Sunday, January 28, 2007

Trip to the ZOO

We went to the Zoo in Guatemala city on Friday. I have decided we should really only go to zoos in foreign countries from now on.... you get to see the animals so much closer! The last time we went to the zoo was the Bronx Zoo and she was bored half to death because the animals were so far away she couldn't even see them! But the Guatemala Zoo had the animals so close she could see all of them.....It made for a much better day for Ellie.
She is at the perfect age for the zoo and she really enjoyed the morning we had there.
The weather was a perfect 75 degrees.
We started off with the animals in Africa... giraffes, zebras, then onto the lions and elephants.

The highlight of the day was the "petting zoo" area. Mind you Ellie didn't actually touch the animals.. after all this is Guatemala... but she just loved how close the animals were. There was a cow, ducks, pigs, rabbits, a donkey... but the best of all was the sheep. Ellie came up to the cage and I said Ellie, what does a sheep say? She said "BAAAA." But the best part was ... then the sheep just about scared her half to death and said "BAAAA" right back. It was hilarious and she literally jumped when he did it.


More on our trip to Antigua

We parked the car at the Hotel Santo Domingo so that is where we started our day in Antigua. It is a very beautiful hotel built around the ruins of the ancient Monastario Santo Domingo. We walked around the grounds of this hotel and I was truly amazed. The following picture is where they have the weddings at the hotel.

At the fountain on the grounds of Hotel Santo Domingo.

The plaza was filled with people selling necklaces, others wanting to shine your shoes, tourists orienting themselves around the city, and Guatemalans just relaxing on a Saturday morning. Ellie was a big "people watcher" at the plaza. She was running around taking it all in.

At the main plaza fountain. My dad, Ellie and me at the Arco de Santa Catalina. The arch is the only remnant of the once enourmous Convent of St. Catherine. As the convent increased in size... they had to build across the street. The arch was built so the nuns could cross without being seen.

Notice the volacanos in the background of the majority of these pictures!

Playing Dress Up with Grandma

In order to get ready for our trip down here my mom searched every market place and store around for toys that Ellie could play with. The following is one of the prizes she found.
A cute little dress up outfit. Unfortunately, my mom and I decided Ellie isn't really ready to play dress up yet. She just about had a fit while we tried to get the cute little outfit on. We still thought she looked adorable despite the frown!
Our little fairy!

Trip to the Ice Cream Shoppe with Grandpa

My Dad came home from the office the other day and asked Ellie if she wanted to go get ice cream. Well... Ellie is her mother's child in that she LOVES ice cream and was extatic to find out we were going to get ice cream.

Once we got there..... she saw the big playground outside and ran outside with my mom while my dad and I got the ice cream. She had just as much fun playing on the playground as she did eating her ice cream. She would climb up the playground, go down the slide, run to Grandpa to get a bite of ice cream and then run back to the slide again.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Trip To Guatemala

Ellie and I are currently visiting my parents in Guatemala. It was more than an adventure to get here but very much worth it once we arrived. We have had a great time visiting with my parents and seeing some sights in Guatemala. It is a beautiful country filled with friendly people. It has been so fun to watch Ellie's reaction to this new place. She is just in awe at all of the new sights and places that we have seen.

At the plaza in Antigua.

Today we took a little trip to Antigua. Antigua used to be the capitol of Guatemala.... but after numberous earthquakes in the 1700s the capitol was moved to Guatemala city. This little city is filled with ruins of old monistaries and convents. It was sort of like going back in time as we strolled along the cobblestone streets. Ellie's favorite part was the carriage ride tour. Although the tour was in spanish we learned a lot about the city from my parents translation.

On the carriage ride tour.

The city is surrounded by volcanoes... three in total. This picture is at the top of one of the monastaries. The ruins are filled with the most beautiful flowers.

The hotel that we parked at, Hotel Santo Domingo... it was just gorgeous. A hotel built around the ruins and the incorporated the beauty of the ruins into the architecture of the hotel.....I will post pictures of that tomorrow.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Helping in the Kitchen

Ellie loves to "help" in the kitchen. Every time she thinks I am making anything interesting she absolutely insists that I help her bring one of the kitchen chairs up to the counter so she can stand on it and see what I am making. Her favorite way of "helping out" is testing whatever I am making. Today... she enjoyed some of the batter of Tumbling River Ranch's Choco-Chewy Scotch Bars.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Winter Wonderland

The much anticipated storm came a later later than they had expected which took us all off guard.... and of course made for one bad traffic jam. Ellie woke up this morning and took a peek outside at the snow and was SO excited. She went back and forth from the windows facing the backyard to the windows facing the frontyard and yelling "know.. know" (her version of snow.) It was so cute I had to take her out on a little adventure in the snow as soon as soon I could.It turns out she really enjoyed the snow much better from afar. After coming out into the snow she really wasn't sure what to do. The most interaction she had with the snow was when she was sweeping it off of the bushes with her glove. Nevertheless.. I got a great video of her reaction to her first real snow :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ellie's First Swimming Lesson!

Ellie had her first swimming lesson class today. She LOVED it! She loved kicking and splashing in the warm water. It has been a few months since we have been swimming so I was a little unsure how she would do... but she had no fear at all. She learned to kick and splash and had a great time in the water. We are looking forward to our next class on Wednesday!

PS I think that it wore her out.... she took a 3 hour and 40 minute nap afterwards!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning with Ellie was more fun that I ever could have imagined. It was just priceless to see her expressions of excitement as she opened up her presents. Her first look at her new kitchen.
The highlight of the morning was when Ellie squealed with delight when she saw that she got a new baby doll for Christmas. We got it on our video camera and that is going to be a Rowley family hightlight!
Opening her stocking.
Her own little cleaning set so she doesn't steal my broom anymore!
Ellie became a pro at opening presents in no time at all. It was so fun to watch her rip them open. Some of the toys she tossed aside without even giving them a glance... while others she wouldn't stop playing with even to open more presents.... it was a very fun morning.

Christmas Eve

Ellie all dressed up for church on Christmas Eve.On Christmas Eve we had Brandon's family over to our house for dinner. It was fun to spend the evening with family. Ellie recieved her first offical gift for Christmas. A table and chair set from Grandma and Grandpa. She had a tons of fun opening this present that was bigger than she is! I think she likes it!

A little over excited about her present!