Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Storytime at the Red Balloon Bookshop, sweet treats at Cafe Latte, and time at home...

Laurie, a girlfriend of mine from church, her sweet baby boy Emmett, and Parker and I visited the Toddler Storytime at The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul last week.

It was especially hot and humid here (for Minne) for a couple of weeks and honestly just too hot some days to get out and play for long...Parker could've played all day if I'd let him; it was his mom that couldn't take the heat and the swollen ankles! ha! Knowing my son wouldn't be content indoors for long periods of time, I planned a couple of fun outings for us...one of them being this storytime. (Thanks, Laurie, for the great suggestion!)

I have never been to a more fun story hour! All of the 20+ kids there enjoyed it. Not only did they read a neat book to the children, but they incorporated education into the entire half hour including a letter of the day (which just happened to be the letter "P"), a number of the day, a traditional nursery rhyme, several songs, and special props that the kids got to help and pretend with after the story was read. The story was a comical one about some animals that went on a picnic one sunny afternoon. When the reading was over, the storytime leader pulled out a large picnic basket and blanket filled with red plates and cups that she passed out to each of the children. Each child called out the different foods and drinks that they thought should be included in the pretend picnic. Parker's choice food was apples.

Red, the raccoon puppet mascot of the store, assisted with the event, to which the kids thought was even more fun. I was amazed at how good each of the toddlers were; hardly any of them budged from their spot for the entire half hour...that is how good this event was! To be able to keep my child still for that period of time takes major creativity and excitement!! I will definitely be going back for future storytimes this fall and winter. Along with weekly storytimes for children of different ages, The Red Balloon Bookshop also hosts Saturday morning storytimes during different weeks of the month that I hope to check out in the future. These typically include the authors themselves who are there to meet and greet and sometimes autograph their books for the children.
In the picture below: Parker is the one in white
After storytime, Laurie and the kids and I walked over to Cafe Latte for a scrumptious lunch and dessert. Along with a delicious chicken and spinach salad sandwich, I enjoyed the traditional Classic Vanilla with Strawberries cheesecake. I even splurged and treated Parker to a chocolate cupcake (since I had long decided I wasn't going to share mine!) To say it was out of this world yummy would be the understatement of the year.  
One thing that Clay and I are so blessed to have is great neighbors. Our friends, Jeff and Heather and their two precious girls, are always welcoming us over to their home and their yard for playtime. On many summer afternoons, the three kids have been round running around in the sprinklers, riding in the jeeps and on their bikes, watering the plants, going through boxes of popsicles, and splashing in the backyard pool. I love watching them play together; it's so cute. Last week, when Clay was gone for awhile, Parker and I took off down the little hill to play in their garage for the afternoon..well, the kiddos played and I plopped myself down in a comfy lawn chair to observe and take pictures. :) The cute thing about this afternoon and this picture is that each time the children went around the house, they would be in a different spot in the pink jeep; it never stayed consistent. "Here they come, and oh look, McKenzie is sitting in Alexia's lap and Parker is beside the girls this time!"
After a pretty busy week, we spent the weekend together as a family at home tackling our chores and tasks, enjoying the simple moments together. Clay and Parker spent hours on "Troublemaker," washing, waxing and detailing the trusty Ford. Clay stayed up late one night replacing spark plugs, distributor caps, ignition wires, the fan belt and a bunch of other things...I personally don't understand any of it, but I have to say after paying someone else to replace the brakes in my car last week, I am thankful that my hubby is good at doing a lot of these things himself. I think it saves us a ton of money....plus, I think he actually really enjoys doing it (which I also don't understand, but will never try to either!)
After finishing his job on the truck, Parker decided his bike needed a wash down...
On a somewhat different note: The nursery is now complete (well, until the baby arrives and we figure out its name!)...diapers are stocked, onesies are folded, crib sheets and bedding are washed and in place, curtains are hung...I am one happy mama every time I look in that room.

Parker's room is almost complete...we're still waiting on some of the backordered bedding to arrive. I can't wait to see the finished look...at least for now! :) I plan to add a little more wall decor in the future, but for the time being, the room will be complete in my book.

I'll be back with some pictures from the nursery and P's room soon! Also, tomorrow I'll post about our adventures at Como Zoo this morning!
P.S. My camera is back and working as of today! Yea!!!

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