Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Orangutan family, and a swimming tiger
Friday, July 25, 2008
As far as what's new with Zach, it's definitely his vocabulary - it's in overdrive. For example, in just the last day or so, he graduated from "coo" for cookie monster (yes, he loves all things sesame street), to the full "cookie". He also continues to crack me up with the things he chooses to echo, since I tend to forget that he's paying much closer attention than I realize. An example... I was telling Teri (Scott's mom) how the woman at jcpenneys had irritated me a bit with her pushy sales tactics, and I said something along the lines of "I wanted to say - back off lady!" So instantly, of course, out of Zach's mouth comes "back off", in exactly the same tone I'd used. Then he just cracks up, like he knows he's said something that sounds hilarious coming out of the mouth of a toddler. And it was.
We've had quite a week! Teri and I have spent some time shopping (imagine that), but also just some good fun playing with Zach, taking walks, going to Highland Fest etc. We made quite a dent at the Albertville outlet mall; Zach was a trouper! I have to say, between the time with my parents, and now with Scott's parents here, I'm going to have a hard time adjusting to it being just Zach and me again during the weekdays. Besides just enjoying the company, I am taking full advantage of the help, so I can do the little things that somehow add up ... going for a run any time of day, grocery shopping all by myself, and - I saw TWO movies this week! Wahoo! (movie reviews below if you're interested) For those of you who have family, especially grandparents, close, I hope you know how lucky you are. We're just happy we have parents who are willing to take as much time as they do, and to come to us, so they can get to know their fabulous grandson!
More to come on Scott and Alan's adventures, and some pictures - I have not been hauling my camera around lately - I'll be better!
The Dark Knight (Batman): great movie, lots (perhaps too many) plot twists, amazing cast. Very dark, very tense movie - not the movie for you if you don't like sitting on the edge of your seat for 2.5 hours (or sitting through any movie for 2.5 hours).
Mamma Mia: not a great movie, but still great fun. How can watching a slightly overacting cast bop around to ABBA music not be a fun time? If you're looking for great choreography and Broadway-caliber singing, go see the musical. If you like Meryl Streep, think Pierce Brosnan is great eye candy (despite his horrible singing voice), and want to see some great views of Greece - go see the movie.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
It's also been amazing to discover how much he really understands. After we'd been gone for about 10 days in Hudson, when I pulled up in front of the house, Zach instantly said "Koskie?". I was amazed - after all that time away, he not only recognized our house, but remembered our dog, who he hadn't seen in a long time. Today at the mall with G&G Willard, he looked at one of the rides, which was an orange bus, and said "beep beep" (sing it with me - the horn on the bus goes beep beep beep!). A few minutes later, he was mooing loudly and pointing; when I followed his finger I saw a fairly abstract drawing of a cow on a sign way up near the roof. Brilliant, I tell you.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
On to our adventures! Besides the towns I already mentioned, we also managed to get to Hastings, and then went to Willow River State Park in WI (not far from Hudson - had no idea it was there!). I was pleasantly surprised - it has a nice lake, which is dammed to create a pretty cool waterfall. There apparently is also a natural waterfall, but we weren't up to a 4-mile round trip hike with Zach. He did, however, demonstrate his growing hiking skills on the rocky path down to the river - he barely needed to hold our hands. He also demonstrated (loudly) that he prefers to get his own way, when we had to convince him he couldn't go back down once we had navigated our way up. The joys of toddlerhood, let me tell you!
My aunt Carole and uncle Al drove over from central WI one day, to hang out with us and also my cousin Dave, his wife Mindy, and kids Hannah, Luke, and Megan. It was a great day - perfect weather, fun to catch up with everyone, but I have to admit my favorite part was watching Zach fall in love. Megan (age 8) was his absolute favorite person by the end of the day; he'd cry "me me" (I think his version of Megan) if she wasn't by his side. At one point he didn't even want me - just Megan! She was wonderful with him, it was very fun to watch. Check out the picture!
In other news, we got to see Sylvia Grace last night, now that she's happily at home. She is, of course, as precious as can be. I tell you, there's nothing like holding a sleeping newborn! Congrats again Adam and Jamie!
Next up for the Willards: part 2 of grandparent month. Scott's parents are arriving either tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on whether or not they have the energy to drive it all in one day (they're coming from Bozeman, MT). They've got lots of fun planned, so I will do my best to keep you posted on our latest adventures.
PS... if you're interested in seeing ALL the pictures I took during our "Hudson week" - you can view my snapfish album: Hudson House snapfish album
Monday, July 14, 2008
The location is probably the most minor change in our celbration, if I look back over the last six years. When we started our tradition in 2002, out of the 5 couples, one was married, and between all of us we had one dog. I'll spare you the year-by-year changes, but if you look at us now - all 5 couples are married (see Jen & Aaron - June 24th post), and there are 5 kids (the latest is Sylvia Grace - see July 13th post) and we can't forget the three dogs and four cats that are a part of our families.
Back in 2002, our activities centered on getting some sun (and keeping Jenny from getting too burnt), playing endless bocce and goofy drinking games, bonfires, and sleeping late. If you were one of the squirrels in the trees, you would have heard conversations about going to Summerfest (we talked about it every year, but never went), how to slow the guys down so they'd be functional the next day, and how comfortable the hammock was for napping.
Pictures are definitely worth a thousand words... these are from the 4th of July celbration this year! You're seeing the Brodds and Roses centered around Kasey, with Jamie more than ready for little Sylvia to make her appearance. The other is Jodi blowing bubbles for Zach and Stuart - instant entertainment. These are a good summary of how we spend our time now - it's mostly about the kids! As you look at the other pictures, you'll see some of our other fun - we still managed to play a little bocce, spend some time on our floating oasis island, drink a few margaritas, and eventually have a bonfire on the beach. But a lot of the conversation centered on baby names, the merits of cloth diapers, and how to get your kid to sleep. And you know what? I wouldn't change a thing.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Happy 4th of July from North Hudson, WI. We are on our 5th day of relaxing on the river at the house that G&G Klicka have rented. The views are amazing - check out that sunset! We've spent our days walking around the historic downtowns of several small towns on the river; so far Hudson, Stillwater, and Taylors Falls. Zach went on his first hike in Taylors Falls, as we checked out the gorgeous views of the river from the bluffs, and investigated the glacial potholes (who knew?). A few pictures are included to show you what you're missing; "it's way better than the Dells" is a direct quote from Wisconsin's own Bill Klicka.
Today we are anticipating a great "celbration" as our friends make the trek across the river for what will be our 6th annual 4th of July get-together. The weather is already perfect, as it has been all week. More pictures and updates soon, although this is a little difficult to update since we're borrowing a neighbor's wi-fi!
PS... this last pic is just one I thought was cute - Zach in his shades!