Friday, September 25, 2009

Summer fun at Drake

I have taken the kids over to Drake several times this summer.  It is a short walk from here and it has great open spaces to run, kick the ball and just hang out.  Their favorite place, though is the fountain/pool.  I think both Harrison and Bennett could spend hours there.  The day that I took Miles, he was interested for a while, but then he found a hill and there was no looking back.  That boy loves a rush!  Free falling down the hill with no way to effectively stop.  What a thrill!  He are some pics!

This awesome!  I asked Harrison to put his arms around Miles and instead Miles grabbed both Harrison and Bennett.  What a fun shot!!!

"You are so funny, Harrison!"

This was a tad scary to watch!  Graceful, isn't he!

(These pics are from 2 different visits.  It is just a coincidence that Bennett is wearing  the same outfit!)

Party issues

I love to share about my kids and most of my life on my blog, but there are some things I like to keep hidden.  Not everyone has to know about everything, right?!?!  Anyway, I am beginning to realize that Harrison is a lot more like me than I first suspected or want to admit.  I am starting to get nervous...  He doesn't like to miss things, he is sensitive about getting yelled at or disappointing people, and he has some anger issues, but of course those aren't like me at all.  There are several other things, but some things I will keep to myself! :)

Harrison received his first birthday invitation in the mail this week.  We have gone to other kids birthday parties (Brody's!) but this will be the first where we drop him off and leave and then come back to get him after the festivities are over.  Now, that being said, we haven't exactly told him this, but he has already decided he doesn't want to go.  I am beyond confused.  He says that he won't know anyone there (it is a boy from his class that he has known for 2 years AND there will be other kids from his class), he won't have any fun, he will miss out on what is going on at home and he wants to watch cartoons.  WHAT?  Cartoons instead of cake?  Priorities Harrison!  This isn't like me at all!  We have DVR!  You can do both!  We have  talked and talked about this and I am still unsure of the right way to go.  Do I make him go even though he doesn't want to?  It's not like he doesn't like the child.  He and his mom take him to and from school everyday and they have Sunday School together.  They are really good friends.  I hate the thought of making him do something that he doesn't want to do.  This isn't like getting a flu shot (which he was none to excited about a couple weeks ago!).  But at the same time, I don't want him to become so much of a homebody that he never leaves the house, doesn't get a job and ends up living with me until I force him to the curb at age 50!  These are extreme situations!  What to do!!!!  So at dinner a couple of nights ago, I suggested that maybe we wouldn't go to the party but we would still buy Johnny a birthday present.  That was a huge no.  How could he pick something when he wanted all the toys for himself?  I realize this is slightly age appropriate to have such selfish feelings, but still, this almost put me over the edge.  In a moment of semi-poor judgement I threw up my hands and said "Fine, you won't go the the party, you won't get cake and ice cream and you won't play games with friends!"  Like it had been rehearsed, Bennett pipes up "I go to birt-day party!"  I had to leave the table.  

Still no real concrete decision has been made on the party, but I am leaning toward going.  We are going shopping for a present on Sunday and hopefully that will get him excited.  I told him that he could bring his birthday list along and we could jot down notes of things he likes (he already has a birthday list!!!).  And then we will try the party and I will hang out of a little while before I leave.  I am not making him, just pushing him gently.  Of all the dumb parent decisions to obsess over!  Geez!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maquoketa Caves

A few weekends ago (July some time) we went back to Davenport for a visit.  First on the agenda was watching my brother-in-law race.  He participates on off road bike racing (FORC) and really does well in the races that he enters.  This particular race was held at Scott County Park so we drove out to watch the excitement.  Not really that exciting!  Since it's an off road course you don't get to see the racers very often.  In this case I think it was about 7 laps and so we got to see Ryan seven times!  He was in second place for about three laps and then he creamed the field!   I think he won by almost 45 seconds.  It was very cool!
Gma entertaining the boys while we couldn't see Ryan.
Nice face, Harrison!

Too cute!!!!

Sweet picture of Aunt Kaylee and Bennett at dinner!  Great ribs in East Moline!

The next day we were off to the Maquoketa Caves.  I have been wanting to go to the Caves all summer.  Bennett is finally old enough to not be carried and I knew Harrison would have a great time.  And it was a great time (except I forgot my shoes in Des Moines so I had to wear flip flops!  Luckily they are like an extension of my feet!!!).  Anyway, it was fun.  We went through almost all of the caves, climbed up non-steep cliffs, waded through VERY cold water, climbed on fallen trees and then feasted on smore's after a very nice picnic.  And the weather was fall like considering it was July.  

Me, Harrison and Kaylee in a VERY tiny cave. 

The only bat we saw all day!

Mountain goats!  (Gpa and Harrison)

I should have zoomed out.  They were on a ledge that was pretty cool.  Bennett was thinking maybe this wasn't the place to be!

Great views everywhere!

Nice face, Bennett!!!

After that we had some time to catch the end of Ryan's second race so back to Scott County Park we went.  This was a much longer race and Ryan was actually in a tight race with 2 other guys.  He ended up 3rd but we were all very proud of him!  

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Life's Horrible

"Life's horrible!" said Harrison.  "I thought he was going to live forever."

Life cycles have been a big topic at our house as of late.  Specifically cicada life cycles.  We hear them in the trees and we see them all over the yard and tree.  Even on our walks around the neighborhood we seem to come home with 3 or 4 more shells each time.  We went online and learned that in their shells, cicada nymphs can live in the ground under the tree for up to 17 years.  We think the ones at our house live under the tree for 13 years.  Anyway, the boys are fascinated with them.  On more than one occasion we have sat outside and watch as the cicadas are 'born' out of their shells.  It is quite an amazing process.  This was happening a couple of weeks ago and we were messing around with the cicada a little too much and he fell off the tree.  I brought him up to the house to finish molting and then I took him back to the tree and set him up in the high crook I could reach.  We went about playing and then something caught both Harrison and my eye.  A robin.  At first I was too stunned to speak.  I mean, I realize it's natures way, but we had literally just watched the thing for almost an hour.  It was like part of the family!  Harrison was the first to speak.

"What happened?"  He was near tears.

"A robin just came and took the cicada away.  I think he is going to eat it or give it to it's babies to eat."  Honesty is the best policy.

"Life's horrible.  I thought he was going to live forever!"

Long silence...

"Is this a good word?"  said Harrison.  "Stinkin' robins!  Sometimes Daddy says 'Stinkin' Cubbies' so I thought it would be ok.  Is it ok?"

"Yes, Harrison.  It's ok."  I almost couldn't control myself.  What a kid!

Seriously, I love my life!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Harrison got new school shoes last night.  This shouldn't be that big of a deal, but Harrison and shoes are something out of horror film.  He is so picky and he is neurotic about how they feel.  His socks have to be just perfect and everything about the shoes has to be just right.  Mostly he goes around saying "They're not comfortable.  They're not comfortable."  I mostly want to strangle him when it comes to shoes. 

So we found a pair and today he is trying them out around the house.  This morning went fine and then he took the shoes and his socks off for quiet time.  I asked him why and his response was "Would YOU want to wear socks for the rest of YOUR life?!?!"  Seriously. strangling is an option for me.

We were ready to go outside this afternoon and we were getting his shoes and socks back on.  I put his shoe back on and one of the laces was stuck under his foot and as I was reaching down to get it, this is the conversation that followed:

"I was going to tell you my sock was bothering me."  said Harrison

"Everything bothers you.  I am learning to ignore it."  I said

"NOT everything bothers me!  You don't bother me!"  said Harrison

"Oh, well thank you."  I said but I was thinking, 'Give it more time!'