Saturday, August 23, 2014

Eliana Wins a Prize...

I wrote a post several months ago about Eliana completing the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge.  We just think it was a neat program and always try to participate in the different programs the library has available...and we were super excited to win a book at the end of the program.  I skimmed the information and rules before we started the 1000 books program and noticed that there would be random drawings for additional prizes, but I honestly didn't pay too much attention to that section...I didn't think Eliana would actually win anything.

But she did. 

Last weekend, I got a call from the library informing me that Eliana had won a prize in the drawing for completing the 1000 books program.  I called back to get more information, and the lovely librarian told me Eliana had won a $500 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

What.

Seriously.  Our not-even-two daughter won $500 to Barnes and Noble?  Things like this don't happen to us, people.  We sometimes win little things (I won a necklace through a blog once), but we don't win.big.things. 

Anyway, they told me they were having this big party at Barnes and Noble and that Clifford the Big Red Dog would be there and they would love for her to come and pick up her gift card (I'm thinking, geez I hope I don't get mugged while carrying that sucker), and enjoy story time and meet Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Knowing our child's love of books (bibliophile to the max, people) and her almost equal love of life-size characters, I figured we better try to make it to this shindig.  Unfortunately, Isaac had to work all day, so I was flying solo with a very precocious child. We got there with plenty of time to spare; they gave us her gift card right away, and she saw all the books in the kids' section right away and ran with what I can only describe as sheer joy to one of the shelves and started opening various books and 'reading' them.


She also had a blast playing with the train set and running and jumping all over the little stage they have for story time.  We picked out a few books (sadly, no Cozy Classics or Les Petits Fairytales in stock), and since she was recently shown a love of 'shopping' around the house (I wonder where she gets that from), I let her pick up a basket:




After a ridiculous amount of time running back and forth through the kids' section and dodging the other families there, we settled in for storytime.  She honestly didn't want to sit still until I busted out the snacks.  Mama for the win.




And then...Clifford himself paid a visit.  We waited in line to get our chance to meet him, and I have to say I was super proud of how well Eliana did waiting in line.  Our Disney World training continues, folks.  When it was her turn, she ran right up to him and hugged him and kissed him and kept saying "clif-FORD, clif-FORD, clif-FORD, hi puppy!".



Apparently, the biography section in her eyeline was more interesting than smiling for the camera.  *sigh*

At any rate, we are super thankful and appreciative of both the LFPL and their 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, as well as Barnes and Noble.  Eliana is looking forward to purchasing many books with her very generous gift card!  Honestly, we feel she really deserves it since she loves books so much!  We hope she continues to do so!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Twenty Three Months

So...yeah, she obviously did not want to smile for the camera...


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Is There Anything Cuter...

...than this child eating a sandwich???





I think not.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Brunch Club Zoo Visit

Just about every Monday, some friends of mine get together for brunch.  It's a nice way to hang out with other moms while our kids go berserk at each other's houses; sometimes we all try new pinterest recipe, and sometimes people only manage to bring a box of donuts while others show up with leftover juice or fruit with the look of "it's just one of those mornings" plastered on their faces.  Either way, there is no judgment in The Brunch Club, and the encouragement that has come from this group of friends has been a lifeline for me when times have been rough.

We usually alternate hosting, but sometimes we get brave and try a morning out...and then remember why we never try mornings out and remember not to do that again for a while.  But a few of us decided to visit the zoo on Monday since we all hadn't been in a while and those people who didn't have zoo passes could get in free with their cultural pass on Mondays anyway.  It ended up being just Tiffany, Jana, and me with our kiddos...but Jana's mom came (Lord bless that woman), so she was the extra bit of help we needed to make the outing rather successful!

Eliana can be a challenge to take on outings right now because she wants to walk everywhere but we feel we also still need the stroller just in case (and to lug all her supplies around).  And she's been pretty bad about just running off lately.  Seriously, that girl is fast.  If I'm chasing her, I'm fairly certain we're setting a four-minute mile pace.  So I was hesitant to let her get down and walk, even after she asked me repeatedly to do so...but after telling her she needed to either hold my hand or stay very close to me, she did rather well!  There were a few times when she got a little further away than I liked, but all in all I would say it was improvement over the past several outings.

Here are some pictures from our most recent trip to the zoo.  And no, we didn't visit the splash pad...because we would have.never.left.  In fact, if we visited the splash pad on Monday, we would still be there now...

The horns of the Addax...so cool!

She pointed out a lot of animals and tried to say their names...


Grace looking through to see the Bongos...



Petting the goats...

Looking for the pygmy hippo... 

She really was not interested in the gorillas...even though we had a great view multiple times!

One day we will get this picture taken the right way!





The bed of the truck is enclosed in part of the grizzly bear's home.  When he jumps into the bed of the truck, the people sitting in the seat get jostled about!

I love these photos of her looking at the grizzly...




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Buh Bye Bubbles and Frozen Reception

Just wanted to share two uber sweet videos of Eliana during the wedding reception (Isaac took both of these).  Eliana kept going into the bathrooms and pointing at the toilet and saying "potty, potty" and then going over to the bathtub and waving buh bye to the bubbles:




And sometimes when you're a flower girl in your aunt's wedding, you just need a break with a sandwich and some Frozen time (I love how she always tries to 'cluck' during this song):


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bernheim Forest

Look at us, using our cultural pass twice in one week!  We went to Yew Dell Botanical Gardens on Thursday morning, and since Friday was supposed to be just as lovely (i.e. not a typical July morning), Jen and decided we should drive down to Bernheim Forest and Arboretum and take Eliana on a 'nature hike'. I hadn't been to Bernheim in a long time, and Eliana had actually never been either.  So we got there and let Eliana get her cultural pass stamped (even though it's actually free Monday-Friday)...but she just looked so happy walking in with her cultural pass around her neck:



We picked up a map at the visitor's center and decided on a trail.  (And side note: while we were there, we made sure everyone used the restroom.  When Aunt Jen went into the stall and closed the door, Eliana got so sad and starting crying so badly that Jen opened up the stall door and let her come into the stall with her.  She sure does love her Aunt Jen!)  We chose the Rock Run Loop, which was supposed to be about half a mile and easy.

Eliana actually did really great on the trail, especially considering she was either eating a bag of cheerios or grapes for the majority of the time (the child eats constantly in the morning...constantly).  The trail actually led down into what looked like a dry river bed, so we explored around that for a little bit before continuing on.  Eliana maneuvered over the rocks and tree roots and really seemed to enjoy herself.  She seems to be turning into quite the little adventurer from time to time!















You can see a few more photos here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

This summer, the city of Louisville introduced a new program- cultural passes.  It's an effort to encourage children and their families to visit local cultural venues (the zoo, botanical gardens, museums, etc).  The pass is completely free and provides free admission for the child and an accompanying adult.  We picked up our pass at the library the week they were available in June... and being the slackers we are, just used it for the first time!  We visited Yew Dell Botanical Gardens (we have been there once before) with some friends on Thursday morning; the weather was gorgeous- in the 70s the entire time we were there with just a hint of a breeze.  It was challenging keeping the kids together, but in the end I think we all had fun looking at the pretty scenery, eating loads of snacks, and playing with the fun sculptures throughout the gardens.

The Castle...which was the pool house for the children apparently...

Exploring inside the castle...

Check out that diva.  She kept her glasses on almost the entire time!

"Mom!  Elijah keeps walking in front of my view!"

"Hey guys, wait up a second!"

Knocking on the castle door... the child loves to knock.

I think this pathway is my favorite part of the gardens...

Hmmm... does she belong on the prairie?

Throughout the gardens are various sculptures.  This one was obviously the favorite...



And then she started to climb in it...

She was looking at this one and I told her to look at me...and I swear to you, she starting posing for the camera.  She never does that...she runs from the camera...

And look at this!  She is posing again?!?!

She was obsessed with the grass for some reason...


She is giving the sculpture a kiss here!

And of course, the pond with the dirty water was the best part according to the kiddos...

...we let them play in it because we are awesome and fun moms!



She loved walking and running all over the gravel!