horse and buggy ride

Before the storms hit Friday night, Connor and I went to a 50th birthday celebration after his swimming lessons. They had buggy rides so we of course went for one of those! The kids were just playing in the wagon in these pictures, but when we went for our actual ride, my mom was up in front actually 'driving' the horses and Connor would yell, too fast mama (Grandam), too fast, jokingly, then would follow it with, faster mama, faster!


Friendship Days 2010

Well, it's safe to assume that this year's Friendship Days was one for the record books. I can't remember the last time the entire weekend was rained out, let alone straight-line winds, hail and tornado'd out. Such a bummer, but we were able to enjoy a few rides, the parade and of course drummies and cheeseburgers from the Legion stand.

Found Uncle Aaron in the park.
Note playful, I'm going to beat you, expression.

Then we get serious.

And laugh at Uncle Aaron who went without him.
Jokes on you, Uncle Aaron! What other 30 year old do you see going down the kiddie slide?

Watching the floats go by.

Sitting with Kacie. Thanks, Kacie, for letting us sit at your place again!

He did so well at the parade! It was right over nap time, technically an hour into his nap time and he was a champ. He didn't get upset if another kid got to a piece of candy first and was so proud of his candy he had to go show Bryan a bunch of times his loot. Thankfully the kids we sat by were super generous and would give Connor pieces now and again if he missed out on a batch. He loved seeing the tractors and horses and everything else that went by. At one point when there were a bunch of tractors coming he literally took off running and managed to get seriously a block away, he was so excited! (thanks Heather, for stopping him, ha)


did I say that?

So I vaguely remember posting something about getting rid of Connor's nuk...and, I think I may have said that it was going to be gone by today.

Did I really say that?

Ha. Who was I kidding.

However, he went ALL week last week at daycare without! Whoo hoo! And really, that's one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to get rid of it. He was wanting it all the time there for awhile which was super annoying but now he's back to just wanting it when he's going to bed. So, as long as he doesn't have it at school, I don't really care if he has it at night. Yes, I know, it's not great for teeth, talking, other things, but I just don't have it in me right now to take it away. So, operation death of the nuk is temporarily on hold.

loader...with forks on it!

Saturday we spent most of the day (well, Bryan all day, Connor and I the entire morning then it was nap time) helping pick up from the storm. Bryan brought a loader out to help move the big trees that went down and you can take a guess as to where Connor spent most of his time. He was a trooper and helped pick up sticks, too, but preferred driving the loader.

So if you ask him what he drove over the weekend, he'll reply 'Loader...with forks on it, trees fall down'. Not quite that clear, but something like that :)

Love that he's good at saying 'cheese' and smiling for the camera.

After nap, we went and had to go ride the loader again, this time to help Bryan pull down a tree at a place out by his parent's. I was just going to drop Connor off and leave but thought I'd stay and witness the tree falling, so after probably 25 minutes of watching a few guys chainsaw a chunk out of the trunk, and many false alarm video segments, it finally came down...in a matter of 2 seconds.


stormy night

Some pictures from last night. Our evening started with swimming lessons, then we went to my parent's business partner's 50th birthday party celebration, left after 25 minutes or so to head to Nicollet/New Ulm for volleyball, learned halfway to Nicollet that volleyball was canceled so went home. Sat in the basement for at least an hour. At one point I was scared enough to go grab all of my scrapbooks and external hard drive with our pictures on it and bring them into the basement (I don't scare too easily, typically love storms, and probably would have been on the deck had it not been for Connor and the torrential down pour). I couldn't see three feet out the patio door in the basement. But, we survived, and little to no damage to our house. However, our friends and family to the West of us can't say the same. It hailed for twenty minutes straight in Nicollet, some reports of near baseball size hail. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

On our way to Bryan's parent's place after the storm started to break up.

Thought this part of the sky was so crazy, haven't ever seen before.

Pretty rainbow...but corn is not so pretty.

The corn, what's left of it.

The beans.

Crazy sky...crazy bean field.

So I was really intrigued by the sky.

Again, thankfully no one was hurt!


it's what you do.

I'll recap on this evening's events in another post, but I just had to post about this picture. As you're probably aware, we had some nasty weather come through our area tonight, and many other areas across the state. After checking on Bryan's parent's place (two broken windows, entire north side of the house is completely dented from near baseball size hail, crops are basically non-existant) we drove by the dairy farm that is about 2 miles away. Massive destruction with hundreds and hundreds of cows still in the barns. You may have seen the story on channel 9 news tonight. But, what nearly brings me to tears is the generosity shown in this picture. Every local farmer in the county that has a cattle trailer is lined up to help haul out the cows to a different facility. There are probably 10 more truck and trailers on the gravel road, waiting their turn, that you can't see, with more on the way.

I'm sure this happens everywhere, but it just moves me when I see people helping those in need. Being completely selfless. Half of them probably have damage at their own places, but they don't even think twice about helping someone else that has it worse. Neighbors helping neighbors, you never question it, you help before even being asked.

It's just what you do.



Is it possible that he actually enjoys the pool now?? I'm not getting my hopes up, but it's two days in a row! Mom came with me today to see if I had any magic tricks for getting him to actually enjoy it...just the simple throwing of the skid loader does the trick. Every time.

Momentary 'fun' setback here, he realized that Grandma wasn't in the pool anymore and wanted to get out.

So I tried to distract him.

It worked.
It may appear that I'm trying to face plant him into the water but we were working on his kicks while holding onto the bar thing. Fun stuff.

We couldn't get him to do the diving board today. One of the teachers holds the child by their arms and lowers them into the pool where the other teacher 'catches' the child. He wouldn't do it. Maybe tomorrow.

He DID continue into the baby pool after his lessons were complete to go swim with cousin Ashlyn that was there. I am SO happy he's liking the water! It'll make the summer that much more fun! (don't get me wrong, we'd still have fun if he didn't like the water, but less hot this way :))


swimming lessons

Well, I had it in mind that this post would be called "swimming lessons = disaster", however today went AWESOME. Here's the recap.

Monday: First day of lessons, I had him all pumped up, he was telling me he'd get in the water, he could splash me, etc. We get there and he still wanted to get in water, thinking this was a good sign. As SOON as we start walking down the steps into the pool he freaks out. "I get out mama, I get out mama" over and over and over again. Half whining/half crying. We (my mom came with) were able to divert his attention for about 9.3 seconds at a time, then it went back to "I get out mama". We did suffer through this for the entire 30 minutes. When asked if he wanted to come back tomorrow it was a stern "no".

Tuesday: Go to pick him up from school. I see him in the corner playing with some cars, he lights up like normal when I see him and I ask him, "should we go to swimming lessons?". "NO, mama" and went back to playing with his cars. He finally succumbed but the entire way to St. Peter he was saying 'No swimming lessons mama, no water, no swimming lessons, no water, repeat'. So, I met my mom and she then took him to the lessons (she's graciously helping me out by taking him about every other day, I will bring him to her and then head back to work). I wasn't there, but they lasted 10 minutes in the pool and finally left because mom was certain the non-stop crying child was annoying the other parents with their children who all seem to LOVE the water.

So, yes, I was getting to be disappointed and sad. My niece is a FISH in the water and all of the other kids were doing fantastic. Is there some traumatic experience that I don't recall? What's the deal?

Today: Enter fruit snack bribery. I let him eat fruit snacks on the way to the pool. He ate some more while I was changing him into his swim trunks (also, for whatever reason he hates the swim diapers). Then I promised him MASSIVE amounts of fruit snacks AFTER swimming lessons. We went through this a few times. "When can you have fruit snacks? Do you get fruit snacks if you go in the pool with mama?", etc. And ladies and gentlemen, it WORKED. He did say once that he wanted to get out but we had smartly brought his skid loader and new truck and trailer along into the pool so he was scooping up water and pouring it on me, or he'd throw the skid loader and we'd race to go get it, etc. He went from being all scrunched up in our arms avoiding any body part touching the water to doing front floats, spins, blowing bubbles, even got his entire face wet a few times and we just laughed it off. You have no idea how happy I was (and I'm pretty sure he had fun, too).

So, hopefully this wasn't a fluke and tomorrow goes just as well!



If you haven't heard, a four year old girl died at Connor's daycare today. She was choking on a piece of food, went into cardiac arrest and they were unable to revive her (or so we understand).

You can't help but think about the 'what ifs'. What if that were my child? Bryan wouldn't have even made it back to town in time to ride to the hospital together because he's working an hour away right now. What if we had a bad ride to school or a bad dropoff where he didn't want me to go. I can't even begin to imagine what that family is going through. The staff is beyond upset. My heart aches for all of them.

I just want to cry typing this.

Needless to say, Connor got lots of hugs and kisses tonight and we said some extra prayers before bedtime. Now I need to stop thinking about the what ifs and just cherish every moment. Do the things that make me happy, make my family happy.

Ugh. Unbelievably sad.



Here's the last few days or so...

Friday: On the way to the airport to come home from Chicago I discovered that my flight was canceled. I had been gone since Monday, I REALLY wanted to get home. Thankfully, our corporate travel department was able to get my on a later flight home.

Saturday: Somehow, Connor and I took a 4 hour nap together. I'm not sure I can remember the last time he or I took that long of a nap. It was wonderful. Until Connor didn't want to go to bed until midnight. Oh well. Who doesn't want to watch 3 straight hours of Bob the Builder late at night? Also went to church for the dedication of the new sanctuary.

Sunday: Bryan and I took Connor to the Children's Museum in St. Paul for the first time. He was a little hesitant at first but then was really having fun. We'll definitely be taking him back as he gets older, but he could have spent all day in the water table area.

Monday: Went 4 for 4 or 5 for 5 (can't remember) subbing on a womens softball team, unfortunately I am probably 0 for a bunch on co-ed tuesday nights. Oh well. I golfed in high school. I also played infield for the first time in my life. Wasn't as terrible as I expected it to be! (for however much of an 'athlete' I consider myself, softball is weird for me, I throw like a girl, I have no confidence in my ability to catch a pop fly...everyone should just play volleyball)

Today: Nate and Cheryl picked up Connor last night to take him to the zoo today. They are going to have a blast! And let me tell you...having the 'morning off' from getting him up, ready and to school is SO nice, however much I completely miss our morning session of cuddling + Bob the Builder. Let me know if you ever want me to sing the theme song for you...

Coming up: Going to a fundraiser gala in the cities for an organization that my co-worker Thao works with, Humanitarian Services for Children of Vietnam. Surprised I was able to convince Bryan for an authentic Vietnamese dinner? Me too :) He needs to step outside of his food box. (frankly, so do I...I experienced sushi for the first time in my life in Chicago...and survived! Who knew?) Also stopping at my cousin's graduation party before the dinner. My cousins make me feel old. Then we have our first wedding of the year on Saturday!

Have a great rest of your week :)


death of a nuk.

The nuk must die.

Goal: June 27th.

More to come.


quality grandma time

While I'm in Chicago Connor split his time between Grandma Ruth's house and Grandma Bode's house. I'm sure there has been no spoiling, no fruit snack giving, no nuk having and certainly NO fun. Riiighht. Mom sent a few pics to keep me going while I was away, miss this guy and will have a hard time tonight refraining from waking him up at 11 when I get home to cuddle!

Throwing rocks in the pond. He loves throwing rocks in the water.

I don't know, Grandma, where did the rock (goose? duck? frog?) go?
(I really have no idea what was going on here)

These come out everytime we're at my parents house and go with us wherever we are, boat rides, etc. We NEED to get this kid an actual trailer for his tractors, however at least he improvises :)

Miss him so much!
Thank you to both Grandma's SO much for helping Bryan and I out this week!


sibley fun

To finish off our great Memorial weekend, Connor and I met Ashlyn and Krystal at Sibley Park. It certainly takes a kid of your own to truly appreciate parks. We love Sibley park!

The kids 'riding' the animals

All it takes it to see another kid do something, and he of course does the same.
He was climbing all over the fences.

Thanks Krystal and Ashlyn for coming to play with us!


fun with the bode girls

Last Monday morning (Memorial Day) Connor and I got to hang out with our favorite Bode girls, Madelyn and baby Ava. Like I've mentioned, Connor loves babies. However, at one point I was completely freaked out that he fed Ava a fruit snack as her lips were purple (evidence of fruit snacks, not like, not breathing purple) and when I asked him if she gave him one he said yes wit a big smile. So, I freaked out and was checking Ava for the fruit snack in her mouth, however fine she seemed. Then Madelyn assured me he didn't give her one and just gave her a 'fruity' kiss. Geesh. (sorry Lora, I swear you can safely trust us with your children!) Needless to say we had a big talk about what babies can and can't have (not that he can totally retain that all right now anyways).

Group photo

I love Ava's expression. Ha. WHAT is going on?


Ava contently watched Connor play with his skid loader and semi for quite some time.
Love that these girls are just a street away!


blow bubbles

Uncle Aaron amusing Connor on the way to the game :)


connor's first twins game

Pictures from Connor's first Twins game!

The birthday boy, Uncle Aaron

Love these two boys.

So happy with this family pic! Ha, okay, Connor isn't smiling but at least he's looking in the right direction and actually, Bryan isn't really looking in the right direction anyways.
Okay, so I guess I just like how I looked and if you don't look TOO closely,
it's a pretty good family pic. :)

Connor did awesome the entire time. However we did have to pull out the nuk very early, he basically sat on one of our laps the entire time. He loved TC the bear and was very concerned with where he went everytime. We settled that he was going potty. A lot.