Friday, October 30, 2009

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Chicago Bound Girls

Welcome to Illinois! We were all pretty excited by this point to see that we had actually reached the correct state. I had a crazy week (5 days) of traveling. Some for work over in Mandan, ND and some for play with my girls from college in Chicago, IL. I left at 5 am last Wednesday and headed to Mandan. It was precisely 7.5 hours on the road and a very scary bathroom in Tappen, ND. But I made it. Worked until 10 pm that night and up early and back to the Curves in the morning. We had a nice lunch and then I was MN bound by 2 pm. I made it safely to my college roommates house (Carrie) and enjoyed visiting until 2 am. But 9 am Friday morning us four MN girls were all headed to Chicago for a weekend together. We had an Atlas, a GPS and me who questioned if I94 from Mandan to St. Paul really had to go through St. Cloud?! So when we reached the right state line we were pretty happy.

Mahrya and Carrie as we are just heading out of MN. Mahrya drove her car and we all had intentions of helping her drive if she needed to. Well she drove the whole time both ways!

Anne and Becky in the back seat...that way I could sneak little naps and maybe nobody would notice.

Friday night we got into the heart of Chicago, drove through the rain, toll booths and landed in mid rush hour. That dramatically slowed down our time of travel. Carrie took control of my iPod and picked out great old songs and we all tried to pass the time by singing and trying to remember the words...I'm talking, Salt-n-Pepa, Ace of Base, John Mellancamp...old stuff!

We got to Kari's apartment after a near death experience with Mahrya hopping 3 lanes of traffic, parked the car, hauled our stuff in and looked like we showed up for a month. We found a spot in the lobby to park our butts. When Kari arrived we all headed up to her apartment, freshened up and went out to get us some Chicago food. We chose a steak house and all ordered a great cut of meat. Each item on the menu is individually priced so we all ordered sides to share-asparagus spears, sweet potatoes, fries, augratin potatoes....yummmm. Oh and a bottle of wine. It was fabulous to just hang out, visit and relax with no time line. After dinner we got back to Kari's and we (the 4 from MN) were wiped. So we sat around for 45 minutes laughing in hysterics at YouTube videos. I have never had the time to sit and watch YouTube but thoroughly enjoyed crying from laughing so hard at funny things on line. I am going to say if you YouTube Ellens Hawaiian chair you too will laugh.

Saturday morning we started out with our Starbucks and shopped most of the day. We ate a Chicago style pizza and caught up on all the lost years. We did manage to take in a few landmarks of Chicago. Like the Sears Tower and the El trains.

Kari had this great pink hat on all weekend and almost the rest of us ended up buying some sort of hat to wear. Mahrya in her new cream hat...she got one in brown too

Carrie and Anne on a corner in Chicago

We went to Millennium Park and saw the "bean"...it was fun to try to take our picture via the reflection it gave off. Carrie succeeded but every shot I took I had the camera right at my crotch and looked like I was trying to really shoot something with it. We looked over and saw 6 "older" ladies (50's, 60's) trying to take their picture so we swapped them cameras. We thought it was funny to see that at any age we will most likely still be taking girls trips together.

Kari was always the front seat cabby talker. Where the other 4 of us crammed in the back. No cab ride cost us more than $15...anywhere we went.

That night we headed to Navy Pier to hangout, shop, look around and legally drink while walking on the sidewalks. It was great. Cold but great. We did the ferriswheel and a Haunted House that was so scary that I literally almost peed my pants.

Super funny to us that Anne was so scared of the ferriswheel that this picture doesn't quite justify how truly panicked she was.

We went to a bar and played darts and then to a comedy show Saturday night also...the next morning we all got ready and went out for a nice breakfast together and parted ways around noon. We 4 rolled into the cities at 8 pm and I hit the road to come home to see my boys. I got in at 12:30 am just in time to hear Emmitt crying for momma in his crib. I picked him right up and got the best hug from him, rocked him to sleep and then woke up Parker to do the same. When I whispered to Parker that momma was home, he smiled, rolled his eyes and fell back to sleep. I called in staff to work for me Monday and knew that it was going to be a great day just hanging out with the boys...and it was.

Don't tell my husband but the girls and I all discussed somewhere next winter (March) somewhere far away and warm. So far it's either Mexico or Florida...beachy and with nothing to do...mmmmm, warm

Thursday, October 22, 2009

19 Months

Emmitt Jon-how can you possibly be closer to two than you are to one? It seems like you were just this baby and now you are such a big boy. We are finally realizing that you are more capable, of doing just about anything, than we give you credit for. We think back to your brother and all the things he could do at this age and are just now realizing that you are actually doing more just by watching him. You follow that big brother of yours around and copy, or try to at least, every move he makes. That big brother likes to have you copy him too. You two are so into pretending you are both puppies that a majority of your evening involves panting and crawling around on your hands and knees. You will crawl over to me while I am making dinner and pant at my feet until I pat your head and say good puppy or good boy and then your crawl away with a huge smile on your face. You both fall for the eat your supper like a puppy trick almost daily. And you know what? I don't care if you eat your food directly off your plate or not as long as you eat it. We love the smiles it brings to our table too.Your physical features don't seem to be changing as much anymore. Either we aren't noticing or you really are staying the same. You are still "stuck" at 21 pounds. You have been that weight for quite some time now and are growing taller little by little. You are starting to straighten out when you walk too. You were so bow-legged and so pigeon toed for awhile there that daddy was starting to wonder if you would need special braces for your little legs like he did when he was little. You got your walk right from your daddy. Someday I will be able to look at you two from behind and I am certain I will see the same stance. We officially closed the bet on what color your eyes would be. For the record mommy won. Your eyes are brown, just like mine. Daddy tried to make due on his bet with Auntie Debbie too but she felt guilty taking him to the cleaners but enjoyed letting him know that he was wrong from the beginning.Now your personality? That's a different topic. We frequently refer to our evenings with you as The Emmitt Show. The other night you were playing in the living room and just started spinning in circles, giggling and laughing away. We all just sat and giggled with you wondering what on earth you were doing. Then you would stop, fall down, laugh in hysterics and do it again. A couple of weekends ago we were out at Grandma Audrey's and played duck, duck, goose (Grey Goose to Parker). You followed our lead in how the game was played and took your turn...you attempted to say duck and patted each of our heads and then you would say something else for goose and just take off running in a circle. You ran and squealed around and around that Grandma and I really weren't sure if we could catch you and eventually you would dive into any open spot and smile at us like yeah girls, you couldn't catch me and I won! You laughed with us as we had to catch our breath from our round of the giggles. You have a wonderful raspy laugh that is contagious.You really are such an easy going kid. Daddy and I both say you get that from us, but neither of us is all THAT easy going. We think we are, but the other disagrees. You are simple in the car, you are simple to put to bed, you are simple to entertain. You have a spirited streak in you too though. You have started to defend yourself more against big brother when he is picking on you. You will, very rarely, buck the system when you don't get what you want. A majority of that comes from your unbelievable unwillingness to talk. I took these pictures on a rainy Sunday when it was just you and I at home. I would ask you to say any word and you would. Most of them very clearly. That makes it even more maddening that you just simply won't talk. It's not because you can't. I'll blame that stubbornness on your father but he'll blame me so I guess it's even.
You are looking more and more grown up but yet still just a baby. A woman at the grocery store asked how old you were, what your name was (she said you had a great name), and that you looked so collegiate until she saw the snaps on your pants. I laugh at that one still. It is so true. Sometimes I look at you and expect way more than a 19 month old should be capable of doing and other times I see you doing something so grown up that I think you are still too young.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a day in a corn maze

We had a great weekend in Somerset, WI with my sister Debs family. The kids traveled perfectly, the weather was great, the boys had a blast with Emma and Peter and we had 3 whole days to do whatever we wanted. We left right at nap time on Thursday afternoon and Emmitt didn't make it to Ericsburg awake. Parker watched his movie for awhile longer and then both boys slept for a solid 2 and a half hours. I drove and cruised right along reaching North Branch for our first stop. I really think we could have made it the whole way if we didn't need gas-the boys did that great in the car.
Thursday night we arrived for a wonderful Salmon dinner with Deb and Chris at their house while the boys ran wild and stretched their legs while Emma and Peter played with them for hours on end. A late night for both kids and parents. Friday we hung out all morning playing and having fun until Emma came home from her half day of school. We managed to make Halloween cookies with all four kids. Parker kept sneaking licks of flour off the counter. The weird part was he kept going back for more?! The kids loved decorating the misshaped witch hat (or a sailboat to Parker), ghost (Parker kept calling it a big foot), moon and pumpkin.
Saturday we were up around 8 am (we NEVER get to sleep until 8 am!) and got ready for Pete's football practice/game and then headed to the corn maze, pumpkin farm, fun place outside of Stillwater. We pushed the boys' nap time back as far as they would make it and they looked exhausted by the end but did great.
Thank God for the little umbrella stroller from our camping trip that I always leave in the car! Oh and the sling that we used as a sleeping bag for Emmitt. Emma thought it was so funny that I am deathly afraid of corn mazes when I know people are trying to scare me. Everyone made a point to try to scare me. We truly could not find our way out for about an hour...we took turns pushing Emmitt in the stroller which became unmanageable over the fallen cornstalks and then took turns carrying Emmitt and the stroller.
We let Parker point which way to go in the beginning of the maze and when we ended up coming out the entrance more than once we decided to really try to get out and still failed. Finally Emma got us out the correct gate and freed us from the maze.
We skipped the hayride with tons of people and voted for the Silly String mine field. The big kids and little kids put on their protective goggles and got their silly string gun for a mere $3 each and hit the field chasing and screaming after one another.
At the very end of our trip at the pumpkin farm the kids got their face painted. Parker chose the full face Spiderman mask and crashed on the car ride home. He was sure tired after all that fun. Debs took pics of me actually holding Emmitt in the sling while he started to fall asleep and of the actual face painting...so I'll get those up later.
Can't wait to make another fun trip with the boys. We are hoping we aren't jinxing ourselves about how well they did, especially in the car, but I truly think we are past the stage where we have to stop a million times on a trip.

Monday, October 19, 2009

a football game

One of our fun moments this weekend and the first post of a lot is watching my nephew Peter play football. How fun to take pics of other people than my own to kids. Pete is 9 and is a super sweet kid. He loved having the boys down for a visit and we parents enjoyed ourselves while the kids all played. Making a big tackle.
He looked so tough and then would start waving at all of us on the side lines.the two cousins watching Pete play. Parker kept chanting "hit 'em hard Pete and run fast".
I have no idea what the score of the scrimmage was but when they scored a touchdown they all cheered like they won the Superbowl.