Saturday, August 29, 2009

9 Months

Marin turned 9 months on Friday! WOW! It's such a fun age. She is babbling ALL.THE.TIME. and has tons of personality. She's not getting her knees up under her to crawl yet, but she is scooting herself around in a circle on her belly, which is entertaining to watch. She had professional 9 month pictures taken yesterday too, but I'm not sure how to get them scanned so I can show them off. She looked so cute and so grown up! Hard to believe next time I take her to a photographer will be when she's a year old.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Today was Kaden's first day of preschool. Now that it's over, I'm sure I was more nervous than he was. I walked down the hall this morning to his bedroom and overheard this conversation he was having with bear, "I have to eat breakfast, and brush teeth, and get dressed, and get my backpack, and mommy's going to put 'open the gate' on the list, and get my shoes on." When he came out of his room he said, "I get to go to school today!". He even prayed about it at breakfast, "Thank you Jesus that I get to go to school today and help me to get to play on the computer and go outside. Amen."
He did not once get sad. When we were in the parking lot at school he asked if we were staying, but when I said no he really wasn't phased. He walked in, put his backpack away (with help), and went to find his name on the carpet. I'm not sure he even noticed or cared that we left.
When we picked him up he was happy as a lark. He told us right away that he got to play computer and go outside. He also told us a million other details we were thrilled to learn: he painted a fluffy lamb, he sang songs in a different room with a drum, he went down the "hairy" slide outside, he played in the bean table, read a story, had crackers and green juice for snack, and he played with Cooper and Elise. As we drove I asked him what part of the morning wasn't his favorite and he said, "I loved it all!" And later he told me, "Mom, I really love school." I can't tell you how relieved I am. How thankful, how appreciative to his new teachers, how excited for all he'll learn socially, emotionally, and intellectually this year, and, how totally SHELL SHOCKED I still am that he's old enough to go to S-C-H-O-O-L.

Neighborhood Fishing Contest

Saturday evening our neighborhood had a fishing contest and ice cream social at the lake behind our house. Mr. Kaden was thrilled beyond words at the prospect of going. Fishing and ice cream? Double treat! I wish you could have seen him carrying his container of worms (fresh from the yard), wearing his snow boots, and practically running ahead of us on our way. It was so cute.

Within the first 15 minutes he and daddy (mostly daddy) had caught 3 fish! It went down hill from there, not because of a lack of fish (seriously, Kaden's kiddie fishing pole probably caught close to 12 little blue gills in the hour and a half we were there), but rather because Kaden's friends showed up and his attention to fishing declined rapidly. Jason let another young boy use Kaden's pole and helped him put the worms on and take the fish off, because the pole he was using broke. Well, the boy just had to put the worm in the water and he had a fish every time. It was unbelievable!
Marin and I sat on the bank and chatted with our neighbors, enjoying the wonderfully cool evening and the socializing. It was a one of the very few FUN free events left in life and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Indiana State Fair 2009

Wednesday I took the kids to the state fair. I have fond memories of going almost every year as a kid and enjoying the food and seeing everything. As an added bonus, our local paper had a coupon in it for free admission, so we all got in for the 75 cents the paper cost me. What a deal! We didn't even have to pay for parking! It wasn't too hot in the morning, but it was humid and sprinkled on us a few times, but we didn't let a few drops damper our fun.

We got to see cows, sheep and pigs....VERY big pigs. The sign by one said "World's Largest Boar" and said he weighed 1175 pounds! It was HUMONGOUS! We liked the seeing the sow and her liter...she was one tired mama...she had 10 piglets. I think Kaden liked the sheep the best. They were "ba-ing" a lot and it sounded funny. Plus, we got to see one sheered, which was cool.

A local helicopter that was parked at the fair...big hit with Kaden!

Another BIG hit! In fact, there were a TON of tractors...rows and rows of antique tractors and a John Deere dealership display....all of which Kaden thought he should be allowed to sit on.

A mini-digger he sat on outside the John Deere shop.

The next several pictures are of a kids farm area they had. It was so cute! First Kaden got a basket, then, every little farm building we went to on the path had directions for "Farmer" Kaden to do. He collected grains (which he then fed to the pigs, as you see in this picture), collected an egg, picked an apple, planted a seed, harvested a vegetable, rode his tractor, milked a cow, and got wool from a sheep. At the end, he "sold" all his stuff at the market (sorted the items in bins) got paid, and bought a snack (he chose a little box of Apple Jacks) at the "grocery store." It was so fun!

Marin eating the fake apple Kaden picked from the orchard.

Riding his tractor around the circle.

Milking the cow...he really liked this. Water came out when they milked her, which he thought was funny.

We got to see the famous pig races. It was quite a humorous event that they did several times a day. Kaden's favorite part was that they raced for an Oreo (which he loves). Marin cried each time the race started and the crowd started cheering. Luckily, there were only 3 heats, so the racing didn't last long.

For lunch Kaden had pizza and I had a polish sausage and lemonade shake-up (fair food is at the top of my list of favorites)! Yum, yum! Marin ate about half of the bread from my bun. To top it off, we had a funnel cake before heading out. I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven! It was Kaden's first funnel cake and I think his words were "ummmm...this is delicious!"

We were all exhausted as we made our way back to the van (and the sun was out and it was HUMID). I "logged" about 10,000 steps on my pedometer from the fair alone (this is typically my daily goal). We all laid down for naps at 2pm, and at 4:30 I had to go wake both still-sleeping children. Guess that's a sign of a fun filled morning!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Whirl Wind Week

Last week the kids and I headed to Illinois for a quick visit. One of my dear cousins (who lives in England) was in town, so I didn't want to miss her. We had a great visit and the kids got to do some seriously FUN things. Here's some photographic evidence:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Slip-Sliding Away

A week ago, we got out the pool and the slip-and-slide, something that we had yet to do all summer. What a fun day! Grandma and Grandpa Steckel were here to witness the utter enjoyment Kaden had. Sunday we did it all again, except this time daddy joined in the fun. Good times.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Off to the Races

A few weeks back Jason got free tickets to the midget races here in town (the O'Reilly raceway is VERY close to us). He took Kaden, along with his neighbor friend Owen and his daddy. It was a night from Kaden's dreams. He talked and talked about it, and, in fact still talks about it. Watching the cars race was his favorite part. Waiting while the jet engines dried the track (which took close to an hour) "wasn't my best part." The next day, he asked "Can we go to the races again tonight?" He wore ear plugs and his friend wore headphones, but after that evening he referred to both as "earphones". My only regret is that I wasn't along to photo journal the entire experience, but Jason did get a couple shots, which is all I asked (actually, I think I threatened death). We're both excited to see Kaden enjoy races as he grows, since, you know, we do live in Indianapolis!