Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Day, Amelia!

Alex has been prepping for celebrating 'happy days' for a while now, and it was fantastic to be able to help Amelia and her family celebrate her first birthday, Korean style!The Dol table was beautiful, piled high with heaping towers of rainbow candies (assembled by Melissa herself) to signify good fortune. During her Doljabi ceremony (a fortune-telling tradition- the baby sits in front of a table of various foods and an assortment of objects and is urged to pick up one of the items, each item having symbolic meaning), Amelia sat and thoughtfully took in all the choices in front of her. After a moment she reached toward the pink thread, signifying a long life.

There was a kiddie table full of activities and snacks to keep everyone occupied.
The fish tank, however, was definitely the social gathering spot for the 'under 3' crowd.

Thanks for including us on your Happy Day, Amelia! We had a splendid time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Unca's Boots

Just a quick blog post. We've been lazing around GrandMama's house for a few days now, and despite the TUBS of toys she has here, her favorite thing to play with are "Unca's Boots".

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exploring Rieman Gardens

Yep, we're in Iowa again! Auntie Rorie, Alex and I headed down to visit friends and family for a few days. GrandPapa and GrandMama decided to brave the heat with us and take a drive to Rieman Gardens in Ames to do some exploring.

The grounds were beautiful, and we found some friends "hiding" around the area. Alex was really excited, if a little cautious, about the Mommy and Baby Dinos that we found.
Perhaps the favorite stop, however, were the interactive chimes. You rang them by stepping on metal panels on the sidewalk. Alex was JUST heavy enough to ring them when she jumped up and down. How fun!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweet Corn Kid

We ended a hot, sticky day yesterday with Alex's first official sweet corn (she gummed it last year, but this was the first time with teeth!) She LOVED it :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Zoo Babies

Where do you go when it's a super hot and sticky?? The zoo, of course! We met our friends Megan and Emma at the zoo for a playdate today. The girls had so much fun 'catching up'.Megan treated Alex to a once-in-a-lifetime experience- we got to feed a giraffe! Alex walked right up to him with no fear and offered him a cracker. She wasn't too sure she wanted to repeat the experience, however, and had me feed him the next one.

As it was super hot, we didn't get to all our normal haunts (the farm, rainforest, or minnesota trails). We did go prepared, however. They have a neat fountain play area where the girls donned their bathing suits and played for a while (mommies played, was HOT out!)
Happy after cooling off-- she refused to run through the fountain, but she liked soaking her hat in the cold water.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Check out this outfit!

Transition back to normalcy isn't going as smoothly as one would hope. It seems now that I've been home a few days, the fun has worn off and the 'punishment' for leaving has begun. Don't get me wrong-- Alex is still her normal fun self 85% of the's just the other 15% that is full of tears and whining and clinginess. If I leave the room for just a moment during the day, and she's not involved in a project, it's "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!"

I ran out this morning to go to the store (we were out of diapers!), and Alex and "Auntie", as Rorie is now called, were having a bath and reading stories. When I returned from my jaunt, I found my daughter had insisted on dressing herself. In Rorie's words- "She selected these articles of clothing specifically".

We decided to paint this afternoon and, after deciding the apron was too restrictive, went au natural- she was one with the paint. We concentrated on expressing our emotions through brush movement today :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Papa Richard......

Alex was besotted with Richard and Barb Bennett when they visited today. We were so happy that they were able to stop by and spend some time with us while they were in town from Phoenix for a family wedding.
Being Dave's 'other parents', they automatically were lifted into Grandparent-Status by Alex. "Papa Richard" and Barb won her over immediately with their interest in her extensive animal collection.

After playing for a while (see above photo), we went to dinner at Lake Elmo Inn - a quaint little restaurant not too far away. We found a fishtank in the lobby that (I told Alex) holds the 'original Dorothy' (Elmo's goldfish on Sesame Street). She enjoyed wild rice soup and butternut squash ravioli, as well as a lemon sorbet, chocolate-covered strawberry, AND a bite of Papa Richard's strawberry cake. Thanks so much for a wonderful evening, Barb and Richard! We all had a fantastic time!

"Happy Day", Daddy!

Today is not ONLY Father's Day-- it's also Dave's birthday. To celebrate, my little chef and I woke up early and whipped up a batch of cinnamon french toast for Daddy. I can't believe how much more verbal she is after being away for 2 weeks. She's using 2-3 words together for most things now! It's the "purple bear" or "draw please mama", or, as seen above, "Happy Day"!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home again-- business as usual!

When we arrived home on Wed night, it was too late to wake Alex up and give her the big hug and kiss that I was dying to give her. I did, however, peek into her bedroom to see her sleeping. She seemed to sense that I was there, opened her eyes, said "Momma!", and went back to sleep.
That next morning I battled a monster case of jet-lag, but that didn't stop us from going to school. I was expecting her to be a bit clingy and emotional, but that wasn't the case. It was business as usual- exploring, learning, playing-- not once acting out of character.
As you noticed, I took the next couple days off from posting. We needed some time to get back into our routine (and I needed Alex's nap-times to try and unpack and organize!). Once I get photos organized, I'll put a few on the blog-- Rorie and I had a fantastic trip, but we're both happy to be back in the states.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mommy Will Be Home Tonight

Tonight Amy and Rorie arrive back in MN from their adventure. We can't wait to see them and hear all about the trip. Alex may be asleep when they get in, but she will be soooo happy to see her mommy in the morning! What a great surprise for her!

We were at one of the parks today. You can see by the picture that Alex has no fear of these places. I am always trying to keep up with her and she would rather have her independence. (I don't THINK so!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our Special Girl

Auntie Carrie came by this afternoon to see Alex and help out Grandma (Thank You!). Carrie loaded up the couch with every toy that Alex requested (and hair accessory) and entertained her while I ran to the grocery store and prepared dinner. What great girls in this family!

Oops: Sunday Pictures

It's pretty self-explanatory what we did yesterday. (Actually, David got a lot of work done around the house, too...not just playtime!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Woodbury had a beautiful and sunny Saturday. After running errands and doing chores we had a good time with big and tiny bubbles in the backyard. (As you will see in the pictures, Daddy and Auntie Carrie had as much fun, if not more, than Alex!) Daddy grilled and we ate lunch on the patio. Even Percy and Huxley had an adventure out back, as Auntie Carrie put them on their leashes and "raked" them. They loved it. The water in the pool was too cool and needed changing so after Alex threw in two or three dozen toys, we drained it and will start fresh tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2009

If It's Friday, This Must Be Park #6

Yes, another day, another park! Actually, we began the day with a trip to the MN Zoo. It was a hoppin' place and a very warm place, once the sun rose higher. Yeah, I know, never content with the weather; as I say, I'm from Phoenix and it's ALWAYS the same: I can count on it! We visited our fair quota of animals and then got out of there before more school buses of kids in matching tshirts unloaded! Auntie Carrie came by this afternoon and we walked to the school playground for some tire swings, more slides and tunnels. Hmmmm, Grandma has bruised knees from scampering (yes, I scampered on my knees, if that's possible) through plastic tunnels. Daddy arrived home just after we returned from our playing; perfect timing for dinner.

$4.83 - "momma"

Amy called this AM from the ship. She's been trying to call at a time when Alex is actually awake. This morning Alex slept in until 7:00, but we woke her up.

Amy was on speakerphone - Alex stared at the phone, smiled, and quietly said, "momma!".

2 minutes, 13 seconds @ $2.29 / minute...

Oh, and they're still having fun :).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ECFE Class

Today was our second ECFE class in Woodbury. It was fun to see familiar faces and share playtime. (Grandma will NOT put a dress on Alex for play dates anymore...they definitely cramp her style!) Driving home, I pulled over to a park and let Alex run around, slide, swing and laugh with a few other little girls and their moms. You'd think the children were best friends, the way they carried on. Alex kept talking about "Anna" and "Park". Woodbury is the place to be if you're a young family!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The sun finally made an appearance this afternoon, so Alex and I headed to the park near her house. We walked down the path and Alex was able to slide and crawl through a tunnel and see other children playing, riding bikes and neighbor dogs barking. Then daddy came home and we spent time in the back yard kicking the soccer ball, spinning and watering plants.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cue Up "Mommy"

This morning Alex was missing her mommy. Luckily, for David and me, Amy, in her very clever and far-sighted way, had recorded some videos of Amy reading books to Alex! What mother magic: Alex was a happy little girl after that! The two of us did some errands and then played at one of Woodbury's many parks. The day was semi-clear and "warmer" than it has been for a long time (says this Phoenician, who's still in sweatshirts). Other children were out, too, so Alex laughed at the silly "bois" who were running around by us and loved her swing and slides.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baking Day

After a trip to the grocery store, some playtime in Alex's fabulous playroom, we baked some cookies for daddy. Alex is an enthusiastic helper, I must say! We were on a roll, so the two of us prepared a casserole for dinner, too!

Amy Update: In Athens

Amy and Rorie were having fun in Athens yesterday. Rorie is feeling better. (unfortunately I missed their call, so I had a $3.00 voice mail waiting for me...)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tenting Tonight

After an exciting visit to Home Depot in Hudson, WI, we opened up an indoor tent. Alex put her animals, blanket and book inside and made it her own home on this cool Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away. Little Alex Wants to Play

I knew it would happen...after all, this is Minnesota :) So, yes, after 3 beautiful, sunny days, we had cold rain today. Luckily, David's friend, Brad, came by to take us to lunch and break up our routine. Even Auntie Carrie had to leave us for work later, so the cats sat in front of the cozy fire while Alex and I played with the felt board and looked out the window at the blowing rain

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A warm bath and nighttime story by Daddy was a comfy ending to our Saturday.<

Amy Update: At Etna

Amy called at 6:15am CT to give an update: They've made it, and it's beautiful. (and she misses Alex.) She was at Mt Etna - I could hear the wind whistling in the background. Unfortunately Rorie didn't feel well, so she stayed on the ship - Amy figured she couldn't skip the excursion (and they still had to pay for Rorie's part...).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Meeting Cousins at the Mall of America

Dave's cousin Leah, her husband Duane and cousin Jenny's daughter Madeline were in town. We met them at the Mall of America. Again, Alex was a welcoming, if cautious, hostess to the wonders of the mall. After a satisfying visit to the American Girl store we lunched at the Rainforest Cafe. (We let the visitors partake of all the wild rides!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bon Voyage, Amy and Rorie!

Amy and Rorie are on their way to beautiful Rome! We wish them a fantastic trip! Alex was a real trooper when her mom kissed her goodbye at the airport. We sang her favorite songs and stopped at the grocery to choose some goodies for daddy's dinner. Then we learned Auntie Carrie was coming over, too, so having family around Alex really perked her up.

New ECFE Friends

This morning was our new ECFE class in Woodbury. We met Miss Wendy, Alex's new teacher and lots of new friends and mommies. We look forward to seeing them next week!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Messin' Around

We're testing out my blogging skills... :( With Amy's directions, I hope to get a few posts in while the girls are touring the Mediterranean.