Monday, March 30, 2009

Gotta Love Technology!

I was telling some of you loyal blog-followers that the next few weeks will most likely be piecemeal, as our days now consist of cleaning the house and evacuating for showings. On Sunday, we had 3 showings lined up. I ran to the store to buy more Windex (2 / $5 at Target right now), and upon returning to my home saw Alex engaged with her new' Babysitter'..... Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bob.No- they hadn't flown in from Phoenix- they were live and 'in person' on the big screen TV via Skype. Dave was cleaning the bathroom, so he had his mom and dad entertain Alex from across the country.....pretty cool, huh?
After we scoured the house, we packed up the boys and headed to St. Paul to squat in Auntie Carrie's apartment for the afternoon. She is a very gracious host, even letting Alex play with her beloved Bunny Foofoo.

Alex, Percy, Huxley and I ended up back at Carrie's apartment today (in fact- the cats are still there) because of some more back to back showings. Hopefully we'll be able to 'reel in' a potential buyer-- our realtor says he's been getting a lot of questions from one party in particular-- how nice would it be to not have to keep this 'model home' cleanliness up!
The boys will stay at Carrie's tonight, and then they'll come home tomorrow evening....just in time for their annual vet exam. Won't they be happy?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Visitors- Round 3

We had a fun couple of days entertaining Grandpa Steve (Gramps) and Sue. Even though the temperature outside has dropped, Alex braved the chilly weather to show them her playground.

Thursday morning we met up with them to drive past the new house and hit Underwater Adventures. If you haven't been there in a while, it's definitely worth a return visit- they have a fantastic new seahorse exhibit. Alex fell in love with the sea dragons (they look like the long pieces of seaweed on the bottom of the tank), and we visited the aquarium two separate times during this trip to the mall.
We've had the first showing for the house, and thankfully we were able to hang out with my
Dad and Sue at their hotel so we weren't displaced for too long. Alex got in a trip to the gift store while I was treated to a massage at the hotel spa! If only every time we had to evacuate would be so relaxing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Alex's New House

We took Alex up to Woodbury today to meet the home inspector and take a look at her new house. I realized that our home-buying experience was spottily referenced on the blog- so for all you who have been out of the loop- my apologies, and a recap below.

Last Saturday, Dave and I went to Stonemill Farms with our realtor, Brian Burkhart of Home Time Real Estate Service (HIGHLY recommended if you're looking for a great realtor!!!). This is the second home that he's helped us find- our current home we found the first weekend we were looking, and the next home was on weekend #2. Pretty good, huh?

We walked through the house, and noticed that the cabinetry was obviously being replaced. In order to get a good deal on our new home, Dave and I were looking at a lot of bank-owned and foreclosure houses. This particular house was built in 2006, but the previous owners ripped out all the cabinetry, appliances, and granite when they vacated. The bank was in the process of replacing the cabinets and countertops, so they're brand new.
We decided to make an offer Saturday night, and by Wednesday we had a signed purchase agreement! There was a little bit of a bidding war going on between ourselves and one other couple, but we won.

Soon after the p.a. was signed, we were notified that even though they had formerly told us that the countertops had already been ordered, they really hadn't. We were invited into the decision making process (joy!), and now you all know the story of how Amy came to get her Granite. We did upgrade a little from what the bank originally intended, but they were very open to letting us pay the difference :-)

So-- back to Alex. She had so much fun running around the house...eating her bunnies and playing in empty cabinets. She seemed to really like it.
Dave, on the other hand, was so overcome with emotion that he fainted on the premises. Well-- could have been that horrible flu that finally hit him. We were signing the paperwork with the contractor when I saw his knees buckle-- how dramatic! He had taken the day off work as a sick day, and I feel bad for dragging him up to the house, but we needed his signature today. He soon regained his composure (poor guy) and we took a final walk-through. Amazing to think that we'll be moving in - in exactly a month!
As a celebration this evening, Alex had her first hamburger! She's obviously feeling much better and loved her burger (though the fries didn't do much for her).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update

Sorry it's been so long (an unprecedented event for Alex's World). Let's just say that guests + buying a house + the stomach flu makes for a rocky week or so. As seen on the prior posting, Alex has been sick and then in recovery for the past few days. We did have a visit from my good friend, Shelly, this past weekend, and she was a great help, as I succumbed to Alex's illness a few days after she did.
"Miss Shelly" and Alex at the park.

Today Dave worked from home so that I could have one more day to recover. We've been working really hard to get our current house in order for listing (it should be on the market on Wednesday).

Other updates:

HOUSE:
-Our purchase agreement was accepted, and if everything goes as planned, we'll be closing on April 23rd!
-The house is in Stonemill Farms in Woodbury, so we'll be a little farther away from all our friends in the South Metro, but much closer to Dave's work.
-I got to pick out the granite for the kitchen and bathrooms! Granite showrooms definitely rate as one of the coolest places ever!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

UPDATE- The Incident at Key's Cafe

I should have known better when she woke up and didn't act like herself. All thoughout breakfast, Alex was unordinarily quiet and not very animated. She wasn't too hungry and became desperately clingy throughout the morning.
But what did I do? Packed her (and Elmo) up to head to Southdale, where it seems is one of the few survivng Stride Rites in the city (they're having a sale). We picked out some new shoes (thanks, Mom!), and then decided to drive past the new house so that Mom and Rorie could see it.
Alex slept in the car until we stopped for lunch at Key's Cafe in Woodbury (I'd heard great reviews, but had never eaten at one). Since she wasn't too hungry, I just ordered her some mashed potatoes, thinking she'd like that. About 4 minutes after we'd ordered, I thought I might detect a diaper issue. I was headed to the bathroom with Alex when Mom told Rorie to come help me-- not sure why- she said later shed 'had a feeling'.
(NOTE: Do not read on if you have a weak stomach... :-) )


As soon as we'd entered the one-stall bathroom (thank, God!), I saw something fall onto the floor. My first gut reaction was that Alex had dropped something. I bent forward to peer over her back and see what it was, and immediately saw yellow diarrhea oozing out over the top of her jeans, all over my arm and starting to pool on the floor in front of me. Trying not to gag, I had Alex stand on the floor as I literally peeled the soiled clothing off of her. Meanwhile, Rorie is gagging in the corner of the poorly ventilated bathroom, frantically ripping of swatches of paper towel and wetting them because, of course, I only had about 5 wipes in my case.

Poor Alex was such a good sport. When we were done with the clean up, she was standing there in just a diaper. My sweatshirt had been utterly comprimised, so we had nothing to wrap her in, and had to bring a nearly naked baby back into the restaurant.

If you were eating near the back of that cafe on the 18th, I profoundly apologize for the smell that wafted into your dining experience.

As we reached the table, we saw that ALL of our food had been delivered. The sandwiches, fries, potatoes, cups of soup- Rorie's malt....everything was there. Alas, we had a naked baby with nothing to wear (would you believe I didn't bring the full diaper bag with me today....because I was lazy and didn't want to haul it. I wanted to be a 'normal' person who carried a purse).

We grabbed Alex's coat, bundled her up and I pulled the Jeep in front of the restaurant to load her in. Meanwhile, Mom was trying frantically to get our lunch boxed up to go back home (about a 45 min drive, mind you), and forfeited the packing of the soup and the malt in the interest of time. We finally got packed up, Rorie bemoaning the loss of her malt (which she didn't even get a taste of) and headed back to Prior Lake.

Sigh.....motherhood.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Delay...

We apologize for the delay in posting. Amy's been busy 'project managing' the house search and house sale preparation. I'll see if I can get her to make an update for everyone today.

(Doesn't she realize in "Web 2.0" world that you lose readers if you do not have updated content?!?)

UPDATE- Elmo visits St. Olaf

Yes- Elmo went everywhere we did last week, including a trip to St. Olaf to visit Uncle Willy. We actually met him outside of class, where we embarrased him by loudly proclaiming that "We've taken care of your baby for long enough- when are you going to take some responsibility?" Dave wanted to send Al in an "I love my daddy" shirt, but alas, we have none.
Alex with her GrandMaMa and GrandPaPa in front of the library.
Exhausted, but happy snuggled with her friend.
"Exercising" with Auntie Rorie and the Wii.

Monday, March 16, 2009

UPDATE-Special Visitors

GrandMama, GrandPapa and Auntie Rorie arrived for their Spring Break last night, so we brought GrandMama to ECFE this morning. Alex loved showing her all the neat toys that she loves-- GrandMama loved bragging that Alex's Mama was an ECFE grad herself.



After school, we retrieved Auntie Rorie (who had been granted a few extra hours to sleep) and headed to the "Boo"!
It was such a perfect day that we were in light sweaters! THIS is why we live in Minnesota!
Alex had a very special friend who was visiting her from Des Moines as well. Tickle Me Elmo is not allowed to live with US (there are special zoning requirements :-) ), but he did manage to grab a ride with GrandMama and GrandPapa (according to Auntie Rorie, he was seatbelted next to her for the trip).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sugar Rush!!!!!


After a fun morning at the zoo (where we got to witness the wolves howling and pacing because some wild turkey were deliberatly teasing them on the other side of their fence), Alex got to play at Playworks this afternoon while Mommy worked out and Daddy & Brad relaxed in the hot tub.
After playing for about an hour and a half (she loves it there), Brad treated us to dinner at Perkins. Normally a reliable, if not 'great', restaurant. Tonight was off-- my tilapia had gone bad, they forgot side dishes, and we waited forever. However, Alex was a perfect angel throughout, and kept us all entertained with her silly pet tricks. She can now tell us what the letters "A" and "B" sound like when she sees them (video to come soon- we haven't gotten a good shot yet), as well as animal noises of all sorts. She also identified "Brad" tonight ('Baad').

Due to our slightly crummy service, we enjoyed a cookie and some pie on the house (along with a free chicken sandwich). We have never seen Alex on a sugar high before, but as this video can attest, she circled around the trunk for about 10 minutes when we got home. Currently, Dave is wrestling her into her pj's- she's completely crashing...:-) (Warning: this video is a tad on the long side-- but we think it's pretty funny)

video

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Babies in Hats

So, she's really not a baby anymore.....sad, isn't it? We pretty much just hung out at home today. It's chilly out and I'm working on organizing the bedrooms. Fun, huh?
Alex did find a special new friend as I was cleaning out the closet, however. We bought this guy to keep a hold of her at airports, but she has previously refused to wear it. Today, however, he graced her back for about 2 hours......apparently 'just because'.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Towers, Bells, and the Swiffer Duster

I absolutely love the fact that Alex is so excited to jump in and help dust!

video

We pretty much have the laundry room, the kitchen, the living room and the 'dining room' area done! We have strategic hiding places for all of Alex's toys, but I know that some of you (Mom...) have been worried about her sitting in an empty room with a pile of cardboard boxes. As you can see, she has plenty of things to keep her occupied.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kindermusik Girl

We didn't blog at all yesterday due to a cranky kid. I thought she might really be sick, but apparently all this fever / fussiness is to be attributed to new teeth coming in. She's never had this much trouble with teething before, but I guess these last teeth are difficult...So-- we made it to Kindermusik this morning. Alex loves her teacher, Miss Chris, and always finds a way to sidle up next to her and try to get some one-on-one time.


We always get to class a few minutes early, so that Alex can play with the toys they have in the lobby. Today she was overjoyed to find a book with a dolphin as a main character!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We're Making Waffles....

Another day of packing up and rearranging furniture started with Alexandra and Daddy making breakfast.
We think she's teething again-- cranky, slight fever, shoving her fists into her mouth until she gags.....you know-- all the normal signs :-) She took two naps today (unheard of!). Even with not feeling the best, she still sat through an entire Stages Children's Theater production this afternoon.
The show started at 4:30, so I was nervous about a hungry kid, but Alex seemed to be captivated by the kids singing and dancing on stage. The play was based on a 'breakfast club' of middle-schoolers in detention who act out these different stories. No turtle or rabbit costumes, but Alex was still interested! I was shocked that she sat quietly (for the most part) and watched an hour long production.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

House Hunting: Day 1

OK- so I know this is a blog about "Alex's" World, but I had to share this AMAZING photo of one of the bedrooms in a house we looked at yesterday. There really are no words to describe it.



This was a huge (3400 sq ft) bank-owned house that needed a LOT of TLC-- there was not a single room that didn't have wallpaper (old, fading, peeling wallpaper) or DIY paintings by untalented child artists. Sorry for all you who are frequent guests in our home, but you will NOT be sleeping in the baseball room, we'll have to let this 'gem' go.


Alex and Uncle Willy had fun all morning while Dave and I looked at houses (the majority of which were MUCH nicer than the Baseball house). Unfortunately we didn't get any photos, so Uncle Willy will just have to come back next weekend to watch her again? :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Splashing in Puddles


We've been packing up-- Alex has been enjoying having a plethora of 'blank canvases' to decorate throughout the day.

When it got warmer out, we headed outside to start loading up boxes into the storage unit. I dressed Alex to play in the snow, but it was the puddles that caught her eye.
video

Later this afternoon, Alexandra and I joined a bunch of our ECFE friends for a playdate. These kids have all known each other since they were about 3 months old. It had been a while since we'd seen some of them, and we all had fun playing and catching up. We even managed to 'round up' the kids for a group photo.



As we had an intense afternoon with a bunch of energetic toddlers, we decompressed by playing with the cats tonight. As a last video clip, enjoy Alex playing with Percy. She's recently started 'purring' when the kitties purr.
video

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good Mom....Bad Mom

"Good Mom": Field Trip!
I was very excited to attend our first MomCulture event at the Walker Art Center this morning. Alex and I got to join other moms and kids for a special gallery tour. I could tell that Alex was impressed by the architecture of the building (more than the art). She absolutely loved the glass chandelier that hung above a seating area. The artist on display (Elizabeth Peyton), well-- not too impressive for a 17 month old.
I thought that some of the paintings were interesting, but she's definitely not my favorite artist. Only 3-4 pieces really made me stop and look at them. The strange thing to me is that she is so venerated in the art world, but she's really not that original. They're just (in my opinion)- kind of sloppy portraits of random people- some famous, some not.Anyway-- Alex made it through about 3/4 of the gallery tour. Then she started signing for her 'nook' (which, of course, I had left in my coat pocket on the other side of the museum). We snuck out of the main gallery to retrieve the nook, and then she found a video bank that kept her occupied until everyone else was done with the tour. Overall we had a fine time, but it would definitely be more fun to go with another mom that I know.
"Bad Mom" :-) : Movie Time!
We had our mobile storage units delivered today, and to try and keep Alex occupied while I helped the delivery man place them, I stuck in her "Sign and Sing" DVD. To make it a 'treat', I took a pillow from the couch and placed it on the floor, as a special cushion for her.

video

Much to my surprise, she was glued to the set. It was the first time ever that she's actually sat and paid attention to what was on tv-- not just listening to it while playing with her toys. (Don't worry- I don't really think I'm a bad mom, but I can see where the temptation lies to put in a DVD for your kid once or twice a day!) I did get my units placed, however. Now for stage one of packing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

St. Paddy's Day Prep


As you can see, Alex was hard at work preparing for St. Patrick's Day. We met some MOMS Club friends at the library today to do some crafts, and she dove right in! She was so proud of her headband that she insisted on wearing it out of the library and into Edelweiss Bakery for an after-craft cookie with her Mama.

The kids model their handiwork!

The other news-worthy nugget that we have is that Alex went to Babies R Us this morning and picked out her very own "Big Girl" Booster Seat. I wasn't planning on banishing the high chair quite yet, but in the process of 'staging' the house, I decided that the highchair took up too much room. Alex, on the other hand, seems only TOO ready to sit with Mama and Daddy at the big table, and is very proud of her new seat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cereal...the REAL way


Short entry: Alex enjoyed her first bowl of cereal with milk this morning. Small milestone, but an important one-- it now makes breakfast time that much easier.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Morning at School

Alexandra was very excited to go to school this morning. Her ECFE teacher had set up a painting station, which Alex immediately went to. She even tolerated wearing the smock!

After painting with her friends, it was time for her to find a corner to snuggle into and do what she likes to do best-- read! I'm so glad she feels comfortable in her classroom, and loves her teacher, Miss Jackie!

I put her down for a nap following lunch (around 11:45)- and it's now 3:15 with still no peep! I've had time to cull and organize pantry items and completely clean/decorate a bathroom. We're in the process of 'staging' the house for showing right now, so all this extra time is fantastic. While I love the order of a model-home, it's going to feel really weird not to have all of our 'stuff' around. We'll keep important items (like toys and books, along with a few linens, towels and dinnerware) out until the end, but a lot of my folk artsy touches have been packed away. I even went out and bought fake flowers because I read in one staging article that the color yellow puts people in the mood to buy. *don't worry-- they're not cheesy*



Sunday, March 1, 2009

Daddy's Big Helper

Well- for those of you who haven't heard yet, this is our official announcement- We're moving! Where? We're not sure yet, but we're going to take advantage of the really good interest rates to upgrade a bit (I don't know....but a basement and more than 2 bedrooms would be great!)

So-- the home improvements have stepped up a notch. Today was 'Replace Your 1970's Vanity So That Somebody Will Buy Your House Day'. Alex was excited to help Daddy.

She made sure that she was right in the action. Watching the water drain from the pipe was perhaps the highlight of her day!Waiting patiently with her tools.
The result! A clean new white cultured marble vanity that makes the master bath look...well-- nice!