S: 2011 January to June
FC: 2011 January to June
1: January | January came and so did fun times! We posed with flowers,wore our Owl hat everywhere we went, loved our "house dresses", took lots of warm baths, went for rides (if it wasn't to yucky outside), and got over heated in flannel PJs.
2: Chocolate Mouse ! | As a reward for a really awesome day at "school" I took Alina to dinner for her reward: a Chocolate Mouse at the Limerick Diner! I had promised this to her for a while and finally she got it. It was made from chocolate cake, mousse and other good stuff. And yes, she didn't have to order anything else for dinner. This WAS dinner!
3: PATRICK Alina once had a little pink bear. It was her first "lovey. We simply called it B. then came Patrick. An identical bear, but green. Since the day Patrick arrived he became Alina's No. 1 B. After taking a bath one evening Alina decided she wanted me to take pictures of her AND Patrick. So I did. They turned out so cute - my "lovey" with hers!
4: Snow Day! | Well it snowed... a LOT! But we didn't care. We bundled our little snow bunny up and ran outside to build a snowman. She helped make him.. or was it a her? ... But Alina especially enjoyed accessorizing the best. She had a great nap later on :-)
5: February | In February we spent time with Gran, watched the wildlife in the back yard, and were so happy when it warmed up - even if it was for just one day!
6: Ice, Ice, Baby | After the snow came the ice. Ice that fell in rain but froze almost on contact. It pelted the roof and covered everything in sight. | I always loved photographing ice and snow. I love the contrast and seeing the minute details we do not always catch with our eye. As I walked outside to photograph the effects I enjoyed the reality not a blade of grass, a branch on the trees, or a thread on the snowman's scarf was excluded from the icy shell. Like God's love.
7: The silence of the night was only stopped by the creaking of the branches as they swayed under the weight of the ice. Looking across the darkened back yard we could see the the golf course generator lights kick on. Then they reflected off the icy snow as if it was a huge lake. Beauty does come in many forms. | Beauty can be dangerous. Schools, roads and businesses closed because of the ice and the downed power lines. | We snuggled, drank hot chocolate, played games, watched the snow fall, and enjoyed the pause in life God gave us.
8: Snuggle Puppy | I guess Luke was in a snuggly mood too. One day he dragged his blanket in from the kitchen, laid it on Jedi, then proceeded to nest and snuggle on him. Jedi tolerated it for a while then he sighed, looked at Luke, and wiggled out from under him.
9: Alina was very quiet one afternoon. So instead of calling her I tiptoed through the house looking for her. I found her in her room "cleanin'up". She then laid out all her shoes - in pairs- then tried them all on. She has always loved shoes and I have a feeling she will continue to. | More shoes? Yes, Please
10: Box of Love As child I enjoyed making my Valentine's boxes for school and dreamed of the day when I could make one for my daughter. Well the day came and she needed NO help from me. My independent Sparkle-lover was quite happy layering stickers on sparkles, on lace, on stickers with glitter glue on top - just to be sure it was sparky enough. She had so much fun and was so proud of her first Valentine's day box. She stood so tall and proud as she carried it into "school". It was most definitely the prettiest one in the whole place.
12: Sprays of Fun | The pool where she takes swim lessons has an indoor spray pad. If we get there early enough we can play in it until class starts. Its crazy running around in the glass enclosed room while snow is on the roof! She loves it. I love it too - "Run baby run! .. Then you'll sleep baby sleep!"
13: MARCH | March brought modeling of braids (and a new shirt), dresses, hats, B's (including Patrick) and our food! It's good to be fun loving!
14: Wii... are family! | Our "sporty-girl" loved the Wii we got for Christmas. She would ask to play the Wii every chance she would get. She loved the Yoga and the free run games the best. She quickly became the master. Not only could she run faster and longer than me, she was able to hold the yoga poses longer (and better) than me!
15: "Yep. It's a baby." | We visited the "new baby" - Chase Gonzalez. He was only a few days old and so tiny. Alina wasn't sure what to think of him, so she played with his older brother Christian. Then she passed out in the car on the way home! She NEVER does that! Thank you boys!
16: Spring Showers Bring Splashy Girls! | She was looking at her reflection when she realized the raindrops were distorting it. She stood there a long time.
17: Alina is not one to stay indoors and watch TV or play quietly. She is a mover and a shaker - she needs to go-go-go until she drops. Rainy days are no exception. After the cold, snowy, icy, and dark winter some spring rain was just was we needed to perk up our mood. And it worked. How can anyone be grumpy after splashing in puddles and feeling the rain kiss the cheeks? | This was the raincoat and boots Alina was given by Adele and Ed Baker (Mom-Mom and Grumpy). Alina loved the pink-ness and the deep flowered pockets. But she especially loved the noise the boots made as she stomped through all the puddles in the driveway. Who doesn't! ?
18: Green milk, is it? Then't must be St. Patty's Day! | So, just like my mother did, we have green milk (and everything else) on St Patrick's day. And since we were having fun, we decided to share it with the Day Care again this year! They always get a kick out of it and even kids who "hate" milk LOVE the green milk Alina brings.
19: Mommy's Girl | One beautiful spring day Alina and I posed on the front porch. She was looking so pretty in her pink dress it was one of those moments I wanted to capture - forever. Then Rick had her sit with me and took a few of us together. I love the one of us kissing. So sweet! | What Spring photo shoot would be complete without the obligatory flower smelling shot ? | She is so stinkin' cute!
20: Our friends had a first birthday party for their son, Ben. Alina was invited and wore her favorite party dress!
21: St. Matthew's Church Conshohocken, Pennsylvania | On the way to a friends party we drove by the church where we were married. Of course I made Rick stop the car so we could all get out and take photos. The church was locked but the day was perfect for outside photos, just like our wedding day :-) | This is exactly where we stood for my favorite wedding photos! It was awesome to show Alina.
22: April This month was full of so much including dressing up, trying new foods, funky baths, sleeping hard and watching spring bloom!
23: Alina also played lots of games, took photos of Gran, goofed around, "disappeared" from the back seat of the car and otherwise enjoyed spring.
24: BTC has an annual kids egg hunt in the field behind the school. Many kids come and it is so much fun. Alina got dressed up and we took Gran. Both were very excited. Alina couldn't wait to run wit the kids and fill her basket with many eggs - all pink, of course.
25: After the hunt we went inside to meet the bunny and have some treats. She didn't say anything but as soon as she spied the furry critter she slowly pulled Gran's legs close and closer for protection. She wanted the treats but NO part of that rabbit! She kept her eyes on him the entire time quietly monitoring his every move. | Alina was fine - and even got an egg - until she saw the rabbit! She took one look and froze. I had to go and get her and carry her back.
26: Up and Down snowy Mountain | Alina and Rick used to play a game called "snowy mountain". It was based on Dora the Explorer where they would take "adventures" up and down the snowy mountain. Rick and Alina would climb up then slide down the stairs over and over again. It was a good way to burn some energy and have fun!
27: The Russian Embassy in DC has an annual Easter Party for those who have adopted from Russia. We went this year and although Alina "said" this bunny was way fluffier than the one at BTC - she still wanted nothing to do with him. In fact she was terrified. She we did not force her - but she still got candy! | The Russian Embassy
28: Go Fly A Kite!
29: The day was ripe for flying! The spring wind was fast and warm. We came home from church and grabbed the kites not wanting to miss a second. We pulled it out and Alina's eyes grew wide. "A kite?!", she shouted with glee! We showed her what to do then told her to run. She ran through the yards until she was exhausted. She held the string until she was bored. Rick held her hand as well as the kite - wearing a huge smile. The wind took the kite and it went high into the blue sky.
30: Easter at B C Child Care | Every year the Child Care has an Easter celebration including a party and an egg hunt. Its always crowded and crazy but so much fun for us and the kids. | She started out with two bunny ears. She ended up with one tall Indian feather. She was so cute!
31: Last year Alina clung to her teachers and cried. This year she RAN like the wind. She knew exactly what to do and didn't need any HELP.
32: Invasion of the Sayban Clan! | One of my best friends from high school Julie (Philip)came to visit with her family - which included 3 "maniac" boys - for a week! It was a culture shock for Alina to have 3 peers to play with. They were a handful but so much fun. They loved playing with her as well. Even Luke benefited from the extra kids!
33: Scooter-Time One of the things the boys did was create a city out of chalk in our driveway for their scooters. they raced and zoomed past the school, hospital and many homes. Sometimes they would knock over Alina and other times she left them in her dust!;-)
34: Bowling We took the kids to the local bowling alley one afternoon. They all seemed to enjoy the game and some even bowled better than me!
35: The boys wanted to see dinosaurs so we took them into Philly to see some. We even played with and IN the bones. It's amazing to think about these animals being created then gone - long before humans were formed.
36: Budding Paleontologists? The museum had a hands on exhibit where the kids could actually dig up bones. They loved it. Alina even came back later and worked quietly for a long time. She was so focused and calm it was amazing!
37: There was so much else to see. We saw a the flag Admiral Peary flew when he reached the north pole, a bat cave, mummies, cannons, and several dioramas (notice Alina didn't like the bears at all). We had so much fun looking at all the cool stuff!
38: The Butterfly House | There was even a room that housed 100s of butterflies. They would fly all around gathering nectar and land wherever they pleased. One even landed on Alina! I think thats good luck!
39: In The City We walked around a little and found this little park with a Calder fountain. the kids splashed in the water and rolled down the hill/ I think they were happy to burn off some energy before the long traffic-filled ride home.
40: Play With Me! | What would a trip to our home be without a visit to Limerick Park to play on the Manderach Memorial Playground?!
41: THE BOX ! RiCK TOOK THEM ON A GEOCACHE AND SEARCHED FOR The SECRET BOX. iT IS AN OLD AMMO CAN FILLED WITH TOYS AND GOODIES FOR KIDS. IT'S LIKE A modern TREASURE hunt in nATure! So awesome.
43: We went to the Glaser's for an early Easter dinner and egg hunt. Alina and Christian hunted for their eggs, Chase slept, and the grownups had fun talking and watching the kids.
44: Easter Morning came with an abundance of fun. After the basket was found we opened all the stuff in it. Alina's basket was HUGE. In fact it was taller than she was - and probably weighed more than she did - so it took a long time. But it was worth it.
45: Alina followed the trail of jelly beans to under the dining room table - but stopped. She was terrified the bunny was still under there! Even after much coaxing she still did not waver. So we got it out for her. | Alina got many things but she LOVED the anatomy puzzle the best. She immediately opened it and put it together. All 25 pieces!
46: We had 2 egg hunts this year. We had the first one after church in our Sunday best. She ran and giggled as she found all the eggs the bunny left for her.Then she took them inside - right inside - the doorway, sat on the foyer floor then examined all her loot. | X 2
47: Later we discovered the Bunny left another set of eggs for her after her nap. The Johnson's were watching and saw him put them out so they told us about them. They are such awesome neighbors! Gran loved watching both of the hunts from the porch. She would even point Alina in the right direction!
48: Easter Dinner I had dinner on Mom's china (with the butter lamb!) for just the 4 of us. Intimate, casual, and so relaxing. | Hello, coco-what?
49: The Baxter's Came to Visit!
50: SOCCER GIRLS! One afternoon we took the girls out front and played a game of soccer. We let them run and chase each other until their heart's content. Alina and Maya love each other so much they could be sisters. And yet, even though they are so close in age - they have 2 completely different personalities. It's definitely awesome to watch them play together. One is calm and calculated, one is energetic and risky. Fun times!
51: Christmas? You bet! In honor of the Baxter tradition, we celebrated Christmas just days after Easter. Christmas is a feeling and the Baxter's do not relegate it to a day (12-25) like the rest of the world. We celebrate when we get together. This year it was during April! So I went all out with a full Christmas dinner - Christmas china, tablecloth, and a full Turkey feast. The girls got dressed up in their finest and we celebrated! Who needs snow?!
52: Christmas Presents! What's Christmas without presents!? Even though it was spring we were able to re-enact Christmas morning - with Monkey Bread, lots of presents and giggling. Alina and Maya were amazed and slightly confused but very happy - since they made out the best! But most of all, it was the time together laughing that was the BEST present we could have asked for.
53: PARK-ING ALLOWED HERE! Of course we went to the park. The girls played for a couple of hours. WE were exhausted!
54: Keep Playing! We also went to another park another day. Again the girls played and played until they had no play left! It was fabulous! They really do get along and look out for each other.
56: We Scream for Ice Cream! | We took the girls to Solomon's farm for Ice cream ! Its fresh and and so good. They have so many flavors it's hard to choose. I think they swapped a few times.
57: Making Jewelry with Uncle Bax | The girls wanted to make jewelry. Naturally Uncle Bax sat down and decided to help. He looked so natural adding pink flowers and purple sparky beads to necklaces. I never thought I'd see my big Brother doing THIS! It was so sweet.
58: May | May brought bluer skies and warmer winds. We were able to get out and air out from the long winter. Alina LOVES being outside and was out a lot. We also managed to fit in a few dinners out with Gran.
59: Beary Fun ! | We went to dinner for Mother's day then walked in the park next door. Alina was enamored with this bear fountain and had a blast climbing all over him.
60: Outdoor | We love to play. Whether home or away we find something to do to burn off the energy. We took Alina and her bike - sans training wheels - to a local park one afternoon. And she did pretty well. She is growing up so fast.
61: Playtime | When we can't "go" we hung a swing under our deck. There she can go when I am cooking or relaxing and she can play. We don't have to worry about her safety because her guardians - Luke and Jedi - are always close by watching over her.
62: Spring Fever The boys even managed to get out more. They love to follow us out but then don't come back in! They spend hours sitting in the back yard or on the deck sniffing the air and feeling the breezes.
63: Bathing Beauty Since the weather warmed up quickly, Alina got a chance to try out the sprinkler. I dug it out and dusted it off. She was so excited. This combines running, cooling off, and lots of FUN. What more could she possibly ask for?
64: How to fill the pool in 3 easy steps.. By Alina Martin | Step 1: Fill the pool feeling the water with every extremity possible.
65: Step 2: Try it out - preferably with with ALL your clothes on! | Step 3: Get in - Very slowly!
66: JUNE June bought a new bedroom set (thanks Gran!) fun in the car, a visit from Mom-Mom and Grumpy (at the golf course), and a haircut that showed her hair is EXACTLY like mine!
67: Mary had NO idea there was a surprise and even went out to dinner first with Brian. She said she was not happy, but I think she was ! | Alina got to help with the presents. But she couldn't understand why they weren't hers! | Finally, A Shower for Mary! | After loosing 2 boys, my best friend Mary was going to have a baby girl. Naturally, I threw the shower and the theme was butterflies!
68: Play With Me At Sesame! | We met Christian at Sesame place and we had fun! We had wet fun, dry fun, and crazy friend fun! We love Sesame Place!
71: Our friends daughter, Valen, had her birthday party at the Elmwood Park Zoo. Its a small zoo that was founded in the 1920s with a "handful of white tailed deer." It has changed over time, but only a little. | Alina squealed with delight as she fed the goats in the barn. | I love this picture of Rick taking a picture of her. | She was so exhausted she fell asleep in her car seat just moments after we left the zoo!
72: Christian's Birthday | We celebrated Christian's birthday with them at Happy Tymes. Its a mini indoor park with climbing stuff and fun stuff for the kids. They had a blast and were so sweaty.
73: I never had an imaginary friend, after all I had 2 brothers. They were "friend" enough. But, Alina doesn't have either. She does have Patrick. Patrick has been her favorite "B" since we bought him. She loves Patrick and he is just short of a living breathing entity. We talk to him, he has melt downs, he gets in trouble, we take him places, and of course we take his picture. Alina loves to pose with him and will often go nose-to-nose with him when she is very excited or when he gets in trouble. I guess he is her brother - just without the teasing, fighting and usual sibling rivalry. | PATRICK
74: S'More Fun One summer night we took our tents and pitched them in our friend's Christmas tree field. We really want Alina to love the outdoors as much as we do - and so far she does. She loved it all - the tent, the stars, the s'mores, everything!
75: Shucking Corn! | One summer night Alina and Gran's job was to shuck the corn for dinner. I don't know who had more fun - Alina or Gran!