Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Night Sweets

A couple cute videos to start the week off on a fun note.

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Tonight CT and I were at the the grocery store. A few times while we were there the employees were saying things over the speaker system. He was confused. He couldn't figure out where the talking was coming from. I probably confused him more when I said they were talking to him. By the third announcement he put his box of fruit snacks in the air to show to the mysterious invisible lady who was talking to him that he was getting Nemo fruit snacks.

*Yes, I occasionally feed my kid sugar cereal for dinner.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Family Summer Vacation 2011 - Part 1

Most everyone knows that Christos is a soccer player and fan. It is his oldest love. Older than cars and lawn care. So when we learned that the English premier league, Manchester United would be playing the Chicago Fire, we decided to take a family trip there to see the game. This vacation quickly became so much more than that. The vacation was divided into two parts, so I'm going to write it that way.


On Friday, July 22nd we packed the Subie and headed southeast towards northern Indiana where my dear friend Molly and her family live. It was a long 8 hours, but we only stopped 2 times and CT handled it better than expected.




When we arrived, we were presented with a delicious home cooked meal made by Sean (Molly's husband). Flank steak with a rice/kale/garlic dish and zucchini cakes. Most of the meal was made with ingredients grown from their garden. It was the best meal we had the entire trip. So Good!



The kids made friends quickly and explored their overflowing toy room. I don't think CT has ever seen so many toys.



After a storm-filled night, we woke up to humidity. We decided to venture out to the local farmers market. After working up a sweat and appetite at the playground, we headed to their favorite hot dog joint for lunch. The highlight - Dum Dums for dessert. A major bonus for three nut allergy kids. (actually only 2 because Nora tested negative this year.)



We attempted to sneak in a nap before heading to the city to go to the game, but CT was too excited to have live-in playmates. So we decided to hit the road early in hopes that he would sleep in the car before we got to Soldier field. We left at 2:30 thinking we'd have time to spare before the 4:00 game.



HA!! - Chicago laughs at us Minn-snow-tans. "You plan poorly, you fools."

"You're a cool city Chi-town, but I want my money back."



We did not make it to the field by 4:00. It wasn't until 4:45 that we passed the field after sitting in traffic for an hour and a half. Passing the field meant that we were failing miserably at finding a parking spot. We finally parked downtown and high tailed it for a half hour in the 90 degree heat to the field. We made it to our seats at 5:30; well into the second half. I was not happy. But we were there and tried to make the most of the moments we had watching one of the best soccer teams in the world.



The only things that made the adventure positive were an air conditioned car, a kid who napped over an hour and seeing Manchester United score 3 goals in the final 30 minutes of the game.



Proof that we were really there.




After the game we were herded out of the stadium with the other 61,000 (a record for the new Soldier Field) smelly, sweaty and deodorant free fans.



We hiked to Buckingham fountains with Christos' friend, Kyle and his friend, Jared who had gotten tickets with us and made it to the field in time to actually enjoy the game. We briefly met up with our neighbor's, the Silver's, who were also vacationing in Chicago that weekend.









Since we spent so long trying to get into town, we decided to eat dinner there. We failed miserably at that too and ended up cooling off in Potbelly to have a quick bite to eat.




What an adventure. We did it together and that's all that matters.



Once we arrived 'home', the kids were in bed. Molly was half in the bag so we decided to join the fun and crack open a growler Sean had been saving. I can't remember what it was, but it went down well. It was fun hanging out, having some adult time and spending time with Molly, one of my dearest oldest friends.



The next morning we chilled out with Molly, Sean and the kids. It was raining outside so they kids played while we all chatted and tried to figure out what to do with the day.


(You're welcome, Mols.)



Since we were heading north for the second leg of our journey, Sean suggested a pizza place in the city for lunch. Coalfire made delicious fresh ingredient pizza. The staff was very nice and accommodating for our 3 rambunctious kids. It was a great way to end our stay with them.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Memorial - Month Four - July 21st, 2011

Four months since Xander passed away. The same amount of time that we were together.

At the cabin everyone has a rock. When guests visit, they paint a rock with their name on it. Over the years the rock collection has grown and is starting to take over a side of the garage.

Without any direction, Zach painted a rock for Xander this year. It was so sweet of him.

Another small way to keep his memory alive.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Fourth of July

This post is going to be picture heavy because there isn't much more to say about our Fourth of July weekend other than: Sun, Mosquitos, Parades, Mosquitos, Food, Mosquitos and the Beach

Have I mentioned that he loves the water? He LOVES the wata!





Cinosam Annual 4th of July Parade
He loves Dum Dum suckers almost as much as he loves swimming. Shot just before a sneeze.




First boat ride of the year.



Next to his red maple tree that we planted for his first birthday last year.




Skeeter Hell.
As soon as the calendar flipped to July, the buggers came out with a vengence and CT was their prey. He was bitten pretty bad. His left arm had 8 bites between his wrist and elbow. His right arm had only two bites but they swelled up so badly that he looked like Popeye. A few doses of Benadryl, a baking soda bath and plenty of anti-itch cream and he was better a couple days later.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Birthday Week

For CT's birthday we did something we swore we'd never do. It was so massive that it filled the entire family room when wrapped. Notice Christos' crafty wrapping skillz. He even made the sign.

Go ahead and click on the picture to enlarge it. I'll wait. Just make sure you come back to see the rest.


I tried to encourage Christos to buy the version that pedals but apparently the battery powered version was too tempting for him. It's a pretty fun gift. And useful too! We've been teaching him to drive it while using it to load dirt to carry to the back yard. It's a win-win.



On CT's first birthday we started the tradition of measuring his height on an unused 2X4 in the basement. I'd have to look back at his stats from last year but according to our measurements it looks like he's grown approximately 6 inches.







The night of his birthday we took him to our favorite pizza place, Aurelio's, for dinner. The ladies there love him and always fawn over how big he is getting. He only likes them because they have suckers. We like them because they make good pizza and remember us every time we go in.




CT's birthday party was a lot of fun. We were lucky to have a gorgeous day so soccer was played in the backyard. Cupcakes were consumed and lots of fun new gifts were received. Thank you to those of you who helped us celebrate two years with our miracle, CT.



Photos courtesy of Kayley Sue. Thank you!



CT and Becky's birthday picture. Both born on the 25th of June.
















His 2 year check-up went very well. He cooperated with the NP and sat still while she examined him. The vaccines were frightening as usual but nothing a sucker couldn't cure. I was a little concerned that she would make an issue of his slow speaking skills, but instead she was more concerned with how many veggies he's getting.



The week that followed we had a few nice days of weather. After dinner one night we decided to take the bikes out for a ride. The regional trail is just a few blocks from our house so we headed that direction. It is a beautiful path with lots of trees, wildlife and activity. We rode east a few miles to the Coon Rapids Dam. In the 6 1/2 have years we've lived in our house this was our first visit to the dam. It was an absolutely gorgeous night. The reason I love Minnesota so much. After a stop to play at a park along the trail, we headed home.










Flashback:


See what we were doing one year ago.


See how much CT has grown in two lightening fast years.