Friday, April 30, 2010

Doggie Playdate

We invited over Sarah and Chloe to play with the puppy Tanta Kat was babysitting for her PC Friend a few weeks back.The girls had a lot of fun with the puppy, but they were touch and go. They wanted to play with the puppy but when they got too close they wanted to back off.The puppy was only here for about a week but Holly got pretty attached, for weeks afterwards she would sign doggie every time she saw Kat.The puppy was like a toddler, he was so very active and he would play chase with the girls. They would run after him too.But then when he tried to lick there cheeks they would run off. I wish I had more pictures of the actual doggie, but we had to keep a close eye on them.Eventually we let the puppy back out side and the girls played together. It is always a treat to have them over, Holly is really good at sharing her toys.Even if sometimes those toys are boxes and tissue paper! Last time the girls came over they fought over the magna doodle, but now we have one for each.Kat was happy for the puppy to go home, Like a toddler he wasn't trained, he jumped, chewed and peed and needed to be watched all the time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Holly's Birthday Party @ Studio Grow

I don't even know where to begin in describing Holly's Birthday Party, other then it was simply amazing.We had it at Studio Grow in Berkeley on Sunday March 14th from 3:30-6:30 and we had about 67 kids in attendance. The space is very large and there are 6 playrooms, so it never seemed crowded and people came and went at different times.The only crowded part was when everyone tried to gather together to sing Happy Birthday, and in that case it was fun to have everyone squeeze in.This was one of two snack rooms, we provided a lot of finger foods, fruits, and juices for the kids and parent's.Here is Lucian checking out a balloon, we hadn't seen him since the beginning of January, so it was fun to get to watch him play with all of the other kids.We invited friends from Swimming, and from Music Class, My Various Mom's Groups, Book Group, and then friends from other venues.What was amazing is that I found once everyone was there that two mom's I knew from completely different contexts, may have know each other from some third place.Here is Cole and his mom Aleutia. We had not seen the two of them since before Christmas break, so it was fun to see how much Cole had grown up.This is Theresa and her Daughter Maddy, I could not believe how big Maddy had gotten, when we first met she was only 3 months old, now she is walking.This is Otter, another friend we have not seen in ages, I could not believe he was walking too, last time we saw him he was just sitting up and starting to crawl.This is Madelyn, she is our friend from Book Group. We get to see her at least once a month. She is such a sweetie, and expecting a sibling any time now.This is Issac, and we have know him since he was just a few months old as well. I just recently looked back at pictures of him and Holly when they both just laid there.This is his Older Sister Miriam, She is so grown up now, when we first started playing together, she was younger then Holly is now, it is amazing how fast the time goes.This is Joshua, he is a friend from our mom's groups. He is such a sweetie, its funny how sometimes he is very shy, and then other's he is such a boy!Oma and Opa sent ahead a bubble machine for the party and we set this up out in the patio. Normally this room has water tables, which I didn't want the kids to have access to.So I thought the bubbles would be a good substitute. It was a huge hit, the kids really loved running around in them, and we had a second bubble gun for some hands on fun as well.That is Saturina playing with the Bubble Gun, she is our friend from Swimming, we met her when Holly was just 3-4 months old, I think she must be around 3.5 now. What was great about the party is it gave us a chance to reach out to many friends that we don;t get to see on a regular basis, just because of work schedules, age differences, distance.Here is Daddy taking pictures and Chatting with Mike and Diana Otter's parents. Mike worked with him for a bit at Tippett, but they know each other through a mutual friend Tony.Here is Tyson and Tyler. We have been missing them from our Monday playdates lately. Tyler is about to have a new sibling any day now as well. Holly had so much fun at her party, I barely saw her so was so busy playing with all of her friends.When we were setting up, Joel thought I was crazy to have so many snacks (thank you costco for the bulk savings) but by the end of the day, almost everything was gone.Here are some mom's chatting and kids having a snack, it was nice to have a mix of a few older girls we know like Paige, Payton, Emma Rose and Isabella.Here is Devlin, I love his little hat. Him mom and dad took some wonderful video's at the party which I posted a few weeks back as a sneak peak.Here Holly is taking a break to have a snack with LeeLou, Sarah, Chloe, and Saturina. I think it was one of the few times she was actually sitting still.Adrian snuck in to join the group. Adrian and LeeLou are both friends we met through Music Class.Holly was really enjoying the Strawberries, adding the fruit to the mix was a last minute decision, and it went fast, so I am glad I did.Isn't Sarah's face adorable. I don;t think I had more then 5 minutes to talk to her parent's while at the party, I see them so often, i was busy saying Hi to everyone I don't get to see that much.I felt a little bad, but of course they understood, I think all in all there was between 120-150 people at the party, when you count the parents.Here the kids are playing in the dance room, there were some instruments, and pompoms, in the back is Marylee and Mike, another couple we met from when Joel was at EA and now Mike is at Tippett.This is Hannah, and I think this may have been the first time I met her. Her mom however I have know for months through book group, but it was always held during her nap so she was home with dad.Now the time we meet has changed and we get to see a lot more of her, she is almost the same age as Holly.Here is Mira, Another Music Class Friend. Mira reminds me so much of Holly, she is very active and outgoing and we have so much fun when we get together.Here the kids are playing with Blocks, we have Quinn in the back, and Maya, and Tristan on the side, whom we know from my mom's groups.Here is LeeLou and Chloe enjoying some bubbles. LeeLou is so very adorable, she does the darnedest things that just make you giggle.Here is my Friend from my old job Amy and her Daughter Paige. Amy is expect another soon, I can't believe how many pregnant mommies I know. Here is Max, he is our friend from Sadie Dey's His mom is such a sweetie, she lives in Alameda, they are a coast guard family.It took me forever to decide on a party dress for Holly. I wanted her to be dressed up but I was worried it would be hard for her to play in a fancy dress.Silly me, she had no problem at all. She doesn't let anything slow her down, and I really love this green on her.There is Isaiah, a friend from the Alameda Mom's group. We have spent many an afternoon chatting with his mom while the kids were playing at Superfranks.And this little girl, all grown up, like a teenager now is serena. She was from our Regular Monday playdates, the little baby who watched the older girls cruising and walking and climbing.She was littler then Rowan here at the time, her mom and pop had to move to the south bay. Now she is walking and running herself and expecting a younger sibling.Here is Josette, she is from Swimming, and Music Class, and we found out she is evening in our neighborhood. Her mom Michelle lights up the room, she is so fun to hang around.Here is Adrian, hanging out with mamma Michelle. He isn't in Music class this session, we have missed seeing him every week.Here is Miriam popping some Bubbles and it looks like Issac likes them too. It is so fun to watch Miriam, it is like a glimpse into a my future.Here is Sarah, I think she has taken a liking to Holly's Balloons. We got two bunches like this from the party store.We had them floating around our house for weeks after the party, it was great PT to make her reach up for the strings to pull the Balloons down.Here is Ruby playing with the doll house, She like Serena started the group when she was itsy bitsy not even walking yet, and we all got to watch as she grew up.Here is Paige playing with some of the balloons, the dance room was a nice open space for the kids to run around in.Up, Up and away. Sarah watches as the Balloons slip out of her fingers. . . . . . and catch, here Miriam is taking a turn with them. They were just decorations at first, but the kids had a lot of fun playing with them ultimately.Here is Teagan hanging out on the tumbling mats, I love her long long hair, she is just turning three this weekend.I was wonderful to see her having such a wonderful time and being so social, she has changed so much in the last year since we became friends.This is an overview of the large gym room, there is a climbing area and a slide the crawling tubes and ball pit, all kinds of places to play.Here Max and Devlina are playing in the block and Doll room. There was a kitchen set and lots of blocks in here too.This is Rhonda Teagan's mom with Rown her Baby brother. I can't beleive he is almost 9 months old already, time goes so fast.Here Benny and Devlin are racing down the rollar coaster, this is a favorite of the kids, I remember what seems like yesterday Holly could not ride down the ramp without me holding on to her.Now she is big enough to ride herself back up after she comes flying down with the wind in her hair.Here is Sachi, we just went to her birthday party a few weeks ago, It is so cool how the kids are all so close in age.I think that was one of the things Holly loved about the day, everyone she played with was around her age, so they were all on the same frequency.Here is my little munchkin taking a turn down the rollar coaster. Another advantage of being a birthday girl, she got to cut ahead in the line.And even go twice in a row. She loves this ride, its fun that the ramp goes up and down, that part used to scare her when she was littler.Here Sachi and Madelyn are playing on the See-Saw, little yellow duckies.I love this picture of Ruby, hanging out in the ball pit, but she has that big white ball in the front.Here is Payton and Emma Rose going down the slide, these two girls are hmm, 4 or 5 if I recall correctly, both with Little Sister's closer to Holly's age.In Fact, here is Cora Payton's little sister, she is in Swim and Gym with us, and she even see's Kristin which makes this such a small world.Here is Ian, I almost didn;t recognize this tyke! Him Mommy went back to work and also is getting her degree, so we haven't seen him at Monday playdates in several months.Time goes by so fast, and there hair grows out, and they get taller and learn how to do fun new tricks and then you see each other and it is like someone else before your eyes.Even Tyler is starting to look like a toddler, we would tease his mom that he still had his baby face, but it is slowly fading away.Here Miss Maya and benny are playing with some Puzzles, Maya we hear is such a girly girl now, we want to plan a fun dress up playdate with her soon.Here is Quinn checking out the play kitchen, it is quite a set-up they have with cabinets, table plates, pots pans, play food.Now this little guy you won't beleive is Thatcher. He is so very blond now. His mommy is a teacher and so last August had to start back at work, but summer is coming soon!Here is Holly's cake. It is an entire sheet, which Joel cautioned me against getting, thinking it was too much. I really like the finding Nemo theme, we had it last year too.Here the whole gang starts to gether to sing with the Birthday girl, Hannah and Orna in the back and Max on his Daddies Shoulders.This was Holly's view up at the group from her seat, while she was waiting for her cake and listening to everyone sing. She actually liked being the center of attention this time.Though she wasn't sure what to make of the cake. It was chocolate with Strawberry and Banana filling. She liked the frosting a lot, but didn't want a bite of cake.She really liked the Candle, especially how it stood up in the cake and she wanted to poke it in herself.She had the classic messy face but it was all blue from the frosting, and she even got it all over her dress.But she was the birthday girl so it was ok. She snacked on the cake for a few while everyone else grabbed a peice and came to say Happy Birthday.And here is my Cake Faced two year old. Its hard to say, or even completely beleive but she is actually two years old.It was like a switch, on her birthday, she suddenly became more defiant, head strong, independant, but also more loving, kissable, affectionate, it was like she grew up over night.Here are Cora and Payton eating some cake, sisters, they are so cute together. I want a little sister for Holly, we hope to begin working on that any day now.I love Paige's cake and frosting face, she is so adorable. it was nice to have a few minutes to catch up with Amy.Here is Ruby and her mom Heidi sharing some cake. We got a lot of compliments on the cake, I am glad people liked it.The party was 3 hours long and we sang and had cake a little over half way through, around maybe 5:15That left plenty of time for us to eat and play a little more before the end of the day.Here is little Benny crawling through the play structure. I got to meet his dad for the first time which was fun.Did I remember to mention that the birthday Girl arrived at her party without having had a nap that day.I was amazed that she was so happy, playful, and adaptable with no nap, in a very stimulating environment, with lots of friends and fun.She did end up crashing about 90 minutes after the end of the party, we had enough time to clean up, load and unload the car and settle into the house.And then she went to bed. I tried to get her to nap, but in order to get everything ready we had to leave to get the cake and the Baloons and set up the party. We had to be at Studio grow by 3:00 to set up which meant leaving home by 2:30ish. So we laid in bed trying to nap, but then mommy gave up.Here is pauline and tyler going down the Rollar Coaster. Tyler is such a doll. He is also from the Monday play group, his mom lives very close to Katherine and Chloe's.Here are some of the kids playing on the tumbling mats, it was fun to see how everyone played in simular but different ways.There is my smile, she lights up the room and you simply can't help but smile back when you see it, her whole face shows her happiness.It is so cute to see her getting excited over something with her toothy grin and her little dance, she simply can;t contain herself.Yum Yum I think is what Sarah has to say. Is this cake really all for me? I think she might be a fan of the frosting as well.And here towards the end of the afternoon we are almost completely out of cake, I think we ended up having even less to take home by the time we left.Did I mention that Joel thoguht we should only get half a sheet and I was over doing it! I think he underestimates people's love for a good piece of cake.Here is Nommi and Theo chatting with Michelle and Josette. We are in a playgroup with them as well which originally formed from Mom's in music class.Here is Saturina climbing on the rope, it was neat seeing the various skill level, she at 3.5 could hang and start to climb where the older girls could get to the top. Scary!Here is gabe taking a turn on the Rollar Coaster, he is a few months older then Holly and in the same playgroup as Theo and Josette. Here Ian pick up the giant ball!Daddy takes some time out to play with Holly and see what she is doing and follow her around. She is a bit of a socialite, but made time for some quality Daddy playing.There are these cool anmal figurines and the tree and the older kids use them for Make beleive, the younger ones mainly identify them.This was a cool tree house where you could put the animals, it is neat to see how her play becomes more sophisticated.Here you can see in the background the play table and there are even bay dolls in high chairs, I think Ruby was enjoying them.This is Kiki, having some fun with the pom poms in the dancing room. She is from our Sadie Dey and Bekeley mom's group.Another great photo of Benny, do you notice the vintage Star wars shirt he is wearing, it is classic!I am not sure who made this, one of the parent's of the older kids but one of the rooms have large scale blocks and they built a fun ramp with them.Holly decided to treat the ramp as a slide, and took a ride right down. She is such a goof ball, but hey its slanted and it works.Madelyn is eyeing the cake, I think she isn't sure about the blue frosting and if she wants a peice.I like these pictures of Sarh with her Mommy and Daddy. They are doing some puzzles, Sarah is really good at focusing on that type of activity.The number's puzzle is really cool, I think Sarah knows one or two of her number's now. She is very focused.I thought this was the cutest thing, i wondered where Holly even learned that you put a ball through the basket and then I realized it must be from a visit to Pump it up.She made the basket and we all applauded. She turned surprised and get very excited and then ran off to retrieve the ball again.Here is Payton Climing up to the top of the roop ladder. Holly can't climb this yet, but she sure liked studying how the older kids did it.Here is Holly playing hide and seek. For the most part she was on her own playing and running around, everyone was watching out for her, but every so often i would check in to see where she was.On one particular time I looked in every room and could not find her so I turned around and went back around to check each room again, after searching twice I had a little panic.Then she popped out of the cabinate and she was in there with another child, I don't recall who now, and she was just hiding.So then later in the afternoon it happened a second time, this time Joel was asking where she was and didn;t see her so i non worried told him to check the hiding spot.We couldn;t find her and then a few minutes later heard something coming from the baby room. it was towards the end of the night and the door was shut, we thought the staff was closing off the room.But in fact, my little trouble maker went in, shut the door, and then locked it so we couldn;t get in, and the staff did not have a key. The room had a full wall window on the front so we could see in to her.
While we were waiting for the staff to call the owner to find a key we talked to her through the window and convinced her to turnt he knob enough to make the lock pop up.It gave me just a moment of a chance to run to the door and turn the knob before it locked againa nd alas I was able to make it.After the fact we all found it very ammusing, but while she was stuck inside we were a little worried and focusing on taming any anxiety. Luckily she was able to reach the door and turn it.It was actually her first time turning a regular circle door know of any time. We were lucky that now at two she was a big girl and could work the grown up knob.Alasit was time to go and we began to say good bye to our friends. here is Brendan, recently back from several months abroad visiting family, it was great to see him, he looked so much older then before.LeeLou plays for a few more moments ont he magnetic boards as we begin the process of picking up soem of the toys and cleaning out the party supplies.Here is ian, and he even brought his grandmother with him. Bye Bye, we hope to see you guys soon when mom finishes school this summer.I love Cora's bouncy hair, she is such a sweetie. it has been a lot of fun getting to know her now that we see each other every week.Holly loves to crawl through the tubes, she is such a climber, even in a dress she will climb up to the highest point she can.I love this pillow as she sits up the smile is so adorable, she looks like a little lady with her skirt pulled back.Here we say Bye Bye to Serena and Kendra and Randy. Now that the weather is warm I think we might be planning some trips down in there direction and see each other a little more.Bye Bye Ruby and Heidi and Paul, it was lovely too see you. I remember back to the first day we met at habitot when I was hosting a playdate there.Bye Bye Dave, tracey, and Lucian. Did I mention they just moved into a new apartment this month. It is bigger a three bedroom. We haven't been over yet, but hope to see it soon.Bye Bye Michelle, Joe and Josette. it is so funny that Josette is sometimes so very serious when her mom can be so very goofy, it is such a cute contrast.Bye Bye Sachi, Tashi and Juan. It was a lot of fun to go to there party a few weeks ago in the park, pictures from that to be posted in the next few weeks.Bye Bye Magnus, he doesn't want to leave he is having so much fun. Magnus is such an active boy, Holly always has a lovely time with him.And here are all of Holly's present's packed up in the trunk. She loved opening them, and it took us a few weeks to finish, opening a few each night as not to over whelm her. All in all, it was an amazng party, Happy 2nd Birthday Holly!