Monday, March 31, 2008

Sigh.....snow.....again

Nature is cruel. Have I said that yet? Yesterday we were having a great time outside-- today Dave worked from our dining table because of the winter storm. (Alex thought it was great fun to have him home. Every mealtime was SO much more exciting when she was sitting across from Daddy and his computer.).
So, in order to keep our spirits up, we put up our springtime picture murals from Kindermusik class. Alex had fun looking at all of the flowers on the window, but I know she'll have more fun helping Mommy plant real flowers in the garden in a few short weeks.

We also try to use the exercise ball daily to have fun (and work on our gross motor skills). Alex wasn't quite sure what to think when she ended up on top of the ball on her tummy.
Because Daddy was home, he thought it was important to quickly duck outside and pose with our snow baby in order to give her a new experience. She carefully examined the falling snowflakes, and didn't cry or get upset-- there were too many new sights, tastes, feelings and sounds to take in!
Later in the evening, Alex had her first "biter biscuit". A success! A messy, sloppy, grimy success! Now we know how to keep her entertained when we go out to eat.

Heart Walk 2008

This year Alex, Amy and I will be participating in the American Heart Associations "Heart Walk" - Saturday, April 26, 2008 at Harriet Island in St. Paul.

If you'd like to support us, please Donate! Thanks!

You'll see the Heart Walk ticker on the side of the blog for the next few weeks.

(ps. They're a 501c3 - so all donations are tax deductable :^).


Click Here to Donate

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fashion Show

Because I had some requests...... follow the link to the fashion show on the gallery. Let me say beforehand that Alex is not going to be a child model. She DETESTS having her clothes changed, oh, say, eight times in ten minutes. Therefore, as you scroll through the photos, notice her expression changing from happy to decidedly NOT-- she was protesting LOUDLY by the end, and so we decided to cut the session short for today.

http://www.marotz.net/gallery/v/2008/March2008/FashionShow/

Maple Syrup Morning

We surprised Daddy this morning with an all-you-can-eat Pancake brunch at the MN Landscape Arboretum. They have a mini-Sugarbush that produces syrup for the restaurant and gift shop there. Melissa, Jeff, and Graham joined us for a yummy breakfast-- Babies were entertained by toys, food, paper cups, and a giant "Ms. Pancake" that walked around to say 'hi'. Alex thoroughly enjoyed her mini taste of syrup from Mommy's finger, and was quite disappointed to learn that was all she was going to get.
After breakfast, we walked the Three-Mile Loop around the arboretum. They had maple syruping demonstrations, and the smell of the sap boiling brought back memories of spring weekends spent at our friend Pete's Sugar Shack during our St. Olaf days. (Check out www.mnmaplesyrup.com if you want to order some UNBEATABLE local syrup). Dave took the 'tour', and came back declaring that this was definitely a 'tourist' demonstration-- The Somers' operation is the real, professional deal (my husband is such a syrup snob).
It was a beautiful day out, and both Alex and Graham snuck in mini-naps during our excursion. Soon, the grass will be green and the trees will be budding, and this will be an absolutely beautiful place to spend a summer afternoon.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alex's First Garage-Sale

This morning, we planned to 'swing by' the Minnesota Valley MOM (Mothers of Multiples) Garage Sale in Eagan. This casual 'swing by' turned into a three hour process! I had no idea of the magnitude of this event.

We arrived at 10:00, and were allowed to pick up entrance tickets for 11:05 (it opened to the public at 11, to mothers of multiples at 9am). The entire gym of this huge community center was filled to the brim with strollers, highchairs, clothing, toys, etc. We had to wait for an hour for our entrance time, and with each passing minute more and more people were crowding the hallways, blocking entrances, and making passage impossible for those trying to get out of the sale. We found a side bench and hung out there.

Then, it was time for our ticket color to be called. We had to put a special tag on everything we brought in, so that they would know we weren't trying to steal it! Dave, Alex and I crowded up to the entryway, and got in!
Even though the sale had been in progress for two hours, the amount and quality of everything in there was really good. Dave went straight for the toy table, scanning and grabbing every wooden toy he found so that I could evaluate later to see if they were 'natural' or not. Al and I headed for ride-ons (which we ended up not buying), and shoes. I scored a pair of pink Pediped penny loafers (retail -$30) for $2.50!

All in all, a successful morning, even though we ended up waiting 45 minutes just to purchase our $11 worth of items. Alex was very tired, and took a nice nap (with an univited guest) when she got home.
This evening, we had Emma and her parents (Megan and Joel) over for Mexican. The girls socialized and the 'boys' played Wii. We had a very nice time-- Alex only stole Emma's toys a few times :-) Al was so tired from the big morning that she retired kind of early-- not the best hostess, but Emma was understanding.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Vayamos a Albertville!

Alex and I went to the Mecca of outlet malls today-- Albertville (about 1 hour north of Prior Lake). Our friends Megan and Emma joined us for the drive, and we had a great time shopping all the baby stores!

The girls kept each other company on the long drive up.

We, of course, stopped at the Hanna Andersson outlet (which had really good deals right now) and loaded up on cute summer wear. My shopping strategy was to pile everything I thought I might want on the stroller (see picture). Then, at the register, I sorted it into a 'buy' and 'restock' pile-- the ladies at the store were quite accomodating! (fashion show to come soon-- maybe tomorrow!)


Don't worry, Daddy, it isn't ALL coming home with us!

Mommies lunched at Subway, and Alex and Emma sat in their strollers and were very good girls. Miss Alexandra enjoyed her home-packed 'bento box lunch' of oatmeal, peaches, and sweet potatoes. It's actually quite manageable to feed her 'real food' in public, as long as I am organized and have a wet washcloth along!

After showing Daddy all of our great deals, we took a family walk this evening. Alex is very serious about being in the backpack. She enjoys it, but is so focused on observing everything around her that she never cracks a smile!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What long, silky ears you have!

Alex did such a good job at the vet clinic today. She really wanted Copper to sit next to / under her the entire time, and got agitated when the technician took the pup back to get some blood work done (no worries-- just a routine yearly exam). Copper got an 'excellent' bill of health (except, of course, for only having one eye, a heart murmur, three good legs, and lumps all over her body) :-)



We received some compliments as well. While checking out, another owner (carrying a fluffy Husky puppy) looked at us, and commented "What beautiful eyes she has!" I thanked her for the compliment, and looked lovingly at my daughter. The woman went on to say, "And her ears-- they are so long and silky!"
Reading a story while waiting for Copper to come back. Note my baby's long, luxuriously silky ears.

Earlier this morning, we went to a MOMS Club coffee/ playgroup. I was so impressed at how independent Alexandra was. I sat her up, gave her a little pillow, in case she lost her balance, and left the room while she watched all the older kids play. She stayed there for about 20 minutes until realizing she wanted a bottle (like one of the other boys was having).
Notice my child sitting in the lower left hand corner of the picture, just drinking in the chaos!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Playdate with Graham

We finally got our schedules aligned, and Graham and Melissa came over for a lunchtime playdate! It was a success-- the kids actually interacted! :-) We don't get to see those two as much as we would like, so it was a treat for Mommy as well. The babies were uncharacteristically quiet, however-- it's funny because whenever Melissa and I talk on the phone, there is always somebody talking/screaming in the background. But, when we got them together, they were practically mute!

Alex shared her toys (and highchair) very well. Graham really liked Alexandra's wooden push toy and her kitty, Percival. We ended our playtime with a nice walk outside. It's not quite spring yet, but we'll take a sunny day like this one any time!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kitty Tails!

Alex found the BEST organic, all-natural toy today. Huxley's tail. The cat was actually a really good sport-- he didn't complain (or even run away). I can't say that Percival has been such a willing participant in playtime :-)
Here Alex is, modeling the new hat that Auntie Carrie made for her. It matches her sweater perfectly, and I couldn't resist snapping a picture!

Our big outing today (besides Stretch & Stroll) was to Costco. I had such a good helper in my cart! She took charge of the shopping list and and, with her faithful Mouse by her side, 'directed' me down the aisles I needed to go to. Well-- she ate my list-- but that's close enough, right??

We're just sick of this snow-- it was so nice to have a taste of spring last week that it is just downright icky to have these snowy, cold, windy days. This is Alex being pensive, thinking deep thoughts about the cruelty of nature.




Monday, March 24, 2008

Sippy Cups and Basset Hounds

Miss Alexandra and I had a quiet, restful day at home, recharging from our busy weekend. She had a few more 'firsts', though.
The first sippy cup experience went fairly well, all things considering. It's quite the concept to have to tip a cup up yourself, but she had about a 60% success rate.The first feeding of the dog from the highchair. Copper was sitting under Alex and whining during lunch. Al kept looking at her and laughing-- then (on purpose or not?) flung some baby food from her grubby little hands in Copper's direction. Also during lunchtime she had her first taste of avocado (she spit them out and actually retched a little) and carrots (loved them, wanted more and more).All in all, a relaxing but fun day with a pleasant and happy almost 6-month old.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

What a full day! We got up for early service (8:15), and got little Alexandra dressed for the big day. She was wearing a stylish flower-print shift, matching handknit sweater, and a coordinating pink trenchcoat.She was a perfect girl during Church-- who wouldn't be with so many people to be passed around to. She loved listening to Uncle Willy and Grandpa Claude sing (she'd crank her neck around to observe their faces when she heard them).We had a casual family dinner back at our house. Auntie Carrie joined us, and took over baby-watching duties while Grandma and I cooked. Daddy and Uncle Willy spent two hours in the garage, fixing the garage door that had snapped a spring when we opened it to leave for church that morning.
After lunch, the Jones clan headed back to Iowa, and we just hung out and napped-- trying to recuperate from a long, busy, and fun weekend.Alex enjoying her first Easter basket--- approximately 8 seconds after this picture was taken, the basket and all the contents were strewn about, either on her lap or on the floor. Copper also enjoyed the Easter basket.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Do The Mashed Potato

This afternoon, Grandma, Auntie Rorie and I took Alex to the zoo. We were hoping to see the new 'farm baby' exhibit, but it was deemed 'too snowy' to trek all the way to the farm. In the meantime, they had set up some baby chicks and bunnies inside the main building, so Alexandra checked them out. The chicks, especially, were very entertaining, as they were at perfect stroller height!Auntie Rorie in the requisite "aquarium photo op" at the Coral Reef. Alex loves her fish, and was talking and 'dancing' the entire time we were watching them.

For dinner this evening, Grandpa Claude took us all out to Perkins (which Dave and I have decided is an 'Alexandra-safe' environment-- it's noisy enough that no one stares at us when she squeals). She got to try her first bite of mashed potatoes (after downing her dinner of oatmeal, squash and pears in a matter of minutes), and was confused by the taste, but soon was demanding 'more' with a little baby-bird open mouth. She definitely gets more and more fun each day! We are so lucky to be the parents of this little girl (however loud she sometimes gets) :-) !

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pre-Easter Celebration

After watching the Drake basketball game with Grandma and Grandpa (who came up from IA for Easter weekend), Alex took a nap. Little did she know, when she awoke the entire house would be filled with crazy relatives and friends! We decided to host dinner for everyone who was still in town and could make it down through the snow- Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Rorie, Uncle Willy, Great-Auntie Debbie and Great-Uncle Danny came down from the Northland with Zach, and Eddie & Jackie brought little Aiden, and our good friend Brad decided to brave my crazy family and join us.
Dave did a fantastic job grilling burgers and onions, and keeping up with the demand for food-- we had an enjoyable evening visiting and showing off our respective babies :-)
Alex joined all the grown-ups at the big table for dinner, and entertained herself very well. There were so many people to watch and conversations to interrupt!
Then we dyed Easter Eggs with two professionals-- Rorie and Danny showed us all up with their intricate and complex designs! Alexandra was watching for a while, but soon lost interest-- maybe next year it will be more engaging for her.

The eggs, however, are STUNNING!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bubbles, Water, and Uncle Willy

We played outside on the deck this afternoon! I bought a package of bubbles on impulse in Target today, and Alex seemed perplexed by the gravity-defying orbs. She did not try to eat them (as Dave predicted she would), she just seemed to peacefully watch them float by.

Then I brought out the blocks. Copper seemed to be content to just soak up the sun-- we are all excited about the impending thaw! (Hopefully it doesn't really snow 6" tonight as predicted....sigh-- life in Minnesota..)It got a bit chilly, so we went inside and had a mini water-table experience (I've been on a lot of Montessori websites recently). I think Percy was as excited about the new game as Alex was. They spent a good 15 minutes splashing side-by-side.
Uncle Willy is on Spring Break, so he's visiting for the Easter Weekend. Alex seemed perturbed that he wasn't feeding her fast enough, and she kept looking at me to try and remedy the problem.



Let's All Do the Hop!

Alex received an Easter package from Arizona last night. Here is her first reaction to the animated singing toy!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Errands.....Naps

I'm so glad that Alexandra is a flexible baby! This morning we took the Jeep in to be serviced (oil change-- nothing major), but ended up spending two hours in the waiting area because of all the 'other' things that popped up on the service check ($234 worth of 'other' things.....argh.)

Waiting patiently in the 'big girl' chair.

Napping on the lovely beanbag-- You have to work with what's available...

Luckily, the Walser waiting room has a little nook for kids-- beanbag chairs and a tv. We were the only kid around, so we took over the floor space-- played, read stories, had a bottle and then got really sleepy. I looked around to try and find somewhere she could nap, and ended up going AGAINST every "mom" gene in my body, and laid her down on one of the (I'm sure) germy beanbags. I did use some burp cloths to make a body shield, but it still grossed me out-- However, Alex fell right asleep (with her coat shielding her eyes) and napped for an entire hour in the waiting room!

After our thrilling morning, we stopped at home to let the dog out, grab something to eat, and play with the kitties. Then we headed to meet Megan and Emma at the zoo. It was 50 degrees out today, and the zoo was PACKED with excited Minnesotans venturing out for the first time without winter gear. Miss Alex stayed awake for the entire trip- including the outside area. We had fun, but she is completely bushed, and will hopefully sleep for a very long time this afternoon!

Alex and Emma check out the prairie dogs.