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Archive for June, 2010

Last weekend we drove up to Minneapolis for my cousin, Jocelyn’s wedding.  We were excited for a number of reasons.  First, we only get to see my dad’s side of the family once a year, and there had been three new babies born to cousins since we’d last been together (my dad is one of seven boys so there are LOTS of cousins on this side of the family).  Second, Owen was going to be the ring bearer in the wedding.  And third, we were looking forward to exploring the sights in a new city.  Unfortunately the weekend didn’t turn out as planned.  Owen had a fever virus the week before the wedding, and Molly came down with the virus the night before we left for Minnesota.  She was pretty miserable most of the time we were there, causing the hotel stay to be rather challenging. 

Because of Molly’s sickness, we spent more time in the hotel room than with family or exploring the city.  On Friday, Travis offered to stay back with Molly and let the rest of us go to the Mall of America.  I wish he’d been able to come with us…the mall was way better than I’d expected!  The first thing we saw was the Lego store.  Owen was SO excited about the life-size Woody made out of Legos.

Then we discovered the Nickoledeon-themed amusement park.  There were several rides geared toward preschool-age kids.  Owen had a blast!  He had no fear when it came to rides and enjoyed every one of them.  We all took turns riding them with him.  First, Uncle Nate took Owen on the Big Rigs:

Then I got a chance to take Owen on the Blues Clues ride:

Next my dad took Owen on his first roller coaster ever.  He was so brave and loved every minute.

My mom took Owen on the carousel…

After that Owen and I rode on Diego’s train:

I was unsure of Owen’s feelings about this next ride.  It was faster than most of the other little kid rides, but he loved it!  The picture’s kind of blurry, but there’s a big cheesy grin on that kid’s face.

All of that in a MALL!  We didn’t get any further than the amusement park, but we could have spent the whole weekend there and still not seen it all.  So fun.  Trav’s day was a little more low-key.  He did a lot of this:

More to come about the wedding.  Molly’s fever broke mid-day on Friday so the whole family was able to attend the wedding.  Stay tuned for LOTS more pictures.

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uh-oh

Is it appropriate to show your 14 month old daughter’s bare booty on a blog?  Maybe not, but I’m gonna do it anyway. 

On the way to the tub.  Notice a look of disgust on Trav’s face and a growing trail of wetness down his shirt…

Uh oh.  My guess is that Trav will not dilly-dally on his way from the changing table to the tub next time he bathes Molly!

Sidenote:  Notice how Owen is sitting red-faced and sweaty in time-0ut (due to his fun habit of throwing screaming fits multiple times a day).  Just a little glimpse into our world!

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Our little entertainer has discovered a pretty entertaining sound… 

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This past father’s day weekend, three friends (Christian, Franz & Pierson) and I decided to take our boys on their first camping trip in beautiful Klondike Park in Augusta. Chase (Pierson’s son) is 4, Jackson (Franz) is 3, Owen’s 3, and Sam the Man (Christian) is 2 – all ages that inspired our wives to respond with a collective, “Ha! Good luck, guys!” Luckily enough for us, the boys all did great. And Owen, I’m very proud to report, absolutely loved it.

Now, first things, first – it wasn’t a 100% legit “camping” trip – we stayed in a cabin, not a tent. But I CAN say the cabin didn’t have AC and it was in the mid-90s the whole time; needless to say, we definitely appreciated our fans. But all the cooking (thanks to Pierson for the food), bathrooms, etc. were outside. Owen was very proud to return home and announce to his mom, “I pee-peed in the woods!!!” Okay, on with the pictures.

Owen and Chase started playing the second we got there:

Then the rest of the boys arrived, and I realized what I had done by bringing 3 foam swords:

The campgrounds were great. Franz turned us onto the place, so a big thanks to him. We had a very nice private eating spot right next to the cabin:

Then came dessert. The boy was all, “Gimme s’more!”


The boys for the most part had a good sleep. As for the next day’s activities, some things went according to plan, and others didn’t. Emily and I actually had bought Owen his first fishing rod prior to the trip, but he wasn’t too interested. I casted once, he reeled in about one or two turns, then returned to an activity he never tires of: throwing rocks into the pond. Hey, maybe when he’s older. Chase, however, loved fishing, and Saturday morning he and Pierson hit the pond. Franz, Christian and I took the boys hiking for the next two hours, which was quite an adventure for all.

Here we are as we began the hike, Owen eyeing down the mountainous terrain in his path:

And a mighty conquerer he was. Owen hiked up to the top of those bluffs (sure, I held him for a lot of the hike up, but that’s nonetheless). The view from the top was great. That’s the Missouri River behind us.

I had Owen sit up on the fence, which freaked him out a bit…

Standing, however, was just fine:

At the top of the bluffs were some rocks that led up to a higher view. I casually mentioned to Owen that people climb them for a better view – and all of a sudden he was determined to do it. The boy turned all mountain man and scaled them with ease! Here he is after the fact, feeling very proud:

After the bluffs, we took a great trail that went through the woods. It winded us along the bluffs/Missouri River, slowly leading back down to the park. It was a great trail, and Owen was in heaven being in the woods. He kept talking about being Davy Crockett, Indiana Jones, and family members from Swiss Family Robinson – but Indiana Jones most of all. The below video is a good representation of a lot of our hike:

At one point on the trail, Sam was so taken by the male bonding that was going on on the trail that he brought the other boys in for a little man group hug:

After the hike, it was time to head home. It was a very special father/son trip on father’s day weekend, and I can’t wait for many more guy trips in the future. From Owen’s expression in the car on the way home, I think he felt the same way:

A happy camper, indeed.

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monthly update

Molly is 14 months old…where does the time go?

Some things Molly’s been doing:

1.  Cutting teeth.  Last month she only had 2…now she has 5! 

2.  Taking steps on her own.  She’s taken 5 steps by herself, but she still prefers to crawl.  She’s super fast so I’m sure she’s not seeing the point of walking right now.  We think it’s hilarious when she tries to walk because she gets so excited that she starts laughing hysterically, loses her balance and falls into our arms.  Someday when it ceases to be quite so funny she will just take off walking.  Her favorite activity is to walk around pushing around her baby stroller with her purse stuffed inside…such a girl.

3.  Little manipulator.  This girl has a sad little puppy dog face she puts on when she gets in trouble.  Her lower lip quivers, her eyes fill up with tears, and she looks at you with the saddest eyes you’ve ever seen.  It makes us melt.  I’ve really got to work on this, otherwise this girl is going to get away with everything!

4.  She’s never met a stranger.  This girl is SOCIAL.  She loves loves loves people.  She has so much to say and loves to tell anyone who will listen. 

5.  Completely obsessed with animals of all kinds, but she calls all animals “Dog-eeeees”. 

6.  Separation anxiety.  Owen never dealt with this like Molly is dealing with it.  She hates to be dropped off in the nursery, but she really does fine after a couple of minutes.  She tends to pick a nursery worker and attaches herself to that worker’s hip the entire morning.  I’m sure she drives them crazy. 

7.  I think the above picture is so funny because it makes Molly look so calm and angelic.  She’s such a little sweetheart, but she’s anything but calm.  This next picture is a little more typical Molly…attitude, looking at me and spitting because she knows I’d like her to smile.

Moving on to Owen…no more counting his age by months.  He’s 3 until he turns 3 1/2.  While I won’t count his age by months, I will still do his monthly picture and update.

There are some things that are harder about the age of three than the age of two, but overall I am thoroughly enjoying this age.  Some things I love:

1.  Communication is great!  I love being able to have conversations with this kid…even though most of our conversations have to do with Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker’s father or who would win if Superman fought Batman.

2.  Obedience.  I’m not saying he always does it, but I do love the fact that he gets it when I tell him to stop running toward the street.  A year ago he would have just kept right on running, not knowing or caring about the consequences.  Now he gets it.  He is understanding when the tone of my voice says “Do it right now”. 

3.  He’s beginning to be able to pray on his own.  There’s nothing more precious than hearing my little boy pray.  I love hearing the things he thanks God for.  I also love that he is learning to ask Jesus for forgiveness when he does something wrong. 

4.  I love his imagination!  Owen is his father’s son.  He is creative to no end.  He makes up these crazy stories between his action figures.  I love standing outside his bedroom door listening to him as he plays.  He even gives the action figures different voices as they act out their stories. 

5.  Hanging on every word I say.  Today I got mad as we were walking down the street because a woman refused to make way for our stroller, causing the stroller to fall sideways off the curb and a piece to break off the stroller.  No children were hurt…don’t worry.  I was venting to Travis about this after we righted the stroller and I called the woman “stupid”…a word that I’ve told Owen we don’t ever use because it’s not a nice word.  As soon as I’d said it he said, “Mommy, you can’t say stupid.  That’s not nice words.  We don’t say stupid.”  Corrected by my 3-year-old.  A humbling moment.

6.  I absolutely love to watch my two babies play together.  Owen requests to go in Molly’s room with her when she’s having “room time” (gate is up at her door, all her toys are out, her music is on…independent play time for her, independent house cleaning/cooking/laundry folding/etc for me).  He loves to wrestle her, play baby dolls with her, tickle her, chase her, laugh hysterically with her.  It’s great.  She idolizes him and he is such a good big brother to her.  I love to watch their relationship grow.

And finally, one more picture of Owen.  He wanted to do lots of goofy poses this month.  Crazy kid.

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looking so smooth

About a year ago Owen was a ring bearer in Travis’s cousin’s wedding.  He sure did look cute…

…but the experience was a bit stressful!  If you want to reread about Owen’s first ring bearer experience, check out this post.

Owen is going to be a ring bearer in my cousin’s wedding next weekend.  I’m hopeful that his second experience will be a bit smoother than his first.  Last year I was very proud of my bargain shopping skills when I found his tux for $16 at Once Upon a Child (our local consignment store).  I remember thinking this picture made him look so big:

But now when I see that picture, he looks so tiny…especially when I compare it to this new picture of him trying on his tux for next weekend:

Doesn’t he look big??  And tall??  My mom proved to be the expert bargain shopper this time around.  She found this adorable tux for $25 at Sam’s!  Who knew Sam’s sold tuxes for kids?  Owen hated the idea of trying on his tux (it probably reminded him of the afternoons once a season when I make him try on all his clothes to see what fits and what doesn’t…that sure makes for a fun post-nap activity!), but once he got it on he didn’t want to take it off!  He was quite the ham, posing for pictures and being goofy.

 

Now I just need to start prepping him for the wedding.  That and buy black socks.

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splish splash

These two LOVE bathtime. 

They crack each other up.

When I let them, they drench the bathroom with their splashes…and little sis can splash with the best of ’em!

Here’s a video of them splashing away.  Notice how Molly is clapping as Owen’s splashing…she’s just that happy.  (I realize that her clap is a little unique…we’ve been working on the more traditional palm-to-palm clap, but Molly insists on the palm-to-wrist clap.)  And I love how you can hear Molly cracking up through the whole video…until the end when Owen’s splashing has gotten a little too intense for her liking.

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