Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day Numero Dos

Alex picking out toys to play with


Miss Alexandra woke up at 4:00am this morning, enjoyed a fresh diaper and a bottle and went back to sleep till 6:00am. At six, she started her day off with floor time, number time, and story time. She ate a little bit of watermelon while she waited for Auntie Helga to get her patuschka out of bed. At around 8:00, Auntie trudged out of bed unwillingly and helped prepare for Alex's "formal" breakfast. After breakfast, she went to the local spa, aka the kitchen sink, and cleaned up with a nice bath. After bath time, Grandma, Alex and Auntie went on a walk around the block with Grandma pushing the stroller and me having to take care of ol' grannylegs, Copper. (Unfortunately, I was the designated scoopie...Grandma said she would do it tomorrow...yeah right...)

Today was a MAJOR practice day for Alex's crawling. She is preparing to enter the Baby Olympics in China...and will place first ahead of the Russian baby. Auntie Helga, her professional German trainer, helped put Alex in shape by placing her knees under her tummy and gently encouraged to move forward...But, she would just roll away or flop on her tummy. We also gave Alex two baths today: one in the morning, one at night. She's a messy girl when she eats.
Our cute clean baby!
Auntie gave her a little mohawk :)

We also thought it was funny to put our little guest in a laundry basket. She loved it! The three of us encouraged her to stand up in the basket, which she tried so hard to do. (and succeeded in a sense.)

Alex was trying so hard to stand up and move about

Our day was filled with the wonderful vocals of Raffi and Charlotte Diamond...again...Grandma went to the store and came back with a present for Alex...an enormous balloon fish which she stared at with wide, dazed eyes.

The jumbo fish balloon

She took two naps today. Picked out her veggies and fruit selection for tomorrow from the posters taped around the living room for her enjoyment. We eat the same veggies as Alex...we want to be just like her! Grandpa and Grandma had an afternoon walk with Alex to the bakery down the street and she ate all the frosting off a cupcake. (Grandma's lying...it didn't happen) They didn't take the dog, so Copper was really upset and wouldn't stop whining until they came back...trust me, I know.

Percy and Huxley got an addition to their hotel plan. They received a cat tree on the house for their climbing pleasure. Tomorrow, they will have the opportunity to roam around the house while Frisky and Gus are in the "spa" (Rorie's room)

Tomorrow, Grandma and Grandpa will take Alex to Church to sing her little heart out and show off how adorable she is. She selected her navy dress but there are no matching shoes...So, Grandpa is out searching for some cute little shoes/sandals for her right now...no, I keed, I keed...but we will send him out soon actually.

To: Amy
From: Grandma
-Everything is going as planned. Everyone has been calm and cooperative. We are all having fun...except for Rorie who has to wake up when the baby does. Hope you are having fun! Say "Hi" to Goat Boy Willy for us!

P.S. Don't forget to pack the monkey in the Ziploc bag for Rorie! She expects a baby monkey...preferably one named Mojo with a diaper.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day One in I-O-A!

Hello blog readers! This is Auntie Rorie, aka Auntie Helga. If you didn't already know, I am to be the official blogger for Alex while Amy and Dave are away...So, bear with me :) Hopefully I will be as good a blogger as my sister, so here goes.

Grandma and Grandpa Jones came home around 12:50 pm with a car load of Minnesotans. According to Grandma and Grandpa, the ride to Iowa was uneventful and Alexandra was very good during the ride, sleeping and shaking her legs to the music. Alex had her lunch, which consisted of cereal, pears, and squash, around 1:10 pm. Grandma made a homemade sweet potato for Alex and Al just loved it! She apparently didn't like the way I was feeding her, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.After a filling lunch, Grandma and I read books, listened to Raffi and Charlotte Diamond, played with toys, and did a little "educational learning time" with Grandma. Huxley and Percy are holding up with a tunnel in my room. They are a little grumpy, but we will let them be "kings of the house" in another day or so. Copper is back in the swing of things in Iowa with the cats taking over her bed...exhibit A

Albert hasn't cried all that much here...she just sits happily listening to her music and dancing along. Grandma, Al, and I watched a "Goodnight Alex" DVD that mommy and daddy made. She was very attentive and pointed to the screen as they read to her. (Grandma and Auntie were wept in the background as she watched.) She made raspberry sounds when she heard Pres. Bill Clinton's name during the review of U.S. Presidents. We will soon head off to Minnesota with everyone.

P.S. Willy, you forgot your razor goaty boy!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Uncle Willy!

Alex had a great morning showing all her musical instruments to Uncle Willy. They worked hard to re-create the song from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" on her handbells. Thanks, Will...
I am somewhat regretfully announcing that she is VERY close to crawling. I mean- literally, in a matter of moments, she'll have figured it out, and Dave and I are probably going to miss the moment! But, as I had a friend point out, it will be SO neat to have her come crawling towards us when we return from our adventure.

She practices all day long, only stopping for a quick bite to eat (which, please note, she is holding herself). She is understandably VERY hungry these last few days, as well. Lots of calories being burned!

In my absence, Auntie Rorie will be updating the blog (see the banana post below). Enjoy a change of perspective!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Test...1...2...3...


I'm a banana...

Princess in Pink


I've started dressing Alex in her more formal wear, just because she has so many clothes that we barely get a chance to wear anything! :-) (No complaints about clothing gifts, though....we appreciate all the cute dresses and outfits we get!)


We had a busy morning, complete with our last visit of the year to Minneapolis Academy. The 8th graders are all set for graduation, and Alex got to hang out on the floor of the cafeteria (on a blankie with some toys) as they ran through their ceremony. She was a very well-behaved baby this morning (of course, who wouldn't be with so many adoring fans), and took a very long nap this afternoon!

Uncle Willy is coming tonight for final Kili preparations. I can't believe we're leaving so soon! Just one more day of last minute things to do, and then we're off!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quality Time at Home

I am starting to get pretty sad about the thought of leaving Alexandra for two weeks. I know that she is in the best of hands, but I'll miss her, just the same. Therefore, we've made an executive decision to skip all 'scheduled' class activities for the week, and just enjoy being together-- not in the car, out of the car, in class, in the car, and out of the car again..... We missed all our friends at ECFE this morning, but we're sure they'll understand!



We did, however, have lunch and a playdate with Graham and Melissa this afternoon. Alex is finally old enough to actually interactive effectively with her little friend! Graham did a great job playing with her-- sharing instruments and showing her how to play with things. Hopefully when Graham's little sister finally comes home (congrats, Melissa and Jeff!), Alex will be as gentle and attentive as Graham is with her. A year ago, we were dreaming of having playdates with our babies, and a year from now we'll have three!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bells will be Ringing

Spending some time with Grandma this morning before they left for Des Moines. They'll be back in less than a week to take care of her!


When we were in Des Moines a while back, Alex received a complete set of colorful handbells to add to her music/instrument basket. Today she perfected the art of ringing them while Mommy and Daddy spent all day packing/repacking/organizing for their upcoming trip. video

Alex was quite the trooper when we dragged her out to run errands- she made it through Costco, REI, Gander Mountain, and Target all in one trip!!

Happy to be home, and ready for dinner.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Good to be Home



We took yesterday morning to clean and organize the house (or at least start the process). Alexandra enjoyed lounging around with the cats, and practice pre-crawling moves (lunging from her seat to tummy, rocking back and forth on all fours).

Later this afternoon, Grandma and Grandpa Jones came to reuinite Copper with her family. She was very excited to be home, and greeted Alex with doggie kisses.

We all went to Cracker Barrel for lunch, and Miss Alex found a toy that is possibly better than a spoon!! A weasel-ball (you know, one of those battery-operated off-balance balls with a furry tail attached to it- they flop and spin erratically). It was the source of much amusement for a good long while.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Back at Home...for a while


Alexandra is back at home! She was very happy to see her kitties (and they to see her) last night when we got in. She was giggling and laughing at them, and Percy promptly licked her head and nuzzled her.

We had a fun week in Arizona. Photo updates are below.


Hiking in Greer, AZ


Family trip to REI to pick up the last of the Kili gear!
Alex discovered a newfound love for shiny carabiners.


Alexandra sits with (Auntie?) Leah, discussing the merits of the spoon as possibly the world's best utensil.


Daddy and Alex brave the frigid pool water. (Hey- it was 104 outside, so it couldn't have been that bad, right?)

Alexandra samples local fare.... carrot wheels, strawberries, and mango.

The spoon. Despite all the fun and flashy toys that Grandma Mary stocked up on, Miss Alex decided that her favorite thing in the entire universe is a spoon. We inadvertently had one of Grandma and Grandpa's spoon in our diaper bag, and almost brought it home with us!

Auntie Carrie shows Alex the merry-go-round at Arizona Mills mall, where we went to walk one morning in order to escape from the 110 degree heat!
Breakfast on the patio is the BEST way to start your day!
Our trip to the Phoenix Zoo was great! Alex really enjoyed the giraffes, something we do not have at our 'home zoo'. Even though it was hot out, there were misting stations at every exhibit, so we stayed fairly cool.


Sun protection is important in Arizona.


Enjoying her new selection of books at Grandma's house.


Lunch at Dick Clark's Grill @ PHX Airport. Alexandra, of course, charmed all of the waitstaff with her chubby cheeks and dazzling smile.


Alex slept for the first half of the flight, and then sat contentedly in my lap for the second half, munching on snacks, grinning at other passengers, and playing with Auntie Carrie.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finally...Another Post!!

I know, I know....we've been traveling for a while now, and I finally got onto the Marotz family computer to update our blog. The best way to do this seems to go day by day, as a lot has transpired since the last time we chatted. Not many pics, lots of text. I'll get this formally updated when we get home on Thursday. Until then, enjoy the story.

WED, MAY 14: Alex and I woke up in Des Moines- she slept all the way down Tuesday night, and had fun playing with Grandma and Rorie when we arrived late that evening. (Sorry Mom, but I'm going to out you)--- Grandma was 'ill' today, and couldn't go to work, so we spent out day shopping, playing, and gardening outside. Copper seems settled in, she loves the fenced-in yard that she can just amble around. This evening, Alex seemed warmish to me, and she slept fitfully- hope she's not getting sick. I ran to Hy-Vee to get some Tylenol, and that seemed to help her. I did not get much sleep, either.

THURS, MAY 15:
Yep, she's sick. This would explain the past week of fussiness. We got up early, saw Rorie and Grandma off to school, and Grandpa off to work, and then went to breakfast with Grandpa Steve, Sue, and Great-Grandma Lois. Even though she wasn't feeling well, Alex was a trooper during breakfast. She got to sample a lemon and eat a biter biscuit. She slept all the way up to Minneapolis, and was burning when I got her out of the car.


I drugged her with Tylenol again, took her temp (102.4), and called Dave begging him to come home early from work because there was no way I'd be able to pack with a fussy baby who refused to be put down. He was able to get off a bit early, and we threw together last-minute bags for Arizona.


We headed to the airport aroung 6:00pm, Alex was in her pj's, and we managed to keep her somewhat comfortable. She was still running a temp (even with the Tylenol), and we were nervous about a long 3 hour plane flight. Luckily, she just cried a little and then fell asleep for most of the trip.


We arrived in Arizona around 9 that evening, and she was not feeling well. Grandpa Bob had scheduled an appt with a pediatrician friend in the morning, but we still had to get her through the night. It was the first night EVER that Dave and I got less than 2 hours of sleep apiece. Alex was miserable. She could not relax, could not get comfy. We finally ended up lying on the couch with her on her tummy, watching looped Baby Einstein videos (thanks Megan-- you'll never know how much those distracted her!) while she tried to doze. Between Grandma Mary, Daddy and I we tried to help her, but it was so frustrating!




FRI, MAY 16:
We made it to the pediatrician's, who was puzzled and said that she was clearly sick, but he couldn't find a reason. No ear infection. No teeth coming through. Nothing. His nurse suggested that we try Motrin, as some babies respond better to that, and so we left his office with a fussy, angry, tired and sick baby. At that point we were wondering if we should take her to Greer (we had planned on hiking in a little town 4 hours away). We decided to try the Motrin, and if that seemed to help, to go ahead with the trip.


It did help, although Grandpa Bob still had to navigate twisty canyon roads with a crying baby (she finally calmed down when Dave put Raffi on). She slept well that evening, only waking up for her medicine and food.




SAT, MAY 17: Alex seems to be feeling better! Yea!! We're keeping her on a scheduled dosage of both Tylenol and Motrin, just in case, but she did well at breakfast and on a hike. We got all dressed and ready to go hiking-- waited for Al to wake up from her nap, threw her and the gear in the car, and started driving to the trailhead of the Baldy Mountain trail we were planning on taking. About 20 minutes along our way, we discovered that the entire highway had been closed. No detours. Closed. The trailhead was 7 miles away. So, we re-examined our options, and went to another trailhead (this one was just down the road from our cabin). We got out, got dressed, got the baby in the pack, and started off down the trail, only to discover that the stepping stone path across the creek was flooded. We would have had to ford the river-- and with our boots and baby, that wasn't going to happen. We happened to pass by some locals who told us that there was a log crossing the stream a ways down, in somebody's fenced backyard, with 'no tresspassing' signs up, but that they didn't think that the owner was in, so we could do that.


We ended up finding a bridge behind a group of cabins that actually belonged to the same resort that we were staying with, so we decided to cross there. However, we were confronted with two barbed-wire fences that we had to cross in order to get back over to the trailhead. Feeling like we were in a WWI movie, we rolled underneath and passed the baby (in the backpack) across the top. After hiking all the way up the mountain, we decided to take a 'shortcut' back down to avoid the fences. Well-- we avoided the barbed wire, but we did encounter a five foot deep, mosquito-infested trench that was dug for sewer/power lines. All in all, we got back to our cabin safely, and without incidence. Alex slept well that evening, as well.




SUN, MAY 18: We got up and went for another hike early this morning- Alex is back to normal! She's her happy little self, singing and talking in the backpack (and snoring) during the excursion. We got back to the cabin, packed up and headed back to Phoenix, Raffi playing on the stereo. We stopped at a really good little Mexican restaurant in Globe, where Grandma Mary and Alexandra entertained the patrons while we waited for a table.


After we got home, we rested for a bit and then headed for the pool! The water was pretty chilly, so Alex didn't have the best of times in it, but she did well. She liked taking a bath in Grandma and Grandpa's deep jacuzzi tub better-- the water was much warmer.

That evening, we had dinner with Alex's extended relatives- Great Aunt Marjie, Cousin Leah

(and fiancee Duane), and Cousins Jenny and Madeline. We had a lot of fun, and Alex sat in her highchair at the dinner table, eating her oatmeal and sucking on (of all things) Mango slices!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Preparing for Travel



So, Alex is in a better mood today, despite waking up at 3am and crying for half and hour before her Mom finally gave in and 'rescued' her from being stuck on her hands and knees. As soon as I'd flipped my little turtle over, she went right back to sleep. I'm going to chalk up the last week of fussiness to being over-tired and over-focused on this crawling thing.

It's been rainy here today, so after a brunch outside, she napped heavily. We did go to our walking class and a playgroup today as well. Tomorrow, she'll be in Des Moines to drop Copper off with Grandma and Grandpa Jones. Please keep your fingers crossed that the gods of travel are smiling on us, because Thursday we drive back from Des Moines to catch an evening flight to Phoenix. If I don't get any blogging done in the next few days, you'll know why.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Last day of Kindermusik

Alex and I have been attending Kindermusik classes since she was 12 weeks old, and today was sadly the last one of this semester. It's unbelievable how much she's developed over the course of time, and remarkable that she's grown into the 'independent', smart, musical, and beautiful 7 month old that she is (even though she's still a grumpy panda-- teething? allergies??)

This is our instructor, Miss Chris, with Alex. We really enjoyed her classes, as well as the other instructors- Miss Jennifer and Miss Helen. We're looking forward to having a schedule-free summer, but will definitely be waiting for Sept to roll around so we can start classes again.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day... I'm grouchy.....

I had a fantastic first Mother's Day-- complete with being able to 'sleep in' until 7:30am, and take a long shower while Daddy and Alex composed symphonies in the living room.

We planned to go hiking after lunch, but Miss Alexandra was not in a good mood- crabby, grouchy (see above picture), not knowing what she wanted, but definitely knowing that things were NOT the way she wished them to be. We opted to attempt another nap (which worked wonders), and Dave and I planted my Mother's Day presents (a rosebush, dahlia tubers, and some morning glories). When we checked on her, we finally were able to catch her in the act of snoozing on her tummy.


After she got up, we decided to try and see how long she would last on a hike (which was about 1 1/2 hours-- not the 3-4 we wanted, but not too shabby for a formerly cranky child). The poor thing has pretty much been dragged around on our schedule this weekend, and has hardly had any down time to just play and hang out at home. Oh, well-- we'll have 'down time' next week in the pool in Phoenix! :-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gale Woods Farm

Well, we braved the rainy forecast to head up to Minnetrista (about 45 min away) to go to Gale Wood Farms- an educational 'working farm' in the Three Rivers Park District this morning. Every Saturday in the summertime, they have a program that lets kids and their families 'experience' farm life- feeding chickens, slopping the hogs, herding sheep, and playing with all the animals. We went to check it out as an activity for MOMS Club, and had a great time.Alex really seemed to like Caramel the Holstein calf. Dave got to experiment with a milking machine (I couldn't believe he hadn't played with one before-- but then again, my grandpa has a dairy farm). She also got to pet a chick, and got Mommy to follow her and Daddy into the chicken pen.... I needed to take photos -- that's the only reason I was in there.

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It started to drizzle, so we skipped out of the rest of the planned activities (felting wool and a wagon ride), and took off on the hiking trails around the park. Despite the rain, we had a nice hike-- Alex was warm and dry under the canopy of her pack, and Dave and I were imagining we were in the rainforest at the base of Kili.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Rainbow Brite enjoys a snack

We hit some garage sales today after ECFE, and scored with two wooden toy finds- a stacking toy and a sorting toy!! Miss Rainbow Brite (see her 'baby leg' leg-warmers) spent the afternoon enjoying her new treasures, and trying to fit them all in her mouth at once.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Schnappy the Crocodile

Alex decided that today would be the day to make friends with her Crocodile puppet, whom I have dubbed "Schnappy". She was a bit withdrawn at first, but soon was interacting with him when he was picking up her blocks and biting her hands. I'm a gentle mother.
Later in the afternoon, after we went to Church music class and both took naps (ah....sweet naps), we met our friends Summer and James at Cleary Lake. I had fortified my blisters (from Sunday's hike) with molefoam (thicker and cushier than moleskin) and was perfectly fine walking! Yea!! Too cute!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Giggles...


video

Suddenly, it's Summer!!

Living in Minnesota has to be one of the most frustratingly confusing things ever. The weather is so indecisive! Today was absolutely beautiful- Alex wore a tank top for the first time (of course, we slathered her up with 50 spf) outside!
After stopping by Minneapolis Academy this morning to work with the 8th graders, we went to the zoo for a picnic! Apparently it was 'high school' day at the zoo-- why? I'm not sure what these kids were supposed to be getting out of their 'field trip', because not one had a notebook or writing utensil in hand. We did hear a lot of bad language, smell some illegal cigarette smoke, and watch a group of boys behave MUCH like the snow monkeys they were watching. We didn't stay too long, just hit the aquariums, ate lunch at the Mexican Wolf exhibit, and went home.
After a long nap, we went to our park and worked on a new sippy cup (one that Auntie Carrie bought for Alex long before she was born!). In order to fit in with the rest of the family, and have the proper 'gear' for our upcoming Arizona hike, Alexandra needed to be able to drink from her Nalgene.