First – Congratulations to John, Michelle and Brianna on the birth of Katie! She’s a cutie! I can’t wait to meet her – maybe this weekend…
Saturday was MN state fair day. It’s a family tradition to go each year with Nana and Papa. We got up extra early, OK, that’s not true. The kids slept in until 8:15 and Kris and I took advantage of that. Anyway, we got up, dressed, ate breakfast and got on the road to the fair. We arrived around 10:30 and immediately headed for an animal barn. First we were in the rabbit/duck/chicken/bird barn. They had some birds out so the kids got to pet a chicken, duck and pigeon. Both thought that was pretty cool. Then we looked at the rabbits and then some lambs before meeting up with Nana, Papa, Auntie Carrie and Uncle Adam. Of course we had to go see the “giant pig” as Annika kept begging. Really, it’s Minnesota’s largest boar but I like giant pig better. After that and the baby piglets we walked through the cow barn and then it was time to eat! Pronto pups and french fries all around – yummy! Some crab cakes and root bear to round out lunch and then it was off to look at more things – fish in the DNR fish pond, Escalade’s at the Cadillac booth and the Backstreet Boys at the KDWB booth! Yep, as we were walking by the KDWB booth, Dave Ryan was introducing the Backstreet Boys. Got to see the 4 of them (minus Kevin?) in the flesh. My life is complete now. OK, that was sarcasm. It was pretty funny listening to the little girls scream though. We walked through the new International Bazaar, listened to some country music (I’m not sure how Kris’s ears didn’t bleed!) at the bandshell, checked out some home improvement booths for water softener deals (what an exciting life we homeowners lead – a water softener!!) and then time for more treats! Apples with caramel and a scoop of ice cream. James wasn’t too enthused by that but Annika gobbled up those apples in no time! Now we were by the grandstand and Nana and Papa had rejoined us. Time to shop! We looked at some shoes for Nana, I got James to fall asleep in the middle of everything and Kris checked out the Mazda booth. (Um, yes, we looked at some cars yesterday – we can’t wait to replace the truck even though we’re probably a year away from doing that yet.) Next it was time to hit the kiddie midway. Annika had been begging to go on rides all morning so she was happy we were finally making our way there. Both she and James rode on the carousel. Jamesy threw a fit when he had to get off. Then Annika rode a bee ride where you pull the lever and it makes the bee go higher. She wasn’t strong enough to pull it though so she rode close to the ground the whole time. She was bummed about that for about 30 seconds – and then she set her sights on the next ride and was all better. She and James rode on a water ride (go around in a circle while sitting in a little boat). Then Annika went by herself on two rides, swings being one of them. She really liked the swings. And then she went on a ride that brought her up in the air and then “dropped” her to the ground. She giggled her little head off on that ride. And the last ride of the day was the kiddie ferris wheel. Both Annika and James rode that one. I was so proud of my little man (only 18 months old and riding a ferris wheel all by himself!). I was worried he’d be freaked out by going so high and while you could tell he was nervous, by the end he was waving to us on the ground as he went by. So proud! Annika said her favorite was the carousel but I’m willing to bet the drop ride was right up there at the top too. After rides Nana and Papa took them both through the Little Farm Hands exhibit. On our way there we stopped by the GMC booth and saw the new Traverse. And we liked! The salesman told us it comes out in September and is similar to the Acadia. We’ll have to save all our pennies to afford one but both Kris and I liked it. We’re waiting until at least September 2009 anyway so we can see the new 2010 hybrid SUVs too. What I really liked about it though is that even if you have the third row seats in use (instead of folded down) that there’s still ample amount of cargo space. A lot of the smaller SUVs use up the whole cargo space for the third row seats. Not really liking that. Anyway, back to the fair. The kids liked the little farm hands exhibit. Jamesy liked ‘the pick up this and put it there’ part of it. Time for more walking around and a treat for Jamesy – a meatball sundae (a meatball with gravy on mashed potatoes). Jamesy loves mashed potatoes so he gobbled up most of that. Then we walked down to the horticulture building, met up with Auntie Carrie and Uncle Adam again, checked out some flowers (and the new MN winegrower booth – will definitely need to partake in some samples of that next year!) and then headed across the street to the food building. One steak on a steak, garlic fries, cheese curds and a jumbo hot dog later and dinner was complete. Hmm, cheese curds – it’s a good thing I only eat them once a year (maybe) at the fair. Those are just too good. We were all pretty tired by this time. And it was starting to get a bit late but we still had apple pie to eat! Nana had brought one (a family tradition for her). We decided to go to nearby Como Park and eat our pie. It was super yummy! As soon as we were done and in the car headed for home Jamesy conked out. He had only a short nap during the day so it didn’t take long for him to drift off. Annika took a little longer but she too was asleep before we got home. Makes bedtime super easy when all you do is carry them up to their rooms and plop them in their beds!
Yesterday morning we met Auntie Carrie and Uncle Adam at Ikea for breakfast. $11 for breakfast for a family of 4. Not bad! Then we headed across the street to the Mall of America for a bit. The kids (meaning Kris too!) played at the Lego store for a while until the mall opened. Both kids loved that of course. Jamesy played at the little kid side with the Duplo blocks building tower after tower while Annika played at the big kid side building cars with Kris to race down the track. Jamesy had a first too. He needed a diaper change so we headed to the restroom where he peed on the potty in a public bathroom for the first time! (only exciting to the mom, I know!) Then we went to the new Best Buy store at the mall to check that out too. Back at home Annika and I sat down to make some birthday invitations. Mark your calendars – party September 7th at 1pm! – invitations to be mailed tomorrow! Kris had to go into work for a couple hours (boo!) so when Krystle called for help, I took the kids with me over to her house. Pierce played with them and Bailey outside while Krystle and I played with make up and false eyelashes. Krystle and Pierce had their engagement pictures last night and Krystle needed to look fabulous of course! And she did! Back at home we played outside for a while riding bikes and then playing in the sandbox when Ryan (and dad Jeff) came over to play. As soon as Jamesy saw Ryan outside he started booking it for their house. I had to go corral him and bring him back to our house to the sandbox. Usually we’re playing at their house and Jamesy was excited by that. Annika was just excited to play with Ryan. They always play pirate together (usually instigated by Annika – a little too much Peter Pan for that girl!). Annika was so sad when Ryan had to go home and we went inside. We had to get ready for our dinner date though! We went to our neighbors Andrew and Katie’s house for dinner last night. Yummy taco salad for the adults and yummy mac and cheese for the kids. They showed us their relatively newly finished basement and Kris asked lots of questions and took lots of notes in his head, seeing as their house is a mirror image of ours and we’ll start work on our basement in about a year. Then it was back upstairs for lots of playing – playing with a rhyming word puzzle, throwing the ball for their dog to fetch, running and laughing and giggling, playing hide and seek, tickles, playing babies with the dog toys. The kids had a great time. Andrew and Katie are so much fun to play with! Annika cried when I said it was time to go but I promised her that some time soon Andrew and Katie could babysit her and James and that cheered her up a little bit.
Two cute kid things and then I’ll wrap this up.
1 – Annika has been playing riddle games with us lately – Annika: Who is wearing a pink polka dot shirt and has a voice like me? Kris: Annika? Annika: You’re right! – Annika: Who has new shoes? Kris: James? Annika: You’re right! – Annika: Who has brown hair and rescues animals in the forest? Me: Diego? Annika: You’re right! Some of her riddles get a little complex too with three to four clues before I get who it is. That’s my smart little girl!
2 – Tonight Jamesy started saying the “l” sound for the first time! He’s always tried to say words with l’s in them (airplane = aypane) but hasn’t been able to say his r’s or l’s yet. Tonight he said pillow for the first time! And his cute little tongue poked out between his lips when he worked to say the “l” part of the word. He repeated it about 10 times, getting better each time. It’s still a little labored but he’s doing it! I’m so proud of him! He’s been talking up a storm lately and his speech is getting clearer and clearer. Here’s another step in that direction!