Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Grima (grim-ah):
A mammal with 4-9 claws, long tail and wings with feathers.  Grimas lay eggs in nests in trees by the river.  The eggs take 4 days to hatch and the babies can fly in 9 weeks.  Adults are about 2 feet tall and babies are 6 inches tall.  Adults have mouths as big as a crocodile.  Grimas eat fish, crocodiles, falcons and food people forget.  They can also run faster than a cheetah or a T-rex or a lion (500 miles).  Some live in the African Savannah and others live in the rainforest.  They go on vacation in the Arctic in the fall.

4 years + 10 months

The kids had a pajama theme with pictures this month.  :o)  Emily's imagination continues to flourish.  Her imaginary friend of the month was named Amy.  Amy is 8 years old and has some magic powers--including being able to open doors with her magic wand.  Emily also expanded into the animal kingdom.  The legend of the "grima" grew over the course of the month, taking on many characteristics of the animals on Emily's favorite episodes of Wild Kratts.  Eventually, she named a grima "Sally" and tried to point her out when we were driving or playing outside.  For a complete description and picture of a grima, please see the next post.

Emily got on a "healthy eating" kick this month, although it was mostly just talk.  She would point out that milk and water are healthy drinks and pretty much everything else is not.  She decided she was going to eat sliced apples and raw carrots, but has only had a few bites of each (she has never really cared for crunchy fruits & vegetables, although she'll eat the cooked versions just fine).  She'd ask for "healthy" snacks, which usually ended up being yogurt or cereal, but still ate a lot of popsicles, crackers and cookies.

Emily also got on a sports kick.  At the beginning of the month she was all about practicing her "soccer skills" with her pink princess kickball.  She said all her friends play soccer.  Really?!?  Are we starting that already?!?  BTW--I don't think she knows anyone who actually plays soccer.  She also ran three laps around the high school track in flip flops while out on a walk with Austin & Lincoln once and continues to love running "races" both outside and inside the house.  Toward the end of the month it has been more about baseball (i.e. plastic bat & ball).  She is actually really good at hitting a ball as long as you give her a decent pitch.  I hope we can get to a WSR volleyball game this fall.

In the drama department, Emily has started calling me "Mother."  This seems to make whining all the more annoying.  "Mo-ther, I'm hungry!"  This was particularly true at the air show.  Emily also just recently put two & two together that when you go to kindergarten it's all day--both morning and afternoon.  Upon realizing this fact, Emily got all dramatic and declared, "I can't control (she meant "handle") both morning and afternoon.  I can only control the morning."  Thank goodness we have another year of preschool!  She's super excited for that to start again! :o)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Emily's room plan

While Lincoln & I were at the air show on Sunday, Emily watched some HGTV with Austin.  There must have been a show about a bedroom with new bunk beds, because Emily decided she needed a new room with bunk beds.  She even drew a picture of it complete with details from her current room (red potted plant, cubical shelves and picture tree).  

She also made a list of her requirements:  bunk bed, higher shelves, better rugs.

The funny thing is that we are actually planning on putting some kind of bunk or loft in her room eventually, just not right now.  At least she will approve!

Thunder in the Valley

Like half of the Cedar Valley, the kids & I attended the inaugural "Thunder in the Valley" air show at the Waterloo Regional Airport this weekend.  Austin was still out of town for work, so it was just the three of us.  We got there in plenty of time on Saturday morning to look at many of the airplanes and helicopters on display.  Lincoln was in heaven and pointed out the "eh-panes" and "hel-topters" to anyone and everyone.  Emily tolerated it for the first half hour.

The weather was perfect, but after awhile the sun started getting hot.  By the time the show actually started Emily was already asking to go home.  They had security checkpoints and searched everything upon entry.  I snuck in a water bottle and some fruit snacks.  I should have brought some books or something.  We spent an exorbitant amount on food for lunch, but that's what you have to do.  We were there a total of 3.5 hours (2 hours of show).  As expected, Lincoln was enthralled the whole time while Emily spent 75% of the time whining in my ear about being too hot, too sunny, too hungry, too tired and wanting to go home.  I should have brought ear plugs just for that!  When they announced that the USAF Thunderbirds would be in another 2 hours I decided to call it quits.  At least we got to see the B-2 Stealth Bomber flyover!

The air show was also on Sunday, but tickets were only good for one day.  I was still disappointed about missing the Thunderbirds, especially after reading so much about them on people's Facebook status posts.  Since I knew approximately what time they would fly, as soon as Lincoln woke up from his nap on Sunday, I packed him up in the van and headed back to Waterloo (Emily stayed home with Austin).  We parked along the side of the road off the Lone Tree exit with all the other free-loaders.  After waiting for 45 minutes with nothing (there must have been a ground display going on), the Thunderbirds came.  It was awesome and totally worth the drive back down.  It was great hanging out in the back of the van with Lincoln with the stadium seats flipped up, eating cheap snacks and having plenty of things to entertain while waiting.

It sounds like the air show was a huge success.  I hope they do it again in the future.  I definitely know who will be going and who will be staying home next time!

Friday, August 19, 2011

2 years + 3 months

It has been another exciting month of language explosion for Lincoln.  This time it has come in phrases.  Some of his most frequent are:
  • "Ready...set...Go!"
  • "Wow!"
  • "Oh-no!"
  • "Way up high in the clouds"
  • "Push the button"
  • "Can I try that?"
  • Whatever you said last
Other random facts about Lincoln:
  • His new favorite foods are peaches, animal crackers and "pop-eh-seh-toos" (popsicles).  
  • I had him remeasured at Emily's preschool check-up.  He's now officially 26.5 lbs. and 34.75 inches tall.  That puts him more in the 15-25 percentile, which is a jump up from the past.
  • He no longer wears a bib at all, which makes eating popsicles an extremely messy affair.  I just recently switched to Freeze Pops (Mr. Freezes, Pop-Ice, Flav-or-ice, etc.), and that seems to work much better--especially now that he figured out how to suck out the juice.  He doesn't really take bites or licks of things like popsicles, freeze pops or ice cream cones.  He just sucks on it.
  • Lincoln has mini muffins for breakfast almost every morning, so Austin calls him "Muffin Man". (Did you sing that song in kindergarten, too?!? )
  • He wants to "help" do everything, thus the phrase, "Can I try that?"  I usually oblige even though it slows down and/or makes everything more messy.
  • Lincoln is starting to have opinions and is able to more clearly express them regarding TV/DVD programming.  Emily no longer gets to have sole discretion over what shows or videos are watched.  This is rocking her world a bit.
  • His most requested books at bedtime are currently "Wheels on the Bus" "Hey, Wake Up!" "Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs" (a.k.a. "Dinosaurs Happy") and a large collection of nursery rhymes called  "My First Rhymes"(a.k.a. "Hump Dump").
Wheels on the Bus (Raffi Songs to Read)Hey! Wake Up!Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! (Boynton on Board)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An empty room

 **This blog post is for Emily's future information and (hopefully) entertainment**

Emily had a little experience with creative consequences this week.  After repeatedly ignoring multiple, reasonable requests all day to pick up some things in her room and the items from her room that she dumped in the middle of the bathroom, I decided that Mommy would just have to pick up for her.  After supper I calmly started removing every single toy and book from her entire room and putting it in the attic. The only thing left was a lamp, her water bottle, a box of Kleenex and her CD player.   Emily was in some kind of crazy mood, because she did not question or protest the entire time, but continued to jump on her bed singing Sunday school songs like "Great Big God" at the top of her lungs.  She didn't say anything during bath time either.  It wasn't until it was time to go to bed that she casually asked why I put her toys away.  Then things really hit the fan when she realized all the books were gone, too, so we wouldn't be able to read before bed.  Austin & I calmly did the rest of her bedtime routine, turned on her music and left her bawling/screeching.  She continued this for a full 45 minutes before I went upstairs with a bowl of dry cereal* and told her that we would put her things back and try again tomorrow when she would hopefully make better decisions about listening and obeying when Mommy & Daddy ask her to do something.

*Side note: Part of the problem was that Emily was likely starving at bedtime because she threw a huge fit at supper about homemade chicken nuggets using Shake 'N Bake rather than frozen ones out of the bag.  She protested loudly the entire meal while eating nothing but some grapes and a few bites of plain noodles.  Austin was almost done with the dishes before I issued the final ultimatum (something about going straight to bed and eating it for breakfast) before she finally gave in and took the requisite one bite.

This is a picture of Emily's empty room in the morning.  She is smiling because we're getting ready to put everything back.  At least it was a good excuse to dust everything really well and vacuum up all the dust bunnies in the corners and under the bed!  The whole experience seems to have also left a strong impression on Emily, which was the whole point.  I think John Rosemond would be proud. ;o)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garden harvest

It's the time of year when lots of things are ready to eat in the garden.  I harvested the entire sweet corn crop from our 20 plants this afternoon.  I wasn't really planning on doing that today, but I discovered the ears were pretty over-ripe.  I definitely need some lessons on determining when to pick it.  Both Lincoln & Emily helped shuck the corn for about 2 minutes each.  Lincoln was supposed to be picking off silk, but soon just started picking off kernals.

Emily & I counted 16 small ears that were worth our (my) time and effort to clean (the picture makes them look way better than they really were).  The rest were too small or were hardly filled out.  It turned out to be approximately 6 cups of corn, which I froze.  I'm not even sure if it's edible it's so chewy.  It's a good thing I bought some good ears from the Dix kids earlier in the day for lunch tomorrow!

The beans are all on their second wind, and I'm getting ready for the third cutting of broccoli.  The tomato plants are overflowing.  I brought two ice cream pails to NW Iowa this week because none of theirs are red yet.  This is one plant after getting back home.  And those are all good-sized tomatoes.  I'm going to have to start giving them away to neighbors and friends (any takers?).

We're so blessed...right, CoBo?!?! ;o)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Splash pad and fishing

This afternoon we went with Auntie Abbie & Uncle Wade to the splash pad in Boyden.  It took awhile for the kids to warm up to it, but Cousin Ryan was fearless.  He sprayed Lincoln right away with a water gun.

Lincoln did NOT appreciate that!

 After awhile they got a bit braver and had a lot of fun.

After another family supper, my dad took the kids fishing.  This was one of the last things on our summer bucket list.  Uncle Wade went along to the Boyden pit, too.  It was a gorgeous night--perfect temps and no bugs.  Grandpa spent most of the time baiting hooks and managing the equipment.

 Lincoln needs to work on his form. ;o)  He spent most of the time just throwing rocks into the water.

This is Emily's first fish.  There were tons of small bluegills swimming around the dock.  You could watch them fight over the worms.  Emily was pulling them out as fast as Grandpa could take them off the hook.

 This was Emily's opinion of the fishing excursion:

There is a video montage about fishing in the August playlist at the bottom of the blog.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pet store and family pictures

Today Auntie Abbie and Uncle Wade took the kids to the pet store in Sheldon.  They had fun looking at all the animals, although Emily is looking a tad bit apprehensive about the parakeets.

The kids got to pick out two goldfish for Auntie Abbie's 5th grade classroom.  Emily named them "Goldie" and "Emily."  Very creative.

Emily went golfing with Abbie & Wade in the afternoon.  At night everyone was at my sister & BIL's new house for supper.  The kids were excited when a beautiful hot air balloon floated by.

This is the best shot on my camera of the grandkids with my parents (minus the baby that is due in 3 weeks).  For a hilarious explanation of the events surrounding this photo, check out my sister's post here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On the farm

The kids & I spent most of the week at my parents' house.  We had fun, jam-packed days even though we didn't have a particular agenda planned.  As soon as we arrived the kids jumped right in.  Cousin Ryan was also there to play.  Riding in the Mule is always a favorite activity.

So is sitting in Grandpa's tractor.  Lincoln, however, got scared as soon as the tractor was started up.  I guess he's sticking to lawn tractors for now.

Lincoln loves digging in just about anything.  My parents don't have a sandbox, but the gravel driveway worked just fine.  He spent lots of time getting very dirty and dusty!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lincoln's new love

This is Lincoln's new love.  It's his "pillow pet".  We picked out some new bedding at Target on Friday for his future big bed.  He found this pillow.  He drug it all around the store and even laid down on it in the middle of an aisle several times before we made it out the door.  They have been pretty inseparable ever since. :o)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bremer County Fair

I'm always excited for the Bremer County Fair.  It's nice having the fairgrounds only two blocks from our house, even if it means some extra traffic and late-night noise.  It finally wasn't so terribly hot and humid today.  And it was free hamburger night!  The Bremer County Cattlemen give away 1,000 free hamburgers on Wednesday night of the fair.  The line-up started at 4:30pm!  The kids & I took in the animals first before Austin joined us for supper around 5:30pm.  Here are the snapshots:

As soon as we entered the fairgrounds Lincoln was enthralled by the refurbished tractor 4-H projects.

The rabbits were next.

They always have a pretty good petting zoo.  It seems like I ended up taking pictures of the same animals with each kid.  There were actually a lot of animals in there, including at least a dozen goats.  As you can see, Lincoln was quite excited.  He named off all the animals.  He got a little confused, though, when he kept calling the large black & white goat a "cow".  He got straightened out later in the dairy barn. ;o)

Then it was on to the "corn box"

We walked through the rest of the animal barns before getting in line for hamburgers.  Lincoln was more interested in be-bopping to the teen drumline than eating his supper.

Emily insisted that cotton candy would make a great dessert.  When the stand opened up there was a disgusting-looking carney with no teeth running it.  However, he was really nice because he gave Emily a little sample while waiting for the machines to start up.  She had never tasted cotton candy before, and as soon as it touched her tongue she pulled a funny face and declared it to be "too sweet!"  Umm...yeah.  At least it saved us $3! 

No visit to the fair is complete without a stop at the Dairy Promoters' booth for good, cheap ice cream!  Emily tackled a cone while Lincoln & I shared a dish.

Emily begged to go on a ride the whole time we were there.  I told her she could pick one.  She chose the ladybug ride and had a gritted-teeth grin on the whole time.  I think she's hooked, because she talked about emptying her piggy bank to go on it again all the way home.  Maybe next year she can save her money for the $10 unlimited wrist band night.

Lincoln got to go on one ride, too.  Since you would have to both pay to go down the huge slide together, and $4 is pretty steep for that, he went on the Silly Swing ride by himself.  As soon as it was done he tried to climb into a different swing.

Neither child was happy about going home.  Both had a good time and were filthy.  Emily insists we're going back again tomorrow.  Good thing I don't have any more cash left! ;o)