Wednesday, May 25, 2011

North Dakota pics

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to while we were in North Dakota. I started off well, but once Daddy left on May 8th to go back to Texas, I hardly remembered to pick up the camera at all! Blame it on fatigue, I guess.....Lila slept TERRIBLY at night the whole time we were away.

I am most disappointed that I didn't get any photos of the kids with their great-grandmas. I'll definitely remember to do this the next time we are up there (hopefully this Labor Day weekend since Ross' cousin is getting married then). I also didn't get any photos of Uncle Jesse and Aunt Sarah's wedding. I actually brought my camera that afternoon, but I never dug it out of the bottom of the diaper bag. It was just too crazy with the kids, and I knew the wedding photographer would get better shots anyways (can't wait to see how they turned out!!!)

I did get some photos of the kids in their wedding outfits when we first got to Bismarck. They looked so cute! John was very upset when it was time for his nap and I told him we had to take off his "fancy pants."

The weather in Bismarck was pretty cold while we were there. There was actually a bit of a blizzard the second day -- we went to visit Great Grandma Dressler at her new nursing home north of town, and it was so snowy and windy that we could hardly see well enough to get from the truck into the front door! The problem we had was that the forecast had completely changed from when we'd checked it during the packing process. We definitely didn't pack winter clothes!

We played outside as much as the weather would allow. John liked using his bucket and shovel to dig in the mulch behind the bushes in Grandpa and Grandma's front yard. He pushed his toy shopping cart and toy vacuum cleaner over the grass so he could "mow" while Grandpa was mowing the lawn, and he helped sweep up the grass clippings afterwards. We took him for walks in his new Radio Flyer wagon that he helped Grandpa put together, with the most frequent destination being the park across the street. That's where he'd meet up with our neighbors' grandchildren, Sydney (10) and Noah (6), whom he met for the first time when he was just 11 months old. John had the time of his life playing with Noah!

Here are a few of the photos from the park. Thank goodness the people who run the park took the monkey bars down a week or so after we arrived -- they must have seen some of John's near-falls! He is a total daredevil when it comes to monkey bars. He'll run up the stairs, jump up to grab the first rung, and hang there suspended in the air before you even know what he's doing!

It was really nice to get to spend time with John and Lila's Uncle Jesse and Aunt Sarah, who live in Minnesota. The day after the wedding, they came to the house for a little while. We were sitting in the living room, and Aunt Sarah had taken off her shoes. John was looking at her bare feet and inquiring about the pool-colored nail polish on her toes. Uncle Jesse was sitting next to her on the couch, but he had his socks on, so John asked if he could see Uncle Jesse's toes. Uncle Jesse obliged by taking off his socks. But once they were off, John wanted to put the socks on his own feet! So he walked around the house with Uncle Jesse's socks on and even did a little vacuuming with his Sesame Street vacuum (look closely in the photo below).

Now that we'll be living in Wisconsin, we'll hopefully be able to see Uncle Jesse and Aunt Sarah a lot more frequently! Congrats again to the newlyweds!

Grandma Bonnie and Papa Jeff are very glad they'll get to see their grandkids just about a month from now. Goodbyes are always easier when you already know when you'll get to see each other the next time, and it's even easier when that next time is just a month away.

Minnesota pics

We stayed at Grandpa Harry and Grandma Robin's house in Minnesota from April 26-29. John and Lila loved hanging out with their Grandpa and Grandma and their two uncles, and Mommy and Daddy loved getting to go to their first Twins game at Target Field (thanks again for the tickets, Grandpa and Grandma!!!)

One afternoon, John helped Grandma bake some sugar cookies. This was John's first cookie baking experience, so you can imagine how excited he was. Grandma got out all the baking and decorating supplies, and John got to roll dough, cut shapes, and sprinkle sugar to his heart's content. These photos show how seriously John took his tasks -- just look at that tongue sticking out! He's like Michael Jordan (or his Aunt Katharine, hehe).

While John's cookies might have had a bit more decoration than we were used to consuming, they were still entirely edible. Mommy and Daddy together ate about a dozen of them the next day on the drive to North Dakota!

Lila got to see her Uncle Mike for the first time while we were visiting Grandpa and Grandma. He drove home from college one afternoon just so he could hang out with his niece and nephew for the evening! What a sweet uncle he is. We wish him the best of luck at boot camp.....he leaves for Fort Benning next week!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The 6-month post - finally!

Well, since Lila will be turning 7 months old two days from now, I figure I had better finish her 6-month post!

Lila had a very eventful day for her 6-month birthday on April 26th. Around 7 that morning, she made the 100-mile drive from Grandma Kay Ellen's house in Lisle to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where we again met with our real estate agent to look at houses in the area. Once we arrived in 'Tosa, we had a long list of homes to look at, so we had to keep her in her car seat a lot more than we wanted to. Luckily, she was a very good sport about it. Knowing what we do now, i.e. that she was cutting her second tooth that day, we can't believe how content she was for us! (If only her brother had been this easy during the first trip we made to Wisconsin April 19-21, we might have considered taking him with us on the trips on the 22nd and 26th!)

The house-hunt that morning was a success. We ended up taking a second look at the 2-story colonial on 114th Street, and Lila agreed with us that the home was not only perfect for our family but also a real bargain. We put an offer in on it later that afternoon, and our offer was accepted the next day. We close on June 15th! We are very grateful to Lila that she was so cooperative that day. She was instrumental in us becoming homeowners once again!

But Lila's 6-month birthday excitement didn't end there. As soon as we finished up with our real estate agent, we met Grandma and John in the parking lot of the Mayfair Mall. Grandma had taken John to Parents' Day Out that morning so Mommy, Daddy, and Lila could leave for the house-hunting trip, and then Grandma drove John up to Wauwatosa as soon as school was over. Now that we had John, it was time to start the more than 300-mile drive up to Grandpa Harry's house in Minnesota!

I'll spare you the details of that lovely drive and just tell you that when we finally arrived in Woodbury around 9:30 p.m., we were shocked to see that Lila had gotten her second tooth! Our little (half-) birthday girl had endured an unbelievably stressful day, but, as usual, she was still all smiles. It was a fitting end, not only to an action-packed day, but to an action-packed month as well.

During her sixth month, Lila.....

- began sitting in the tripod position

- added the Exersaucer, jumper and Bumbo chair to her list of playtime equipment

- started on rice cereal (April 6th)

- discovered she could put her feet in her mouth (April 10th)

- welcomed home her Daddy (April 13th)

- cut her two bottom center teeth (bottom right on April 20th and bottom left on April 26th)

Here are a few more photos of Lila-pie from her sixth month.....can't believe she is already half a year old!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easter pics

I know I'm backtracking, but these pics from Easter are really cute! Easter was the first holiday we'd spent together as a family of four since Thanksgiving. We went to the 8:15 service at church and then came back home for lunch and an Easter egg hunt in Grandma's backyard. After the kids woke up from their naps, we went to Ruth Lake for an early Easter dinner.