Monday, January 31, 2011

Awesome Babysitters

We have been extremely blessed with babysitters. Since Ally was about 11 months old and some friends found out we did not have a sitter, at all, and immediately hooked us up, we realized how important babysitters were to our family happiness. That babysitter graduated and moved away a long time ago, but we've been really lucky with sitters since then.
One very important part of our life is our morning babysitter. This year is Lauren (last year was Tara), she comes to the house every week day at 7AM, and get ALly ready for school and walks the 1 1/2 miles to school with Ally, well she pushes Ally in the stroller. This month we've had so much snow that the stroller has not been an option. SO Ally and Lauren have walked to the T and taken that to school, or when the weather is really bad, they take a taxi. Its always and adventure, and Lauren is always here with a smile and positive attitude. Lauren is in a Master program in theater. Here is picture evidence of her awesomeness as a babysitter.
The label she has for her sewing creations.

The amazing apron she made Ally for Christmas. It has a full pocket all along the front of it.

Lauren is always documenting Ally's pictures and stories. We came home one day to see this one. Later in the day Ally copied the letters (words) that Lauren had written. So cool to see Ally writing (copying) sentances.

Its no secret that Ally really likes Tinkerbelle and her fellow fairies. In the movie Great Fairy Rescue there is a fairy house. One Sunday when Lauren was babysitting we left a plane box out and suggested she and Ally might want to make a fairy house, like in the movie. I was so impressed with their creation.

It is decorated exactly like the one in the movie - with buttons, a clock, glitter for the rug (or pixie dust if you believe in fairies).

Of course the Toy Story 3 stickers give it that Ally authenticity!

Ally loves it!
Our other weekly sitter Sarah is pretty fantastic as well. She picks Ally up at school on Wednesdays and walks home with her, and then stays for a few hours. They usually stop at a children's book store in Harvward Square or for a treat at a cafe along the way. When they get home they usually watch an episode of Curious George and then work on craft projects until we get home.
It can be hard raising a child without family (grandparents) near by to help with babysitting or even just an occasional dinner or hour of free time.
Both of these women really care about Ally and play an important role in our success as a family. It helps that Ally likes them both and enjoys spending time with them.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cold Saturday Activity

Last Sunday was the coldest day in over 2 years. So we headed to the Aquarium for some indoor fun.
First up was the Aquarium.

Ally was able to hold a starfish in her hand! turtle! BIG turtles!

Ally's turtle did not seem to leave her side all day! She seems really into comfort objects these days, but doesn't seem committed to one in particular.

Ally and Mommy pose with the fish (yes, aquarium pictures are REALLY tricky!)

It was a lot of fun to have all three of us at the aquarium together - a very successful way to pass a very very cold morning!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sick Day #5

The mission yesterday on sick day #5 was to play every one of Ally's board games. Becky made the challenge and of course Ally was on board. It was a desperate attempt on Becky's part to only have to play the Ladybug game once or twice and not 6-8 times like every other day this week.
When I got home from work all the games were neatly stacked on the floor for me to see. Ally wanted to show me what they accomplished. She did not want her picture taken, but I had to document this. The list of games is below the picture.

Go Fish

Honey Bee Tree

Tinkerbell Memory

Olivia Memory


Toy Story Memory

Very Silly Sentences

Snail's Pace Race

Goodnight Moon Game

Candy Land

Socken Zocken

Cocoo the Clown


The Ladybug Game

Lucky Ducks

Hi Ho Cherry O

Yes that is 16 different games they played today!

And they put together a new 150 piece puzzle. Ally loves the shiny foil princess puzzle!
It seems Ally is much better today - just a slight temp in the afternoon but lots of energy and in good spirits. I am so glad and hopeful that this is behind us.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow Day #3 & Sick Day #4

Yesterday was the 3rd now day of the year and Ally's 4th sick day in a row. I am tired of both snow and fevers. Becky seems to have caught Ally's virus and I think shoveling out from all the snow, we've had is the only reason I am not sick! 38" in January this year and 60" so far this season. I guess its a good thing I've been working out, so that I am prepared for the snow shoveling!
It was the first storm Ally did not beg to go out and play in. I think part of it is being sick and partly its that the novelty has worn off.
Becky and Ally took a nap together. I love how Ally's bare foot is sticking out of the quilt.

A close up. Yes Ally brings her taggie, her kitty and her softy blanket to sleep with her wherever she sleeps. I hope though that she does not always sleep with the taggie blanket over her face.

After nap they snuggled on the couch to watch some Curious George. CG always helps Ally wake up and get to a better place.
Becky will be staying home with Ally again; sick day #5 for Ally - we're breaking out some new toys to try and make it thru the day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Silly Sick Ally

Ally has been sick all week. On Monday morning her teachers called to let me know she had a fever so I picked her up and brought her home at lunchtime. She took a 3 hour nap. Tuesday she was still sick and Becky stayed home with her. On Wednesday our babysitter Lauren stayed with Ally until 12Pm and then I got home. You can see she was feeling pretty good when I took these.
Look at this silly pose Mommy.

Look at this trick!

oops I fell

Crazy Static Hair Girl.
Ally has had a fever for 4 days - we brought her to the doctor today and were told "its just a virus" and that we need to wait it out. It seems odd to have no symptoms but a fever but we believe the doctor. No school again tomorrow, b/c Ally does still have a slight fever. She's missed more school this week than she did all of last year! When her fever is down she is a chipper full of energy 4 year old like in these pictures. But then when her fever creeps up again she is so tired and hot and crummy feeling. We keep pushing fluids and helping her get lots of rest and hope it will go away soon!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Registration Complete

Yes she is going to kindergarten next year. Junior Kindergarten is what it's called in our town (pre-k) it is full day, 6 hours a day, so the same time as her preschool has been for the past 2 years. We have a lottery system here and so we now just wait and see what school we get assigned, but on Friday I officially registered Ally for "big kid" school as she likes to call it. Our main deciding factors in schools was what kind of Spanish program they offered and how close it was to our house. I'm pleased that our 3 selections are all a mile or less. This will make the daily commute a lot less time, since preschool is 1 1/2 miles from home, which makes for a long walk. We won't know until late March/early April which school Ally will attend but we've all made peace with the fact that it will be a different place than where she is now. We've made lots of friends and truly enjoy the community at Ally's preschool but it just doesn't make sense to Becky and I not to have Ally start in public school as soon as its available. We're fortunate to have full day pre-k and we feel we should take advantage of it. We'll just have to work to keep up the wonderful friendships we've made and look forward to making new friends.

I am sure it will be an adjustment come September but life is full of changes and I am sure Ally will make the transition well and be successful and happy at any school she attends.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mini Olympics

Today was the mini-olympics at gymnastics. Basically they set up benches for parents to sit on, let us inside the gym and had a curcuit set up for each class to showcase what they can do. Ally is in the youngest class right, she moves up n ext week to the kindergarten level. She says its because she is getting bigger, and while that is true, its mostly because she has mastered the skils at the preschool level and gets to move up. Both Becky and I went to gymnastics to see the performance. It was fun to be there together. Ally was in her glory - she loved doing the tricks and being with the older kids.
All the classes waited patiently for the program to begin.

They warmed up by running around on the gym floor.

There Ally is in the back. She was so determined running, and with her mouth wide open with glee.

Then it was time for stretching.

And rolls.

And then at the end they all received a blue ribbon. Ally wanted to get back to class, so she does not look too chipper here. They asked that the students wear red, white and blue or some combination of those colors (to go with the Olympics theme). Ally's leotard is pink so she wore blue shorts and her red star shirt.
In the car on the way to class Becky and I explained to Ally what the olympics were, and we sand the olympic anthem/theme song. Ally thought it was hilarious and begged us to do it again and again. After about 5 times we stopped, and then we could hear her humming it to herself. Becky and I giggle when they played the anthem during the opening of the show.
I took video of Ally actually doing the program. And will post that in a separate post if possible.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sledding with Alice

Last weekend we had Alice over for a playdate. She came equipped to and with a request to go sledding. I went shopping and Becky walked with the girls to a nearby park, to go sledding.

Such vibrant snow gear against the white snow!

And away they go

I guess its a very big hill!
I heard that they only sledded one or 2 times and then played in the park. I think they were happy to be outside together and in the sunshine.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Washing Dishes

The background here is that we were at the supermarket and we needed some new dish soap. Ally asked what I was buying and I told her it was dish soap. So she proceeded to ask if she could wash dishes. I of course said yes she could. I kind of figured she'd forget about it, but no. After dinner she said, now is it time for me to wash the dishes? Becky gave me a funny look, when I told Ally yes, but I got out the step stool and after Ally cleared the table she started to wash her dishes. She loved it. I had her take off her dress so the sleeves would not get in the way.

So diligent getting all the soap off.

Sudsing it up.

And because its too cute to resist - the rear view.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Annual Tradition

Long time readers may remember last year's infamous photo of me with a snake around my neck. Well it is that time again, Ally's friend Olive's birthday party. Every year her parents have a "critter guy" come and put on an animal show for the kids. Ally was so good and patient and she loved it! Before the show Ally of course found a place to climb and swing on, and yes Grandma Debbie, Ally wears her necklace everyday. For the party she also donned a silver and turquoise bracelet from cousin Jake. I was rummaging in my jewelry box for a necklace for myself and Ally was curious about what was else was in the box and we discovered she is finally big enough to wear it without it falling off. She loves it, frankly I am afraid she will want to wear it every day too now.

At the start of the show the host showed the kids how to hold their hands together when they hold an animal.

Ally holds the flying squirrel while Thora (to the right of Ally) and Max (on the left) look on.

Ally and Thora so excited to see what is next.

Its a snake! And Ally was so excited to touch it.

Then came the skunk.

But Ally wanted nothing to do with the skunk - she leaned way back and out of the way.

The lizard was neat, I even held that one.

Ohhh the chinchilla was so soft.

Then came a bigger snake, a rainbow boa. Ally was all about petting him too.

And she even wore the rainbow boa snake like a necklace!

It was so cool, and Becky and I were so super proud of her!

Here Ally is waiting for her turn to hold the tree frog. She was so patient and waited her turn with her hands in the proper position.

After the animal show it was time for cupcakes.

Ally and her friend River getting ready to eat their cupcakes. Of course all Ally really ate were the candy ears and could licks of frosting.
It was a fun party and great to catch up with parents we hadn't talked to in a long time.