Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New playground found

This weekend while exploring, we found a really awesome playground - it had a huge big kids and little kids section.  It was the first playground we have played on the whole time we have been here!  We will go back for sure.

Ethan's visit and a lost tooth!

It was so fun to have my longtime manager at eBay, Pat, and his family visit Aruba for 10 days.  We saw them nearly every day of the holiday.  Ava was SO happy to have a playmate for 10 days - they swam, hunted for lizards, ate dinner together, and more.  They got along so well - what a fun visit!

One night we went to Benihana, which opened only 4 days prior.  The kids loved it.

 They helped to cook - breaking eggs with a spatula!

Dave didn't do as well as Ava and Ethan.  

Then, all the sudden while Ava was eating her rice, she ate a crunchy piece, which was her tooth!  Who loses a tooth eating soft rice?  Well, apparently her. You can see the adult tooth is already almost fully grown in, so it was definitely time. Now, the neighbor tooth is loose too.

The tooth fairy came all to the way to Aruba and left her 10 Florin - wow! That is almost 6 dollars!  Must have been because it was her first lost tooth. Or, because the tooth fairy doesn't carry around small change in Florin :)

A peak into the classroom....

I love peaking into Ava's classroom to see what she is doing during her school day. One of the exciting parts about going to school at home.

She was painting with water color paints, painting images representing the song "Do, a dear" from the Sound of Music.  She is obsessed with that song lately and it has been used in her music lessons this week :) Snuff Snuff is in the background taking it all in.

Arlo the Barlo

 For some reason Dave and Ava call Arlo, "Arlo the Barlo." They have a little song and dance about it too. He seems to think it is funny.  I seem to call him Bub or Bubby.  Not sure where it came from! He answers to all of the above.

These are just a few shots from this week of our favorite little boy.

This is his first big black eye.  He actually split the side of his eye too - and we almost took him to the hospital, but he didn't seem to care. It is only 4 days later  now and he barely has anything visible.  I have a feeling this is only the beginning of black eyes.

This is how we improvise toys while traveling :) A box turned race car!

Just a cute shot of Arlo in one of my favorite outfits right now.  Straight from Bali!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

These boots are made for walking...

Or just bare feet, but whatever :) 

New Playground

 We said goodbye to Sunnyside playground and hello to this - our new playground!

Sun Hats

We have the most adorable sun hats for Ava and Arlo, courtesy of  Ame (and her sister Mia) in Australia.  The best part is that Arlo wore his all day.


 This is a view of our favorite resort here in Aruba - the Radisson.  It just had a major renovation and the grounds are very natural looking, and not cheesy at all. Just stunning. You will find us here several times a week acting as guests.  Shhhhh!

Butterfly Farm

Pam (Ava's teacher), Ava and I went on Ava's first field trip in Aruba - to the butterfly farm!  It was really cute and despite the pictures showing no butterflies (I think they may be like ghosts and don't show up in pictures), they were constantly flying around us.  It was a pretty magical place.  We all wore our most colorful, flowery shirts so that the butterflies would land on us, which is apparently good luck. Some of us were lucky :)

And the best part is that we get free admission for the entire time we are in Aruba, so we will definitely be back.

These are the chrysalises - they were crazy beautiful.  I had no idea.

Valentines Day

We had a very sweet Valentines Day here in Aruba.  We all made homemade cards for each other. Ava took her first field trip to the butterfly farm and it seemed very fitting for Valentines Day. Pam so graciously watched the kids at home at night and Dave and I went to a nice locals restaurant for dinner.  The decor was interesting to say the least, but the fish was very fresh and tasty! We also went for some cocktails at the Hyatt bar to end the evening.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Evening walks

 I love going for walks, especially in the evening.  It is so nice to be able to walk along the paved walkways at the beach and enjoy the sunset.  We do it almost every day.  We have seen countless amazing sunsets already in the 2 weeks we have been here. It is a luxury we don't have in San Francisco, because most times it is cold and foggy by the time evening comes around.  I will revel in it while we are here!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Aruba Elementary Lizards - classroom tour

 Ava has officially started her new "school" with Teacher Pam.  They named their school Aruba Elementary, and they are the Lizards (because there are SO many lizards here!).  Pam has turned our garage (which happened to be the perfect space for a classroom) into the cutest homeschooling classroom ever.  She turned the space into such a fun environment for Ava - she LOVES going to her classroom every day.  Of course, being schooled at home has the advantage of being able to move around too.  So, they do activities in the back yard, they walk around the neighborhood, eat lunch in the kitchen or out back and will start having field trips every week as well.  And, once the body of water behind our house dries up (which we have been told it does in a couple weeks), they will be able to walk right to the beach in about 10 minutes, so school on the beach! Pam has been so creative with her daily activities and incorporating Aruba life and objects into the plans.  She is so good at keeping everything interesting and exciting for Ava, so she barely notices she doesn't have other kids around.  She is in love with Pam too, which definitely helps.  We enrolled Ava in a local art class on Saturday mornings with kids her age to keep her engaged with kids, and hope to find other local activities where she can meet friends.  We would love to have a few kids who we could invite over for play dates a few days a week.  We will see how that turns out!

 Pam has a daily schedule she posts for Ava each day:

Pam put letter around the room that she plays all sorts of letter sound games with, and also created a calendar, school banner and more.

One of the awesome math activities they did was go around and count all the different types of lizards, etc. that they saw and made a bar chart of them.  Ava also learned the names of each and how to identify them - and knows the Papiamento (the locals language in Aruba) words for the them too.

I found this adorable desk for Ava at a Dutch kids store here.  They have the greatest furniture and toys, all from the Netherlands, but super expensive.  It was a bit of a splurge, but I think worth it.  And I think we should be able to sell it no problem when we leave.


Pam even made a clippy chart, as Ava calls it.  It is for Pam or Ava to move the face around depending on how Ava is feeling or acting.  It is a good way to set the tone for activities or have a bit of "discipline" for Ava as well.  She responds very well to the clippy chart!

Chapel on the hill

A beautiful little chapel up on a hill in Aruba.  I love how most of the congregation sits outside on the white benches, while about 20 people can be inside. The chapel is supposedly stated to be the location where conversion of Aruban Indians to Christianity started and the religious history of Aruba began in about 1752. It was a beautiful site and the beginning of a treacherous journey in our Ford Edge towards the Natural Bridge.  We turned back about 15 minutes into the drive because were afraid we were going to fall over an edge, pop a tire, bottom out...or something to get us stranded.  Which, with 2 kids in 85 degree weather with no food or water, would not be ideal.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

First days in Aruba

Ava in her new school - yes, the garage.  But, Pam made it so cute!  It was still a work in progress here - I will get more pictures soon. They both love it! And we think it is adorable and are so happy they have their own space.

Our new backyard....for the next 4 months. Not too shabby.  The far palm trees are the ocean.

Arlo exploring our new house

View from happy hour on Saturday night...I have a feeling this will happen more than once more


Arlo even learned to drink out of a straw at happy hour!  Turns out he is obsessed with pina coladas!

Ava and her new friend, Wilson.  A coconut from our backyard. He is now sleeping in her room.