Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Festivities--

After a fantastic pancake breakfast (prepared, of course, by Alex and Emma), we had a nice morning at Church and then at the park. Joel and Dave worked really hard to get both ladies tired out so they would nap before the big night...
After naptime we worked on a few projects, including decorating rice krispie bars, and then it was time for the big night.
At the last second Alex decided she'd rather wear her bumblebee fairy costume out than Glinda, so we'll save that one for next year! :-) She also got a special 'kitty nose and whiskers' to complete the look.....don't ask, I'm not sure!Trick or Treating! We made it MUCH farther down the block than we did last year, although we were still the first ones out (at 5:30pm) to avoid some of the 'scarier' big kid costumes. Auntie Carrie was stationed at home to hand out candy while we played!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Carving Pumpkins

We geared up for a Halloween weekend with the start off the festivities, carving pumpkins! Alex exhibited her personal growth from last year by actually HELPING Daddy scoop pumpkin innards out! :-)

She designed her pumpkin all by herself....drew eyes, nose and mouth on with a Sharpie and then Mama cut them out. I think this is the cutest jack o' lantern in Minnesota!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Critter Costumes

Storytime this month was all about 'Critter Costumes'. All the kids were in their Halloween finery and enjoyed Stellaluna (which I had actually never read before-- a sweet story about a bat who is raised by birds). Then it was time for the nature hike, activity and animal encounter. Who did we meet today??
A Hog Nosed Snake! Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Practice' Trick or Treating

Upon the advice of some friends, we decided to hit up the local Kowalski's (grocery store) for their annual Trick-or-Treating night. Despite the frigid sleet, Alex was very excited to don her 'official' costume (Glinda) and practice Trick-or-Treating.
We had to wait until Daddy came home from work, which translates into a three year old who was sitting around in her long underwear and costume for about 45 minutes prior to him walking in the door. Dave ended up carrying her around the store, because seeing some other kids in Spiderman masks was a bit "too creepy" for her (direct quote). We'll see how Halloween goes....
The haul. The best thing about Kowalski's is that candy is kept to a minimum....other treats included string cheese, an apple, chips, etc. She did get to tear into some baby "sCarrots" and have a little orange pop as a treat after dinner! ;-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Geometry and Wool Adventures at the Science Museum

Alex was sooo excited to meet Emma at the Science Museum of Minnesota for a playdate this morning. For being a fairly busy day, the museum didn't feel too crowded (it helps that schools are out today so there were no big field trip groups galumphing around). The girls had ample time to explore and play-- highlights below include 'driving' the towboat, weaving at the hand loom (with gorgeous naturally-dyed wool ....I had to restrain myself from jumping in with them!), and playing in the traveling Geometry Playground exhibit, which, by the way, I'd LOVE to acquire a piece or two from for our own collection! I don't know if Dave would 'go' for sculpture installation in the backyard, but if they were THIS cool and play-friendly I might have a shot!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Um Ya Ya Orchard!

Alex and I headed to Afton Apple Orchard to join about sixty other Oles in a fantastic morning. We enjoyed a great hayride (and even had a very nice grandparent couple loan us an extra lap blanket for the event), chose some apples (we didn't get to pick any from the trees because the entire crop was lost to hail!!), picked out the 'perfect little pumpkin' and indulged in some apple donuts and apple cider.
If you remember from our posts last summer/fall, Afton Apple Orchard has a fabulous playground and petting zoo with the sweetest little donkey around. We made sure to spend some quality time with the animals, and even found some wooly caterpillars to make friends with!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How Cloth Napkins Changed our Lives

This week's SP Post. Perhaps a bit on the melodramatic side..... :-)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Emma!

After our morning ride, we set out for the Mall of America to help Emma and her parents celebrate her third birthday. Festivities included lunch at Rainforest Cafe, rides at Nikelodeon Universe and a 'high tea' at American Girl Bistro! What an incredible afternoon for two good friends!

Pumpkin Express Train

Dave, Alex and I headed up to Osceola, Wisconsin this morning (about an hour away) to board the Pumpkin Express! Kids were invited to wear their Halloween costumes-- we were worried about Glinda being dragged through the dirt (it's kind of long), so we improvised with a cute fairy bee costume that Grandma Mary got Alex last year. It was perfect!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Domestic Chores

This past week has been kind of crazy...between finally getting the house back in order after our birthday weekend and being SUPER third-trimester tired, we've kind of just 'done our thing'. Here are some photos from the week--

Folding laundry
Preparing Dinner (scrubbing carrots)
Listening to a book on tape from the library.....yes, I had to go out and PURCHASE a cassette player in order to do this!! I've been so exhausted in the early evenings that I decided to give this a try-- in order to get a *bit* of downtime without resorting to tv (which, I have to admit, is VERY tempting at this stage of the game--)

3 Year Old Photos...

Here's a link to the gallery posting of the rest of Alex's three year old photos.... Grandmas and Grandpas let us know which ones (sizes) you like, and we can have Sam's club send you the sizes you want!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marigold Harvest

As we were winterizing the yard this weekend (thank you Auntie Carrie for your help!!), Alex asked if she could pick some marigolds. I'd planted them from seed on the sides of the lettuce patch, and had actually forgotten they were even there. She had so much fun making 'bouquets' of the pretty orange, yellow and red blossoms. We may attempt making a little marigold pie to celebrate her 'harvest'. Any other marigold recipes out there that people have made??

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Alex received some sparkly jewel stickers for her birthday, and today we found the PERFECT vehicle to share their dazzling glory with the world..... a little pumpkin!
How many three year olds have a Bedazzled pumpkin on their front porches?? :-) 'Tis the season!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Como Zoo

Alex and I headed to Como Zoo to take advantage of a warm, sunny October day! It was the first time I broke out the new double stroller, and she had a great time riding 'like a big girl' in the back. We had a great morning, sharing apple slices and half of a peanut butter sandwich in front of the lion enclosure-- I'm sure going to miss these Alex and Mama only days-- we'll have to make sure to schedule them in from time to time after Baby Justin arrives!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A long-awaited NAP!

It's been approximately three weeks since Alex actually napped in the afternoon. I've been insisting on 'independent rest time' in her room daily, but due to the super busy weekend (and week), I doubly insisted on her sleeping today. As you can see, she apparently fought it for a while (actually about an hour and a half) before succumbing. And yes....I left her on the floor. I couldn't risk the chance of her waking up when I moved her to the bed. In retrospect, I'm feeling a bit guilty about the decision, but not so much that I will go back upstairs and try to reposition her. She needs her sleep!!(By the way: her room was completely tidy and clean before 'naptime')

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Preparing for Transition

Our new baby is due in early December, and we've been making lots of preparations already. Some people look at me like I'm crazy when they learn his room has basically been ready since August. I readily admit to being a type-A person, but on top of my own desire to 'nest', this preparation time has been intrinsic to my three year old's positive outlook on the coming transition.

As Payne suggests during a case study in the last chapter of Simplicity Parenting, We've been working on 'dreaming our baby into existence'. This special family-only time has been a great way to get extra Mama-and-me (and Daddy-and-me) time for Alex. She has helped pick out the paint color for his room (her room also got a new coat). We've planned special trips to the store for painting supplies. Daddy and Alex assembled the crib in July, so she would have plenty of time to get used to the idea of a baby in the once-empty room. Besides helping me design and make soft sculptures for the walls, Alex has also sketched 'designs' for soft handmade animals. She enjoys picking through my boxes of scraps to find the 'perfect pieces' of fabric to use when we sew them together. She's been involved in the entire process of making a permanent space for Baby Justin in our lives and home. Throughout these last few months, as we have unpacked baby 'equipment', Dave and I have become expert storytellers, reliving Alex's first few days home from the hospital, her favorite baby toys and foods, and first signs/words. She has started 'retelling' these precious stories, and making up new ones about Baby Justin.

Believe me, I know that the transition won't be completely smooth, but I'm hoping that the extra legwork we're doing now will pay off. Our family has already felt so many positive ripples from the Simplicity Parenting work we've done-- it makes our home a much calmer, consistent and healthier place to be-- for all of us! The more rhythmic our days, the more reassuring our home life becomes and (hopefully) the less chaotic a major transition will be.

Harvest Festival

Unbeknownst to me, cameras are frowned upon at Waldorf School Festivals. Luckily I was able to snap a couple shots of Alex with her Maple Leaf crown this morning before a gentle 'reminder' from Miss Brenda. (Apparently a bunch of parents all weilding cameras is too distracting for the kids.... )

We started the day with a beautiful (and warm) hike. Most of the parents trailed behind the kids, but Alex wanted to hold my hand. Being the youngest in the class has its privileges sometimes-- she is definitely allowed a little more flexibility than the other kids!
After our crown-making and walk, it was circle time. The parents all gathered in the classroom and waited for the kids to process in. It was really difficult for Alex to have me in the room with her. She does just fine if we're separated, but if I'm present, she'd rather be hanging out with me than with the rest of the class. She spent most of circle time (songs and fingerplays) turned around in her little chair, trying to engage me in conversation. She was totally focused, however, when the Earth Mother came into the room and handed each child a crinkly brown bulb to plant outside.

We enjoyed a wonderful potluck snacktime, and then it was time for parents to leave. Alexandra was very clingy and nervous about me going, so Miss Brenda suggested that I stay to plant the bulbs. Once Alex was back outside she was fine with the prospect of me going, and had no problem saying 'goodbye'.

There are three Festivals a year (Harvest, Winter and Spring). I think it will be really interesting to see how her reaction to me in the classroom grows and changes from season to season and year to year!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Weekly Rhythm: Simplifying Dinner

Last week's SP post. Our Weekly Rhythm: Simplifying Dinner

Birthday at School

Daddy left for a four-day work trip this morning, but he was able to spend a little time with us this morning before kindergarten. They donned matching jackets (thanks for the cool birthday present, Brad!) before heading out the door!
Alex got to bring a treat to school today to celebrate her birthday. She brought home some wonderful gifts-- a beautiful watercolor birthday crown, a ribbon-bound book of drawings by each member of her class, and a sweet little baby doll for her dollhouse. She was so excited to show all her goodies to Cathleen (and me too), but everything was forgotten when we came to the "Flower Mountain" (a small hill that runs parallel to the parking lot at school). She wanted nothing more than to show Cathleen all the beautiful 'wildflowers' (read: groundcovering weeds) that were growing there.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fairy Tea Party

After the Training Camp, we headed back to the Marotz house for the Fairy Tea Party. All I can say is that we are a very blessed family to have so many friends and relatives to celebrate Alex's big day with. Thank you, everyone, for your continued support and love! Enjoy the photos--