So much to share as we have been busy busy busy lately .... which means lots of pictures as well. But first let's hear it for our little girl who is now ONE YEAR OLD! Wow that year went by quickly. I can't say that I felt that way about midway through... I think those first 6 months went by slowly and were quite insane for me, but these last 6 have just flown by and everything gets easier and easier by the day. And Evie got to celebrate her birthday twice. Once on the Saturday before with Gma Chris and Uncle Dennis (while we were down in the cities visiting my mom and taking the boys to "A Day Out With Thomas") and then again on her actual birthday (Tuesday August 3rd) with Gpa Gary (who also has his birthday on the 3rd), Gma Terri, Gpa Dean and Gma Bonnie - SUPER fun. She got a lot of fun things for her birthday as well. Gma Chris got her a grocery cart to push around, an Elmo book (LOVES Elmo), and a Little People playhouse. Gpa Gary and Gma Terri got her a cute little outfit, a plush pillow that she loves to hug and rub her face into and $ for her college fund. And Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean got her a kitchen set - which has now become the main attraction in our living room now - to the point where I have cranky kids every now and then cuz they are fighting over it. :) All in good fun. And on both occasions she got to have a cupcake... although she didn't seem to enjoy it quite like the boys did. Hardly any went in her mouth (without our help) and she didn't smear it all over herself .... tho she did like smearing it all over the table/highchair. Some stats as of being 1 year old ..... she's become a champ at walking - rarely ever falls and is getting quite fast. She loves fresh fruit, but isn't so good about eating it herself so she is still spoon fed quite a bit ... and still eating a lot of purees (mostly veggies and meats) - so we need to start working on more table foods in the future. She doesn't seem to be a fan of milk, but loves water ... so I think I am going to keep her on formula a little while longer as she seems to be doing better with that than she was before - just have a couple canisters left and then I think we'll transition over to whole milk and see how she does. Evie's a rather chatty little one too - imitating singing (copying us and the boys) and has a pretty clear Mom and DaDa. She's still just got the 6 teeth and LOVES to show them off as she is always smiling.. and now has even developed a silly smile that she does quite often. She climbs stairs like a champ (completely skipped the stage where you use your knees and just uses her feet) but doesn't quite get how to get down yet. Everything goes in her mouth (including rocks, acorns and pine cones etc if we are outside). And just all around, she is a very happy little girl - makes it quite easy on us ... or as easy as it can be with three children under the age of 3. :)
A Day Out With Thomas ... let's cover that next. If you ask Chris and I, we will say it was completely overrated and not worth the 3 hour drive down. But I think if the boys could tell us how they felt about it, they would be singing a different tune. I think they really liked seeing Thomas up close and personal as they have talked about it numerous times since going. It didn't help that it was about 90 degrees and humid as all get up on the day we went..... nor did it help that the passenger cars for the train ride were NOT air conditioned, nor could you open the windows for air. It seriously was a 25 minute train ride in H-E-double hockey sticks if you know what I mean. It was about 110 in the passenger cars ... which made it a very unbearable experience..... tho I don't think it affected the boys quite the same as I think they were just in awe that they were "riding on Thomas." Everyone was drenched when they got off the train .... you'd think they could have at least had some fans going or something - oh well. But they did have a lot of other fun things there for the kids to enjoy. They had a ton of those blow up bouncers, slides, ball pits etc. We tried to get the kids to try each of them but they freaked out being contained in the ball pit.... and Oscar got too bounced around to even go up the climbing wall to get to the slide.... and MacKay was in one of his "special" moods where he just wasn't going to be appeased for the first part of the morning so he wasn't interested in anything. He would say he wanted to try something but the minute we would take his shoes off to go onto/into one of them he would freak out. Oscar did actually go into the blown up bouncy thing (like a trampoline) and had a blast in there. Even scrambled up the tunnel thing to go down the slide that was attached quite a few times. Oscar was also the only one interested in getting a tattoo (of Percy on his cheek)... something I tried to get MacKay to do (as he wanted Harold the Helicopter) but backed out last minute so I had to get Harold slapped on my arm instead. :) Eventually MacKay came around when it came to the train tables. They had numerous ones set up... some on the ground where they could crawl around on them and some on tables where they just walked around them. They spent quite a bit of time playing on each of those with all the trains they had out for the kids to play with.... they really liked seeing the trains that they don't normally get to play with at home - like Terrence the Tractor (Oscar's favorite to play with there), and Jeremy the Jet Airplane and Harold the Helicopter (MacKay's favorites to play with on the tables). They also had water pools with suds to play in, coloring tables, sand tables etc. We even got to see Sir Topham Hat (head of the railway) - who was dressed up in full costume - that person must have been just dying in there. The boys saw him and raced over to get in line to meet him... but when it came time to get up on the podium and meet him they both ran away freaked out by him. Oscar told me later that he was "BIG" so maybe it was the size of him that scared them off. Either way.... they were very excited about getting to see all this stuff first hand and still talk about it to this day. They had a lot of great things to offer .... just unfortunately that unpleasant train ride sealed the deal for Chris who wrote the whole thing off as a waste of time, and the weather was so hot that it made it so hard to want to stay any longer than we did. Just last night MacKay told us he wanted to "go meet Thomas again" .... I'd love to see him try talk Chris into going to that again :)
Some news on the boys .... not much as really their main part of development is all in their communication lately. Oscar is SO good with his words. He really likes to mimic us and listen to the words we use so he can use them himself. You can hold a very good conversation with him... and his memory is astonishing. You can ask him to tell you about all the things he saw at an event (Thomas, the zoo, a park date etc), even events that were 2-3 weeks prior. MacKay is a pretty good conversationalist as well... tho many times his mouth moves faster than his brain can and he will sort of "sentence stutter" (as I like to call it, as he doesn't stutter on sounds or words.... just on the subject of a sentence) and will repeat parts of the sentence over and over again until he can find the word he's looking for to end it. Both of them love to sing - they're constantly getting us to do the bus song (The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round....) and we've made up about 20 versions to go along with it (Lights Go Blink Blink Blink.... People Go Up and Down.... Babies Go Wah Wah Wah.... Mommies Go Shhhh Shhh Shh.... Daddies Say I Love You..... Doors Go Open and Shut .....Ticket Master says Tickets Please.... etc). And when I start out each version they always know the end of it and sing along and do all the actions. And when I tell them we're all done they can actually tell me which ones we forgot to do that round so we have to keep going until we've hit every one of them. MacKay loves to sing his ABCs and now can do the whole thing without any help and without skipping any sections. Oscar's favorite is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star .... though he likes to sing along to most of the shows we regularly watch as well (Super Why .... Little Einsteins .... Thomas.... Bob the Builder etc). Oscar also is a fantastic counter - not only can he spout them off to show how far he can get, but he can actually count items correctly. Before, anything over 4 confused him and he would skip around or double count items. But now he can handle up to about 8 or 9 and seems to have his own way of keeping track of which items he has already counted (cuz he doesn't always go straight in a line or from left to right, top to bottom etc). We work a lot on our counting and singing during our morning walks... not to mention the boys have certain landmarks during our walks that they like to point out (pontoon boats, campers, "broken" cars and "broken" houses (junked, vacant house at the end of our block), mushrooms, horses, counting mailboxes, stop signs, colored houses, tractors/lawn mowers)... and it is funny cuz they will call them out BEFORE we reach those or can even see those landmarks, like they recognize the area and know what is coming. They are so observant. Still not showing a ton of interest in potty training... though Gma Chris bought them a couple packs of big boy underwear (Sesame Street and Thomas themed), and we talk about them during almost every diaper change and how it would be so nice to wear big boy underwear and NOT diapers.... and that the rule to wearing the big boy underwear is not messing our pants and using the potty. So it's a topic of conversation, but they don't really seem interested in actually doing anything about it quite yet.... hopefully soon.
What else..... well, news I can share..... pertaining to my earlier comment on our morning walks: my triple stroller has gotten A LOT of use in the past couple weeks. Since I got it I have been trying to get out on nice days for just a short leisurely walk with the kiddos in the morning (we usually hit the park at the end of our street too) - just a couple miles or so. And often after dinner we would all get out just for yet another short walk as a family. But in the past couple weeks since being up at my dad's cabin in Duluth, we've put on quite a few miles on that stroller. I think my Dad and Terri inspired me with all their walking that they do, and all the walking we did with them while we were up there... but mostly, I've been watching what I have been eating and wanting to finally shed the last of my "baby weight" so I've pumped it up a notch with the exercising as well. The last couple weeks I have gotten out EVERY morning that it is nice and been walking 5.5 miles. It's a really nice walk and the kiddos get excited cuz at one of the turning around points we get to stop by a horse stable and they get to see the horses. Plus they have pointed out numerous other "landmarks" that they like to go see when we go out for our walks. We also stop at the park most days so they get a break from just sitting in the stroller. I bring along extra breakfast/snacks for Evie to eat while we are there as well as I try to get out of the house to beat the heat... which means she gets a bottle, the boys get their breakfast and we hit the pavement. So Evie gets her breakfast on the road :) The path we take actually has quite a few rolling hills too so I'm really getting the blood pumping on these walks.... and recently just up'd my game by speeding myself up to a 16 minute mile.... even faster when I throw some running into some parts of it as well. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can figure out a way to work some runs into my day whether they be early in the morning before Chris goes to work... or once he gets home. The exercise bug has bit me.... and I'm hoping to see some awesome results soon (I already fit into some pants I couldn't fit into before - YAY).
I know there just has to be more to cover in here..... but I really should get onto the pictures as there are SOOOOO many of them this time around. So here we go:
The boys in our hunting/winter boots. Lately they love to dig through our front hall closet and pull out our shoes and boots to wear around the house.
Playdate over at the Williams'. We went over to the Williams' house a few weeks ago to play with Jackson and Wyatt. I get to visit with Shawna and the kiddos play with the hose, water table, swing set, sand box etc.... and this time MacKay spent most the time picking up sticks and throwing them into the woods for Shawna (hence no pictures of him here)
Just some fun pictures of Evie walking around in this adorable dress - I love this dress as it reminds me of the dresses I wore as a little girl - with the smocking at the chest etc.
The boys with their best buds.... Daddy and Angus. And the kiddos sitting on Daddy while he was trying to relax on the couch and watch the news.
Yet another game of chase going on in the house with the boys .... we do this daily as they BEG to be chased around. Here they are backed into a corner again ... and a couple of them taking a much needed rest (they get to the point of panting and being so sweaty). Evie even joined in the fun trying to keep up chasing us. Must note... cute hand me down dress from my good friend Flez - so much cute stuff from her.
Evie hamming it up for the camera and walking around with her prized pink satiny blanket (she's just like MacKay in that sense).
A DAY OUT WITH THOMAS:
Oscar showing us our boarding passes (tickets) for a ride on Thomas and his Percy tattoo. And a picture of Daddy and the boys on the train
Evie's Birthday Party #1 (at Gma Chris's):
Silly pictures of the birthday girl - silly smile, and running off with the boys' dinosaurs when she was supposed to be opening her gifts
Evie reading her new Elmo book with Gma.... the boys with their "it's not my birthday but Gma got me this so I wouldn't feel left out" gifts - Dinosaur Train toys.
Evie reading her book, opening up her grocery cart.... and "helping" Daddy put her new grocery cart together (or more, running off with all the parts)
Bath time for the Hoglund kiddos .... in Gma's big jacuzzi tub with the bubble machine. Love the picture of Evie getting cleaned by Gma - the look on her face is like "Ahhhhhhh"
Evie pushing around her grocery cart and checking out her Little People playhouse - and wearing in her new Mary Janes. And Oscar hanging out reading his counting book.
Evie's Birthday Party #2
After our porketta dinner (YUM) we dove into the best cupcakes on the planet.... Schaffer's Foods Bakery makes the BEST cakes and frosting. Evie had more fun smearing it around on her tray though.
The new favorite toy at the Hoglund household..... the Step 2 kitchen set from Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean - along with a ton of food for them to play with as well.
Evie playing with the steam roller that Gma and Gpa Hoglund got for the boys as yet another "don't feel left out" gift. (there also was a Monster Truck) :) And Evie crawling up on the couch (my first witness to this, tho Chris said it has happened once before) to get the remote from Daddy and Gpa Gary.
Crow Wing County Fair 2010:
Took the boys to the Crow Wing County Fair the other night and they were in awe at all the things they got to do. Here they are on their prized John Deere tractors. They had to sit there for a while before we could coax them off with the promise of getting to see a bunch of animals.
Oscar with the bunnies (they got to pet one that was out), and MacKay with the goats. And a sad but humorous picture of Evie who got freaked out by a goat that got a little too friendly when it popped its head through the rungs of the gate and nuzzled her face and hands.
MacKay and Oscar on some 4 Wheelers being demo'd ..... another thing we had to practically pry them off of. And lastly a picture of them with what they called a "BIIIIIIIG Tractor"
Well that is about it for now.... see ya again next time.