Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beach Par-tay!

There's nothing else to say but a GIGANTIC thank you to LP's family and friends who came from far and near to celebrate the big year-long adventure with our Little Peanut.  We had a great, beach-themed (after Chloe's favorite vacation location) party on Sunday afternoon!  Subs, babies, good company, more babies, presents (oh friends and family you are too generous!) and of course, the ever-popular baby cake smash!  Enjoy some pictures from our day...


Family eating some Chinese the night before the party

My birthday cake creations

Happy Birthday sign

Cookies---thanks to Aunt Marissa for her excellent decoration skills.  At least it wasn't an Edible Arrangement?  :)

All the friends playing!

Checking out the cake...

Whoa, this is DELICIOUS!

Happy Birthday Chloe!

Enjoying tissue paper, errr, presents!

Opening presents (with help from Leo)!

Thank you again to everyone who made this day (and year) so special.  We have the best family and friends!  Now...what should our 2nd Birthday Party theme be??  Just kidding, just kidding...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday To LP!

One year ago on this past Wednesday, the real adventure began...

Happy 1st Birthday, Chloe Louise!
Everyone will tell you how quickly things go once you have kids...but this kind of quick is just down right ridiculous.  My sweet little peanut has brought her daddy and me such joy in the past year, and we've all learned a lot.  Too much to list here.  Instead, I'll just tell you about our little birthday adventures...we had so much fun! 

Here's how our day started out:

video

After a birthday song from mommy and some crazy morning hair, we headed downstairs, where LP was greeted with something special for her big day:

A new water table!!


We had a nice breakfast of waffles and then played with the water table outside...

Splash!
This table is defintely a hit.  We took a little walk and a swing, and then it was time to get in the car and head over to Burke Lake Park to meet our friend Cate and her mommy Ali and enjoy some more birthday fun!  We had a very successful train and carousel ride (giggles and smiles from both girls). 



"Hi Cate!  It's my birthday!  Yours is soon too.  It's so fun!"


And here's a poorly self-taken video clip of the train ride.  It's worth it to watch LP's big toothy smile at the end...

video

What does every birthday girl and her best friend need after a big ride on the train and carousel? 

Lunch at Subway, of course!
As you may imagine, this was a lot of excitement for the morning/early afternoon, so we booked it home for a THREE HOUR NAP (cue that music Doug hears when Patty Mayonaise enters the scene).  That must have been a present for Mommy to say thanks for a great year.  Hehe. 

By the time the late afternoon rolled around, Daddy was on his way home!  Here's how our evening shaped up:

LP and Daddy opening a special card

Playing with our new fridge toy from neighbor Nolan

Helping Daddy on an important phone call: ordering birthday pizza

Showing Daddy the new table

After dinner birthday treat: a little dish of strawberry ice cream!

Like I've said before, I know the LP-ster is too little to remember these things, but I know it was a memorable day for me and I'll certainly tell her about it.  And you never know when your earliest memory sneaks into your head...so we'd better make them good ones, right?

This weekend, family and friends will be coming over for a little shindig to celebrate our little one year old.  We're having a beach-themed party...stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sticky Fingers (The Baby-Safe Version)

As mentioned before, Chloe had a bunch of fun finger painting when we made our present for Mike.  Unfortunately, it was real finger paint, so I didn't really want her to eat it, which ended up being her main goal.  So as soon as we successfully got the hand prints down, I scooped her up and into the bath she went.  I made a mental note to find an alternative to the real finger paint that would be baby-appropriate, so...

Homemade Baby Finger Paint
(I got the recipe here, but I'll write it out for you too---my own, to the point version)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 cup dry cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
Food coloring

Directions:

Mix the ingredients together in a small saucepan.  Heat on medium and stir continuosly, until the becomes the consistency of goopy paint.  There's no better way to explain it.  Separate into smaller batches and mix in whatever food coloring you like! 

Yesterday was a great day to do this.  We had a painter over doing the stairway, so we were stuck at home, and it was drizzling too, so I spread some towels on the kitchen floor and put a large piece of poster board (I really recommend this, so your little one can make a big mess, errrrr, piece of art).  After naptime and a little lunch, we were ready to go!  I glopped some paint down on the paper and let LP do some exploring:



This was definitely a "diaper only" activity

We were a little tentative at first....it was very squishy....

After touching it only with the paper towel tube, she got into it...


And more into it....

WAYYYYYY into it.....I'd say this was a success. 

A small oversight: because the painter was here, we couldn't get upstairs to the tub, so sink bath it was!

Be brave mommies, try this one out!

Monday, June 20, 2011

For the Dads...

Happy Father's Day, guys!  In honor of the special day, Little Peanut decided that she'd like to dictate a letter to me for her blog:

"HiDa?  It's me, Chloe. 
You are the best daddy.  I think you are really fun and nice.  Thanks for all these things, not necessarily in any particular order:

1.) Sticking with Mommy throughout all the throwing up she did when I was in her tummy.  Yeah, sorry about that.  And sticking by her side throughout that whole labor and delivery event.  That was interesting. 

2.) Putting me in the only swaddle that I wouldn't break through.  Oh, I forgive you for the time you thought maybe you could do a super-swaddle with a full size bed sheet.  It's okay, you were just starting out. 

3.)  Changing lotsa lotsa diapers.  And for saying 'P-U' in that funny high voice. 

4.) Giving the most exciting, high adventure baths. 

5.) Doing pretty much anything in your power to make me laugh, namely, chasing me around the house, playing "Seal Hunt," dancing like a fool, and singing silly songs. 

6.) Giving me big hugs when you come home from work. 

7.) Putting me to bed every night, giving me my bottle, reading stories, and saying prayers.  'Turn on the rain, turn out the light, Daddy and Chloe say goodnight' is something I will always remember. 

8.)  Loving me SOOOO MUCH ('cause I love you too)!



Love,
Chloe Your Favorite Baby Robot"


Hehe...

And of course, a very Happy Father's Day to our two favorite dads/grandpas...we love you!

Nonno Z

Grandpa


Onto a little home adventure.  For Father's Day, LP and I made a little something to give to daddy.  Got the idea here.  It came out so adorably cute.  Only difference from the blog above...we used finger paint.  LP loved it; wanted to roll in in, crawl through it, eat it, etc., which will bring me to my next blog entry.  Stay tuned....until then...here's what we made!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Busy Peanut's Colorful Cubes

I'm sure this will surprise no one, but Chloe is curious and into E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  I feel the need to entertain her and put some of this energy to good use. Recently, I picked up a book that I hope to use now that Chloe has become a super-busy-body.


The Toddler's Busy Book, by Trish Kuffner

 So this post goes in the category of "Indoor Adventures."  Since I bought it book, and have seen some fun ideas online too, my goal is to try *at least* one or two indoor activities a week and then blog about them...hopefully giving you some ideas too!  Here's our first one:

Ice Cube Bags---EASY!

I put some food coloring in water and froze it in ice cube trays.

Then, put a couple of different colors in a plastic bag (I recommend the Ziploc Double Seal, it's safer that way) and let your little one play around with the ice cubes.  Great way to teach "cold" and I think Chloe had fun watching the colors melt together and make a new color!

Ooooh, chilly and colorful!

Entertainment and exploring really can't get any easier, can it??
If you'd like to purchase your own copy of this great book...here's the link to it on Amazon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Story Hour

When we were up in Rochester, my mom told us about a story hour held at the local Barnes & Noble.  We went over and enjoyed two stories, songs, and some excellent "bay-beeee" (as LP would say) watching!  So, I decided to find out if there were any events like this in our area.  Turns out, if you throw in your zipcode here, you can find out when your local B&N story hour is held!

Yesterday morning, we went over, and listened to If You Give a Pig a Pancake  and Diary of a Worm.  Overall, a cute little story time, but there weren't any songs, so Chloe wasn't as interested in the stories as she was in looking at the "bay-bees."   But I think it's different at each store---doesn't hurt to give it a try!


Checking out the noisy books at B&N story hour
While we were there, we signed up for the Kids Club.  There are discounts, rewards---all good stuff when it has to do with books, in my opinon, and a free cupcake on LP's birthday, also good, in my opinion.  Happy Reading everyone!

The "Who Knew" Zoo

I had no idea there was a zoo in Baltimore...where have I been? 

LP and I headed up to MD to visit the zoo and, more importantly, some sweet friends from my Geneseo days, and of course, Baby Stella!  It was so nice to see Lindsay, Lindsay, and Heather.  But the zoo was really great.  They have a lot of really cool animals...the giraffe was our personal favorite, and rumor has it that you can feed them for the cool price of two bucks!  Chloe was so excited.  Okay, well maybe it was mommy who was the excited one, and also let down when the guy said that we couldn't feed them because they weren't standing under the canopy.  Oh well, just a small smudge in a really nice day!  I suppose we'll have to go back.  I would definitely recommend the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore if you're in the neighborhood!  This would have been a blog posting even if I hadn't promised LindZ.  :)

Zoe zebra?  We'll have to tell Ike!

Oh hey dude!

Look at these adorable lion cubs!

Sophie?  Is it you??

Another goat sighting

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hiding All Along?

We've been living in Burke for over two years now, and I've been in Virginia for six, but I am always so amazed that there are still things we haven't seen or done.  I swear, if we wanted to, we could have a new adventure everyday for months, and then repeat the adventures, because some of them are so worth it! 

I took the advice of a friend and joined the MOMS Club of Burke.  Apparently, they have these clubs all over the country; they set up play groups, bookclubs, Mom's nights out, etc...lots of networking!  One of the emails I received from them recently had a list of fun things to do during the summer...which is where I found this little treasure:  Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield, VA.  It's LITERALLY right around the corner from our house.  So, Chloe was sick on Thursday, and after a three hour doctor visit and then a day of staying inside she was feeling better and I decided we needed some fresh air.  I thought it would be nice to try someplace close...and new...and over we went!  It was really cool.  Small and quiet, but entertaining nonetheless.  There was a small indoor nature center with turtles, frogs, snakes (shudder), etc.  They had some volunteers showing kids the animals, a touch tank, and puzzles, books, and a coloring area.  Very cool.  Then outside, there was a trail down to a beautiful little pond with butterflies and turtles.  The park also had plenty of places to picnic and a cute little playground (no swings, so we skipped it).  LP, in her new found enjoyment of all things animal, really had fun looking at the turtles swimming in the tanks in the nature center.  I'd say it's worth the little trip over! 

Hey fellas, slow down.  Not a race. 

Mom, mom, mom, do you see that??

Pretty pond

Sunning turtles

There were plenty of these to look at


...gotta love a FREE afternoon!     

Rochester

It has been a while...there has been a lot going on at Casa de Trupo, Maison de Trupo, Casa di Trupo...whatever your fancy!   Mike and I took little Peanut up to Rochester a couple of Fridays ago to visit family.  We stayed with my in-laws over the weekend and had great visits with family, a bonfire and delicious pizza, and a trip to Springdale Farms.   We had a great time checking out the animals...and this was the first time that Chloe really noticed the animals, and seemed to enjoy them!
Chloe, Mommy, and Grandma looking at Chloe's favorite...

The baby pigs!

Checking out the donkey with Daddy

Mike had to head back to VA on Sunday, but Chloe and I stayed for the week in Rochester with Grammy and Nonno.  We did many Rochester-y fun things, including swinging and walk on the pier, a trip to Aja Noodle and Schallers, and even a little get-away out to Syracuse to visit the zoo and see Aunt Marissa and Aunt Mary Lynn!  But the adventure I think I'll highlight here took place at the Stong Museum of Play.  Wow!  This is the best children's musuem I have ever been to, hands down.  They had something for everyone, from a replica of Sesame Street to a minature "Wegmans" where kids can shop for all of our favorites.  There were plenty of things for Peanutty to do as well.  She loved the shape sorting in Peter Rabbit's garden, climbing over the "bridge" in the baby play area, and putting stones from the "quarry" into buckets.  It was a great trip.  If you ever find yourself in the WNY...this is a MUST.  And get some pizza too, for the love of all things Italian.  Here are some pictures...
Touching some "robin eggs"

In the quarry

Oh hello Frog Prince!

Here are some other cute pictures and a video from our visit.  Thank you to everyone who made it so special! 
Grammy and Peanut looking at the ducks

Nonno and Chloe, sorting mail!


With Grandma and Grandpa


Aunt Marissa!


video
LP in her (and Aunt Marissa's)  Cozy Coupe.  She's growing up too fast!