Monday, May 30, 2011

The Ledges

Today we took the boys to The Ledges- a state park about 40 min from our house. This is one of those places that people who don't get out of the Midwest much make a big deal about. But that's the great thing about having little kids-experiencing everything through their eyes. This little rocky creek was absolute perfection for these little adventurers to explore on their own. At this age you certainly don't need roaring rapids and picturesque waterfalls to enjoy your surroundings. We brought a picnic lunch, enjoyed the perfect weather and made it back home for naptime--an ideal outing for this little family. We're already looking forward to bringing them back there soon. Its nice to start adventuring in Iowa- things can only get better from here :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A little randomness...

  • Next week is Bennett's birthday week. I think at the age of 4, its time to start spending a whole week celebrating. First up on the agenda- Kung Fu Panda 2 tomorrow with his Mommy & Daddy. Secondly- a trip to the grocery store on Monday: I heard an idea from a friend a long time ago that they got to pick any cereal they wanted to eat during their birthday week. I loved that idea (since my kids get Kix as a treat) so Bennett will get his first exposure to all that freeze-dried marshmallow-ey goodness. I'll let you know what he picks.

  • I don't like planning birthday parties without my decorating-genius mother-in-law. (They're in England right now). So this semi-crafty, not-very-creative girl is trying to muster up every ounce of creative craftiness. Thank goodness for blogland. I'm a good copier.

  • I love clicking the "Hide all posts by fill-in-the-blank" on my facebook wall. Makes me feel like I'm getting rid of a bunch of junk mail :)

  • Jon's becoming a total rockstar mechanic. He's well past 200,000 miles on his X5 so inevitably quite a few things keep breaking or malfunctioning. Every time something goes wrong, he does a little research on the internet, watches a YouTube video, orders a part and fixes it himself. Today he's replacing the fuel pump. I'd love to know how many thousands of dollars he's saved us this year.

  • I'm so happy the Bachelorette started again and that my hubby watches (and enjoys it- or at least pretends to) with me. Its a cheap and romantic date night every week. (Hey, you take what you can get when you have kids!)

  • In book news: I added a new book to my blog book list-check it out. I never told you the results of my books from vacation. Edgar Sawtelle was enjoyable in parts but it had the worst ending of any book ever, I couldn't believe I'd wasted the whole week on it. Angela's Ashes and The Invisible Wall were both great and worth reading for sure but kind of similar so don't read them back to back. I just finished the Dragon Tattoo series. It was definitely great but there's so much super dull informative bits you have to wade through between all the great action scenes, you really have to stick with it. So don't read them unless you have a lot of patience-or you're a good skimmer. One book where the movie will likely be a lot better.

  • And scenes from an impromptu bonfire last night:

Jon built that big wood platform behind them last summer for our big kiddie pool since our backyard isn't level. I'm super excited-we're going to put in a big cement patio there soon.


Yes, that's a birds nest burning in this picture. That's what boys do best- burn stuff. (no birds were harmed in the making of this fire)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our first "summer break" has begun!

My first born child has a whole year of school under his belt. He had his end of year preschool program today. And yes, I totally got teary eyed when they showed the photo slideshow of the year. I was holding Bennett in my arms and he had his head resting on my shoulder and I was savoring that moment- my sweet little baby (who's nearly half my body weight now!) who needs me less and less with each passing year. And yet he still needs me. For how much longer?? And my parents watching on, no doubt thinking about my first year of school in Miss Lovinggood's class (That was really her name and yes, she was loving and good!). Such a crazy thing watching your child growing up. I'm thankful he still has another year of preschool left. I can't imagine facing the whole Kindergarten thing just yet. I asked him this morning before we left if he was going to miss school and he said so sweetly, "Nope. Because now I get to stay home with you!" Good answer, son. Good answer. Think he'll feel that way after he graduates highschool??

His teachers, Miss Heidi and Miss Dawn (although you know we're not in the South because as much as I corrected him, he still always just said Heidi and Dawn):

(And one other side note- this was proof to me that he can smile normal on command- something I did not think he was capable of before this without me resorting to saying things like, "Guess what? Chicken Butt.")

This carpet square business is hard work:

We celebrated afterwards with two of the best things a 3 yr old can think of: McDonald's Happy Meal and a park.

There was a first grade class there on a field trip. At one point I looked for Dawson and saw he had this gaggle of girls following his every step:

This poor little girl never quite figured out that every time she would bend down to say Peekaboo, she'd inevitably get a whack in the face, which of course Dawson thought was hilarious. I finally had to tell her to stop bending down. Unfortunately much easier than getting Dawson to stop hitting her and laughing.

And every single one of them told me they had a baby brother or baby sister or baby cousin or their mom's friend's neighbor had a baby. Like they were convincing me they were well qualified to be taking care of my baby at the park. It was so funny.

Sorry...I'm slackin.

Here's a photo dump from the last couple of weeks. I didn't get any pics with my kids on Mother's Day so I had to take matters into my own hands (yes, pretty much every picture I'm in with my kids was taken with the timer. Otherwise there would be no evidence that I was ever even there ;)

Our new IKEA swing in the basement. It only swings in one direction so it didn't have to hang in the middle of the room:

love this one:

The two patriarchs of the Colyer/Ottley fam surprised all of us on Mother's Day by getting one huge suite at the Waterpark Hotel a few minutes from our house. It was so much fun. There was a giant room for us all to eat and hang out in (since you couldn't have your own food by the pool) and 2 bedrooms so the napping situation was totally convenient. We all agreed it would have to be a tradition. Bennett had a sleepover there with his Nana, along with Bethany and Piper and Quinn. I brought Dawson back the next day for even more swimming.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

my [temporary] angel baby

I can't get enough of this picture. I'm posting it for Nana and Nonny, who I know also won't get enough of this angelic little face. Yep, he was sick as a dog today. Literally layed in my arms probably 75% of the time he was awake today. This was when he fell asleep in my arms. Every mom will admit they don't mind when their kids are sick here and there because you get moments like these!! Ugh. Melts my heart. And I had plenty of time for love and cuddles since my mom came to the rescue and took Bennett for the afternoon.

wedding weekend

This past weekend we were in Lake Geneva, WI at the wedding of a very dear friend of our family's. We go back over 20 years with the McKendricks (seriously?? I'm old enough to say that??) and they've always been like family to us. Their youngest daughter Amanda got married and I was very honored that she asked me to do her hair for the wedding. My camera batteries were dead so I didn't get great pics (sorry, Candy). But their wedding was fabulous and you can see several more pictures of all the cute details here. Poor Jon was a little bored all weekend, since, let's face it-- wedding details are only fun to women. He and Bennett (we left Dawson with Judie) had all kinds of adventures around Lake Geneva without me. But I had a ton of fun helping with the decorating and being part of the glam squad for the girls on the wedding day. It was one of the best weddings I've been to in a long time. (And not just because they had make-your-own root beer floats at the reception!) So very happy for you, Paul and Amanda!