OK - last I checked there were 70 new photos to upload - and almost all taken in the past few days. I swear I am attached to this camera. Doesn't help that my Best Buy Rewards Zone gave me $100 in coupons to use recently so I got myself a new external flash for my camera. A must for our house that doesn't get a ton of natural light. I have to say, it was worth the money... and I didn't even have to get the super beefy one that I thought I would have to get - bonus. Now I get some pretty darn nice indoor pictures that look as if we had gobs of natural light in our house. I can take pictures at night or on a gloomy day and it will look like it is mid-day and sunny. LOVE it.
Our house projects are ALMOST done. Our detached garage (aka "the new shed") now looks like it matches the house with a few fresh coats of paint. And a little over a week ago the landscaping started and went VERY quickly. This team we have working on it (The Woods - Reed Price) is FANTASTIC. I highly recommend them to anyone up here in the Brainerd Lakes area. We pretty much put all our trust in Reed to make it look nice and put the right stuff in (shade/light etc) and it looks phenomenal. The irrigation system went in earlier this week too, and just today they covered up all the drip and soaker lines in our perennial beds with mulch and seeded the lawn. Cannot WAIT to have a yard again... I am so sick of dirt and mud. Makes taking Angus out for bathroom breaks a REAL treat lately .... constantly having to wipe his feet off.
Evie is now 10.5 months. Cannot believe she will be 1 year soon. She still hates the bottle (I have a couple canisters of formula left and I think once those are gone we will be done and go to whole milk) but LOVES her solids. She cannot get enough of them. She loves fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, bananas. Even likes the canned cooked carrots we give her here and there. And just like mommy.... a big fan of the potato... whether it be mashed and covered in gravy, baked, roasted, fried/fries etc. She's been trying a lot of the boys' leftovers from lunches and dinners as well, like their crackers and cookies, banana bread, muffins etc. And most recently we discovered her love for Dairy Queen. Just the other night we went for a walk after dinner and decided to pack the kids up in the car upon our return to get some DQ. I think I got to enjoy MAYBE half of my dipped cone before she started screaming at me to keep shoving it in her face for more more more more more. She's quite the bright little lady too.... she knows quite a few words now. When we say Hi or Bub-bye she will wave, when we say YAY she will clap (will clap when we say the word clap too), and will throw her arms way up in the air when we say SOOO big. Rarely do you find her without a big smile on her face..... which now includes 5 teeth with the 6th about to pop any day now. Then hopefully we get a teething break as her poor little bottom is starting to get raw with rashes... but she's taking it like a champ. She's scaling all furniture and starting to show a tendency to prefer walking along furniture to get somewhere vs crawling. Before she knew she could get places faster by just getting down on the ground and crawling, but now she gives walking more of a try. Along with that she is CONSTANTLY letting go while standing up against something and testing out her balance. She can stand with no support for a good 10 seconds or so... and when she does drop she does it controlled and lowers herself down vs falling. I still think walking on her own is quite a while down the road, but she's making strides and seems to like challenging herself to try out these new things.
And I must mention a first we had in our happy household recently. For those of you on Facebook you probably already caught this.... but we had our first poop in the tub just the other week.... all thanks to our little princess. My niece Kelly was over for the day visiting and helping with the kids so I decided to give them all a much needed bath considering I had some help with her there. She pointed out some floaties in the tub wondering what they were and I told her they were fuzzies from their feet/socks (which they were.... THAT time). Then a few minutes later she pointed out a much bigger "chunk" which we quickly noticed was poo. I tried to pick most of it up with wads of toilet paper... thinking it just a few little specks. But as soon as I lifted Evie up we found out it was a full blown turd all over the place. So my wonderful niece watched the kiddos run around naked the room while I emptied and scoured the tub and then filled it back up to continue the bathing. I was really banking on us being able to avoid ever having to deal with that issue as we had already gotten this far (2.5+ years) without an incident like that. The boys had never done that ... so I figured we would just be lucky. Oh well ... I now join the ranks of the majority of parents that have had to deal with the ever fun incident of poo in the tub now. Is there a badge or a pin I should be receiving in the mail soon?
MacKay and Oscar are pretty much the same. Still not fans of "mobile Evie"... tho they have their days where they cannot get enough of her. They will console her and say "Don't cry Evie" and hug her like she is a rag doll and give her every toy they have. But... those days are few and far between, so I just try to enjoy them when they surface. MacKay's favorite saying is still "Stop it" and Oscar's "Be Quiet." I thought the girls were supposed to be the sassy ones. We started up a new session of ECFE (summer) just this past week and they did very well playing with the others in class. Luckily this session is only 6 weeks long and then we have a break before they start ECFE Plus in the fall which should be fun as they will go twice weekly, one of those days being all alone without mommy in tow. They have been in hog heaven watching all the bob cats, track hoes, skid steers and such working on our landscaping the past couple weeks. I would go into their room in the mornings to get them and find them peering out their window already at the guys starting work outside... pointing out all the machines they were using. I still think it is funny that my boys know terms like skid steer and track hoe though. I tried telling them that it was a bob cat (brand) and they corrected me by telling me it was a skid steer.
Well I should note again, that almost all of these pictures were taken in the last few days.... we've been quite busy this week. Mondays we meet our old ECFE pals at Gregory Park for a play date... and this week when we got home from that Grandpa Gary and Grandma Terri had arrived for a visit from Duluth... and as always, chaos ensues when visitors arrive. Tuesday we had ECFE which Gma and Gpa joined us for. And after dinner on Tuesday night we rushed off to their hotel room to take all the kiddos swimming at their hotel pool - which was a hit. Oscar wasn't a fan of the restrictive life jacket we put on him.. but once he hit the water he completely forgot about his discomfort. They were constantly squealing "Throw Me".. "I Did It" (jumping off the side)... "I Swimmin'". They had a blast. So we got done with that and bathed them in their hotel room bath tub, got them in their PJs and headed home in time for bed. Then Wednesday morning we got up and scarfed down breakfast in time to meet Gma and Gpa up at Nisswa Park for a while before they were going to leave to go back up to Duluth. It was a great visit... action packed and busy, but the kiddos had so much fun.
MacKay sitting on the Track Hoe that the landscapers dropped off the night before they began working. Both boys stared out the patio door forever at it.... but amazingly when I brought Oscar out to sit on it he wanted nothing to do with it. Just wanted to LOOK at it... even after seeing his brother get up on it. Check out the picture of Oscar in the background peering out the door at it. :)
MacKay and Oscar enjoying one of my favorite treats... a cupcake from Schaffers Foods Bakery (they have the BEST frosting... and the cake aint bad either)
ECFE Play date at Gregory Park
Evie could seriously be content swinging ALL DAY LONG .... and luckily on this day she had 3 very willing participants to give her lots of nice gentle pushes. Usually there are quite a few other parents/kids that join, but on this particular day Janelle and her daughter Audrey were the only ones to show. Audrey took an immediate liking to Evie .....
Oscar swinging, sliding .... and even more importantly, he was adventurous enough to try out the rock climbing wall to get up to the top of the jungle gym. MacKay (our little dare devil) hadn't even attempted that yet. Go Oscar.... :)
MacKay doing some belly swinging.... AND giving me a heart attack. He is such a little climber and isn't afraid of anything on these jungle gyms. I'm sure he sees success with each of these challenges... meanwhile all I see are the possibilities of face plants, tears and blood. And it doesn't help that he doesn't want ANY help, in fact wants you as far away as possible... putting his hand up to tell you to back off every time to go to "spot him".
MacKay loves to hang from any bars he can find at these parks..... apparently Oscar wanted to give it a try too, but didn't quite get the "hang" of it (no pun intended, really).
LOVE these pictures. MacKay and Audrey were teaming up pushing Evie in the swing and got really squirrely in the process, which ended up in a good ole game of chase/tag. MacKay and Audrey were laughing hysterically running all over the park chasing each other down while we (Audrey's mother included) were dying of laughter at them. My cheeks still hurt hours later when we got home from laughing at them.
Some pictures of the kiddos with Gma and Gpa (note: this is where my trusty new external flash came in hand - you would never know it was a rainy night by the look of these pictures). BTW - note the wet head on MacKay - he was running around full throttle all night and was sopping wet with sweat.
MacKay and Oscar reading their own books. Oscar LOVES his Triceratops dinosaur book he got from Gma Chris (came in a pack with a bunch of other books on other dinosaurs too.. but "Ti-Ter-tops" is his ultimate favorite)
MacKay and Oscar were like little fishes in the water - they couldn't get enough. Oscar loved to be bounced around and splashed, and MacKay wanted us to let go and let him swim by himself (which just ended up being quite a few facefuls of water for him) :) They kept Gpa Gary, Daddy and myself quite busy in the pool.
Even Evie had a blast swimming for the first time in her new little surfer girl swim suit.... sitting on the steps and splashing water and swimming around with Daddy. And just had to include this picture of Oscar goofing around in his new suit and vest (which I really didn't try to match, but they just did).
More of Evie hanging out by the hot tub and the whole gang (minus me as I was taking all the pictures).
Fun at Nisswa Park with Gma and Gpa
Had to include this picture of Oscar taking a moment from all the fun to point out a garbage truck that had driven in to pick up a load. They are both obsessed with garbage, cement, fuel, semi, and dump trucks lately..... everything must stop when they see one.
Again, Oscar got adventurous and took on the rope ladder that up until then, only MacKay would attempt. He did quite well and was very proud of himself.
Lastly some pictures of Gma Terri and Evie hanging out watching everyone at the park and even getting on the rocking dolphin (which Evie rocked all by herself) ..... and MacKay just being his normal goofy self.
Just some random pictures of the kids. I had a request by Gma Bonnie to round up some pictures of the kids for her to frame at the house, including a picture of all three kids together - something I just don't have. So I attempted the impossible and actually got a few shots of all three of them together - though don't ask me how many I had to snap to get these gems.
MacKay actually wanted me to take pictures of him, usually I get the "No take picture, Mommy" - but this time he was diving in front of the camera and acting all goofy just begging me to snap one. And Oscar wanted me to snap a picture of his prized train he put together and was playing with as well.
And to end it all off.....Love these pictures of the boys lying on the floor with their heads in their hands. They look so angelic don't they? I mean not that they aren't.... but just so sweet.
Well that wraps it up - all 70 or so pictures I believe. July 4th is just around the corner so I'm sure we will have more to update on and tons more pictures - so come back soon. Take care.