Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day At The Park: Part 2

Last Saturday we made our second attempt at getting to ride the trains at the park. The first attempt, while fun ended with us not riding the trains. This trip to the park ended in success.

When we arrived at the park we were expecting to see tons of people as the skies were fair and the temperature a bit hot. To our delight the event was lightly attended. We had to walk a ways to get to the trains and with Alyce and Luke in tow we had a ton of gear to bring with us. Mom and I took turns riding the trains with Alyce and taking care of Luke.

The first train we rode wasn't steam powered but it was the most reliable of the trains. Apparently running a miniature scale steam train has some maintenance issues as both of the steam trains had some lengthy downtime. Alyce took to the trains very quickly. We spent a few minutes watching them go around and then stood in line for our first ride. Alyce sat in front of me and we were off. The track was probably less than 1/8th of a mile but we got to go around 3 times. As we rode past Mommy I got Alyce to let go of me long enough to wave hi.

The second train ride for Alyce was with Mommy again on the non steam powered train. Alyce did just as good for Mom as she did for me. I was even able to get a few quick shots of them as they came by while feeding Luke at the same time.

The third and last train ride of the day was thankfully on the steam train. This miniature steam train was just like the real thing. The engineer has to shovel coal into the firebox, stoke the fire, and apply water for steam. The power generated by such a small device was impressive. This little train was able to pull three car loads of adults and children around the track.

After the train rides we headed back towards the car. Alyce wanted to play on the slide but Mom and Luke were getting hot. We compromised by Mom taking Luke into the car for some AC and I took Alyce on the slide for 5 trips down the slide. Surprisingly enough Alyce was ok with just going 5 times. The last two times she wanted to ride with me!

We had a great time at the park. We spent some good quality family time and the price (free) was right. Next time we need to bring Pa Pa. I think he would be a big fan of the trains.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dancing In The Car

Looking through some videos on my phone I stumbled upon this one from last week. Prince's Let's Go Crazy came on the radio and we all started dancing in car. I had to get a video to document Alyce's great car dancing abilities.

Do we have a future professional dancer in our midst? I'll let you be the judge.

Alyce's First Play

Friday night Alyce saw her first play. Our neighbor Liz is a teacher at a local school and her students put on the play Aladdin. Liz thought Alyce would be interested in the performance and invited us to go.

We weren't really worried that Alyce would sit through the performance.  She can sit for two hours for a Disney movie without any problems.  We were kind of afraid of how she would react to a dark theater between scenes.  Mom did a very good job of explaining to Alyce what was going to happen and I think it sunk in.  When the lights dimed before the actors came out Alyce just sat there as if nothing had changed.  With about 5 minutes to go in the first act Alyce got a bit fidgety.  Mom was prepared; she pulled from her purse a box of animal crackers and we made it to intermission.

During intermission Liz showed us her classroom.  School has changed quite a bit since I attended.  Gone are the chalkboards and even the white boards with dry erase markers.  Now the teachers have digital projectors where they can write on the board with electronic ink.  Liz explained that this was brand new to her classroom and that she was going for training soon.  I wonder what will change between now and when Alyce attends classes in three years.

The second act flew by and the evening was a success.  Alyce behaved herself and seemed to enjoy the musical even if she didn't really understand the storyline.  At the very least she got some animal crackers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Can Drive 55


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Alyce Holding Luke


Yesterday Mom snapped this great picture of Alyce holding Luke. It appears that Alyce is enjoying herself.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Alyce's World Has A New Home

In case you haven't noticed Alyce's World now has a new home: www.alycesworld.me. We are moving to this new address because of our new baby Luke. Luke's website used to be A Twinkle In Dads Eye but now that he is more than a twinkle I figured he needed a real website name. We wanted to do something like LukesWorld.com but that was taken. Instead we can get www.lukesworld.me. .me is a domain for sites about people rather than .com for commercial entities. So in reality .me is really a better fit for a blog about Alyce.

www.alycesworld.com will forward you to the new website until the beginning of July.

Coming in the future I am going to be doing some redesign to both Alyce's and Luke's blogs. I figure along with a new address I could put on a new coat of paint too.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day At The Park

Today Mom and I wanted to have a day of just Alyce and us. We thought that just the three of us time would be good for everyone. I am happy to say that it was a success. While our original plans didn't completely pan out what we did end up doing was enjoyed by all.

Earlier this week we had heard a story of new attraction opening up. The attraction was miniature steam train that would pull mini train cars of people sitting single file. We thought something like a miniature train would be cool for the family to enjoy together. Before the train ride we took Alyce to McDonald's for lunch. Alyce behaved herself for the most part and she got a neat toy with her happy meal.

After lunch we ventured to the park and this is where our plans took a turn. It turns out that the train doesn't open for another week. While this would normally be a large problem it didn't turn out that way. We didn't build up the train ride as much as we built up time together. We made the most of the outing by making use playground equipment at the same park.

The slides at the park were just her size and the skies were overcast so there wasn't any danger of being burned by hot plastic parts. At first Alyce was a bit apprehensive of the slides and just wanted to go up and down the stairs. After a few minutes of that I sat down for a slide and she wanted to ride in my lap. After the first ride she was hooked. She and I rode the slide time and time again. Alyce eventually built up the courage to try a slide herself. This burst of courage was interesting in that there was no pause to her actions. She simply walked past me, sat down, and went down the slide. She didn't wait for my approval or any other question I had for her. She just did it. Her slide riding skills have also improved. She stayed upright and was in complete control the whole time.

We did take a break from the slides to go take a look at the trains. The group that was setting up the trains and the tracks were there putting the finishing touches on everything. We told Alyce that we would come back and ride the trains next weekend.

Alyce had some first time experiences while at the park. On the way to the train we taught her how to pick dandelion seeds and blow them to the wind. She doesn't have the lung power to do it by herself, but she thought all the seeds scattering to the wind was great. Alyce also climbed up a slide for the first time. While heading back towards the stairs Alyce watched an older girl climb up the baby slide. Alyce must have thought doing that was pretty cool as she followed the older girl right up the slide. While this isn't something we would encourage it was very nice to see that Alyce is branching and taking some chances.

It started raining and we used that as a signal it was time to go. Alyce didn't mind much as wet slides don't go very fast. We very much enjoyed our day with Alyce and I think she liked it too. It was a good reminder of how fun kids could be. I hope Alyce can build upon this experience to realize that her world isn't collapsing just building into something a bit different and hopefully better.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Family Growning Pains

The addition of Luke to our family is going better than I had expected. Alyce is taking to Luke like you hope a big sister would. She is very interested in and gentle around him. She talks to him and says hi while waving too him. I think until Luke starts moving around and taking her toys there won't be too many major problems between the two.

That being said there have been a few growing pains between Alyce and Mommy and myself. Since Luke came home Alyce has been for lack of a better phrase a pain in the rumpkiss. She isn't listening to instructions and doing things even though we repeatedly ask her not to do something. I would say that I have put her in the naughty corner as many times this week as I have had to do in the past few months. This is all coming from her not wanting to share our attention with Luke, but it doesn't make it any easier. Throw on her having a cold and us keeping her away from her brother and a lot of frustration can erupt. I hope once a new family dynamic is established Alyce will turn back into her old attentive, loving, and affectionate self.


Alyce had a busy Easter this year. We had two Easter Egg Hunts with one on my side of the family and the other on Mom's side of the family.

The first hunt we attended was on my side of the family out at my Aunt Marilyn's and Uncle Eric's house. We had brunch followed by an egg hunt. Mommy didn't join us on this trip since she is still recovering from delivering baby Luke. Brunch was great with Alyce eating quite a bit and needing minimal help from me.

Once lunch was cleaned up Uncles Jared and Sam hid all of the Easter candy. I think the candy was a bit overbought for just two kids; there was candy going everywhere. Before the hunt even got started I made a big mistake. I forgot to bring an Easter basket for Alyce to use during the hunt. Luckily Grandma came prepared and had a cute Easter basket at the ready. Alyce did very good searching for the candy. This was her second year of hunting eggs so she knew what was going on.

After the hunt I packed Alyce up and we headed back home to pick up Mom and Luke then traveled to Gram's and Pa Pa's house for dinner and an egg hunt there. We did manage to get a hunt in even though bad weather was starting to roll in. Mom put the candy eggs together for Alyce and we both hid them while Alyce was inside. Alyce was all alone in this egg hunt, but there were five adults watching her every move.

Easter was a big success even though we couldn't spent 100% of it together as a family. I look forward to next Easter where things will be a bit less stressful for a newly grown family.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alyce's New Tricycle

The final present Luke gave to Alyce was a new tricycle. We used this and other gifts to get Alyce excited about her new brother. We gave Alyce the tricycle when we brought Luke home from the hospital. One problem was that we gave Alyce the tricycle on a rainy day. We couldn't keep her from her new toy so we let her ride it in the house (just this once). I was very impressed with her ability to pedal on both tile and carpet. I am assuming pedaling through carpet can't be easy.

A day later the skies cleared up and I finally got Alyce outside with her new "bike" as she likes to call it. Before we took her outside for her maiden ride she found a pair of sunglasses in the house. Naturally she had to have them on so she could see the road.

Alyce rode her bike down the street and made her first stop at our neighbors Jess and Steve. She got off her tricycle and pushed it up the hill to show it off to them. She even turned it around to show the little compartment on the back where you can store stuff. After a while of playing with their kids Alyce was ready to continue her three wheeled expedition. I would like to say that Alyce is a natural when it comes to pedaling and steering her bike. Not a single time did I have to adjust her path or steer for her. I'm not really sure where she got the coordination.

Going down the street in our neighborhood is the easy part. There is a slight grade down until you hit the cul-de-sac. Once Alyce rounded the corner her speed greatly reduced. Concrete seams and bumps started giving her some trouble. So much that she eventually got off her tricycle and started pushing it back towards the house. She must have been very proud of her new bike because I offered to carry it back for her and she declined with a "Doo Bit" and continued pushing and pulling.

We eventually got back to the house and all was good with the world. Alyce took a break from riding to at look and hold Jeff and Liz's tulips.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Alyce Meets Her New Brother

Today Alyce got to meet her new brother. Brother Luke as she likes to call him was born last night. Alyce is staying with Grams and Pa Pa so that Mom and I can get situated with her new brother.

Grams and Pa Pa brought Alyce to the Hospital just before lunch. I met them at the entrance because I wanted to introduce Alyce to her brother. I took Alyce to the gift shop to get Mom some flowers and then we went upstairs.

When Alyce first saw Mommy she didn't quite know what to think. She seemed reserved and almost scared of Mom. I think seeing her in a hospital bed was quite unnerving. She got over her initial apprehension and started crawling over the couch in the room not even noticing her brother in the bassinet. That all changed when she hear brother Luke make some noise and move a bit. Alyce squealed, said "Baby!", and dropped everything to see her baby brother. We gave her a bench to stand on so she could get a better look. She was enamored with Luke. She continued to look at him for quite a while, but never reached out a hand to touch him.

After a while Alyce grew a bit tired of Luke; this was when we gave her, her presents from Luke. Mom had purchased some sticker activity books ahead of time for this moment. Mom is so smart when it comes to stuff like this.

To give Mom a break and some Alyce and me time I took Alyce downstairs to the cafeteria to each some lunch, just the two of us. The trip was uneventful and didn't warrant a lot of attention here, but one moment did stand out. While sharing a hamburger Alyce spotted my Daddy bracelet that allows Luke to be left in my care. Alyce pointed to the bracelet, said "Mommy", and burst into tears. I'm not exactly sure what she was crying about; most likely worried about Mommy sitting in the hospital bed. We got past all that and she was fine for the rest of lunch and the afternoon.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Kids are always interesting. They don't know that what they do is sometimes uncouth. A few days ago Alyce was home with Mom and Alyce did something very well uncouth. She walked up to Mommy put her finger in her nose, pulled it out, showed it to mom, and said "boogies". Lucky for Mom Alyce was unsuccessful in her endeavor. However, she repeated this process a few more times for good measure. The more Mom asked Alyce to stop the more she did it. Eventually Mom had to ignore Alyce and that got her to stop.

Alyce Is Getting Things Ready

We are getting things around the house ready for the new baby. Alyce is doing her part too. She tested out the car seat to make sure it is safe. Molly looks pretty safe so I think Twinkle will be alright.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuckered Out Little Girl

Mom sent me this picture of our tuckered out little girl. Apparently sleeping in the big girl bed isn't as restful as the crib. Or she is going through a growth spurt. Alyce sleeping through lunch time doesn't bode well for the afternoon nap, but naps have been few and far between lately so you take your breaks when you can.

Going To Bed Getting Easier

We are having great success in getting Alyce to sleep in her new room. I think she is getting over the fear of not being in her crib and having unlimited freedom. Last night it was up to me alone to get Alyce into bed and asleep. Mom was getting her hair cut during Alyce's bedtime. I was a little bit apprehensive since Mom had been handling most of the hardcore getting Alyce to sleep duties. Luckily my fears were unfounded. Alyce didn't get out of bed after I put her there and she fell asleep after only 4-5 minutes of crying.

So in the past three days we have gone from numerous times up and 90 minutes of crying to no times up and 5 minutes of crying. Not bad, not bad at all. I was hoping something like this would happen. I didn't really expect it to happen this quickly. Alyce is a pretty easy going child so once she got over her initial apprehension maybe she went with the flow.

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