Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bubbles with Grandma & Grandpa

These pictures are from Mother's Day when Ally and I went to spend the weekend with my parents. We've been so busy I just had not had a chance to blog them yet. Here they are:

Ally is an expert bubble blower. I think she is way above her age level in this skill :)

Grandma Barbie has to concentrate really hard.

Ally and Grandma traded a bubble. It was so cool to watch.

Grandpa Frank even got in on the bubble action. I was very impressed.

He worked so hard to make it rain bubbles all around Ally. She was delighted!

Then Ally decided to "clean the car" with the bubble wand.
I am still smiling at the memory, and so glad I am a fanatic about taking pictures of this kind of stuff.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So Cool

I can't seem to remember what movie has a quote about being too cool for words - has to be something from the 80s but this picture of Ally makes me think of it.

Becky has been taking Ally to a class at the Aquarium on Tuesday mornings. Co-op is over and this seemed like something different for them to do. They take the T downtown and walk several blocks thru morning pedastrian traffic since the class is at 930AM. Ally loves to go, a couple mornings she has refused to eat breakfast at home because she is so excited. They are learning about pond life - one week it was turtles, another was frogs the 3rd week was bugs and this week was fish.

One Tuesday I received a text message on my phone from Becky - the picture below was the message. Thanks Aunt Suzie for the AWESOME sunglasses! Ally loves them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PT Take 2

For the most part, our Memorial Day 2009 was pretty traditional. We completed some big yard improvements, spent some good family time together, let our kid splash in the kiddie pool, and had friends over for a barbeque. The not-so-traditional part was that we did all this just steps from the potty!

Julie told Ally that she got to wear Big Girl Panties and tried to get her to wear a dress. Ally wanted to wear a t-shirt, so all privacy went out the window. I guess since Ally went on the potty in our yard/driveway all day, that wasn't a big concern anyway! We kept setting a timer so that every so often Ally got to sit on the potty. Here are some morning pictures.

Ally in her rock-star potty training outfit

Mama and Ally digging in the dirt together

Okay, so someday Ally will hate these pictures but the sneaker-flower underpants-t-shirt-hat combo is so unbelievably cute!

I'm digging the dirt into my bucket!

We took a bit of a break because Ally found a snail in the driveway. We put it in the dry pool for a while, but soon after Ally decided it needed to leave. It was totally suctioned onto the pool and we were afraid we'd kill it trying to pull it out. Becky put a leaf in front of its path and then moved the leaf into the yard and we said "bye-bye snail". We kept looking for and talking about him for the rest of the day!

Here's Becky stapling the liner to the garden box.

Later that morning (okay, early that afternoon) the garden was filled with a lot of dirt and planted with a bunch of veggies! Becky is pretty proud of her little garden and we both hope we get some yummy veggies (mostly tomatoes!) from it later this summer.

After nap, Ally's friend Alice came over to play and have a barbeque and have some potty practice time with Ally. They had a great time playing together outside!
Alice and Ally got a wagon ride!

They got to do some dot art!

That afternoon, Ally started to tell us when she needed to go, and she had her first big success! We have some adorable photos, but thought better of posting them on the internet... At one point they scooted their two potties as close together as possible.

Ally made leaps and bounds this weekend! It'll still be a while before we're ready for potty all the time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

PT Take 1

Sunday we attempted potty training. Phew! This training thing is tough. We have 3 cats and there was no training involved, somehow they just knew to go in the litter box. Ally it seems doesn't quite get it. But we're working on it.

All the books say not to force it, but then we thought about our daughter and how we have to force her to change her shirt or put on socks or take a bath - once the shirt is on or the bath is going she is happy and fine. It seemed that "forcing her" to put on training pants wasn't such a bad idea. Turns out we had it right. Once they were on she was fine. But she still did not quite get the idea of peeing in the potty and not in the panties. Becky put the new crib together and Ally and I watched a Clifford video. It was a very long Clifford video - a series of 12 minute shows so it held Ally's interest for a long time. We set a timer and she had to sit on the potty - her new little potty - its pink, when the timer would beep. She got an M-n-M for sitting on it with her panties off. After about 2 hours we went to the park and then came home for a nap. Ally even sat on the potty at the park. (Yes we brought it with us).

Engrossed in Clifford

Being silly - she kept saying " Ally made tunnel" because her legs were up on the footstool.

On the little potty. Mama was reading the Prudence book to Ally.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Farewell crib

Recently we learned that Ally's crib was recalled. Turns out it had been part of a recall from a while back, but we just learned about it and figured the responsible thing was to take the rebate and put it towards a new crib. Ally as you know loves her crib. Loves pretty much any crib - as long as she can hold on and jump and have her private time to sing and talk she is a pretty happy girl. So no big girl bed yet, just a new crib. But its a fancy new crib that has a special rail to transition to a toddler bed we she is ready for that.
We hosted our Guatemalan Girls group this weekend, lots of fun with Gabi, Roxie and Alice. Alice and Ally played in the crib together. It was like a going away party for the crib.

Gotta love the morning hair!

This morning I took pictures to commemorate the occasion. It was the last morning for Ally's old crib. "Ally's old crib is broken" that is what we told Ally and what she now says quite often. Becky and I were pretty attached to this crib. We bought it during a fairly hopeful time in our adoption process. Ally was only about 6 weeks old - we got the crib on super-clearance. It was only $50.00 new at T. R Us (the new one with the fancy rail is about 5 times that!). It was such a good deal, and even though we knew we shouldn't have bought a crib that early we did, and it lived in the basement until right before I left for Guatemala with my mom to pick Ally up and bring her home. Ally has slept in that crib every night she has been in our house. But what can you do - a recall is a recall so today Becky took it apart and assembled the new crib. Below is a picture of the new crib!

P.S. while Becky assembled the crib Ally and I worked hard on potty training. More to come on that in the next post!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Recently Ally has asked for pony tails in her hair. (She wanted them to be like her friend Alice who always has pony tails - sometime 5 or 6 of them!) This time she kept them in for about 2 hours before she pulled them out. Since this time over Mother' Day she'll ask for pony tails and then pulls them out as soon as we put them in. Or she just plays with the elastics. But as you can tell she was happy with them for a while that one time!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wedding Weekend

We were at a wedding this weekend! My cousin Dan married Jessica. It was a great celebration and the 3 of us were honored to be there to share the festivities with them.

The happy couple.

The groom's parents - My Aunt Martha & Uncle Phil

Sisters - my mom and Aunt

Now comes the story... Becky and I had been shopping for dresses for at least 2 months. We've lost weight and did not have anything at all suitable to wear to the wedding. Ally too needed a new fancy party dress to wear as well. 3 dresses is a lot for 1 family to shop for.
Finally we had all the dresses (after several purchase and returns, undergarments etc) we were set. The dresses were hanging up in the garment bag for us to carry on the plane with us. Only we forgot the garment bag.
And we did not realize it until we arrived in Pittsburgh and were driving out of the rental car place. Needless to say it was tense there for a while. But my co-worker, and friend Alyssa really came thru for us. She went to our house, got the dresses, and fed-exed them to us "overnight guaranteed by 12PM Saturday" for the 4PM wedding. The dresses arrived at 9AM and all was perfect. (we did purchase back-up dresses just in case at the TJ MAXX across the street from the hotel, and in the end I wore my back-up dress not my original dress). It was quite the saga. I think we were most upset at the thought of Ally not wearing this dress. It is quite possibly my favorite dress for her to date. (Becky's is my favorite dress for her ever as well so I really wanted that package to come).
Ally loved exploring the gardens before the ceremony. I couldn't get her to smile for a full front picture but I think these capture the scene.

Ally loved putting stones in the lion's chest.

Ally is pointing to a statue

Family picture - I LOVE Becky in this dress. Isn't it great?

My mom and I at the reception.

Ally, me and my cousin Katy. Katy and I will be travel buddies on our upcoming trip to the UK. I just love how Ally is smiling at Katy.

Great Aunt Martha, Ally and me.

My immediate family

The whole family.
I have some more pictures from the weekend for another post. But I wanted to get this wedding up ASAP.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ice Cream Cone at JJ

This weekend Ally and I went to my parents' house for the weekend. Becky was not feeling well so she stayed home. We missed her and our annual Mother's Day mini-golf tournament was postponed until July when we'll be there next. But we did stick with the Jumpin Jacks tradition.
Ally had her first soft serve cone - with sprinkles of course! She loved it, as you can tell from the pictures. When it started to get melty we put it in a bowl and she ate the entire serving! It was great fun.

Of course I got one too. Believe it or not I held Ally the entire time she ate hers, ate my own and did not get any ice cream or sprinkles on me. I was quite proud of that feat!

Grandma Barbie had to taste Ally's cone.

Ally and I sat by the river - watched the boats and enjoyed the atmosphere.

My parents. Thank-you both for a great weekend!
Happy Mother's Day everyone

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yeah Song!

So Aunt Pam sent a musical Easter card for Ally. Ally played it about 27 times in a row when we got it, and had the exact same ritual during each playing.