Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two nights ago Max ran into his bedroom after we finished brushing our teeth and proclaimed that he wanted Rory to put him to bed. Max almost always walks out of Rory's room with me when we put her down and likes to point out that he gets to stay up later. (Even if it is just by minutes.) So Rory and I covered him up, gave him his kisses good night and then Rory proceeded to shut the door. Right before it closed she opened it back up and poked her head into his room to say, "Goo night bud-dy, swee eems."

Yes, I was a puddle on the floor.

Even better? When she woke up this morning before Max did and went running into his room to wake him up. (Which he has been doing an awful lot of lately to her.) His reply was, "Leave me alone I'm sleeping." And then she jumped on his bed. Payback big boy, payback.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's a swimming day today! Finally some warm weather, sunshine, and a light breeze - we've been waiting for this. Max and Rory braved the water before it was even 70 degrees out yet, although to be fair, the water is that warm right now. Rory actually walked around and was into kicking her feet.

Max had fun with a pair of goggles that were about 4 sizes too big.

And once they got good and cold we sat on the nice warm patio and enjoyed some bubbles. (Yes, Rory likes to taste them, they're non-toxic.)

We've been waiting for a day like this and we're soaking it up for all it's worth!


And a quick story... Rory had a small leech on her foot while in the water today. I hate touching leeches, refuse to use them as bait for fishing because they cling to your fingers as you try to hook them. Guess who removed the leech from Rory's foot and then proceeded to put it on Max's fishing pole? THIS GIRL! I'm pretty much amazingness today.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Today the kids and I met up with my cousin Jean and her family at the Wilderness Walk. The kids had a great time petting baby deer,

and big deer.

Trying to kiss grown goats mouths,

or get the babies to sit in their laps.

They really did like all the baby animals they got to pet, like this fox.

We had a great time and I'm glad we were able to spend it with Jean and her family. Since I forgot my camera and had to use my phone, I don't have much to show off but Jean got a bunch of pictures of the kids all together so I'll be sure to show more once I get access to those photos. But just one more to show off from the phone; Max plans to be a cowboy when he gets older!

We'll be going back there again, I'm sure of it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

We spent the weekend up in Ino, WI at the Woodtick Races with my family. Whenever we all get together we know we're in for lots of fun and once again we had a blast!

Dad and Tara are busy entering their ticks in for the race.

My dad ended up taking second place! He got a medal and some money for his hard work. Dad did have a tick from Tara but he dropped it while signing up, at the same time Kuba's husband Steve gave me a tick so I quick gave it to my Dad since he dropped his. So really he should be thanking both Steve and I. But I'm not bitter that he kept all the glory to himself...

The kids had a blast playing in the dirt with all their cousins, just like I remember playing with all my cousins at the Woodtick races. History is always cool when it comes full circle.

You did note that my girl was surrounded by men right?!

I do have the most handsome Grandpa around, if I do say so myself!

I had to get a dirty family picture again this year, I think it's going to be a tradition!

Yvonne brought out the smoke bombs and the kids had a lot of fun watching those. They also got to throw those noisy crackers on the ground much to their delight!

There were a ton of bugs of course, we were in the middle of the woods, and those no-see-ums would make the kids bleed! Rory's ears were covered in blood when we left and Max got this awesome looking bug bite on his head!

It was a very fun time and I have a ton more pictures but in order to keep this light we cut it down to 7 to show. Hopefully you can tell we had a blast, that we got filthy, and that my family is awesome!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Max surprised us Friday and decided he was big enough to take his own fish off of the fishing hook, and he's been doing it ever since!

Look at those muscles fighting to land that big fish.

Lots of concentration is necessary to remove the hook from the fish.

Finally off the hook and ready to throw back into the lake.

He's quite the fisherman.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just a few funny and cute stories to share today, enjoy.

Today the kids and I had to run a bunch of errands, one of them was to the doctor's office so that I could get my allergy shot. There are elevators there and when Max walked passed them he asked, "Mama, I want to ride the alligator!" Needless to say he got a few chuckles from people around us.

We call Max, Buddy, on a pretty regular basis. Dusty started it when he was itty bitty and it's just stuck. Well, Rory has officially picked up on our terms of endearment around here. Not only will you hear her talking to her babies and calling them Sweetie, but she now calls Max, Buddy, too. It is adorable the way she says it too. It's usually something along the lines of a question to Max. Take for today, she asked Max, "You want to come too Bud-dy?" I melt every time she calls him Buddy, it's just so adorable!

We also stopped at the grocery store and our local Cub Foods has the toddler carts that are made for little kids to push around. Max loves getting to push his own cart and picking out and putting items into it. Usually he sticks pretty close and I occasionally have to remind him that I didn't say we needed some item he reaches for. (Usually a snack food, rarely a vegetable - shocker I know.) So imagine my surprise today when we got to the checkout counter and he unloaded a can of spray-on Canola Oil. He holds it up to my face all triumphant and says with big eyes, "We need this, right Mama?" How can a girl say no to that?! He was so proud to find something we needed all on his own. So we now have the can sitting in the cupboards to be used, right next to the spray-on olive oil can we rarely use...

I also have a couple library stories, you know, things that have been keeping us entertained.

The library closest to us has aimed their summer story time towards the school aged children, so we don't attend as it's just too advanced for such small children but they have this awesome summer reading program still in place for the small kids. They each got stickers and sticker charts, every 15 minutes they read they get to put a sticker on their chart. Not only is that fun for them, but based on the number of stickers they put on it they get coupons to local businesses. Things like free ice cream cones, money off at a local pizza joint, all sorts of cool things. It's been a ton of fun setting the timer, reading for 15 minutes and then running to put the stickers on their sticker chart and counting our way up to our first prize!

We've also been visiting another local library as they have story hour aimed for smaller children and this one has far surpassed the story hours we had been doing. They have puppets, musical instruments, dancing and singing to keep the kids entertained between stories. My kids are in love with it which makes me happy. Another nice thing about visiting this library too is that we have more books to choose from and since it's been so rainy and cold it's been a great way to entertain the kids. Hopefully summer decides to show its face soon so we can enjoy those ice cream cones once we've earned them!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yesterday I made my first attempt at cupcakes from scratch, and I have to say, I think they turned out pretty good! It was a rainy day and we had frosting and sprinkles leftover from Max's party in May so it made perfectly good sense to make cupcakes for no reason. Right? Auntie came over just in time to help us decorate.

Rory mainly sampled all the sprinkles on her one cupcake.

And then when there was a break in the clouds we made a quick dash to the state park to enjoy the waterfalls with her and Peanut.

It was nice to get outdoors for a little while!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Max's has officially moved to his big boy bed. Last night we loaded up one of the cribs and set it up at Grammy and Dido's and in exchange we took two mattresses from them to add to the bunk beds we took from their home a while ago.

Not only do I love that we are getting free beds, but the sentimentality is awesome as Dusty and all his brothers have slept in these beds at one point in time or another while growing up and now Max gets to too! Max started out with the "Buzz Lightyear" sheets but they will be interchanged with his John Deere sheets between washings. I think he's going to like this big boy bed and all the fun it will bring!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day afternoon was spent with Andrew, Katie, Lyla and Nora. We took the Dads out to the local brew house where they enjoyed a beer sampler.

Afterwards we took the kids out to Dairy Queen where they enjoyed nice red, messy, popsicles.

Don't worry, Nora was there too, even if she slept for almost the whole outing.

And because us Mamas are always left out, we made sure to get a head shot while supervising the mess.

It was a nice ending to a very fun weekend celebrating the men in our lives!

*Yes, I may have bought the kids two John Deere shirts each. They're cute, they like tractors, I'm just encouraging them, that's all. No problem here move on...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Since we're busy building a garage Dusty didn't want a Father's Day present this year. He figures he got the best gift he could get; what man doesn't want a big garage? So we kept it simple this year and the kids and I got John Deere t-shirts for him and them to wear oh so proudly.

I know, how stinking cute can they all get?! What's even better is what the kid's shirts actually say!

Rory's is perfect for her and Max's was awesome for wearing on Father's Day.

We also got Bopa a pretty fun gift. While he was busy shuttling my friends and I around the lake a few weekends ago we got the idea to get him a captain's hat. Of course I had to take it one step further and get "Captain Bob" embroidered on it too. Now he's all set for driving people around on the boats!

And the kids think it's just another fun hat to play around with!

We also were able to celebrate with Grandpa Bill and Dido on Saturday as Cassie and Adam hosted a nice luncheon for the family. Unfortunately with the rain and two kids to keep an eye by a lake, picture taking just did not go as well as I had hoped. But trust me, they both looked great and seemed to enjoy their gifts as well!

We very fortunate as we've got many Dads and Grandpas in our lives and I hope they all have a great Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Today I am the mother of three as we are watching Blake while his dad, Chad, helps Dusty put the shingles on the garage. Because of this, my hands have been full and I don't have a lot of time. So instead I'm going to share some pictures I took a while ago of how we entertain the kids while trying to get things done in the evening around the garage.

Yup, that's right. We let them play with hammers, nails, and scrap wood. Go ahead, tell me I'm a bad parent, but I'll tell you about a boy who now tells Rory he isn't her "big brother" he's her "working brother" and about a little girl that thinks she is at "work" just like where her Daddy goes. They're in love with this new past time!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another potty post, because it's consuming my life right now, just skip it if you don't want to hear about it.

Rory peed on her potty last night! And the best part is that she did it while Daddy was the one there encouraging her! So her first big girl potty was with her daddy and she even went again later that evening.

Now that Dusty is gone and it's just me and the kids? She won't go. She also wouldn't go in her diaper for most of the morning as we were out running errands and doing other fun things. I think the big toilets scared her a bit but I'd rather she go in her diaper then continue to hold it. This girl has an epic bladder I tell you! And so, we're back to encouraging her to get comfortable with the potty and learning how to go on command. Hopefully this afternoon, after her nap, we see some more progress.

Have I mentioned I hate potty training? I'd like this to be over, or well managed, soon. Pretty please?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We had so much fun this morning! Dusty worked almost 24 hours yesterday, returning home at 4am so I needed to get the kids out of the house and fast when they woke up to let Dusty sleep. There aren't many places open that early in the morning so I was going to drive to a local park when I suddenly remembered that we live close to Willow River State Park, and man did that turn out to be a great idea!

We started out with a walk down to the Willow River to check out the waterfall. The kids even appeased me and took a break on a bench so Mommy could take their picture.

The waterfall was really cool. My camera phone doesn't do the waterfalls justice, but really no picture does, there is just something about the pounding of water as it pours down that makes it so cool! Max and Rory had a lot of fun just watching it and picking out objects in the water that they would watch float downstream.

There is a bridge to cross the river there and Max got almost completely across before he came running back screaming that he'd found a turtle! Sure enough, there was one huge turtle sitting in the middle of the walking path.

On our way back we stopped to pick up some caterpillars. Seriously? How perfect did this picture turn out? It was all by chance and I love it!

We also checked out some butterflies.

We checked out some more of the park, we also saw two deer, a wild turkey and lots of other birds. They didn't have much of a play set for the kids to play on, but the beach was nice and large and the lake was beautifully blue. I think we may have found a new place to go and play.

Of course, the fact that they have so many walking paths to tire my children out is a big plus! So if you want to go to the park give us a call, just be ready to give a piggy back ride or two as the kids get tired.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today I woke up ready for potty training. I just knew Rory would get it today. Imagine my surprise when after 3.5 hours Rory still hadn't gone potty even with all my creative ways of keeping her interested by moving the potty around. Here's the "Yell at Chris" spot.

Of course, Chris was home, so they had to go on the deck to yell back to him, and lo and behold she peed down her leg. Then moved to the other side and did it again. Five minutes later she's filled her training underwear.

Ugh...I hate potty training!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This weekend was spent working on our garage and yard. It was pretty lame but the garage is coming along nicely thanks to Dusty, Chris, Dean, Randy and a plethora of other men that have been to my house over the last month. So today, I figured I'd show a quick picture so you can grasp just how huge this 32' x 40' garage really is.

We've dubbed it "The Marriage Project" as this garage and all the extra space should cut down on many disagreements. You know you like it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

These last two days have been so fun, we've been hanging out with Katie, Lyla and baby Nora! Wednesday they all came over here to play in the pool, fight, scream, laugh and just have fun. I was fortunate enough to get to have Nora all to myself as everyone took a nap during one of Nora's feeding times. It was so fun to get to hold an infant again. (The baby talk just comes right back!) She is a really great baby, cries when she's hungry, eats, then goes right back to sleep!

Lord knows I never had a baby that easy. I'd consider adding to this family if someone could promise me s/he'd be this easy! (Just kidding, two is enough.) We attempted to get a cousin picture but Max wasn't in the mood to cooperate and getting 3 big kids to sit still and also find a safe place for an infant just isn't all that easy. So this picture will have to do for now, it's still cute!

Today we went to their house and I took all four of the kids on a walk so Katie could take a shower and other small things without having the kids around. It was surprisingly really easy, especially since there was a park not even 2 blocks away to keep them entertained for an hour. And did I mention Nora is super easy?! She slept in the stroller the whole time. After we got back, Max refused to take a nap so he got to help me feed her while everyone else slept.

Don't you love how he is pursing his lips with her? He kept pulling the bottle out and would purse his lips with her to make sure she was getting it. So cute! After the girls woke up, Lyla got to hold her baby sister for a while and she was showing me where her nose was, and telling me that she was a big sister, and even gave Nora a nice kiss!

Katie and Andrew even got to have a full house of family as Dusty, Randy and Ashley all came over to join us for dinner. It was nice to get a chance to visit with everyone and start going back to a normal, healthy life after Nora's health scare.

To those that are curious, she is doing marvelously. She will need two more surgeries that should take place within 3-6 months but we're not concerned at this point. She's healthy, everything is doing what it is supposed to, and in less then a year all of this will be behind us. That gives us more then enough to be thankful for. And this little girl? She found her thumb today while we worked on tummy time. I mean two weeks old and she's finding her thumb? GENIUS!

Everything is going to be A-OK!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My kids are driving me crazy! I know, that isn't nice to say but trust me, there is reason. To start, we're going through a bit of an adjustment as Max and Rory seemed to enjoy all the extra freedoms they got last weekend while I wasn't around. Neither of them seem to think that when I tell them not to do something they actually have to obey me. Don't get me wrong, Dusty is a great father and Ashley was a great babysitter but I'm guessing they were a bit more lenient then I am with following through on a threat of punishment.

A recap of just yesterday alone. Max spilled two different spice jars, at two different times, right after being told not to touch them. Then he smiles when he looks at us as if to say "And what are you going to do about that?" Then there was him dumping his water from the glass he had into the glass he wanted, which was of course smaller resulting in water spilling over on the table. Oh, and don't forget the goldfish snack in my van that he knows he cannot touch, only Mom hands them out, yet took the bag and dumped all the contents on to the floor. And again? The smile and look. My patience is more then worn out.

Rory seems to think that crying is the only way to get across her message whether it be that she's frustrated, wants something, is uncomfortable, or a plethora of other things that crying does not explain. Naturally I'm making it more difficult by attempting to potty train her this week. Of course, she's excellent at this and loves sitting on the potty, but she has yet to make anything actually happen on the potty since that first day. But with this, I am pretty relaxed as I'm not in any rush and just letting her lead the way. Today she was dry for 2.5 hours before we put on our swimsuits and went outside so really, it's pretty hard to get her to go in the potty when she isn't going often as it is. It will happen, and hopefully she won't cry in response to her excitement!

Thankfully they were really tired after we played in the blow up pool, so naps came a half hour early, and I can hope for a longer break to rejuvenate myself. Oh, and check every possible parenting suggestion on how to handle Max and this new situation. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Monday, June 6, 2011

This weekend I took my college girl friend's up to my parent's lake house. We couldn't have asked for better weather! We spent a lot of time just lounging around and took numerous rides on the boat!

We also went and visited Schultz's Bar which is a short walk away. This is the very bar that we discovered Apple Pie shots which prompted Dusty and I to start making our own Apple Pie beverages! While the girls were a little hesitant to have a shot, once they realized that I wasn't saying "Shot ski!" to be funny but that it would actually be all of us taking a shot off a ski they very willingly signed up!

Nothing like having the whole bar cheer for you while you are drinking from a ski! We also got a little goofy and silly while we were all together; teasing Lisa that she needs to start digging further into her ancestry to figure out where her dark skin coloring comes from, finding silly ways to enjoy our beverages, and taking  silly pictures.

We had an amazing time just talking, sharing stories, and being together. My dad was a champ as he drove us around the lake a bunch of times, and even started a fire for us although it was way too buggy out to actually enjoy it. It was really hard to leave Sunday and we put it off for as long as we could. When I finally got home I was pleasantly surprised to see the progress on our garage. It's huge!

So real life beckons and we're all adjusting back to what exactly that means now that it is hot and sunny out. Today, after naps, I think that it means we run through the sprinkler for the afternoon. I don't think there will be any complaints!