Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rain on my Parade, Breakfast on the Farm

What I did on my Summer Vacation, PART I

We started planning this trip in December last year when we learned John's family would be having a reunion in Fargo, ND over the 4th of July. Originally this trip had some more traveling and sightseeing added to it. Until I came back to reality and realized every day in a small hotel room with two little kids cannot be considered a vacation. Especially when it is followed by a family reunion in yet another small hotel room. The Glacier National Park and North Dakota Badlands trip went back on the shelf for another time. Sad.

Anyhow, when we learned we would be in Fargo, ND over the 4th of July, we started planning around it. Fargo is roughly an hour from where all four of my grandparents live. When you have four fabulous grandparents, you don't get an hour away from their house and not stop in. So, we coordinated with Grandpa Kevin and Grandpa Kim to drive to Grand Forks, ND for a few days to visit. As we were finalizing our plans, I realized the summer Rochesterfest celebration would be going on just days before we were set to get to Rochester. So, we arranged and rearranged everything to get to Rochester, MN for a few of my favorite events: The Parade and Breakfast on the Farm. You'll find PARADE listed high up on my official "Things to do, Summer 2010" list. I LOVE a good parade and the Rochesterfest parade rarely disappoints. Unless you don't like parades. Then it is a long slow torture.

We packed up and drove the close to seven hours to Grandpa Kevin and Grandma Kim's house. They had made arrangements to sit on the curb in front of Grandma's coworker and even went out early to reserve us some seats! Even Aunt Megan drove down to join us! Grandma packed us up a picnic dinner and we were SET! We didn't actually tell William about the parade before we got in the car to GO to the parade. I was worried something about it wouldn't work out and I didn't want to be stuck explaining for days on end what happened to the parade. William was so thrilled about going to the parade and having all kinds of people around. This boy loves a crowd. And tubas. He was so excited about seeing a TUBA in the marching band.

We got down to our spot and enjoyed our picnic dinner. It was finally time for the parade to start! HURRAY! The first official group was several state patrol cars flashing their lights - William was over the moon. The second group was the Boy Scouts carrying the flag and handing out candy. CANDY? YOU DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT CANDY! William couldn't believe so many good things were all in one place: Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Megan, police cars, marching bands with TUBAS, squirt guns (Grandma brought to entertain the "kids"), and CANDY. It would be huge understatement to say William was beside himself with joy.
The preparade entertainment: squirt guns with Grandpa. William's expression says it all: total WIN.
The look of excitement/anticipation! So excited!
Amelia has no idea, but is loving all the attention and the number of people around to watch. This girl loves a crowd!

Then the unthinkable happened. The announcer announced that the parade had been called off due to inclement weather moving into the area. Immediately. We were so SO sad. In the paper the next day we learned this was the first time in twenty eight years the parade has been called off.
Instead we went back to Grandma's and practiced giving hugs.
And playing dinosaurs with Aunt Megan

The following morning, we made plans to meet several friends out at an event called "Breakfast on the Farm". Which is just like it says. A local farmer opens up their family farm and invites the whole town to breakfast in their front yard. There are tractor displays, animal displays, a HUGE breakfast, wagon rides, games and so much more. Again, I didn't tell William what we were doing until we are on our way, so he was thrilled to find out we were going to eat breakfast AT A FARM. With TRACTORS. Anyway, it was a LOT of fun to take part in two of my favorite events from Rochestfest past.
This is one of two pancake grills working to serve everyone (note: I think it would be super fun to make pancakes like this for a boat load of people)
Two items of interest here: The cooks use a drill with mixing attachment to whip up their batter (a la tiling adhesive) and if you happen to look at the cook funny, you'll end up having to catch you breakfast as it flies through the air. The boy in blue above the drill is working hard to catch himself some pancakes.Eating with the fam. I will say that the best part was NOT when I had to eat my breakfast with wiggly Amelia on my lap.
William's favorite thing? Getting to "drive" a tractor
Yet another tractor. This one made me nervous as there were still keys in the ignition as William discovered. Apparently, the owners had driven the tractors over the night before/early that morning for display. We had a hard time getting him away from this one!
William checks out the animal displays with Aunt Megan. I tend to avoid the animal displays....
Cute bunnies!
William standing in the corn field. We have some cute video of this somewhere...
Not a great picture, but William with Grandma on the horse drawn wagon ride.Some friendly Brown Swiss cows
Horseback riding for William (not at the farm, later in the afternoon)

The next few days held a lot of visiting with John's brother, Mike and family, a visit to a LOT of parks for play with friends, a birthday dinner with Grandma and Grandpa (for Daddy, Kaye & Scott), a date out with our favorite couple (Jessica and Chris), hiking at Quarry Hill and playing with the grandparents. We usually pack in the activities, but this was a new all time level of busy-ness!
Reading books with Grandpa Heidt and cousins, Alex/Elena

Four cousins snuggled up and ready for a story read by Uncle Mike
This is what happens all the time. You start reading to William a super long book. All the other kids loose interest right away, but William has an astonishing attention span. He will sit for HOURS and listen to stories.

The three [almost] three year olds were such a blast to watch together this time! They are really playing well together, and even include Amelia a lot of the time! So sweet! The kids love to give each other some hugging - they are so excited about each other they would usually start jumping up and down. The missing kid/s would then usually notice they were missing out on the fun and take off full speed toward the hugging pair, bowling them over more often than not.
Everyone hugs!
Sweet HUGS!

Grandpa Heidt and William stand in front of a DIGGER at Uncle Mike's new house site.
William in a digger bucket at Uncle Mike's new house site
Mama testing out the playground equipment
Uncle Mike showing the boys how it is done!
Uncle Mike helping Alex up the slide
The famous corn cob water tower
At some point, the kids decided it was super fun to ride around in the car together - so we ended up with four kids in the van!
Amelia and Alex in the middle seats. If you're wondering why I didn't sit in the front seat, I'm not really sure why. Sometimes I don't think.
The cousins riding the alligator (crocodile?)
Another shot of all the kids on the crocodile!
The boys race down the slide - they had a WONDERFUL time playing together. William was exhausted after chasing/running/jumping/climbing/playing with his cousins!
Uncle John and Alex?Amelia peeks!
Look at all the grown ups watching out for our kids - YAY! (Grandpa Heidt, Aunt Tien, Uncle Mike and a piece of Mama)
William and Alex get silly
A big storm blew through on Saturday night, knocking down a LOT of trees. William was fascinated by the tree removal process (it involved trucks. And power tools).
Uncle Mike started out reading to all the kids and again is left with only one....

On Wednesday morning, it was time to pack up and drive to North Dakota for some time with the Great grandparents!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Question of the Day

Amelia is going through a huge word explosion. She is picking up words by the dozen every day. So very cute. She uses "hot" for anything that is hot or cold. "Milk" is any liquid she would like to drink. "Down" means she wants to be either up or down, depending on which location she is currently in. "Books" are anything with pages. So, so cute. But I know where it is going.

Where it is going is the point William is at. William now has enough words and is able to string them together to form coherent thoughts (okay, sometimes). He has been asking questions for a long time, but has recently reached the point where I just don't know the answer.


Do kitties use toilet paper? (asked while innocently perched on the toilet following a discussion regarding the importance of it)

Where does God live?

Why do I poop?

What do ghost do? What are the for?

There is always one question a day that seems to just come out of the blue and take me by surprise. I don't know how to even begin answering some of the things he thinks about.

Then there are the more frustrating ones. Developmentally, I'm sure there is a name for this stage and I learned about it in my Child Development classes. But, I can't remember it now. But the scenario goes a lot like this:

William: What is this for?
Mama: What is it? I can't see you in your room from the kitchen. (usually as I am furiously prepping a meal/cleaning up after a meal/trying to eat a cookie without being detected)
W: What is it?
M: I don't know, I can't see it.
W: Yes you can! Silly! What is it?
M: I don't know, I can't see it. What color is it? Blue?........CRASH!

And then an entire box of toys is emptied onto the floor in which I will step on each and every painful piece in my rush to make sure he is okay. And, I'll never know which toy he had in his hand to figure out what he was thinking. At least five times a day he will have a burning question he expects me to answer without seeing or knowing anything about the particular object in his hand.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I'm a pretty upfront person most of the time. I'll tell you what I think honestly if you ask for my opinion. And sometimes if you don't. You'll have noticed it has been quiet around here lately and there are reasons. Of course, they aren't reasons I really want to talk about in such a public place, so you'll just have to be satisfied with knowing everything is okay. It has been difficult for me, as writing is one way that I process the events that happen day to day and also how I record the milestones of our children. However, I knew I wasn't going to be able to write about the events of the day without talking honestly about everything else going on. So I didn't write at all. Sorry about that. I think we'll be back up to speed shortly.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day 2010!!

-Started with sleeping in...a real treat around here!

Followed by a delicious breakfast in bed of donuts, juice and fresh raspberries -YUM!

Trying to keep the kids out of the breakfast can be a little...tricky
Showing Daddy his homemade card - it has a lot of TRUCKS.
Daddy's present: a new toothbrush! How exciting!Fabulous Kid#2

Awesome Kid #1
When we couldn't take it anymore, we all had our breakfast of yummy donuts ("bagels"). For some reason William kept calling them bagels - this is also the only reason William didn't blow my cover. We picked up the donuts at the store while John was out yesterday and hid them. William talked about the yummy bagels for the rest of the day. Whew!


Amelia's first donut - she is a little more ladylike only due to the fact I cut her pieces up a LOT smaller.
Kids dressed super cute for church! Amelia is craning around my head to get a better view of the TV. Nice, huh?
Daddy and his crabby girl. The girl with a shark tattoo.
The handsome men Only Daddy is strong enough to carry both of themAmelia running away in her pretty dress from Grandma KimAmelia's pretty dressDaddy and his kids!The best one of Daddy
The best one of William

The best one of Amelia