Monday, April 26, 2010

Just Keep Swimming...Just keep Swimming...

Thanks to the loving, generous P, my childhood friend, Alexander and his best friend Addie are taking swim lessons (FOR FREE!).

Here the two of them are waiting as patiently as three year olds can possibly wait to leave for lessons this afternoon.

We've learned the two of them need to spend time together BEFORE an event or they end up chasing each other and screaming.

When we arrived, P was already in the pool. So, we strapped on the floatie devices and the two sat to wait their turn.

Addie is a natural in the water. She actually seemed irritated to be held by Miss P but she was a great sport.

Alexander, on the other hand, took a bit of time adjusting to the lessons. In all honestly, he finally loosened up, once he saw how well Addie was doing. It is a blessing to have the two of them take lessons together.

he was so focused on that boat!

We have two little independent toddlers on our hands so it makes the parents feel better knowing that our babies are learning the skills to keep them safe.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Boys Get To Work

From the time Alexander was a little one, he couldn't wait to help Daddy mow the lawn.
He would stand in the living room, staring and pointing out the windows at Daddy.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

His time has come.

Here's hoping he has the same level of excitement for yardwork in twelve years.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just a whole lot of pictures...

So far behind on Disneyworld posts. Spring break seems like so long ago.

Last night we called Uncle Patrick. When he heard Uncle Patrick's voice, Alexander giggled like he did at Disney Hollywood Studios when Uncle Patrick tickled his tummy.

And then he ran away from the phone while Uncle Patrick roared with laughter.

Let's continue the Uncle Patrick and Alexander thread a bit (sometimes, blogs take a life of their own and you never know what will be the outcome).

They hung out on the scooters while everyone else made the decisions.

They toasted at Epcot.

This might be my favorite picture from the vacation.

They hung out at the pool.

And then they said goodbye.

We can't wait until we see Uncle Patrick again.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Busy Week in Toddlerville

check out the gal chewing on the tree limb!

The deer have returned. We realize this isn't really Alexander-blog worthy but the arrival of the herd signals the start of spring for us. Spring time means outside projects and lots of Vitamin D! Hours of yardwork, trips to local parks, and a possible house remodel (fingers crossed!) are planned for the next few months and we are ready!

A few of our recent projects...
  • Fingerpainting! Target was having a sale on artwork stuff and I figured the boys needed a new project. Umma, Alexander and Daddy set up on the porch on a sunny afternoon and the boy went crazy with the paints! The final projects are hanging on the walls in our house because I can't figure out what to do with them, other than add them to the recyling bin and I don't have the heart to do so...not yet.

  • A new sandbox! Thanks to Ho-Ho Papa and Umma's Christmas gift, HOURS of entertainment have ensued on the deck. We brought it home over the weekend, filled it with sand and tada! Alexander's new playtoy. Seriously. Seven hours of fun. In one day.

  • This picture really has nothing to do with spring time. Unless you think back to your college days and the spring toga party that may or may not have occured. I think this could make for a senior picture in the yearbook, eh?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

OPERATION: Sleeping In

In the latest Parenting magazine (and by latest, I mean either Feb, March or April issue because I finally found time to read the past three issues), there was an article about sleeping in while your toddler entertains themself in the mornings.

I'm sold.

Even though our house isn't conducive to sleeping in with a master bedroom located in a loft over the living room, I do love the idea of laying in bed and slowly waking up, rather than an abrupt wake up from a three year old screaming in my face. Even if it is the cutest three year old ever.

OPERATION: Sleeping In will begin Phase I this weekend.
  • First step is to discuss this with Alexander. To explain to him that he is old enough to be on his own in the mornings and "do it all by himself", which goes hand in hand with his current independent streak.
  • Breakfast foods will be set out on table the night before with a full milk sippy in the fridge. He will select the breakfast food the night before so this becomes a part of the nighttime routine.
  • TV will be set to cartoon channel the night before. Again, part of the night time routine will be setting the channel and Alexander putting the remote controls where he wants them for the morning.
  • Alexander will be told the red buttons on remotes will turn on his cartoons (I assume this will be the most difficult step and will require practice). I may end up putting stickers on the buttons.
  • Additional discussion regarding playing alone in the mornings will definitely occur.
  • I'm debating putting a clock in his room so he can learn to stay downstairs until 7 or even 8. I'm not sure we're ready for this step.

I am realistic enough to know this plan may not take full effect until the summer months. But this morning, he woke up at 5:15, came upstairs to see both parents asleep (I might have peeked), and quietly went to his playroom to play for the next hour. It is my ultimate goal to have him fully trained by the time we have our master room built this fall. The very idea of sleeping in makes me giddy. Giddy, I say.

Any other suggestions for us?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Easter

Since our immediate family was traveling/recovering from vacation on Easter Sunday, the rest of family graciously offered to host Easter a week later. That way, we could keep the tradition strong AND celebrate Jo-Jo's birthday.

For 38 years, I have hunted for plastic eggs filled with coins and paper plates with hard boiled eggs (with our names written on each egg), in my grandparents playroom. I'm not sure we have ever missed an Easter in that playroom. And this is the one tradition I looked forward to the most when I found out we were pregnant. I couldn't wait to watch my son walk through the playroom, searching for plastic eggs and squealing with delight when he found his plate. Just like I did (and still do) with the people I love the most.

Casey and Fidelia will have an almost-one-year old next Easter!
I can already picture her toddling around the room in her sweet Easter dress.

Li-Li found her basket...

...and couldn't wait to count the coins with Ho-Ho Papa (yes, she had quite the haul!)

By the time I found my camera to take pictures of Alexander with his basket, he had moved on to the wooden toys Grandma Great had pulled out for him. My grandfather made wooden toys. Alexander LOVES to play with the ones on the shelves so imagine the delight of finding THREE huge bins full when he arrived today.
Thanks Grandma Great!

This year the Easter Bunny (Ho-Ho Papa) put on a different show for my generation. Once Li-Li and Alexander found their plates and all the plastic eggs were collected, my generation was told they could begin looking for their plates...hidden throughout the rest of the house!
Whoa! New twist to the tradition. It rocked.

Jo-Jo's boyfriend was a great sport. I truly hope this is the first of many Easter plates for Zak.

Thanks Easter Bunny!

*there are no photos of the birthday girl with Alexander because she's in the midst of a crazy hair treatment to straighten her curls. Our relationship would have ended if I posted any pictures of her today. Just trust me*.

The Great Mastermind

Alexander's daddy is Peter Pan - the boy that never wants to grow up. Hence, he is the perfect playmate for Alexander. But he wants me to make sure everyone know he does not wear tights with a skirt.

Alexander's mommy is Wendy - the first born who follows the rules. Hence, she is the perfect peacemaker between the boys. And she does wear tights with a skirt.

There was really only one ride Eric wanted Alexander to ride on this trip.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

However, there is a height requirement of 40". Alexander stands at a mere 38" with shoes on.

But those mere 2" did not deter our Peter Pan from his goal of riding on BTTM with his son.

The Great Mastermind deduced that if Alexander wore his cowboy boots with a heel, and he stuffed the shoes with extra socks, and if we rode it first thing while the workers were tired, and if we carried him for most of the line, we would be able to put Alexander on that ride.

So he did.
And it worked.

Although he did tell us that he liked going fast and around and around, Alexander didn't want to ride it again. Personally, I think if the fake waterfall hadn't dripped on him (which he will tell you was the worst part of the ride), I think we could have gotten him on it again.

Wendy loves that her Peter Pan is the rule breaker. If she were to have had her way, the ride never would have been attempted, Alexander would never have known the thrill of our favorite ride, and Eric wouldn't have had the fun of breaking the rules.

We look forward to telling Alexander the story of the first time he rode BTTM and how the Great Mastermind put it together for him.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Animal Kingdom

First up on our Disneyworld Adventure: Animal Kingdom
This is the only family photo from the trip!

Uncle Patrick started his Florida career driving the safari cars on the safari ride.

Thus, we decided it should be our first ride of the trip.

Since standing in lines is huge part the Disneyworld adventure, most of our pictures were taken in line!

HINT: Go early on the safari ride because they feed the animals in the morning. Last time we came, Eric and I saw very few animals because it was a hot afternoon. This time, animals were EVERYWHERE. So cool.

From there, we headed into Dinosaur Land (or whatever that area is called). Not many rides for a three year old. However, there was one that is very similar to Dumbo. Umma and Ho-Ho Papa joined us while we waited for the rest to finish their ride on Mt. Everest.

After a morning of rides, we settled down for lunch. We most definitely did NOT receive the parents of the year award from this trip. Alexander ate chicken nuggets and french fries. Every day. For just about every meal. But meals were spent with family so it was worth it. Uncle Patrick and Alexander sang the ABC song. A lot.

After lunch, the family split up for the afternoon. Kim, RJ and Lorelli continued to play at Animal Kingdom. Umm and Ho-Ho Papa went back to the condo with Patrick. And we headed over to Magic Kingdom, with a toddler who was more than ready to ride toddler-sized rides.

Like a woo-woo train.

And a roller coaster.

And then we were done.

Until dinner later that night...