Total Pageviews

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week Two of Summer Vacay

Week 2

Here we are…Week 2 of Summer Vaca.  Have I mentioned how much I love summer?!  Maybe you missed it…. I/WE LOVE SUMMER!!

Last Monday we met Laura, Jenna & Alex at Tamarack Nature Center.  It was fun…..for pretty much everyone besides me.  Let me tell ya, my lil animal wanted to explore.  I wanted to talk to Laura.  But she's was a good sport at following me/us around.  But these beautiful rocks that surround everything were so damn sharp I couldn't help envisioning an ER trip in the near future.

We left without injury.  But there were quite a few close calls.

The following day we met Laura and her clan
and Amanda's clan at the beach.
But being a mother of a lil' animal I also picked up Tess my Flower Girl Extradinaire!
She helped me chase (ok she did most of the chasin')
the little beast.

When we got there we were the only ones there and clearly the beach had just been combed.
Early Birds Get the Worms People!

I told the kids I need a good pic of the three of them.

As you can see, hard to come by these days.

Tess with the big kids wading trying to catch some fish.

Brecken caught the (gold) fish. 
Over and over again….

Our dear dear friend Rosie used her school points to buy Brecken these shades.
Is that the cutest thing ever?
Rosie, a kindergartner thought of her one year old friend, at the school store when she saw these sunglasses.
Seriously, we have the most amazing friends.  EVER.  

He smiles every.single.time.he.puts.them.on.

Good try Tess!

HOURS spent digging holes.
Isn't that what summer is for?
Moms drink diet pop and talk and kids dig holes.
See kids, this is why you should become a teacher. ;-)

My little scientist caught tadpoles.
Like a couple hundred.
She didn't ask to take any home.
I am grateful.
Tried that once.

He didn't go far.
Just far enough to feel like he was far.
And the whole village was there.
And he knew it.

See, every single time.

 He enjoys eating on the beach.
A lot.
Seriously, pretty much the entire time.

Victoria wanted some serious pics of her finds.
Close ups were encouraged.

Hard to believe I was her Mom's student teacher 13 years ago when she was just TWO!

Sure you can dance on the cooler.
That's what summer's are for!

Nice selfie Tess!

Cutest thing ever!
She's teaching him about tadpoles but calling them fish since he's obsessed with fish right now.

Christian on Jenna's neck.
These kids are getting so big!!!

All the black dots you see are tadpoles.
Yes, seriously, every black dot.

She didn't like him stepping on them.

But he enjoyed "swimming" with the fish.

This dear little friend Joe is just about the best kid you'll ever meet.
Look at this (almost) 5th grader talking to a one year old.
That's some serious love and compassion there!

Needless to say, 3.5 hours at the beach this baby was toast.
Tess was sweet enough to capture it as soon was we left the parking lot.

Oh how I love you!!

The next day we visited "Tyler's farm."
Tyler just turned 7 so it's clearly not his farm, however, that's how my favorite six year old refers to it.

We went to feed some horses.
Christian's favorite animal is the horse.
He's very clear about liking large animals that can be ridden.
Horses. Deer. Yep, that's him.
He was in HEAVEN this day! 

That's him in the hoodie.
Not quite close enough to feed the horse…quite yet.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course.

Thursday we went to a graduation for an amazing student.
We arrived an hour and a half early to go to Marketfest first, but, guess what!
Marketfest starts a week later this year.
So instead we enjoyed looking at all the closed shops.
And the fountain.

Another great picture of the three of them.

Ramsey County Library WBL.
Love the small town feel!

Arriving at the graduation party - Dessert Buffet.
Someone put M&Ms on his tray right when we got there.
Pretty sure he's never had straight up chocolate.
He enjoyed it.
To the extreme.

He couldn't stop shaking!!

This is my girl!
She's never been in my class but she jumped off of a swing in second grade and broke BOTH OF HER ELBOWS!!!!  I home schooled her for six weeks after school.  I will never forget being cuddled up on her couch listening to her read.  Each day I could feel her learning.
Her brother was in my class the year before and after that, our families had a bond that's going to last a long long time.

This night I asked her if we could take our picture just the way I took a picture with her brother the year before.

This is the best pic I've gotten of the three of them together pretty much ever.
Wish they weren't naked…
But I love it.

Seriously.  These two are just too cool!

These sunglasses have given us hours (ok minutes) of entertainment in the last could weeks.

V & C had a playmate with her BFF and her sister.
It is amazing to only have to care for one child once in a while.
It's like a mini vacay!

He loved every second.
Daddy that is;-)

We celebrated Mama Jeanne's bday.
It was fun to spend the evening with her and Papa.

After the kids went to bed Jeanne and I were experimenting with Instagram.

This sweet angel reads constantly.
When I want her to do something I tell her she can read on the way there or can read after she completes the task.
It is amazing how much she enjoys reading.
There are books everywhere.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

This little man really loves animal books.
Fish are his favorite but he will moo each and every time he sees a cow (or a horse).

On Father's Day our plan was to hike at Minnehaha Falls.  
Unfortunately, it was a rainy dreary day so our back up plan was MOA.
The kids went on a couple rides.
First V and I went on the biggest roller coaster (Mark you never sent me that pic!! #toolatenow)
She was turned away on her 8th bday.
But last Sunday, she was 48 inches!!
She loved it and asked to go again.
Next C found out he was finally 47 inches and could go on an adult ride.
Only to be turned away when we could all see his was, in fact, 47 inches.
He was just at it, but still.  47 is 47.
After waiting in the ride line, the we waited in the ticket line, to wait in the official height check line (#bullshit) to have the ridiculously stupid woman put a 42" stamp on him because they "don't have 47" stamps."  After nearly 30 minutes of trying to get this poor kid on the ride I asked her, without swearing, HOW THE HELL THIS STAMP WAS GOING TO HELP ANYTHING? 
It was beyond.  
I was no longer at Nickolodeon Universe - I had entered the Twilight Zone!
I tried to keep every happy through it all, but it was straight up ridiculous!
Guess what happened when he got back in line….
Yep, she wouldn't let him on because of the 42" sticker.
She called them then and held up the entire ride.

FINALLY this poor stressed out kid (thinking they wouldn't let him on)
finally got on and loved every second!

See? Loved it!

We headed over to Rainforest for lunch.
Got a great table.
Our lunch was amazing….
Until Brecken puked down his right side.
Not sure if he choked on something or what….

But that's life with three kids…
Never a dull moment!

The following day we had Brecken yearly heart recheck.
He had to have an ECHO and it wasn't easy.
It wasn't as bad as I expected, but it wasn't easy.
Here he is enjoying his sucker after.
When I look at myself, which I didn't mean to be in it, 
it reminds me of how sad and tired I look in the pictures in the days of Brecken being in the NICU.
Tired, stressed, worried.

Having a sick child is a scary scary thing.

Waiting for the surgeon I was so nervous.
I had been nervous since I made the appointment back in April.
I didn't sleep well the night before.

We were blesses to receive great news!
This is the picture I posted on fb that afternoon along with

This sweet boy had his check up with his heart specialist today. The doctor said he has ZERO concern for heart trouble through his childhood. He, most likely, won't need surgery until he's 20-30 years old. We'll go back for another check up in THREE years. Great news! What a relief!!

That got more "likes" than anything I ever posted.
:-) made me feel good!

Here's the drawing we got this year.
Brecken was born with two valves, instead of three.
We knew on the second day of his life he would need to have it corrected.
It was just a matter of when.
When we walked out of the NICU we were given a list of things to look for if he goes into cardiac arrest.  Not what parents of an infant want to hear, to say the least.

At this time, his heart is functioning normally.
Which, given his condition, is extremely rare.
He is under no restrictions and "ZERO" (which is a really powerful number in this situation) concern in his childhood.

When I took him in for his 15 month appointment two days later our pediatrician said, "When they say three years that's a very good sign."  I jumped in, "I know!  He also said ZERO chance of…"
He cut me off.
"You do know he WILL need surgery.  Just not anytime too soon."
Way to rain on my parade.
Yes, I know that.
But let's just celebrate and be grateful now! 
Down the line…
Hopefully a long long line he will need a procedure (hopefully by then it won't be so invasive!)
Since he's been alive they've already stopped doing open heart for it.
Can you believe that?
If he needed the surgery when he was born he would have had open heart but one year later they go up through the groin.
Hopefully in 20-30 years it will be very simple and minor.

Those were just the highlights of week two.