Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Letter from Elmo!

After we spent a great morning catching up with our friend Brad, Alex came home to discover that she was the lucky recipient of a package from ELMO!! (Thanks Grandma & Grandpa Jones....) The perfect surprise for a 'get well' and '17 Month Birthday' gift wrapped into one.Elmo sent a letter, a book, and a package of Noah's Ark stickers. What more could a little girl ask for?
Alex quickly discovered that small stickers work as decorations for her cheeks. She had so much fun playing peekaboo with herself in the mirror.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Still sick

We took it easy today, as Alex is still under the weather. We did take some time to work on our ongoing mural, which she intensely worked on. Otherwise, today was a lot of eating Jello, popsicles, and toast. :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Croup is a bummer...

Last night was not the most fun. I think we had our first Croup experience. I woke up at about 2:30 because I heard Alex crying and coughing in the other room- I brought her a sippy cup full of water and she gulped it down. She was having a really hard time breathing normally- too much congestion, so we rocked for a while until she calmed down and was having an easier time.

To our dismay, our insistence on her sleeping solo comes back to bite us when she's in need of some comfort. It's such a novelty to have Daddy or Mama rocking with her that she can't fall asleep, no matter how tired she is. Eventually I tucked her in again, and she slept till morning.

So-- today we've just been monitoring her (Dave worked from home because of the snowstorm), and taking it easy. She's much better now, but I know tonight will be hard again.

Even with her cold, she's still up for having fun and being creative. Here's a clip of what we were up to today (in between naps).

"What it feels like to be sick"- by Alex Marotz

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Empathetic Sleeping Beauty

We are still sick-- but I had a doctor's appointment today, so we had to bundle up and venture out (it was actually quite nice outside) to St. Louis Park. As we ended up arriving about 1/2 an hour early, I decided to stop in at a nearby Once Upon a Child to do some pre-appointment shopping. Alex had just fallen asleep in the car, so I got to do some semi-peaceful browsing (as much as is possible while holding a snoring toddler over your shoulder). She stayed asleep through the transfer back to the car-- out of the car again at the doctor's, and through the waiting room experience.She woke up as I was talking to my doctor, and was a bit perplexed at where we were. After some consoling words and a sippy cup of milk, she was fine. That is, until the nurse came to give me a shot. We had talked about how Mommy was getting a shot today- not Alex- and she seemed to grasp that, but as the nurse stuck the needle into me, she started to whimper and cry. I managed to convince her that I was fine, and it didn't hurt, and she stopped, but was very happy to escape the office.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Popsicles and the Park

Although I have a sick kiddo on my hands (majorly drippy nose, congestion, sore throat and I think headache), we still managed to have a nice day together. We had to cancel a playdate with Melissa and Graham this morning, though-- which was disappointing, but we didn't want to infect them as well. So, instead, we lounged around in our pj's for the morning.

Alex didn't want to drink anything- no milk, no water, ABSOLUTELY no juice (judging by her reaction, apple juice is apparently equivalent to poison). Luckily we'd picked up some mini popsicles (ever heard of such a thing?) at the store yesterday, and she enjoyed her first popsicle experience. We had to work hard to get the concept of sucking on the popsicle, not biting and chewing it, but once she understood it was a good way to get some sort of liquid in her system.

Later this afternoon, she seemed to be feeling better, so despite the runny nose we headed outside to play in the nearly 40 degree weather! We took her sled over to the park, where she enjoyed sliding and swinging. After playing for a while we took a walk down the street (our first outdoor 'excursion' without our faithful Copper leading the way-- that was a little sad), and checked the mailbox. Alex's job was to hold on to the mail, a task she took very seriously, refusing to surrender the post even once we were inside.

Monday, February 23, 2009

That's Me!

Yesterday, we hit another milestone! I was showing Alex some video clips of her playing with the cats, and she said "Alex" and pointed at the screen! Now she can identify herself in photos, and it's not always "baby"!

As for today, she started out with a bang-- TWO spoons for her oatmeal made the job go faster :-) Then we had ECFE class followed directly by Kindermusik. So, you can see why I'm not surprised that as I'm writing this, I have a crying, ultra-dramatic baby who did not take a long-enough nap. I'm trying the "when you're through having a temper tantrum and can ask for what you want I will help you" approach. Sigh.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Dave and I weren't feeling too well this morning (hopefully just a couple of colds from the Pet Expo), so we pretty much hung out at home today, taking it easy. At one point we both looked up from our projects and asked each other where Alex was....
Turns out she was reading Percy a story in her bedroom.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Puppies Galore!!

The last time Dave and I went to the Twin Cities Pet Expo, I fell in love with a basset hound who I wanted so badly to adopt (Dave eventually gave in and Copper joined our family). This trip I didn't fall in love with any puppies, but we still had a memorable time.

After watching some frisbee dogs in action, we got to meet "Lady", an adorable border colle mix.

Daddy and Alex watch the Dock Dogs jump off the platform into the water to retrieve decoys! Wow-- some of those dogs were amazing!

I enthusiastically approached the herptological society's booth, determined that my little girl would follow my lead and be (gulp) excited about snakes and scaly things. She was not convinced that the Skink was 'cool'.

The bulldog wasn't that much cooler :-) For as much as she likes dogs, she seemed to be a bit intimidated by this roly-poly one.
The highlight of our day was the "Dancing with Dogs" performance. This dalmatian lady (note her spotted spats and hat) and her dog were fantastic, and Alex thought it was pretty funny to see a puppy dance.Alexandra was happiest when she was allowed to run freely inside the event center. Dave got his exercise chasing her around!

We bought the boys a new toy, which Alex was thrilled to show them. If you haven't gone to the Pet Expo, it's definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon!

The last time we went


Friday, February 20, 2009

Picture with Semo

While Daddy worked from home this morning, Alex and I headed to the zoo in order to give him some "eagle-screech free" time. We were able to visit the dolphins in the stadium (although there are still no shows going on due to a pregnancy), and had our picture taken with Semo, the "Daddy" dolphin. Alex seemed to really enjoy sitting on the stadium benches, so I'm excited to bring her back when they're doing a show!
We also braved the slightly chilly weather to go check out the bears, and it was a good thing we did because they were very active-- playing 'king of the hill' in their enclosure and wrestling for all to see. Alex enjoyed watching them and the wild boars in the little cabin.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Isn't it wonderful when you wake up to find a happy baby contentedly reading to herself in her crib?
Emma and Alex share her little doll bed. Emma and her mommy came over today for a somewhat impromptu playdate- the girls had a lot of fun making animal noises and playing with "ball" together :-)

Alex's newest word: Her own name! When choosing a name for our baby, Dave and I did not thoroughly anticipate how difficult pronouncing the letter 'x' would be. However, Alexandra has finally mastered the "x" sound, thus producing a rendition of her name.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ms. Clean

As I've posted before, Alex's favorite thing to do is clean. She will literally take a Clorox wipe and fastidiously cleanse every surface within reach for a good 15 minutes straight. So, this afternoon, I decided to fill up her little kitchen sink with water so that she could actually wash her pots (instead of just pretend). I think I've found another 'cold day' activity that doesn't take too much effort on my part! Now if only my 12" skillet could fit in her sink....
Earlier today, we hosted a MOMS Club playgroup. Alex did a great job sharing toys and playing with her friends. I should mention that in preparation for this playgroup, Alex helped me clean the house this morning-- she insisted on holding the vacuum handle while I tried to clean the rug.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Hectic Day....and a LONG nap

As I type this, my daughter has been asleep for 2 1/2 hours this afternoon. We had a hectic morning, to say the least. After breakfast and the normal morning rituals, we started out with Kindermusik class- where she was such a cutie, snuggling up to her teacher during our quiet reading time (I couldn't get the camera in time!).
Then, we ran out of class and jumped in the car to make it (30 minutes late) to our monthly MOMS Club meeting. I hate feeling rushed!

At the meeting (which went for the rest of the morning), Alex was pretty much on her own while I ran around doing odds and ends. Well- she wasn't exactly on her own. Her two older girlfriends, Lydia and Lauren, kept a watchful eye on her every movement. Lydia even helped her do some coloring (luckily it was washable marker)!

We got home, exhausted, and I managed to get some lunch into her system before she crashed. That's the key-- lunch before naps, so that she's not woken up by a rumbling tummy. That was at 12:15, and now it's 2:50! The plan is to wake up, have some milk and watch a little bit of "Melmo" before heading to play at the gym while Mommy works out. Then we'll get home just in time to fix dinner before Daddy walks in the door.

Had you asked me before I quit teaching if my days at home would be crazy, I would have laughed at you! :-) But it's a good crazy, and we like keeping busy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mail Call.....

Alex and I spent this morning running errands. We hit Wal-Mart, the gas station for a car wash, the Mall of America (yes-- we stopped at Underwater Adventures :-), the local shoe repair place, and Office Max. Sigh.....a busy morning to say the least! I had my heart set on this little Janie & Jack dress for Alex's Easter outfit. Unfortunately the store was out of her size, but they did let us order it (and since we ordered in-store they waived the shipping fee!) So-- she will be a vision in blue for Easter after all!
When we got home from our last round of errands this afternoon, we stopped at the mailbox and Alex discovered a Valentine's Day card from Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Marotz! She is enamored with the sweet unicorn on the front, and is carrying it around, wanting it read over and over again. Riding her pony in the downtime. You can see that she is wearing her medal from The Little Gym. Recently, she's discovered accessories, and although I haven't been able to teach her WHICH accessories go with which outfit, she insists upon choosing some each day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dinner Out!

Our friend Brad came over today to play racquetball with Dave and then take us all out for dinner at Buca di Beppo's. Alex must have known the plan, because she obliged by taking 2 naps and waking up just as it was time to head out!
Due to her afternoon nap, she was in a fantastic mood, and was perfectly behaved throughout the meal (that is...until she saw a picture of an eagle in her book and decided to show off her eagle screech). She enjoyed her first fried mozzerella and pasta carbonara! Mmmm....noodles!

Playing across the table with Brad.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Daddy woke up to receive this card:Mommy got home from her morning work-out to get this card:
(Yes-- it's drawn on the shower wall with bath crayons....creative, no??)
Auntie Carrie came over to babysit while Mommy and Daddy went out for Valentine's Day. It was reported that everything went very well-- Carrie and Alex enjoyed drawing, playing, singing, decorating Valentine's cupcakes, and feeding the kitties random pieces of plastic food.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Seahorses at the "Boo"

Daddy stayed home this morning to play/watch Alex while I had a doctor's appointment (ah...two hours of blissful waiting-room reading w/o baby in tow!), so I relieved him when I got back by taking Alex for a trip to the zoo! (or "Boo", as she calls it)We stopped at all the usuals, but today the seahorses caught her attention. Perhaps it's because of all the fish species drilling....I mean learning. :-) We worked on counting them, but those darn things move really fast!

We're excited for tomorrow-- Auntie Carrie is coming to babysit for the evening. I made some angel food cupcakes and bought some frosting and sprinkles so that they can have a Valentine's Day decoration party!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Series One: A study in color

After Alex got up from her nap this afternoon (which she valiantly fought for 2 hours), we had fun experimenting with paint for the first time!
Things I learned about my daughter:

1. She would rather use a brush than get her fingers dirty

2. She fastidiously cleans the brush between every stroke......definitely NOT my style of art!

The finished pieces:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Marine Biologist in the making

So, now that we've gotten almost all the major species of animal life down, it's time to move on to fish. This is just a sampling of her prowess as a baby marine biologist. :-)

Recognize this dress?

Last year, Alex got quite a few comments about her Valentine's dress being a tad big.....well, here it is for round 2! I saved it, thinking that even though it was a 6-12 month dress, she'd be able to wear it as a shirt this year, and it worked beautifully!

We didn't get to see our friend from last year again, but we did celebrate an early Valentine's Day with the residents at Keystone Communities with our MOMS Club friends. Alex had a fantastic time decorating (and eating) cookies, making Valentines, and visiting with everyone.

The ladies who helped Alex decorate her cookies kept commenting about what a 'sweet' and 'well-behaved' child she was. Ha! If they could have only seen her sugar-induced frenzy when it was time to go home ten minutes later.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Turning a corner

Alex got all dolled up (isn't that the cutest outfit-- check out the boots!) to go to Kindermusik this morning. We arrived a bit ahead of schedule, so she got to play with her favorite tower/ball toy in the lobby until it was time for class.

I think we've finally turned a corner in the stranger-anxiety category. First off-- last week, Grandpa Bob's friend Scott visited us at our condo while we were at Snowbird. Alex not only sat next to him on the couch, she actually asked him for 'help' climbing up! Secondly, she allowed Miss Chris to pick her up and dance with her during Kindermusik today-- no screams, wiggles, or cries!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Giving Baby a Bath

Well, it's back to our old schedule after a week of vacation, and that's not as easy as it sounds! Alex slept in until 7am this morning, which was a great treat, however she was a bit thrown off by our transition back.
We attended ECFE class this morning, where one of the activities was giving a 'baby' a bath. Alex seemed to see the opportunity more as a chance to drip water from a sponge all over herself and her classmates.

This afternoon, naptime was a struggle....and afterwards I had a clingy, whiny baby on my hands until Daddy came home. Tomorrow will be better as we get used to our 'normal' lives once again.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snow Bunny!

We're back from our fabulous Utah adventure! In order to get you the best pics and video, I'll just post a bunch on this entry. We had a fantastic time- great skiing, beautiful scenery, and fun family time (well-- after we all got over the flu that Alex and I brought from Minnesota, that is...)
We stayed at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird- a ski-in/ ski-out resort that is perfectly situated right on the Chickadee run (learner's hill). To get to the 'Snowbird Center'- a small village of shops and restaurants, you have to cross Chickadee on foot- one of Alex's favorite daily excursions!

We tried really hard to expose her to lots of skiiers and snowboarders so that she will be ready to strap on some little skis next year, and she wasn't intimidated at all. In fact, her favorite 'game' was to hike a little ways up Chickadee, turn around and run straight down!

You'd think that a toddler from Minnesota wouldn't be that excited about the snow, but it was all she could talk about. The benefit of Utah snow is that it's actually warm enough (in the 30's-40's) to stay outside and PLAY in it!
Alex spent a lot of time with Grandma Mary while Dave and I were skiing- playing, having bubble baths, and taking walks around the hotel.
I am embarrassed to admit that my daughter has a "Melmo" (Elmo in Alex-speak) addiction, and would wake up from every nap, demanding to see him. Unfortunately, we never figured out when Sesame Street was on, so we had to pull out Dave's laptop so she could get her 'fix'.
This was a frequent sight- Alex in her boots, ready to go out and explore. We had a beautiful three room condo, but she was happiest in the bell lobby, playing on the stairs, or outside!

(video of Alex enjoying the Cliff)

One afternoon, we took Alexandra up the Tram to Hidden Peak (11,000 ft) to see how she'd do 1. with a bunch of skiiers, 2. with altitude, and 3. on a tram. She loved it! Since we know the director of Ski Patrol, we got to visit their hut on the mountain top, where Alex and I got to meet Emma, the avalanch rescue dog on duty.

Like normal, Alex showed no fear of the top of the mountain-- she just started collecting snowballs.

At the end of every day, Alex literally asked to go to bed. She was so tired out from all the activity that she collapsed in her "Romanian Orphanage Crib" (as we dubbed the hotel crib). She barely fit!