Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yay! Grandma Mary arrived this evening, just in time for Alex's first offical steps! What a milestone on the eve of her first birthday!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Christmas Morning!!!

Or...almost- Grandma & Grandpa Jones and Grandma Mary & Grandpa Bob gave Alex her Christmas present a little early this year. We figured that she wouldn't really 'get' Christmas anyway- so why hold out on her? She woke up this morning to a complete kitchen set, and was very excited to play with it! I'm sure this is the beginning of a long and loving relationship!

We had Kindermusik today, and Miss Helen brought out these molded plastic 'things' called bilibos. Weird, huh? The kids LOVED playing with them- riding in them, looking under them, using them as percussion instruments. Our teacher had to put them away in the hallway so that Alex didn't try to 'rescue' them from storage after we were done playing with them.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Choo Choo!!!

We headed up to Osceola, WI today (about an hour and a half drive) to take a fall leaf-viewing train ride! It's just the beginning of the leaf-watching season, and we had a lovely time. We sprang for the 'first class' tickets, and were treated with a light lunch in the first-class dining car (Alex brought some of her own treats along as well) as we took off.

The other 'perk' of first-class was that we had access to an outside platform right behind the engine. We managed to be out there right as we were crossing an old trestle bridge...very cool!

After lunch we moved to a passenger car- the train was so long that even though there seemed to be quite a few people in the ticket office, we rarely shared our car with another person! Alex enjoyed watching the scenery roll by, all the while practicing her 'up' and 'down' concepts.

The train ride was just under 2 hours, and we had a very sleepy baby on our hands afterwards. We decided to tempt fate, however, and stop at a 40 acre pumpkin patch we'd seen advertised on the way up. It ended up being a great idea, and lots of fun! If you picked your own pumpkins they were only $3 / apiece, regardless of size!

Dave and Alex in search of the Great Pumpkin.

Selecting our finalists.

Ok- she's just cute here...
Triumphant pumpkin-hunters return with their kill.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Almost 12 Months" photo shoot

This morning we completed Alex's "Footstep Series" of photos (3, 6, 9, and 12 months). She looked adorable in her velveteen knickers and cute little ivory top-- hopefully the photos will be up soon. To check them out, follow the link, click on client gallery and enter "maroamy" in the login spot.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Look what I can do!

While I was tidying up the living room this morning, Alex was contentedly playing with her kitchen.....or so I thought.

All of a sudden I heard her giggle, and poked my head around the corner to see what she was up to. She had managed to climb into the rocking chair all by herself, and was rocking away!

I wish I would have had my camera this morning at the vet. Copper had a re-check (GREAT news- her eye is totally back to normal pressure!), and Doctor Horter had a child's play vet bag for Alex to play with. She LOVED the stethoscope, and insisted on wearing it around her neck. Grandpa Bob- she may be following your footsteps into the medical field!

She has also been spending a lot of time playing with her little mouse house from Grandma Jones. She'll peer into the opening and repeatedly put the mice in and out of the door! Too cute!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back at the Mall

Yes, we were at the Mall of America yet again today. I just realized that Alex's 12 month photo-shoot is Saturday, and we needed to get her a new white shirt! We actually spent a few hours at the mall- shopping, watching the fish, strolling around the amusement park, and having lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. Copper was at the groomer's, so we were killing time until we could pick her up.

As we were having our mother-daughter lunch, I took a moment to reflect on the past year and what a wonderful, exciting, truly rewarding experience being a mother has been. I was so happy and content to sit at the table with my beautiful daughter at my side, eating her 'big girl' meal. She is such a joy, and we are so lucky to be given the privilege of having her in our lives.

This afternoon we joined MOMS Club at Lakefront Park for some kite-flying. Copper was beautiful and full of energy, so she came along for some fun. Alex didn't fly one, but certainly had a great time watching the brightly-colored kites in the sky above her.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No more barstools...

It seems like every month something else that we own is relegated to the garage, our 'storage' space. Yesterday it was the barstools. I determined that they were just serving as coatracks, and we would be much better off if Alexandra could use the space that they formerly occupied. What do you think of her new learning stations?

The other benefit of the re-model is that the cats have their bed back in the sun. Unfortunately for Huxley, Alex has decided that whenever he is in bed, she belongs there with him. As you can see in the below video, we're working very hard on being 'gentle'. Luckily, he's a good sport.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Alex's friends

Here's a cute video of Alex and her friends, the turtles, at Underwater Adventures. Yep, we were at the MOA again today-- Alex's nap schedule has been so wonky that I decided to throw in the towel and take a mid-day outing. Wouldn't you know that she fell asleep in the car, stayed asleep when I put her in the stroller, and continued her nap while I got to actually TRY ON clothing at some stores!

Because she was so good, Alex got a darling outfit at Janie & Jack (yeah- like she really cares....but there is a really good sale right now!) for Dave's cousin Leah's bridal shower in October. She'll be the best-dressed baby there! Argyle sweater vest, velour knickers, pink shoes-- I love baby clothes....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun-filled morning

Alexandra and I had an exciting morning at the Infiniti dealership, waiting for the car to be serviced. They have a nice little corner for kids, and a table with frogs and lizards that can be moved around with magnets. It kept her entertained the entire time!
We went to Kindermusik class, and then just hung out around home. Oh- did I mention that she did not nap until 3:40pm! Sigh......

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mommy's Birthday Weekend!

Unfortunately, we did not have the camera as we raced from the Jeep to the football field to barely make it to see Rorie walk as part of the Homecoming Court, but make it we did! Uncle Willy and I yelled embarrassing things, and Alex clapped for her Auntie! It was a bit shocking for Miss Alexandra to suddenly be thrust into a lighted, crowded stadium with a marching band playing and hundreds of people milling about, but she did OK.
On my birthday (Saturday), Grandma and Grandpa Jones took us to the Farmer's Market, where Alex listened to music, petted lots of puppies, and had her first taste of a cherry danish. She checked out the produce, and enjoyed the crowd.

She spent the afternoon helping Daddy put together the first third of her Christmas present from Grandma & Grandpa Jones and Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bob-- the oven for her Retro Kitchen Set!! How fun!

After a very nice dinner with some surprise guests in attendance, we headed out to play Miniature Golf. It turned into a late night for Alex (8 pm), but she was quite content to sit with Grandma as long as she got to hold a golf ball every so often!

The next morning we met Grandpa Steve, Sue, and Great-Grandma Lois for breakfast. Alex ate half a pancake and half an egg, and kept everyone entertained with lots of smiles and stories.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Children's Museum

This morning, I signed on to craigslist and discovered a "Hanna Andersson" garage sale in St. Paul. Because it would have been too far of a drive to just hit the sale, we packed up a lunch and made plans to hit the MN Children's Museum afterwards!

We had a great time- Alex was a little overwhelmed by all the new things at first, but she warmed up to the play areas and really enjoyed herself. We got there right when they opened, so we had a lot of the museum to ourselves for the first part of our trip!

Alex practices putting the ball 'in' the hole!
Figuring out how to push the buttons to hear the animal calls.
Enjoying the bird's eye view of downtown St. Paul
At first, a bit wary, but she made it through the big log!
Experimenting with the cool water pressure exhibit.
Happily checking out the Toddler Room from a post on a bridge overlooking it all! She loved practicing signs for "up" and "down" here.

This evening we're headed to Des Moines to cheer on Auntie Rorie in her Homecoming Court! We may not update until we return on Sunday, so aideu until then.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Panda Bear Picnic

Today Alex had some fun imaginative play with her panda bears. It started with her emptying her high chair of all the bibs, and then trying to put them on her stuffed animals. I helped her get her bears settled, gave her a spoon and bowl, and she went to town!

After the Pandas finished, Alex decided Copper needed some lunch, too. :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Great Nap Strike of '08

We start every day out with a wagon ride with Copper. I try to have Alex dressed in her finest fall apparel in case of paparozzi, and today was no exception :-)

Today was Alex's first ONE-nap day! Sigh.... She got up at 7am (good), but didn't actually nap until 12:30 (although she had been in her crib since 11am). During Phase 2 of the Nap Strike, Huxley and Alex tried to trick me by switching spots.....

Despite the change in schedule, she was bright eyed and bushy-tailed at the zoo this afternoon. We met Megan and Emma, and Alex had a fun time sharing her wagon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scenes from our day

Here are a couple of videos that encapsulate a "normal" day at the Marotz school for toddlers- you can see that Alex works VERY hard to keep up with such a challenging curriculum! (fair warning: videos are on the longish side for those non-grandparents watching)

Auntie Carrie came over for baby-time, laundry, and dinner (I believe in that order), and spent some good quality time reading with Miss Alex. I think they read the "Colors" book at least 8 times....in a row. Then we met Daddy at Red Lobster for an early "happy birthday, Mommy!" dinner. I discovered that Alexandra shares a love of coconut shrimp with her Mommy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to School!

Alex had her first day back at 'school' today. Kindermusik classes have started back up for the fall, and we were very excited to get back into the swing of things. She picked out a cute dress to wear (she actually chose it from her closet), and we were VERY happy to walk into class and see some old friends! Isaiah and his Mommy, Amber, who we know from ECFE, were in the circle!

Alex did a great job- she enjoyed all the special attention lavished on her by Miss Helen (instructor). She feels very comfortable in the environment, so she took right off exploring and 'taking charge' of Miss Helen's instruction doll.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The FIRST Marotz Family Camping Trip!

Alexandra had her first camping experience this weekend! We borrowed Grandma & Grandpa Jones' camper and drove to Owatonna to enjoy the splendors of Rice Lake State Park. Alex got to try out her car seat front-facing style! What a big moment!

Unfortunately it was raining when we arrived.....raining when we unpacked.....raining when we decided to jump in the car and explore Owatonna instead of spending another minute in the cramped camper (it's very nice, but with three people, a pack n' play, and a dog, there's not much room to move around).

Hooray, hooray, though, the rain decided to take a break so that Alex could experience a campfire! Since she's not quite to the 'hot dog' stage yet, she had some pre-packaged ravioli and (since that wasn't a hit), some peanut butter bread. Much better!

She and Copper retired around 7:30pm, and didn't have much trouble falling asleep. Dave and I relaxed by the campfire until we were sure she was down, and had a nice evening.

Sunday morning we got up bright and early, thanks to Alex and Copper getting up at 6. We lounged around in the camper for a while and then got geared up to go hiking. It was the first time since Africa that Dave and I had been on a trail, and we were excited!

I wish that we could have done the whole 5 mile loop- it was so pleasant and serene in the morning, but alas-- we didn't want to push poor Copper, so we went for about a mile and a half. She was leading the pack, wagging and bounding ahead until suddenly she stopped short. We were in a meadow with shoulder-high grass surrounding the trail. Both Dave and I had heard something, but didn't know what it was. Copper was on high alert. We talked ourselves (and her) out of being on guard, and continued on our way. A few steps later, she whirled around, looked one more time at 'the spot' and took off running.....AWAY from the source. There was no way she was sticking around to defend her family. We still didn't see/hear anything, but we picked up the pace just in case.

After returning from the hike, we contemplated making pancakes for breakfast, but then determined that even though we had brought all the materials, we didn't feel like cleaning up after ourselves, so we packed up and hit the first McDonalds on the way out of town.

Overall, a fantastic (if slightly rainy) first camping trip for the Marotz family.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Hi everyone-- I'll update on Sun. evening because the Marotz family is going camping in Rice Lake State Park this afternoon. Copper's doing great, and her eye is no longer red (yay!). We'll have lots of fun photos and/or videos for you at the end of the weekend! Thanks!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back to the U...

Well, we're back at the U of MN Vet Clinic again. Copper's bad eye turned bright red yesterday afternoon, and after an emergency fit-in appt at our local vet, they referred us back to the Opthamology dept at the University of Minnesota. Sigh...

It's not great news- but it's nothing with her good eye, so that's reassuring. The vet last night thought that her lens had luxated (come detached) and the pressure was building. Today, our Opthamologist said that the lens had not come totally detached yet, and she thought that the bleeding was probably caused by a head bump (there was a storm yesterday and Copper was running around like a nut). However, her pressure is rising in that eye (which the former ablation surgery was supposed to contain). She recommended either enucleation (removing the orb entirely) or trying to maintain a normal pressure with eyedrops-- knowing that enucleation would be the route if things did not come under control.

Originally, Dave and I agreed that we would just have the eye removed, and we were all set to have it done today....until we learned that it would cost $1200. So we're on the 'maintaining with medicine' path for right now. It doesn't seem like she's in any pain-- she is acting just like normal, so hopefully we can keep a lid on the situation for a while. Wish us luck.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Schnappy Wants a Block...or "Mommy's Hidden Talent"

For those of you reading this entry in book-format, I am truly sorry that I'm not able to relay the genius apparent in my rendition of "Schnappy Wants a Block". For the rest of you reading online--- enjoy the video.

What can I say-- it was a slow day...

(oh- and if you're a Muppet talent scout - have your people call my people)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Practice makes Perfect...standing again!

Alex got dressed bright and early today, and following our daily wagon ride/dog walk, we headed to Playcare so that Mommy could exercise. She did a great job, and took a two hour nap when she got back home!

Since we had nothing on the agenda today, we headed to Chanhassen to check out an organic grocery store- Lakewinds. It was very nice- and very busy- and very expensive. Alex picked out some fruit (she selected grapes), and stocked up on some more Bunny cereal, finger-sized ravioli, and Indian food. We also got jalapeno flavored hummus (that's for Mommy and Daddy)!