Tuesday, May 29, 2012

memorial day adventures

A flat tire, a misplaced birth certificate, and lots of family rounded out our Memorial Day weekend. As it were, no one is actually concerned with whether the child you are traveling with is indeed your child - instead it is really just a matter of whether that child is under 2 years old and is thus not required to purchase a ticket. Unfortunately, with the flat tire/roadside assistance battle and the whirlwind in/out of Phoenix Sky Harbor in one day with a quick pit stop to deal with Carl Rove, I managed to forget Little Miss J's birth certificate and was forced to purchase a ticket for the tot. Luckily, we were told that it was Southwest's policy to refund the price of the ticket upon proof of birth date. To be honest, having the extra space was pretty much a god send and should we actually get this refund with only a moderate amount of effort on our part, this may be one of the best kept airport secrets EVER. Stay tuned ...

Gus's parents were thrilled to see Little Miss J and spent all weekend playing with her. His mom had so much fun, she actually sent Little Miss J a text message today. On Sunday it was hotter in Chicago than it was in Phoenix, but we managed to get outside and visit the Morton Arboretum, where there was a great children's garden with lots of fun things for Little Miss J to explore. The super cute hat is compliments of her parents inability to remember sunscreen that morning.

Let's go!

It was so hot, Little Miss J had to cool off.

Taking a little break with Grandma and Grandpa

Hanging out

Toddler tunnel
A grad party, some shopping, two Italian beefs, and some Korean food later, we were back at Midway getting ready to head home. While we definitely had a fun weekend and I'm glad the grandparents got to visit with Little Miss J, it was an exhausting whirlwind few days and I think we were all happy to be sleeping in our own bed last night!

splish splash

On the eve of an upcoming California trip, I took an afternoon to have some good old fashioned mommy daughter time with the fabulous Little Miss J at the splash pad. If you are one of my Minnesota friends, who reads this blog, you might be asking - "what's a splash pad?" It is really only the most perfect way to cool off on a 100+ degree day. Now that Little Miss J is walking (more like running) I think the splash pad will be a regular summer activity. She loves love loves running and splashing through the little geysers of water. The one we went to yesterday was particularly nice because there was a large canopy shading the entire area. My favorite part of the day was when Little Miss J put her foot over the hole to hold the water back and when she took her foot away got a stream of water right in her face. The look of surprise and glee while water dripped down her face was the highlight of my day. Even strangers were commenting to me how funny my daughter was running around sticking her face in each little fountain. Here she is having a blast and not even worried about running with the big dogs (kids).

I foresee many more days of splashing around the parks this summer. A park crawl, of sorts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Since moving to Arizona, I don't get to do much swimming. There's a dog park that for some strange reason people around here think is the "world's best" dog park (they clearly haven't been to the Minnehaha dog park on the mighty Mississippi) with a man made lake. Mom and Dad have taken me there a few times, but that water is so yucky I always end up with an ear infection. Last summer when the rest of the family went to Minnesota, I stayed with Mom's friend, Sarah, and she took me swimming to a lake but since then there's been a drought, literally ... until this past weekend!

Mom has been missing the cabin and the lake. She told Dad that we were going to the lake on Sunday and she said they were taking ME! It was kind of a long drive, but I snoozed in the back with Little Miss J. When we finally made it there, it turned out we needed a pass for the Tonto National Forest and they didn't sell them at the lake. We had to turn around and drive 7 miles back to Fort McDowell to pick one up at the Chevron. Dad said it was absurd that they didn't sell them at the lake, and I could only bark loudly in agreement.

We drove around a bit to try to find the best place for me to swim. We settled on a picnic area by the boat landing. Little Miss J got to ride in a sweet backpack and we hiked a little trail until we found a nice little spot for a swim. Dad had Little Miss J on his back and he had to be very careful as he scrambled down the hill. Mom just let me off the leash and I. took. off. I really wasn't supposed to be off-leash so Dad was a bit nervous the whole time - but I was really good and didn't swim too far away or anything.

Here I am having an awesome time -

Even Little Miss J had a good time. She cried when Dad made us get out of the water. I'm kind of jealous that she gets to go to the cabin, but I guess I'll have a good time at the pet resort this summer.

Monday, May 14, 2012

mother's day

I had a fantastic Mother's Day with my little family. Gus bought me perfume, and we had breakfast at a nearby diner.

Gus and Little Miss J took a nice long mid-morning nap, after which, we had smoothies and spent a few hours at the pool. Little Miss J loves the water. She runs back and forth between me and Gus with a few underwater dives in between. She seems pretty fearless about putting her face in the water and she's been kicking and blowing bubbles like a champ lately. Here are some recent photos of her at the pool -

After we were all tired out from swimming, we finished up the evening with dinner at Joe's Farm Grill. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed eating outside. After dinner we took a little walk around the community garden before heading home. A quick stop at DQ for a mini Blizzard was the icing on the cake. Hope all my mommy friends also had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

mommy's little helper

Little Miss J is a fantastic helper. She'll throw things in the trash for you. Go get your shoes and help you put them on. Pick up toys. Take the laundry out of the dryer. Proportionally speaking, she is probably more helpful to me than Gus.

Some of my favorite memories involve helping my mom bake. So I've been excited to make the same memories with my little helper. We recently got a stool/tower contraption similar to a Little Partners Learning Tower, so that Little Miss J can be safely at countertop level and not worry about falling. Here she is, testing it out.

We only got it last weekend and I was in California all last week, so we haven't had much of a chance to really try it. But tonight after our swim date, I think Little Miss J and I will make some mommy baby banana bread. I love my little helper!