Monday, May 26, 2008

May 24, 2008

Our very own personal paradise! AHHHH...I can just breathe a little easier up here - it's going to be a great week!

May 23, 2008

We headed out for Michigan today! After dropping Braden off with his grandparents at a half way spot we were off! This is what we filled up for in Michigan - OUCH! It was still $3.75 in Iowa! We arrived safely about 3 am and crashed - now for the relaxation to begin!!!

May 22, 2008

Zonked out! He's been busy getting ready for his week at Meena K and PopPop Dirk's house! He is very excited. We haven't told him that we are going to Michigan (shhhh...) without him, just that we're going on vacation and he gets to go stay with Meena and PopPop and see all the family in Hannibal. He can't wait!!!

May 21, 2008

First car wash of the season - looks like he should have turned around and washed his daddy's car too!

May 20, 2008

These beautiful, bright flowers grow on a little shrub around our deck. It was there when we bought the house and I'm sad to say I've never tended to it. I think if I moved it to a better side of the house or took care of it better it would thrive - but no matter how mangled it looks, these flowers always make it through - nature is amazing!

May 19, 2008

Matthew and Katie introduced Braden to the water balloon launcher today - and he's hooked! I think he needs to put on a few pounds to launch it right though ;) he had to sit on the ground and launch it from there!

May 18, 2008

A boy and his Mustang ;)
Adam's friend Nick L. brought over his mom's Mustang for Braden to look at. He was in heaven! He got to drive it and look under the hood with the boys! I got to tell you - this group of kids that Adam calls friends are pretty cool! Any group of teenage boys (and a few girls!) who can take an almost 4 year old and include him in just about everything they do and make him feel like *one of the boys* (and he WILL tell you that he IS one of the boys) are OK in my book. And really they've been doing this with him since he was 2 or so. That is why my son can name a number of cars by sight (and tail lights) knows what horsepower is and what a turbo looks like. He gets none of this from myself or his father - so I hope these boys know that they will need to continue to feed his interest - b/c there will be NO help from me ;)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 17, 2008

So much going on today! Braden and I started off by heading over to Keegan, Emily and Nathan's house for their neighborhood garage sales! We brought Keegan a new toy and he was loving it since he thinks he's big stuff now and likes to stand any chance he gets!

Then Braden wanted to climb the tree out front while Keegan and I played in the grass! Uncle Nathan snapped this pic - I have visions of senior pictures to come!
Then back at Meena C's house - the camper was popped up in the driveway and Braden just thought that was the coolest thing ever! He convinced Uncle Adam to come play inside and I got them both to look out the window at me - best buds!
And finally the most exciting news of the day...Baby Kade made his appearance! I really came this weekend not expecting to meet this little man. Michelle wasn't expected to be induced until next Wednesday and it really didn't look like he would come till then. But then last night I went to see Michelle and Ted and had a little talking to with the baby in her tummy! I told him that Aunt Carissa was only going to be in town for a few days and would REALLY like to meet him! Well about 2:30am Michelle started having contractions and at 1:50 pm Kade was born - all 9 lbs. 7 oz. and 22 inches of him! So I got to go up and love on him - he is beautiful! Congrats Michelle and Ted - we are so happy for you both!!

May 16, 3008

Braden has been begging to go back to the Children's Museum since the last time he went! So I told him we could go after he made it through preschool. So we headed to Nebraska and had a ball! He really does love this place and kept mom and me running for almost 2 hours straight!!

May 15, 2008

Graduation Day 2008!!!
Braden graduated from 3 year old preschool today! It was too cute. They sang some songs, wore these cute hats, received their diplomas and awards (Braden got the "Best Smile Award") and had cake and apple juice following the ceremony!

Braden and Sally loved the Rock Star glasses their teachers gave them! I think we need to send this picture to the NICU where both of them spent their first 70+ days in - look at them now! Who would have thought????!!! I couldn't be prouder of either of them!!

May 14, 2008

Our friend Trouble (and his mommy and brothers) came to visit today and he and Braden didn't waste any time jumping on the Gator and driving like maniacs! I think they had a great time! We will definitely have to make some more playdates this summer!!

Braden also created some masterpieces today for both of his Meenas! They are a late Mother's day present for both. He picked out the colors, painted them all by himself and helped me plant flowers in them! We will deliver them to Meena C tomorrow and Meena K next week!

May 13, 2008

This kid can not walk by a mirror without making some sort of face at himself - he could seriously entertain himself for hours if I let him. I often hear him laughing out loud and go to find him right here, cracking himself up! What am I going to do with him :)

May 12, 2008

I found this little *TURTLE* in my yard today!

and we also want to wish Uncle Eric a very Happy 31st Birthday! Wish we were there to celebrate with you! Thanks for being a great brother and awesome uncle! We love you!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 11, 2008

We had a very nice Mother's Day just hanging out! We had dinner at a local pizza place and then played in the park for awhile! Then I got to read the bedtime story to the little man that made me a mom! (this is a rare occasion, usually Daddy does the bedtime reading!) Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing mothers that I know!!!

May 10, 2008

It's not quite her birthday yet, but Glenn pulled of a little SURPRISE 30th birthday party for Lindsay today! I think she was genuinely surprised which makes it a lot of fun! He got her a YUMMY ice cream cake from Cold Stone - but forgot the candles, so he's lighting a match for her to blow out - how thoughtful ;)

May 09, 2008

We spent tonight with our neighbors hanging out in the backyard while the kids played. Jill thought she'd try out Elizabeth's carseat - fits perfectly!

Then Gavin and Braden were so excited that they got to stay up late to see their first *talking fire* of the season! We even got them to lay down for awhile and watch the fire, but that didn't last long!

May 08, 2008

We spent the day breaking out some new "old" games! Hi Ho Cherry-O and the Fishy game! He had a blast playing with them!

May 07, 2008

Lately, Braden has been enthralled with EVERYTHING to do with farms! They have this display at our local library and it is one of his favorite things to look at now! He can name just about every piece of equipment!

May 06, 2008

The fun of making banana bread!

May 05, 2008

Chris went on a business trip for a few Braden and I spent the evening at the park followed by ice cream at McDonald's! It was fun! He loves these excavators at this park!!

May 04, 2008

I think we have a picture just like this from every time these boys have been together! It was so great having Angie and Ethan here for a few days! Wish we lived a little closer so we could do it more often!! Thanks for making the trip guys! We love ya!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May 03, 2008

This morning was the
2008 March for Babies
Team Miracle Monster walked for our 4th consecutive year! This year was cold and windy - but the sun shined and I really didn't hear a complaint out of anyone on our team! We had our largest team ever and raised more money then we ever have before! Our team raised $4276 this year!!! And we still have donations coming in! To say we are pleased is a crazy understatement! We bypassed our goals by over $1000 and I still can't believe it! It is amazing and humbling to know that even 4 years later our family and friends realize what we are walking for - and continue to support us every step of the way.
Thank you to all of you - we love each and every one!
A special thanks to everyone who came out and walked with us - walking beside each of you was a great experience! Thank you for all you have done for us!
Thank you for Helping Give All Babies A Helping Hand!!!

Team Miracle Monster 2008
The Miracle Monster himself!!!

Happy Family

Denise survived the cold to come out and walk with us!

This year my good friends Lindsay and Angie came out to walk - 10 years ago we all lived together in college - can't believe it's been that long! Love you girls!!

For the first time Eric and Meghan (and Kaitlyn) made it! It meant the world to have you come!
Jill and Kahala (and Sophie - isn't here shirt too cute!) are now good friends, but 4 years ago they were Braden's nurses in the NICU. They took care of my baby when I couldn't! They are both on the night shift and I know I cussed them out a few times after Braden came home because for some reason he loved to stay up and play in the middle of the night - come to find out these 2 loved to play with him in the middle of the night ;) But seriously, you girls are awesome - thank you for being great friends and for taking care of my baby! It meant so much to have you walk beside us!
After the walk Braden, Keegan and Ethan found some shelter from the wind in the back of the truck!

May 02, 2008

Tonight we got to have dinner with some great friends! We went to Biaggi's and it was YUMMY!
Denise from KC and James our buddy from the MOD headquarters in New York came to town for our walk and wanted to meet all the fams!
Denise hit it right off with Braden by bringing gifts that included a John Deere Tractor and Trailor, M&M's, Bubbles, Spikey Ball and coloring book - He is now her buddy for life! She also wanted to know why we call him a *Monster* b/c he was on his best behavior and she wanted to steal him and take him back to KC ;) It was a great night with some great friends!

Denise & Braden

Denise, Me & James

Shonda, Me & Denise

Angie keeping the boys occupied by looking at the pictures on her camera! Check out the chocolate on Braden's forehead - the kids got chocolate ice cream after their dinner and it was everywhere - but dang it was good!