Monday, August 30, 2010

Romantic Getaway

Mid-August, thanks to Granna and Grumps offering to take the kids for an ENTIRE WEEKEND, Max and I were able to get away and enjoy a romantic weekend away.  We wanted to go somewhere relatively close by (not a lot of driving) but still have a resorty, vacation type feel.  We ended up deciding to go to the Heidel House in Green Lake, WI. 

We started off the weekend with a martini cruise on Friday night.  The weather wasn't perfect, but we were still able to enjoy the sunset and a few drinks and desserts.

We spent all day Saturday touring around the area, hanging out by the pool and the lake, reading magazines and books and RELAXING.  Oh yeah, we also slept in.  It was WONDERFUL.

Saturday night, we enjoyed dinner at the restaurant at the hotel -- dinner was included as part of our package deal, so we weren't stingy with ordering at all!  (We also got champagne and chocolates in our room as part of the 'Romantic Getaway' was pretty sweet!)

Even the silverware was curved -- to mimic the grand curving staircase in the middle of the restaurant.

My parents will tell you that it is a rare occurrence for me to clean my plate...we always liked to say that I left a little food for the 'food fairies'.  It goes to show just how delicious this meal was that I almost licked my plate clean...

Max was a little more bold...  Just kidding.  He posed for this picture (but I think he secretly wanted to do this anyways).

After dinner we relaxed on the dock...

We acted like giddy teenagers....

Sunday morning, before we hit the road to get back home and squish our squishies again, we did the 'Heidel Hike' - which would really be more appropriately named the 'Heidel Jaunt'.  Oh well, at least we tried!

Overall it was a magnificent weekend -- one we had both been looking forward to and counting the days down until.  It didn't disappoint.  The boys did fantastic and Granna and Grumps' house too -- so we all got a little bit of a vacation!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Max - 33 months

I thought it might be fun to do a review Max at 9 months, 21 months and 33 months in honor of his month-aversary!  Can you believe that in 3 months he will be 3 FREAKIN YEARS OLD?  Where has the time gone?

I don't even know what to say about milestones.  In my opinion, he's a genius...but I do realize that I am somewhat biased.  :)  Seriously though, I am considering petitioning to see if he can skip a grade -- WI dictates that you have to be the age for your class before Sept 30 -- which means he will miss the cut off by a month and a half -- and be one of the oldest in his class.  If he's anything like mom, that will mean less challenge in the classroom.  Big Max and I are ok challenging him at home in addition to school (as we SHOULD be doing as PARENTS), but I just vividly remember being so BORED and going up a grade for things like reading...and how uncomfortable that felt.  So, I think I'd rather pursue seeing if he could just start out ahead.  We shall see.

Numbers: 1-20
ABCs - can identify all, spell 'max, mom, dad and sam' -- especially fond of X's and O' pun intended!
Colors - knows them all
Shapes -- probably knows more than I do!
Days of the week -- we are working on this.  He knows them all by name, but not always in the right order.
Animals - his favorite right now might be the crocodile, or a turtle, or a bonobo.  It changes daily.  I am making sure that he knows the difference between a monkey and an ape.  :)
Potty-training - we are SO close.  I know it feels like I've been saying that for awhile, but he's gone the last few days dry at daycare.  Today after school he kept telling me when he needed to use the potty (instead of me pestering him repeatedly).  I'm thinking one of these days it is just going to 'click' and we won't have to look back (just like walking).

I'm sure there is more that I am forgetting.  This kid seriously just cracks me up.  The stories he comes up with are insane!  Today on the way home from school he told me that he wants to take a rocket to the moon.  So, I told him that if he wanted to do that, he needed to be really smart.  So you can see the wheels in his head spinning as he processes this and he says "But mom, I AM smart.  See? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!  I can count to 10.  I AM smart.  Let's take a rocket to the moon now."  LOL

Max 9 months

Max 21 months

Max 33 months

4 month - Sam

Sam turned 4 months yesterday!  We don't have his 4 month checkup until next week, so I'll have to update you then with his latest stats.

Right now, he's:
- able to lift his head to a 90 degree angle while on his tummy (which doesn't last long, because)
- he can roll from belly to back (not back to belly...YET)
- laugh out loud (and he has such a sweet laugh) -- it is particularly easy to make him laugh if you touch his neck -- he is SUPER ticklish on his neck!
- follow an object from one side to the other
- hold head steady while being pulled to a sitting position -- and hold head steady (mostly) while upright
- grasp a rattle or other toy (and immediately bring it to his mouth...LOL)
- reach for objects (with both his hands and his mouth -- yes, I have seen him try to wiggle his way over to grab his nuk with his mouth)
- squeal and make lots of vowel-consonant combinations (we're working on mama and dada!)
- find mommy in a room (he knows my voice and perks up and turns to it right away)
- make raspberries (most often in imitation)
- bear weight on his legs while being held upright (the johnny jump up is coming out of storage soon!)

Basically, I'm not too worried about any aspects of his development.  I do want to ask the doctor about his tear ducts, because his eyes seem goopier than they should be.  He's still a mellow little boy and we are loving spending every minute we can with him!

So until you get his 'official' four month stats, enjoy some of his latest photos!

this one just cracked me up...

my boys!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Sugar-Coated Life

Sometimes it is too easy to write about all the joys of life and to pretend that bad stuff never happens. Sometimes it is tempting to present a side of me and my life that I know will impress others or instill feelings of envy or jealousy. I know this because I am guilty of it too...

I realize that it is easy for me to write a biased account of my life ONLY because I live a truly blessed life. I have a ROOF over my head, a loving and CARING husband, two beautiful HEALTHY boys, a JOB that pays me to do something near and dear to my heart, good HEALTH, nutritious FOOD on my table, LOVING parents, the list could go ON and on. 

But it's not really fair to sit here and pretend that my life is all fluffy and sparkly and beautiful ALL THE TIME. 

Cause it's really NOT.

It's not that bad stuff happens all the time -- of course I have very challenging days alongside the memorable and 'pretty' ones. I suppose it's just the eternal optimist in me that chooses to not think about those challenging days for more than a moments time -- and to commemorate the memories that make me smile instead. Maybe it is wrong of me to live my life this way, or to sugar-coat all my memories. I don't know the answer. I do know that, looking back over the past 2 years of my blog history -- my life looks pretty darn perfect. And that just isn't so!

For example, I know that I, personally, tend to choose to post more of my perfect pictures -- the ones that captured the perfect moment rather than the snapshot from a split second before or after.... or the ones that paint the stories of my life in the most perfect light (by only telling the parts I want you to hear!) -- it is the anonymity of the Internet! How ironic that I use that anonymity to talk about my most personal moments and MY FAMILY!


Max July 2008
  So, without further adieu, here are some of the greatest outtakes of the last 2 years that never made it to any blog, any facebook page, or any photo album (well...can't promise that last one...blackmail pictures and all....).  It turns out that it IS a really good thing that I have a hard time deleting ANY digital file -- even the bad ones...


January 2008

Amanda's birthday Feb 2008 -- we look so young!
Dec 2008 -- poor child...
sometimes you can't help yourself...I've always wondered why I have to open my mouth like that when I put on mascara..
I think we were trying some sort of new-fangled position to rid ourselves of double chins...  did it work?
I don't think big Max was trying to take a picture of my face...just a hunch... (March 2010)
we don't want anyone walking away thinking Sam's labor was ALL fun and games... (April 2010)
Sam is not excluded ... (June 2010)
THERE.  I feel so much better now, like I got a weight off my chest.  How about you? 

Hope it was good for at least a good laugh or two...  :)

Moving forward I'm going to try to include a little bit more 'real life' in every post.

Visit from the McLaughlins

Two weekends ago we were treated to a visit from Fran, Denyce and Lilly -- who were in town to show their dog Finny at a dog show. 

It always seems like our time together is rushed -- but I guess that's how it is when you have kids and pets in the mix.
We were lucky enough to see them for dinner for two nights in a row, so we could spend some time with their darling daughter, our niece and Max and Sam's cousin -- Lilly.

It shouldn't be hard to remember how old Lilly is -- since she was born the week after Max in November (just two years removed)...which unfortunately means these cousins will either continually miss each other's birthday parties, or forced to SHARE a birthday party at some point in time...GASP.
Lilly's a pretty well mannered little 8-month old lady.  It was fun to reminisce about how Max was at that age, and to prepare myself again for what I have to look forward to with Sam.  Max was pretty smitten by her as well....

And, of course, he had to show off his mad puzzle skillz to his relatives....