Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday!!

It was two years ago tonight that I checked in to Elmbrook Memorial Hospital to be induced after what seemed like a 5 year pregnancy. I was excited. I was ready!

I made it through back labor, I made it through the epidural, I made it through the birth itself. More importantly, I made it through those first few challenging weeks. I figured out how to take care of that tiny person we brought home with us. And we did it! We made it to two years.

I can't believe how much can change and how much a person (small and big) can learn in just two years. Anna has gone from tiny helpless infant to capable, conversing, sometimes challenging toddler.

I love being a mom. I love being Anna's mom! And I'm so excited to celebrate her birthday with her tomorrow.

We're planning to take her to the pet store to let her pick out a fish (she LOVES fish). Then, depending on the weather, we're either going to go to the Zoo, go swimming someplace or go to Betty Brin Children's Museum. And eat popsicles. Because that's what she requested for dinner. (Don't worry, we'll have an actual dinner, but we'll definitely have a popsicle or two as well!)

**Also, Anna had a total of THREE poops in the potty this week! I'm so proud of her!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vacation - Part 2 of 2

As I indicated in my last post, we spent a glorious 3 nights and 4 days at my Grandma's cabin in Longville, MN over the 4th of July.

About halfway through our second day there, I half jokingly said to hubby, "you know, we shouldn't go back Tuesday, we should just go to a waterpark for a day or two."

To my absolute shock and joy (and Anna's too, though she didn't know it at the time), he said he'd been thinking the same thing and had planned to surprise us on our "way home." YES!

So on Tuesday afternoon after one last trip into town for ice cream with Hootie and Bubby (Unfortunately my photo of this is an iPhone photo which won't post in Blogger for some reason), we packed into the car and made the hour or so drive to Baxter, MN's Holiday Inn Express and Water Park.

Anna slept the whole way so she was a bit groggy when we arrived.

But she perked right up when I mentioned putting on our swim suits and heading down to the water park!

We went to the water park 5 times over the next few days. We actually even wound up calling the front desk on the day we originally planned to check out and extended our stay for one more night. We had such a GREAT time - no work, no stress, no schedules. One night Anna fell asleep for the night at 6:15 p.m. The next night she stayed up until 10. It didn't matter. We just spent time together as a family and truly enjoyed every minute of it.

We enjoyed a couple of dinners out as well - at Famous Daves and Applebees (always a tossup with a toddler along, but again, since we had no stress, dinners out were a breeze). The service, both at the hotel and at the two restaurants we visited was OUTSTANDING. People were friendly. I could have stayed MUCH longer than we did.

A couple of funny stories from our trip:
First, Anna and I were out in the kayak on our last day in Longville, when a mama duck and five baby ducks came swimming by right ahead of us. Anna was excited. REALLY excited. She could be heard all the way back at the cabin across the bay yelling, "Baby duhs! Where are you, baby duhs! Oh, HI baby duhs!" These baby ducks made quite the impression as we are STILL hearing about them today. I'm sure the fact that Hubby and I kept quizzing her about what she saw (I like the way she says "baby duhs!")

You can see here, she's getting a little irritated with our apparent inability to understand that she saw "baby duhs!"


At the water park, there was a huge bucket of water that filled up and spilled all over some very excited, brave kids every twenty minutes. There was a bell that rang for about 60 seconds before the bucket dumped and Anna learned quickly what that sound meant. "It's TUMIN'! It's TUMIN'!" ("It's comin'" for those of you who don't speak toddler). She'd yell at all the kids to "run" and "wasch out!" The water was a little too strong to take her all the way under the bucket, but she and I stood a few times on the edges, and she was thrilled!

When we returned to Milwaukee after our trip, we headed to church. As we were walking in the church bells started to ring. Anna whipped her head all around trying to figure out where the bucket was and started yelling excitedly "It's TUMIN! It's TUMIN!!! Mama, water tumin!" All the world is her water park. :)


Anna is proving to be quite the little road tripper. A far cry from where we were less than a year ago on our first airplane trip though it probably helps that I now know what to expect from her and how to keep my own stress lowt. I can't wait to take another trip with her and hubby!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vacation (Part 1 of 2)

Ahhh...we just returned from our most fun, most successful and most extended family vacation to date. We headed north to my Grandma's cabin in Longville, MN (the Turtle Race Capital of the world!) and spent a long weekend there, followed by an unplanned, but OH SO FUN three night stay at a water park in Baxter, MN.

Anna is such a good little road tripper. She's especially happy with one of us (me) sitting in the back seat with her. We left at 4 a.m. on Saturday and arrived at the cabin around 2 p.m.

First stop - Boat ride with uncle Mike (this photo is of her second boat ride, I didn't have my camera for the first).

We did all sorts of fun stuff at the cabin - kayak rides, swimming off the back dock, building block towers, and of course, eating popsicles! But her favorite activity (which drove me nuts) was playing in her bed, which we turned into a "tent" by throwing a bedspread over the top. The kid wouldn't come outside. She just wanted to be in her bed.

Oh, yeah, she's wearing bunny slippers on a 75 degree day...definitely a two-year-old!

And we took the traditional kid/pump photos and family photo under the "hospitality house" sign.

We took trips into town for ice cream, to roar at the stuffed bear (who I'm pretty sure is older than me), play on the playground, and get groceries. We ate lots of delicious food and just relaxed.

We had a GREAT time on Anna's first trip to the cabin. I'm looking forward to taking her up there when the mosquitoes aren't swarming like Twilight fans at an Eclipse premier.

Stay tuned for part two...Here's a sneak peek: