Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rory is signing! Last night at dinner she signed for "more" and also for "all done". I even got a picture of her doing "more", I'm so excited! Plus? She is super cute just like Max and does not sign "more" correctly which should look like this:
(photo credit

She and Max both are going to be the kids that slam their  fingers into the palm of their hand instead. So cute! (I know, I've said that a lot already.)

Also, get your fill on Rory, Max and Uncle Randy playing on the play set yesterday. Your welcome.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OK, you are all going to hate me. I took the kids on the play set yesterday and I didn't take any pictures - not even one! The way I see it though, the play set is going to be like the trailer for the lawn mower. Eventually you're just going to get so sick of seeing pictures of the kids playing on it. It was just me and the kids and I had to have free hands to grab Rory if she swung too far to one side and started to slip off the horse swing. (I need a baby swing.) But seriously people, it was such a fun time!

Max played on the tire swing below, and I'm pretty sure he has never swung on a tire swing. He had so much fun with me pushing him around and around. He was giggling and squealing. And then the slide! Oh that beautiful half shaped tube of a slide. Max can climb UP the slide! And let me tell you, he thought that was just the silliest thing ever. I even got him to hold Rory once and they went down the slide together.

Rory and the horse swing were probably my favorite though. I've pushed Rory in swings a couple times now and she's always enjoyed it but man did I have fun pushing her yesterday! First we swung together and then I got off when I was convinced she could hold on herself and I got in front of her and pushed her. She had the cutest giggles in the world and loved when I'd get up in her face before pushing her away! She even attempted to bat at me a bit, but since she needed to concentrate on her balance she didn't do that more then twice. The girl is intelligent! She even figured out how to use her feet to make the horse "bounce" back and forth too.

Unfortunately the real world called and we had to go in so I could get everyone dinner. It was hard, there were some tears, but I reassured everyone (including Mom) that the play set is ours and we'll have lots of afternoons to go outside and play.

Greatest purchase ever!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I have 3 stories to share today. I could space them out as 3 separate posts, but I really wanted to share all of this so I'm going to put them in one and hope I find more material for this week yet!

Story #1:
While on vacation this weekend, Dusty and I were fishing and heard this odd noise and started looking around. Eventually we saw that a bald eagle was descending right above us and the noise we heard was the wind on the eagle's wings as it descended from up in the sky! It swooped down right next to our boat and plucked out a fish! Dusty got some pictures of the eagle eating the fish in the tree. It was really cool to see!

Story #2:
Max is going to be a genius people, a genius! A few times now, I've caught him pretending to dump his potty into the toilet when there was no potty to be dumped and telling me that he went potty. I've also caught him pushing his sister out of his way to get at a toy and when she started crying he told me "Rory fall down Mama."

Wait? Aren't these all stories about Max lying to me? Ah, yes it is! And thanks to my co-worker, I have been informed that a two year old lying is actually a good thing. Apparently the younger the age a kid starts lying, the more intelligent they are. Naturally I was intrigued and did my own research. Here's an article on the study, if you are so intrigued:

For the record, I'm not really excited. While the study does help me feel better I'd rather just skip this little developmental stage!

Story #3:
The play set is finally setup. As you know from this post, Dusty and Chris picked up our play set late last week. I had been searching on Craigslist for pretty much the whole summer along with talking to family and friends on trying to find a play set that had at least 3 swings, a slide, and monkey bars. Those were things I absolutely wanted as I felt it would leave room for friends to play with them and give them things to grow into.

We finally found one that was within our price range, and was still available when I called. I was so excited! The weather? Apparently felt otherwise. Dusty and Chris picked it up and brought it to our house in the rain. Chris stuck around to help setup the main part and then the boys called it a night because it got too dark. As you know, we were out of town all weekend, so the play set sat only partially put together for a few days. Dusty finally got it finished yesterday evening. The lighting isn't great for the picture, but here it is all setup!

As you can see, it's got a slide and monkey bars to the left. There is also a rope ladder and a trapeze bar on the two sides of the slide. Then you have the fort and there is a tire swing underneath. After that is the swing beam with room for 3 swings and also a rope swing at the end. I think the kids are going to love it, I can't wait for them to get home today and get to finally play on it! Now we just have to find an infant seat for Rory to be able to swing a little more freely, but the horse swing will work fine for now.

Now do you see why it was too hard to pick which story to share today and which ones to save for later?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dusty and I went away this weekend. We celebrated our 5 year anniversary in central Wisconsin, or as Dusty likes to call it, "God's country". I decided to have a little fun and make comparison pictures from our honeymoon in Hawaii and started calling it our second honeymoon. I think you'll agree, the beauty is comparable.

Sunset - you are just as beautiful in Wisconsin in the fall.

Sea turtles, meet our talented lake turtles. I didn't see any sea turtles doing this.

Deep sea fishing was far more bumpy with the waves then lake fishing was. And I caught more fish here!

We even did some miniature golfing, which we also did in Hawaii.

Miniature golfing also gave me the chance to get a horribly lit picture of us in front of a waterfall. But I got a picture of us in front of a waterfall, just like in Hawaii.

There were many couple pictures taken, here is one of my favorites. We just watched the sunset and were packing up to head in.

I also took a picture in Hawaii of my view from the beach with my toes in the foreground. Here's a picture of my view from the boat!

Who needs a Jeep when you have an awesome minivan that can also pull a boat?

I realize there is beauty no matter where we are, and that Northern Wisconsin may not really be up to Hawaiian standards in my eyes since that beauty is rarer to me. But my sunrise picture really is one of my most favorite pictures I've ever taken. Just look at how beautiful the lake was Sunday morning!

We returned home a bit earlier then we had planned on Sunday as I was so excited to get to the hospital! Reb and Joe finally welcomed their baby girl, Jane Christine.

I was disappointed I wasn't there to meet her shortly after she was born, but excited we got her and Reb all to ourselves while we were there to visit on Sunday so I guess the timing was perfect! Thank you Dusty for planning our second honeymoon, I love you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Max and Rory had so much fun last night, it was impossible to get them to settle down and go to bed. Of course, how can you possibly fall asleep when you know that Daddy and Chris are outside, in the rain, setting up a play set?!

Unfortunately, it just got too dark too fast for them to finish. So I promise to post a picture once it is all put together. As you can tell, the kids were really into watching them and it took all my energy to peel them away from the window.

Of course, it helps that Auntie Ta-Ta came over and that she was willing to play with the new witches' house that GG brought over for the kids last weekend.

What a great Auntie Ta-Ta, making evil witch faces and all! hehehe

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well, it's official with the county, Max is normal.

Daycare informed us that the county will do free assessments until the age of 2 and with the recent biting incidents they thought it would be a good idea to have Max checked out as long as we weren't opposed to it. So they did two visits, a home visit which was done almost a month ago, and a daycare visit which was done just this week.

Max's home assessment seemed to go really well. As we expected, she didn't see any major problems and agreed he appears to be a high strung boy. She was slightly concerned that his pain tolerance was so high as there are some children that don't know how to be "gentle" and thrive on pain - which is something that can be a problem, but we explained that he knows how to be gentle, he is very careful around his sister and she seemed to agree with us on that after an exhaustive amount of questions and watching him. I mean, look at how good he is with his sister!

What made me feel really good is that she was impressed with how well he was doing verbally. Don't get me wrong, she definitely commented on his coordination which is something we were already well aware of, but she said he was talking very well for his. So I guess my fear that he will need speech therapy is lessened. (Since so many boys need it around age 3.)

She encouraged us to do rough play with Max; that there wasn't anything wrong with that and it would help him burn off his energy, but that we also need to work with helping Max calm down afterwards so he learns they go hand in hand.

The paperwork from daycare came back singing both Max's and the center's praises. We already knew we had a good daycare but it is nice to have someone from the county confirm that they are doing an excellent job handling Max and also engaging all the children in different activities. She also praised them for their listening and imitating for movements and words time. I didn't even know they had a special time where they worked on this so I'm really glad she mentioned it! (Maybe this is why his speech is so good?)

It's nice we are able to get this assessment for free and hopefully it will put everyone at ease that Max is acting as a normal, high strung, 2 year old. Or as most people say, "he's ALL boy!"

****A note: We haven't had a biting incident for weeks now and daycare never thought there was a real problem with Max. This opportunity just came up right around the time Max started acting up and they wanted to be proactive and Dusty and I felt that it would be stupid to turn down a free assessment as it could help us find any problems we may not have been aware of. We did get some great tips as a family so I don't regret that decision at all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So as mentioned yesterday, I threw out my back. Yes, I know I'm only 27. No, I have no idea why my body thinks it is 80. I can only tell you it was a traumatic experience that is amplified by the fear that this could happen again at any time now.

It was Saturday evening, the night before the big party, and I had put Max and Rory into the tub while Dusty ran some errands in town. Max was playing around and accidentally smashed his teeth against the bottom of the tub. (He was pretending to be a fish and threw his head into the water too far. Pretty impressive that he sticks his whole face in, hopefully he'll continue to do it now.) I swooped in to pick him up and console him and ended up getting a shooting pain in my back while lifting him. Long story short, I ended up laying on the bathroom floor unable to lift myself back up as I would start to black out from what I can only assume was the pain. (I don't really remember the pain, I mean, I was in pain on the floor but I don't think my head actually registered more pain as I'd attempt to sit up, I think it just reacted by making me nauseous and everything would start to go fuzzy and I ended up just laying on the floor.) I tried to call a couple neighbors but no one was home and then called Dusty and told him he had to cut his shopping short and come home because the kids were in the tub and I was unable to get them out.

It was a rough night as I had so many things I had planned to do and ended up laying on the couch having Dusty apply and remove ice every 20 minutes. Thankfully I was able to move on Sunday and help around the house. I have great family that showed up early to help with setup and stayed late to help with take down. I'm slowly recovering, and that's the story.

In more exciting news, we brought Rory in for her 1 year checkup! Her stats:
Weight: 25 lbs - 95% (Max weighs 29 lbs so he is still bigger surprisingly!)
Height: 2' 6" - 74%
Head Circumference: 19" - 98% (She's going to be a smart cookie!)

She had to get a blood draw from her arm which is a new thing. They are now testing all babies for lead since the China paint fiasco which requires a blood draw as opposed to the traditional finger prick. I couldn't handle that and sat in a chair keeping Max calm while Dusty did the leg work of pinning Rory. Based on Dusty's face, it was pretty traumatic. They tried to locate a good vein and then it went really slowly and they actually cut her off early and had to check to make sure the amount of blood they had would work. Thankfully, we got the all clear on that and were able to leave.

Here's my baby girl with her bandage from the blood draw. Tell me this doesn't make you cringe!

She was all smiles at dinner at Acapulco's though, so the trauma didn't last long. Also, she got to move to a forward facing car seat and the best part about that?! No more fighting to go into the car. She's quite content facing forward and getting to see everything Max points out now!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rory is 1 year old today! We had an awesome celebration for her yesterday, and in order to explain the awesomeness I thought I'd start out with the last photo of the night...

Yup, that would be our bag of recycling that broke open while at the top of the stairs spilling it's contents out, breaking bottles along the way. So much fun cleaning that up - but I still say the party was worth it!

Now on to all the cute stuff! I made Rory a tutu for her birthday. It was so fun to make and she looked uber adorable in it too! I couldn't get a really good picture that shows off just how poofy and fun it was but here is one of her with her Auntie Andrea.

Rory had a lot of help opening presents. In fact, with cousins Allison and Lyla and brother Max there I think she finally just got too overwhelmed and ended up crawling away with one of the stuffed animals were she sat content while all the bigger kids tore into her presents. Hopefully I've got all the gift givers and gifts down correctly for the thank you notes - it was a bit hectic with all the help. Everyone was really generous though and Rory has lots of fun girl toys to play with now!

Then we were on to cake. Look at how pretty I decorated?! And thank you cousin Anna for all your baking and decorating of the cupcakes. Everyone was praising her left and right and now you can too when you get a look at all this amazing work she did. (She also baked the cake for me to decorate.)

Rory didn't really know what to do with the cake at first. I'm sure she thought it was a big toy.

She eventually got it though and started enjoying every bite. So much so that we had to give her a little more after she got through her first "piece".

Look at that, she does smile for pictures!

Happy Birthday Rory - and thank you to everyone that helped us celebrate! Also, a thank you to those who assisted Dusty and I with everything. Having your back go out the night before your daughter's birthday party is definitely stressful. I'm sure I'll be back to share that story - but thank you for all your heavy lifting for me!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Five years ago today I attended the best party I've ever been too! Two days after that, I was in Hawaii and took this picture.

We've added a few more footprints since then, and it certainly hasn't been easy, but I've enjoyed continuing to make footprints next to him. Happy Anniversary Dusty, I love you!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Saturday I'll be walking for the National Ataxia Association. If you haven't yet and would like to sponsor me or my team, please click here!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sometimes being a Mom gets to be just a little too much to handle. Don't get me wrong, I love my children silly, it's just that sometimes the stresses of my everyday life tend to overwhelm me and then I have a daughter who just pooped up her back for the second night in a row, and a son who has a fever and is desperate to be snuggled which is impossible since I can't have my daughter spreading her poop all over the house and she needs to get in the tub immediately!

Or there are those mornings where no one can get going and we're running late, Rory sneezes and snot flies all over the place and since I've already loaded up my arms with all my bags while carrying her there is no possible way for me to be able to wipe the boogers away before Rory gets her hands into it and is spreading them all over herself and me. Then when I get the kids to daycare Max runs through a mud puddle and forgetting all about that I pick him up to carry him down the hall covering my lower half in mud.

Pretty sure a nanny would be appreciated at these times. Anyone want to pony up and spread their wealth by paying for an on-call nanny? Anyone? I didn't think so. But that's OK, because once I get through a rough time I always come out feeling even stronger. Today I'm already feeling pretty confident as I was able to get all the mud off my pants before getting to work and I'm pretty sure all snot residue has been removed from my shirt. For those of you keeping track that puts the score Mom 1, Kids 1. I like things even like that, it keeps me in my place!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My little girl is subtly letting us know that she has college aspirations. Every so often I catch her giving me the little signs that she is working to master the skills necessary to attend college.

She's been working on being able to handle more than one cup at a time!

She's introducing herself to the taste of beer!

Now she just needs to work on that walking part!

Rory is quick to get upset if you stop walking around with her. She has finally figured out how to use the push walker outside and is happy doing that most evenings. Although you do have to help her turn it around once she smacks into something - but don't worry, she'll be sure to scream if you aren't fast enough to turn her around.

Lately she's been working on standing on her own. She'll find some elevated surface to help balance herself out on and then she'll let go and hold herself up for as long as she can until she stumbles over. Naturally she thinks this is the greatest thing in the world and will do it over and over again.

My little girl is going to be walking before we know it. After walking? She's off to college people! (Or at least, it may appear to go that fast when the time comes.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The kids and I traveled to northern Wisconsin so we could spend the weekend visiting with cousin Brookey! She came into town from San Diego so she could celebrate the future arrival of her baby daughter, and we couldn't have been happier to see her and to get to celebrate this with her.

Rory of course showed up in the dress that Brookey made her, and I got this uber cute picture of Brooke and the kids!

Without Dusty's help, and being at Judy's home which has yet to be child proofed for her future granddaughter, I was running around quite a bit and didn't get all that many pictures. But I was at least able to get this cute picture of Brooke and I enjoying the fire.

It was so good to see Brooke! I can't wait to see pictures of her and Dana's baby daughter when she arrives!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We went out to the farm on Wednesday and once again sought out Harold the calf. Let me tell you, he's no small calf anymore! It was nice to finally get to introduce Rory to the calf and get some pictures of her so she can join in on our little tradition. She was intrigued but got nervous about the calf sucking on her arm.

Max is a natural when it comes to calves now, just walks right up and offers his hand.

Lastly, I'm in love with this picture? I mean, does this not make you want to get a farm with flowing fields where you can take adorable pictures of your family with the livestock all summer long?!

Thank you Auntie Cyd and Uncle Jeff for letting us go and play with the cows for a little while during our visit!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Max moment that I forgot about this morning but want to make sure is immortalized for years to come. Hopefully you remember this post. While changing Rory this morning I was applying the baby powder. Max saw this and said, "Rory's nut powder!" Daddy has a lot of explaining to do....
My camera is currently sitting at Grammy's and I can't post the oh-so-adorable pictures I took at the farm on Wednesday. So instead, I'll leave you with this little gem of a story.

Dusty was leaving this morning and he was saying goodbye to the kids. I yelled something at Dusty and told Max to tell Daddy that Mama's in charge. Max, not seeing the humor in this statement, stomps over to the top of the stairs, looks down at Daddy with the most serious face he could muster and yells "Mama in charge!" All while flapping his hand against his leg so that Daddy understood the gravity of the situation.

Oh what I would have given to have had my camera at that moment in time and get it on video! He was just too cute with his little 'tude.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The other day while Dusty and I were talking at dinner Max was jabbering away as if he was talking with us. It was so funny and when we stopped talking Max just kept going on and on and on. This is a basic understanding of what we heard from him "dog and then up and then auntie and then bopa and then no..." I started laughing uncontrollably at the "and then"s and started teasing Dusty that our son was blessed with my gift for gab! Not only has he continued to jabber on and on, but his sentences are becoming a lot more clarified.

This morning he asked me, "Where's Maya?" I did my standard response with "I don't know, where is she?" Usually he will just ask me the question again or say he doesn't know, but today he tells me, "Maya at home with Dabu." (Dabu is his nickname for Uncle Randy.) Can you believe he is grasping all of this and so suddenly?! He is also starting to understand wrong from right more clearly as he is quick to give us the guilty face when he knows he is doing something wrong. Take a look at this picture, I didn't capture the full face perfectly, I was a little delayed, but Max knew that I told him he couldn't play in Maya's water dish and yet here I caught him in the act!

We're going to have our hands full with him!

Also, I can now happily report that he did not bite anyone at daycare last week and so far has started this week off that way too! Keep it up big man!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday we went over to Grammy and Dido's for a seafood boil. How awesome does that sound? And did I mention this is in Minnesota, not Louisiana?!

Look at all that food! (And the handsome chefs with the birthday girl!)

The kids were entertaining as always. They love to play together, which also leads to petty arguments over who's turn it is for the car, but they are so funny to watch fight it's hard not to laugh!

The babies are getting bigger and bigger by the day. They are both crawling now, with Rory pulling herself up constantly and Oliver just starting to master this skill!

Everyone had a fun time together, and it was a great evening to spend with the family celebrating Suzanne. Plus? After staying out late and being so active? The kids let us sleep in until 7:30 on Monday! It was a great day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

My mother-in-law turned the big 50 this September and we decided that one of her gifts would be a girl's day out to the Renaissance Festival. It was so much fun! Plus? I got to go to the State Fair and the Renaissance Festival all within three days of each other! How cool is that? (Yes, my stomach is mad at me and my feet kill but it was so worth it!)

Suzanne, Anna, Ashley and Rosemary all went for an elephant ride. How many times do you get to do that in your life?!

Ashley and I had fun pretending to be pickles.

This was a really funny sign on a lady's behind.

The best part? We all got a costumed picture together. How funny is this?!

I had such a good time, I hadn't been to the Renaissance Festival in close to 10 years. It was so nice to go with the girls too because whenever I'd say smile, they all did! Hopefully Suzanne enjoyed her birthday present as much as I did. But something tells me the queen did just fine!