Friday, April 30, 2010

Almost May!

Dave and I are back-- definitely relaxed and rejuvinated from our Mexican vacation! Alex and I picked up right where we left off in our May Day prep...we'll have some surprised neighbors this year, as I don't really know if May Day is celebrated in Woodbury, MN!

Grandma Mary is around for one more day, then it's a few days of 'back to normal' before Alex and I fly down to Phoenix for an Arizona- Mexico vacation of our own!

Lucky !

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Well, bust my buttons....

....are we in Kansas, Dorothy??? Alex and I were outside Tuesday afternoon, when we heard a .....Tractor! Sure enough, coming right up behind our suburban houses was a man and boy driving a tractor and picking up huge rocks!

At lunch with Carrie

Earlier in the day Auntie Carrie treated us to a wonderful Mexican lunch, after ECFE class. Alex and I painted seashells and birdhouses to celebrate Spring and the upcoming beach trip!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ready for Summer !

Alex and Grandma attended music class Monday morning. But the REAL fun began when the children finished and were able to run up and down the hill outside of the church building! Alex and classmate, Marla, played on the equipment, picked dandelions and RAN! After all that nice exercise, we shopped at Target (one of my faves) for Arizona, beach and/or summer sandals. The trying-on and modeling process was more fun than anything. Then home to build houses for the fox, beaver and rabbits!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25

OK, David and Amy are safely in Cozumel and Alex has been a gem of a hostess to Grandma Mary and Papa Bob! Alex helped me make pink pancakes Saturday morning and I couldn't believe how vigorously she mixes the batter! We were very proud of her kitchen skills (little did we realize how many more skills she had to show us!) Then we were off to Little Gym, Schuler's Shoes and Applebee's: all conveniently located in a 1-stop-shopping area! The rain was coming down hard all morning so we headed home in time to meet Auntie Carrie. Naturally, Alex didn't want to nap because of company, so we played dress up in the basement and learned about fairies in the family room.

(Have you noticed that I can't quite figure out the photo transfer, yet???)

We woke up today (Sunday) to more rain. So Alex mixed eggs and milk together and Grandma made French toast for breakfast. I had shown Alex my knitting yesterday, so today I let her knit a little herself. Her hands were so careful with the yarn and needles and we did multiple stitches before, well, face it, she got bored with it...not the most exciting activity, but a little change of pace. She beaded her own necklace while I knitted a bit more. Auntie Carrie had to leave and we decided to prepare our turkey loaf for dinner. Alex mixed up all the fresh ingredients that we chopped and grated, smelling and tasting several (she seemed to really like the red pepper!)

Mama and Dadda skyped in this evening so Alex was able to talk to them and see the book they are bringing home for her. Have a great vacation, Amy and David!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Pancakes!

Here's a picture from last weekend:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Moving Pictures

Grandma Mary arrived yesterday afternoon from Phoenix. Dave and I will leave for Cozumel early tomorrow morning, so there may be a week-long hiatus from blogging until we get back. We were really excited to bring Grandma to Waldorf School for our last class.
Mama and Grandma spent handwork time designing and drawing moving pictures for Alex to play with. They are a huge hit, and so easy to make!
"The Boy Who Cried Wolf"Alex and Grandma Mary play The Three Little Pigs......with some help from Percy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shopping Trip!

We spent Wed morning shopping with Emma and Miss Megan....well, we would have shopped, if I would have not forgotten my entire wallet at home-- I think the expression 'Doh!' best sums up my reaction.

Oh well, the girls had fun riding in their fire truck double stroller, anyway...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Takin' it Easy

After ECFE this morning, we just took it easy and hung out around the house. It was a very laid-back day. We took some time to play outside-- this is Alex's favorite 'spot'. She'll sit and contemplate the grass, the birds, the sky, and life itself for a while here every day.
Our inside work today was to start polishing all the neglected wooden blocks that I picked up at the garage sale this past weekend. They are in sore need of some attention, and Alex is only too willing to grab a cloth and start moisturizing the wood. Olive Oil is a wonderful thing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

May Day Prep: Step One

In spite of being a bit cryptic, all I can say is that our May Day project is underway. Updates/Developments to come soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

First Letter

Here's Alex, creating her letter "A", which she did spontaneously a few days ago. I love her fluidity and the artistry that goes into the 'mountain' part of the letter!

headed to the park

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blast from the Past

This morning I volunteered at our local ECFE Garage Sale. Because I was helping out, I got pre-shopping privileges, and use them I did! I hit the building, ready to scour out the 'good' old wooden toys. I hit the jackpot with two pieces from Community Playthings. These are heavy-duty, sturdy wooden toys that are sold to daycares/schools, and built to withstand the test of time. (BTW: the truck retails NEW from the community playthings website for $57-- I scored my vintage version for $1)

When I got my prizes home, my mom immediately exclaimed "you used to play with a 'gas station' just like that. I would check it out from the Washington County Toy Lending Library, and lug it home again and again!" Then she grabbed it, and turned it over to reveal:
I guess some things just find their way back into our lives, huh? (For those of you who don't know, we used to live in Woodbury, when I was preschool-age!)

Gassing up her new truck-- loaded with her animals, taking 'a bus ride to the zoo'.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Relatively speaking

We are so blessed to be surrounded by relatives! GranMama, GranPapa came up to visit for a quick weekend. After Waldorf school, we headed to our new favorite haunt, Grand Ave, for lunch and some window shopping.
Enjoying lunch at Salut!
Beautiful tulips on Grand.
After our fun afternoon, we headed down to Northfield to visit Auntie Rorie, who is always at least as happy to see Alexandra as Alexandra is to be reunited with her!
Kisses for Auntie.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Touch the turtle? No, thanks...

Alexandra and I headed to the MN Children's Museum this morning to have some fun. She always wants to start off in the 'Water Works' exhibit, and today was no exception. She managed to get some really big bubbles going. I have yet to figure out the correct camera setting for 'indoors with busy toddler making bubbles', but if anyone knows please leave me a note!
Then it was off to the Dinosaur exhibit. While it was very crowded , Alex managed to carve out a little niche for herself in a 'cave'. She hung out there for a long time, watching the ebb and flow of the school groups. Our last activity was attending 'Nature Tales', a storytime complete with animal encounter. Once again, the rambunctious school groups seemed to drown out the poor storyteller, but Alex was a good sport and patiently sat, waiting for her chance to meet the turtle. Surprisingly, once she had seen him 'up close', she turned around and announced that she was ready for lunch. I asked her if she wanted to touch him. "No, thanks" was the reply.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tulips and Sunglasses

We were happy to host Emma and her Mama for a playdate this morning...the girls enjoyed playing outside in the sun, and checking out our tulips!Due to some questionable fluid leaking out of the Mulder-mobile, Alex and I followed our friends back home to Shakopee to make sure they made it all right. We enjoyed a nice lunch with them there, played for a little while at Emma's house and headed home, by way of Ikea! We stocked up on some organizational supplies to redesign Alex's space in the office (photos to follow as soon as everything is set up).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Typical Day

What do we do all day?

Play outside-- even if it's raining! (Rainpants are a marvelous thing, and chalk is so much creamier when it's wet!:-)
Visit with our friends in the Fairy House & neighboring Dollhouse. (Today Alex decided to remodel, and took all the furniture out of the house).
Take some time for our handwork (sewing).Prepare dinner together. Alexandra is the Master Veggie Scrubber.
That's our day! (Plus meals, snacks, maybe a class and often a nap worked in there sometime too...)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flying a Kite

Well, after going through four+ versions of kites-- we have a winner. Uncle Willy and Alex tried to fly many kites when he was staying with us over the last few weeks, but it was Daddy finally had the wind in his favor and success with our new ladybug kite today.

Dave is working from home right now (both a blessing and a curse to have him here, but 'unavailable'), but he was able to take a nice lunch break to go out to the neighborhood soccer field and fly Alex's new kite.

This is what Alex did for about 15 minutes this afternoon. I am happy to report that she took a great nap afterwards!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Perfect Day!

We decided to show Daddy the Carpenter Nature Center this morning! We got all geared up, broke out the hiking backpack, and took off!
First stop when we got there was Razzle's hutch. Being that Alex and Razzle are now old friends, she made sure to gather some clover to feed him for a morning treat.
We walked to the river overlook and had a snack, then Alex hopped into the backpack and we hiked down the bluff to an old railroad bed that follows the St. Croix River. The weather was beautiful, and Alex and I had a lot of fun snapping photos of the things we saw (I'm going to make her a book about the Nature Center through the seasons, so we've started photos for spring!).
Here are some of her favorite pictures.

I think this is Bloodroot (it can be purple, right? correct me if I'm wrong)....we were are very excited to see the first blossoms of spring! The 'sparkles' on the river reminded Alex of dancing faries.

On Friday we spent a lot of time examining anthills, but the ants were actually out and moving around today--

To top off the day, we antiqued and lunched in nearby Hastings. Alex really liked the antique shops, and was convinced that we needed to bring home an old-fashioned wooden potty chair (which we did not). I did, however, find her a little cast-iron stove for her dollhouse....I'll hang onto it until there's an 'occasion', but it was fun to discover in the corner of an old store!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


We spent the afternoon with Brad today, playing 'tag', kicking a ball, grilling brats and picking dandelions. Isn't it amazing how the eyes of a two and a half year old can make a noxious weed into the most beautiful blossom you've ever seen?

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Hidden Gem!

On the advice of an ECFE mom, Alex and I decided to head down to Hastings to check out the Carpenter Nature Center this morning. What a wonderful morning we had together!!
The Visitor Center is beautiful-- modern and open with lots of live animals (including a bald eagle) and displays to look at. We arrived about 8:45am, and were greeted by a very friendly guy who gave us some 'hiking' suggestions. Then he mentioned that they were getting ready for a preschool story time at 10am, and invited us to stop back and check it out.Alex and I took a nice, leisurely (toddler-paced) nature walk down to a beautiful river overlook. We stopped to examine anthills, listen to woodpeckers, talk about the squirrels and gather an assortment of treasures to bring home.
Oh yeah...this is a Marotz. Geared up and ready to hike! (We did not bring the trekking poles, but she found a hiking stick to substitute).

After our hour long stroll, we made it back to the visitor center in time to see kids streaming in the building. The theme of the day was 'Rabbits', and the $5 cover charge was well earned by the group leaders. They started with a story about rabbits....projected on the wall so that the beautiful illustrations were as big as the kids! Then they did a simple craft (bunny ears) and headed outside to pick some clover to feed the resident bunny, Razzle.
He was one of the calmest bunnies I've met, and Alex was delighted when he hopped right over to her to eat a nice tender bunch of greens that she picked just for him.

After the Rabbit Encounter, the teacher (Mr. Allen) brought the kids outside for a nature walk (I have to admit that Alex was pretty tired by this point, but stayed on her own two feet the entire time!) where the workers had hidden colored bunny cutouts in the woods for the kids to 'find'. Top that off with a game of tag and a LOT of bunny hopping, and you have some tired out kids! We were so pleased with our find that I signed up for the preschool story times in May, June, July and August! I have a feeling that we'll be back to do some more hiking in the near future, too-- there are 10 miles of hiking trails to explore!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Farm Babies!

We braved a chilly morning at the MN Zoo today in order to make the first visit of the year to the Farm Babies.
Emma and her Mama met us there, and the girls explored indoors first (to try and allow the sun to do it's job and warm the outside up a bit).
After a picnic lunch, Alex and I geared up and headed out (the Mulders retired early due to the inclement weather). As we neared the Wells Fargo Family Farm, Alex exclaimed "I KNOW that animal!" and pointed excitedly to the American Cream Draft Horse. She remembered that it pulled a wagon.... I was very impressed, as the last time we'd seen them pulling anything, she was about 20 months old. Her all-time favorite zoo activity is still feeding the goats. (Here's a shot from our first Farm Babies visit a year and a day ago... contrasted with today's photo!!)

What a little girl she is now....hardly any 'baby' left!!