Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nine Months Old!

Collin's 9 month re'sume' includes rolling all over the room, getting into crawling position, scooting backwards, preferring finger foods over purees, and drumroll please....


We've enjoyed 3 or 4 nights of 10pm-5am sleep!  He'll usually go down with Will around 7:30, be up to eat between 10 and 11 and then sleep until 5 0r 6, eat again and sleep until 7 or 8!  

Big Brother, Big Helper!

Will has been such a great helper ever since Collin arrived.  He is so patient with him and with us!  Last Wednesday was a LONG rainy day in the house.  Will was bored and I was trying to recover our home from two weekends in a row of camping.  We have a beautiful wooden high chair for the boys.  I love it, but it is a pain to clean, it usually gets a scrub down in the shower every few months.  I decided to take advantage of the rain and Will's extra energy so I sent him out with the high chair and some dish soap!  It worked really well and he was happy to play in the rain.  
It is not uncommon for me to ask Will to talk to his brother or watch his brother while I run downstairs to switch the laundry.  Now that Collin is more mobile it is more challenging for all of us, but Will came up with a creative solution.  I came up from the basement to find this the other day:

Will keeping Collin contained! 


Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Camping

We just got home from our first holiday camping weekend!  We had so much fun at Shades of Sherwood in Zumbrota.  Our friends have their camper on a permanent site there and we were lucky to hook up with three other families that were also camping there for the weekend! 

Collin gnaws on a carrot.  We got a little bit of a hard time for being the family that brings vegetables to eat around the campfire. 
Yes, that is me with a volleyball.  I have never been a fan of the sport.  I'm not very good and don't like the red blotchy forearms it leaves me with, but a few friends signed up for the tournament and were short a player.  I dragged Mike down to the volleyball court to be the 6th man only to learn that they needed a third GIRL to balance out the team!  While I was definitely not the MVP, a few of my serves were in and I had fun! 
Will LOVES the pool.  I had to pull him out on Saturday and Sunday after his lips were turning purple!
Collin was the most popular camper.  Everyone wanted to help.  Here is Andrew feeding him a pancake. 
Lindsey, Shelby and Paige playing with Collin.  He is very popular with the ladies. 
Collin tries watermelon for the first time. 
Collin at the pool.  He hasn't been in for a dip yet!  I think we will wait for a quieter weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

QuickStart 1

Our sweet little athlete, Will, starting taking tennis lessons last summer because the class was offered the half hour before his daycamp, which served as our daycare while I taught summer school. He really had fun so we signed him up again in the fall.  The first set of lessons is called QuickStart 1 and the children have to master certain skills before they can move up to QuickStart 2.  Will has repeated QuickStart 1 at least 5 times, possibly 6 (I can't remember if the fall was 1 or 2 sessions) but at the end of Spring session he moved up to QuickStart 2!  Not exactly a quick start, but a good learning experience in perseverance! 

Will hitting volleys.
Will and his friend Maddy working hard to advance to the next level. 

Lunes (Monday in Spanish)

Will and his friends Nick and Henry took Spanish class together after school on Mondays.  The best part was the rotating playdates after Spanish!  Every third Monday the boys would be at our house for lunch and a few intense hours of Star Wars play, the other two Mondays Collin and I would enjoy a quiet day and he would get two real naps!
I'm so glad Will has found such nice, well-behaved friends at school! 

Last Day of Preschool

What an emotional day-Will's last day of preschool.  My baby is a kindergartner now.  I've always seen Will's preschool experience as Caroline's gift to Will.  We lost her after my maternity/child care leave had been approved so I was able to stay home anyway and Will was able to go to preschool at Aldrich.  He was in a 3 morning/week program that we never would have managed if I were working full-time.  He has had such wonderful teachers and he has learned so much.  What a blessing our Aldrich experience has been.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We did it!

We just got back from our very first official camping trip with our new pop-up camper!  We survived a VERY windy day and frosty night and had a lot of fun! Here are a few shots:

Mike and Will unhitching the camper from the Winters' van.  Our van doesn't have a hitch yet. 
As I was taking pictures of Will cranking up the camper he stopped at about this point, looked up and said "Oh, I'm almost done!" As you can see, he had a little more to do...

Will and Andrew playing football.  Winter hats in MAY!  It was a little chilly! 
Will enjoying the first s'more of the season!
Collin having pancakes for the first time!

Collin taking in the nature.  He wasn't so sure about it at first...
..but then got brave and started to explore!

We had a lot of fun and learned a lot (Washing dishes with hose water is COLD, there are ways to improvise when your camper doesn't have a potty and you have to go in the middle of the night, the campsite shower costs extra, the furnace has a hidden on/off switch).  We're heading out next weekend for three nights and I'm sure we'll have lots of great stories to share!!  

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Campers

I really want to believe that we are true-blue Chicagoans on temporary assignment in Southeast Minnesota, but day-by-day, and nearly ten years later, I'm starting to think I'm just kidding myself.  Here is the latest evidence of this:
Yes, that is Mike, that is our driveway, that is a pop-up camper.  

Growing up in Arlington Heights I went to camp, first Girl Scout camp (mostly cabins and platform tents), then band camp (once you are done laughing you can read that took place at Eastern Illinois University and then the slightly more rustic George Williams College).  Once my best friend Michele's family took me camping and I'm pretty sure we slept in tents.  All I remember was fabulous home made salsa and her dad telling us we had to be silent in the boat so we didn't scare the fish.  That was the extent of it.

So how did all of this come about?  Our good friends the Winters have a camper on a permanent site about 30 minutes north of here and it is Will's favorite place to be in the summer.  The pool, the freedom, the nature, the junk food and the fact that his parents aren't distracted by all there is to do at home are a few of the reasons it is so appealing.  We would spend weekend with the Winters in their camper and have a blast, but 4 adults and 4 kids in a travel trailer was a little cozy and now that we've added Collin to the mix we decided it was time to get our own place.  

Since Chad Winters is the area dealer for pretty much anything you want to buy or sell, he found this 5-year-old camper for us.  We think it may have been a hint that NINE people in his camper was just not going to happen this summer, especially when one of them isn't sleeping through the night.  We'll be testing it out tomorrow and I'm sure there will be more pictures and stories to share.

Will and Katelyn Winters playing in the camper

Collin and Katelyn in the camper

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My little cling-on

Sweet baby Collin doesn't share his big brother's independent spirit.  He prefers to be held and be in on the action.  If I want to get anything accomplished (and sometimes I don't!) the sling and the front carrier really come in handy.  I always position Collin in the sling according to the DVD directions, but he always seems to make himself comfortable.  

He may not have his brother's independence, but apparently has his father's fondness for yoga! 

First Bike Ride of the Season

Now that Will has mastered the 2-wheeler and Collin is big enough to ride (sleep!) in the Burley, we took our first bike ride of the season.  We live only a few blocks from the Douglas Trail which make it easy for Will- no streets to cross, no traffic.  We didn't go far because we weren't sure how long Will would last, but he did well and we had fun! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stinko de Mayo blessings

I renamed May 5 Stinko de Mayo three years ago, as we lost our first angel baby on May 5, 2006.  I was pregnant with Caroline the following year and pregnant with Collin last May so  I haven't celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a margarita in 4 years!  While I was excited to have my favorite drink today, it also turned out to be a day to reflect on all that has happened on our journey to having a second child.  A friend who had her first of 4 miscarriages in May of 2006 had an ultrasound today showing a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat and she got a letter from the courts finalizing the adoption of their beautiful little girl.  I don't know why the journey to parenthood is so difficult for some, but it makes me appreciate our little miracle and his big brother so much more.  

Arthur's Eyes

President Elect Obama!!

Will's Travels

One of our goals is to show Will the world outside of our small town in Minnesota. Here is a record of his travels so far:

    Our Boys

    Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker