Friday, August 31, 2012

Arizona Day 1

We went to Flagstaff Arizona August 18-23.
Ally at the Phoenix airport waiting patiently for our flight to Flagstaff. As usual Ally was a very good traveler, and received compliments from our fellow travelers.
When we arrived Becky, and Gruncle put on their Life is Good T-shirts so thy could match Ally.
Gruncle and Aunt Suzie gave Ally her shirt 2 years ago when we visited.
Aunt Suzie had her Achilles tendon surgically repaired the day before we arrived so she was on the bed or on the couch with her foot up most of our visit. Ally didn't mind snuggling before bed in their bed!
In the morning Ally showed Gruncle how to play games on her leapster.
We went for a swim

Ally and Aunt Suzie watched Lion King together.
Becky took a nap
Gruncle colored with Ally
Aunt Suzie and Gruncle gave Ally a book of bible stories for children and read her one everyday. I think this day it was the story of Noah. Then everyday they would quiz Ally on all the stories. She did pretty well.
Ally was so good all week - happy - and fun to be with.
We went for a walk to the pond to go fishing
Look closely - that is Aunt Suzie waving down at us from her living room window.
Ally tried fishing, but this first day we did not have any live bait and it got boring really fast.
So Ally went exploring with Gruncle
On the way back Ally found some really big dandelion-like things. She thought it was awesome how huge they were. And they were easy to blow just like dandelions.
Gruncle, Ally and Becky playing Memory
Guess who won? Look closely - it was Ally -- her pile is a lot bigger.
Aunt Suzie read a bedtime story to Ally.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Independant Play

This week Ally has been really into playing by herself.
Of course staying in her pajamas as long as possible everyday helps her mood. She LOVES to stay in her pajamas.
For over an hour she sat and used her step stool as a desk and colored shrinky dinks with her stuffed animals.

Then she created an elaborate "train" out of string
 It stretched from one end of the living room to the other.
"If you don't pay your ticket you can't come thru"
All scripted all by herself! And posted on the train.
It was a bit tricky for Becky and I as we had to get on the train in order to go get to  the bathroom but Ally was not picky about the ticket - it just had to be a piece of paper that she could pretend was a ticket.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Week 8

So I am behind in blogging. Vacation tends to do that to me. The prep at home and work to go on vacation leaves little time to blog and then while on vacation there is no time (or computer) to blog with.
Finally I get home, vacation is over and I have SO MUCH to blog, but getting caught up with work and home means no time to blog again for a bit.
So I'll play catch up for a while.
The weekend between week 7 and 8 Ally spent visiting Grandma Debbie and Poppy. They had a blast. Lots to tell about that.
Summer Week 8 was another week at Spanish Camp with a few other phone times.

One evening Ally and I walked to her old school to play on the playground there.

We went to the park because basically Ally was too tired to do anything at home. Seriously - everything we tried ended in a melt down so I used the old stand by of a walk in the stroller and she was game. We stopped and got her a bagel and some water on the way and after she ate she was excited to play on the structures.
We each got haircuts. I love this picture above, because Feri told us she made Ally stand up because Ally was so tired she was nodding off in the chair and at one point Feri was holding Ally's head in place by grasping her hair! Needless to say Ally was tired. (this was the day after the playground time above)
 We let Ally choose how long or short. She was pretty excited for shorter hair again after the summer heat. And she was pleased with the new barrette Feri put in her hair. (But of course she has not worn it since.)
Becky and I realized that Spanish Camp was part of the reason for Ally's exhaustion. One of the things we learned and then forgot over the summer about Ally in the bi-lingual / immersion situation is how exhausted it makes her. Ally works so hard to pay attention, to listen, to figure out what is going on in Spanish that it tires her out much more so than a one language situation does.
And when Ally is tired she wants to eat less than usual. So then she has less physical and mental energy. Becky and I are already working on some strategies to support Ally in school this year.
Spanish Camp this week focused on countries of Latin America; Peru Venezuela, Mexico and Chile. Each day they did a craft that pertained to the country. At the end they got pretend passports with stamps from each country.
Above - the dove and a tree
the Alpaca (Chile)

This is a model of a farm.

Then on the last day they had the parents come in and listen to them sing a song about what they learned. It was pretty cute.

Then on Friday we had Thora and her family over for a farewell dinner. They are moving to New Zealand at the end of the month. We will miss them dearly and wish them the best of luck in their new adventure.

A flashback picture to Labor Day 2009. From left to right; Thora, Noah, Ally and Miro. Ally is the only one left. Miro moved away to Philadelphia in Jan 2010, Noah moved back to England in the Fall of 2010 and now Thora is moving to New Zealand in September 2012.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Making a kite

Before we went to Arizona, on the morning we were leaving Ally started a project. She actually said "I want to do a project" and proceeded to construct a kite.
All on her own without help from Becky or I.
She took two pieces of paper towel taped and then stapled them together to create the kite. Then Ally stapled a bunch of scrap pieces of paper together to create the tail.
That was done the morning we left.
The night we got back she asked about the kite and starting back in on it (5 days later).
That evening she put together the string - she cut a very long length of gimp and wound it around an empty paper towel tube.
 In the morning she she woke up she went right back to work on the kite - she stapled paper to the paper towels so she could decorate the kite itself with hearts, rainbow stripes and shiny stickers.

She was so pleased with the final result.
We flew it in the breeze of the fan in the living room.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday at the Zoo

Today we went to the zoo. The dinosaur exhibit is only there for one more week and we wanted to have a chance to see it again before it leaves.
It was a beautiful day outside and we had a great time as usual.
 Ally and I strolled around the dinosaurs - here she is with the Ornithamimus.
 Then it was off to feed the budgees.

 Ally's patience is admirable. Something spooked the birds and they all flew away  and for a long time (over 5 minutes) they would not come eat. I got so bored I sat down on a bench but she stayed and held her stick up for them and eventually a few came over. She was especially thrilled because one walked on her arm!
The zoo has a wonderful new playground.

The gorillas are always our favorite thing.


 The lion looked like our cat Nali the way he was sprawled out on his back.
 Ally asked to ride the carousel.
Again- it was a really long wait while the woman running the ride waited until every single seat was filled. Becky said Ally never complained once.

 The zebra was up very close
 The butterfly garden was fun to see
But the best part of all to me was spending the day with my family.
We almost skipped the zoo since in the past 10 days Ally has visited the Aquarium, Bearizona and a deer farm. Becky and I were thinking we had our fill of animals but in the end we decided to go to our zoo and we were glad.