Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our 'one small change' for March

I've been doing a LOT of blog-surfing lately, and have found a number of blogging mamas who have been making 'one small change'. I guess it started here, but we've jumped on the bandwagon, too.
Belatedly, our last months' 'change' were our reusable snack bags (which I did blog about). This month, I repurposed a Goodwill tablecloth into cloth napkins. I was surprised when Dave said he preferred the feel of my 'new' napkins to the paper ones that we'd been using.

I think I just need projects to use my fantastic sewing machine for (thanks, Mary...) and the excusew of being frugal AND providing an aesthetically pleasing home environment for my family are just too good to pass up.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Aunties and other guests

Auntie Rorie came to visit last night...she needed to get off of The Hill and to a doctor to get some meds for her sinus infection, so we hosted her. Alex was overjoyed to spend tim with her last night and made her some 'beautiful' purple pancakes this morning!

Our friends Megan and Emma were daddy-less this evening, so we invited them over for playtime and dinner. The girls had a great time playing (outside, even!! yea for a taste of spring) and being goofy!

little gym.

she did this about 6x in a row

Friday, February 26, 2010

First Day of School! (MN Waldorf Style)

I have to admit, I've been SUPER excited for our first day of Parent-Child classes at the MN Waldorf School, and the excitement is catching. Here's some photos from our morning.
Alex packing her fairy lunchbox with 'inside shoes', and an extra change of clothes....just in case.
It only took us 20-25 minutes to get to the school, and traffic was good, so hopefully every Friday follows that pattern!

Parents' handwork was making felt gnomes. It's a good thing I've been sewing so much, I whipped out two in no time and felt like I had to 'move on' as to not monopolize the materials (as much as I wanted to make more...we'll do some more at home later). Snacktime was beautiful! Each table was set with a tablecloth, cloth napkins, small cup and spoon. The kids (and parents) got to enjoy warm brown rice with butter & tamari. Mmmm.....why don't my 'wholesome snacks' turn out this well at home?
Next week we're having oatmeal for a snack. In order to prepare, Alex got to operate the handmill and grind oats!

Playing at the toy kitchen. (Note the beautiful sweater that Grandma Mary knitted Alex-- it was PERFECT to wear today!)
After snack, we bundled the kids up and sent them outside where they sledded on a perfect tot-sized hill while Mamas talked. Alex was so excited to show me which sled she used when I picked her up. (She's the bright pink dot standing above the green sled WAAAAY back in the photo).
I am VERY satisfied with my choice to add this day onto our already hectic schedules.... next year I think we'll drop a few other classes to slow things down a bit, but we're a Waldorf family for the next few years!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Responsibilities and 'Rewards'

Alex and I ended up spending all morning crafting. I was working on a felt responsibility chart for Alex. I really wanted a 'toddler-schedule', but as I thought through it, I thought we might just get stressed having our busy schedule up for all to see. Instead, I combined a 'feelings' chart with a chore chart-- all in felt and natural materials! (I was so excited to find some beautiful felted wool on spools at JoAnn Fabrics!)
Alex kept herself quite busy with her letter stickers, markers, and construction paper. What a treat to have such a self-directed two year old!

Alex evaluating her feelings and selecting an appropriate icon. Today she fluctuated between 'happy' and 'sad' (when I told her she couldn't have any more yogurt-covered raisins, jump on the couch, or use markers to "make Miss Kitty beautiful").
I printed a photo of Al on our home printer, and sandwiched it between vinyl and a piece of felt to make it more durable. The idea is that if the chart needs to be used again for another child, you just have to print a new photo and 'stick' it on!

Putting her first 'heart' on the chart. I just hot-glued a scrap of felt onto the back of a wooden heart so that it will stick to the felt chart for the week. Then, at the end of the week we clear the chart and start over. Right now her responsibilites include "Picking up Toys", "Tidy Bedroom", "Set the Table" and "Follow Directions". I am happy to report that she earned all four hearts today. The 'prize' is getting to show Daddy how well she did when he comes home from work!
Now to convince Dave to help me hang it on the wall tonight!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rosy Cheeks

It seemed like a nice day out, so after her nap, Alex and I bundled up for a nice long walk. While it WAS pleasant in the sun, it was brisk and chilly in the shade (which is the majority of the pathway to the park). I kept asking Al if she wanted to turn back, and she was dead set on reaching the park. Unfortunately, her slide and sandbox were buried under a bunch of snow (which I had tried to explain before we left), but she entertained herself by collecting snowballs and ice chunks along the path.
By the time we got home, we were both rosy-cheeked and chilled, but happy and rejuvenated from the fresh air!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beach Party!

Miss Marjorie had a Beach Party all set up at ECFE today... what a welcome diversion from the snow and cold that we've become so accustomed to here in Minnesota. Alex is a bit obsessed with shoes, so it's only natural that she headed straight for the beach chair to try on the flip flops.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Making Pretzels

Looking for something (other than laundry...please don't judge me by the pile of clothing waiting to be folded on the couch in the background of these photos) to occupy our afternoon, I decided to try something new. Chef Alex and I made homemade pretzels (inspired by one of my fav blogs- paint cut paste)!

Here is our journey-- and the tasty results.
Measuring and pouring...(and you can see the new hairclip I made Al-- woodburned and watercolored, finished with my beeswax wood finish!)
Letting the dough rise and relaxing by the fire.
Rolling out the dough was a 'little tricky', according to Alex.
'Painting' the egg wash....this was her favorite part!
Waiting patiently...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beans, Buddies, and Bathtime

Well, we took yesterday off completely from picture-taking and blogging... one of those rare days where it was too busy and exhausting to pull the camera out! We got to the Salt Lake City airport three hours ahead of time, and it was a good thing we did. Waaay crowded. The flight home was uneventful, however...always a good thing.

Today we had Graham, Amelia and 'Daddy Jeff' over for a playdate. Melissa is currently lounging in a beach chair on a fabulous, well-deserved vacation with her mom, so we invited the rest of the Olson crew over for playtime and dinner.

The hit of the evening was definitely the sensory table. Who knew that $3 worth of dried beans could provide hours of entertainment??

After a messy sloppy joe dinner, all three kids got a much-needed bath. I let the Daddies handle it, so I don't have details, but I did hear a lot of giggling coming from the bathroom!

Friday, February 19, 2010

on her way to ski

Alex was very excited:

Last Day on the Slopes

We had been waiting for the perfect sunny day to go up the tram to the top of Hidden Peak for some stunning mountain photos, but the weather wasn't very cooperative.....oh well, overcast and snowy makes for some great skiing!

Alex, Grandma Mary and I geared up to hike down to the tram base and take a ride anyway. When we were at the top, we stopped in at the Ski Patrol office and asked if we could say 'hi' to one of the avalanche rescue dogs. Alex was delighted when an exuberant yellow lab, Bree, bounded out of the back room to say hello.
Alex made herself comfy on the ski patrol couch....

After a fun morning, we were surprised that Alex had any energy left to ski with Teacher Dan in the afternoon, but ski she did. Take a look at the final skiing video.... not bad!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ski Bunny

Alex was out again early this morning for her second lesson from Teacher Dan. She warmed up in the room by running back and forth in her snowpants, declaring herself an "ornithomimus ski bunny". When she got on the mountain she was able to pick up right where she left off, and skiied on her own for 15-20 second swatches! He was very impressed with her strength and muscle memory, as well as her direction following and comprehension. He said that normally 3 year olds are hit or miss when it comes to 'getting it', and he was blown away that an almost 2 1/2 year old was so on top of things. She made it down the run a total of 4 times before telling Teacher Dan that she wanted "go play inside now". Her legs were done!

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Day on the Lift

Yesterday was merely a 'warm-up'. Today, she jumped on the mountain full force for her first official ski lesson with Teacher Dan (my instructor who volunteered to 'hang out' with us for a little bit and give Dave some pointers).

The first run down, she was pretty reliant on the handle on the harness (which is there basically for security on the chair lift), so she kept leaning WAAAY forward. She 'sat down' a few times, until she figured out what it felt like to stand and balance. It was very snowy out, so that added to the fun too!
The second and third runs she stayed up pretty much the entire time. Dan was really impressed with her strength and direction following. She rode up on the chairlift with him a few times, and he commented on their 'fun conversations' about helicopters, skiing, and swimming pools.After a LONG nap this afternoon, we headed to a lodge restaurant for Mexican food. MMM....Margaritas for adults, Mac n' Cheese for Alex!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

She's SKIING!!!

Our little Ski Bunny was raring to go at 7am this morning. Technically, she was ready to ski when we stepped off the plane last night- saying "I want to hold my skis now!" until falling asleep in the shuttle on the way to the mountain.
There was fresh powder, so the guys headed out earlier and Grandma Mary, Alex, and I headed to the ski shop to pick up a pair of toddler-sized ski socks and rent Al's boots & skis. She was such a trooper, and SOO excited to be fit for her boots. The ski guys said she was the youngest so far this season!
After Papa Bob and Daddy came back, we all headed out to try out her new gear. She was a natural! After Dave helped her glide along some flat snow for a while, she kept repeating "This is fun!" "More!!". She decided she wanted to go down a hill, so off they went! Tomorrow we'll put on the wedgies (to tether her tips together) and really tackle Chickadee (the bunny hill).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ruby Slippers!!!

Apparently the Valentine's fairy makes multiple trips from Iowa this year. Alexandra received yet another package from GranMama and GranPapa........

Can you tell how excited she is?!?

Zoo with Uncle

We headed to the MN Zoo today to enjoy the 20 degree weather! After checking out the dolphin training session, bird show, and having a picnic we headed outside to the Grizzly Coast. It was a beautiful day out, and we had a very nice time checking out all the animals we hadn't dared venture outside to see all winter long!
Alex discovered a new skill today. We had JUST finished watching the wild boars when she decided she wanted to try out something she had seen moments earlier. Enjoy...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tea Parties and Cupcake Walks

Alex and I spent a long time cleaning up her room this morning and packing for our upcoming trip to Snowbird. Well-- while I spent a long time packing, she decided to host an impromptu tea party for her dolls. I happened to zip in and out while she was whispering something to her doll. I managed to find the video camera to see what it was she was telling her.

After a fun-filled morning at the gym (Alex and I just started swimming lessons at Lifetime), we hurried home to try and get a cat-nap in before her big Valentine's Day party with our local MOMS Club. She only got about 15 minutes of solid sleep in, but you wouldn't know it with how excited and ready she was to party!

They had a great party-- lots of activities-- Alex decorated a valentine's bag, frosted (and ate) some cookies, played 'pin the nose on the heart' and participated in a 'cupcake walk' before distributing her valentines. She even got a temporary tattoo! Apparently nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like a butterfly tattoo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Say 'Bye-Bye' to Snack-Sized Ziplocs!

I don't know what it is....the renewed energy I have from going to the gym, the boredome with endless winter, or the fact that I have Uncle Willy around for a while to help me with Alex, but I've been in a crafting GROOVE in the past few days. I've been looking for more crafts, and stumbled upon one at WeWilsons.
Don't worry-- I haven't gone completely 'granola' on you yet...we still have two SUV's parked in our garage-- but there's nothing wrong with doing a little to save on BOTH the environment AND our bank account.

I raided my scrap pile today (and took an SUV trip to the fabric store for some velcro....uh oh-- that just added to my carbon footprint) to make some washable snack-bags, a la Ziploc. While they are obviously not 'juicy food' friendly, Alex does eat enough crackers, dried fruits, and Annie's bunnies to go through 3-4 Ziplocs/week. They'll hopefully be perfect for throwing some Goldfish in before a car ride to class...and then throwing in the washing machine right after! Plus they're cute....always a bonus.

Test-Driving the new snack bags