Monday, April 7, 2014

Peanut Post: Dates with Mama & Daddy

Dear Annalyn,

Just in case your amazing little memory doesn't remember these last few months of being an only child, I wanted to put into writing some of the fun and special dates Daddy and I have had with you lately.  Recognizing that it's only going to get harder and wanting to celebrate the change our family is about to undergo, we've been making an effort to have more Peanut dates.  After the crazy cold and snowy winter we had, I made the rule that nice weather days don't go wasted, no matter what.  I don't care if the house is a wreck, it messes up your nap schedule, or I can hardly move by the end of the day (sitting with my feet up on my days off is so much harder this time!).

As a result, we've had some pretty amazing days and experiences together lately. 

1.  We've made the most of our zoo membership with several trips this spring already.  I've even gotten ambitious and taken you by myself a few times!  Your zoo highlights consist of:  (narrated mostly in third person because we can't convince you otherwise right now)

"She saw the rhinos!  I want to get closer... I want to kiss the rhinos! And hug 'em!"

"The bridge is bouncy.  Hop, hop, hop!"

"The butterfly was on my hand! It tickled.  She kissed the butterfly.  Fly, fly, fly little butterfly!"

"Little baaaaby elephant!  Him's tiny!"

"We ate dots!  Pink dots!"  (dip 'n dots)

"She pushed the stroller"

"It's a girl lion.  She roared!"

"I want to wear glasses like Mommy."

"Them's little baby racoons!  Cute little baby ones!"  (talking about the lemurs)

I'm sure there are others, but those are the one's I remember now.  All in all, it's been a lot of fun.  Especially on days it's not so busy, I let you get out of the stroller and walk beside me like a big girl.  It's just another reminder of how big you're getting.  You've been so good about listening when I need you to get back in the stroller, too.  I like going just the two of us since I'm not moving so quickly these days - you like to take it slow and investigate every animal (including birds and other kids), plant, etc.  The butterfly gardens are another favorite, and this week we took you out into the outdoor gardens to explore.  You really loved to climb/crawl/walk across the concrete benches and steps.

2.  The Bulldog Bash at Butler was an impromtu excursion of ours last Thursday when it showed up on my Facebook newsfeed.  We stopped in at Butler, mostly to see Trip, the live mascot bulldog (whom you absolutely adore!) and also Hink, the costumed mascot.  They were handing out Dip 'n Dots and cookies, had $2 carmel macchiatos (no joke, and it's been my latest craving!), and even had Trip's sister and a few of her pups there.  You were basically in bulldog heaven.  Mama even got in on the action and took a bump pic with the mascots.  It was a wonderfully unexpected and unplanned afternoon.  Man, I love that school!
"I love Trip puppy bulldog!  I'm gonna kiss him..."
you walked right up and sat down beside him -
you were definitely a big hit among all the Butler students

3.  Daddy took you on the sweetest little date last Monday, the first day of his spring break.  I was at work for the day, so Daddy planned a whole outing for just the two of you.  First you went for a picnic at Butler and fed the ducks (which you LOVED!).  I loved how you relayed it to me...

"We fed ducks!  The ducks ate the bread."

Did the ducks like their bread? 
"No, it's Anna's bread!" 

But you gave it to the ducks to eat? 
"Yea, the ducks ate the bread.  And the goose!"

Then Daddy took you for a little walk through the woods at Butler (which pretty much ended up being a walk along the curb when you discovered that), and brought you into my store to get groceries and say hi.  You picked out a blueberry lollypop and were pretty darn proud of it.  So much so that Daddy was able to use it as bribery to keep you in the cart.  After that it was nap time, and apparently Daddy fell asleep in your bed until you grabbed a toy football and chucked it at his face.  "She threw the football at Daddy's head!"  Eventually you took a nap of your own, then Daddy took you outside to play with the neighbor kids and some of your new outdoor toys.  He was hoping to fly a kite, too, but it wasn't very windy, so we still have that on the agenda.

this is the only picture Daddy sent me from this day,
but how cute did he dress you?

4.  Target "dates" are still one of your favorite things to do.  Even if it's for 10 minutes to grab a couple specific items, it's all worth it as long as you get to stop and see the red balls out front.  Cracks me up!  But sure makes for some cute pics and stories (like when you proclaimed to the red balls that you went pee pee on the potty in Target!  Then hugged the ball because "the red ball's so proud of you!").

5.  Mexican food has become one our favorite places to take you out.  Knowing that it's only going to get more challenging with two kids, we try to get out once in awhile and we've discovered that Mexican restaurants are some of the best places to take you.  You usually eat an entire bowl of salsa on your own (not mild salsa, mind you), and love the rice and beans.  It's great because the salsa doubles as entertainment while we wait for the food.  You also really like the lemons that come in the water and tea glasses. (surprisingly enough, I don't have a picture for this one!)

6.  Louisville Slugger Museum - We took a quick day trip down to Louisville to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum.  It's always been on my list of places to see, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoyed it, too.  Some of your favorites were watching the pitching machine, playing on the big glove statue in the entrance, seeing the big bat, getting a tiny bat at the end of the tour, picking out a blue t-shirt, and playing with the little pegs they gave us on the factory tour that were cut from the bats (they made excellent noise-makers). 

I couldn't even begin to caption this one...

7.  Going to the park.  Whether it's to play on the swings and slides or watch Daddy and our friends play flag football, you absolutely adore the park.  The swings are definitely your favorite, but the slides are a close second, especially since you got brave/smart enough to discover the big curved slide.  We are hoping to get you and Emelina a little swingset for the backyard, so hopefully we will be able to swing out back soon.

something about this one is so precious...
your little rainboots,
your tiny hands on the football,
the little flags around your waist,
so sweet!

pure. joy.

8.  It's not a date exactly, but "craft time" has become a really special part of our days lately.  I started doing little crafts with you this past month as a way to stimulate/entertain you on days/mornings that it's too cold or rainy to go outside.  I'm amazed at how much you love it.  We've made butterflies, spider webs, kites, a flower that we hung from your bed, baskets out of paper plates, colored with markers and do-a-dot markers (basically washable non-toxic bingo dobbers), and discovered lots of ways to entertain ourselves with pom-poms and pipe cleaners.  One of my favorites is that I gave you an empty spice jar and you filled it with pom-poms and use it to cook on your little kitchen set.  Learning to add flavor already - that's my girl!  You also really like to sort them into ice cube trays, pick them up with tweezers, and feed them to your stuffed animals.  It amazes me how your little mind works and I just love watching what you'll come up with next.

often times, we do craft time before
get dressed and brush your hair time :)

Our hope is to continue these little dates and activities once Emelina gets here as a way to celebrate your being a big sister.  And incorporate little Aboo into some of them, too, of course.  But for now, this has been a very special time for us as a family and we've had so much fun making the most of our spring.  I'm pretty sure you have as well.  Love you lots my little Peanut!

all this playing is hard work!
(please note the upside down sunglasses...)



maybe the best family pic ever...
no pants, sweats, selfie with the camera timer
(impromptu photo shoot per your request, Peanut!)

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