Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mama and Me at the Zoo

We let Auntie sleep in this morning, and had a Mama and Me day at the zoo. We headed there specifically to go groom goats, and were disappointed to find out that it was 'vet day' for the sheep & goat barn, and no visitors were allowed :-(
We found plenty of ways to entertain ourselves, though. I'm trying to squeeze in the last bits of summer and truly soak up every bit of Alex-only time that I have left. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful, sweet girl as my constant companion! Next summer zoo trips will be quite a bit different as I try to juggle the needs of two!

Monday, August 30, 2010


We started the day off with a quick dip in the wading pool! Auntie was a great sport, even donning a swimsuit to play around in the sprinklers. We were the only people at the pool for an hour this morning-- and it didn't open until 10am! What does everyone do in the mornings?? Am I the only one with an early riser who is always ready to go by 8??
The weather was a bit windy when you weren't in the water. Luckily we brought along our yellow hoodie to stave off the chill. I don't think I've seen a cuter alien!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Baking Buddies

Both Auntie Rorie and Uncle Willy came up today. Rorie will be hanging out with us for the next week (until she moves back onto campus), and Will was being a Good Samaritan and helping her haul all her 'stuff'. Alex took full advantage of having them both and enlisted their help in some baking.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just warming it up....

My current 'strategy' for easing Alexandra into the idea of another baby in the house is to set up everything we can for Mr. Justin now, to give her time to adjust to the physical differences that will be here. I found my dream Svan bouncer gently used on Craigslist, and apparently Alex isn't the only one who is 'warming up' Justin's things.

We got our double stroller yesterday, and Alex has been begging us to try it out. She and Daddy assembled it and took it for a spin-- I'm a bit worried that once the real baby comes, she might be a bit possessive of all these 'things', as now they're used for her baby dolls. We'll see if the plan backfires on us or not!

Back to School Rituals

This week's Simplicity Parenting blog--

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fairy Wing Frenzy

We've been prepping big time for Alex's third birthday party- she's having a Fairy tea, so wings are required for her small guests. We found some cheapy 'bug' wings at the Dollar Store and altered, altered, altered with leftover tutu tulle, lots of glitter and silver ribbon. Alex was a big help, but Percival was not. He got into the glitter glue left and right (I let Dave know that the catbox might be extra 'shiny' the next couple days-- no cause for alarm). I wish I had a photo of my table and floor-- also extra 'shiny' for the next couply of days.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hard Working Artist

After her nap today, my little artist and I spent two hours creating at the kitchen table, using only her colored pencils, beeswax crayons and paper. We made a makeshift 'gallery' on the sliding glass door to show Daddy everything we did! (Note the installation surface also is art-covered thanks to Crayola Window Markers).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lunch with Daddy

We met up with Daddy for an ...ahem.. 'nutritious' lunch today at McDonalds in downtown St. Paul. You can probably guess (by the state of her painted face) where we were just prior to meeting him! :-) Yep-- day three at the Children's Museum- I figure with preschool starting soon we needed to get the most out of our membership!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Goat Groomer

It was a perfect morning to be at the Minnesota Zoo. The cool weather was so refreshing to walk around in (and all the animals thought so too-- we got quite a show from the sea otters, grizzly bears, leopards and gazelle!). However, the BEST part of the morning was at the Wells Fargo Family Farm. Emma and Alex got to groom some very friendly (and well behaved) goats!

My animal-lover was in heaven! She could have stayed there for hours and hours.Who wouldn't love this face?

The amazing part was that all these goats just soaked up the attention. They would come up to Alex and stand there, waiting for their turn to be brushed.....I think she may have another career option opening up before her. Apparently the volunteer at the pen said that they do this 'all the time', but we've never been here before when kids were allowed in to brush! I think we'll try to make it back once more before preschool starts....just to brush goats! :-)
After all that hard goat-grooming work, the girls earned a much-needed romp at the splash pad!
All together, Alex and I were at the zoo from 9am till 2pm- a new record! We played at the playground, saw lots of animals, learned basic goat toiletting skills, played in the water and saw the bird show! Whew!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Watercoloring the afternoon away

It had been a while since we'd worked with watercolor, and today seemed like a perfect day to get it out. We've just been using a plain old Crayola set, but Santa might have to find some liquid watercolors for Christmastime.
It really is a fun medium for experimenting. We like drawing with pen first, and then filling in our drawings. Alex worked for a solid one and a half hours!! (with a short break for snickerdoodle cookies and a glass of water). Here are some of our products from this afternoon:
Her 'August' family journal entry-- these are some of the family members that she got to see last month.

A combination piece by Mama and Alex...
A self-portrait, titled "Alex".

Sunday, August 22, 2010

(almost) Two Years Later

I was going through a box of baby 'stuff' the other day, and Alex dragged out her old Halloween costume. Remember this??

It might be a bit snug...

(Note the porridge bowl at her feet...she was being 'Baby Bear')

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Camping: Pregnant Mama style

Alex has been dying to go camping-- "in a tent" all summer long, but at 6 months pregnant it just wasn't in the cards...until an epiphany struck-- why not camp inside?

Here is a photo journal of our night of camping... let's just say that it was a good idea we stuck close to home, as we all ended up in our own bedrooms by 10pm. :-) But it was the experience that counted!
Happy Trails!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Animal Sounds storytime

Back at Carpenter Nature Center for their August storytime. The lesson today was 'animal sounds', and the kids had fun listening to a story, making 'cricket' noisemakers, playing a hide and seek game with a tape recorder and visiting a rooster (who was strangely quiet, but lesson plans don't always go as planned, right?)

Alex checks out the Mammoth Sunflowers!! We'll have to plant some of these babies next year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Antiquing in Hopkins

I don't know whether it is truly worth it to drive for 40 minutes in order to get free oil changes, but that's currently my deal with Walser Jeep in Hopkins. While the drive is a bit of a pain, having a free hour on the main street of Hopkins is certainly a worthwhile pastime!
Alex and I headed off to the antique stores in search of vintage tin robots and/or spaceships (....I should say 'affordable' vintage tin robots and/or spaceships because there are a plethora of $200+ ones available).
We had no luck finding the 'perfect' toy for Justin's room, but Alex did stumble upon something too good to let sit in a dusty antique store. Because of her outstanding antiquing etiquette (we received several compliments on her behavior and self-restraint), we brought it home!
I know my mom is saying "Amy, you had that game when you were little...." If it turns out that you have it in storage somewhere, Mom, let me know and we'll list it on Ebay and make fortunes :-)Alex, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion enjoyed a romp through Oz before naptime. Simple pleasures of a board game!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Cravings....

Bet you can't tell what I've been craving in this 23rd week of pregnancy.....Alex is only too happy to help me in my quest for the perfect fruit! So far strawberries, blueberries and plums are her favorite. Nectarines and plums are mine!

My Challenges: Scheduling

This week's Simplicity Parenting blog... :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guess where we were?!?

I'll bet you can't guess where Alex and I ended up again today......

The Wizard of Oz exhibit only runs until September 12th, so we wanted to hit it at least one more time. Today was perfect, we got there at 8:50 (Museum opens at 9) and were the very FIRST ones through the ticket counter and into Oz!! Alex got a good 10 minutes of being the only child in the room- heaven!!
For those of you who don't know (or haven't noticed), my daughter takes everything she does seriously. For example, face painting, which would to any other 3 year old be a slapdash event required concentration and finesse. Enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Queen of the Mountain!

We went down to Shakopee this morning to play with Emma and Miss Megan, and wound up at The Landing (a living history museum). Unfortunately they didn't open their doors when they said they would (the website said 10am), so we played on the rocks in the parking lot for a while before calling it.
We ended up at the YMCA splash pad, which was a really nice way to spend a beautiful morning with friends! Alex and Emma had a great time running around and splashing, followed by a laid-back lunch at Applebee's.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shawano Sunday

As I reviewed my photos of the last two days I realized that I never managed to get Great Grandma Alice in a shot!! I swear that she never sits down-- she is constantly busy, bringing people drinks, tidying up the kitchen, popping from conversation to conversation. I hope that I have that much energy someday (I certainly don't have it now!) It was my goal to get some nice shots of her today!

We have to go chronologically, however, which means beginning with swimming pictures. Alex and her entourage enjoyed the AmericInn pool at 9am. It was a 'bit chilly', but they soon warmed up (at least Daddy and Alex did!)
Great Aunt Sarah stopped by the hotel to say 'hi', and then it was time to get cleaned up to head over to the cottage for Sunday brunch/lunch. Alex started off with a bowl of Cheerios next to Great Grandpa.
Then Great Grandma surprised Alex with a very special gift-- a box of antique china teasets! She got right to work having a tea party with her animal friends. (Note the elusive Great-Grandma in the picture-- on the move as always!)
Alex taking a break on a piece of Republican history-- this chair was originally from Senator Joe McCarthy's Shawano office!
Eavesdropping on two Marotz lawyers discussing 'work'. Maybe Alex will follow in their footsteps!
Doing a little more fishing with Papa Bob... (law talk didn't entertain her for too long... yesterday she caught 5 fish!!)And finally, a beautiful photograph of two wonderful ladies--

Followed by a Marotz family photo-- Alex, Dave, Bob, Alice, Bob, Sarah and Carrie!! (Mary and I were the photographers...)

Thank you so much for a special weekend, Alice, Bob and Sarah-- your hospitality was wonderful and we all had a fantastic time! Love you all-- Amy, Dave, and Alex (+Justin Robert too...)