Keeping Up with Ron, Sara, Jackson and Addie

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The chase...

A few weeks ago Jackson and I broke out the sprinkler for some fun. When dad got home from work, Jackson had figured out the sprinkler and was brave enough to pick it up and aim it at mom and dad! But dad is far smarter still.

The chase...

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Family Update

Jackson's Latest Vocabulary Update: I've been pulling out some of the first year Spanish words to teach Jackson. He can now count to ten in Spanish and knows the words for hair, hands, mouth and eyes. We're still working on feet and fingers. Just yesterday we started working on animals. When I told him the word for Cow (vaca)... he repeated it as "caca." And that's a whole other spanish word that I am not ready for him to learn (Google it if you aren't familar).

Jackson's nap time: We are really working hard to get Jackson to take a nap at school. On days that he goes to school, he doesn't nap and then is grumpy and typically falls asleep at the dinner table. We've been watching an episode of Diego before bed, but now he can only watch Diego if he takes a nap during the day. We started this last week, and haven't had luck yet. But he has behaved at nap time (no jumping on his cot) and tried to take a nap, but has not been successful yet. Nap times are no problem at home, it's just school days that are a problem.

Camping: Sara and Jackson did not have a great first camping experience this year, but we are going to try it again. A combination of a tired mama, no daddy and a kid who didn't turn his listening ears on made it difficult and we ended our trip early. This time we are heading up to Grandpa Kolar's for the Fourth and plan to sleep in my mom's camper for a night. I'm hoping this trip is more enjoyable and we'll have some practice so we can be ready for a trip to Gooseberry State Park in the coming weeks.

What Ron has going on: Ron has been working to improve his wordworking space in our garage. The latest additions have been a monster lumber rack to help him to organize his wood and the purchase of a band saw and a planer. I'm not sure what either of these purchases will help him to do, but one of them involves the building of a much needed picnic table. Ron has finished fencing in our backyard. Though after installing the latch, Jackson proceeded to unlatch it and open the gate. So, we'll need to come up with a childproof option.

Sara's load: Last week was finals week and today I started a new term. I was originally slated to attend full time this term, but dropped it down to part time. I was enrolled in a class taught by the same professor that I had for last term... well I was not at all impressed with her and decided to drop the course planning to sign up for something else in its place. But with the new baby due August 17 and the term not ending until August 20, I reluctantly decided that I would only take one course this term. This will allow more time to get ready for the baby and enjoy the summer a bit. I think it's a smart move, I'm just not thrilled knowing it will extend the date in which I will graduate.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Water park...

We packed a picnic supper and headed to Battle Creek Water Park to enjoy the summer sun. Here are dad and boy relaxing a bit during the safety break.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When I get big...

This morning, in the living room I was putting sunscreen on Jackson and when I picked him up I told him how big he was. The conversation went like this:

Me: You are getting so big!
Jackson: No, I'm little.
Me: Are you going to get big? Big like Daddy?
Jackson: Yes. I'm going to get big like daddy. Then I can pee standing up!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A songwriter...

This isn't Ron's best work but I do think it's pretty clever. While Jackson washes his hands we now sing this little ditty:

Front side, front side
Back side, back side
and in between
and then they're clean!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day...

We started the day at Key's Cafe for breakfast to celebrate Father's Day with my dad. We gave him a rosebush that Jackson picked out at Bachman's and hopes that he thinks of us when he sees it in his yard.

Then we headed off to play at a local park for a while. Jackson and his daddy had a blast playing on the train but mostly love the teeter-totter! We sure tired the boy out at the park, so we went home for nap time. This year Jackson gave his dad a Twins jersey and Mercer Mayer's Just Me and My Dad.

We also celebrated with Papa for dinner at his place. A day all about dad's that everyone seemed to enjoy.


On Thursday we met with the owner of Jackson's childcare center. He's not been napping at school, which means for a crabby evening and falling asleep at the dinner table. We worked with Carol to find some new ways to encourage him to fall asleep. So if Jackson takes a nap, he gets to add a Diego piece to the spot under TV Show, and he can watch an episode of Diego before bed. No Nap = No Diego. If Jackson does not follow other directions throughout the day, he can have books taken away from him. We'll see if this helps!

Super Jackson...

Jackson asked me to tie his bathrobe around his neck so that he could have a superhero cape. Then he said that superheros need to wear special eye goggles... and what's a super hero without a saw??

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Go Twins...

Ron and I are both huge Twins fans. Last night we were lucky enough to get to enjoy the game with my mom, aunt Mell and uncle Terry in the Cambria box seats. I was even given the opportunity to meet the woman who plays the organ at the home games, her name is Sue Nelson and she's been playing for 11 seasons. A fun time. Check out this great video of Sue and her cool job!
Click here to watch the short Video

Yes, shortcake for dinner...

On Sunday we had a late lunch. So for dinner we had strawberry shortcake. That's right, this mom provided her family with strawberry shortcake for dinner! No one seemed to mind especially since we were eating outside on a beautiful day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Should I be a movie star or a TV star...

This morning I was telling Jackson that today was a school day and that both mommy and daddy had to go to work. Conversation went something like this:

Mom: Today is Tuesday and you get to go to school today. Mommy goes to work and Daddy goes to work today.

Jackson: I want to go to work.

Mom: You want to go to work?

Jackson: I'm a movie star.

Mom: A movie star? Wow. Okay, a movie star.

Jackson: No, TV.

Mom: You want to be on a TV show?

Jackson: Yes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nature Valley Bike Festival

This last week we spent some time with the Nature Valley bike races in town. On Wednesday we were able to check out the St. Paul Criterium race. We were able to catch the kids' race first. It was decided that Jackson would participate in this race next year. Then we walked the course, taking in all the good viewpoints for the men's race. Jackson had a blast using his clapper every time the pace car came around. We kept our eye on Floyd Landis and were excited to see him racing up close! Not nearly as cool as watching the Tour de France, but we'll take what we can get.

Then on Sunday we made our way down the Stillwater hills to see the Stillwater Criterium. It was a hot day and at 7 mos. pregnant the heat took its toll on me. I struggled walking the race route, but we made it through the men's race. We watched Landis lead the race for some time only to be taken in the last 10 or so laps. The boys had a fun time, as I shuffled behind them.

A birthday party...

We celebrated Grandpa Joel's 68th birthday. Jackson was lucky enough to be able to help Papa Joel blow out his candles. I think Joel enjoyed having his family all around and we really enjoyed watching the special moments he shared with Jackson after everyone left.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Fun List

I needed to keep track of the list in my head of all the things I want to do with Jackson or maybe both kids this summer. It's possible that this list is ambitious considering we are expecting the baby in middle August, so some things may need to wait until next summer. Here is our "Summer Fun" list:

1. Pick strawberries
2. Run through the sprinkler
3. Battle Creek Waterpark
4. Horse Races
5. Paddleboat ride
6. Fishing
7. Sleep in a tent
8. Roast marshmallows at home
9. A water balloon toss
10. The Arboretum
11. Nature walk in Lake Elmo
12. The train museum
13. Go to a drive in movie
14. Pick our raspberries
15. Harvest the garden

And to show progess we can check these off the list

16. May Day Parade
17. Grand Old Day Parade
18. Nature Valley Bike Racing
19. Take in a Twins Game
20. Plant a vegetable garden

Thursday, June 11, 2009

8 things...

8 Things. Just a fun meme that I copied from another site.

8 things I am looking forward to:
1. Scrapbooking my SD photos
2. Meeting Addie
3. A date night with my husband that isn't planned
4. Hugs from my boy
5. Fresh veggies from my garden
6. A run through the sprinkler
7. The Sun
8. Apple crisp

8 things I did yesterday:
1. Finished my Marketing simulation project.
2. Ate a gyro
3. Watched a parade with my family
4. Had an M&M cookie
5. Scrapbooked some wedding photos
6. Read stories to my boy
7. Wrote in my journal
8. Watered my poor upstairs often forgotten about plant

8 things I wish I could do:
1. Color my hair
2. Eat sushi
3. Cook dinner more
4. Make apple crisp
5. Keep the boy at age two
6. Stay home with my boy
7. Take cooking classes
8. Read for enjoyment more

8 shows I watch:
1. MN Twins
2. Chopped
3. Ace of Cakes
4. The Fashion Show
5. Project Runway
6. Top Chef
7. Jeopardy
8. Scrubs

8 favorite fruits:
1. Bananas
2. Pineapple
3. Apples
4. Blueberries
5. Strawberries
6. Cantaloupe
7. Kiwi
8. Oranges

8 places I’d like to travel:
1. London
2. Austrailia
3. Wyoming
4. Spain
5. Italy
6. Savannah
7. Ireland
8. Texas

8 places I’ve lived:
1. Shoreview, Minnesota
2. Maplewood, Minnesota
3. St. Paul, Minnesota
4. River Falls, Wisconsin

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And another thing...

We also learned on vacation that Jackson is going to be a great big brother, at least until the novelty wears off. We visited Katie and Jesse and baby Liam on our way back out of South Dakota and had such a nice time. Jackson helped me to feed baby Liam and even patted him on the back when it was time to burp. He sang him songs, a couple loud rounds of the Alphabet Song and Twinkle Twinkle. He even took his turn at holding Liam and did a pretty darn good job at it. I hope he will be as helpful with his baby sister as he was at the Heller's.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What we learned from Jackson while on vacation...

- He is VERY afraid of adults dressed in costume at amusement parks or The Corn Palace.

- He will take his shoes and socks off every time he gets in the car.

- Excitedly screaches when he can see snakes

- Will pay attention to an entire Alligator show.

- Thinks Crazy Horse should really have been a bunch of crazy horses.

- Likes going on "adventures."

- Thinks hotel pools rock.

- Can't get his fill of corndogs and fries.

- Will entertain babies with songs.

- Will tell you he has to poop when he doesn't have to all to get out of seeing the Mt. Rushmore lighting ceremony.

- Eats spears of pickles from the side instead of the end.

- Loves licorice.

- Thinks wearing headphones to watch a DVD is the coolest.

- Thinks desserts should be call pah-zerts.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

South Dakota

Friday: We had a wonderful trip to South Dakota this last week. We left Friday afternoon when Ron got off work and headed for Mitchell, SD making a stop in Sioux Falls for a quick dinner at McDonalds. We arrived at the AmericInn in Mitchell just in time for Jackson's bed time. He was a great little traveler that first night.

Saturday: Ron and Jackson checked out the pool in the morning and then we headed out to see the Corn Palace, which was not all that exciting. But we did end up at the Perhistoric Indian Village in Mitchell, and thought that was well worth the stop. They are uncovering an old Indian Village, underground. Then we headed for Wall Drug where we had an overpriced lunch, but enjoyed the time running around the store. In the backyard at Wall Drug there is a dinosaur that wakes up every 12 minutes and makes quite the ruckus... scared Jackson to death! He rode on wagon trains, mechanical donkeys, drank some free water and burned off some energy before we headed to Rapid City. In Rapid City we found Bear Country USA. We had so much fun driving through the campus to see buffalo, elk and bear. After the short drive we walked through the baby animals display. Jackson could have spent an hour in front of the bear cubs, watching them play.

Sunday: After spending bit of time at the pool we headed to The Reptile Gardens where Jackson was thrilled to see snakes, and alligator show, giant tortoise and prairie dogs. After that we headed out to see Mt. Rushmore. While there it started to rain a bit, but it was just a quickly passing storm. We ate lunch in Keystone at a cute little deli. We got back in the car for the meandering trip through Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. Jackson fell asleep shortly into the trip, but Ron and I enjoyed the beautiful drive finding donkeys, buffalo, antelope and prairie dogs on the way. Jackson woke up just in time to see the donkey that came right up to our window hoping for food. After checking in to our hotel in Hot Springs, we ate dinner in town and heading back north to see the lighting ceremony of Mt. Rushmore. The drive back to the hotel in the dark was a bit scary, hundreds of dear lined the dark winding roads, but thanks to Ron we made it home safely.

Monday: We stated our day at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, an archeological site of a mammoth dig. Then went to Custer to the National Woodcarving Museum, which wasn't really national. Some of the woodcarving exhibits talked back to you when you put in the wooden nickel, but these were pretty scary for the boy, so he spent a lot of time in Mom's arms. Then we headed out to see Crazy Horse, though Jackson thought we were heading to see "crazy horses". We took a bus ride up to the mountain, which Jackson just loved doing. He was a good little boy on the bus and sat still, looking out the window. We were able to take a rock from the mountain in which Crazy Horse is being carved. Then we went to Hill City for lunch at a cute 50s dinner. It began to rain during our late lunch, so after we piled in the car and headed south again to our hotel in Hot Springs. After a few packed days we were mighty tired and napped in our hotel room. We decided to have a mellow night, since it was raining anyway, we spent some time swimming in the pool. After drying off, we stopped at the local Pamida so Ron could get more socks, and we bought a barrel of monkeys to play in our room. We spent the last hours of the evening in our room eating dinner and playing games.

Tuesday: It was off to The Badlands! We headed back east through the badlands, taking the scenic route there. We saw loads of wildlife again and when we hit the badlands, we were thrilled. We got out at a few scenic overlooks and took pictures. We had lunch at Cedar Pass Lodge and checked into our hotel, a great little cabin IN the badlands! After a nap in the cabin we headed out for some hikes in the badlands, keeping our eyes out for rattlesnakes.

Wednesday: We got up early in the morning to begin making the long drive to Milbank, SD to see our friends the Hellers. Our first stop was for gas, after a somewhat hectic search for a gas station. Then for a Dairy Queen lunch. And other than that we spent much of the day in the car making our way to Milbank. Where we were met with a wonderful dinner and great friends, and the cutest little baby!

Thursday: Another morning of getting on the road, but this time to head to our home.