Saturday, July 28, 2007

Our trip to the Steam Engine Tractor Show

Wow, I’ve been journaling for my blog on the way to and from grandma’s house lately, so that’s why I’ve had more journaling and have been updating somewhat more frequently.

On 7/21 and 22 we went up to see Grandma. Saturday afternoon Joe, myself, Joey and Justin all went out into the woods to pick blackberries. They were few and far between because we’ve hardly had rain this year so they were very small.

That afternoon Joey, Joe and Grandma Char (Joe’s mom) went out blackberry picking. They picked enough for a pie so Grandma Norma made blackberry pie. YUM. It was so good. Grandma makes the best pies anyhow!

Joey was asking for his hard construction hat that afternoon and came up to Joe and asked for his ‘hard on hat’ when he meant to say he wanted his ‘hard hat on’. Joe made sure to correct him as he started to laugh. The glory of learning new words!

This weekend we took Joey's bike up to Grandma's and he got a lot of experience riding it, so much that he felt good riding it at home finally.

Justin goes for walks in Grandma's stroller.

Over the weekend we also went downstairs and went through a bunch of the toys down there so we could get some together to give away. We are NOT moving all these toys as the kids have wayyyyy to many so we got a huge pile of them to donate to the salvation army and I took those in last week. We still have a TON more to go through. I don’t know how we managed to accumulate so much stuff! We found the 4 wheeler toy downstairs and I put Justin on it. He seemed to like it but he only knew how to move backwards. He’ll get the hang of it soon enough!

Justin on the 4 wheeler. Joey used to drive this when he was a baby too!

On 7/23 I had the day off and stayed home with the kids. That morning Justin went over to the stairs as he normally does and pulled up to stand by it. Then he climbed on it. I went over and watched him. He then managed to climb the next step, then the next and all the way up the first set of stairs we had! We have a bi-level so when you come in the house you come into a landing and you either have to go up stairs to go upstairs or go down stairs to go downstairs. He climbed the stairs from the bottom level to the landing without falling, without looking down, he just went all the way up. I ran to grab the camera and then off he went from the landing all the way upstairs. I got these photos of him. He was so proud of himself and I clapped for him and smiled and was so happy for him. Who says that you don’t get as excited for the second’s milestones as you do the first-born? I am just as excited, if not more, for Justin’s milestones as I was Joey’s. All that day and that week anytime you stopped watching him, off he went up the stairs.

Not even 11 months old, climbing all my stairs!

I scaled the mountain (well at least all the stairs!)...

Monday evening we had Crafter’s club for our mom’s club and I met Jen K there to scrapbook. The mom’s house it was at had these great baby gates with a walk thru swing gate. It was my mission to find them for our house. We found 2 of the baby gates at Babies R Us. We needed one for the top and bottom of our stairs. When we got home we found out they were TOO SHORT! So we had to go back out and buy these extensions for them which was really neat, and then they fit fine. They were pressure mounted so I didn’t need to drill into the wall. They work great. Justin isn’t too happy with them but I love them. We just have to remember to keep the gates open so the cats and get up and down the stairs to eat/use the litter box. The gates were by Step 2 and Lowe’s has them too. They are great. They were about $50/piece.

Joe and I started our vacation after work on Friday and boy did we need it. We have just been burnt out with work/home responsibilities. We planned some fun things for the kids. Friday evening we just chilled out and made smoothies which Joey and I shared on the porch.

Joey enjoying his smoothie.

Yum mom!

He always picks the color of his straw when we drink our smoothies.

What a good kid. He posed for me.

Hey mom, pick me UP!

Saturday we drove out to Mason, Michigan to the steam tractor show to visit my friend Jenny and her son Wyatt. Her husband Jimmy had his own older steam engine and took us for a ride on it. It was so cool. We rode on the back of the dusty tractor. It’s powered by burning wood/coal and it was burning hot in the already hot 90 degree weather. I thought for sure we’d fall off the end of the tractor but Jimmy reassured us that the tractor runs slow and smooth. We started off and there was no jerking. He was right, it was smooth and really slow. Joey had a great time playing with Jenny’s son Wyatt and we had a lot of fun taking the kids to the steam show and seeing my bud Jen! :)
Joey eating a toaster strudel for breakfast. Funny, the frosting was the same color as his shirt.

Jimmy's steam engine.

Jimmy showing us the fire in the pit on the tractor.

I'm holding Wyatt, Joe is holding Joey. Jimmy is driving.

Off we go!

Justin hanging out on the hammock.

The boys got just a little bit dirty playing with their tractors. Wyatt got the brunt of the dirt. OMG is he ever dirty!

Ok, for any dad that drinks beer, which one doesn't have a photo of the baby trying to drink it? I have photos of ME trying to drink from my dad's beer bottle. I thought this was funny. Joe rarely drinks, and if we does it's one or two, but we didn't let Justin have any, of course!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thoughts....just thoughts

Wow, for the first week ever we had a quiet week. Unbelievable. Now that I said that I’m sure you will stop reading – nah, you never know what I’m going to say! Keep reading!

Tuesday night we gave Joey the option to watch Transformers (the old tv show series Joe rented) or go to the park. Joe absolutely loves the transformers and is ecstatic that they are coming back and have a movie. Joey got through about 20 minutes and Joe and I thought it was a little too violent for a 3 ½ year old. Joe forgot about the guy who wanted to destroy everyone and everything and some of the other stuff that goes on. Honestly I don’t think Joey even was phased by that. He just thought it was so cool that one of the transformers turned into a train. Joe’s grandparents saved ALL of his toys so he has most of his transformers from when he was little.

That brings me to the fact that Joe and I need to go through ALL the stuff in grandma’s basement. We have no storage so Grandma’s basement has become our storage (that and mom’s storage, Uncle Fred’s storage, Grandma’s storage, you get the picture…). We have a whole ROOM filled of stuff – toys mostly and clothing. Joe and I need to get our butts downstairs to go through the toys and get rid of a lot of them. Most of it is his call. So I think this weekend we will work on it.

So that brings me to the move. We were told second part of January we would be moving so that changes some things. I think we are going to list the house Sept 15th. We will be moving the second part of January unless we somehow need to leave sooner and that wouldn’t be an issue if it was a week or two early. I think we will start to look for a house beginning of November. I hope that there are as many good houses on the market then as there is now. Keep your fingers crossed.

We got a hold of our real estate agent here on Tuesday this week . The house across the street that has been for sale for two years finally sold. We called to find out how much they agreed on and she said right now it’s pending but she’ll let us know. I guess the relo company called her company to tell her we decided on her but she never got the message. Go figure.

This week I skipped out on WW on Thursday. I found a major issue with something I was working on at work and we had to decide not to put it in last minute so I had a really bad day Thursday and did NOT feel like driving to my parents house to have them watch the kids, to go to WW, then to pick up the kids and go home at 9-10pm. Instead earlier this week I found out my vacuum was broke and so we went to Best Buy to get it serviced since we bought the extended warranty for it. So the interesting part is I have 4 cats and no vacuum. I hope I get it back soon. It’s well used in our house.

Justin’s two front teeth finally broke through and are coming down. His top two teeth look so much bigger than the bottom teeth. I know it’s normal but it’s just so noticeable. He’s pulling himself up on things now, and will let go and lean against what he’s up against. I’m assuming he’ll be creeping along the furniture soon!

Ok, this is a bit funny. I’m still nursing Justin so I’m still pumping at work. I forgot my pump at the vendor’s site today and I did not realize it until 7:30 in the evening!!! OMG and tomorrow is the weekend!! I was in a bit of a personal crisis mode. I called our vendor at home and told her about my situation. She actually DROVE to work for me, got my pump out of the office and met me in the parking lot so she could give it to me! I could not have been more grateful! I thanked her like 100x and hugged her and thanked her again. She got to meet Joey, Justin and Joe and that was nice. Boy was I in a bind without that. Whew!

My buddy Marcie is back from her vacation and I’ve been relieved to be talking to her again. I call her once a week or so and we talk on the phone and we seriously get along so well. We email multiple times a day. It’s so funny how close we are and we’ve never met. Like I said before, I email a lot of people online but not like her. We have a ton in common, our kids are months apart from each other, our husbands are interested in the same things and even collect baseball cards (wow), and we get along like we’ve known each other forever. We’ve talked about meeting so I’m sure we will one day! She only lives in Pennsylvania so it’s not that far away (well at last while I’m still living here!).

Sunday –
It was a relaxing weekend for Joe and I. It rained most of the weekend here in Michigan and boy did we need it. The ground was really dry. It was nice to see a nice rain here. I wish it would have been a thunderstorm as I love to sit and watch them. They are so cool.

Grandma’s birthday was this Sunday and we got her a dairy queen cake. They personalized it with her name and it had purple flowers on it. It was really pretty. We got her a dustbuster for her birthday (she asked for one) and it is really nice.

Joey helping grandma open gifts.

Grandma's birthday cake!

Justin ready for cake!

Look at my four teeth!

Joey posing for the camera

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Grandma trapped a baby possum and we had to take it back to the woods to let it out.

Justin and I at Grandma's after our ride to let out the possum.

Justin started to climb this weekend. Grandma has this small step stool in front of her small tv for Joey to sit on and watch tv. I had downloaded some video from my camcorder of daycare’s all star Saturday where the kids were singing and Justin climbed up on the second stair of this thing and had both hands on the tv and was intrigued. He also started to point this weekend and would point at his brother on the video. That is the coolest thing. He’s also a human garbage can. He will eat anything, anytime, any place. He eats constantly. He’s got quite an appetite. I think he has a hollow leg like his daddy.

Look, there's JOEY!

Look, I can feel him!

Mom, this is soooo cool.

Joey has been quite the animal lately. I’m not sure what got into him this weekend but he bit Joe and I, he’s been playing so hard he’s peed his pants a few times and then realized he has to use the bathroom, and he smacked Joe in the face today and he threw something at me yesterday. I’m not really sure what’s going on with him. Trust me, after he threw the thing at me, he went RIGHT to bed. I’m not putting up with that.

The other thing he’s been doing is listening after we say things three times. We’ll ask him to stop something and he has to do it at least one or two more times. I think I’m going to start time outs if he does this again. It’s got to stop, especially if he’s doing something dangerous. I think these are just toddler things but it’s so frustrating!

On 7/15 Justin first sat at the table with us and ate with the rest of us for dinner. He loves pasta and was enjoying some mac and cheese! Most of the time he just sits in his high chair with the tray. This time he sat at the table with us without the tray.

On 7/19 I was on my way to my parent's house for them to watch the kids so I could go to my weight watchers class. They called and said that some really bad weather went through town and they wanted to know if they lost any trees. They lost the top of this huge tree and it came crashing down on their flower bed, between another pine tree and it was HUGE. The guy across the street had a tree and roots out of the ground, and 100's of branches littered all over his yard. Our town had NOTHING. Mom is only about 20 miles West of us!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Good ole times....

This weekend we dropped the kids off with Joe’s Grandma and mother and went up to Grayling for Joe’s friend’s wedding that he was standing up in. It was Justin's first experience with formula since he was born because I didn't think I had enough milk so I left her with the formula can and tested it out. He wasn't a big fan. The only way I could get him to drink it was to mix it with my milk, soooo that is what we did.

Justin saying, what the HECK is this crap (formula ick!).

Travis has been a good friend of Joe’s since grade school. We went up to Grandma’s Thursday night and then left about 2 pm on Friday to go up to Grayling for the wedding rehearsal.

The drive was 2 ½ hours away! I guess the bride lived up north in Grayling and when we got up there, we found out that she lived in this large beautiful home on the lake. It was a sports lake and it was very peaceful and nice. The guys practiced at the rehearsal, I bonded with some of the wives. All the men standing up were also in our wedding and they all grew up together so they all were catching up on stuff and Doug’s wife and I were catching up as we hadn’t seen each other in awhile. I met Dan’s girlfriend Katrina as well. The rehearsal was catered by Cleary’s out of my hometown of Howell, which I can only imagine was 3 hours away. I understand that the bride’s parents have ties with the chef and booked him to do the catering. It was wonderful food. The rehearsal’s food was hot dogs, hamburgers, brats, fruit salad, a special red, white and blue cake and more. YUM is all I can say.

That night we hung out bs’ing as old friends do. We actually watched the sunset fall over the lake and it went down in a matter of two minutes. I don’t think I’ve actually seen the sun set like that before.

Silhouettes of the group by the sunset.

The sunset.

Our pals Doug and Melissa

Doug is the biggest camera ham every. Can you tell? :)

Afterwards we hung around bs’ing by the fire. Mostly we were waiting to find out where we were staying that night. Doug, Melissa and Blu all had a place at the Super 8 motel but we were told there was room at one of the neighbor’s houses, so don’t book a room. So around 11pm the sleeping arrangements were finally figured out. We were staying across the street in this person’s guest house. It was sweet. They had a master bedroom, that connected to a kitchen with a pull out couch, and then there was a loft above the bathroom in the same room as the kitchen. We were sleeping on the pull out in the kitchen, the minister (female) and her husband were staying in the master bedroom and no one was yet in the loft.

About ½ hour after we were getting settled, Travis came in with another couple who was going to stay in the loft.

Next Morning - Saturday 7/7

The next morning I woke up about 7:30 and everyone else was sleeping in. I guess I couldn't sleep in, maybe because I'm used to the kids always waking at that time. Anyhow I went down to the lake by myself to get some peace and quiet. This was the view. It was gorgeous.

All by myself at the dock.

A little later the owners of the house had a breakfast arranged for everyone and we found out that the male owner – Eric Sharp, was the outdoors writer for the Detroit Free Press and Joe has read many of his articles. How cool is that? They made a very nice breakfast and they were super sweet, hospitable and personable.

Joe and I went into town that morning after breakfast and was thinking we wanted to stay the night. It was a very long drive and we didn’t want to make it after the reception that night. What we didn’t realize was that camp Grayling was having their air show that weekend and every hotel was completely booked up. Poor planning on our part!

So on the way back, the guys all decided to ditch the women and go for 9 holes of golf at Fox Run – one of the nice golf courses in the area.

The problem with this was all the wives were at the hotel, and I wasn’t. Joe offered to take me there but I didn’t want to crash anyone’s stay. I stayed back at the guest house and walked over to the big house that the wedding was going to be at and asked if I could help with something. They put me to work tying tags on the wedding favors. I did this for about an hour or so and then they didn’t need any more so I went on a walk down the street that was lakeside and looked at all the houses. The walk was very peaceful. There was a nice breeze coming off the lake. It was nice to think and walk by something so peaceful. I wish I would have brought my running shoes so I could have ran down by the lake.

After I finally got back to the guest house I relaxed and took a nap. It was about 2 pm when I woke up and Joe wasn’t back yet. I called and he was just on his way home and I asked him to pick up lunch and he went to go get Subway.

When he got back we sat on the patio and ate our sandwiches and then it was time to get ready for the wedding. Joe put on his tux and boy did he look good. There is just something about men in a tux that makes them so desirable!

Shortly after I joined him across the street and took some photos of the guys and Joe. They all looked so nice.
Joe and I before the wedding.

Doug, posing for the camera.

I love this photo of Dan.

I went back to the room to pack our stuff in the car. We still weren’t sure if we were going home that night, staying or what. Better to just pack and plan then to leave our stuff in the guest house.

At 4:30 the wedding ceremony started. It was an outdoor wedding overlooking the lake. The actual ceremony took place in the gazebo on the patio. I hooked up with all the wives and we watched as the bride was brought over in a boat from a neighbors house, docked up and then got on the dock and then the groomsmen came out, then the bridesmaid come out (not together) and then the bride came up the stairs from the lake and it was very windy. He veil was blowing all over. It was cute. The ceremony was short and sweet.

Bill took a photo of Joe and I after the ceremony.

Afterwards we headed for the reception at the Officer’s club at Camp Grayling. All the wives sat together and watched our men enter to sit at the bridal party table. Melissa’s husband, Doug, kept coming over the table to see Melissa so we started to keep count. He was finally there 6 times when I went to see Joe. I told the guys about our counting and Doug was at 6 times, and they hadn’t even been there to see us once! I went back to sit down.

Shortly afterwards the men started to come around slowly. Then it become a friendly competition as the guys were bringing us drinks, Dan took plates from the table for all of us and got a point, and it was actually cute to see the guys come to visit and gather points.

The bride and groom did something new. If you clicked your glass to get them to kiss, couples were picked from a list to show the bride and groom how it should be done. We were the second couple picked from the list and Joe gave me quite the kiss to show the bride and groom how it should be done. I was proud of him – hehe.

I decided that I was going to drink for the first time since October 2005 (since I got preggo and was nursing). It was so nice to fit in with the guys and the girls who were having drinks. I started off with orange juice and vodka, then went to wine (because they said it was beer and wine only after about the first hour) and then after awhile I just started to drink beer and it went down easy and I HATE beer. Everyone was drinking. I don’t know too many guys who don’t drink when it’s unlimited beer! The guys had beer by the pitcher.

I was feeling pretty good, was extremely giggly and had to use the restroom. I was walking there and went by this guy (about my age), looked at him and started to laugh. Not sure if the guys was like, ‘Wow, she’s had a lot to drink’ or was like, ‘Why did she laugh at me’. Whatever it was, it was funny after the fact.

The Dj was asked by all the guys to play Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. Once they did that we ALL got on the dance floor and started to dance to it (very closely I must add). Then she played a bunch of other 90’s songs like ‘Baby got back’. We had a blast at the wedding. It was like old times. It was like OUR wedding when everyone was drinking, dancing and just having a BLAST.

Joe and I on the dance floor!

I believe we are all dancing to Ice Ice Baby here!

Melissa and Doug.

Joe and Dan.

Doug made some crack to the bride's neighbor, who was helping clean up the hall, and she replied, "Honey, been there done that' and caused quite a reaction from the crowd. I guess you can never tell! LOL....

Giggly....enough said?

We both had a LOT of fun....maybe too much :)

The boys were singing 'You've lost that lovin feeling'....

Blu and Doug.

Katrina and Dan.

Joe and I at the end of the night.

Before I knew it, it was over. I mean they were closing the bar, the dj was playing the song ‘We must say goodbye’ or something and we were like, it’s over already?!! Doug and Melissa told us we could crash their room so we left our car on base, and we all piled in Blu’s truck and Melissa drove (she doesn’t drink). Katrina, Dan and I were in the back of the truck and Dan had his arms around us going 'Awww yeah'. It was funny.

Katrina, Dan and I after the wedding.

We made it to the hotel and ended up sleeping on their pull out couch after BS’ing for a little while. Joe and Doug go way back to grade school. Melissa and I get along really well too so it worked out perfect.

Doug, yet again posing for the camera. He's fun to take photos of!

In the morning we retrieved our car, and then took off to go home – another 2 ½ hour trip. We stopped off in Saginaw to drop off his tuxedo so we didn’t have to do it later that day and rush home. Then we came home and saw the kids.

Grandma and mom were telling me that on Friday Justin just wasn’t eating anything. He was crying and they saw something black behind his front bottom teeth. They pried his mouth open, used a washcloth to pull it out and a rose thorn was stuck behind his teeth!!! How he got a rose thorn in his mouth we don’t know. I don’t have rose bushes. We think maybe someone tracked it in on their shoes and he puts everything in his mouth. We don’t know how long it was there, we were thinking not long but as soon as they took it out, he felt instant relief and has been eating like mad every since. He’s eating food by the fist fulls, he’s drinking milk and he’s not stopping.

That said, Friday was the first day that I had to give him formula. He HATED it. I needed to mix it in with the milk I had left to get him accustomed to the taste. I guess we are going to have to supplement a little bit. It was a turning point for me because up until Friday, we’ve never had to give him formula. I’ve nursed him this entire time – 10 ½ months!

Joe and I had a wonderful weekend. We needed this little getaway. We missed the kids a lot but weekends like this really make you feel like your relationship has been renewed. If only we could do this more often (the get together with old friends and have a good time!!!)....