Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sweet trouble

Things just seem to happen when I nurse. I wonder why that is? Today it became increasingly quite and I realized Aaron was downstairs. When I opened the door, this is what I found.
Caught red handed... or maybe brown handed.
Aaron pulled down the Sams club sized box of hot chocolate. I'm not sure if it was the taste or the sand like texture that lured him in. Maybe both. Either way, by the time I got to him he had emptied at least 5 packets and had one in his mouth. What a mess! "No Aaron, its not sand. I know you don't have a sandbox of your own but we just can't make one out of hot chocolate. Sorry honey."
Maybe he simply inherited a chocolate addiction like his mommy!?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sidewalk Chalk: Art or Education

 Both!  Aaron loves to get his chalk out in the evenings and while he is a decent scribbler, he gets bored of it quickly.  We frequently go out and play in the front yard between dinner and bath time to get some last energy bursts out before settling down.  I usually color with him but it's mostly just random doodles.  So recently I've started challenging myself to come up with fun play/educational ways to play with chalk.  So far this is what we've done.  We don't do them all at once but we've had fun trying different things out.

Shapes and Colors
 "Aaron, stand on the Yellow Rectangle."

 "Can you toss the frisbee in the number 4 ring?"

 We sing a song while skipping around the circle and what ever letter we end up on we have to think of something that begins with it.  I also quiz him by having him stand on a certain letter.  Or we simply sing the ABC's while going in a circle and stepping in each block.

 Aaron is learning words better now so we did this one to verbally identify each member of our family.

"Can you catch the number 4 fish?" Or we go hop on each number as we count to 10.

Just for fun
This was one of our first ones.  We drew a track around the driveway to ride his toys on.

The fun thing is that when it rains we get to come up with more stuff.  What's next?  I don't know but it will be cool!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Late night dinner

Late nap time today means hungry boy awake at 9:30 for his dinner. Hopefully he goes right back to bed!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

1st Family Camping Trip

If you ask John, he would say that our first camping trip as a family was a complete disaster.  I think maybe it wasn't one giant disaster but more of several little ones combined with bad circumstances and of course, a cranky toddler.  Looking back at the pictures, we certainly had our "good" moments. We, and when I say "we" I really mean mostly John,  had so many grand ideas about what our first camping trip would be like.  John was soooo looking forward to it.  In the end, I think we may have to wait another year before attempting it again.  I guess the hubby is going to have to find a camping buddy or go by himself to satisfy his need to be outdoors for now.  One day, we will have great camping memories as a family.  This is how our day/evening went:
John and I had casually talked about the idea of taking the boys camping for the first time.  It seemed the weather had finally cooled down a little and John had a nice stretch off from work.  We discussed possibly going on Tuesday because the weather looked like it would work out for us then.  We planned to camp of course, but also bike, hike, and swim at the beach. So when Tuesday morning rolled around and it was raining outside we had to decide if we should risk it or not. Meanwhile I took the boys to the doctor's office for Ethan's 6 month check up and then came home and made some lunch. By 1:00 when we put the boys down for a nap, the weather looked like it might clear up.  As we lay on the couch, where I had become increasingly unmotivated to do anything, we decided OK, lets do it.  I ran to the grocery store while John started getting the camping gear together.  Four hours later we are in the car packed to the brim with cranky boys and (I hate to admit it) a cranky mom.
Packed and loaded, we headed to the lake but on the way there our bike rack slipped and one of the bikes started dragging on the pavement as we drove down the road.  Awesome. Unbeknownst to us, the road managed to burn a hole straight through the tire.
We thought, maybe if we just air it up it will be ok.  Extrememly low on gas anyway, we had to go out of our way to stop at a gas station.  After filling up we drove by the air machine - $1.00 to use it!  John was livid - no way was he going to pay a dollar for 40psi.  Really? What are we going to do - just spend the money and get it done right?  John - "surely someone has a pump at the campsite."  So on we go.  As we crossed the dam at Hilsdale lake we noticed only one boat on the water.  The weather turned out to be fantastic so where were all the boats and people? We got our answer when we pulled up to the entrance to the park.
Apparently there was a toxic amount of Blue-Green Algae in the lake so we would not be going swimming. So to recap, we now cannot go biking and we also cannot go swimming.  Hmmm.... We're here though so let's make the best of it.  We self pay our $12.50 for the night and go in search of a campsite.  There are about 4 other people in the entire park there, three of which were in campers and one in a tent at the utility sites.  In the "primitive" camp site area which is where we were headed, there was no one.  We certainly got a great site given our selection.
The next few hours were actually quite nice.  Well aside from the fact that John drove back to the gas station, paid the whopping $1.00 to air up the bike tire only to discover it had a hole in it.  But he wasn't giving up yet, he went to the three motor homes and asked if they had a pump or a portable air compresser.  None of them did. He found it very hard to belive that none of those motor homes had an air compressor.  Oh well. 
John got to show Aaron how to put the tent up, and Ethan (as usual) was as content as could be in either the carrier, on the ground on a blanket or in the bumbo.  Then John got a fire going and we cooked hot dogs and corn over the fire for dinner.  After going to a nearby playground for a while and helping Aaron ride his bike around, we make S'mores because what camp out is complete without those?  Good thing there was no hitch with that or I would have been done! : ) The boys actually went to sleep decently and sweetly slept next to each other while John and I sat by the fire and watched the moon rise.

The evening was looking up.  We were finally relaxed and having a good time.  John and I discussed our plans for the morning.  Breakfast, play around the campsite, go on a hike, maybe stay for lunch then pack up.  As we talked, Aaron increasingly coughed and sniffled...  Out of wood to burn and with nothing else to do, we turned in around 11:00pm.  Shortly after laying down, Aaron sat up, WIDE awake.  So awake in fact that he started babbling about random stuff.  His nose was running like a faucet.  He kept saying "bug - go!" This is a phrase that his speach therapist taught him when we saw a fly buzzing around the last time she was over.  Now everytime he sees a bug he tells it to go.  It was cute at first but we were tired and it got old.  By midnight he was still wide awake only now it was evident that he didn't feel well and he had a fever.  He switched from happy and talkitive to cranky and whiny. 

We switched postions multiple times as John and I took turns trying to comfort him.  Ethan slept through it all.  Finally, close to 2am, we decided to call it a night and head home.  Yes.  We packed up our whole campsite in the dark and took the boys home.  Aaron whined/cried all the way home.  As soon as his head hit his pillow in his own bed, he was out and slept until 10:00am the next morning. We were tired, bummed, and disapointed to say the least.  I guess it was destined not to work out from the moment we packed up the car. 

Aaron is feeling better now.  The time we spent before bed that night was actually pretty fun.  Maybe a backyard camp out would be better next time.  At least we could save the $12.50 and the hassle of packing up a campsite in the middle of the night.  Better luck next time!

All in a week

The nice thing about John's work schedule is that he gets long 8-day off stretches of time about every 6 weeks.  It's like a built in vacation every other month.  We usually cram a bunch of family time in and sometimes I let him work on his Jeep or motorcycle while I take the kids out. Hehehe... He's back to work now but here's what we did...

We rode our bikes to the Johnson County Fair Parade
Ethan slept while Aaron enjoyed his loot of candy
I took the boys to the fair to see the animals

 We watched as Ethan learned to "Army crawl."
  This was at Chelsee's house one day for lunch.
 Aaron enjoyed his apple juice from the cute cup that Aunt Chelsee got him.

 We went to a Mom's Club event and made a magnetic butterfly for the fridge.

 We went to grandma and granddad's house and played.

We played outside in the front yard.

And... we went camping... but that's for another post.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ethan turns 6 months

Last week Eman turned a whopping 6 months old. I think time is flying faster with the second. Ethan is FULL of smiles 90% of the time. I love hearing him giggle and "talk". He especially gets going when we scrub his feet in the bath tub. Here are his stats:
Weight: 17lbs, 9oz - 50%
Height: 26.5 inches - 60%
Head circ: 16.5 in - 15%

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Bike Ride!

So excited to share that we have gone on our very first family of 4 bike ride!!!  We figured a way to rig the carrier in the trailer so we loaded up E-man and Aaron and took the boys to the park last night.  Both boys had a great time!  We even brought Aaron's bike which he rode once we got to the park.  I packed us some popcicles for dessert in a mini cooler and the weather was absolutely PERFECT!  Ethan slept all the way home.  He looked very cozy snuggling with his giraffe.  We will certainly be doing this again soon.  Yeah for cooler weather!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Little Gassy - My house that is!

Public Service Announcement:  If you EVER smell gas in your house, call the gas company ASAP.  It's FREE so don't think, "how much is this going to cost me?" 

Two years ago we had a little gas leak and at the time John's uncle Danny lived only 5 minutes from us and came over right away and fixed the problem.  I have always been paranoid about smelling gas in the house ever since.  But today I was right. We left as a family for the Y and I commented that I thought it smelled gassy in our basement.  John smelled it too but thought maybe it was just the laundry or a tiny tiny leak.  When we got back from the YMCA it was evident from the moment the garage door opened that we had problem.  We came in, actually took the time to make lunch (what were we thinking??) and then got around to calling the gas company since Uncle Danny no longer lives so close.  By this time the gas smell was well into our house, in the living room, kitchen and hallway.  We kept thinking it might just be stuck in our noses.  But once John called the gas co they told us we needed to get out of the house and that we shouldn't turn anything on that wasn't on already. 

Ok, now I'm a little freaked.  I loaded the boys and headed for Grandma and Granddad's to hang out.  They were at work but I figured the boys could nap there.  (yeah right.  Like that worked.) Anyway, John stayed and hung out in the driveway.  The gas co guy told John there was a significant leak and it had spread all over the house into every room.  The pipe was cracked near the same spot it was last time.  The culprit: a cracked beam in the ceiling of our basement that was putting pressure on the pipe.  He said we were lucky that we called when we did.  Eventually that pipe would have completely broken and being so close to the pilot light, would have likely caused an explosion.  HOLY COW!  They got it fixed and the house is aired out now but the beam is still broken and still possibly causing pressure.  So guess what John's project for the night is?

Moral of the story.  DON'T WAIT TO CALL IF YOU SMELL GAS!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mommy date with boys

I used to take Aaron out a lot when it was just the two of us.  Now that there are three of us to go on outings while daddy sleeps... well it's just a wee bit more difficult!  This morning I woke up and decided, hey, let's go to the Arboretum today.  Why not?  So after breakfast I packed us some sunscreen, hats, bug spray, lunches, and water and piled into the car.  After the nasty heat we've had it felt wonderful to be outside - especially in the woods.  We had never been before but I kept hearing great things about it.  We'll be back for sure!  That place is huge and we only got to explore a small portion of it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Heat

After the heat we've had, the high of 88 today felt like spring! We've been spending soooo much time indoors this summer because its just too darn hot to play outside. We've had quite the extreems this year... record snow dumps in Feb/Mar...crazy severe storms in May/Jun... and record breaking heat this summer.  I'm ready to be average again. And so are the boys! On the day it was 110 degrees out I broke down and let Aaron bring his bike inside. Aaron would live outdoors if we let him.  Ethan doesn't seem to mind the indoors though. He's content to roll around and stay out of the heat.