to eat all by myself. I decided that the Rainforest Cafe would be the perfect spot for our first Mother-Daughter lunch! It was!! We sat right in front of an aquarium, so Alex got dinner and a show! We had many diners stop and complement her on her 1)cuteness and 2)behavior. She was so interested in the fish that she wouldn't take her eyes off of them, and squealed/talked to them all throughout her meal.After eating, we checked out all of the MANY animatronic creatures hiding in the restaurant. None captured her attention as much as the crocodile (which growls and chomps its jaws up and down).
Our happy girl after her afternoon nap!

Good Morning!

We have a busy day planned out, so in case I don't get updates done tonight, here's a quick photo of our girl this morning. She was very excited to see the new playmat, and got down to the business of playing right away.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Officially a "Baby House"

Dave coined it best when he stated - "I guess this weekend our house officially became a 'baby house'". The area rug in the dining room was moved into the living room (Alex has recently become more ....shall we say.... passionate about her food, and a lot of it was ending up on the rug), and my 'display table' is now sans fabric drape and full of baby toys (artistically arranged, of course). The dining room floor is covered in foam alphabet and number squares, and a colorful mobile is hanging from the ceiling (goodbye, dreams of a chandelier!).

Alex had a good morning playing with Copper. She was fixated on the dog's tail, and I managed to get a cute little clip to share with everyone.

This evening we enjoyed an early "Summer BBQ" (in the snow) with the Olsons, Graham's Auntie Lynn, Auntie Carrie, and her friend Andy. Lynn, Carrie, and Andy were really good sports about having dinner at four thirty, and having to converse over two babies who were squealing at each other the entire time. We didn't have our camera with :-(, but Melissa promised to emailsome photos!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Heart Walk (in a blizzard)

OK- so it was seriously SNOWING today during the Heart Walk. I was so bummed about the change in the weather that I was actively resisting going to the activity, but I was very glad that we decided to be true Minnesotans and brave the weather because we got to catch up with our Ole / Accenture friends Claire and Ethan. Alex was quite the trooper, all bundled up against the SLEET and wind. Let us say that the weather was very uncooperative for the event.
We just returned from a delicious (and gluttonous) dinner with Brad at Buca di Beppo. I think there was more food on the table than eight people could have finished, but we made a valiant attempt! Alex, as always, was very well behaved. She visited with Brad, ate her supper, played with some toys, had two biscuits, and tried to eat a placemat during the two hour meal. Buca is a perfect spot to take kids- there is TONS of stuff to look at, and the volume level is automatically pretty high.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Garage Sales and THE Garage Sale

This morning we didn't have ECFE, so Alex and I met Megan and Emma in Shakopee to go garage sale hunting! We had a very successful morning, and found a cool wooden activity cube, a water table, and a couple of "Discovery Toy" toys! :-)
Later in the afternoon, we met a bunch of MOMS Club members to price and organize everything for the big garage sale next week (incidentally being held at our house). Alex did SUCH a good job entertaining herself while the moms worked and the older kids played. She even napped in a strange pack n play in an unfamiliar house!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rainy Day Learning Experiences

Today started out with Copper panting and pacing around me as I tried to play with the baby. Apparently, there was a thunderstorm coming (it hit about 10 minutes later). Because it was such a rainy, icky day, we decided to stay at home today (instead of going to our Music class at Church), and do housework. Yea!Actually, after her morning nap, Alexandra and I curled up with Percy and a pile of books, and spent a long time just reading and playing with the kitty. I love that I have the opportunity to stay home with my daughter- We appreciate you working so hard, Daddy!
Later on, we played with Alex's new blocks. How cool are these?

After lunch, we experimented by making our own sensory table (on Alex's highchair) with flour. It took her a little while to get into it, but I had a very messy baby on my hands when we were done!
Our whole day was full of learning experiences. Today was the first day that Alex grasped the concept of banging the drumstick on the drum to make noise!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Summertime FUN!

This morning, we met our MOMS Club at Kiddywampus, a cool little toy store in St. Louis Park. Not only do they have really neat toys (yes, Daddy, we did buy a couple-- alphabet blocks that have spanish words for the animals, and a really cool mobile), but they also have a playroom/art room that they have available for playgroups. When Alex gets older, they have a nice studio space where kids can do large-scale art projects (think throwing themselves against a wall-size canvas!). On the way home, we stopped at my new favorite (gulp, I can't believe I'm admitting this) store- Wal-Mart. Where else can you get six packs of annuals for $2 ? We had fun browsing the garden center, and looking at all the flowers!After her extra-long nap this afternoon, we hung out on the deck while Mommy potted her new plants. Alex is such a good girl! She contentedly watched me, as I explained the entire process, and then sucked on her caterpillar. Ah-- simple pleasures! Our afternoon ended with darkening skies (rainstorm coming), and a visit from the neighbor puppy, Abby.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Swinging in the Park

After fitness walking at the mall this morning, we met Melissa and Graham for lunch today (a quasi-picnic much as you can have a picnic with two babies in high chairs) at their house. It was so nice outside that we took a beautiful walk, and then stopped at their little park. Luckily, they have TWO baby swings right next to each other, so the kids had a great time swinging! It's funny, we Mommies tend to think of the babies as "so big... growing too fast!", but in that photo above, they're still so little!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Puzzles with Uncle Willy

This morning, Alex and her friend James played with some Sound Shapes at Kindermusik class. James was actually making some fun noises with his-- Alex's are still ending up in her mouth the majority of the time. Oh, well-- that's how babies explore their world.
Later on, Uncle Willy came for dinner and a REI trip to finish outfitting ourselves for our Africa trip. He spent a lot of time playing with Alex's puzzle (which he deemed "really easy"). We ended up keeping Miss Alexandra up way past her bedtime, but I think we're finally almost done with the shopping/packing list for our expedition. She likes REI, but just about lost it while Daddy and Uncle Willy debated the merits of a 35 Liter backpack vs. a 50 Liter backpack.
We had a really strong thunderstorm last night, and I was waiting for Alex to wake up scared, but it was only the clip-clopping of dog nails on the wood floor that we heard worriedly pacing back and forth.....all night long... The baby slept through the storm.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Yard Work!

Finally! We're able to be out in pleasant, sunny weather to clean up the gardens for the spring! Dave and I were chomping at the bit to get started this season, and so Alex, the newest member of our yard work team, joined up outside this afternoon.

Dave set up her pack n' play under a beach umbrella, we gave her an assortment of toys and a sippy cup, and she played contentedly by herself for two and a half hours while we puttered around! Every now and then we'd try to engage her in conversation, but she was having too good of a time just enjoying the outside, watching kids play in the park, and watching Copper wander from shady spot to shady spot.Hopefully this will keep up, and we'll be able to have her out with us alot!

Last night, Auntie Carrie came down to babysit so Dave and I could go to a MOMS Club function, so we all went out to dinner before-hand. Alex did a great job entertaining herself with the menu and a biter biscuit at the table while the adults had a very nice meal.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Mini-Me

Daddy was studying for his PMP (project management professional) test this morning, so Alex and I headed for the zoo to give him some peace & quiet at home. It happened to be the Earth Day weekend, so I'm glad Dave stayed home, and wasn't there to harass/ 'question' all the people at the informational booths. :-) He'd probably have them all in tears over the fact that they were wasting resources by HAVING their Earth Day.
It turned out to be our best zoo visit EVER, however! Alex was engaged and alert the entire time, leaning forward in her stroller, holding on the the front bar with intensity! We saw quite a few animals up close, too- coyote, lynx, and goats (who tried to eat her blanket). The coyotes were running all over their enclosure, and Alex was fascinated by them.
After we got home, everyone was tired, but we fit in a trip to Costco to pick up some of the professional prints from her 6 month photo shoot. We have a photo album where I have an 8 X 10 of myself as a baby, opposite from Alex's 8 X 10. I was surprised to note that our 6 month pictures are almost identical! They look like mirror images of each other. Alexandra and I had a great time looking at all our photos this afternoon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Quiet Day-- but nice!

We didn't have too exciting of a day today. I'm still fighting off this stupid sinus thing I have had for the past week. Alex has been an extraordinarily good baby-- playing contentedly with her toys (and kitties) all morning long.

We went to ECFE, and learned how to give baby massages. Alexandra decided she had had enough about halfway through, and just wanted to sit quietly, without being touched (too stimulating, I think). Emma and Megan came over for lunch and playtime (although both babies were too tired to do much playing today). It's hard to believe how big both girls have gotten-- they were both sitting by themselves this afternoon!After a THREE HOUR NAP (record for Al), we jumped into the car (in the rain) to run errands. After taking the baby in and out of the carseat at least four times (in the rain), I decided to scrap the Costco trip, and just go home. Did I mention it was raining?

Daddy came home early tonight, and we had pizza and watched a movie. A perfect Friday night!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Preppy Baby Reads Book!

OK-- so really, this is nothing new, Alex has been looking at books for a long time, now-- but in this outfit it's SOO cute! She looks like she's ready for lunch at "the club"!
Miss Independence came out again today. She did NOT want me to be the one 'in charge' of her feeding, so I had to give her her own utensil to use. While she can't dip it in the oatmeal herself yet (although she sure tries-- she knows what is supposed to happen), she is really good at manuevering it to her mouth after it is full. This is all fine and good, but it adds a good fifteen minutes on to any mealtime!

We went to Church music class this morning, and played with toy cars for the first time. Alex seemed intrigued by the prospect of toys with wheels, but everything goes into her mouth anyway, so we'll wait for a while before getting her any. Then, later on this afternoon, we
met Megan and Emma at the Salvation Army store in Burnville to search for deals. While I didn't find any clothing, Alex got a little wooden boat, and I picked up a picture of ..... Old World potato farmers!! For those of you who know Dave intimately, you'll know he'll be thrilled by this new purchase, but it will fit in very well with my Eastern European decor. :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ahh...My adoring Public...

So, Alex felt right at home as the center of attention on the Minneapolis Academy playground this afternoon. I'm going to be helping the 8th graders get ready for their Graduation Celebration this year, and had a preliminary meeting with some staff today.
Miss Alex got a bit ancy during the meeting (and slobbered over all my notes-- I'll have to retype them), but was in a great mood when the girls all wanted to play with her. She got numerous complements on her attire (this means a lot, coming from 8th graders), and many, many ladies trying to make her smile.

Earlier in the day, she practiced her 'spinning'. Now, when she is on her tummy, she can turn 360 degrees in a circle. I snapped a few photos, about three minutes apart. I can tell that I have to enjoy my relative 'freedom' w/o a mobile baby, as it is NOT going to last too much longer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Bub, Bub, Bub... Bubbly Bubbles"

Raffi is one of our favorite children's artists, and we couldn't help but sing his "Bathtime Bubbles" song this evening.
Daddy fed Alex her supper, and by the time they were done, she looked like she was (politically incorrectly) "ready for the warpath". So, it was bath-time! Despite the abundance of bubbles, she was just focused on her duck.

A Walk in the Park

Dave and I took an evening stroll around Cleary Lake Park last night, baby in tow. Even though it was past her bedtime, Alex was an alert and happy participant (that is, until the last quarter mile, when Dave had to carry her because she had had ENOUGH of riding in the stroller).
This morning, we dropped Copper off at the Vet Clinic for her dental appointment. Approximately half an hour later, the vet called me and told me that she wouldn't have the procedure today because he had detected a significant worsening of her heart murmur. Great. Soo....although that saved us $200 on her teeth, now they want to do a $400 ultrasound to determine the severity of her heart problem. Sigh...... can't old dogs just get old anymore? She doesn't seem to have any symptoms/signs of problems, so we'll probably just keep an eye on it, just like her leg....and her eye....and her lumps.
So, after rescuing Copper from the vet, Alex and I attended our monthly MOMS Club meeting. This month's speaker was our very own Kindermusik director, and we had a lot of fun doing a 'trial class' with all our MOMS Club friends and their kids. Alex is never happier than when she is singing or dancing-- I think we have a musical child on our hands.
This morning (and afternoon), Alex has discovered a new sound to make with her mouth. She purses her lips and 'smacks' them-- not like a kiss, but a *pop*. Here's a photo of her mid-smack. We'll work on video when Daddy gets home, she's too distracted by the camera when it's just us.