Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out, Uncle Willy!

When Will was little, one of his favorite toys of all times was his Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. Now, most of you know I have a 'ban' on plastic toys in the house, but we did make an exception for Alex's new wheels. I did warn her that she'd have to fight Uncle Willy for it when he visits.

Because all of the kids on our new street play outdoors from 3pm-6 or so, we decided to invest in another riding toy, so that Alex can hang out and be 'cool'. I found this little grasshopper at Bella Bambino, a consignment store in the River Ridge Arts Building in Burnsville. How cute are his antannae?

Speaking of the new place, it's a little like living in how I'd imagine Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. We've had three or four people stop by to welcome us in, we've even received a chocolate cake from the neighbors across the street! We've yet to set up a playdate with anyone, but we do have two little girls who are right around Alex's age in the house surrounding us! How cool it that?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back to Quasi-Normal

Al with Miss Chris- her beloved Kindermusik teacher.

In an attempt to try and keep things semi-normal for Alex, we've been attending all of her regular Shakopee and Burnsville. While it makes for some long days in the car, she really loves her teachers and friends, and I think it is really helping her transition.

On Tuesday, we took Grandma Mary to Kindermusik, where she was a great sport and participated with much gusto! :-) Afterwards, to split up the drive home, we stopped for brunch at IKEA. Who knew you could get enough food for 5 people for under $7! Alex also got to pick out a very special housewarming gift- her own slide!

As if this wasn't the most spoiled child in the world-- check out her new playroom.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moving Day!! (or Moving WEEKEND)

Well, I'm finally able to catch my breath and start up the blog again. Moving really is an endeavor! I'll give everyone a quick recap of the moving day events, and then get to the pictures!We closed on the Woodbury house last Thursday, and were able to bring up a first load that evening. We mainly brought Alex's toys and garden supplies- anything 'awkward' that we didn't want the movers wasting time with. Alex and Grandma Mary checked out the new digs and had a lot of fun playing in the empty rooms.

Our Friday was a LONG day. Alexandra and Mary headed up to Woodbury early in the morning (around 7am) to meet Auntie Carrie and await the appliance deliveries. Meanwhile, Dave and I finished packing up and, with the help of 2 Men and a Truck, got the rest of the stuff.....or- wait.... we couldn't fit it all in the professional moving van, so we planned on running one more trailer load on Saturday.Alex and Grandma spent Friday watching furniture and boxes come into the house. Auntie Carrie was there to help as well.

On Saturday, Carrie, Mary and Alex had the house to themselves as Dave and I headed to Prior Lake (after having to fix a flat tire on my Jeep) to load up the LAST of the stuff.....oh- wait. We STILL couldn't fit it all in, and had to come for one last load on Sunday. We got the old house all cleaned up and by the time we got back to the new house, it was suppertime, and Carrie had my kitchen all organized!

Sunday was REALLY the last day of moving. I can't believe how much 'stuff' one can accumulate over 5 years! We were down in PL for the last time, and said goodbye to the old house. Once our things were out of it, it didn't really feel like home anymore, and it was SO relieving to be FINALLY completely into our new home. Alex was VERY excited to see GrandPapa Claude when he stopped by to say 'hi' (he was playing hooky from a meeting) for dinner. She wanted to show him everything in her new house, and spent all dinner trying to catch his eye and share a giggle.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

QUICK update

Well, after three days of moving, we're finally 'in'! I'll update later with photos and details, but all of our belongings are FINALLY in Woodbury (and we have internet access).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Countdown to the Move.

We are so lucky to have such great friends & family. Dave and I spent almost all weekend packing. How, do you ask, were we able to accomplish that with an 18 month old?

On Saturday, our friends Emma and Megan came over bright and early to entertain Alex ALL morning long. Megan is such a trooper, as the girls spent the majority of the time at the 2 hours! Alex had SO much fun, and is still talking about when Emma was at the park with her.

Sunday morning we were likewise blessed with Auntie Carrie coming over to take care of Miss Alex. Even though it was yucky and rainy out, they had plenty of fun playing inside and reading LOTS of books while Dave and I disassembled beds and packed up the final kitchen boxes.

We're pretty much ready-- just a few cupboards to go. The plan is to bring up a load of stuff in our vehicles after closing on Thursday morning (fragiles and awkwards), and then the movers come Friday. We are VERY excited to see Grandma Mary on Wednesday night.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Alex Inspects the new House

We had our final walk-through of the new house yesterday (sorry for the delay in posting-- but with laptop that is giving me problems, plus packing, I'll probably not be updating daily for at least a week and a half). Alex enjoyed zipping UP and DOWN the stairs-- no problem there!

Alex checks our her new bathroom. This tub looks nice....maybe I'll take all my baths in here, Mom!

Posing with the kitchen island.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Practice makes perfect

It was SUCH a beautiful day outside that we spent the majority of our afternoon out! We played at the park as well as in the driveway with sidewalk chalk.

I even managed to get in some letter recognition practice with Alex by drawing big letters on the driveway and having her run and stand on a specific letter when I made the sound. She loved it-- I loved it-- I can see how we're going to learn how to read! She obviously is a kinesthetic learner (what toddler isn't?). Next week- letter chunks!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend #2

It seems strange that this is Alex's second Easter! Even though she was just a baby last year, apparently she picked up some egg coloring and hunting tips, because she knew EXACTLY what to do in both situations. To keep from having a HUGE blog entry- I'll just share some photos with short captions.
The Easter Bunny was VERY generous this year-- he even found a playset to bring Alex for Easter. Alex was SO excited about the "park" that the bunny brought!
GrandPapa was happy with Alex's reading selection in Church on Sunday..
We spent time visiting with Godmother Cathleen (who brought Alex some great toys -- a kitty that she refuses to put down and some fantastic wooden food for her kitchen)

Alex and GrandPapa enjoying storytime on the couch.
GrandMama and Alex work on pattern recognition.
Time to color Easter eggs! Alex knew exactly what to do, and dropped each egg into a color cup with great precision.What is going on in there? Are they done yet?
Alex's Masterpieces (only 6/11 had cracked shells as a result of indelicate handling :-)
It was so beautiful out that we played outside ALL weekend! Uncle Willy had the best bouncing game.Time for the Easter Egg hunt! Alex took a while to get into it (because she kept screaming "PARK!!" and wanted to slide)...

...but once she figured out there were little animals inside the eggs, the game was ON!!!
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Farm Babies are back!

Since we're leaving for our Easter weekend this evening, we had to miss MOMS Club Farm Babies visit tomorrow, so we went today.Alex was really excited to see the 'buh-bee's, and she was not disappointed. Inside the main building was a new litter of bunnies on display. Then we walked all the way out to the Farm, and visited the kids, lambs, calves, piglets, and chicks. I even bought some goat food so that Alex could feel the velvety nibble of baby goats.....although one of the Mommy goats actually ate most of it. She watched carefully as I showed her how to keep her hand open so that the animals wouldn't accidentally nip her, and then bravely fed them herself. It was one of the best 50 cents I've spent in the past few months!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Growing Vegetable Soup......or at least some herbs

Since our new house is currently sans garden, we decided to start some herb seeds inside this morning. Alex has been obsessed with the book "Growing Vegetable Soup" by Lois Ehlert. The book uses bright cut paper images to show every step of growing vegetables- but Alex really likes the page that shows all the different seeds. She got some hands-on practice today.

Step One: Take the Jiffy pellets out of the container.
Alex signs for "water" when I ask her what plants need to grow.

Step Two: Adding the water to the Jiffy pellets. Alex kindly let me assist in this process, as the measuring cup was quite heavy.
Step Three: Fluffling the dirt with a fork. This was perhaps the most fun step of all! She was very careful to try and keep all the dirt in the container, because the baby plants needed it.
Step Four: Selecting the seeds ("Baby Plants" in Alex-sign language, "Buh-bee" in Alex-ese"). We planted chives, sweet basil and italian parsley.

Step Five: Carefully making holes for the seeds and patting soil around them.

She was so proud of herself, although the concept of 'baby plants' taking TIME to grow is a foreign one for a toddler. We covered the pot with saran wrap and put it on our kitchen table so that we can monitor it for daily growth. Every time we passed the table today, we had to check on our baby plants :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The KITTY Doctor.....

I learned my lesson about scheduling a vet visit and a doctor visit one day apart. Alex was understandably worried and scared when we brought the cats to the vet today. We did talk all morning about bringing the boys to the "kitty doctor", and I thought she got it.....that is until it was time to actually leave the waiting area and enter the exam room.

Apparently she remembered that I lied to her yesterday, and she was convinced I'd done it again. I had to hold her through the entire visit-- the vet tech was so nice, explaining everything that she was doing to the cats.As a thinly veiled attempt to buy back my child's love, we found a great deal at Wal-Mart today-- A 20 piece set of sidewalk chalk for $1.50! We had fun drawing on the driveway this afternoon-- it was just the right temperature while we were on the asphalt.

Monday, April 6, 2009

18 Month Appt

So....Alex was NOT happy about having to go to the doctor for her 18 month well-baby visit this afternoon. We talked a lot about the doctor, and (I swear) the last time we were in she said there were no shots this time. So-- of course, I had my daughter prepped for a non-invasive visit.

Sadly, there was a shot (only one), so Alex turned to me and said "No!" when the nurse came in with the syringe at the end of the appt. Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but I swear the betrayal of her mother far outweighed the pain of the actual shot. Sigh....

At least she had fun painting with her ECFE teacher, Miss Jackie, this morning.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Exploring Woodbury

We had a free morning, so we decided to head up to our new neighborhood and poke around. We found the appliance suite we wanted at Sam's Club, so we decided to pop into the Woodbury store to become members (yes-- we're now BOTH Costco and Sam's Club members!). After driving around, taking in the sights, we stopped at the local Carbone's Pizza for lunch. Alex LOVED her first taste of pizza (even though we basically had to strip it of all toppings to be 'yummy').
After returning home, our friend Brad came over to visit. Because we had to vacate the house for another showing (yes-- even though we've signed a purchase agreement, we're still showing the house- just in case- until the final FHA inspection is finished), we headed to Menard's to run some errands. Alex was ELATED when Brad put her IN the cart. How fun! After Menard's, we went out to Buca di Beppo's for a delicious dinner-- we've been eating well the past few days!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Up Close and Personal

We went to St. Paul this morning to visit Auntie Carrie (and get the cats back-- they'd been vacationing with her while we showed the house). It was pretty chilly out, but we braved the elements to go to Como Zoo.We had a great trip-- all of the animals were right up close. Alex got to meet a Sea Lion who kept shaking his head whenever she touched the glass.
She also got to say hello to an orangutan who looked a little sad and bored......I hope his day got better.The giraffes were in their indoor enclosure, since it was a bit chilly out, but Alex had a great time counting them (and their spots) right up close!

Como Zoo is so different from the MN Zoo-- we'll definitely have to head back here a bunch this summer!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lunch Break with Daddy

Last night, Alex got to eat her first whole banana-- she decided that she needed to act like a monkey.
Today, we had a Park Progression-- from Prior Lake to Arden Hills. We started off by going to Ponds Park to meet some MOMS Club friends. We had to leave before anyone else got there, but Alex still had a lot of fun exploring a new park.We were running around the Northern Suburbs this afternoon, so we packed a picnic lunch and met Dave at his office. There is a cute little park right next to his office, so we headed there to eat and play. Hopefully we'll be able to do this more often once we move to Woodbury! Both Dave and Alex had a lot of fun!