Friday, August 22, 2008

Vacation sports

We are staying in the Brainerd, MN area for a few days and this morning at our resort they offered some tennis classes. I signed up for a 'Cardio Tennis', and discovered I was a class-o-one. I certainly got a work out and got to play tennis for 45 minutes. Then it was Katie's turn. Her and another little girl did a 40 minute tennis lesson. Our little phenom really did a great job. She actually hit the ball over their net and everything. She was pretty excited and I think we'll do it again tomorrow. Pictures to come when we get home.

Last night we went to a campfire and had marshmallows...probably do that again tonight. Will thought they were amazing! Everyone slept pretty well for the first night. I am expecting an even better nights sleep tonight.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where does the time go?

I meant to post about this past weekend and the days have just gotten away from me! My sister Denise and her daughter, Sarah, came to stay with us for the weekend. They spent a few hours at the Mall of America and then came and had a 'slumber party' with Katie. I think Sarah was more tired than Katie by the time they went home on Sunday. (Hope you had fun at your first day of 10th grade today Sarah!)

This morning, Katie is at her last camp for the summer. We are leaving to go on vacation up north to the Brainerd area tomorrow through Monday. And next Tuesday we will head south to IA to spend a week with family. If these next 12 days don't kill me, I think I can survive anything. :)

Katie is very excited to go on vacation and play on the beach. They also have kids' golf clubs that you can rent so we'll try that out on a short course. (Note to self...don't forget the camera.) I think most of all Katie and Will are excited about spending some time with Dad. He's had a few late nights and had to work this last weekend so Katie has been missing him. This morning John had to leave early and the kids weren't up yet. John went out the door, and I was planning on laying down for a little bit yet. I heard the garage door open, and then I heard Katie through the monitor. "My Daddy!! My Daddy!! It's not fair!!" Ok, scratch laying down. :)

On a side note - Will is walking more and more. As I type I just saw him walk about 5 feet on his own. Lord help us.

One on Will's favorite games is to play 'train' with Katie. He holds on to her and walks behind.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


We have been enjoying the Olympics this week on tv. Katie hasn't cared too much about it, although she likes doing gymnastics and is very upset that she can't do a cartwheel. I tried to help one night and spotted her for a cartwheel, but she said it wasn't good enough. Then she asked me if I could do a cartwheel....hmmm. I cleared a space and attempted what I thought in my head was a pretty good cartwheel. I looked at her disappointed face after I had finished and knew that I hadn't lived up to her expectations. :) "That's not very good mom." I think my gymnastics career is over - I can't even impress a 4 year old.

I remember when I was younger - 8, 9, 10 years old, and how much I wanted to be able to do gymnastics. I so wanted to learn how to do back flips and cartwheels and all that jazz. Unfortunately in our small town there was not much opportunity for these things. One summer when I was 9, and we lived in Lansing, IA I became very close friends with a neighbor girl that was visiting her dad for the summer from...I can't remember where. Anyway her name was Danielle and she took ACTUAL gymnastics lessons...with a real coach. She could do everything! Danielle tried to teach me as best she could and was very encouraging, for a 9 year old. That was the first time I watched the movie Nadia - the made for tv movie about the life of Nadia Comaneci. I was hooked. (On a side note...Netflix just got that movie in their library!! I have it coming tomorrow...what a blast from the's been like 15 years since I have seen it!) I never talked to Danielle again after that summer, lost touch - don't know what ever became of her.

Anyway, that summer was the height of my gymnastics ability. Sad, but true. A few years later I was practicing handstands and was doing them absolutely perfect. A friend tried to help me do a flip from a handstand position, and it wasn't a great idea because I broke my collarbone. I haven't been upside down since. :)

So am I pushing my gymnastics dreams onto Katie? I don't think so. After all, Katie doesn't get 'pushed' into anything she doesn't want to do. She's too strong willed. She likes somersaults, etc., but I think she would rather be on stage singing than flipping around.

Maybe there's a chance with Will. On second thought - maybe we should just get him walking first.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The fair - day 2

Friday evening the four of us went to the Carver County Fair. We looked at the animals - chickens, ducks, roosters, cows, horses, sheep, goats, etc. Katie said her favorite was the baby chicks, I think Will's were the horses.

John got to see Katie's artwork and ribbons that she won, then we settled in to play some bingo - no winners here. After a little rainstorm we grabbed some food. John and Katie decided to play a water game where you shoot at a target and race the other people playing. They WON! So Katie got to pick ANY stuffed animal that she wanted. She got a tiger. That's neat, we thought - we never win things like that! Then John and Katie went on a Dizzy Dragon ride. After that Katie played one more kiddie game - she won Will a snake.

On our way out John saw that one game had a giant Iowa State basketball to win. You had to throw a baseball at these 3 blocks and try to knock all of them off the table. What the heck, John said he would try it once. WHAM! One ball was all it took - he won again! Seriously - we were on a roll...or rather John was. Then they gave us the ball - it's a basketball fabric wrapped around a big exercise ball! No, it did not fit in the trunk. I held it on my lap all the way home. :) My own personal air bag.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The County Fair

Yesterday the kids and I journeyed to the county fair. We had never been to this fair before so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found reminded me of our hometown fair in IA...with one exception. MUCH better food. :) The grounds were a little bit bigger, but not too much. Our first stop was lunch - Katie ate a corn dog, and I had a taco-in-a-bag. After lunch we went over to the education building to see if Katie had won any ribbons for the artwork she brought to the fair. I was hoping that she would at least win one ribbon. We didn't need to worry - she won six - one for everything that she brought. She won a first place ribbon for her birdhouse that she painted for her birthday, she got a second place for a clay sculpture that she took, she got a couple third place ribbons for some paintings that she took, a fourth place for a coloring picture and another participation ribbon for a different coloring picture. She was pretty excited and is looking forward to showing them to Dad tonight at the fair. Katie was a real fair pro though. We walked through the commercial buildings and once she found out that people were just GIVING away treasures like pencils, magnets and candy - she would walk right up to the table and say "Do you have anything to give me?" They thought that was pretty funny so she made out like a bandit - activity books, pens, pencils, stickers, hats, can coolers, magnets - you name it. :)

Katie got to go on a couple rides, and all three of us went on the merry-go-round because I had free coupons for that. We met up with a friend there later and had more food - mini donuts, homemade cheese curds, smoothies, and dippin' dots.
Katie did an inflatable obstacle course as well. She looks terrified, but she says she liked it. :)

This actually has noting to do with the fair. A few days ago we found out that Katie won a drawing that she had entered in. She won a new bucket and shovel, a water bottle, throwing footballs, two pairs of goggles and a fishing game. What a lucky little duck! We went to go pick up the prize at the city center and as we were walking out some women at another office gave both kids fire hats, stickers and coloring pages.

Here is Will sporting a pair of Katie's goggles. No - he didn't leave them on for long.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A trip to the zoo

Katie and I took Will to the MN zoo for the first time yesterday. It's turned out to be an annual trip for us so far. We got there shortly after it opened and were able to go to the dolphin show and the wild bird show. Will liked the birds flying over our heads and Katie liked the dolphins swimming and splashing water everywhere.
Throughout the day Katie had some unfortunate luck. First, we were on our way back to the dining room to eat our lunch when Katie tripped and fell - face first on the pavement. She hit her mouth and bit her lip which started bleeding - of course. Got some wipes on it, and made it to a bathroom to clean it up. She also ended up scratching her knee, but the limp disappeared as the day wore on. :) Then after lunch we were coming out of a kid's play area and she got hit by a door, and knocked down. :( It just wasn't her day. So some of the pictures you'll see are pre-fat lip, and some are post-fat lip.
The zoo had a new exhibit that we were looking forward to seeing - Russia's Grizzly Coast. They had grizzly bears, sea otters, a type of fox, and some others that we didn't get to see. They also had a splash pad - a water area for the kids to play, and a sand pit where they could dig in the sand. Those two were the kids' favorite.

No, it's not raining, it's spraying!

Katie dressed up as a butterfly.

Will had a GREAT time in the sand, and yes, some of it did end up in his mouth. But there was NO WAY you were keeping him out of there. :)

On a side note - last night Katie was complaining that her front teeth hurt front the fall, and I thought one was a bit wiggly. Uh-oh. Most of you all know how I feel about wiggly teeth. Ick. So I was able to get her into her dentist this morning and they did an exam and took an x-ray. They said one of her teeth did look chipped, but it isn't worth worrying about. One was a bit wiggly, but they couldn't be sure it wasn't like that before. From the x-ray they could see that there was an injury to her gum below the tooth, what they call an abscess. Hopefully it will just heal on it's own, but if it gets infected, then it could cause her pain and we'd have a problem. They are just going to keep an eye on it and x-ray again at her next check up. Again, she did a great job at the dentist and walked out with toys. :) So she is on a soft food diet for the next day or so.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Ride

Katie has a new ride these days. This morning we went to the local farmer's market, and then hit the bike store to check out their selection. They were very helpful, and in the end Katie picked out a new pink bike complete with a basket and bell. She hasn't tipped over...yet. We also got her a bigger bike helmet and have officially passed on her old one to Will. The bike store seems to have a good deal. If you buy your bike from them, in a few years when you want to trade in for a bigger bike, they will give you a 50% rebate on the trade-in.

When we got home she was excited to try it out so we rode up and down the sidewalk a few times. I just wish we could get that first spill out of the way. I'm anxious and nervous just thinking about it. Luckily we live on the side of the street that has sidewalks. :)