The weekend before Holly's Birthday Joel's Mom visited to celebrate with us. It was only for a long weekend, a trip too short I say, but we filled it with many activites.I think it was a lot of fun for Granny and Nana to meet all of Holly's friends, we went on Playdates and to Birthday Party'sand of course a trip to the park.Holly loves going to the park but the weather is only just starting to become nice enough to start going again. It is spotty. One day rainy and cold, another bright sunny and warm.On this particular afternoon there was a nice brisk chill in the air, but it wasn't too cold to be outside. A sweater was all it took to keep Holly warm and she was ready to play.Because it has been so long since she has spent a lot of time in the park, she was a little obsessed with the swing.But it seems that she also had a new favorite, and that was the sand. While she has always enjoyed some good sand play, it seems she has new digging skills.Daddy reported that she had a lot of fun scooping sand into her bucket, something she could not do last fall when we were going to the park. She was back to the swing before long, but fun was had by all.
A few weeks back Holly, Joel and I hosted a BBQ Pot Luck at our place for friends mostly from our music Class, and a related informal play group.We had not had many opportunities to socialize with many of these mom's and babies, because when we are in music class we are participating and it is hard to have in depth conversations.We are relatively knew to this group, and some of the mom's had been in music class several sessions before us and were not even still in class, so it was our opportunity to really get to know everyone.We had the best time and it was a lot of fun. Some of the parents work during the week and can only get together for weekend activities so it was also an opportunity for others to come who often miss out on weekly park play dates.Everyone brought amazing food, and after a while Joel planned to head out and BBQ Burger's Beef, Turkey, and Veggie for everyone to eat.Here the kids are all checking out the play kitchen, let me introduce the cast of Characters. In the front we have Josette, and then behind her is Eli and Beck.Here is Chloe and her mom reading Ki Lan, whom of course you all know. Katherine was the one who first recommended the music class to her and I am ever so grateful, we love it.Holly I think really enjoyed seeing her friends in her home environment. They all run around with each other during music class, but this gave her an opportunity to share her toys with everyone which I think she actually liked.Its been a lot of fun being part of this group. they have a lot of Monday and Friday morning play dates which we miss because of therapy, but we are able to make the other big events.This is Mira and we have spent quite a bit of time with her. She is a lot like Holly very active and rambunctious, Mira and Holly have fun playing chase and doing yoga together!This is Adrian. He is a very sweet little guy, super inquisitive and friendly. He is a little more on the shy and quiet side, but always willing to share his snacks with Holly in Music class.Here are Beck, Josette and Mila hanging out in Holly's room. Mila recently moved to San Francisco. After Music class last summer she would hang with us at the park.Holly was very fond of her, and we don;t get to see her very often any more which is too bad, but Her mom heads to the East Bay as often as she can for events like parties and big play dates.I think all of the kids were having a wonderful time exploring the house and playing with our toys. it was a lot of fun seeing how different kids play differently.I think it is a lot of fun for Holly to as she learns from the other kids new ways to do things with toys she sometimes has lost interest in, and suddenly realizes they have a new purpose.Now Josette and her Mom Michelle are great. They are so welcoming ti us and we became fast friends. They live right in our neighborhood so we know all of the same haunts.Josette is an interesting little bundle she isn't shy by any means but I guess the right word would be thoughtful. She observes and thinks a lot, but is very affectionate and outgoing.So here is the spread of food for the burgers. Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, various types of buns, Ketchup, Mayo ect.There was also a huge spread of salads, veggies, and all types of exotic dishes that each family brought for the Pot Luck part. Joel was really excited to try all of the side dishes.I think this picture is so characteristic of Josette, you can see how outgoing and affectionate she is here hanging out with Chloe's Mommy. Such a peach!Here is Beck and I was meeting his Mom Carol for the first time at the BBQ. She is great. We had so much in common and have been to so many of the same activities and know so many of the same people.It is truly amazing our paths haven't crossed sooner. We recently attended Beck's Birthday party, (post forthcoming I hope) he is one day older then Holly. Beck is a lot of fun, but has his serious side.I guess in a way they all do. When concentrating on a task, or trying to figure out something new, but Holly is definitely more on the play play play, go go go side of things.Here is Chloe with her Daddy Eric playing with the trains. it was a lot of fun seeing Eric out and about at a play date. Chloe was in heaven, saying Look Daddy, Look Daddy.Eli's Birthday is coming up on Easter. How fun is that? He is such a sweetie and his mom Jessie is really friendly.The kids all had a lot of fun playing with the train, I was glad we left it set up for them. Mostly they wanted to push the engine and cars themselves and it took a few tries to show them how to use the controller.I love Mila's outfit. Very bold and dramatic in Black and Red. I think I need to find some Black tights for Holly. She has red, though now that I think about it, I am not sure where they have gone off to.I think this picture of Beck is so very cute. I love this little squat he is doing. When Holly learned to do this it was such a milestone, and his pocket pants are the cutest!I really like these pictures of Adrian and Holly playing with the train. It is like she is showing him how it works, and he is paying attention, it is also so cute to be laying out on his elbows like that.That's another new position for Holly as well. She doesn't have a lot of flexibility in her back and neck extension, so it is rare to see her in that position, but we have been working with her stretching and it has been happening more often.This is another of the first few events I used my new camera for. So a lot of these pictures I included just because I liked them so much. I think this is a great action shot of Michelle and Josette.I tried to get one of each guest before they left at the end of the play date. The images are so clear the lighting at this time of day was really good.Another good one of Adrian and his Mom Hong. I hear a lot of mom's say it is so much more fun to dress girls, but I tell you these boys are very stylish and they look like little men in there cute outfits.Here is my little trouble maker trying to get into someone's bag. I think they put it down to get shoes on, and she was quick to notice how it was unattended.I think this is a great picture of Carol beck's mom, I love her smile in this one, she is very cheerful and strikes me as super motivated, She has been a joy to get to know. Here is Jesse and Eli on there way out, Eli is aking the ost adorable face here. Such a cutie. We look forward to helping him celebrate his birthday soon.Here is Holly as the day winds down, sitting and doing a puzzle and having a yogurt juice. I think she had a great day with all of her friends.Here is a great picture of Chloe and her mom. I love her little bow. Holly has noticed all of Chloe's bows and she is starting to wear one of her own which is really great.I really don;t want to cut her hair again so it is nice to be able to keep her hair out of her eyes. Here Eli is checking out the turtle with Michelle.We even set up the outside, not sure how crowded it would be inside, but with Holly's room, the kitchen, and the back yard there was plenty of room for everyone to play and explore.Holly is showing off her sliding skills. I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, but this was a daddy garage sale find for only 10$Behind her is her Sand Box, a craigslist find. We haven;t put the sand in yet as it was winter and cold and rainy and wet. We have some in the garage for as soon as we think the clouds have gone for the summer.Here is Daddy finishing up on the BBQ a few last burgers. They were very yummy and everyone left with very fully tummies, Mommy's, Daddy's and Babies alike.Here Holly starts to take apart her play mat. It is so useful, but are there any kids out there who do not pull it apart? I can;t seem to get it to stay in one peice for more then a few minutes.I wish my backyard still looked this pretty, we have had a few more weeks of spring rain and wind and a visiting dog, so the letters and blocks are all over the place.I was impressed with Holly's hosting skills, she played with everyone, shared her toys really well, and didn;t get overwhelmed with all of the kids over at her place.I think a fun time was had by all, but after a few hours, the little ones were crashing fast and soon would all be a slumber in nap land.