Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer To Do List

We're making progress on our "Summer to Do List." I just checked off the following: 
Visit Jen & Family (sadly no photos, what in the world were we thinking Jen?)
Swimming Lessons (first week completed...photos sometime in the next few weeks when I take my camera)
Go to Aunt Linda's Pool
Have a Picnic


Some of the items I'm starting to doubt will get done because of the non-stop heat we've had and the current size of my body!!! Those items include, hike, zoo, and riding bikes at Farm Island (might just ride around the neighborhood instead). 

We'll keep plugging away and keep you updated!


Oh, and for good measure...here is a follow up to the previous post at what our car looked like on the way home from our trip to Minnesota: 


Insanity right? Ya, I thought so too. In addition to our suitcases and normal things we bring along we had the additions of the four super long large boxes from IKEA (one of which is front and center of this photo) lots of shopping bags, the rocker that my mom rocked me in and I rocked Grace in, lots of gifts from Grace's "pretend birthday" party, a canvas painting, a closet organization drawer unit from my mom, a pack and play that Jen was borrowing, and loads of other JUNK.

PS - yes, the car was stopped. Stinkin' highway construction outside of Huron. Stop freaking out Grandma Michele, mom and yes, you too Cody (he doesn't trust my driving skills).

Aunt Linda's House

The day after the 4th of July Grace and I packed our bags and headed to Minnesota. We first made a pit-stop in Marshall and stayed over with Nana and Poppa. The next morning, "the girls" (Nana, myself and Grace) were headed to Minneapolis/Forest Lake/Wisconsin. This is likely to be a long post, but we had such a great time!

We had a lot of things to get done on our first day, including travel. We first stopped at a bakery/coffee shop and had some goodies. Next stop. IKEA. Ya, it was bound to be a crazy day with that on the list - our shopping trip was successful - we even miraculously fit it all in the car! Next up, a visit to my dear friend Jen and her family who now live in Wisconsin. What the heck, we didn't take ANY pictures? That wasn't smart. So yes, Grace and baby and I had been in three states in two days. Fun.

With our shopping trip to IKEA and visit to Wisconsin checked off the list, we headed to Forest Lake to spend time at my Aunt Linda's (who is also my fairy godmother) and the rest of the extended family. Aunt Linda has a pool in her backyard, so our plans for the weekend were to LOUNGE...all day...everyday. And that we did.

This is what Aunt Linda's house is all about. Hit the pool by 8:30 a.m., snack on some Hostess Donettes by 9:00 with your beach towel and a dog on the patio. Grace and I could SERIOUSLY get used to this!

Love

Working on a part of her "pretend birthday party cake." You can see a hint of what they are working on in the market box. 

Owen, Megan and Grace. 

Grace and Owen were hilarious together. Neither of them ever stop talking in their normal life, and coming together was like one big talk fest. They treated each other like an 80-year old married couple. Too cute. Grace loved all of the Brodeur kids and latched on to them like a leech in separate increments. First it was a big deal getting to see Nana - she quickly was old news when we arrived at Aunt Linda's. She was on her like GLUE. Then Owen and Matthew...then Megan showed up. Then Lisa. Then Rachel.  




Sunday was the big day for the "pretend birthday" party as Grace dubbed it. It was so sweet of Fairy Godmother Linda and Uncle Craig to host a birthday party for my sweet pea. They invited all the family to their house so we didn't have to truck around the Twin Cities to see everyone. Great-Grandma Fran made it along with Uncle John and Mary and even Aunt Laura and Uncle Pat. We were so pleased that majority of the Brodeur family, Lisa & Brian, and the Stegmeir's were all there! How fun! It was great to meet Brian, the soon-to-be-official-newest member of the family - Grace and I both had a great time with him!


Grace and Megan at the "pretend birthday" party. 



Yes, ho-ho's on top of a poke and pour cake, which were stuck with the flags that Grace, Nana, and Aunt Linda worked on the day before. Owen apparently has an aversion to cake, so instead, his cake of choice is ho-ho's. It's too to appease the two in the family who talk the most. You want to make sure you have them on your good side.

Case in point - The Brodeur crew (excluding Becky) came over for breakfast before our departure on Monday morning. Can't you tell that Grace is in her ultimate happy place here? Uncle Craig was busy giving blood, so Aunt Linda was tasked with the pancake making for the breakfast. Owen graciously said that she could eat last since she was "staff." Ya, the kid just got back from a week at camp!

Okay, this might actually be her ultimate happy place. Megan and Rachel sat down with her to work on decorating her jewel bag that she got from Aunt Laura on her "pretend birthday." Big girl cousins who devote  undivided attention to her + a purse + a bag = Grace heaven.

Grace was learning all sorts of swimming tips and tricks from Aunt Linda the first few days. She even tried out snorkeling and took a liking to it. Aunt Linda strongly hinted at Lisa that a snorkel would be a good item for a birthday gift. Lisa even found one that was for "small narrow faces." INSTANT LOVE. Proof...

The girl literally spent the next two days in the pool non-stop snorkeling. Literally. Here's what she looked like when you could actually see her face...and below, is what we saw 90% of the time she was in the pool. Just a little ring and cute bottom sticking out of the water!

I'd have to say that learning to snorkel is a hard thing to master - it's hard to trust that you can stick your face in the water and still breathe through your mouth! She got it down fast though - and has been snorkeling at the YMCA and beach back home too.

I'm so grateful that we were able to take some time and spend lots of it here with these family members! They were a huge part of my life growing up, and I have so many memories with them, it's awesome to share these people with Grace. We don't get to see them enough, so it's great to make these re-connections so that they become a part of Grace's life too. We love you all to pieces, and I'm so thankful that you all have a caring spot for Grace, it makes my heart smile, and certainly makes Grace's heart happy too. It hasn't been easy the last few years to get together between distance, busy lives, and health issues, but times like this make up for it. We can't wait to spend more time with you in the fall for Lisa's wedding festivities!

These last two pictures didn't turn out great because we were face into the sun and it was HOT (and apparently I can't open my eyes!). But, I'd love to have them up here so that we can remember what a great family we have!





Thursday, July 19, 2012

4th of July

Goodness. It's already July 19, and I'm just now writing about the 4th of July.

Cody's parents were with us the week of the 4th of July, and we were able to just "take it easy" on the 4th, which was perfect since it fell in the middle of the week. Cody's parents took us out for a nice big breakfast to fill our bellies before the big 4th of July parade in Fort Pierre. It really was quite a large parade - much different than parades I was used to growing up. Much more ag equipment, horses, tractors and big diesel trucks. Are the days of beautifully decorated floats gone?

I didn't get many photos from the day, and I didn't even dress my daughter up in red, white, and blue. Terrible. Shame.

It was a HOT, HUMID morning out...Grace and I found some refuge under a tiny 15 foot tall tree that offered a small amount of shade. Between sippin' on some leftover drink for Perkins, chasing butterflies (moths, really, it's fine to tell her they are butterflies for now right?), and playing with ladybugs the parade eventually started.


Oh, yes, a ladybug. Yay!

Grace's friend Sophi showed up near us - girls had a good time together.


Here's some proof it really was the 4th of July and not just some random day. Sophi's parents were good and put her in some patriotic colors. Grace? Naw, just a leopard skirt and fashion girl shirt!


After the parade we were invited for a 4th of July party with one at the parents house of one of Cody's friends who was back from New York. The guys had a great time catching up while Grace, Grandma Michele and I tried to make the most of the hot day by floating on rafts, taking a swim in the canal connected to the river, and eating snacks of course!



Silly that I only took this one photo from the festivities...but, we were having a good time!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sneak Peek!

A lovely, dear friend of mine has been on me for some updates of what we've been doing around the house (you know who you are!!! :) love ya!!!). So here is a peek - trust me, there isn't much you're missing in this space - yet - as we plan to make slow and steady progress to get Grace adjusted and myself some time!

We've started making some progress on Grace's new room (old playroom) downstairs. Last weekend we assembled a shelving unit and painted. Grace wanted pink again, but we went for green with one wall pink. A good compromise. And it turned out nice - all are happy.

Here's some during painting photos - I don't have any of the room totally painted yet, so sorry, you'll have to wait dear friend of mine! :)

Oh, did I forget to mention that we paint in the nude at the Richter house? Only if you're under 6 that is.

Here you can see a preview of the pink on the right



This one was a BIG help. She even tried helping by chewing the texture off the wall - WHAT THE HECK?

Lola is so weird. Who hangs out in the bathroom for a comfy place stretching out against the door trim? Seriously weird.

So, hopefully we can stop back with some updates on this room before the baby arrives!!! (Certain someone, can you wait that long?) In the meantime, I also need to get some posts up on the dresser from my Grandma that I painted, the bathroom that we gave a face lift, the additions to the gallery wall in the stairway, and some other randomness around the house.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

33 Weeks

Bebe girl Richter is about as big as a pineapple. She weighs more than 4 pounds and is about 17 inches long.
Image from BabyCenter.com

No pictures of the baby girl and I this week - however, my mom did take some of me while I was in my aunts pool - we're saving those for the baby book though! Can't believe it's been about 10 weeks since I posted the last update like this - oops!
How far along? 33, almost 34 Weeks
Total weight gain: A little more than 20 pounds.
Maternity clothes? Yes.
Stretch marks? none yet - yay! 
Sleep: starting to feel like I'm constantly rolling from side to side all night long trying to get comfy.
Best moment this week: well, since it's been awhile since I've posted - last week we had another ultrasound. Grace and Cody came along and we were all able to see "baby sister" together. She's growing healthy! She's over 4 pounds now!

Miss Anything? Feeling good all the time - tired of the constant little aches and uncomfortableness. Oh, and I REALLY miss being able to find a comfy spot on the sofa - everything irritates something!
Movement: yes - tons

Food cravings: Not really?
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: Girl!

Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: getting tired!
Belly Button in or out? in
Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody most of the time: Good mood!
Looking forward to: Getting both of the girl's rooms organized! We are getting a bit closer to being able to begin the transition to Grace moving downstairs and then we can start putting the crib back together and getting baby's clothes washed. We'll be busy making these two rooms work for their new occupants!


New Pony

Nope. We didn't get a pony. Hope I had you fooled for a second at least. 

Another exciting adventure we were able to have while visiting my parents was heading over to the neighbors house to check out their baby miniature pony! It was already a few weeks old, so I cannot imagine how small it was when it was first born. It wasn't too far behind Momma's size already!

We particularly loved his fuzzy mane - too funny and cute! And look at those eye lashes, she's going to be a looker!

Standing pretty. She wasn't too sure about our visit and was pretty skiddish still. 

Thanks Grandma Michele for this charming dress - how cute is it out on the farm?
I wish I would have posed Grace for a few photo ops, but it was hot, and the sprinkler at Nana's was calling our name.


So much fun to check out this little pony!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beach

Well, I think the time has come when I can check "go to the beach ... a lot" off the summer to do list. We've spent a lot of time at the beach lately. We've built sandcastles, played with bass fish, gone for boat rides, swam, and just hung out on the beach. It's been awesome. The weather has been HOT and the only options for me were to either be in the A/C or in the water - out deck is lovely in the evenings, but in the middle of a hot summer day it's just too hot!


Here's Grace making friends with a little girl and a fish. Fearless. 



And my little cheeto face relaxing on the boat. 

Boat ride! 

There were some perfect days for nice boat rides. Once we got out into the water my fearless fish of a daughter jumps right off into the water - perhaps she doesn't know how DEEP the water actually is! We just floated out in the water for a long time - the water temperature was perfect - surprisingly warm for the massive Lake Oahe.

So the old summer to do list keeps getting checked off. We've been to the beach (a lot) and a few weekends ago Grace was able to camp in the yard and went for lots of gator rides. We've been busy lately too, and will have a some items to check off in our next posts!




Tenting

I'll start this off by saying I'm not much of a camper, and never have been. I don't like waking up feeling moist. However, Grace has been wanting to do some camping or tenting. When we went to Minnesota to visit my parents a few weekends ago, the opportunity arose and it worked out perfectly for me, because since I'm pregnant and uncomfortable anyway, there was no way I was sleeping in the tent over night. (I think in my last post I pulled the pregnancy card excuse also, might be a theme appearing!)

Cue - Daddy and Poppa.

Grace had her tent mates all lined up. I have to admit (sorry when you read this Dad) that I was a bit worried about poor Cody being kept awake from my Dad's snoring...between that noise and the call of random animals at their place in the night, I didn't think Cody was going to get much sleep. And he didn't.

He heard coyotes (Grace and my Dad didn't), he heard thunder (Grace and my Dad didn't) and he even held up a blanket during the rainstorm (the rain canopy for the tent was ripped and didn't get put up that night) above Grace's head so she wouldn't get soaked. Apparently he had woken Grace up to get in the house because of the rain but she didn't want to - she loves her sleep too much, so instead he resorted to covering her head with a blanket. What a rock-star dad, huh? He said between all of that, the air mattress deflating and him laying ot he ground with a sweaty child draped over him it all combined into something not so great. Eventually, my Dad woke up from the rain and told Grace they were ALL going into the house. That was around 4:00 a.m. Needless to say Cody didn't get much sleep.

I don't have many pictures of the experience, but here is Grace getting the tent all put up and into place. The next day, the tent came down and a sprinkler went up in it's place. A good use of space, and a great excuse for no camping the next night.

Daddy and Grace with green lighting in the tent! Fancy!

I think she liked tenting, and she of course has lots of stories to tell about it.