Monday, June 30, 2008

Curried Potatoes are delicious!

Alexandra and I met Uncle Willy at his workplace (the Multimedia Development Center) at St. Olaf this afternoon and kidnapped him for lunch. I am a MDC alumn, myself, and had a great time catching up with my former boss, Janet (who, of course, was gaga over Miss Alex). They have SO many cool design tools (large format printer, fantastic monitors, awesome cutting board) that I pretty much started salivating as soon as I walked in the door.

We went to Kurry Kebab for their buffet lunch. I had Alex's cereal and baby food all ready to go, but she refused to eat it off of the spoon. Finally, I started tearing up some Naan (which she loved). This progressed to my almost 9 -month old baby feeding herself curried potatoes, tikka masala chicken, and basmati rice! She had a YUMMY lunch-- I'm not surprised that she has a taste for Indian food, though-- I did eat it quite a bit when I was pregnant.

We stopped at Uncle Willy's pad to check it out. Let's just say I'm REALLY glad that the college phase of my life is over. He has a nice little set-up, but it's definitely a college-place (complete with bottle-cap collection- not soda and beer posters). The funny thing is that when I was going down the stairs to the basement, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. I'm sure that I attended a party there in my college years.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Sigh....we had to relinquish our live-in nanny this evening. Auntie Rorie headed home to Des Moines, and we will all miss her (and her cooking & cleaning) very much. Alex has had her Auntie around for an entire month, and I'm sure will be feeling a bit lost without her.

On the up-side, Grandma and Grandpa Jones did get to have a quick visit today- Alex was overjoyed to see them (and all the toys they brought her from their trip to California). Her favorite is a hand-knit llama that came from Peru via a fair-trade store at the conference they attended.

The other big event of the day was the destruction and removal of a dead tree that's been threatening our home & deck every storm. I've had nightmares about the branches crashing through our bedroom window! Our neighbor, Jeff, Dave, Will, and another neighbor, Josh, rented a cherry-picker, got out the chainsaw and ropes, and proceeded to saw, chop, tear down, and demolish said tree. Quite the spectacle. Josh's little girl, Amelia, came with her Daddy, and played with Alex & the water table while the men did their male-warrior thing with the tree.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kitties and Kisses...

This morning, Alexandra and Percy were both watching squirrels on the deck. It was really cute, because whenever Percy would run to the window, Alex was right behind him- not wanting to miss out on the fun!

Graham brought his Mommy and Daddy over for dinner and playtime this evening. The babies had a lot of fun-- Alex actually got a kiss from Graham!! (although, if you're reading his blog, he's apparently quite the Cassanova... :-) Rorie also was graced with kisses, as well as Copper and the kitties.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Day at the Beach!

The first item of the day was a business meeting for the new MOMS Club board members (don't forget-- I'm the new Administrative Vice President-- sounds impressive, no?). Both last year's board members and the new board members were present, along with all of their kids. It was the first official playdate with a mobile Alexandra. She did quite well- I only had to retrieve two Hot Wheels and a Lego truck from her mouth. Two of her little friends did a fantastic job watching over her, even sharing the Elmo doll they brought from home! Thanks Lauren and Lydia!

Rorie, Alex and I headed to Sandpoint Beach in Prior Lake, despite the overcast skies. It turned out to be quite an enjoyable afternoon. It was still warm enough out to dip our toes in the water and play with the sand, but the sun stayed behind the clouds for most of the afternoon, making it cool enough to be very comfortable.

Alex really liked her first trip to the beach. She spent the majority of the time pointing at the water and boats and saying 'buh buh buh' (basically, that's her version of every word right now).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Balloons= good. Whales = bad.

Uncle Willy stopped by last night to pick up his bow & arrow (which finally arrived from Tanzania-- it got 'detained' by customs. Alex had fun playing 'jungle gym' with/on him all evening long. She also amazed him with her mobility-- she's gotten much faster in the past week!
This morning things were pretty quiet around here. We didn't have anything scheduled, so life just took its course. Alex enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with her dog and her balloon (her new best friend). She talked to the balloon for a while. Then she talked to Copper. Then she spent some time trying to show Copper her balloon.

After a messy snack of pineapple and watermelon, it was time for a bath. We introduced Alex to a new toy-- a whale that spins and squirts water from its spout. As you can see from the photos below, she enjoyed it immensely....until it squirted her in the face.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ValleyFair with an 8 month old....

OK- so, I know what you're thinking-- but we received a season pass to Valleyfair as a present from my father and his wife (thanks, Grandpa Steve and Sue!). Our visit today wasn't as crazy as I thought it might be.

We waited until after Alex's morning nap, so she was well-rested and ready to go. Because we didn't know quite what to expect, we packed the arsenal, and were prepared from everything from lunch to swimming to a rainshower (luckily the last one did not strike!)

In the two hours we spent at the park, we did a total of three things (not too bad for an infant). We rode the ferris wheel. The above picture is Alex looking contemplative while on the ride. She seemed to enjoy the rocking motion (more than Rorie did, at least), and although she couldn't see over the sides of the gondola, she enjoyed looking at the coasters above her.

We went to the Foam Ball Play Area-- REALLY cool!! They have all these...well...foam balls, but also air cannons, vacuum tube systems, pulleys, levers, and fun stuff to play with. Alex will surely enjoy this area for years to come. Today she just sat and observed, and tried to stick the foam balls in her mouth. Yum.

Then we went to the IMAX theater-- the movie was "Wild Ocean", which was right up Alexandra's alley. She was captivated for about 20 minutes, entertained for about 10, and then ready to do something else for the last 10. Luckily the theater was not crowded, so she practiced crawling up steps (her first encounter with those proved to be no problem for our daredevil).

All in all, Alex enjoyed people-watching most of all. We'll probably venture back in a few weeks, so if any of you other babies & Mommies in the area want to accompany us, we're all for it.

Oh-- just a note for anyone planning a visit with an infant-- the 'kiddie' pool is not so kiddie. I'd say it was appropriate for a four-five year old, definitely NOT a baby, so we didn't get to enjoy the waterpark this year .

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kung Fu Panda! (or....pass the Puffs, Mom!)

We went to our last ECFE class of the summer this morning! We're definitely going to miss our friends, especially our instructor-- Miss Susan! She's been great- answering questions and providing support ever since Alex was 4 weeks old- We're looking forward to classes starting up again in the fall.

After class, Alexandra and I decided to take Auntie Rorie out to a movie in honor of Alex's nickname namesake (the panda). We went to 'Kung Fu Panda' (I know...I said last time was the final movie with baby, but Alex actually watched most of the movie, AND it was hilarious for us adults, too!)

She especially enjoyed the 'junk food' (she ate about her weight in Gerber sweet potato puffs and carrot wheels) and, of course, her bottle. Once again, there was only one other family in the theater, making for an enjoyable and stress-free movie going experience.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grease Monkeys and Ponies

Alex, Rorie, and I had an exciting day. We started off at Kohl's to help Auntie Rorie pick out some outfits for her upcoming Sr. photos. Alex got a HUGE kick out of their shopping carts, which are more like strollers with big shopping bags attached to the back. She felt pretty grown-up perusing the clothing like the big girls!

After our shopping excursion, it was off to Hopkins to meet Daddy and the Jeep. Dave decided that after paying roughly $100 for a diagnostic test to tell us my battery was dead, he'd buy and install my new battery instead of paying a trained Walser technician to do the job. So, we set up a makeshift 'camp' in the deserted parking lot across the street from the dealership, and started the operation. Sketchy, I know-- but Rorie made a pretty cute Grease Monkey!

Every now and then, Rorie would stick her head in the window and play with Alex (while Dave was up to his elbows in the Jeep). Everything went smoothly, however, and now I'm sure my husband will be more willing to DIY car repair as well. Great.

We got home and relaxed for a while-- Alexandra discovered two new games this afternoon. The first was seeing if she could fit inside the cat tunnel (while Percival was occupying it). The second was riding her rocking horse! Yes-- she finally noticed and rode on her very own pony!! She liked the rocking movement, but when we turned the batteries on and the pony started bucking his neck and whinnying, that was the best!

Our contented cowgirl

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday in the Rainforest

This Sunday, Daddy brought Alexandra, Auntie Rorie and me to the Mall of America to look for a dress for Alex's 9 month pictures. We ended up finding an absolutely darling white dress at Janie & Jack (on sale, too!), and then went for lunch at Rainforest Cafe-- Alex's favorite spot. We got a great table right in front of a large floor to ceiling fish tank, and Alex spend the majority of lunch watching the fish while trying to get pieces of melon into her mouth. Have I mentioned she's an independent child? She wants to feed herself, but ends up getting so frustrated when she has trouble getting slippery pieces of strawberry or melon into her mouth.

We also invested in a new child-torture of sorts. They're 'Walking Wings', and according to a nanny I met in Kindermusik, they are the best for helping babies learn to balance and eventually walk. As you can see, they transform my baby into a marionette of sorts (that's just for you, Cathleen...) They're really more for the comfort of the parents' backs, though-- Alex seems to do OK with them, and I'm sure she'll enjoy them more as she gets used to the idea of being suspended in mid-air.... :-)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

It's Dave's birthday, and Alex was very excited to greet him this morning. This is the new position we find her in at the end of every night (and nap).

We made birthday waffles for Daddy this morning, and Alex was a BIG fan (no butter or syrup, of course). She's starting to eat 'normal' food now, and recognizes that fact. If we sit down to lunch/dinner and she doesn't get some of what we're eating, we have a very unhappy and upset panda on our hands.

After dinner at El Loro (Alex enjoyed oatmeal, strawberries, pureed chicken and some Mexican Rice!), we presented Daddy with his birthday cake- complete with 28 candles. Alex was very excited about the cake, and got just a taste of frosting before having to go to bed. It was a good preview for her own birthday (in about 4 months).

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Visit from "Uncle" Jeff

After working at the garage sale all day, Alex was ready for some time at home to relax and chill out! She did a great job, though-- and had tons of fun reading books in her stroller and checking out the people who came to shop.

Luckily, Daddy was able to take off early from work today because we were having visitors! Alexandra's godfather, Jeff Loehr was in town from Phoenix. His family ends up in Minnesota every summer to visit relatives, and we're lucky enough to get to visit with them as well! Unfortunately, Jeff's brother, Jonathan, was feeling under the weather, so we ended up just having Diane (Jeff's mom) and Jeff over to play with the baby and have some dinner.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Grumpy Panda has a Pool Party

Alex slept in until 8 am this morning (after a 5am bottle)! I think this might be her new schedule-- hooray!! However, I did not get to snooze in-- I left Alex and Rorie on their own today so that I could help my friend Megan with her garage sale.

After returning home mid-day (and spending the entirety of our economic stimulus check ransoming Percival and Copper out of the pet hospital- he had his teeth cleaned, and Copper had hers done as well as having two lumps removed), Rorie greeted me with a very tired and grumpy girl. She had refused to take a nap, and we had a lunch playdate scheduled with Graham and Melissa!

She somehow made it through lunch and a pool party with Mr. Graham (how cute are those two!), and passed out cold around 1pm. I had to take Copper back to the vet because they had neglected to remove the IV catheter from her front leg (ouch!), and then ran back down to Shakopee to check on the garage sale girls. I am SO thankful that Auntie Rorie was here to watch the baby, otherwise today would have been totally impossible!

I got a call around 2:45, letting me know that Albertina was awake and still grumpy (teething??), and I headed back to Prior Lake to relieve my very tired sister. Tomorrow, I'll bring Alex to the garage sale with me and Rorie can have the day off!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fun in the Sun!

Alex decided that she would wake up at 5am this morning...I disagreed and put her back to bed after a quick bottle-- fully expecting that she would fuss and whine until her normal wake up time of 5:45am. To my great surprise (and delight), she slept until 7:30am!! This meant that her am nap was out for the day, but she was in a GREAT mood this morning. After she took a two and a half hour nap this afternoon, I decided that I could grow to like this new schedule. Fingers crossed that it wasn't a fluke!

We were happy to have Megan and Emma over for lunch today (hats off to Chef Rorie!), and the girls had fun playing with all of Alex's musical instruments while the three adults chatted! Alex seemed obsessed with Emma's cute pink shoes, and kept trying to take them off of her feet.

After working hard all day, practicing standing, Auntie Rorie blew up Alex's baby pool, and we headed outside for some fun in the sun! At first the water was too chilly for little Al, but soon she was splashing away. She really enjoyed experimenting and playing with streams of water in the
air, and pouring things back and forth! We may have a chemist on our hands.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back on schedule...

Alex and I were SO excited to go to ECFE this morning and reconnect with all our old friends (and make some new ones, too!) Emma and Alex picked up right where they had left off....well, a few weeks more mobile than where they had left off. Both girls were rolling/crawling around the room, with little to no regard as to where their Mommies were located.

We played with our 'new' water table ($10 garage sale find!) this afternoon. Alex loved splashing around with her toys. She supported herself, standing next to it for a while, and then I pulled her chair over so that her little legs wouldn't give out from the strain.

Alex finished the day with a snack of watermelon. Even though more pieces wound up on and around her chair than in her mouth, it was still worth it. She was concentrating very hard on picking up the slippery pieces. Yum!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mommy's Back!!!

After a day and a half to unpack, settle in, and re-construct our daily schedule, I have finally mustered up enough strength (and brainpower) to continue my blogging duties. Many thanks to Auntie Rorie, who kept us all updated during Mommy & Daddy's vacation.

The trip, by the way, was fantastic! I am excited to announce that everyone in our group reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (with Uncle Willy in the lead), and had a successful trip back down. (Well-- pretty much-- I ended up with a visit to a Tanzanian hospital because of a little pneumonia, and Will chipped a tooth while coming down from the summit). The safari was exciting, and we not only got to see a ton of wild animals, but also did some cultural visits with a few different tribes that were very interesting. Dave will set up a gallery link soon so that everyone can view our pics.

But, enough about me-- Alex is the one you're signing on to see.

Today Auntie Rorie and I took her to the MN Zoo to check out the new Russian Grizzly Bear exhibit- it is beautifully done, and the bears were right up next to the windows! They actually have live salmon in their enclosure, so if they want a quick snack, it's available. Alex also enjoyed wandering around the Butterfly Garden, pointing at the different fluttering insects. We had lunch at the zoo, then headed home for a much-needed nap (some of us are still adjusting back from Africa time).

pointing at the geyser in the Grizzly exhibit

It's so nice to be home, and back into the swing of things. Alexandra obviously thrived in the warm and nurturing (and somewhat 'spoiled') environment Grandma and Grandpa set up for her, and she's missing them, but it's nice that Rorie can be around to help transition her back into normal life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June Showers in Iowa

It's been a few days since I've updated on little Alex, but I can't provide too much information. On Monday, June 9, 2008, I went to Adventureland which is an amusement park in Iowa. I was able to have a day off on good behavior (says mom). So, I was able to hang out with my friends and leave the confines of my home for more than a few minutes. I don't really know what all happened while I was gone, but here's what Grandma has to say about their day together, just Alex and her.

Grandma and Alex hung out a good portion of the day in the garden house/screen house and looked at the hummingbirds and dragonflies. She and Alex sat outside and watched the cars go by and looked at Grandma's gardens. Alex danced to her "cowgirl" music and listened to her violin music. She also got to listen to Grandpa Claude's CD with him singing. She had a great time with Grandma.

I forgot to mention on the last blog, that on Sunday, Alex, Grandma, and I went to a garden store and Alex got a new outside chair with a cute little ladybug on it. She looked absolutely adorable! We also put her in a cute red outfit with a matching hat. She actually kept the hat on for the entire outing.

On Tuesday, the day was like any other day. She did her usual routine of life. Woke up, ate, slept some more, played and then ate some more. We also watched Amy and David's wedding DVD. Alex watched a little bit, but she was more interested in her toys. Tuesday wasn't a really exciting day. It was the usual I guess. Just another normal Wednesday with the baby of the century :)

No luck on crawling yet...But, she is getting really close! She's worked hard on maneuvering her one foot that always gets stuck under her body out from under. She's so close to crawling. Anytime folks!!