Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fail #2 I've completely caved. Alex had her first swimming lesson (which, because we chose a slot so early in the morning, ended up being a private!) today. They're teaching them at our community pool, how could I say 'no'? :-)
She was a bit hesitant to jump right in and start swimming, but her instructor was very encouraging and predicts that Alex will be swimming on her own in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

'Unscheduled' FAIL

so.....apparently we need some structure (sheepish grin). Alex has been begging and begging to take ballet class, and I always put it off with a "maybe in the summertime" comment. Well, we were driving around doing errands last week and she looked at me very seriously. "Mama," "yes, Alex?", "It is summer, right?", "it is.", "why am I not taking ballet class? You said in the summer I could take ballet class and we're not doing that. I would very much like to take ballet."
There's not much I could argue with. I did, however, find a smaller and less "competitive" venue for class. Last year's was too jam packed. I didn't know that there would be only two girls in her session, but I am very glad for it.
This year is tap and ballet. I was completely surprised by Alex's ability to pick up on the tap moves right away. I guess she's been tap-a-tap-a-tapping around our house since her obsession with the Wizard of Oz (tinman dance), but she really did a fantastic job following for her first class ever!

In conclusion, even though this is an 'unscheduled summer' fail, I count it as a 'win'.



Monday, June 27, 2011

"You're so cute, Justin!"

As I took a few minutes to...ahem...go to the restroom yesterday, I heard this coming from the other room "You're so CUTE, Justin! Mama-- look at Justin, he's so cute!!" Fearing the worst (remember the face paint post a few days back?), I hurried back into the living room.He is pretty cute. Sorry about the fabric scrap on your head, bud.

Sandy Messes!

We met our friends Beth (fellow Ole) and Laura at Tamarack Nature Center today for a summer playdate. Were we ever in for a treat! Beth had mentioned that they had a new playspace open, and I was expecting some sort of nature-themed playground...slides, swings, etc. What we found was SO MUCH better!I've been on the hunt for a park with a little stream that Alex could play in for some time now. Yesterday we hit the jackpot. The new playspace is completely nature-based-- they have multiple streams/water sources running through rock and sand beds. The girls' favorite spot was a giant sand pit that had a gushing water source on one end. They figured out really quickly how to turn on the water after it automatically shut off every minute or so.They also had a huge climbing 'mountain' (accessible by stairs from the back side), so my little mountain goat had a fantastic time scampering up and down the rocks.We were there for about 2 1/2 hours (including picnic time) and still didn't explore all the areas. There is a children's garden area that looked beautiful, as well as instruments set up in another portion of the park. It's all fenced in, and the only drawback is that it's brand new, so there are no established shade trees. Next time I might bring our umbrella for Justin to hang out under.

What a fun time to play and catch up with some old friends! We'll be back for sure (esp. because kids 0-3 are free!!). Oh-- and we'll bring a change of clothes, too-- for sandy messes are sure to ensue!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Princess Amelia!

There are a whole lot of birthdays in June! Sharing Auntie Carrie's birthday is our good friend Amelia. She had a Royal Princess Party. Alex took a long time picking the perfect outfit, finally settling on being "Princess Marie Butterfly Fairy". She requested a 'leash' for her Easter Butterfly and proudly wore the gorgeous crystal that Brad brought her from his last trip to Switzerland- "Mama...Brad said the fairies put a rainbow in this crystal....for me!"

We arrived a tad early (sorry to throw off your groove, Melissa!), but sure enjoyed playing with Graham and Amelia before the party got officially going. It was a beautiful affair-- with a pint-sized royal table complete with tiaras, wands and jewelry for each little guest. We had a great time. Happy Birthday, Amelia!

"Thank You" from the fairies

Alex woke up bright and early (5:30am) and ran into our room, exclaiming "Let's go and see what the fairies left me!". Daddy distracted her for a moment while the "Fairy Queen" snuck outside and made sure everything was in order.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Auntie Carrie!

We had an early birthday celebration for Auntie Carrie tonight! She and Sam came over for dinner and some playtime before the kids went to bed. Alex may have talked Sam's ear off, but he was a great sport-- I'm sure he'll be back for more!

Telling stories....and stories....and more stories about Miss Kitty.

Teething ring is never far away.

Justin was in great spirits tonight, too (in-between fussing about his sore gums...we have more teeth on their way soon!). Here's a video of Auntie Rorie getting him to giggle!

Midsummer's Eve

Since we have somewhat of an absence of true 'foresty' areas in our immediate vicinity, we went for a family hike this morning. The motive was to clandestinely gather materials for building Midsummer's Eve Fairy Houses (since this IS the night that fairies will come to visit). We ended up at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, and enjoyed a lovely, cool hike through the bluffs. Upon returning home, we modified our original plans for a massive fairy house in the backyard. It was raining, so we planted a fairy container garden instead (transplanting some moss from the hike), and made a cozy little bed for the fairies to rest in tonight.
Mama and Papa Finch have been working on building this nest in our porch eaves for two days. Unfortunately, it was a bad location, so we urged them to take their construction skills elsewhere. Couldn't let this little half-built nest go to waste, though!
Alex left some dried fruit, a piece of broccoli and a few crumbs of cake out on a tiny china plate for the fairies. We'll see what they leave for her tomorrow morning!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Justin's first playdate

We had ECFE friends Liam and Anora over today for a Friday playdate. It finally stopped raining, so we took full advantage and played outside for a long time. Well....the babies laid on quilts and stole each other's toys while the big kids played in the sandbox and floated boats in the kiddie pool.

It was too quiet.....

and this is what was happening:

"I'm a colorful bunny!"...

who apparently found the face paint

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6 Month Stats

Justin had his 6 month well-baby appointment today. He's a "Gorgeous Guy" (I love this doc!) and very healthy....all signs of his chest cold have cleared, and he has a 'cluster' of teeth that are waiting to break through any moment.

97% for Height: 28 1/2"
75% for Weight: 19 lbs
75% for Head Circumference: 17 3/4"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy REAL Birthday, Dave...

...and so, for Dave's actual birthday we got to fly home. Papa Bob and Grandma Mary entertained the kids while we packed up (I think we might have some train enthusiasts in our midsts.....and they're not Alex and Justin :-)We got to the airport and passed through security (or "Responsibility", as Alex calls it....probably because I always tell her that her bag is her responsibility at that point in time) without any "special pat downs".....disappointed Alex again.
But the disappointment was soon alleviated by the fact that we ALL got upgraded to First Class on the way home. Even though Justin and I didn't get to sit next to Alex and Dave, it was soooo much easier to have that extra room for him to stretch out and nap in (which he did....after screaming and fussing for ten minutes before take off).

Now we're home, ready for another laundry marathon (actually, Grandma Mary did most of it before we left-- score!) and ready to get our 'slow summer' back on track. Thanks so much for such a fantastic vacation, Bob and Mary!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Day, Daddy!

We got back to Phoenix this morning (why is it that drives BACK always feel so much longer than drives TO?), and were able to celebrate Dave's birthday one day early. Our friends the Bennetts and the Loehrs brought pizza over for an impromptu party. Justin got a lot of cuddle time from Diane and Barb (and Dave Loehr, too!)

My 'creation'. Alex and I mixed up some gum paste, dyed it with food coloring and made a "ski cake" for Daddy. The theme was ALL Alex.....Mary and I thought it was a fantastic idea, so we bought a Costco cake, covered the mound of pink and purple roses in the middle with some fondant and went to town making a mini Dave, Alex and Justin.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Alex Artwork: "Crab Party"

Napping by the pool

Apparently naps are best taken poolside. We actually had him in his real swimsuit today, anticipating a fun swim, but he fell asleep on the way to the pool. We met Marjie, Richard, Leah and Duane over at their pool for some swimming (in knee-deep water).

He eventually woke up and went swimming with Daddy......the Hello Kitty kickboard he wasn't too sure about, though.

Sandia season!

Judging by the contents of the roadside trucks, it is apparently watermelon season in Mexico, so we decided to jump right in. What a delicious snack after a hot morning of sand-castle building.

Justin opted for some oatmeal and sweet potatoes after his first taste of watermelon.

Crab Birthday Party: Phase 2

Last time we were at Rocky Point, Alex made a "Crab Birthday Party". It was time for the second installment of that particular project.....and this time she had Daddy to help build a moat around the front of it (and to tease her by depositing a very confused sea snail in the middle....which she was a bit upset about).

Happy Father's Day!

We started the morning with another beach walk....and left a message in the sand for Papa Bob to read from the balcony.

What a way to spend Father's Day morning with the greatest Daddy around! We love you so much!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Swimming

We were so hot and sticky-sandy from our beach adventure that we joined the rest of the family in the pool to cool off. Impromptu swimming lesson from Leah. Margie, Alex and Leah contemplate life in the infinity pool.

I hadn't planned on Justin getting in the water, but he was overheating fast and it was just the cure. He was much more comfortable in the pool than the ocean (see previous entry) and even fell asleep in Grandma Mary's arms, floating away. He continued his nap poolside while Alex, Daddy, Papa Bob and I went up to the condo to get dinner ready.

Fresh-caught shrimp from Rocky Point. Alex ate at least her own weight in the little critters!