Monday, July 29, 2013

The Dock

The dock at the cabin is one of the spots where you get the most bang for your buck as they would say. It's the place where everyone gathers for easy entertainment. It can't get much better than hanging out on the dock.

Austin loved throwing bread in the lake to feed the fish. The only problem was that he barely broke it up and would throw in whole or half pieces of bread. Oh well, the fish could have cared less, they still got to eat.
Did you read the post about the Nay Nays? Here is the infamous carrot that Ava carried around with her all day. Continually gnawing on it.....

Grandpa teaches Austin how to fish.
Austin loved getting the worms out of the container!
And as soon as the hook hit the water, it was a feeding frenzy.... and Austin couldn't have been more excited.
He needed no instruction on this part. He would just reach out and grab the fish.
He'd throw the fish back in......and REPEAT.
Who doesn't love fishing with Grandpa?
Onto the next big adventure on the dock......the huge snapping turtle! Here Grandpa tells Austin all about feeding the turtle hot dogs so it will come stay under our dock.
Huge, right? He could have eaten Ava for breakfast!
Ahh enjoying the family time. But this isn't really what it looks like. The picture below this one explains what life on the dock is really like......
It's making sure Austin doesn't fall into the water. And then making sure Austin doesn't knock Ava into the water. And then the dog gets in the way........whew!
More cabin adventures to come! See now.....the rain doesn't hold us back from enjoying all that the cabin has to offer. So what if we crammed it all into three hours while the twenty one other hours were spent inside as we all went crazy with cabin fever!

Nay Nays

Another item off our Bucket List this summer was to take the kids up to the cabin. We could finally plan the trip after Ava started walking as we knew that would make things go much easier as well as more fun for her. Little did we know that rain would end up being the entire forecast. But, a day off for both Jason and myself at the same time, is a rarity. So we went anyway, praying for the weather to give us a break.

Just outside my parents neighborhood live two horses. We rarely get away without bringing them carrots whenever we visit my parents for the day. So needless to say, the kids aren't afraid of horses. Which is good since the entertainment was slim pickins' on the rainy day at the cabin.

In between the downpours of rain, Ava was tugging on the doorknob to go outside. And the phrase "Nay-nay" was the first thing out of her mouth. So off we went time after time to say hello to the nay nays and bring them some carrots. Only Ava doesn't like to share her carrots.
As we walk back from visiting them, Ava does the thing she does best back at home. She taunts the animal. We are always saying "poor Lily" as Ava pretends to give whatever she has in her hands to the dog, and then swiftly shoves it in her own mouth. And here she practices it just as well. 'Ah-ha! Look what I have horsie!'
And she walks away the victor, with carrot in hand.
But you could have a flower Mommy, just don't touch my carrot.
And of course Lily thinks she's a horse and needs to be back in their stable. A dog can dream.
More cabin stories and pics to come! Despite the rain and the episodes of crabby vs. hyper children.....we had a good time and can't wait to go back next year.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

No Fear

This time last year, we were heading to this exact same splash pad with Austin at a year and a half and Ava as an infant. Austin was not too thrilled about the idea of water all over his face. I can imagine he wondered why people did this for fun. And now, it's Ava's turn to feel that way.

Before the splash pad opened, Ava was all about running around, even if on all fours.....
But my oh my, how Austin had changed his tune. He couldn't wait to get his face wet. Just look at that picture. Dripping off his face. I loved it. He loved it. And I was so proud of him. I love watching him overcome things. Even something as small as water on his face.
His smile tells it all.

Looking forward to next year, in hopes that Ava joins in on the fun. This year she watched from afar.
And of course Grandpa got in on the fun with Austin.
These two are having a blast this summer. There isn't anything Austin and Grandpa don't do together.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Fab Fourth

Ahhhh (sigh) the 4th of July! Beautiful weather, lots of color, sand in our toes, fish to catch and kiss, family, laughing children, paddle boards, paddle boat, amazing fireworks from the front yard, refreshing lake, good food, and the list goes on. It was like a dream.

What did I imagine for this backyard and space? The above describes it all. When our house was suggested as a place to have all the family over for the 4th, I was all in.......except when just a few weeks prior we had no grass, hard as a rock sand, and ZERO landscaping. That in and of itself was freaking me out! But, just in the nick of time, it was 95% finished for the holiday.

Not to mention the sand toys and everybody's red, white, and blue attire, made for a photographer's dream. Although I can never quite capture everything but that's a good thing..... because I want to be IN on the action not always behind the lens.

Austin loved catching fish! This was probably the first time we have really tried to fish on the lake and the fish couldn't help but bite as soon as the lure hit the water.
No fish could return to the water without a kiss first

Uncle Gary let Austin help reel in some more!
Baby Grace is still a huge hit with Austin. He talks about her and Jackie all the time.
One Grandma and her granddaughter after another
I can't believe how blonde Ava is becoming this summer.

Austin and Jackie never seemed to separate once they started playing together.
Fourth of July is never complete until the Bomb pops are broken out!

Aunt Fran was more than happy to sit in the sand under the umbrella and watch the children play.
We seem to be getting better at getting family pictures this summer.
I think this successful 4th of July put us in the running to let this be our holiday that we host for years to come. I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. My family makes it easy. They come ready for anything and leave the house just as clean as it was before they came.....likely cleaner! I'm thinking we should just do it again before the summer is over regardless if it's a holiday or not. We are lucky to have a family that wants to spend time with each other and make it so effortless. The only thing missing was the staple of us  all, Grandma Jackie and Grandpa Don. We know they are watching us and smiling as they do, but we always wish they were with us to join in on the fun.

The day ended with awesome neighborhood fireworks. Jason volunteered to help light them off, so a few neighbors and I watched them from the front yard. I was kinda nervous for Jason to come home missing a finger or two, but thankfully he went to bed with all ten!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Heritage Park

We have been crossing off our Summer Bucket List and already having so much fun. We even decided to make a second trip to Heritage Park because I had forgotten my camera the first time around and it was too cute to see the kiddos feeding all of those ducks.
I grabbed some pics around the park so it's only fitting to jot down what they are up to right now.

First up, Mister Austin. His favorite movie right now is Monsters Inc. I have been dying to take him to the movie theatre for the first time and even though it's summer, I made sure to add it to the bucket list. It'd be hard to choose between that and Despicable Me 2 since he loves them both! I brought him home a silly 'Mike from Monsters Inc' Pez dispenser from our vacation and he has been carrying it around everywhere and even taking it to bed with him. Then... when going to the grocery store the other night he conned me into buying him a Monster's Inc night light. I can only guess which of those two movies he'll be voting for in the end.

He of course talks like crazy but now the fun begins with the "what are you doing guys?" and "cause why?" and all other fun questions. Although the other day he started reading me a book and making it up as he went....."Once upon a time, there was a sneaky little fella, and a great big applesauce..." I was cracking up quietly since I wanted him so badly to continue, but that's as far as he got.

He often needs two shirt choices and two shorts choices in the morning when he gets dressed. His favorite thing is to pick one and then tell me what it says, or what animal is on it, or even what friend of his at school has something like it...."Hunter has a shirt like this" or my favorite "Daddy would wear this shirt".

He is doing more and more things by himself these days like shutting the bathroom door and going potty by himself. If you even attempt to go in the bathroom he starts to shout at you and wave his hand like "get outta here!"

He has been in love with the beach and all the water toys this summer. He'll put on his life jacket and go on the paddle boards, in the paddle boat, or even in the small raft. I would say his favorite thing to do on the beach is stomp Grandpa's sandcastles!

Next is Miss Ava. She has been walking for a few weeks now and things have been much easier. Although she is still quite the cling-on. Now since she's walking, she has a lot less interest in food than before, but hands down still a better eater than Austin.

She is starting to really enjoy reading books before bed and can't get enough of those ones that have little flip pages within them. She also loves to play with her babies that are in her room and always makes whomever is putting her to bed, also pretend to drink the baby bottles.

Ava talks a ton! She repeats everything. I love this talking stage. There is a lot that she can repeat but then when she starts jibber jabbering she gives you this precious look as if everything she just said should make complete sense.

She has adorable blond curls in the back just like I did at her age only I was a brunette. I could put her in pigtails everyday.

She hasn't proven so far to be too much of a girlie girl because she loves to be a complete mess. She would be just happy to play in dirt, eat the dirt, put it in her hair, throw it around.....and then some!
So far this summer has proven to be worth the wait and although June flew by, there are still a few more months to cross off our bucket list and enjoy the weather.

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