Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Roanoke Diamond Dash

About a month ago, Andrew and I headed to Roanoke, Va to be a part of the first annual Roanoke Diamond Dash.  I heard about this from my cousin who works for Fink's Jewelers.  They were "hiding" a $15,000 diamond ring somewhere in Roanoke and couples were given text clues to find it.  One of my best friends, Krisha (my roomie from college) and her husband (Andrew's roomie from college joined us.  I know, it's pretty nice how that worked out.)  She just had a baby 6 weeks ago (in this picture, now it has been 11 weeks).  

We joined about 200 other couples and began our hunt through Roanoke.  We were given a text clue and then we would have to text back the answer to get our next clue.  For example, our first one was something about the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue.  So, we rode our bikes to the statue and texted back the last name of the sculptor.  Whoever completed the most clues/tasks got the most points and won the diamond.  

I think I would have blogged about this sooner if we had actually won the diamond.  We had somewhere around 60 points.  I believe the winner had about 105.  We got really stuck on one clue.  The address through us off.  Oh well, there is always next year.  We are already making plans for next year.  
1.  Do some texting exercises.  We aren't very proficient in that.  
2.  Get an IPhone.  They had clear advantages.  
3.  Definitely use our bikes again next year.  

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's a Zoo in Here

Way back, before you were bombarded with Michigan pictures (don't worry, there is still one more post), I headed to the National Zoo with my aunt, cousin and all our kids.  I was a few hours late.  So, they had already seen some of the major attractions.  But, we met up with them and finished off the rest of the day with them and had a great time.  Madeline's favorite and most memorable part, was the misters.  It was extremely hot.  

We went down to the petting zoo area.  The kids liked the big cow.  Here's James and Madeline checking him out.  

My cousin (I guess, technically, my cousin's wife, I don't know what that is called.  So, cousin was just easier.), Ranelle and her 2 kids, James and Caiden Bella.  

Do you remember, Ella?  She was born 5 days before Oliver.  She was such a happy little thing.  

All the "cousins", except for Austin.  :( Maybe we can get a picture of everyone at the family reunion in September.  
Caiden, James, Abby, Ella, Will, Oliver and Madeline

We were a little disheveled by the end of the day.  And we were only there for half of it.  It was hot!

Ella and Oliver



Before we ended the day with a torrential downpour, the kids had fun pretending that this little wall was a door.  It's fun to see their big imaginations.  

We will have to head back to the zoo when the weather is a little cooler so we can see some more animals.  Although, Madeline might be a little disappointed that they don't have the misters up anymore.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beach Photos

While at Lake Michigan, we took the opportunity to take some beach shots of our family.  Besides Madeline refusing to turn her shirt around and the grass poking their eyes out, I think it is pretty cute.  

Papa and Nana with us.  

I'm liking the more cooperative Madeline.  

She would close her eyes and then when Andrew counted to 3, she would open them.  

Now, Oliver has turned into the uncooperative one.  

Look buddy, this is not the best time to start being difficult.  You have a 1 year photoshoot coming up  And the Christmas card.  

Just relaxin' or happy that she got the chair all too herself.  

I still love her sweet little profile.  She's still little, right?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tunnel Park

One day, in Michigan, while Oliver was sleeping, we took Madeline to Tunnel Park.  It is right on Lake Michigan.  Thanks Paul, for taking this picture of us :)

Andrew and Madeline are standing at the top of a huge dune that separates the park from the Lake. 

 It is really fun for the kids to run down.  

Madeline decided she wanted a ride down the dune.  

Then she played on the playground for a little while.  Notice that she has bare feet.  This was a major step for her.  But, I think it helped to see all her cousins not wearing shoes for most of the week.  She is usually very concerned about the dirt and mud under the grass.  I know, we need to spend more time outside.  

Then we found the tunnel that takes you through the dune to the Lake.  

It even echoed, which was very exciting to Madeline.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

More Michigan

I still have lots of pictures from Michigan to post.   I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all of them.  So, I think I'm back in the groove though.  We spent a day in Holland.  Which is an adorable little town, where Marg, (Andrew's mom or Nana), went to college actually.  We ate lunch, got ice cream and candy, looked in lots of cute shops and had a rather lovely afternoon.  

One day, Andrew's going to build a cool tree house like this for our kids. :)  Can you see Madeline in there doing her work?

I love how Madeline smells flowers.  It just makes me smile.  

Andrew saw this store and it made him think of our friends, you know who you are :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

4 Steps

Oliver has been taking at least one step a day for the past few days.  But, tonight he did 5.  We got some video of his new skill.  In the video he only takes 4 steps.  But, he is getting there.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I knew it would happen...

...I just wasn't expecting it today.  I was never passed through the rites of having an older sister.   I only had an older brother.  And he never would have put me in a tutu.  Maybe make me play with his rubber wrestling figurines or matchbox cars (I actually liked those), but never a tutu.  

Madeline thought he needed his "hat" on as well.  I'm not sure the gangster, one ear in/one ear out thing, goes well with him.  I can see his eyes begging me to save him.  

Mom failed to come to his rescue.  He has to take matters into his own hands.  But, look how loved he is.  I haven't seen her smile like this for the camera in a long time.  Don't worry buddy, you will be bigger one day and she will learn what it means to have a brother around.  :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

9 Months Old

Oliver turned 9 months old on Monday.  I can't get over how fast he is growing up.  He is such a happy little guy.  He is usually happy with anyone who wants to hold him.  But, he especially loves his daddy and smiles at him a lot.  You can get lots of smiles from him by playing peek-a-boo or pretend sneezing at him.  

He's not going to his 9 month check-up until September (I waited a little late to make his appointment).   But, when I took him to the doctor last week, he weighed 18.5 lbs.  (I think that's around the 15-20%).  He's eating well.  He would much rather eat big people food.  It's hard to get a jar of baby food in him.  He would much rather pick up his own food.  He eats basically anything.  He loves pancakes, bread, cheerios, crackers, green beans, peas, corn, scrambled eggs, noodles, grapes, watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, or anything small enough to eat.  He is still drinking about 4- 8oz bottles a day.  He is starting to hold them on his own.  But, he would still prefer it to be held for him.  He likes his sippy cup of water as well.    

He has turned into quite the vocal little guy.  He likes to yell a lot.  It's happy yelling.  But, it is still quite loud.  It's fine when we are home.  But, when we are in restaurants, people start looking our way.  And I can only take so much while we are in the car.  :)  He also howls a little bit too.  He likes to shake his head, "no" whenever you say "no no" to him or when he is tired and trying to keep himself awake.  He's got 4 pretty little teeth.    

He enjoys riding in my new Ergo or in the stroller.  He likes to be on the go.  He is crawling everywhere, into everything and still standing up in the middle of the floor all by himself.  But, he isn't walking yet.  He will walk a little bit while you hold just one hand.  But, he will sit down as soon as you let go.  I guess he prefers his efficient crawling.  

He still loves his sister and is so happy to see her.  His favorite book is "10 Little Ladybugs", which was Madeline's favorite at this age as well.  He definitely does not like to sit and flip through books like Madeline used to.  But, he is showing a little more interest.  
He loves cords.  He has ruined both of our computer chargers from chewing on them.  But, he just can't resist them.  As I mentioned before, he loves tags as well.  Sometimes when I peak in at him, while he is in bed, he is snuggling with a blanket or stuffed animal with their tag in his mouth.  It's pretty sweet.

He is a great sleeper.  He is definitely sleeping through the night now.  He goes to bed about 8:30-9 and wakes up at 8am.  I usually hear him around 6.  But, I turn off the monitor and he goes back to sleep until 8.  He takes 2 naps a day.  They usually range from 2-3 hours each.   
Oliver is such an easy and happy baby.  Although he isn't seeming like a baby as much anymore.  At least he will still snuggle with me before he goes to sleep.  It melts my heart.  I love seeing him with his big sister and the relationship that they are forming.  It is so special.  We are loving this stage with Oliver!   

Friday, August 13, 2010

More Wakeboarding

I guess wakeboarding is the cool new thing.  (Not really new, but new for me.)  And these kids make it looks so easy.  Here's Sammy...

and Noah...

and Isaac.

It got a little hot on the boat, so we cooled off a little while Zeke got ready for his turn.  

Madeline and Sophie cheered everyone on.  

I decided to give it a try the next day when all the little professionals weren't watching.  I actually got up on my first try.  I still can't figure out why I don't look as cool as all the boys.  But, it is quite different than skiing.  I kept getting stuck outside the wake and couldn't figure out how to get back in.  Falling is a little different on a wake board as well.  If the front of the board catches on the water, then it slams you down face first.  It kind of feels like face planting into a concrete floor.  The headache eventually goes away though.  

After a few tries, it got kind of hard to hold on. Normally I would't post pictures of my failures.  But, I thought this was pretty cool.  
The recovery from wakeboarding goes through several stages.  First, your body feels like Jell-o.  I was thankful for help in picking up Madeline and Oliver.  I wasn't quite sure when my arms or legs would just give out.  Then next morning moves into soreness.  It isn't too bad.  I am thinking, "I'm not as out of shape as I thought I was.".  Day 3 tells me otherwise.  It is hard to move without moaning and groaning. I'm now to day 4 and I am feeling much better.  Although, my forearms are still pretty sore when I try to cut my food or open the car door.  I am contemplating going again.  But, I don't know if I can handle the 4 day recovery again.