Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend!!

Uncle Willy came over on Tuesday night to spend some time with Alex before we headed off to South Dakota the next morning. They spent some time reading books and playing with Alex's 'new to me' Bumble Ball-- the hit of the weekend-- see video below!

We arrived at 'Camp Shetek' on Wednesday afternoon, just in time to wait for everyone else to arrive. It was actually fortuitous that we got there a few hours early, because it gave Al plenty of time to explore and acclimate before a ton of 'new' people came rushing in. Grandma and Grandpa Jones arrived bearing gifts (as always), and Alex got right to work reading and playing. Thank you, again, Mom, for introducing my daughter to the wonders of a water fountain. We cannot go anywhere without having to stop at them now...

After Alex went to bed on Wed evening, we stayed up making some Thanksgiving Day lefse. Even though my mom had the 'amateur' team working under her, we turned out some great looking 'product'!

Thanksgiving Day was a wild and crazy time! Alex got up bright and early and enjoyed playing with the other little girls who were there- Aliyah and Anabelle were so gracious about sharing toys and letting Alexandra tag along! Dave set up a digital projector in the library, and hooked up both a DVD player and the Wii, so that kept the older kids pretty much entertained for the entire visit. There were 52 people total celebrating Thanksgiving together-- total craziness, but SO much great food!

She really enjoyed the turkey and stuffing, but did not seem to care for mashed potatoes at all. Normally she'll scarf them down, but after her first taste of the sweet marshmallow pudding 'fruit salad', nothing else measured up.

On the drive home, both Uncle Willy and Alex enjoyed a good book.

Now we're home, and after spending Friday night with Auntie Carrie and Uncle Willy, we're back to our normal schedule.....that is, until our floor is ripped apart on Monday and we have to evacuate for the week :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Preparing for Thanksgiving

We'll be taking off for our Thanksgiving celebration soon, so don't look for any updates until Monday, at least! :-) Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!! Alex is looking forward to mashed potatoes and green beans--

Monday, November 24, 2008

dada dada dada dada dada

Alex woke up from her (short) morning nap today with some help from a buddy.....wouldn't it be nice to wake up every morning with a warm, furry friend in your crib?

When Dave got home this evening, he was amazed at how much energy Alex had (in fact, she was overtired from a long day of events and only a 1/2 hour nap). Here's a video of the toddling 'terror', obviously celebrating the fact that her 'dada' is home, and it's almost time for bed....or was that ME celebrating??!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Mommy was down with a tummy issue for most of Sunday, so Daddy and Alex hung out at the park, in the living room, and at the grocery store. Hooray!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snow Baby!

Last night Dave and I got to have a date night at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater to see "The Producers". Auntie Carrie came down to read Alex stories and put her to bed. They had a great time!We started off today with our Little Gym class, where Alex and Daddy had lots of fun tumbling and swinging on the bars (well- at least Alex did...)Then it was off for brunch with the Olsons. Graham showed Alex the snow from his bedroom window, and they played while Jeff and Dave fixed a scrumptious breakfast of waffles, strawberries, and bacon! Graham is practicing really hard to be a big brother, and he was quite the host (even offering Alex his beloved stuffed tractor to share)!
After a much-needed nap, we got all dressed up in our official winter gear for the first time to go outside and 'help' Daddy string Christmas lights. As you can see, Alex was not happy about her restrictive outfit, but she cheered up when we started playing outside.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The "Injury Report"

This morning we had quite the traumatic event take place (well- not really). When I went to collect Alex from "playcare" at the gym this morning, I was drawn aside in a very serious manner by a concerned worker. My first thought was- "oh no, is Alex tackling other kids?" (solely because of the way she interacts with the cats). I was informed, very calmly, that Alex had an "accident" this morning. If the woman would have just said "Alex bumped her head this morning, but she's fine", it could have saved me a moment of complete and utter panic. She presented me with an official "injury report" (see above), and proceeded to explain, in detail, that my daughter was climbing on the ball pit, lost her balance, and took a little tumble, resulting in a bump on her head. I understand the legality of the 'report', but it seems a bit overkill (see photo of Alex's "wounds"). Needless to say, everyone is fine. Alex touched her forehead when I came in to show me where her 'owie' was, and then promptly forgot about it.
On a lighter note, Alex takes her art quite seriously. Here are two videos from today-- one in the early morning, and one a little later on (post "accident"). You can see how much 'drawing' we do! :-) Oh-- and Alex drew a complete loop today on her own-- I was quite excited to see that developmental milestone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My little monkey

We headed to REI this morning to get Alex some winter boots, and actually had some success! I've been looking all over for the kind with a liner and drawstrings at the top to keep the snow out / boots ON! After our errands, we went to Kindermusik class, where Alex was reuinted with her beloved 'tower'. She spent a long time playing with it in the waiting area before I could coax her to class. She really showed off her signing skills in class today. She walked in and started signing "bear", pointing to the box of panda bears that the teacher had on top of the shelf. Then she saw the "monkey" box, and was signing away complete with sound effects- "ooo, oooo". When it was time to do the '10 Little Monkeys' song, she was in heaven, dragging various stuffed primates around by their necks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Da-Da and Fruit

The two things that Alex asks for repeatedly during our days at home. Here's a video from last night, about thirty minutes before Dave arrived home. (Alex signs on the side of her head instead of in front of her face)

We spent the morning prepping for hosting MOMS Club book club, which was a blast! Alex got into the spirit by reading (by herself) for a good fifteen minutes. What a little literature hound!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Last Wagon Ride

Alex got to enjoy her new table this morning- we finally finished it last night. She seemed to love having a table of her own....the only problem is that the chairs are a bit tippy, and miss "I want to climb on EVERYTHING" could get herself into trouble quickly. (Did I tell you she climbed up on the coffee table today so she could dance to Raffi??)
She has been spending a lot of time reading. It makes me so happy to go into her room and see she's quietly looking at her books at the end of naptime!
I think the wagon got its last hurrah today. It's getting so chilly out that even though I bundled Alex up for our walk, she was still shivering at the end of it. It's the stroller from here on out (at least, until the sidewalk is full of hard-packed snow-- maybe a sled?). I'm already longing for springtime again--- sigh...maybe we should move somewhere where it is 50-70 degrees year-round. That would be perfect.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Draw", please?

Well, it's back to the 'normal' schedule now that both Alex and I are feeling better. She had her hour at Playcare this morning while I worked out. Coincidentally, I got to watch the Today Show host Ann Curry climb Mt. Kilimanjaro! I think I had a HUGE smile on my face the entire time, reliving the event. Wow-- I can't believe I summitted the Roof of Africa-- and only 5 months ago! Alex wasn't even signing at that point- it's unbelievable how much she's grown since- look at her tackle that fruit with a big-girl fork!
Alex has been spending the majority of her free time asking to 'draw'. She asked to 'draw' in Kindermusik this morning, she asks to 'draw' while strapped into the carseat. When at home, we spend all of our time climbing in and out of the drawing desk, and selecting crayons to use. Here's one of her latest pieces.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I can help!

We made a Costco run this afternoon. When we got home, we started unpacking and organizing boxes in the pantry. Alex wanted to help- I'll let the photos below tell the rest of the story :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Can I have this puppy?

Well, we ended up at the Mall of America again, today, but boy was the experience different! Grandpa Steve and Sue were in town, so we figured that it would be a fun place to meet for lunch and aquarium-viewing. We neglected to figure the Grand Opening of the new American Girl Store into our plans. The place was packed with little girls and their dolls (which Alex eyed greedily during lunch). We managed to have a bit of lunch at Johnny Rocket's, and then go to Underwater Adventures (by way of Janie & Jack......thank you Dad & Sue for the additions to Alex's wardrobe!)
At Janie & Jack, Miss Alex fell in love with this puppy dog, and he ended up coming home with us.
Alex led Sue through Underwater Adventures-- (I think she thinks she owns the place), pointing out various water features and turtles all the way.
We got dressed up for dinner with Uncle Willy at our favorite restaurant in Prior Lake- Perron's Sul Lago. Alex did a fantastic job being a perfectly behaved girl the entire time! She enjoyed her own plate of spaghetti noodles with red sauce (as well as bread, some food from home, and a taste of mushroom bruschetta).The next morning we met Grandpa Steve and Sue for breakfast at Perkins where, again, Alex had a great meal. Afterwards they came over to play for a bit, and Alexandra shared all her toys.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"The Car needs a Bath"......riiiight, Mom.....

I happened to have the good fortune of coming across a 25% off entire purchase coupon for Janie & Jack this morning, and we have a Hanna Gift Card that has been burning a hole in my pocket (thanks Jim & Su Marotz!), so it was off to the Mall of America this morning.

The first stop, however, was the carwash. My car was completely filthy from driving down some muddy gravel roads earlier in the week, so Alex and I talked about getting the car a bath. I knew she had NO idea what I was talking about, but it's important to try and prepare kids as much as possible. The picture above pretty much sums up her reaction. She wasn't scared (probably because I kept singing bathtime songs in the front seat, and acting overly excited about the entire experience), but she was definitely skeptical about the entire idea of giving the car a bath.

After surviving one potentially traumatizing event, it was on to the Mall. We made the obligatory stop at the turtle display at Underwater Adventures- where Alex seemed to realize for the first time that there were alligators in the water as well.

By the time we reached Hanna Andersson, she was ready to get out and play. (Note the Janie & Jack bag hanging off the stroller-- Grandmas- we broke down and got the scottie dog t-shirt and red sweater yoga suit, so no repeats!). I should have let her play AFTER we shopped, because I didn't get to use my gift card due to a temper-tantrum when it was time to leave the play area. Sigh.....there's always online shopping :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Playing with Percy

Alex found a new way to play with Percy this morning.... thankfully it does not involve full-body slamming (or anything of the sort).

As you can see, they entertained each other pretty much all morning :-) Alex did get all dressed up for her Sign & Sing class this afternoon, however. She insisted on wearing sunglasses-- I think she sees herself as a movie star! (Check out those patent boots! Pretty snazzy, huh?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A New Word!

OK-- to add to her spoken vocabulary of "up" and "down", Alex started saying "draw" tonight. You can hear it quite clearly (in my opinion) in this video! Enjoy :-)

And so we begin the horrific social experiment of Communal Plastic Playspaces..

We finished last night with a mixed media art project combining traditional crayons, and 'mess free' markers and paint- how I love the Color Wonder line of products from Crayola. In fact, I wish that I would have used them during college-- (I'm only half joking, as I would have saved a LOT of clothes from the fate of an art major's wardrobe).
This morning we were up bright and early to host an "Early Risers Breakfast" for MOMS Club at the local McDonalds. Yes, I held my breath and swallowed my "don't touch anything or go in there" cries as 'adventurous Alex' decided she needed to be in the play structure. Luckily it was just us MOMS Club crew in there, so the kids all knew each other. Another good turn of events was that Alex didn't want to leave the first pod. She was quite content to just sit there where she could see me and her friends playing (until later, when she discovered that playing peek-a-boo come and get me with an extremely patient 'older brother' could be FUN!!).
It continues to be cloudy, cold, and rainy here, so we didn't get outside today either (poor Copper has a 'hangdog' look about her-- no pun intended), but we did practice riding Alex's rocking horse, complete with cowgirl hat!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bundled Up!

I'm definitely feeling better, and back to the blog! Yea! We still kept it a pretty tame day, only making it to Target for our outing. It was so cold and rainy out, though, that Alex had to get dressed in her winter wear. How cute is this Minnesota baby?Today I deep-cleaned Alex's room, and ended up putting away a few 'baby' toys and bringing out some 'new' big girl toys. Well, they weren't actually new, but presents we had received either before she was born or shortly thereafter.

Dave's employer, Accenture, gave us this mini Radio Flyer as a baby gift, and now that Alex has a big one she apparently knows what to do with the toy version...or something.For Christmas last year, the Bennett family gave Alex a beautiful American Girl doll named 'Nicki'. I created a display spot for her today so Alex got to meet her new friend for the first of many supervised visits (until she's old enough to take proper care of her). She was transfixed with Nicki's little hands and beautiful curls!

Grandma Jones and Auntie Rorie found this magical jewelry box the summer before Alexandra was born. Today we discovered it is the perfect spot for her ever-growing collection of hair accessories. (It's also the PERFECT bargaining chip for getting Alex to stop squirming on the changing table. All I need to say is "do you want to see your bows after we're done?" and she complies instantly!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mommy's "Sick Day"

I'm posting this retroactively, as I've been down for the count for the last few days. Dave, the best husband in the WORLD, rearranged his schedule (and three meetings) on Monday so that he could play "Mommy" and let me sleep to recuperate! He not only got Alex up, dressed, and fed (all the normal stuff), but also took her to Kindermusik and to the doctor to get her booster flu shot. What a great guy!