Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kirkwood Side Family Reunion- Galena, IL

This past weekend we drove 5 hours down to Galena IL for a reunion with all of my Dad's side of the family.  Both kids did better than expected on the car trip, yay!  We had SO much fun getting caught up with everyone!  A super big highlight was meeting baby Lane, my cousin Heather's new baby.  Lane and Colton are about 2 months apart, and it was so cute to see them together!  Another highlight was that Colton got to meet Great-Grandma Kirkwood (GiGi-ma) and Great-Grandpa Kirkwood (GiGi-pa).  What a blessing!

Here are a few pictures from our trip, thanks to everyone for taking them and to my mom for cropping them :-)

Colton and GiGi-pa

Colton and GiGi-ma

Colton with the GiGi's :-)

Lane and Colton

Grandma and Colton

Colton and GiGi-pa

Colton and Grandpa
Colton and Daddy riding the alpine slide

Summer and Mommy riding the alpine slide

Our family getting ready to ride the boat

Our little Summ-e-roo :-)

Listening to the guide on the boat tell about what we were seeing

My handsome blue-eyed guys :-)

Colton sleeping on the boat :-)
Summer sleeping on her toddler cot :-)

The Kirkwood gang!  All 21 of us :-)  (Colton is actually photo-shopped into the picture because he taking a much needed nap!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


First time Summer set the table all by herself...

Here is the final outcome....:)

Um, Daddy don't teach any bad habits to our little girl now....;)

Oh my!

Swinging together!

I'm pretty cool, huh?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Growing Up

This post is just me rambling about what the kids have been up to lately!

This morning we went to the park with Summer's friend Adry and her mommy Ms. Rachael (who is due to have her baby boy anytime in the next few weeks!!! YAY for another friend for Colton!!!)  While we were there, both Summer and Colton did new things....unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera :(!.  Summer climbed the rock wall to the very top (way above Mommy's head!) with a little help from Mommy.  Colton rode in the baby swing for the first time!  Both kids are seeming so old!  It reminded me that its been a while since I journaled about Summer...

Here are a few other things Summer has been learning lately:
  • Summer is learning how to "cough into her elbow" when she coughs.  Today she did it for the first time without me prompting her!
  • Summer consistently counts with the following sequence 1,2,3,9,10,4,11.   Here is a little video...
  • Summer and Colton both love clocks!  Colton stares at them while we change his diaper.  Summer loves learning about time.  I will often tell Summer that something is going to happen at ___o'clock.  We look at the clock together.  The other day I decided she might enjoy learning how Mommy tells time, and I was right.  I found this website that has different clock faces and now Summer asks to "do clocks again".  We look at the little hand and see what number it is pointing toward, and then we say what time it is.  Here is a little video...
  • Summer helped me pack and unpack for our various trips.  She loves to help pick toys to pack in her backpack, and she knows where everything goes when we come home and helps me put things away.  On long car trips, we pack her DVDs in a CD carrying case.  This past week I had her help match the DVD's with the cases when we put them away and she LOVED it.  She loves opening the case, putting the DVD in, and closing it.  She did a great job matching almost all of the DVD's with the correct case with very little help from me.
Matching dvds
  • Summer is my little jabber-mouth :-).  She is almost constantly talking about something and I love it!  We discuss everything we see!  A few funny stories....
    • She helped me remember a word (smoke detector) when I couldn't remember it in a conversation with a friend...I was saying "fire thing" and couldn't remember it and she piped in, "smoke detector!" 
    • Her sippy cup/water bottle didn't work, so she told me, "not coming out, take piece out".  Sure enough when I took out the stopper, the cup worked just fine!
    • Her mind bounces from one topic to another in a very organized fashion...she sees something, it reminds her of another time she saw that thing, and that starts her new conversation about what happened then.

Character development:
  • We are entering back into the tantrum phase.  (Terrible two's?)  Summer is quite the drama queen!  She also has quite a will.
    • A new record for how long her will can hold out:  An hour and a half!  We have been working on not whining lately and Summer has learned how to ask nicely and with a smile if she wants something.  One afternoon she was being extremely whiney and I told her I wouldn't pick her up and carry her downstairs if she was being whiny and couldn't ask nicely.  She decided she didn't want to ask nicely, so I went downstairs to go fix dinner and I told her to come on her own and join me when she was ready to be happy.  She stayed at the top of the stairs crying for an hour and half while Paul and I made, ate, and cleaned up dinner (all the while inviting her to come join us!)! Finally, an hour and half later, she happily came downstairs on her own with no whining  :-)
    • I have been "THAT mom" with the screaming kid in the shopping cart!  I definitely have gotten looks!  lol!  Thankfully, because she has learned that she never gets what she wants with that behavior, it only lasts a minute or two (but feels longer!).
    • Right now we are working on obedience.  Summer loves to be "in control", so I have been exercising a tactic that worked well while when I was teaching my high school students.  Almost all of my requests of her come with two options that both lead to the same ultimate outcome. 
      • Example: We are going to go change your diaper.  (Refusal to come) Would you like to climb up the stairs or have mommy carry you up?  You pick.
      • Example: We are going to have lunch now.  (Refusal to come) Would you like to come join us or go sit in timeout?  You pick.
      • Example: We need to get our shoes on to go to the store.  Would you like to put them on yourself or would you like Mommy to help you?
      • I try to give her a choice as much as possible...would you like the green cup or the blue cup?  Would you like white cheese or yellow cheese?
      • **This tactic has cut tantrums and necessary time outs down by about 80%!

No matter how difficult some days seem, I can't help but smile with I think of our little spark-plug!  Here she is dancing away....gotta smile, don't ya?! :-)

Monday, July 16, 2012


Playing in the Boppy Pillow (Notice Bear, Elmo, and Pooh doing "Tummy Time" in the background...!)

Summer helped me get Colton to smile...she is good at that :-)
Summer asked me to take a picture of her foot :-)

Reading Go! Go! BoBo

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Noelle and Faith Turn 2!

This coming Wednesday, Noelle and Faith, Summer's neighbors, turn 2 years old! Today was their birthday party, and both Summer and Colton had a blast!  Ms. Joy and Mr. Chris transformed their backyard into a "2 year old's heaven" with multiple swimming pools, a play house, a sandbox, a swing set, lots of toys, and Summer's favorite foods, including goldfish crackers and fruit snacks!!!  Here are a few pictures from their party.

Birthday girls enjoying their cake pops

Snack Time!
Colton enjoyed dipping his feet in the kiddie pool!

Daddy and Colton chillin' during the party :-)

We LOVE having Noelle and Faith (and their mommy and daddy too!) for neighbors and it was fun to go help them celebrate! 

Next month is full of parties as Summer (August 3rd), Lilly (August 4th), and Sydney (August 10th) all turn 2!  Summer is ecstatic about her own birthday coming up, and whenever we meet anyone, be it a store clerk or a neighbor when we are out for a walk, Summer will hold up 2 fingers and exclaim "Two in August, birthday cake"!  Last year she had no idea what a birthday was...this year it is so fun to watch her anticipate her birthday and share in her excitement!  Yay for birthdays!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weekend at the Trailer

This past weekend we spent time up at Grandma and Grandpa Tommerdahl's trailer in Battle Lake, MN.  We got to see Grandma and Grandpa, Great Grandma Sandy, Uncle Ty and Aunt Sarah, Uncle Jordan, Uncle Javonte, Cousin Angie and husband Luke, and kids Taylor(14), Lily (7) and Jackson (born the same day as Summer!).  It was fun to catch up with everyone, go swimming in the lake, and do lots of fishing.  Grandpa T took lots of cute pictures and let me steal some to post on our blog.  Thanks, Grandpa!

Grandma and Colton

Lots of delicious food!

Summer peeking through the deck

Smiles for Auntie Sarah

Kisses from Auntie Sarah

Smiles for Gee-Gee Sandy


GeeGee Sandy and her two great-grandkiddos

Summer LOVED the freeze pops!

Hubby and me :-)

Eating Freeze Pops with Auntie Sarah


Colton and Grandpa





Being silly with Uncle Ty



Grandpa and Colton

Uncle Jordan and Colton

With Uncle Javonte

Uncle Ty and Summer

Auntie Sarah and Summer