Thursday, July 19, 2012

Updates, updates, updates!

I neglected to mention that we had some crazy highs and lows over our 4th of July weekend - we learned that our dog, Jonas, had gone missing from my parents' farm the night of the 4th and later that same day we found out that my youngest brother, Daniel, had proposed to his girlfriend, Kendra! You can read their proposal story here, hint: it involves the top of a grain bin and fireworks. We are all very excited about this and looking forward to a wedding sometime next year!

Meanwhile, the dog was gone for 11 days! Thankfully, someone called my cell on Sunday to say that he had wandered onto their farm - just 4-5 miles north of my parents' place. My parents promptly went to pick him up and took him with them to the lake to get a bath (ie swim in the lake) and to keep him from running off again. The next day Mia and I went to pick him up and bring him home. She was VERY excited to have him back - she had been pretty upset when he didn't come home with us the first time and she kept asking about him and why he wasn't in the backyard like he was supposed to be. He lost about 25 lbs (he had 10 to loose, but the rest makes him look pretty gaunt!), and so far we've pulled about 27 ticks off of him, but other than that he seems pretty happy to be home. We took him for a short walk earlier this week and noticed that we'll have to re-adjust his harness just to keep it from falling off - poor guy! He's due for a full grooming treatment soon!

Just a quick update on miss Mia as we're well behind on that! She is a spitfire. She's in the process of potty training (yay?!), so she is constantly telling us when she has to poop and pee, talking off her diaper and running to the bathroom, sometimes wearing real undies, sometimes diapers, and sometimes pull-ups, and more often than not just running around entirely naked from the waist down! She has also decided (after watching her boy cousins do it in Wyoming) that she wants to pee in the grass, standing up. She has successfully done this a number of times, but most recently she was playing in her wading pool in the backyard (she had stripped herself naked, again), she hopped out, half-squatted in the grass and peed, then hopped back into her pool, jumping up and down saying, "I'm a boy! I'm a boy!"  So thanks Uncle Kenny - for giving her the idea that it's cool to pee on the grass.  We're not pushing the potty training too hard, but I think she'll be good to go (during the day at least) very soon.

She loves being outside - riding bike, playing in her wee-ooo-wee-ooo (fire engine), blowing bubbles, playing T ball, and especially playing with the water toys in the backyard. She still LOVES to read, do puzzles, play with stickers, and play music, sing, and dance. She's big into Bubble Guppies now (I think she's watched the entire first season about 4-5 times!), but still likes Mickey and sometimes Dora.  She's very mindful of her manners - and makes sure that mommy and daddy are, too! She constantly corrects us or reminds us if we need to say thank you or excuse me. She says things like "Oh, that's too bad," and "No way!" and "Oopsie-daisie!"  I think she recently went through a growth spurt because she seems taller again, and I can tell her torso has lengthened out.  We're getting ready to re-arrange her room and add in her new big girl bed and dresser, so we'll post pictures of those, soon. She already picked out her own sheets!

Here are a few quick shots from our friends', Adam and Kelsey, bachelor/bachelorette party a few weeks ago - the party started at Lake Calhoun, so we were able to bring Mia along to join in the fun!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Cole Camp: Wyoming Edition

Every year (or so), my mom's side of the family gets together for "Cole Camp." This year we met in Cody, WY, outside the Eastern entrance to Yellowstone. We rented a large lodge to fit the group (we had almost 30, more than 30 if everyone can make it!). We all drove into WY by Thursday evening and everyone headed out by Sunday night/Monday. We had one LONG drive from Minneapolis to WY - including a stop in Rapid City, SD for a hotel (and swimming) for the night. We drove straight through on the way home, which was even crazier. Luckily, we were all tired enough to just ignore each other and/or sleep (Mia included!). While in Cody, we checked out the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum, Old Trail Town, the downtown strip - including the historic Hotel Irma, and hit up the nightly rodeo (our first time!). On Saturday, most of the family split into groups and drove into Yellowstone for the day. We drove the southern loop, seeing Old Faithful and the chromatic pools, the canyon and falls, and various wildlife including elk, buffalo, mule deer, and a grizzly bear! Sunday was spent with the family, catching up and trying to survive the heat wave (and subsequent power outages).

On the way out, we stopped in Spearfish, SD to see David's grandma (and introduce her to miss Mia).
 We also stopped in Sheridan, WY, at Blacktooth Brewing and tried all of their beers - yum!

 Dan and Kendra were intent on finding "real" cowboy boots - and they did! Dan was sporting some nice, high black socks with his boots...
 Wine tasting at Buffalo Jump.
  This winery doesn't grow their own grapes, instead they import pre-made wine from CA and alter it to make it their own. The bulk wine is shipped in these large boxes and cartons!
 Visiting Old Trail Town - a strip of historic buildings maintained in Cody.
 Inside Old Faithful Inn (gorgeous!)

 We met up with part of the family for hiking around Old Faithful and a picnic lunch.
 Mia was not a fan of the stinky sulfur smell coming from the geysers and pools!
Morning Glory Pool
 Emerald Pool
 Sunset (or Rainbow?) Pool
By this point, we had one tired kiddo.
 Canyon area - view from the top of Lower Falls.
Mia and Huck (her cousin who was born on the same day as her!) They had so much fun together!
 The whole crew!
 Lucky me, I won the traveling trophy for organizing this year's event. This thing is now sitting in front of our basement TV so I see it every night.