Thursday, May 31, 2007

10 months

You are almost 10 months old(June 8), hard for me to believe. You are so grown up though. You are trying to do everything. You want so badly to be just like your older brother and you are doing quite well. I think you share his love for puppies. Every time you get a hold of Maxwell's stuffed puppy "jack" you kiss his face and laugh. The neighbors behind us have a little dog named Cole and whenever he is out you are there at the fence waiting for him to come say hello to you.
You put everything into your mouth. Everything. Maxwell never did, but you do it all...anything you can. You are good about not swallowing, but we have more than a dozen times fished things out of your mouth. It is very necessary that we always know what you are up to.
Your love for spatulas and wood spoons makes me wonder if you will be a chef when you grow up, but you equally love the dishwasher which makes me think you will be an engineer like your Daddy. On the other hand your passion for books( and eating them) gives me the idea that perhaps you will be a writer/journalist/or perhaps a world renowned photographer. Whatever you do, I can see your attention to detail will be present.
Your laugh gets me every time. It is so often, and so many times from your belly and it is SO contagious. You are always happy. I love it. I love how you get so giddy at the sight of a Popsicle. It is your new found love. You open your mouth and lick as much of the juice you can out of that thing and cannot wait until your next lick.
Speaking of your mouth, you bite! You go at anything. You get excited and your off ! You go at the your stuffed moose without thinking twice, Maxwell's puppy just as easily, and you go at us. If you perhaps may want a snack, I have noticed you start gnawing my arm. It is like you are starving or something! At least it does not hurt, yet! Silly boy!
I have to mention how extremely adorable and handsome you are at this age. Your brown eyes, are just to die for, so big round and beautiful. I could tickle your chubby little legs for hours and you love when I play"this little piggy" with those chubby toes!
You love to be chased. You crawl around our ottoman as fast as you can just waiting for me to get down and crawl after you. As soon as I
am game you are off racing as fast as you can for me to catch you and grab your toes and you squeal with delight.You have been doing this thing with your hands lately, where you get so excited and stretch your arms out and open your hands and yelp in pure excitement. Makes us laugh...and then you of course laugh in return...anytime anyone lets out a giggle you get a case of them.
Another thing you do with those little fingers of you is pinch! You are quite good at it too! You get excited, and pinch away...I have little bruises on my arms from you grabbing so hard!
My most favorite thing though, that always accompanies your laugh is your big smile. Those two bottom teeth showing through. It always makes me want to kiss your adorable chubby cheeks, and I usually do.
You have been such a joy in our lives, and I am so glad to have such a wonderfully happy boy who finds excitement in almost anything. We thank God for you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

backyard bliss

When we moved into this house the backyard was, in a word, atrocious. The previous owners had a dog that I swear was trying to dig his way to China, the back of the house had a bunch of dirt against it, bare and boring, and there was this odd patch of grass that looks like maybe there was some sort of garden there at one time but the lay of the land is slightly higher than the rest of the yard.
Anyway, Justin is working on some sort of drainage system in our yard (in which he has dug a huge trench) and filled all the holes the former dog made, and we have put in edgeing and a are working on planting some perrenials along the back of the house.
But our most favourite is our Gazebo. We waited patiently for it to go on sale at where else, but Target! As soon as it did we pounced and got the last one they had in stock! We love our little oasis and since we get sun most of the day on the deck it is nice to be able to sit under it after being out in the yard working or playing. It is especially nice at night with candles lit and our small laterns lit up.
There still is a lot of work to be done but we are proud of what we have done so far.

Happy Birthday Joelle!

Joelle & Max

Joelle & Evan

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law Joelle! 17! Unbelievable...thats all I can say! I can remember when you were 7!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

still laughing

I know there are like a billion screen t's... but I just love this one.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

But I want to swim.

It is HOT here. I mean it is in the 80's which is not so bad, no need for the AC to go on yet or anything, but any extended amount of time spend outdoors makes one quite warm.

Naturally, I bought a pool for the boys. No, not just a small wading pool but a larger blow up pool, so I can go in with them.

Anyway,Tuesday morning I begin the set-up process. I realize we have no needle for our hand pump so we run out and grab one. After we get home I get some toys out for the boys to keep them preoccupied while I get the pool ready. I am thinking it will take 10-20 minutes.

So here I am pumping up this pool looking like a complete fool... I am completely out of shape and feeling back muscles pulling like they never have pulled before...and it has been 20 minutes. There are three chambers to be filled and the first one I am pumping air into still has no signs that any air has entered. I check to make sure there are no holes, and that air is actually going in. Sure is.

30 minutes in and I am feeling sick, The sun is beating down on me and I did not eat anything yet that morning.

Meanwhile I hear kids laughing and splashing a few houses down as they enjoy their inground pool. I think what morons we are for not getting a house with a pool...then remember that with two little ones it makes me nervous not to metion the upkeep on those babies.

I tell the boys we have to go in and I lay down for 20 minutes. After getting the boys some lunch I gaze out the window at the pathetic looking blob in my yard and say forget it, I will do it tomorrow.

Here we are Weds. and my goal today is to get at least one chamber filled before noon, the bottom one since it is the biggest. About 15 minutes in I am done with this thing. I am so mad I just stomp all my hard pumped air out by stomping all over that dang thing. My neighbors must think I am a nut.

Around 2 we get back home and I quickly fill the plastic mold pool in about 1 minute get the boys suits on and the rest of the afternoon is filled with cool water fun.

Who needs to go in when you have two crazy boys who will get you soaked just fine on their own?

Monday, May 21, 2007

random thoughts on my husband

Today the boys and I picked Just up from the airport, and it was pretty cool because Max, Ev, and I parked in the "bus only" lane (the airport here is never busy!) for a bit while we waited and saw two planes take off and two land...including Daddys!
When I saw Just come out of the terminal it was like I fell in love all over again. He looked so dang good and I was so happy to see him...I guess I did not realize how much I missed him over the weekend. I would have loved to have gone with to the wedding but after what we paid for his suit, the plane ticket costs, and hotel it was best that I stayed back with the boys.
Anyway, I was just thinking about how much I love him, all the laughs we have shared, how well we get each other, how thankful I am to have him as my partner through life, how much he has done for me and our boys. We will be celebrating five years of marriage this year, and we sure have been through a lot in those five years. The trials we have endured have only made us stronger and grow even more in our love for one another and for Christ.

I love you Just, thanks for taking this journey through life with me.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bluegrass Sheepdog Classic

This past weekend Justin was out of town in a friends wedding and my parents came down to stay with the boys and I. We had fun checking some events out around town and one such event was the annual Sheepdog competition.
It was really cool to see the handler 'speaking" to the dogs through whistles, and the dog ran out collected the sheep and herded them back around a post, into a pen, back out of the pen, seperated one from the rest, through a gate and then back with the rest of the sheep. It was quite the competition!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Welcome to Tantrum City

We have officially entered into Tantrum City...well we have actually been here for awhile but I had to come to grips with the fact that my baby is no baby anymore. Max will be three come August and honestly with each year he grows older I feel more nervous. I know as parents you learn as you go, and rely a lot on the parents before you, but I still have fear of entering into the unknown years.
Maxwell started his tantrums when we would be at the checkout at any store. He would get upset for no apparent reason, and lay on the (dirty) floor....but at least he was silent. I would just get the heck out of there as fast as I could because as soon as I scooped him up and got him into the cart he would then cry and I thought to myself don't run too fast because maybe people would think I was some crazy lady stealing someone elses kids because I wanted them, since Maxwells cries seemed like ones of a stolen child. Sigh.
So that passed and he is actualy quite helpful now we we checkout but the tantrums have moved to when we are outside and he does not want to come in, he screams like we are pinching him to get in the door or something. Sigh again.
It is often said that the firstborn is the experimental child, the one who the parenting methods gets tested on. I was the experimental child of my family and I turned out alright, or did I? So here we are at a point where Max knows when he is being disobedient and we as parens are to step in and let him know that is definately not ok.
I was reading this book, Shepharding a Child's Heart, by Paul David Tripp, that I began a few years ago and got about halfway through and then it mysteriously disappeared. Recently though my cousin Nicole and I were chatting on the phone and she mentioned she was reading it and really was encouraged by it. So I have dug it out and begun reading it again.

A little random sidenote, this morning as we were finishing breakfast, Evan was eager to get out of his seat and began squirming and sqealing and Max turns to him and goes;
"Be patient, be patient Evan."
It was pretty cute, and since I tell Max that all of the time it has caught on and he is understanding what patience is...I think. :)
There is no perfect parent, and there is not one way to parent. So I wonder, to spank or not to spank? Do timeouts work or are they simply a waste of time? How do you get your child included in activities like cleaning or cooking without the huge mess? How do you teach your child about God, and how much does he/she understand? These are questions I have to deal with now that the boys are getting older. What have you found out as a parent, and what do you think?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Graco

After consulting prices and what I really wanted in a stroller I ended up with the Graco Iconic. So far it has been an amazing stroller. The boys willingly sit in it, and it is easy to push, has cupholders for each of us, folds up easily. My hope is that it holds up well through the next few years as we use it...because I do not want to have to deal with customer service. Loving it for now though!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Congratulations Alec!

Congratulations to my little brother Alec who has officially graduated from the University of Minnesota (go Gophers!) with a degree in Computer Nerdiness...ahem I mean Science with a Programming emphasis. He is the computer Guru of the family...we like that. You did it Al, and we are proud of you. Now, go get a job!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day!

What an amazing day, 75 degrees and beautiful.

I know I have my gift for Mum in here somewhere...

Happy Mothers Day !

Growing up, my three younger brothers collected their fair share of rocks through the years, and my Mom displayed their treasures on her window sill in the kitchen. Keeping the tradition going Maxwell has already collected 3 for me that I proudly display in my window sill. My third one was received today, on Mothers Day.
A very Happy Day to all my Mom friends, all the Moms in my family, my cousins; Sara, Nicole and Nessa, my mother-in-law, my Aunt Sue (who has always been my second mother) and especially my Mom; Cherie who has always been there for me and has been the most amazing Mother to my three brothers and I .
Love to you all.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Our weekend at the Track...

Street Sense wins!!

Just and I out (without the boys) with Uncle Mark, Aunt Grace, and his parents, John and Jane Friday night. Basa (A Vietnamese Restaurant) was very busy but the food was amazing.

Mark and Grace placing a bet.

The starting gate.

Jane and her new best friend! She spotted Greg Grunberg out of the crowd and asked to take her picture with him. Heros is one of her favorite shows.

my hat.

We were far from the queen but we had a good view of Michael Jordan! It was pretty awesome! Everyone in the crowd was turned toward him and when he acknowledged the crowd we all cheered!

Just and I

Grace and Mark

my in-laws: Jane and John

Sipping on our Mint Juleps.
Sunday...soon before Mark and Grace had to head back to Milwaukee and Justin was already soaking up the sun in the Bahamas (giving a talk at a conference).
It was a great weekend! Sunday evening I about collapsed into bed. Friday night we picked up Grace, Mark, John, Jane and Joelle (Justin's sister and our official babysitter for the weekend) at the airport. We headed out to Basa that night and had a great dinner. Saturday morning we got to the track about 11:30. As soon as we were through the gates Mark got us a round of Mint Juleps and we headed to the Paddocks (where they bring the horses through) and then to our seats. We soon arrived and the betting began! We arrived just before race 5 (there are 12 races total) and placed our bets. Unfortunately we all lost the first race. Races 6-9 however we all fared decently (at least some of our horses placed) so we got some of our money back. The Big race is race 1o and we were all excited as the horses were led out to the gates. Soon the race began and our (Just and I) horse was way behind! Before we knew it they rounded the last curve and were on the straightaway headed for the finish line. Everyone ( young and old) were standing on their seats screaming for their horse! When the race ends however it usually is so close that we who are actually there have no idea who one for a few mintues! Soon the announcement came and a slow motion replay on the big screen and it was known that Street Sense was the big winner! Our horse! We were estatic. We had really won! Justins Dad also had bet on him and Just and he went to collect our winnings. I am glad to say we left with more money than we came with! Phew! Not that we are planning on making betting a regular habit.
After an incredible day we got back to our hotel and were soon off to a late dinner at Limestone, which has one of the best chefs in Louisville. We had great wine, and another wonderful dinner. As we were finishing, all the tables had left except for us and a table full of men. The waiter brought out these plastic baggies full of what looked like woodchips! We asked what they were and he told us they were bourbon barrel chips which they used when grilling their foods. The chef himself came out and invited us to join the men (who were old friends and family of his) for a talk about bourbon, how it is distilled and aged and so on. It was actually really interesting and fun! We did not get back to our hotel until midnight. Sunday Mark and Grace headed back to Milwaukee and Justins parents and sister came to our house for two more days. It was an unforgettable weekend!

Friday, May 04, 2007

off to the races....

Just and I are off to the Kentucky Derby this weekend! Talking basketball with Micheal Jordan, getting our picture taken with Nick Lachey, and chatting with the Queen about living the royal life. Okay, so probably none of that will happen, but a girl can dream can't she?
Regardless, I am exctied to be going to my first Derby with horses named, "I am a wild a Crazy guy", "Nobiz Like Shobiz", and "Scat Daddy". It has been raining all morning today, so I hope it lets up at least by tommorow afternoon so we can enjoy the race at 6:04PM. We are going with Justins Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace, (who got us the tickets!) and his parents. Should be a good time!

Make sure you check it out on TV, it is only a 2 minute race after all, and look out for me laughing with the Queen while sipping on my Mint Julep!