Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alex's 3rd Halloween!

To begin our official Halloween celebration, we started off the day as usual-- Saturday morning pancakes. These pancakes were a little 'spooky', though-- pumpkin pie spice and orange food coloring with a chocolate chip jack-o-lantern face!

Later in the day, Auntie Carrie stopped by for some impromptu pumpkin carving. At first Alex didn't want anything to do with the gooky innards, but by the end she was willing to get in there and 'help'! :-) She really wanted to help me carve it with the little knife, though--- maybe in a few more years.

Alex's completed pumpkin

We 'trick or treated' in three waves. First, Dave took Alex out for a 'trial run' to two neighbor houses. She was very excited about the prospect of getting free candy, and didn't want to stop, but it was quite chilly out. This video is her suiting up for her second trip out with Mama.

We lead the neighborhood in trick-or-treating. Since Alex's bedtime is relatively early, we went out around 5:00 or so, but the neighbors didn't mind us arriving a bit early, as my cowgirl had such good manners! She even got to pick out 2 pieces of candy to enjoy RIGHT AWAY!

After warming up and going one one final time, it was home again for Alex and her pony. The night wasn't over, however-- she got to hand out candy to "the kids". We've never lived in such a busy neighborhood-- Dave estimated we got 100+ trick or treaters!!! Alex took her job very seriously, as you can see below!

Happy Halloween!

Our cowgirl, ready to stampede the neighborhood!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Printmaking 101

After yet another Halloween party this morning (MOMS Club this time), Alex and I decided to end a very busy week with a long walk around the neighborhood. It was so nice to just 'be' and enjoy each others' company. On our walk, Alex started a collection of leaves-- each one more beautiful than the last, and I started thinking about projects we could do with them. I decided that we hadn't tried any printmaking projects yet, and a leaf-printing project would be a perfect way to celebrate our fall walk.

The process:

Step One: Organization
Step Two: Paint one side of a leaf
Step Three/Four:Place paint-side down on paper. Cover with another sheet of paper (we used wax paper) and roll with a breyer (we used a rolling pin)
Step Five: Unveil. For a toddler's first printmaking project, this is pretty darn successful! We'll have to try again next year when she can put a little more force behind the rolling pin.
Step Six: Experiment and have fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


A Typical Day....

We had a long day, so to effectively relay it all, I'll do so in schedule format.
7:30am- After waking up at 7 (yea, Alex!), we came downstairs to start our laundry. While Mama was loading/unloading the washing machine, Alex played in her makeshift fort.

8:00-9:00am- Unbelievable, Alex played with Playdough for an entire HOUR this morning (and yes, she's wearing her 'big girl underwear', too!). Wow!!! I kept checking in on her, bringing her different items to experiment with. She was engrossed in the activity!
9:00-10:30am- Studio time. Alex painted and drew while I put the finishing touches on her new winter hat. I think his name is "Marvin". Thanks for the pretty fleece, Grandma Mary-- the hat was actually alot easier to construct than expected! We'll be working on a scarf to match next!
11:30- After a quick trip to the Woodbury Once Upon a Child (which does not stock hairbows, arrgh!), we headed to Sam's Club for Silk, O.J., and a "picnic!". Alex and I split one of their giant hot dogs (hers appropriately cut up), and she had a blast watching people come and go. She exclaimed "Fun picnic, Mama!" several times throughout our 'meal'.
12:30-2:00 Nap time (deep breath for Mama....and more laundry)
3:00pm- We were at the Mall of America to meet Emma and Miss Megan for a shark playdate! (Emma had forgotten a piece of her Halloween costume at our house yesterday, and Underwater Adventures seemed like a good meeting place). The girls had a lot of fun playing and learning about fish. Today we learned that the Midas Cichlid does not, in fact, protect it's fry in it's mouth, unlike some other types of cichlid. Interesting, no?
5:30-- home again, and ready for dinner! What a long, but fun day :-) This is why I love being a stay at home mom-- we can make our days whatever we want them to be!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Party Time!

Last night, we spent a long time decorating the house for our Halloween Party today. We hung up cutouts, drew on the window with special Crayola Window Markers (really cool....AND they clean up easily ;-) , and made/decorated cookies!We had our friends from our old ECFE class in Shakopee over for a playdate and lunch this morning. All in all, we had 5 Mommies, 1 Grandma, and 7 Kiddos (although 2 are just Babies)! The kids played surprisingly well--- we did a craft, had playtime, and then they all sat down for lunch around the table. Here are some photos from the morning!
Mason, Meghan, Isaiah, Alex and Emma all in costumes (or partial costumes) at the end of a LONG morning of playing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ECFE and new shoes!

Grandma Mary and Alex explore the Halloween sensory table at ECFE this morning. It was another 'costume' day, so Alex gamely put on her Cowgirl outfit again! They sang songs about spiders, made some Halloween-themed crafts, and played ALOT! :-)

After class, Grandma Mary treated us to new shoes and lunch at Applebee's! Doesn't get any better than that :-) Alex has developed a newfound love of Applebee's mini cheeseburgers....yum!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Pre-Party!

We brought Grandma Mary to our music class this morning for a Halloween Party! Ms. Michelle had a craft all set up for us to make-- Halloween-themed shakers! Alex loved putting the little decorations in the bottle and the stickers on the outside. We read some stories and sang lots of songs. Then Ms. Michelle had a riddle game, where she read short poems describing Halloween 'creatures' and the kids guessed who it was about. Alex was the first one to shout out "Owl!" when she gave the owl clues (big eyes, feathers, and hooting!). On a high from a correct answer, she listened intently to the next clues, excited to guess again. Ms. Michelle said "I'm white and I float in the sky..." - "COCKATOO!!" Alex exclaimed. :-) Can you tell she spends a bit of time at the zoo?
After a trip to the grocery store and the pet store (we often visit the animals at the adjacent Petco as a 'reward' for a successful Rainbow trip), it was time to make some cookies! Alex and I are hosting a Halloween Party for our ECFE friends from Shakopee this Wednesday, so we had to get working!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"I be Super Grover!!"

After we got back from breakfast this morning at IHOP (my first IHOP experience, btw), Alex decided to forgoe her normal naptime schedule. She was rescued by her Daddy (who neglected to dress her). She did spend about 20 minutes playing "The Bandanna Game"-- running from the front door to the back door, 'through' a bandanna, yelling "TIME!" (Thanks Uncle Willy) whenever she touched the back door. Auntie Carrie was a great sport, and held the bandanna for the entire time! After The Bandanna Game, Auntie convinced Alex to wear a cape. It's so funny to see her mind work.

Perhaps this massive burst of energy was in part fueled by our breakfast. Alex felt so grown up sitting in between Grandma and Auntie! (Never mind the forced smile-- it seems to be what we're getting lately!)

She spent the majority of breakfast asking for things to be "cut a little bit" and they were too happy to oblige! Dave and I escaped breakfast duty by sitting on the other side of the booth, and it was so nice to be able to just sit and enjoy our pancakes!
Mmmm.....blueberry compote is delicious!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Grandma Mary & Papa Bob!

Alex woke up Saturday morning to find that during the night (around 1:30am, actually) Grandma Mary and Papa Bob had arrived from Phoenix. She was so excited to show them how she made pancakes and get to some serious playing! She entertained herself/us for a long time by trying on all the hats in her winter basket.For those of you who don't know, the Marotz family are big fans of The North Face gear (since before it was the 'hip' thing for college kids to wear). Alex got her first official North Face item- a toddler baseball hat to match Daddy's!
Grandma Mary and Papa Bob were excited to attend The Little Gym classes on Saturday morning. Alex showed off her 'mad skills' with the bo staff--- um...I mean on the bar (yes, in this photograph my daughter is, in fact, falling-- hee hee).Saturday night, Alex and Grandma Mary got to hang out while Carrie, Papa Bob, Daddy and I went to Zombieland (hilarious, by the way, if you like gory slapstick). We arrived home to a tired but happy kiddo. She's so lucky to have such nice Grandmas!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Spooky Woods"

We visited the Children's Museum this morning (along with a slew of other parents and daycares), but were able to visit the "Spooky Woods", a Halloween special! I was a bit apprehensive as we were ushered into a low-light room with a fake campfire and man in black. I had no need to be, however, as the hooded figure led a song and story to 'prepare' kids for the Spooky Woods. Alex was fascinated by the fake campfire and ventured forth to explore. The exhibit itself wasn't scary at all-- there was some fog that induced a little nervousness on my daughter's part, but it was basically the same old Earth World exhibit, only with spider webs (well-- there was more than that, but nothing to be 'scared' of). The kept the lights on in half the room, so kids could choose whether they wanted to take "the moonlit path" or "the dark path". Alex liked it alot!
Writing her name on a tag that will hang in a tree exhibit. She was concentrating SO hard!

After exploring the museum for a while, we headed home. Alex got a cheeseburger and apple juice at the skywalk McDonalds on the way to the ramp. You'd think I was speaking a different language as I tried to relay my order to the cashier. "I would like one cheeseburger and an apple juice, please." "You don't want fries?" "No, thank you-- just the burger and juice." "But fries are only .50 more" "Not today, thank you" "But you won't get a toy with your meal" "That's ok-- we just want the burger and juice, please". "So, you don't want fries?...". Honestly, this went on for FAR too long! Seriously, we eat fries, but try not to make a habit of it (especially if Alex starts thinking she gets McDonalds after every museum trip)!!! We also try to keep junky Happy Meal toys that break in two days out of the house... Why is this hard to understand? Sigh-- thanks for putting up with my rants!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dancing "Pipsqueeks"

We went to Woodbury's Central Park this morning for a quick trip to the library before we saw a free kids' concert. Alex was excited to pick out some books and do some reading in her "quiet voice".

We saw the 'Mary Hall show for Pipsqueeks'. Alex enjoyed getting there a bit early and staking out some good seats because she got to watch Ms. Mary set up. She was fascinated by the folding chair and microphone stand! After the show started, kids flooded the stage. I was surprised when Alex said she wanted to go down and dance, too-- because she was one of the littlest ones out there, I kept a very close eye on the 'bigger kids' (especially a couple of older boys whose moms apparently were practicing selective parenting practices as they literally ran circles around poor Ms. Mary and all of her cords/equipment). Alex did a great job, though-- she danced, hopped and all around enjoyed the music!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rainy Playdate

Well, we had a group playdate scheduled for Alex, Emma, Graham and Amelia to play on Alex's new 'park', but the weather just didn't want to cooperate. The kids were content to play in the playroom and color in the office, so I guess everything worked out in the end. It was fun to see four toddlers around the kitchen table eating their chicken nuggets and peas. Thanks Melissa and Megan for coming over this morning!
We attempted to play outside for a bit this afternoon, but it was too drizzly. At least Alex got to wear her new St. Olaf sweatshirt.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Artist at play

I'm always on the lookout for new art supplies. Alex got these new 'crayons' a while ago (they act more like oil pastels), and we've been having sooo much fun with them. They are so smooth to work with and vibrant on paper! This is her newest work, titled "Lion King", it's interesting to note how she is now focused on really keeping colors separate, while before her art was all about mixing and blending.
The artist at play. During ECFE this morning, the teacher commented on how much Alex loves to paint (apparently she went through three separate painting projects while the Mommies were having their class). I can't say I was surprised to hear it, yesterday we spent an hour and a half in the studio-- Alex working on her projects, and me working on mine! It's so much fun to have a creative toddler.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall is back!

We awoke to beautiful 50 degree-ish weather!! Yea for fall, it hasn't forsaken us after all! After our music class this morning (where Alex got to 'paint' with shaving cream to "The Barber of Seville"), we headed to the backyard to enjoy the wonderful day.
Having a 'picnic' in the grass.
Playing on Alex's park.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Surprise Visit!

We got word yesterday that GrandMama and GrandPapa Jones were headed up to the Cities for a 'play day' with their good friends Jana and Jerry. They met us at the house and, after a quick stop at Trader Joe's, we all headed to Punch pizza on Grand Ave. It was really crowded, but we had a delicious meal that Alex entertained us all through.
We pushed back her normal bedtime even more with an impromptu trip to Grand Ole Creamery, ice cream and jukebox playing with GrandPapa.
Alex was obviously exhausted by the time we loaded her up to go home, but she fought off sleep by telling us all about the 'owl lady' (Jana) and her desire to go to Iowa. I think her exact words were "Alex go Iowa. Right now!"