Sunday, July 31, 2016

Drive-In Date Night

Jimmy and I went to Wagner's once before and have talked about going again ever since.  With a busy weekend ahead we decided it would be perfect for date night since it's close and quick.
We thought Esme might sleep, but she woke up right after we ordered, so she got to hang out with us up front.
I got the Wrangler Burger, Jimmy got a Reuben and we split some onion rings.  My burger was really tasty, but Jimmy thought the meat was cut too thick to really enjoy his sandwich.
Esme was eyeing up a ring, but I had to tell her no...
Here's her weekly picture from Thursday as well.  She has been doing a ton of cooing and keeps learning new noises.  It's so fun to start hearing her voice.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

US Bank Stadium

The Vikings new stadium was officially unveiled this weekend and we headed down to check it out Saturday night.  It had been raining all day, very heavily at times, but that wasn't stopping us!  My parents picked up our nephew Jayden and were on the road.  We parked in an underground ramp nearby and covered up to stay dry.  We have had our stroller rain cover for years and finally got to use it!
They had the AC going inside, which felt great!  The rain must have deterred some folks because they weren't even checking out tickets.  It was a free event, but required a ticket.
Esme woke up so I took her out of the carrier and Nana held her while we looked over some of the higher ledges.  Jayden had a fun time talking to her and she gave lots of smiles back.
 I was floored by the size of it.  It is such a large facility, but you also feel very close to the field, even from the upper deck.
 Parker wasn't too fond of going up to the ledges either, but did get one peek.
 The rain stopped while we were inside so we got to get a few pictures of the outside.
 There is a large viking ship still under construction and this is the mast and sail.  That should be pretty cool once it is finished.
 We got dinner at a new place before heading home.  The Lodge Stage 81 was pretty empty for a Saturday night, except for the birthday party going on.  Unfortunately I think that lowered the available wait staff so it took a while for us to get served.  Our server was kind enough to bring some crackers out for a very hunger Parker since it was 2 hours past our normal dinner and we forgot to pack snacks.  The food was tasty once it arrived.  I got a shrimp po-boy with house made chips which I really liked.  My dad said the reuben was really good and Jimmy liked his black and bleu burger.
It was a really fun evening spent with family.  Hopefully we will get to go to a game at the stadium someday!

Gymnastics Class

We have been talking about trying out a gymnastics class for a while since Parker loves jumping on his trampoline and climbing on things so much.  I finally got around to doing some research on adapted classes and found one not too far away.  Mini-Hops is a great gym that offers classes for kids 12 months to 18 years.  They also have adapted programs starting at 3 years.  They also let you try out a class for free!  We arrived about 15 minutes early because another round of storms was coming.  I wanted to avoid unloading two kids in a downpour if possible.  Luckily it let up a bit just as we were pulling in.
 From the moment Ms. Erica started the class I knew this was going to be great.  She showed each child a picture of the mat they needed to go to and made sure each of them acknowledged it.  Even though this was a new experience these are things he does in therapy and at school.  I went in to the gym to help him out while my parents watched Esme and took pictures for me.
 We did three "rotations" that involved different activities.  Ms. Erica asked all the kids to find the animal mat and sit on it before beginning.  She walked through what we would be doing, then let the kids go!  The first rotation was the longest.  We climbed up a podium (Ta-Da!), touched our feet to bars, jumped on a spring board, climbed a wall, slid down a pole, jumped, crawled through tunnels and walked on balance beams.
 I tried showing Parker what to do, but some things were better than others.  We are working on jumping on solid ground.
 The second rotation was Parker's favorite!  We walked over hurdles, jumped on a small trampoline, did somersaults, hung from a bar, climbed in a foam pit, jumped on a big trampoline, walked on an elevated beam, and climbed a rope.
 Esme was very well behaved for Grandpa and Nana!
The third rotation involved rings, an angled ladder, jumping, and climbing over a bar.  Bits of the whole class can be seen in the video below.
It was a little warm in the gym so I was sweating by the end.  It was so much fun and I am looking forward to signing him up for a class soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pool Party

We are getting some steamy weather this week so I had to set up the pool.  Parker has been swimming every night this week.
 Since both the air and water are so warm I decided it was time to get Esme a suit and get the whole family involved!  It's a little big on her now, but there is plenty of room to grow.  She was absolutely adorable!  She seemed to enjoy the water as well.
I drained and refilled the pool tonight so we will have clean water for an even hotter day tomorrow.  I hope you are finding ways to stay cool too!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Branch and a Birthday

Remember that bad storm we had about 2 weeks ago?  It turns out we had more tree damage than I originally realized.  Last weekend I noticed that the ash tree in our backyard had a very large split in one of the limbs.  It was hard to get a good picture, but the split was probably about 3 feet.  My dad is a tree guy, so he came over Saturday morning to check it out.  He came prepared to take it down and that's what we did.
Neither of us care to be on a ladder that high, but I am glad he did it!  He cut off the upper part with a  bow saw first so it would fall and miss the fence.  Then he cut off the last 6 feet with the chainsaw.
I am sad to see half the tree gone, but didn't want it to fall and hurt someone.  The tree is looking pretty sad and we have a huge pile of stuff to get rid of, but I am thankful we were able to do it ourselves.
My parents took the kids home with them and Jimmy and I went to see Finding Dory with my nephew Jayden.  This is the 9th Pixar movie in a row we have seen together and we didn't want to ruin the streak!  After the movie we went to my parents house to celebrate my mom's birthday.  I didn't do a special meal last year since we were preparing for my brother's wedding, but we brought it back!  I thought we might pick a new food type, but my mom liked the Italian dinner from 2013 a lot, so we did it again.  I didn't make as much this time, but it was still yummy.  We may just stick with this from now on.
I even made sure to pick up some Italian wine!
We headed out for some fresh air after dinner.  We had to take a new Esme tree picture because the red fir from Father's Day is not looking very good at the moment and it might die...
I tired a new dessert recipe as well, Italian Love Cake!  It was really tasty, but I think Jimmy and I liked it better than my parents.  There was a chocolate whipped topping as well, but I didn't get a picture of that.
Happy Birthday Mom/Nana!  Thank you again for all the wonderful things you do for us!