Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another Family-Filled Day

This morning we celebrated Uncle Willy's birthday (complete with Christmas wrapping paper), and Alex was his official helper. She needs all the practice she can get for her special day coming up!

Uncle Willy with a huge print of the Um Ya Ya Kili Summit Team- '08!

Grandma Mary, Grandpa Bob and Auntie Carrie joined us for dinner this evening again- Alex got tons of love and attention....and walks with the wagon.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grooming the World's new Generation of Consumers...

With TWO sets of Grandparents in town, Alex is getting tons and tons of attention! This morning she went to breakfast with Daddy, Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bob to meet her Great-Uncle Jim and his wife Sue. Apparently she did a great job with her fork, and charmed everyone. Then they headed down to St. Olaf to visit the campus.

Meanwhile, Grandma Jones, Auntie Rorie and I went shopping! We had a fun morning, and Alex got a shopping cart from Grandma Jones today (yes-- the same one she had been playing with in Pottery Barn Kids only days earlier). She is going to have TONS of fun putting things in and out of the basket (cats included).

We had a big bratwurst dinner this evening (Alex, unfortunately, is not quite to the bratwurst stage- she had a scrambled egg), and had a nice night.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Minnesota State Fair

We met Grandma Mary, Grandpa Bob, and Auntie Carrie in St. Paul this morning to go to the MN State Fair! After hopping on an Express Bus (which wasn't so express....but that's another story), we arrived right by the "Miracle of Birth" barn during a calving! We got to see (via monitor because of the crowd) a little heifer being born. Then Alex had some close encounters with chicks, ducklings, and a very cute little lamb.

They had a professional photographer set up in the corner of the barn, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity- what a great idea!

The adults grazed their way through the fair (fresh cut fries, pork on a stick, lefse, cheese curds, cinnamon roll), and Alex had her Annie's Bunny Macaroni, mixed veggies and fresh strawberries. She did, however, get a taste of the Nitro Ice Cream. I have to admit, I didn't believe the Olsons right away when they said it was the best, but we decided to give it a try. It is.

We checked out the animal barns, and even got to see a llama show. Grandma Mary struck up a conversation about Peru with one of the owners (note to self: GREAT topic for a llama enthusiast!), and Alex got to pet "Gimme A Kiss", a prize-winning llama, up close!

She had a fun afternoon, and finally fell asleep on Grandpa's lap on the bus ride back to the car. What a busy day!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"We're doing WHAT?" Grandpa Bob said...

Alex spent the morning quietly waiting for Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bob to come visit! She got a new "All Gone" book from a garage sale yesterday, and it has quickly become her favorite.

Grandma and Grandpa came bearing gifts (don't all Grandmas and Grandpas do that?). Alexandra warmed up to them quickly (we're starting the stranger anxiety phase) and began playing in earnest.

We all headed to Nicollet Commons Park in Burnsville to see "Beachcomber Bob" perform (and there, folks, is where the title of this blog entry comes in). Apparently every Thurs. afternoon they have a children's performer at this cute little park. The lawn is terraced so everyone can see and they have fountains that are perfect for little ones to splash around in.

It had been cloudy and rainy that morning, so we were unprepared for the sun- Grandpa Bob sacrificed his hat so that Alex's head didn't roast.

Later on we moved into the shade to relax and enjoy the rest of the performance. Alex seemed to like it, but soon decided that she'd rather read while listening (I think Dave's multi-tasking is rubbing off).
Grandma and Grandpa were in charge this afternoon. I got to duck out of the house to do some....gasp.... grocery shopping. Exciting, I know, but Target with no baby in tow is a wonderland! Tomorrow, the MN State Fair! Look forward to an exciting post!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lunch with an Old Friend!

At my recent high school reunion (if you remember, not the greatest event ever held) I did manage to have fun by finding a few old friends that I was able to re-connect with. One friend, Sarah, (from my St. Augustin middle school days, even!) and I discovered that we had both been living in the Twin Cities at the same time a few years back! We exchanged emails and she promised to get in touch when she was back in the Cities!

We managed to meet up today for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants- the Good Earth. Alexandra was happy and smiley baby until ....she wasn't. Apparently she wasn't getting enough attention from Mommy and her friend (who were busy chatting the entire time). It was fantastic to see Sarah, and we hope to set up a once-a-month lunch 'date' with her when she comes into town.

Before lunch, we went to Pottery Barn Kids to check out something I've been eyeing for a long time. Grandmas and Grandpas-- if you need birthday or Christmas ideas, check out the pics below! The red kitchen set caught BOTH Alex and my eyes today. Along with a cute little shopping cart that she pushed around the store for a while...until the sales associate asked us for the IthirdI time if we 'needed any assistance'.

Alex was surprised by her own piece of mail today. Thanks, Grandma Jones, for the cute magnets.....although I'm not sure why Alex received three Chihahaua magnets- are they triplets?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Weekend in Chicago!

We started off our big weekend by 'deciding' to forego a nap on Saturday morning. By 'we', I mean Alex. She got up at her usual time (6:45am), and was still nap-less when we took off for the airport at 1 pm. I was sure she'd sleep in the car, but apparently she was too excited about the journey.

Dave was upgraded to first-class, and so I convinced him to take the baby up there, and let me read a book during the flight. As fate would have it, there were a few open seats, and Alex got one of them all to herself! How many 10 1/2 month olds get to enjoy the perks of their OWN first-class seat?
We arrived in Chicago around 5pm-- still no nap-- and met Cathleen at her apartment. To our surpise, we found that Cathleen and Alexandra were wearing matching outfits! We ordered in Indian food, and listened to a cranky, wound-up Alexandra try to avoid sleep at all costs for about an hour. Thankfully, she finally settled down around 8 pm!! I guess we can't complain too much, but for her that's really late.
The next morning, we headed to Lincoln Park Zoo (within a 5 minute walk of Cathleen's apartment) to check out the animals. It's a fantastic zoo-- free-- it is a very nice mix of old-school 'zoo' architecture and new state of the art exhibits. We walked around for about an hour and a half, and then headed back for Alex's nap before going to lunch.

Lunch was on the patio of a fun little BBQ place where Alex discovered a new love of pickles (and had her first kid's meal of chicken fingers....she ate 1/2 of one. Dave ate the rest).
Then we decided to walk around a bit to work off our lunch. We ended up down by the lake, and walked for a while until Alex had had enough of the fresh air. The greatest thing about Chicago with a baby is that 'home' is always just a cab ride away! We ordered in again (gourmet pizza) to allow our little one to go to sleep at a regular hour, and Dave said good-bye to head for his Accenture training in St. Charles.

Monday morning, it was just us girls! Alex 'slept in' by getting up at 5, and then going back down until 8-ish. We took the bus downtown to Cathleen's work, where we stopped in and met her friends. It never fails that wherever Alex is, she always ends up making some friends. An older gentleman got on the bus and announced that he "had one just like her at home" and proceeded to make quacking noises at her for the next twenty minutes. Whatever-- it kept her entertained!

Then we walked through Millennium Park to Shedd Aquarium. I checked at the Membership counter to see if my MN Zoo Membership had reciprocal benefits (sometimes it does), and the lady working said that they didn't, but gave us free tickets for coming all the way from MN (at $30 /person, that's a GREAT deal!)

Alex enjoyed checking out the fish, turtles, and marine mammals, and Cathleen and I enjoyed watching Alex! We had lunch at the cafeteria, where Alexandra spurned her own baby food in lieu of my tomato rice soup, and went to a dolphin show. Alex seemed fascinated, however, by the beluga whales. The trainers were in the pool with them, practicing behaviors, and she couldn't take her eyes off them! Of course, Cathleen tried to get her interested in a stuffed beluga whale in the gift shop, and she would have nothing to do with it. Strange girl!
After our long outing we headed back to the apartment for Alex's nap. She was oddly grumpy (another tooth?) when she woke up, but after some Motrin she was excited that Cathleen put on a PBS show just for her. At home she doesn't watch any tv, but she was on vacation!
We continued the tradition of ordering in (Thai tonight-- I love Chicago!), and just had a laid back evening. I think Alex knew that we had to get up early this morning because she went to bed w/o a peep and woke up JUST before the 4:30 am alarm sounded.

We had a good plane ride back-- it wasn't crowded, so we had an entire row to wasn't first class, but some of us don't have very high status with the airlines :-) Now we're back at home, and Alexandra is happy to be rediscovering her toys and playing with her kitties. Thanks for being patient blog-readers this weekend! Hope you enjoyed the update!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mah Spoon is too BIG......

Sorry for the posting delay- we were having technical difficulties due to internet failure :-(
To make up for that, I posted a video of Alex learning how to use her spoon. (BTW- the title of this blog is from a short film by Don Hertzfeld- if you want to see something stupid, but strangely funny, check it out). Enjoy!

We've been working on that skill for a few days now, and she seems to enjoy practicing (as does Copper, who greatly benefits from the flying food)

We spent the majority of the day fighting naptime (she woke up at 6am, and didn't actually NAP until 2:00 this afternoon), and packing for our trip to visit Alexandra's Godmother, Cathleen, in Chicago. We leave today around 3pm, and won't return until Tuesday, so all you loyal blog followers will have a break in the action until then.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shopping Trip!! (take 3)

Today was Alex's third trip to the Albertville Outlets. Today was definitely a success. We arrived (with Megan and Emma- fellow clothes junkies) at 11:30 and managed to shop with two fairly happy babies until 2:30! They had a lunch break and then a bottle break, and were both great little troopers.

Alex, however, refused to sleep on the trip home (about an hour car ride) until the last 5 minutes from the driveway. Therefore, her bedtime will most likely be pushed back an hour or so tonight due to her extremely late nap.

Oh well-- we got some very fall/winter outfits, AND a pair of shoes that actually fit her. For the record, Alex is currently a size 4 - EXTRA WIDE at Stride Rite. There aren't that many shoes in stock for extra wide baby feet, so we ended up with a very practical pair of white and pink sneakers. She will model them later, as she's currently napping away.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Space Alien ate my Baby!

Alex got a new hooded towel for bathtime today- her cute little infant one is too small, so we upgraded! How cute is this?

Auntie Carrie came down to do laundry and babysit. I flew out the door to run errands and left hungry baby in highchair for Carrie to deal with!

Grandpa Steve stopped by for dinner tonight, and brought a few gifts with. Thanks, Bernie and Mary (Sue's parents) for the cute rocking chair and books. Alex climbed right in and claimed it as her own.....and then the cats did the same.

After playing with Grandpa Steve for a while, Uncle Willy and his friend Mia came to the house and we all went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant Peron's Sul Lago. Even though it was a two hour, relaxed dinner, Alexandra did a fantastic job! She ate her veggie burgers, peas & carrots, raisins, and then some bread and even a taste of blueberry bread pudding. Thanks for a great meal, dad!

On a totally unrelated note, here's an update on our home decor. Alex has been trying to puncture the front speakers on the tv with her fingers, so I devised an ingenious way to block her. Foamcore. It turned into my pet art project, and here's the result!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hee Haw!

Alex has developed a newfound affinity for her Donkey figurine. We haven't really focused on it before, but all in the span of today she learned to identify it and developed her own sign for it. Pretty amazing, huh?

The Emerging Artist

Alex completed her first work of art this afternoon. Here's the process and finished piece. As you could anticipate, I am a VERY proud Mommy right now! :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Carousel Ride at Como Zoo

Although I probably should have stayed at home today, and let my little girl recuperate from the Twins game (she had a hard time sleeping last night- Dave is theorizing that it's because of all the stimulus yesterday), we decided to go to a MOMS Club event at Como Park Zoo. Apparently the Carousel is free from 11-4pm on summer Mondays! Since Auntie Carrie lives right down the street from Como, we picked her up on the way! (Despite her stoic expression, Alex enjoyed riding the horses with her Auntie).

We stopped in the butterfly garden, and Alex pointed her little heart out at all the flying creatures (and the fruit left out for them to sip). We enjoyed the personalized 'tour' of the zoo from our MOMS Club friend (and frequent zoo-goer), Cathy and her little guy, Aidan.

We got there around 11, and didn't leave till about 2! Alex enjoyed a picnic lunch on a blanket in the shade, and even got a few tastes of Auntie Carrie's frozen lemonade. After dropping Carrie off at her place, Alexandra promptly went to sleep, exhausted from her busy afternoon.

I had to post this photo-- it might be the only time you see Alex with a bow in her hair- I found one that stays in place.....until she yanks it out and eats it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Trip to TWINS Territory...

Alexandra attended her first baseball game this afternoon! The Mulder family (Megan, Joel and Emma) invited us to share their good fortune when they received 4 tickets to today's Twins Game! We decided to take the Light Rail to the stadium to avoid the high cost of parking in the city. It ended up being a great, stress-free way to get to and from the game.
I was so surprised that Alex actually was engaged with the players on the field. She honestly watched the pitcher and batters! In fact, she was having a hard time stuffing snacks (bunny-o's, graham crackers, raisins, and dried blueberries) into her mouth because she didn't want to look away from the field. (We were nice and close in Row 13 behind First Base!)

She got the true baseball experience by snacking her way through the first five innings. She ate continuously-- although, it kept her entertained. She behaved perfectly! (We decided to take off after inning 5- there's only so long that you can expect a baby to sit on a lap w/o kicking the chair in front of her).

We had a great time! Thanks for inviting us, Megan, Joel, and Emma!