indiana state fair – 2014

A look back: state fair (2013) | state fair (2011)

First things first, we have this tradition every year that we go to the state fair (we didn’t make it there in 2012 due to being in the middle of remodeling our newly purchased home).  We take a photo inside a tractor tire. I love doing this – we have several photos that we take each year. I enjoy comparing year to year to see how the boys have grown and this is one of my favorites. Dexter hasn’t been too interested in participating with me so far. Maybe next year.

PicMonkey CollageIt’s wild to see the similarities and differences from year to year.




A pit stop at The Dairy Bar to grab a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. The boys had American on White while I enjoyed Pepper Jack on Sourdough.

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Funhouse mirror fun:IMG_2333

Last year we were disappointed that we hadn’t planned ahead for the boys to see the Monster Truck show.  We failed to plan for it again this year, but felt lucky when we discovered that it was taking place Sunday during our visit.  The boys were extremely intrigued!IMG_2349 IMG_2356 IMG_2361 IMG_2362   They enjoyed it for a while but after about 45 minutes, Theo’d had enough of the loud engines and was begging to go.  Ryan and I pouted a little and Dexter just goes with the flow so he didn’t protest. Wouldn’t you know, it wasn’t long before Mr. Grumpy Pants was passed out, fast asleep.


Since Theo kind of ruined the Monster Truck show for the rest of us, we rewarded Dexter’s good behavior by allowing him to choose a ride to ride. I was not planning to do any rides – I’m just not a fan of fair rides – I don’t trust them at all.  So this was a big deal for me, letting him ride these darn boats!IMG_2455

Theo continued sleeping for a bit longer so he missed out on the meet n greet with this Dino.  Dex was ALL ABOUT it until we got in line. Then he said “I want you to go with me, Mommy. I want you to hold me.” So I passed my camera off to Ryan and thank goodness I did… we were NOT expecting Dexter’s reaction when T-Rex roared and the lady pictured below tried to hand Dexter the dinosaur’s chain for our photo op.IMG_2472 IMG_2473It was so funny  and cute. He did get over it and smile towards the end of this brief interaction but those pictures weren’t as adorable.  After about six and a half hours we wrapped up our day at the fair. Another Midwest annual tradition done and in the books!



catch the moment: week thirty-one

For a change I can say that we’ve enjoyed a pretty low-key week. Relaxing at home, playing inside and out, visiting the local pool, and SAYWHAT!? I even crafted.  Never happens.

I’m linking up with Mindi, Sarah, and Stephanie for week 31 of this Catch the Moment 365.

7-30-14 212/365: July 30th. This is what happens when it’s 11pm and you realize you haven’t eaten dinner OR taken a picture yet today.  The boys had their first “outdoor” swim lesson, which turned into an indoor swim lesson due to rain, and on top of everything else, I realized that I broke my (old) blog on this day.

7-31-14213/365: July 31st.  Big boy FINALLY voluntarily rode his bike – kinda sorta.  He is still working on figuring out the pedaling but at least he’s showing some interest.  The bike has only been collecting dust in the garage for about 5 months now. He picked out that helmet last week so that’s sparked his interest a little.


8-1-14 214/365: August 1, 2014.  Friday night doesn’t get much more exciting than this, does it?  I love it.

8-2-14 215/365: August 2nd. I decided to make a visual reminder of Disney dreams — a savings jar for our next Disney vacation.

8-3-14a 216/365: August 3rd. Taking a snack break at the pool.

8-4-14 217/365: August 4th. A little Monday night fun in the driveway.

8-5-14218/365: August 5th.  Back to school night. Tuesday night we had parent orientation and gave Dexter one more chance to visit the school before starting pre-school the next day. This mama’s heart is breaking a little!

Hands down, my favorite photo this week is of Theo on that bike. I love the excitement and determination on his face and the memory of us cheering him on as he began to figure out the pedals.

Which is your favorite?




a good, hard first day

Good for them. Hard for mama. This time of year stirs so many emotions inside of me.

Of course I’m thinking back to THIS DAY exactly 52 weeks ago.  Our comfortable little existence had been turned upside down a couple of months earlier. The boys had just started getting comfortable at their new babysitter when we split Theo and Dexter up for the first time in their best friend-brother lives.  Dexter continued going to the babysitter while Theo began Montessori preschool.  It was a hard transition but here we are, a year later, in a much better space.

Today, Dexter followed in Theo’s footsteps and began Montessori preschool.  I can’t stop thinking about the fact that one year from now, Theo will be starting Kindergarten. Kindergarten! And yes, I know that it’s still a whole year away but I’m painfully aware of how quickly this time will pass.  I mean…Kindergarten. That’s like real KID status. No longer a baby, not at all.

I was trying to explain to Ryan the other day why it is such a hard thing for me to embrace… my kids growing up. As a little girl, I played with baby dolls. I pretended my Barbies were mommies.  Like so many little girls, I dreamed of the day when I would become a mother.  As an adult, I began fantasizing about holding a sweet infant in my arms. Teaching my brilliant toddler his numbers, colors, and ABCs.  I spent so much time dreaming about what being a mother would mean to me – far more time than I have actually spent carrying out those mommy duties.  The dream is something that you hold onto and look forward to for years – decades, even.  But then your baby is born. You embrace the struggles and joys of parenting your child at every stage of their infancy and toddler-hood, but before you know it, it’s over. They are walking and talking and know their letters, numbers, and colors.  It’s over and you’ve moved on to the next stage, kicking and screaming. Ready or not.

Theo sure has a sassy mouth these days and I find myself mumbling under my breath all too often, “where did he come up with that?” or “when did you become a teenager?”  Dexter comes up with some funny phrases and comments too.  I know they are picking up ideas and terms from the older kids the babysitter watched during the summer.  It’s only a matter of time before they are hearing dirty words on the school bus. Am I ready? Oh geez.

So without further delay, here are some pictures from Dexter’s first first day of preschool and Theo’s last first day of preschool.

IMG_2085 Pardon my wet hair – I was reading Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney. Best first day of school book ever!

Our favorite page says:

“Don’t be sad, new little Llama! It’s okay to miss your mama. But don’t forget – when the day is through, she will come right back to you!”

IMG_2098 IMG_2105 IMG_2115 IMG_2148 IMG_2153 IMG_2176Theo and his teacher were happy to see each other.

IMG_2188 IMG_2191 Time to say goodbye.

IMG_2194Getting in good with his teachers.dexter on the first dayI borrowed from the school’s private facebook page — look! He’s working on a Montessori job!

He had a good day aside from a little accident. He’s just used to someone telling him to go to the bathroom and Montessori fosters independence in everything they do. Could be a rough little minute with a few wardrobe changes for this new little Llama.  Theo did great and didn’t want to leave when I arrived to pick them up!

All of our first, first days of preschool are a thing of the past!