Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bwah, bwah, bwah, bwah

Duncan is 51 weeks old

Two Wednesdays ago, Duncan turned 51 weeks old!  And he is walking to Mommy, Daddy, Elsie, or a teacher.  He is a little more hesitant to walk towards a table or couch without encouragement and support.

Check out our big boy!

Duncan is also pretty good at opening the side door to our house.  We have to keep the dead bolt lock to make sure he doesn't escape!

I think he is trying to see if using this lock would help him escape.

Duncan really tries to make us laugh at the dinner table.  He has the cool trick where he tenses everything up, holding his arms out in front of him.  It is like some sort of mind melding activity.

Well, we just crakc up, which makes Duncan laugh, and then he is back at it.

I tried to get a video of his cool trick.  Instead of got a great video of lots of goofy Duncan tricks, including mind meld, laughing, raspberries, and kicky legs.  Such a happy entertainer!

Duncan is 50 weeks old

Three Wednesdays ago, Duncan turned 50 weeks old.  Duncan has been really into the stools around the house.  Up and down, up and down!

Duncan had his last swim lesson at the YMCA this week.  He had a lot of fun over the 8 weeks of classes, and got to swim with Daddy, Mommy and Papa Pete!  Duncan was a big fan of splashing!

 Swimming after the rubby duckie was also a favorite.

 I got the duck!!  Yum!

Go Duncan go!

Duncan was always so tired at the end of the class.  He would fall asleep in the car on the way home!

 Duncan is always doing fun and interesting things at school.  Here they are experimenting with feathers and clay.

From the residue around his mouth, it looks like Duncan was really enjoying that clay!

That doesn't look so safe, Duncan!

Duncan has been a really big fan of slides, both at school and at the park with us.  He still needs me a little close-by, but he knows how to move around at the top so his legs are in front, and he knows how to scoot himself forward to get started on the decline.  

 Bugs and dirt in the sensory table!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Elmhurst Academy Trash Train

Every year at Elmhurst Academy the families are asked turn "Trash Into Treasure."  This year, we made an EA Trash Train using painted yogurt cups and cans on top of some tracks of old wire.  

Elsie loved being able to paint nakey!!

Duncan is 49 weeks old

Three Wednesdays ago, Duncan turned 49 weeks old!
Duncan likes climbing into things AND he loves opening and closing doors.  Elsie's crib provides him with the opportunity to do both!

Open, close, open, close!

We often use the play kitchen pots, pans, and ladle as musical instruments!  

There are so many small dents on these pots and pans now!

Duncan really eats well!  We are so fortunate to have two good eaters!  During this meal, we left the plate too close to that high chair! 

And then we had food remnants all over his hair and face!

Happy Easter!

In preparation for Easter, we colored Easter eggs.  Elsie did most of her eggs by herself, choosing the colors and putting the eggs in and out of the cups all by herself!

 We also made candy eggs!!  Elsie was a big help with the peanut butter eggs!  Yum!

On Easter morning, both Elsie and DUncan were excited to see what the Easter Bunny had brought for them.

Bunny ears!

Elsie found all of the eggs!  She still struggles to see further than a foot in front of her, so some direction was needed.  But, we had a ton of fun!

Happy Phipps family all dressed up for church! 

Elsie had a lot of individual time with Grandpa...

...and Grandma

Grandma even brought a t-ball set for Elsie.  With some help from Daddy, Elsie did really well!!

Good hit Elsie!

Duncan is 48 weeks old

Four Wednesdays ago, Duncan turned 48 weeks old...and he is still on the go!
One of Duncan's favorite places to go is to the cat food.  And once he starts trying, he just won't stop!  I take him away and get him interested in a different toy, but as soon as I get up to clean up the kitchen, he immediately heads back for the cat bowls!  So funny and frustrating at the same time!

Duncan still find the chairs fascinating, rocking them trying to see how far he can tip them over before they fall down.  And then when they do fall down, he tries to climb inside the legs of the chair.

Elsie brought home a large balloon from a birthday party, and Duncan was a big fan!  Chasing it all over the house! 

Go Duncan, go!

Duncan is 47 weeks old

Five Wednesdays ago, Duncan turned 47 weeks old!
Duncan gets in to everything now!  Here he is rolling around with a tissue eating it!

Duncan loves this big puppy.  At least several times a day he crawls on over and just buries his face in the dog's fur.  He rolls around on the puppy for a while, pounding his feet into the ground!

In fact, he uses the puppy as a tissue most of the time!

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Jack and I will be celebrating out 10 year anniversary on September 7, 2012.  We decided to jump the gun a bit and really celebrate in March with a Mommy-and-Daddy-only trip to St. Martin.  J-Ma and Papa Pete flew to Chicago to take care of Elsie and Duncan for 6 days while we traveled down to the Caribbean for the first time.  It was a beautiful trip!  We stayed at the Grand Case Beach Club on the French Side of the island.  
Here is the view from our oceanfront balcony:
Our room was on the top floor of the white building on the left of this picture.  

A close-up of our building:

We spent our first afternoon out on the beach.  Although we applied a lot of sunscreen, our white skin quickly burnt under the beautiful sun.  So, the second afternoon, we decided to relax in the shade.  
Out on this rock, there is a small deck on the left side. 

We relaxed here reading and sleeping!

So peaceful!
We spent one morning in Marigot at the open air market.  I posed for a picture at this cool statue.  Since the inscription was in French, I have no idea what it was for.

On another day, we went snorkeling at Creole Rock.  The rock was just a short boat ride from our resort, so we had a semi-private tour given by our water sports coordinator.

We were very fortunate during out snorkeling trip for 2 reasons.  1- we went during lunch time, so we were really the only 5 people there!  2 - We saw many dolphins at the end of our trip.  We boated around with them for a while as they swam beneath and around the boat.  It was similar to our dolphin encounter in Hawaii just 9.5 years prior!

The town of Grand Case was just a short walk from our hotel.  So, we ventured out every night for some delicious food.  Most of the food was very French and very delicious.  One night we went to "LOLOs" (locally owned, locally operated) for some BBQ.  I loved that I was enjoying my dinner with 2 microwaves behind my head!


On our last night, we went to a place that served an amuse-bouche menu.  For appetizers, we enjoyed cold tomato soup from a straw, pea sorbet, red pepper and poppy seed sorbet, mussels, vegetable tempura, and some other shellfish choice of Jack's.

For dinner, I had duck leg confit with very whipped potato fluff, croque monsieur, crab cakes, mini sliders and fries, and scrambled egg and bacon.

Jack chose the duck leg and croque monsieur as well in addition to several selections of shellfish.

He got to use a pipette to sprinkle on the lemongrass oil.

It was an amazing dinner and we were so happy to have found it during our last night!