Saturday, August 28, 2010

Belleview Park: Take 1 AND 2

So Thursday night I promised Nolan that in the morning we would hit up a great park in the area. It has a train ride, petting zoo, playground, and creek. He was so looking forward to it and woke up Friday asking to go pet the animals! So we got ready and headed out!

Sadly, when we got there we found out that one of the animals got hurt or was sick or something and they closed the barn for the day! HUGE bummer for a 2 year old! But he rallied, and we rode the train and played at the park. We didn't even attempt to wade in the creek since I was on my own with both boys! And I promised him we'd come back again tomorrow to see the animals! I'm such a sucker! So here are some pictures of this 1 Mama and her 2 boys making our way through Belleview park in 95 degree weather!

Boarding the train: It was impossible to get them both to look at the camera! They were checking out the conductor at this point.

And once again, Nolan is looking- not smiling, but looking, so let's be happy about that! But Heath had better things to do! Thank you to Mrs. Van Eps for taking this picture! We ran into her and her adorable grandchildren while at the park!

Yay! They are both looking, squinting grumpily from the sun, but looking! Nolan had a blast riding the train! He loved the tracks, bridges, tunnel, and horn! He shouted "All Aboard" with the conductor and waved to all the people!

After the train ride we hit up the park, a close 2nd to the closed petting zoo! Here's Nolan rockin' on the airplane. (Notice Heath in the background, patiently waiting in the sweltering heat for his brother to be done playing! Someday soon, Heath, you'll be able to keep up!)

Nolan said, "Look at me Mommy, I'm a monkey in a cage!"

The slides were scorching...he went down a few and then realized that burning his buns was not quite worth it!

Going across the "Grumpy Old Troll's Bridge".

Taking some time out for a snack in the shade before we left. Yes, his hat is always crooked, he's gangsta like that!

After such a hot day we were all sticky and sweaty so we stopped for a "special drink", as Nolan calls them, at Sonic! Slushies make everything better! This day wasn't shaping up to be so bad for him after all!

And here we are- Saturday, Take 2 of Belleview Park! Once again I'm on my own, a Fantasy Football Widow! But thank goodness the farm was open! Yippee!

Looking at the birds! He wanted to know every animal's name!

It was hard to help Nolan with the animals, navigate through the numerous poop piles, and take pictures, all while holding my 20 lb. little one! So my pictures are not too stellar! But you get the jist.

Nolan asked what these were. I guess he'd never seen an all black duck before. I don't know if I had either!

Petting the sheep! He also pet a cow and a pig, but I wasn't able to get photos. The pig was massive and red! He kept wanting to pet it's tail- that seemed a bit gross to me, but whatever! Heath pet the pig too, I think he was a little scared because he started crying...but I guess it was about 5 times his size! Maybe Heath really does take after me!

Checking out Mr. Turkey...this bird was not afraid to walk right into your personal space. Nolan was not afraid. I, on the other hand, was terrified he was going to peck our eyes out!

Here are the boys doing some farm puzzles! Nolan is WAY into puzzles these days. But doesn't Heath look so big sitting at the table with his brother?!

What a stud!

And of course we could not come back to the park without another train ride! It was just too hard to get Nolan to pass that up again! Nolan was trying to hold onto Heath before I got into the train. Too cute!

And he gave him a kiss too! Love it! Too bad this glorious moment didn't last longer.

10 minutes later, post ride, Nolan refused to get off the train insisting that he ride again. I yanked him down, and he climbed back in. I had to put Heath and our 10 lb. backpack down on a weedy bee infested hill, pull Nolan down again, hold on to him while picking Heath & the backpack back up, and drag a whining Nolan back to the stroller to get Heath buckled in. Finally I was hands free and could calmly talk to Nolan and distract him from wanting another ride. His fit only lasted about 2 minutes, but I was exhausted and ready to get home.

2 days with 2 boys in hideous heat at a busy park was enough for me! I'm not sure how single mom's do it! I guess the memories and experiences for the boys are worth it! But next time, I'm bringing Mark with me!

The closest we'll ever come to a pet...

We paid for him ($1), we gave him water, we watched him grow, we named him- well, Nolan did, and now we love him! And the best part is...he doesn't shed or poop or cost any more money! Now that's our kind of pet!

Nolan was so excited about his new "pet"! He named him "Freakysaurus"! Isn't he so creative! I just love it! He came up with that name all by himself! (And don't mind the pull up...he had just woken up from a nap...I guess I should have put his pants on, but we all know that Nolan LOVES to be "nakie". So let's just be happy he has a shirt on!)

And after 72 hours of his life in water, Freakysaurus is now a land dwelling animal! And MUCH bigger! (And once again, his owner is half naked!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This guy...

This guy...is 9 months old!
This guy...is wearing 9 or 12 month size clothes and size 3 diapers.

This guy...has 6 teeth!

This guy...LOVES any and all solid foods! And can feed them all to himself!

This guy...claps the heartiest, happiest clap at just about everything! He claps his feet when sitting in his highchair too!

This guy...waves at anyone and flashes the widest grin! What a charmer!

This guy...LOVES water- the bath, the pool, you name it- he'll splash in it! And soak you too!

This guy...is SO distracted he just about never wants his bottle. We have to feed him in a dark, quiet place to make him eat!

This guy...adores his brother, his cousins, and any other babies! He and Nolan are starting to play together- so stinkin' sweet!

This guy...no longer has reflux! No more meds! Woo hoo!

This guy...pushes up & backwards, spins in circles on his belly, scooches around in a small area, swims on land, and lunges forward, but does not crawl- YET! He has started to try moving his legs and lift his belly occasionally- but he sure does have a lot to lift! (We've been through this with Nolan, and we know we have late bloomers in the gross motor area...we'll just keep praying that it happens soon! He wants to crawl so bad, but just hasn't figured it out yet.)

This guy...is so curious, he grabs & plays with anything he can get his chubby little hands on, especially if it's something he shouldn't have: the remote control, cell phones, laptop plug, or even a peanut butter & jelly sandwich!

This guy...takes irregular naps. 45 minutes to 2 hours- You never know what you'll get!

This guy...has fine, blonde hair, and lots of it! When it's wet it has a little curl to it!

This guy...enjoys throwing things- cups, food, balls, EVERYTHING! It's so fun!

This guy...sleeps for 9 hours at night. Sure wish it was longer! But at least when he wakes up he has a bottle and then sleeps for another 1 or 2 hours.

This guy...just moved into a rear facing convertible car seat! No more heavy baby carrier!


This guy...has the yummiest cheeks around and the most expressive eyebrows!

This guy...loves to be held & cuddled! He's a Mama's boy for sure!

This guy...is so easily excited! We love to see the JOY in his eyes!

This guy...loves to jump & swing & stand up to play!

This guy...babbles away! He loves to laugh, cry, coo, shriek, and say "ya, ya, ya", "hm, hm, hm, hm", and "ah-da, ah-da, ah-da"! And he does it all LOUDLY!

This guy...weighs 20 lbs. 14.6 oz. (50%). (3 1/2 lbs. less than Nolan at 9 months! Crazy!)
This guy...is 29 1/2 inches tall (90%). (Just a bit shorter than his older brother was.)
This guy...has a big noggin too! 47 cm. (90%) (All around smaller than his bro-dog, but has a bigger head!)

AND FINALLY...

This guy...is just about the cutest thing around!

Heath, you have been out of my belly now for just about as long as you were in! That's amazing. You are such a JOY and completely remind me of myself, maybe that's why you love me so much! You are high, you are low, you are HAPPY, you are fiesty, you are passionate, you know what you want, and you express it! And you are F-U-N! I can't wait to watch you grow, explore the world, and leave your mark in it! And I can't believe you are just 3 short months away from being 1! Where does the time go?

We are SO incredibly blessed to have YOU!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A LITTLE Girl Time

I am outnumbered! Outnumbered completely. And I always will be...even if we decide to have another child someday. So it was so nice to be able to have a little pink in my house last week!

We had the pleasure of returning past babysitting favors for the Krauths by watching their adorable daughter Ella one day last week and will watch her 2 days this week as well!

The boys had a blast with this petite little thing! Heath laughs at her and Nolan just kept saying, "she's so cute!" He also played on the floor with her, tickled her feet, and wanted to hold her. Check out the pics from our fun day together!

Ella is 3 months old and teeny tiny!

Heath checkin' her out!

"Don't worry Mom & Dad, I'm in good hands!?"

Gently holding her...Ernie said this may be a glimpse of things to come! :) Let's not go there yet!

Love it!

See you tomorrow Ella Jean!

Following in Grandpa's Footsteps

Last night took a spur of the moment family outing...and it was so fun! And so good to do something all together as our family of 4! We went bowling!

My Dad has been in our church bowling league for as long as I can remember. We grew up going to bowling with him once a week, running around the alley, playing locker tag, and video games. However, I myself have never been stellar at this "sport?"! I even took bowling class in college with my bestie, Jill, one Interim. And although it was a great time, (anything is when you are with Jill), and I acquired my pretty sweet bowling name- Marge, I did not make much progress in my game. Even after an entire month of lessons, I was happy with a score in the 80's. I'm just not consistent, my hips turn, my wrist twists, and that darn ball just seems to be drawn to the gutter!

Last night, I actually did pretty well compared to my usual showing, but maybe Nolan will have to follow in his grandpa's footsteps since I, clearly, did not!

Bowling his first frame!

Carefully watching the ball go down the lane.

Heath wanted in on the junk food action! Nolan had a soft pretzel and some chicken fingers. Heath gummed on a hunk of his pretzel and was in heaven!

Nolan loved pushing the ball down the ramp!

High fives for a great roll! Strike!

Heath wanted to check things out too!

He liked the colorful balls and the blowing air hand dryer thing!

Rolling the ball without the ramp...it took awhile to get there, but he actually got a strike this way once!

Our final scores:
Nolan- 1st Game: 101, 2nd Game: 114
Marge- 1st Game: 103, 2nd Game: 82
Striker (a.k.a Mark)- 1st Game: 134, 2nd Game: 143

Carrying his pink ball and putting it away! The lightest 7 lb. balls were all pink. He wasn't so happy about this color and instead decided to use every color ball he could find. In the end he used pink, red, yellow, orange, and green balls!

As Nolan is getting older it is so fun to be able have all of these new experiences with him!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

i heart year round schools!

To most people Year Round Schools seem foreign, odd, crazy, unattractive, confusing, etc. etc. etc. But to me, they are absolutely heaven!

I love having time off all throughout the year. I love being able to enjoy a break with my kids during every season. I love getting a much needed vacation every time I feel I need one. I love never working more than 9 weeks straight and also having a day off here or there in those long stretches!

I know...I'm spoiled!

And here I am, once again, at another glorious track off! I've already taught 6 weeks of this school year. My class has settled in, figured out the routines, and is learning a lot! And now we get to enjoy the last 3 weeks of summer at home with our families!

Here are some pics from my first week off!

We've spent a lot of time with family! Dinners at our house, playing at the pool, softball, and sleepovers!

Nolan and Brady had their first official sleep over! They actually slept in the same room all night! Brady on the top bunk, Nolan on the bottom! The ground rules were set: Brady- no climbing down! Nolan- no talking! They had a blast waking up and playing together all day! Here's a glimpse at some of the fun that occurred!

This boy had oh so much fun!

He LOVES our lazy summer days!

And is becoming the silliest little boy! He has a goofy sense of humor, is witty, and sharp!

And, I may be biased, but isn't he just the cutest thing ever?!

The boys splashing in the back yard!

Heath is our little fish! He LOVES the water!

Nolan learned a new game- Uno! He recognizes and names a lot of numbers now!

And this wild man's hair got so long...

that we gave him his very first hair cut! Mark used a scissors to tame the craziness! No more wings!

And to think, all this fun in just our first days off! 2 1/2 more weeks- bring it on!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

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