Today was another busy one: breakfast out, bike race cheering, playground playing, a stop for celebratory donuts (to celebrate losing a first tooth), a birthday caper, electric scooter riding, a family pizza party, and a movie. Whew. We’re all tired. And full of sugar. Vacations are the best.
It was a big day around here. We started with a trip to a candy factory and then we headed to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to admire their rock collection (among other exhibits). We also took in a 3D Panda IMAX movie (a first experience for the boys and me)—everyone loved it. Oh, and don’t worry, we also stopped into the gift shop to collect more rocks for our house and some mini-geodes (because Robbe has been asking about them for months).
We headed back home for some rock-crushing (afterall that’s what geodes are for) and grilling before the biggest news of all: Chase lost his first tooth!! I facilitated the removal with some floss and it was about the craziest thing I’ve done as a mom. It popped right out and flung across the room. Luckily, Chris captured it on film:
it was a big day in CO. We headed to the mountains this morning to experience our first “14er”. It turns out that it’s pretty cold at 14,000 feet and we were significantly under-dressed. After making it through the cold, Chase came down with altitude sickness and ended up throwing up...twice. A total dream for a trip to the mountains. Ha!
After a quick siesta, everyone recovered and we had a lovely afternoon and evening. We managed some playtime at a park across the street and enjoyed graffiti art and dinner in the Rino neighborhood of Denver. And, for the record, the boys LOVED the graffiti. It may have been the first time in their lives that they requested to be in a ton of photos. Oh, and there was ice cream. Of course. Finally, the evening ended with two close euchre games—and Marisa and I even won one. It was a good day.
We made it to Denver to visit Matt and Marisa. We’re thrilled to be here soaking up some mountain time, eating yummy food, and just taking a break from reality for a few days. This is going to be great.
The boys wore these costumes all day. Seriously, all day. If watching your four year old run around in a blue unitard from morning until night doesn’t brighten your spirits, nothing will. I highly recommend it.
The second annual cousins school shopping trip was a success today. Everyone is all set to start school...after another few weeks of summer fun, that is. Thanks, Grandma Mary!
It's been really hot the last few days. One way to beat the heat? Get out at 8am to soak in some nature time before the heat kicks in. We went for a hike up to Mt. Simon for a beautiful view of Eau Claire and then Chris showed off his mad disc golf skills (circa 1998). And we were back in air conditioning by 9:30am. Nicely done, team.
It was a crazy night.
I think he’s got it.
For two weeks we’ve mustered the motivation to rock out at the Sounds Like Summer Summer Concert Series. Last week we were in pants + long sleeves. This week we were sweating in shorts + tees. You’ve got to love WI.
So proud of us for seizing the last few weeks of summer.
Three weeks ago, we loaned a Lego Ninjago book from the library. Since then, the boys have been borderline obsessed with everything Ninajago-related. Personally, I’m avoiding learning anything about it at all cost. It’s a good thing they have others in their lives (ahem...Dad and Grandma Mary) who are more willing to make their dreams come true.
Dog sitting the calmest and most low-maintenance dog ever is no favor at all. The boys had a blast being dog parents for a couple of days and, I’ll admit, I enjoyed having a furry friend around again, too. Thanks for the fun visit, Max!
It was a beautiful night for a family wedding reception. A lovely setting, yummy food, and great company, you can’t ask for much more than that. Congratulations, Eric and Whitney!
Eau Claire is hosting the Beep Baseball World Series this week. That’s baseball for the blind, if you’re unfamiliar (like I was). Here’s an article with some photos. The boys and I met a friend to watch part of a game this morning and it was fascinating and totally inspiring. What a cool event to share with the boys (who were really into documenting it, by the way). I love this city.
Years ago, I made a list of all the baby purchases that we were big fans of when the boys were teeny. I realized it might be helpful (for me, mostly) to do another “best of” list now that the kids are older and we’ve given some products lots (and lots) of use. Warning: some of these items are pricey, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for, you know?
Best Product Purchases for Long-term Use
- The Micro Mini scooter. We’ve got two of these and they’ve been used and abused for years. Chase’s scooter finally fell apart this summer (note the worn out wheel on the left above), but because the design of the scooter is modular, we could replace just the pieces that were broken instead of the whole thing (for less than half the cost of a new one).
- This picnic blanket. We got this a gift from a friend for a baby shower for Chase. We used it all the time when the boys were little (and immobile) and continue to schlep it to outdoor occasions six+ years later. It’s a great baby gift—at least in my opinion.
- The City brand strollers. We got the City Mini when we were pregnant with Chase and then upgraded to the City Select when we were pregnant with Robbe. We were glad to have both (one is small and compact but still a comfortable ride/push and the other is bulky but still a condensed double stroller option). They’ve both held up remarkably well and have been worth every penny.
- The Diono Radian car seats. We’ve installed and used several different car seats over our years of travel and none of them compare to this seat. They’re super heavy (so not great for airplane travel), but the latching mechanism is incredibly easy to use (some are not) and the fabric and appearance still look new after 5+ years.
- The Stokke high chairs. My sweet parents bought these for the boys as a splurge when they were ready to start eating solids. They’re pricey but are SO worth it. This one chair has grown with them from 6 months (you need to add this infant insert) through today (you can adjust the height as they grow). It’s so much easier for the boys to keep their wiggles at bay and stay focused when they’re at the right height at the table. Without question, we’ve noticed the difference when the boys are eating at tables without them (even though they’re definitely old enough). I don’t see Chase moving to a regular chair any time soon.
- The portable high chair/booster. This was a thrift store buy on a whim and I’m so glad I snatched it up. We’ve used it for our boys here and there but, more so, it’s been nice to have an extra seat for friend’s kids when they’re eating at our house. We can accommodate an additional little one without having to kick the boys out of their (loved) seats.
- This baby blanket. This was another gift from a friend when Chase was born and I've bought it for others after I fell in love with it. Such a soft and cozy blanket and just the right size.
- Corelle Plates. I didn't know what I was missing until I broke down and got a set of Corelle plates. They're ultra durable so the boys have been using them since they started solids and they're super lightweight and easy to put away from the dishwasher. I just wish I would have bought more of my set from the beginning.
- L.L.Bean slippers. Chase needed slippers for his classroom last year. An entire year of full-day kindergarten and these things are still going strong. Most of the other options that his friends were wearing didn’t make the full year. I just ordered Robbe a pair for his upcoming school year because I was so impressed.
- These underwear. For some reason, underwear is a hard fit with my boys. The adorable little briefs we find at Target are either too small for them or too big. Nothing in between. The set we bought on Amazon, though, is just right. And there's really nothing cuter than little boxer briefs on them.
The boys and I made a road trip to St. Paul for a short visit with some dear friends. It was our first visit to the Como Park Zoo and it was a huge hit.
- Feeding Skeeter, the giraffe
- Watchig the polar bear do back flips underwater
- Hanging out with the penguins
- Close encounters with a TON of butterflies
It was a great day.
He’s back for another try. Chase is beyond happy with his three wheel mode of transportation (his scooter), but with the help of some knee and elbow pads he agreed to give this two wheeler another try.
He made some great progress. We’re not *quite* there but he’s so close! Next time he’ll be riding circles around us. I’m sure of it.
Side note: his little brother cheering section was about the cutest thing ever. I love that they have each other.
Yesterday was Eau Claire’s annual Chalk Fest. Unfortunately, we were out of town so we missed all the excitement and action of the artists working on their pieces. The great part about Chalk Fest, though, is that it lives on (until it rains, obviously).
We stopped by tonight to check out all the finished products and to say we were impressed would be an understatement. There are some super talented folks in this community.
Chase and I fulfilled our mandatory volunteer hours at the 4-H fair food stand this morning. We survived the early morning (7am on a Saturday hurts), the four-hour shift, and the lack of customers like champs.
Chase mostly manned the milk station but also helped at the register. Of everything he learned today, patience was probably the big take away.
Chase exhibited in his first 4-H fair today. As a Cloverbud (the youngest 4-H level), he had to meet face-to-face with a judge and he did great. He brought three projects: a simple sewing project (the quilt square he made at school), a vegetable or fruit from our garden (he brought cucumbers), and a collection (he brought his rock collection). He wasn’t nervous at all and walked right up to the judge and introduced himself and answered all her questions.
He was one proud little Cloverbud. Have I mentioned how much I love 4-H?!?