Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Night Saylor

On Sunday night, we were ready to get out of the house, so Adam called up Wade to go golfing. Ryan and I tagged along to go hang out with Abbie and Saylor. Ryan and Saylor get along pretty well, especially now that Saylor can walk. She is rightfully a little leery of her crazy cousin who runs around and plays with all her toys, but so far is very tolerant.
Milo is not always that happy to see Ryan show up, especially in her domain. 

After playing inside, the kids also had fun playing outside, especially after Milo discovered a tiny black kitten hiding in the bushes. Ryan named her "Coolah" and tried to give her a wagon ride. He also did a nice job of giving Saylor a wagon ride, which she loved. After the guys came back, we had some ice cream and amazing cookie bars, then it was time to leave. What a great way to spend a Sunday evening!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grandpa's Farm

 On Tuesday, I took the afternoon off and came home to enjoy a 2-hour nap. Now THAT's how to spend some vacation time! Then, Ryan and I headed to Hull to hang out with Megan, Emily, and Lincoln. After playing for a while, my dad called to say a cow was about ready to give birth so we headed over to the farm.
The kids were excited to run around the barn while we were waiting for the cow. Eventually, she was ready and they all got a little lesson in animal husbandry as we watched the cow deliver a calf (with a little help from my dad). I have actually helped pull a calf before, but it's a slightly different experience when you're pregnant and/or have ever given birth yourself. Poor cow. Unfortunately, after seeing a successful birth, we discovered that the calf had a rare birth defect which caused it to bleed out shortly after birth so we had to whisk the kids away to another activity.

They were happy to go watch the cows being milked, then pet my aunt's new horse, Angel. Even in the 100-degree+ heat, the kids were eager to help Grandpa on the farm by feeding the 39 calves milk, water, and feed. They were all great helpers and were rewarded by a ride on the Kubota!

After supper, we headed to the new pool in Hull and had a nice time cooling off. Ryan was a little apprehensive of the slide but mostly liked paddling around in his life jacket.  He had a great time playing with Emily and Lincoln during the week and was sad to see them go! Thanks for coming to visit!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mill Creek

While Megan, Emily, and Lincoln were visiting this week, we took one night to meet them at Mill Creek State park by Paullina. We ate a quick picnic, then, while my Dad took the boat out for it's first test of the summer, Ryan and Lincoln had fun scooping sand on the beach.
 The boys ventured into the water a little bit (and my mom and I sat in lawn chairs in the water to try to keep cool)
After her boat ride small fishing success, Emily took her turn cooling off in the water.

Then, it was the "little guys" turn in the boat. The fish weren't biting much and after Ryan threw worms, then the worm container, then a full tackle box in the lake, they decided it was time to head back to shore.
We're glad the kids had fun playing and it was a good way to keep cool!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Magic Show

On Wednesday nights, our town has "Onstage" events in the downtown park. We were excited to bring Ryan to a more kid-friendly event, a magician/comedian. He ended up being more interested in playing in the park, but we still enjoyed the show. The magician did a great job, especially considering the wide range of ages and the searing heat.  We are grateful that many businesses in town and the Arts Council sponsor these types of events.

On the highly anticipated "float an audience member" trick, my Uncle Craig got pulled up on stage to assist. Can you figure out how he did it?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

That's What Dreams are Made Of

Ryan also liked dancing to the "fast song" I was listening to, which was the choral parts/accompaniment tracks to Van Halen's "Dream".   Also loving these moves.

Interpretive Dance

Tonight while I was listening to some show choir CD's, Ryan decided that he wanted to dance to the music. Here is the end of his interpretive dance to Josh Groban's "Remember When it Rained." I might have to steal some of these moves.

Sioux County Fair

Even though it's dreadfully hot outside, we decided to make a trip to the Sioux County Fair with Ryan. I hadn't been there since back in my "Lincoln Clover" days when I'd line up with the other 4-H'ers to show off my latest "Food and Nutrition" and "Home Improvement" projects. Ryan was not interested in seeing the 4-H projects, but made it pretty clear he was just there for the animals.

He made the rounds of the cut-out animals signs, delivering an impression of each animals as he stuck his head through the hole. This amused a few passer-bys who thought his goat sound was dead-on.
 We went through all the barns: cattle, pigs, dairy, horses, goats, sheep, bunnies, poultry. Although he's used to seeing cows, they were still his favorite. He really liked the small goats and bunnies too. I think he was startled to hear how loud the geese and roosters could be, but I'm glad that he's generally not afraid of animals and, if anything, we had to keep him from reaching in to touch all of them.

After the animals, we all enjoyed an ice cream cone (as did the front of Ryan's shirt). Gotta support the Dairy Industry! Then, we walked through the Heritage Village, which I'd never seen before. Ryan liked climbing in the covered wagon and also checked out the chicken coop and miniature red barn.

 Considering that I consider it a hardship to drive more than an hour in an air-conditioned van with a toddler without an adequate supply of DVDs in the 6-disc changer, I determined I would have made a very poor pioneer.
On the way out, Ryan was enthralled by the free inflatables that were set up, even though they were designed for much-older kids. We decided to let him try climbing up the slide one since there were other kids his age going down it just fine. He made it to the top while about 13 kids waited patiently behind him, then he turned and sat at the top. And sat. And sat. He wouldn't come down! We kept telling him to come down as the other kids slid down beside him but he kept insisting he was waiting for "his turn" and wouldn't go while the other kids kept passing him. After seeing another mom go up with her toddler, I decided to take one for the team and climbed up to the top so he would slide down with me. At first I was embarrassed but then I thought...who am I trying to impress..a bunch of 8-year-olds who have been washing pigs all day? I got over it. 

Ryan had a great time at the fair and he even got to go back for another visit on Tuesday with Adam's parents. On that visit, he showed them all the animals again and watched a Mr. Twister balloon show where Grandpa was called up on stage to be the "big, huge, elephant" (Would you be insulted if the performer picked you out of the crowd for that role?)  He came home with a giant elephant head made of balloons (and another ice-cream-sticky shirt) but had fun once again.

All of the activities we went to were free (except for the $1 ice cream cones) so it was a cheap way to let Ryan explore and see new things!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I'm not sure where this is supposed to fit in on the child development scale, but Ryan has taken an interest in sorting lately. Whenever he sets up his farm animals (which is every day) he always puts all the adult farm animals in the smaller fence, the baby farm animals in the larger fence area, and the penguins outside. He told me the penguins don't belong with the rest of the animals. Also, the rooster has to set on the fence.  He used to set up the animals by kinds--a mommy, a daddy and a baby of each animal but apparently this is his new way (and don't try to mix them up!)
When he went downstairs to build me a tower with his wooden blocks, he sorted all of them by size and then used all of one kind before moving on to the next kind. When we build new "zoos" with his big Legos, he uses all of one color first, then all of the next color, etc.

Seems like he might be the type to eat all the green Skittles first, then yellow, orange, red and purple. In.order.  (Not that anyone I know does that.)  Not sure where he gets these habits! :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summerfest 2012

This weekend was Summerfest in my hometown of Hull. On Friday, Adam and I went to the Little Theater production with Abbie and Wade. We were impressed by the great acting and singing from local kids and hope to bring Ryan to see the show when he's a little older.

On Saturday morning, we went to the carnival for a little while. Ryan won prizes at the beanbag toss and duck pond and tried out a bouncy house for the first time! He has refused in the past and was tentative this time, but we waited until there weren't very many kids in it and then he had a great time!

After lunch at my parents, it was time for the big parade.  It was very hot, but Ryan had a good time with Grandpa and Grandma, Abbie, and Saylor. He didn't like the sirens, but liked seeing the firetrucks, tractors, and a few of the colorful floats.

He had great strategy for maximum candy collection, including jumping up and down and waving.

 His loot included more than just candy...a frisbee, coozie, cheese sticks, bottle of water, key chains, Mr. Freeze and a first aid kit were all part of the day's handouts. He could barely carry his bag when it was time to pack up!

I'm pretty sure his candy will last until the next major candy holiday (Halloween) and we plan to use it for potty training bribery.  The bonbons don't really stand a chance of making it to Ryan fact 2 packs are gone already.
Thanks to the town of Hull and all the volunteers who make it a great weekend for kids!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where's the Sports?

 The other day, Ryan sat at the table and announced, 
"I need to read the newspaper. Where's the sports?"

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot

We all know it's been hot (and dry) this summer. When I left work on Friday, the temperature reading on the van was 103. When I got home, this is how Ryan and Adam had decided to beat the heat:

That night, we headed to one of my co-worker's houses for a department party. Although we sweated buckets, we had lots of good food and and fun. There are so many young kids in our department and Ryan is starting to find his way when playing with new friends. When it got dark, a few of the guys put on the most outrageous amateur fireworks show I'd ever seen. The "Grand Finale" required 2 people to carry it out to the driveway!  Ryan wasn't as keen on these since they were a little "up close and personal".

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

We enjoyed a relaxing day at home for the 4th of July, spending time working around the house and all getting naps. Glorious! At night, we headed down to Windmill park where they were serving hot dogs, burgers, chips, and lemonade. We listened to the duo that was singing and Ryan played in the park for a little while, but the 100 degree heat drove us home after a while to cool off.

Later in the night, we headed to Adam's parent's house to watch the fireworks from their back yard. My parents, grandma, Aunt, Uncle and cousins all joined us for the good view.  
Before it started, Ryan was excited to see all the amateur/illegal fireworks going off in the neighborhood.  He also went on a hunt for fireflies! 
He insisted I cover his ears for the big fireworks show, but we were far enough away that they weren't terribly loud.  I think he had fun anyway! It was a great place to watch the show and a great day off to spend together!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Monday nights are a great night to go to our town pool-kids are only $2 and parents are free after 6pm and it's not busy, even on hot nights. One night, Saylor, Abbie, and Wade came to swim with us and they enjoyed the splash pad fountains! Saylor has no fear and Ryan has fun discovering how to start and stop the water.

They also had fun swimming in the big pool. Ryan doesn't mind wearing his life jacket since it means he can swim around independently. He can move himself around, slowly, and likes chasing after people or things in the water. He also likes walking around without his jacket in water up to his shoulders so he can "hop" around with a semi-anti-gravity-feeling.

Swimming at night is nice since it's less crowded and an hour or hour and a half is enough to tire him out. Hopefully we can get some more swimming in this summer and go try out the new Hull pool too!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

2 years & 9 months

Ryan has been enjoying his summer although it's been too hot to do a lot outside. We've enjoyed swimming a few times and have also used the sprinkler, the hose, and buckets to keep cool. He continues to enjoy his playset, especially the sandbox. Inside, he still likes setting up all his "sets": farm animals with fences, tractors and wagons, cars, and wooden blocks. He also can independently build "zoos" on his Lego table, usually sorting all the same colors together.

His facial expressions and funny questions/antics are only getting sillier. He'll ask a questions and end it in "Why, Mommy, Why?" to make mundane things seem completely dramatic.  Such as, "Why are we having hot dogs for supper. Why, Mommy, why?" or "Why does Nika have to go outside? Why, Mommy, why?" He also loves to be tickled when we rub his back at night.

People ask him about being a big brother often and he usually just shies away or doesn't answer. He does pat my belly sometimes and talk to the baby. He says my belly is getting "big enough." Oh boy, I wish.  Sometimes he says he's going to have a "brudder" and sometimes a "sister" and talks about how he's going to teach the baby how to do different things, like go down the slide, and play tractors.  One night in the middle of singing a song, he asked the inevitable question, "How is the baby going to get out of your tummy? I was semi-prepared for this and told him, "The doctor will help get the baby out." And Ryan gave me a questioning look, asking, "But the doctor doesn't have any tools?" I just said the Doctor will know what to do, so he doesn't have to worry about it. I have a feeling the questions will only increase. We are planning to bring him along to the 20-week ultrasound in a few weeks and he seems excited to "see pictures of the baby in your tummy."