Friday, August 26, 2011

Vrrooom vrooom Bed

Maklin very easily made the transition from his crib to his toddler bed.  We talked about it, then gave him the choice one nap time.  He hasn't gone back to the crib since.

Plus, his little car bed has become so much more than a place to sleep (during the day sometimes he pretend-naps just so he can be on his 'vroom vrroom bed') ...

It's sometimes a trampoline, a cozy place to hang out with stuffies, his favorite place to read stories, a slide ...

Now -- to move him into his new room!

yup - snowflake jammies in the summer!  They're really light, and they fit ... so why not!?!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breakfast as a Family

A common sight in our home ... even if Maklin has already finished his breakfast.  It might be a little bit about eating cereal with way more sugar in it than he usually gets (Justin eats Vector every day), but I think it's more about sharing with Dad:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Roll On, Saskatchewan

A visit to Shaunavon early August means Horse Show.  Horse Show prep ... Horse Show ... Horse Show wrap-up.  It's a lot of work, and being there the weekend of is only a very small part of it; but I was glad to help out (it's not so hard to help out when Mom has everything so organized, and the weather was gorgeous!)

Justin and Maklin toured the parks in Shaunavon and found other ways to entertain themselves.  They did stop by the Show both days, but short visits.

I had Mak on a horse with me last summer, but he was pretty little, and he wasn't overly interested.  This year, he rode around with Nana ... he loved it!  He kept asking to 'bounce' (trot) and was fearless to ride on his own ...

As his language has developed, animals have become a highlight.  All animals have a name, but other than birds, their 'names' are the generally sounds they make.  I was also impressed with how quiet and patient he was ... holding out his hand and slowly walking up to a 'baby moo'.

We spent most of our time outdoors at the farm ... Dadda and I took turns going on 'the tour.'  Maklin quickly established a routine of what order we needed to tour the farm in:  puppies, chickens, horses, through the barn, cows, cats, tractors .... and repeat."  Occasionally we we were able to distract him with something new:
my old tricycle ... it's seen about 30 years of Saskatchewan winters!

Or sometimes with something old ... 'driving' never gets old!

A highlight of trips home is always visiting with all the Great-Grandparents.  This year we got to watch Great-Grandma Annette ride in the horse show (and kick butt in the gymkhana as always!!); and we stayed a few nights with Great Grandma & Grandpa Simmons.  Maklin too much joy in running in their big open basement ... with all this space he perfected his new move: "spin".  I'm sure I don't need to elaborate any more than that!

Great-Grandpa clearly left a mark on Mak this time ... he walks around saying, "hey-hey! ... hey-hey Dappa!" (in the same tone as Grandpa's 'hey-hey..." very cute!)

The trip back to Edmonton we split into two days, with an overnight in Strathmore.  It was a hot day, so we stopped at the playground/splash-park in Brooks to break up the drive:

I sat in the back to read Mak a story so he could nap ... at least one of us ended up napping!

We always stay at the same hotel in Strathmore ... Mak is getting very comfortable there!
Poor timing on my part means no pictures ... but Maklin and Dadda had a blast in the pool at the hotel.  Justin would push Maklin a little ways up the water slide (from the bottom) and then Mak would skooch his way down and jump into Dadda's arms ... he had SO MUCH FUN!  No swimming for Mama ... I lost my swimmy bottoms in Saskatchewan!  :(

We arrived home from our trip two days earlier than originally planned, having decided to by-pass our planning camping days in the Cypress Hills.  Next summer.  This trip was long enough, and we were all looking forward to being home and sleeping in our own beds ...

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Landing

Justin tends to get twitchy whenever we drive East.  Seeing as we were making a Saskatchewan round-trip, I wanted to do my best to show him some Saskatchewan highlights that would make him lighten up a little.

Obviously the mosquito situation was not working in my favor ...

Next stop:  The Landing.

The weather was amazing, and the campground was busy, but not overcrowded.  We easily settled into our campsite and had plenty of time for exploring.  The walk around made us realize that our campsite was a lovely little piece of desert in the middle of an oasis!!  Crap.  We didn't spend much time just sitting at our campsite, so no worries!

Maklin chowing on supper -- camping style!
Thankfully, Justin had a great first impression anyway ... I got everything organized in the trailer and supper sorted out while J took Mak on a tour to the closest playground.  The first thing he said when he came back was, "everyone's so friendly here!"  Parents looking out for all kids, people offering to share toys, everyone nods, smiles and says hello ..."  Well done Saskatchewan!!!

First thing in the morning (remember, this means first thing in the morning toddler time!) we got ready to head to the beach ... it was supposed to be a scorcher of a day.  We had breakfast, tootled around, and still ended up being at the beach all set up by 9am.  We had to carefully pick our way from the parking lot to the beach front cuz all the sprinklers were still on!!  And we were THE ONLY ONES ON THE ENTIRE BEACH!!  So we played in the water, and the sand, and at the playground without having to worry about anyone else for a few hours ... folks started to show up shortly before noon, just when we were heading out for nap/lunch time.

The 2nd morning, we laid in bed listening to the most amazing thunder I think I've ever heard.  We barely even got a spit of rain, despite the thunder that was literally rocking the trailer.  I've never experienced thunder that loud, or that echoed that much (cool and freaky all at the same time).  Of course ... Maklin sleeps through THIS!

As luck would have it, we were able to fit in a very quick visit with a few of my cousins from Victoria ... who just happened to be a few campsites over!

Thankfully, we did not have to deal with mosquitos for this part of the trip ... just a melting preggo Mama.  I usually love the heat, but 33+ during the third trimester was just too much for me!!

One could interpret this as a conscientious mom supervising her toddler in the water ... or just a pregnant lady soaking her ankles in the cold lake!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Family Reunion

Family Reunion aside ... one of the highlights of this weekend was our mosquito massacre.  In this case 'highlight' = lowlight.

We were camping at the reunion, and the camping site was literally the perfect storm: the weather, the locale, the standing water, the trees, the shelter ... everything added up to HORRENDOUS mosquitos.  And somehow during the set-up process hundreds of them swarmed into our tent trailer.

After a period of desperately trying to avoid/ignore them and go to sleep, Justin and I ended up getting up with flashlights and proceeded to spend a few hours hunting mosquitos.  The inside of the tent trailer required a lot of scrubbing later, as the walls were smeared with dead mosquitos and streaked with blood.

Poor Maklin -- he didn't yet know how to defend himself and ended up with literally 3-4 dozen bites just on his face.  :(  I didn't have the heart to take pictures.  He was a trooper though.  He woke up during the massacre, but rather than being upset, he just got up and watched (and learned to say, "squitos ... bad!" and slap his hands together ...).  We took turns hunting after he got up, and settled him by reading  No More Elephants over and over (and over and over and over ... we'll never read that book again without thinking of this night!)

Having survived the night -- we ended up spending the next few nights of the reunion in one of the lodge rooms, allowing us to enjoy our time with family.

A decent nap and Maklin was back to being the centre of attention!
The Klaassen Family Reunion happens every 5 years, and is a well organized event.  There is a theme, fantastic mennonite food, a silent auction ... and conference like sessions.  This was my first time attending, and I was not prepared for the amount of 'educational sessions' there were ... very different from reunions I've been to in the past.  But also very interesting!  Kudos to Lulu&Bubba who headed up this years' organizing committee, and did a bang up job, complete with a walking tour to emulate the ancestral Great Trek.

I think I know more about Justin's family than I do about my own now!!  I had the benefit of getting to know how people were related and names and such, as I took on the task of handling all the registration for this years' event.  Looks like I'll be doing that again 5 years from now, as Justin felt very strongly about the need for the younger generation to start attending these reunions (essential for them to continue) and decided he needed to step up and volunteer on the organizing committee.  We've got our work cut out for us, but on the rest of our vacation we wrote several pages of notes and ideas ... now to get the ball rolling and not procrastinate for 4 1/2 years!!  :)

Some of the Jacob Klaassen crew.

A true highlight of the weekend - Maklin got to meet his great-Grandma Klaassen (Great-Oma):

If Maklin was writing this blog, he would probably say the biggest highlight of the weekend was Sunday night supper out ... we ate at a roadside restaurant off the highway (with delicious Greek cuisine).  Getting our order took a long time though ... thank goodness for the chef's kids who entertained Mak: