Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Ally had her first gymnastics class last week. It is every Thursday for the rest of the summer. She is not required to wear a leotard yet - they just recommend non-constricting clothes. She really likes it - Becky and I watched thru the glass and saw Ally do the balance beam, somersaults lots of jumping and of course the bar! It was fun to watch her learn how to do things and try it out herself without our interference. After class we went out to dinner. I just thought Ally and Becky look so colorful I had to take a picture.

Monday, June 28, 2010

First Camping Trip

This past weekend we took Ally on her very first camping trip. In the end its hard to call it an actual trip - it was just 1 night at a state campground about 90 minutes away. But it was fun.
To get ready for the trip we set the tent up in our living room before we left. We wanted to make sure all the parts were there (its been over 3 years since we went camping) and that we remembered how to put the tent up.

Then of course we set up Ally's sleeping bag in the tent in the hope that she would feel more comfortable for the real set up in the woods.

Here is our campsite - that is the lake through the trees.

Waiting for dinner to be served.

Games during dinner - Ally enjoyed playing peek a boo at the tent. She is so silly sometimes!

After dinner it was time to roast marshmallows. Can you tell how safety conscious Ally is? She can't even reach the fire pit.

So Becky tried to show her that the marshmallow was not getting hot.

Finally with Becky holding on to the stick too Ally agreed to put the marshmallow in the fire to roast.

But that did not last long - after about 15 seconds Ally pushed her chair way back from the fire and left Becky to taste the marshmallow all by herself. Frankly I thought the whole thing was hilarious - Ally has always been super safety conscious. We've never completely child-proofed our house. It was just not necessary, she points out when an outlet cover is missing and if we leave out scissors or a knife she says something like "uh oh...we should put that away".
Well she has to also be the most fire-safety child on the planet. The whole time the fire was going she kept saying we needed to "pour water on it" to put it out. She also would not get close at all.

Her she is after she ate her 4th and final marshmallow of the day. I should also note that Ally refused to eat or even take a bit of a smore and was not even interested in the chocolate bar - all she wanted was plain marshmallows.

After dessert it was time for popcorn over the fire!

It was taking a long time so Becky took over from Ally.

Ally waited

and waited

and waited

but there was no corn popping until I took over! The key is to get the basket closer to the heat source.

because very quickly popcorn fills the basket!

After popcorn it was time to go to sleep.

If only getting Ally to sleep in the tent was as easy as getting the popcorn to pop. We were all in our sleeping bags ready for sleep at about 8:45PM. Unfortunately sleep did happen until 12:00AM. There was a trip to the bathroom, a night-time banana snack, books read to Ally, Ally reading books to herself (pictured above), stories told by mama (that were so boring they almost put mommy to sleep), songs sung, flashlights played with, and numerous fits of "where is Ariel" (Ally has a small 4" Little Mermaid doll that she insisted on bringing with her and Kitty and Ernie but the small figurine kept getting lost between all of the sleeping bags and pillows) and eventually crying "I want to get out of the tent...I can't go to sleep in here" Becky tried to reason with her and explain that it was dark and tent would not fit in the car... it was adorable but finally I cuddled Ally close and she fell asleep in my arms, sharing my sleeping bag. I woke up a few times all stiff from sleeping with Ally and every time I moved she would cry. I was awake for good at 530AM and around 630 got up for a bathroom break, which of course woke up Ally for good as well.

Here is Ally in the morning. She was not in a good place. She said she was ready to go home. We said "we'll go home in a while" and she said a while was too long.
And really - how much did I want to battle with Ally to stay longer - we were getting eaten by mosquitoes, it was cold and I was tired. So we agreed to pack up and go home.

And boy was Ally happy to leave soon.
In the end Becky and I think our mistake was in doing all of our camping stuff on the first night. In the morning Ally felt we were all done camping, she was tired and cold and wanted to go home. We've already planned a 2nd trip, this time with Alice and her parents, and we're going to leave Saturday morning and plan on spending only 1 night again but we'll plan more activities for the day.
We did have a great time, while it lasted. And I am actually looking forward to the next time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Love this outfit!

Thanks Great Aunt Martha for the tanktop - Ally loves popsicles so the shirt is a hit, ane even though its not pink it has pink on it and it matched perfectly with this pink and orange skort from last year. Add some bright pink sandals and Ally is a happy girl. Mama and Mommy love this outfit!

Friday, June 25, 2010


It was Father's Day and Cheryl, Tom and Alice invited us over for a breakfast playdate. I felt bad because the only dad in the group, Tom, did all of the cooking. Thanks Tom - it was all yummy! The girls as usual had lots of fun playing and goofing around. Becky and I enjoyed some lively conversation with Tom and Cheryl and hope to get together soon when we are all back from vacations!
I guess the gym pays off when I can do "sack of potatoes" for both girls at once!

I think the crooked grin Ally has is awesome.

While the adults were eating and the girls were finished, Becky snapped a couple of really neat shots of Alice and Ally head to head on the futon. Yes that is bacon in Alice's hand, and no Ally did not eat any. Its so hard to get a picture of both of them looking at the camera.

But here is one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Mama!

Yesterday was Becky's 32nd birthday!!! I had to work but she and Ally had a fun day together doing normal stuff around the house. Ally is really into imaginative play right now. There is an elaborate Lego mansion in our living room - seriously this structure gets bigger everyday, its now 3 floors and I think there are 6 rooms! That is bigger than our house.

We met up for lunch at Whole Foods.

Becky and I went out to dinner by ourselves, but when we came back it was time to have Mama's cake! The day before Ally and I went to the store to get flowers. Ally picked out the flowers behind my head - yellow sunflowers because yellow is mama's favorite color. Then there are orangey-red gerber daisies too. I told Ally she could pick whatever she wanted - 2 bunches. The florist tried to get her to change her mind, but Ally would not be deterred. It was pretty cute. Then Ally said we had to get more presents for mama. So we got some red cherries and a cherry pitter. Becky thought they were pretty neat.

Ally was pretty excited to give her mama her presents. (Can you tell its hot here?)

The Birthday Woman!

Becky picked out her dessert - she wanted lemon bars. So Ally and I made lemon bars, and Ally actually ate some! Becky got some very nice cards - one from each of her Aunts, our parents and from Ally and I. 31 was a pretty big year for Becky - lots of changes in our life, but every year together and with Ally gets better and better.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Last Day with Grandma Debbie

On Grandma Debbie's last full day with us, she and Ally and Becky went to the zoo. It was really hot, and Ally agreed to wear ponytails for the first time this year. She was also sporting her kick a--bows! I was working, but heard they had a blast, even though the zoo was crowded with school groups and so hot and steamy outside.

Our "after zoo" ritual is a meal at Panera. As you can see Debbie and Ally was acting silly as usual.

Happy Grandma and Granddaughter

Then we went out to dinner, Becky even wore a sundress!

After dinner we got some group shots. 3 generations!

And one of our family.
Saturday morning we took Debbie to the airport. Thank-you so much for coming. I know we had a really rough night, but we all so appreciated you coming and helping us out. Ally is still talking about how Grandma Debbie is silly. And we still read Chalk at least twice a day!
The 3 of us enjoyed a weekend together, we went to Ikea and got a small dresser for Ally's room - kind of like a nightstand, and at my suggestion she agreed to put it in her room instead of her potty. She has had a little potty in her room for months now, and we've been thinking it was time to transition to using "the big toilet" as Ally calls it. She agreed that her little potty could go to the basement as long as she got to help bring it down there. Last night Becky assembled the dresser and today after we reconfigured our bathroom so Ally can safely use the toilet, she and Ally brought the potty down to the basement.
Today we had breakfast with Alice and her family, went to swimming lessons and re-arranged more stuff in the house. Becky convinced Ally to move most of her toys from the living room to her bedroom. Lots of play time at home this afternoon.
Oh and I almost forgot. Ally is LOVING showers. We bought a contraption that adapts any shower into a child-height one and Ally loves it. Seriously she stays in the shower for 10-15 minutes. The first day she told Becky she would stay in all day long! Its pretty neat because in the shower she can clean and wash herself and I think she really likes the independence.

Friday, June 18, 2010

At the airport

Grandma Debbie is staying with us this week. Her flight arrived on Sunday and Ally, Becky and I went to the airport to pick her up. We actually parked the car and went inside to wait for her. I apologize now for the poor quality of these pictures, but it is tricky to get action shots from inside the poorly lit airport. I think though, that the spirit of the event is clear.
Walking to baggage claim. Somehow I never tire of taking pictures of Ally and Becky holding hands.

waiting at the bottom of the escalator

I think I see her

running to give Grandma a hug as she got off the escalator!
Big smile - grandma is here at last!

Posing for a picture.
It was pretty great - Ally was so excited to see Debbie (and likewise of course).
They have a had a lot of fun this week. Debbie brought a craft project and they decorated a treasure chest. I think everyday Ally asks that her new book from grandma, Chalk get read to her 10 times. They go to the park, watch Princess sing-a-long, color, have egg hunts, play hide and seek and a variety of other things. Becky's last day of school was yesterday, so Ally and Grandma Debbie have spent all day together each day this week. We had one rough night where Ally did not want to sleep, so we changed up the sleeping arrangements and all is good. Today, the 3 generations are looking forward to spending some granddaughter-mama-grandma time together.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reading with Aunt Beth

Aunt Beth came to visit for a few days. A special treat for Ally when we have company is that she gets to have company read her books in the living room before bed. Aunt Beth had to read the kids magazine Animal Baby each night instead of a story book. (sorry AB).

calmly reading at bedtime

not so calm anymore

Silly Beth and Silly Ally

Friday, June 11, 2010


This picture was before our recent haircuts. But I love that we are both smiling such huge grins.