Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Brought the Park to Them!

We've been working on a massive delightful yard project this summer.  We cleared quite a bit of our property and increased the size of our lawn.  This consisted of hiring numerous contractors and doing a lot of work on our own.  Jeremy did a good job planting grass and I made a couple trips to Eastern Market to pick up some plants.  I also had some help from a friend at work that split some of the plants in his yard for me (thanks, Ken!!).  We also started a garden this year in the hopes that the twins will expand their food repertoire and maybe we can all learn something in the process!

The last addition we have made this summer is a playset for the kids and a nice chair and table set so we can all enjoy the outdoors while it’s nice out.  The kids love the playset!  My Dad, Jeremy and I put the playset together Friday night and Saturday morning.  It went together fairly easily and looks great in the yard.  I know it will be worth the money (of course I’ve done the math to figure out how much it will cost us per year if they use it for 10 years, every day, each summer, and a few days in the winter, etc, etc in an attempt to justify this purchase) and they can definitely grow into it.  Plus, I’ve discovered there are many, many accessories I can purchase (on eBay) for their continued enjoyment (see the bottom of this post for some prospects!) and of course I welcome comments and suggestions for even more fun additions!

We have a few minor adjustments to make – Jeremy is going to fix the tire swing so it’s actually off the ground and usable and a friend of mine (thanks, Ellie!) has a baby swing that Cate can fit into.  In the meantime, Claire LOVES (can I emphasize that word any more?) to swing.  She just keeps saying “I wanna swing higher!” so I’ve been trying to teach her to move her feet out and in so that eventually I can avoid pushing her on the swing for hours straight and help the other kids out, too ;)  Matthew thoroughly enjoys the speedy slide.  This thing is quick!  He comes flying off the slide in such a manner that he has to stand up immediately at the end and run or risk face-planting.  Note – must get video of this…  And of course Cate right now just loves to watch the twins run around & swing and I think she can’t wait to join them when she starts walking.

Here are a couple of before photos (behind Matthew taken last summer):

Here are a couple in mid-project before grass...

 Our playset construction...
(that's a lot of parts.)

Hey, what happened to the slide??

Claire supervising

Test run on the swing

Test run on the super slick slide

The final product

Logan and Cate before the fireworks

We love our new playset!

Honking the choo choo train "horn"

And a few must-haves ;) from Swingworks.com

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cate is 11 Months Old!

This age has to be one of my favorites.  It was with Matthew & Claire and Cate is no exception.  She's so active and fun.  She loves to climb in my lap and give hugs.  Cate has learned so much lately and we laugh when she goes through all her "party tricks".  She can pat-a-cake, wave, give a high five & point to things.  There are a few things that she will point to on command like the dog and the little mirror on her high chair when you ask her "where's the baby?"  Cate's favorite toy is her pink bunny blanket.  She looks for it all the time, especially when she wants to take a nap.  She will sometimes accept a substitute blanket if her's is taking a bath (aka going through the washer because it smells), but she's not always thrilled about the back ups.  She plays very nicely with the twins; they mostly share toys with her, but every once in awhile she gets into a little squabble with someone over some treasure.  She crawls everywhere both inside and on the grass outside.  She pulls herself to a stand on all the furniture or on our legs if she wants to be picked up.  She loves to wave to everyone when we go out.  She will sit in the top of the grocery cart and wave to everyone that walks by. 

Cate's been trying some new finger foods lately.  I've given her small pieces of chicken, all kinds of veggies and fruits and a few snack foods like goldfish.  She still likes her baby food and cereal.  She has 8 teeth total, 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.

She loves to be held and be near everyone.  I think she will be very social like Claire and Matthew.  Right now she can't wait to be able to walk and run to keep up with them.  She says a few words: "Mama, Dada, go-go-go, dog, uh-oh, baba (for bottle)".  She likes to have a story read to her, but she can be very hard on books if you leave them where she can get to them and tear the pages out.  Cate is definitely a trooper!  When we go on outings she's happy to just sit in the stroller and check everything out.  We've had a pretty busy summer so far and she loves to go everywhere with us.  She really enjoyed the fireworks we went to last weekend, even though it was wayyyyyyyyyyy past her bedtime she sat quietly on the blanket and pointed to the fireworks as they went off.  She was so cute!

Here are a few 11 month photos of Cate, the last few she was getting a little upset because it was close to bedtime.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Future Spartans!

Go Green!

At the beginning of June, the kids and I went with my Mom to East Lansing to take some photos on campus (Jeremy was on a fishing trip with his shiftmates in the UP).  I thought it would be fun to have photos to compare when they're older and if (fingers crossed) they follow in their Mother's footsteps and attend MSU they'll really treasure them.  We checked out Beaumont Tower, Cowles House, the fountain in front of the library and the statue of Sparty himself.  It was a fun morning and the kids loved that I let them run loose and they didn't have to be confined to the stroller.