Saturday, December 29, 2007

Slick Willy

No, this is not a reference to our little Will, but rather another more popular one. Yesterday Mary, John's mom got to get up close and personal with former president, Bill Clinton. He was in Decorah speaking on behalf of his wife. Ok, so she wasn't really up close and personal with him, but she did manage a photo op that I thought I would share. (Note to other family members...see, I can put pictures of YOU on here too!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A visit from Santa

Santa came to our house last night, and we got to open presents at home this morning. Katie and Will were very good kids cuz they got lots of toys. As you can see, Katie got a tent to play in and her and Will got a table and chairs from Santa. Katie also got lots of stocking stuffers and some Little People sets. She loved the card games from Baby Noah too. Daddy got the Lord of the Rings trilogy set (which he is watching at the moment), and Mommy got new pajamas (which she is wearing right now) and a spa gift certificate. All in all it was a great morning! Marry Christmas!

Katie helped make cut out cookies yesterday. They turned out so great that we are making more today!

Katie found her gifts from Santa right away - kind of hard to miss them. Please note the darkness outside. :) Katie woke us up at 6:45 am to get out of bed. Luckily Will had already beat her to it by waking up at 6. :)

Katie found candy canes, pez, markers, and lots of things in her stocking. Will got jipped in his.

Katie begins the task of opening her gifts.

Will couldn't open anything, but he sure loved shaking the paper, making noise with it and trying to eat it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bath time fun

Katie and Will are having more fun in the bathtub now that Will sits up in his seat. He likes putting his hand in the water and grabbing any toy Katie lets him have. Here are the first pics of the two of them together in the tub. Please don't pay any attention to the dirty bathtub walls....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New house

Well we finally have the house hunting behind us, and assuming nothing strange comes up at the inspection tomorrow we will be home owners again. We are looking to move around the first week or two of February...kinda depends on how warm it gets. :) We will be moving to Chanhassen, MN. Katie will be able to finish out her year of pre-school in Eden Prairie, and continue there next year if we want. It will be nice to have a 2 car garage and some extra space for the kids. I am posting some pictures of the house for you to see. Overall there is not a lot to do before we move in. I think we'll paint Katie's bedroom whatever color she chooses - to an extent, and maybe the master bedroom. Any decorating tips would be welcome. :)

Front view of home

Backyard - the swing set stays.

Kitchen - obviously...

Sun porch

Downstairs family room

Friday, December 7, 2007

Santa Time

Katie and Will visited Santa today. Both took it very well. I was able to get a pretty good picture of them. Seems Will didn't really care too much.

We are all decorated for Christmas - well, as decorated as we are gonna get. We have the tree up, and some other decorations too. We have a small nativity scene that we got from Grandma Mary last year. Katie has decided that she likes to play house with it. She hides the daddy and the baby, then the mommy has to find them. Today she said "Baby Jesus has a dirty diaper," and she continued to change him. :) We are in for more snow this weekend...hopefully the weather decides to take a break for awhile!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Star of the week

This week Katie is "Star of the Week" at preschool. That means she gets to bring snacks for everyone, we have to make play dough to bring to school, and she gets to bring 2 things that are special to her to show to the class. Basically, it's just a lot more work for me. :) We did get to make play dough for the first time Monday night. That was a first for me. I'm glad we did it while John was home though because you really need some arm muscle.

We also worked on getting our Christmas picture done. I try to do it myself every year, and so far so good. With two kids it's a bit more complicated, but I think I did it. I have a few good ones that I am not using, so I thought I would post one of them. It appears that we took this while we were peaking from a sugar rush. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Winter Wonderland

We got our first measurable snowfall today - as most of the upper Midwest did. After lunch, we bundled up the kids and went out to play for a while. Will and I lasted about 90 seconds, while John and Katie lasted about 10 minutes. :) Here are some pictures of the kids in the snow.

John also took on both of the kids last night while I split for the evening. I met my friend Shelley in Rochester and saw my brothers band, County Road. It was a fun night without the kids. I was greeted this morning by Katie. When I asked her if she had fun with Dad, she said "I wasn't very nice to Dad." This usually means that she didn't listen and basically tried to do whatever she felt like. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Lord's Prayer

Even though we haven't officially joined a church up here yet, Katie has been working on saying the Lord's prayer. I thought it would take a few months for her to get it down, but it only took about 10 days. We would say it at bedtime every night and before I knew it she had it down pat. So here is Katie reciting her prayer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good to be home again

Well we are finally home again after a long holiday weekend. It's great to visit family, but always nice to get to your own bed again. Katie is slowly but surely getting back to her old routine. Only a couple meltdowns today. For some reason she HATES getting dressed to go outside. Maybe that will change when the snow starts to fly, (which will be this week from sound of it) but it sure makes for a long winter. Perhaps I need to be more positive about the temperature change too - I must say I don't set a very good example...I despise the cold, and would rather have 75 degree days everyday.

Anyway, we got a chance to visit with our friend Scot, his wife Deb (great name) and their new baby Madison. Maddy was born about 4 weeks after Will so she is just a bit younger. I think they liked each other - liked to lay by each other, as long as Will behaved himself and didn't squash her. As you can see from the pictures, Will has a SLIGHT weight advantage. :) She is a very pretty little girl. Katie liked being able to play with a "girl baby."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Getting ready to head south

Turkey day is approaching and that means a trip down south to Iowa. (Referring to it as 'down south' makes me feel like we're going someplace nice and warm!) Sounds like we will be heading down Thursday morning which would put us into Waukon sometime in the early afternoon. Friday, the kids and I will drive over to Prairie du Chein to visit Janet and the boys (and the cats). Saturday Katie wants to play Bingo with Carol up at Northgate. She has been practicing and is pretty excited to yell "BINGO!" We are also going to try to squeeze in time Saturday to visit Scot Sorum and his new wife and baby. That's just a rough template of how our days look while we are in town.

Now for some nice brother/sister pictures. Will is VERY into Katie now. He has a really great belly laugh whenever she dances and sings for him. He always wants know where she is at, and is really frustrated sometimes when he can't get down to play with her. Here are a couple pictures from this morning while they were both in good moods. Tonight we have our first parent/teacher conference with Katie's preschool teacher, Ms. Laurie. Yes, they even have these meetings for preschoolers. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The shot heard round the world

Today was flu shot day for the Pladsen girls. Katie and I got our shot this afternoon. First, I picked Katie up at school and had packed a lunch for us to have a picnic at school. I didn't think we would have time to go home and eat lunch. Katie was pretty excited about that, but then I explained what we were going to be doing and it wasn't too fun. We got to the dr. and she was fine. I went first - she watched, and no big deal. Then she got her shot in her leg so it wouldn't hurt as much, and boy did she scream! Of course she got a sticker and we hung around the waiting room til the crying had stopped and to make sure there wasn't going to be a reaction since this is my first flu shot.
Then I had to deal with the drama of a 3 year old girl. Anyone that knows Katie knows that she can be a little dramatic. So now her leg is broken just like dad's. (By the way, John's knee is dong much better!) She has to limp and says that we have to put ice on her leg. (Even though the leg that she wants ice on isn't the leg she got the shot in!) So I'm sure in a couple hours all will be well again....that is if the mail comes. I promised her I would have a surprise movie for her and Netflix is supposed to deliver a new Care Bears movie today. Let's hope they come through.

Monday, November 12, 2007

4 month check up

We had Will's 4 month checkup today. Here are the stats:

He weighed in at 18 pounds, 11 ounces and was 27 inches long. Both of those put him in the 97th percentile for a boy his age. :) So we must be doing something right.
He got some shots today which upset him for about 30 seconds, then forgot why he was crying. Everything seems to be right on track developmentally, which we knew. His Dr. was very nice and spent about 30 minutes discussing our options about certain shots in the future, and how we can delay them for a bit if we wish.

Katie and I will get our flu shots on Thursday. (Lord help me) I'm not sure whether it's better to talk about it and let her know it's coming or just surprise her that day. Our little drama queen will put on a show either way I'm afraid.

Will is all ready for winter! We found out these mittens from Old Navy are too small (they left marks on his wrists) - so we upgraded him to Katie's mittens and bought her a new pair instead. Then I realized 'holy cow - he is wearing a 3 year old's mittens..."

Will gets to borrow our friend Noah's Bumbo seat for a while. I think Katie likes it even more because Will can sit and have picnics with her. She serves him all kinds of pretend food that she whips up in her kitchen. Will is excited because Katie is actually giving him stuff to play with.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Minnesota Sushi

It was a day of eating out, which it SHOULD be because then I don't have to do the dishes. Tonight for supper the four of us went to Little Sushi and had sushi. I hadn't had any since our trip down to Key Largo with our friend Scot about 4 years ago. I really enjoyed it then, but I can't remember if it was actually good food, or if I was just jacked up on Japanese beer and Saki. Anyway this little place was really pretty good for Minnesota. And the funniest part? Katie barely ate anything at the Olive Garden earlier today. No chicken, no noodles, no salad, just bread. At the sushi place she chowed down cucumber rolls one bite right after another. We didn't really give her any of our fish...figure it best not to push it too far yet. But she enjoyed the cucumbers, rice, and seaweed wraps. :)

It's inevitable...

Ok - so I will admit to it before everyone blows my cover. I am now *30* (whisper). Last night Katie made me a cardboard bug with clothespins for legs. She said it was my birthday present. I think this is the first year that she has actually made the birthday 'connection.'
Will celebrated by waking up at 3 am to eat, but then sleeping til 8. I'll take it. And John is celebrating by, well, by walking. :) I went and got a new watch for myself the other day and a pair of sunglasses. I also think the 4 of us are going to go out to lunch today at Olive Garden.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Hi everyone. I will post a picture later, but wanted to let everyone know that it snowed here this morning. Obviously it didn't stick around, but it snowed pretty good for about 20 minutes. Nice big flakes. Katie wanted to go play in it, but by the time she got ready to go was over. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Finally took the plunge

After 4 years of having the same 'stone age' cell phone. I finally upgraded to a new camera phone. It has camera, video and MP3 capabilities. So far I have only figured out the camera part of it. So here are a couple pictures from my phone. Will has taken over one of Katie's bears that says a cute little prayer when you squeeze it. It was given to Katie from cousin Sarah and I am a bit surprised she is letting Will drool all over it.

John is doing much better, although parts of his leg look like I may have taken a bat to it. :) Within a week or so the crutches should be put away, and he'll be left with the leg brace.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Wild weekend

Not too long ago, a 'wild weekend' would have meant something else. This past weekend was a wild blur because we were running around pretty much every second of the days. Thank goodness we found an extra hour with daylight savings time.

John is getting better slowly. It's not happening as fast as he would like, but each day is better than the one before it. He starts physical therapy today. My mom was with us through Saturday and was a big help. The kids and I took her back down to Rochester Saturday, and I met some friends for lunch.

On Sunday we met another friend in the cities visiting for the weekend. I think we have had our fill of malls for the time being. :) Katie also got to see Barney Sunday morning. He was in town at the local toy store celebrating his 20th birthday. Guess he shares his birthday with brother Jeff, a.k.a. 'Bubba.' (Happy late 39th birthday Jeff!)

So here is a picture of us with Barney. I think even Will got a kick out of the big guy.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All ok

I just got word from the surgeon that John's surgery went very well. He is now in recovery and in the process of waking up. When he fully wakes up they will take him to another recovery area and I get to see him then. I am on my way to the hospital as soon as I feed Will...the boy always eats! John gets to come home this afternoon on crutches and ice packs. I'm pretty sure John will be catered to quite well the next few days.

So last night John spent his evening taking Katie out while he could still get around fairly easy. Here are some pictures of the 2 kids. Will's picture was actually taken a couple weeks ago because we were afraid the costume wouldn't fit - it ended up still fitting, although he had to be changed by 3:00 due to a 'diaper accident.' :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just to let you know

Hi everyone, and Happy Halloween, AND a special Happy Birthday to Noah who turns 1 today!

After buying 3-4 bags of candy we had a total of 3 trick-or-treaters. Luckily I got candy that we all like so we can eat it too - which we will happily do. Katie got a bucket full after being out with Dad for a total of 20 minutes. I will post costume pictures tomorrow.

I wanted to let everyone know that John is having surgery tomorrow. (He'll probably hate that I am posting it, but I think everyone should know so they can be thinking of him and send him well wishes. ) He is having his ACL replaced in his knee. It is a problem that need to be fixed for a while now and he has decided to get it over and done with. He will be in and out the same day, which will be nice. My mom has come up for a few days to help with laundry, cleaning, and the kids, etc. So I will keep everyone posted on how that goes as well.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Fest

I thought I would share some pictures from Katie's preschool Pumpkin Fest yesterday. She got to decorate a pumpkin, play games, eat ice cream, and sing songs. Katie was VERY excited to have Dad come to her school, unfortunately he couldn't see her classroom though.

We also got Will's exersaucer out this week. He has really gotten better at grabbing things now and can actually do a lot of things on it. Here, Katie is reading him a story, and he looks very interested. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Ants go Marching

Today at preschool, Katie had to wear all black because they were going to pretend to be ants and march through the hallways. Do you know how odd it is to go into a building where every child is dressed in black? Room after room of kids in black. Those of you who have kids know that black is not an easy color to find for a child either. Pink, Blue, purple, now THOSE are everywhere. They had a good time marching though - played drums and shook tambourines

Katie got to bring home a special bag again. This time, instead of a teddy bear inside, there are games and stories about camping; all kinds of activities to do as a family.

This weekend Katie has a party at school where she gets to decorate her little pumpkin. We'll try to get some pictures of that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hotel stay

Our long weekend is over, and now it's back to the grind. Katie and Will had fun at the hotel in Rochester. We stayed 2 nights so Katie could get some more swimming in. The sleeping could have been better, but it was fun. (Katie decided to stay up past midnight both nights!) But we did have some fun with the shower caps, as you can see.

The kids also had fun in Waukon visiting family. Will is finally getting used to laying on the floor again instead of being held all the time. :) Katie had school pictures today - I am told they went well.

We also made it out of Waukon before the big fire broke out Sunday night/Monday morning. Wild Willy's pretty much burned down, and it sounds like they will demolish the building. This is where Mom and Dad had their 45th wedding anniversary party about a month ago. Sorry to hear about the loss, but glad no one was hurt. I also want to send a GET WELL SOON out to our nephew Joey who was admitted to the hospital last night. The smoke and ash from the fire irritated his asthma enough that it made it hard for him to breathe. It's scary to be in the hospital, especially when you're only 4.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Long weekend

Hi everyone! Katie does not have school on Thursday, so we are heading back to Waukon earlier. John has work to do in Rochester on Thursday, so we will head to Rochester tomorrow, stay in a hotel for the night and go swimming. (We'll see how Will enjoys that!) Then Thursday afternoon we will head to Waukon.
I picked up Katie from school today and one her classmate's mom stopped to ask me if Katie would like to have a play date with her son in a week or so. They share a locker at school so Katie was the first person he met in class and I guess he talks about her quite a bit at home. :)
Still having some drop off issues in the morning, but it will get better. Her teacher said that as long as she is excited to get ready to GO to school it will be fine.
Well, have a good weekend and we'll pick up the posts on next Monday!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Day

Katie and Dad (and technically) Will all carved the Pladsen family pumpkin today. We got a big enough pumpkin that we could put 2 faces on it - one on each side. Of course, I haven't gotten a picture of the finished product yet, but I have to say I think it is our best...ok, JOHN'S best carving job to date.

We also went the extra step to save the seeds, and I roasted the seeds while John finished the carving. They are pretty darn good too.

I am TOO cool for pumpkin carving.

This is Katie on her pony from yesterday.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Busy day...

Hi everyone! Today since it was SOOO beautiful outside we went to Sever's corn maze in Shakopee. They have a HUGE maze created inside a corn field. Katie got her face painted, rode on a pony and we all pigged out on yummy food like roasted corn on the cob, cheese curds, corn dogs, and carmel apple slices.

Will spent the entire day in the baby carrier and liked it quite well. He even got a nap in. Here are some pictures of our day.

Katie got a butterfly painted on her face.

Dad and Katie hand in hand.

I have another picture of her on the pony that doesn't seem to want to go on, so I will try to add that later. Tomorrow we are planning on carving our pumpkin!

Friday, October 12, 2007

P.B. Bear

I picked up Katie from preschool yesterday and she was VERY excited because it was her turn to bring P.B. Bear home. P.B. is this teddy bear that each child gets to bring home in a big bookbag filled with a couple outfits, and a big book to read. We bring him back next week and she gets to stand up and tell everyone what she did with P.B. over the weekend. So far he has gone swinging in Will's swing, they have had a picnic, she has read him books, and she made him supper last night. :)

We found that P.B.'s night time hat was a little big for the bear, but fit Will very nicely. :) Will thought so too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coming to Waukon...

Just wanted to let you all know that we decided to come back to Waukon NEXT weekend. I had thought we'd be back this weekend (as in tomorrow), but turns out next weekend works best. So I hope that will work with everyone's schedules and plans. I'll let you know more next week.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Katie's Field Trip

Katie rode the school bus with her preschool class to the apple orchard in Jordan, MN today. She sat with one of the teachers, Ms. Pam and peeked out the windows as Will and I waved good bye to her. It was VERY windy today so all the kids were decked out in their winter coats, hats and mittens. She got to ride on a wagon and tour the orchard, she got to pick 2 apples off the trees, and she ate donuts for a snack. So far, that's about all I've gotten out of her. Her favorite part was riding on the school bus, of course. Ms. Pam said that she got some good pictures of her on the bus and picking apples.
The next big day is in 2 weeks when they have their school pictures taken. :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

What a klutz

Someone fell down the stairs this morning. Before you ask how Katie is doing, it wasn't her. Yes, I fell down the stairs this morning. Our stairs are split - you go down about 6 steps, there's a landing, you turn and go down the other 8 steps. Luckily I hit the wall on the landing and didn't go any further. Otherwise, I think I would have just kept going. :) I was carrying some clothes down to wash, was in a hurry and slipped on the carpeted steps. Nothing hurt, except the pride and maybe a bruise on my upper arm. :) Hopefully it teaches Katie to be careful at least. :) Although this is the 2nd time I've slipped on the stairs in like the past 6 months....

Here is Katie showing off doing a somersault...proving she is more graceful than me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Katie Show

Katie wanted to make a movie this morning, so she is showing off her spelling and comedy skills. Not much new going on up here - the leaves are falling, had some thunder and lightening last night. And we MAY be going to the circus tomorrow!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Growing up...

I dropped off Katie this morning for preschool and we had some pretty big separation issues. She absolutely did NOT want Will and I to leave. Her teacher, Ms. Laurie (who is wonderful), finally had to pick her up and take her away to the other side of the room to do an activity while I left. Talk about hard to keep a smile on your face! I so just wanted to pick her up and take her home and say - "You don't have to go!" But it is VERY good for her to learn to trust some other adults and get some time on her own. When I picked her up, I talked with her teacher for a while and of course about 30 seconds after I had left - Katie was as happy as could be.

Next Tuesday is a VERY big day because it is their first field trip. They get to ride a school bus to an apple orchard in Jordan, MN. Then they got to go on a wagon ride, pick apples off the trees, watch an apple press squeeze juice out, and finally have donuts, apples and cider for a snack. Of course the BIGGEST highlight is the bus ride. :) I can't go along on the bus because Will is not allowed to go, but there are some parents helping out that day. Of course - I'll be a nervous wreck til she gets home...