Thursday, July 31, 2008

These are a few of my Favorite Things...

So, it has been a while...I warned all of you through the initial "disclaimer" that posts could become few and far between! We simply have not been home enough to do any blogging! Happily, the things that have kept us away from the computer have been fun and we have been enjoying the last two weeks quite a bit doing some of our favorite things!

I am sure you are not surprised to learn that a lot of our time has been spent at "the" park. It is just a few blocks from our house and is rarely used by many others, so it stays clean and is quite the find! Collin is very brave on all of the equipment there, and I recently found out that the same bravado has transferred to playgrounds in general when Collin and I had a "double date" with the Hammill family at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park for an outdoor concert. Although Collin enjoyed dancing to the music and just running around, it was impossible to keep him from the nearby giant playground area the entire evening.

The performer that night was country music star Rockie Lynne ( If any of you are at all familiar with current country music, you will know his songs--even if you don't know his name...I was shocked to hear so many familiar songs and to see the entire park literally packed with people, since I honestly was not familiar with his name at all.

Collin as a cowboy...well, wearing Grandpa Rosenau's cowboy hat at least...

The park was filled with people for the concert and apparently many parents decided to let children of all ages (and behaviors) run wild on the playground...Collin held his own, even with the older kids, and was a complete lil' monkey on the climbing wall area! He is no wall flower, that's for sure! There is a small curved "ladder" type piece to the equipment at "the" playground, and apparently his practice has payed off! He was at the top of this larger plastic climbing wall in no time and with no help! I was not prepared enough to have my camera along that night, so unfortunately I have no pictures...yet. I am sure we will go back as a family sometime this summer and then I will be prepared...although I often find myself hovering in case of a fall in those situations and not exactly worried about managing a camera...I guess Doug may have to play photographer for those pics!

A lot of time has also been spent on golf...UGH!!! Yeah, those of you that know me well can guess how excited that has made me....Apparently the love of golf is being carried down through the Rosenau gene pool because Collin is as addicted as Daddy is...Doug golfs most Thursday evenings in an informal league at a nearby course...and on almost every evening, as well as most weekend mornings and afternoons, Collin golfs right in our front yard...

Talk about golfing in the rough!Yes, one of the words in Collin's increasingly huge vocabulary is "golf"--and he says it loud and proud! Golf also hit closer to home for me this past week when I actually took to the course for a couples "best ball" tournament..again through Doug's informal league. There is no photographic evidence of that, Thank God!, but I guarantee you that I was there and that I played all 9 holes...You can bet that I rarely had the "best ball" though unless using the woman's shot was a requirement of that hole!
A pic of how close Doug got to a "hole in one" while golfing the Poipu Bay course in Hawaii...
A big "Thanks" to Angela for letting me use her clubs, at least sparing me the shame of rentals...People saw your set and thought I had to be exaggerating about not knowing how to golf if I had clubs like that..needless to say, once I got on the course and began to swing people finally believed that I had indeed borrowed them from a friend like I had been telling/warning them all along!
But, the sun was shining, the beer was cold, and most importantly my assigned partner was forgiving (yeah, that's right, some unsuspecting guy got stuck with me) so all in all it could have been worse...In the future, though, I think I'll leave the golf up to the boys of this family...

We also had a family outing to the Anoka County Fair. Again, we are lucky enough to be within walking distance of the fairgrounds, so after a short hike we had a "nutritious" family dinner and then spent the night with Doug's sister, Jenny Butcher, and her family. Her son, our nephew and Godson, Riley was taking part of the Motocross races that night...that in itself sounds impressive to me....Here's the kicker...He is FOUR years old!

Riley & Collin

Typically Riley is a spitfire...I absolutely have believed since he was about 2 years old that he is destined to be a Hollywood stuntman when he grows up, so we were not too shocked to learn he was racing four-wheelers "professionally" so to speak. Although he was not the "hell on wheels" we had anticipated, it was still awesome to watch him. Collin loved all the bikes and four wheelers and cheering for his cousin...He even stayed awake all the way until about 10pm...unheard of for him most days. Clearly even he knew it was a special occasion!

So, I think that is a quick recap of our family during the last couple of weeks...more to come as we travel back to Silver Lake (Doug's home town) this weekend and to Iowa later in the month!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Great Outdoors

As we've mentioned earlier, Collin loves to be outside. Our entire family has actually really spent much of the summer outdoors enjoying the relatively mild Minnesota summer this year. Although most of our adventures have been at the nearby park (future blogs about that), this weekend we were really able to enjoy the great outdoors during a camping trip with our friends the Neumann family. It was as smooth of a camping trip as Doug and I have ever had...and that was with the two toddlers! Thank you, Neumann family, for a great weekend!

Collin, relaxing and rehydrating at the campfire after a long day!

This time "roughing it" did not mean sleeping in a tent or finding creative ways to cook over a crooked campfire like it normally did when Doug and I would camp together. Both families were able to sleep and cook inside the Neumann's camper, and the campground itself (Canary Beach Resort near Alexandria) was very nice and well taken care of.
This time "roughing it" was keeping the children entertained, helping them to understand "taking turns" and making naptime and bedtime happen with any sort of success!

Doug, Collin, Bryce and Jay taking a walk to the beach

I have to say that Bryce is a trooper and he totally kicked Collin's butt in the "best sleeper" category. He napped and slept like a pro! Our dear son, on the other hand, struggled with both naptime and overnight sleep in the new and exciting environment. For those of you that spent time with us during Collin's infancy this should be no shock at all---after all, he did not sleep through the night until he was 13 months old. Now, at nearly 2 years old, he is a relatively stable sleeper at home and at daycare. This new camping atmosphere, however, changed all the rules! After some creativity with a drive around town, and a temporary return to co-sleeping for the weekend, our young man got some rest...and so did the rest of us!

I can't say that I blame Collin for wanting to avoid sleep in favor of some of the other activities at the camp grounds.

We took walks over to the play area on the beach to slide and climb and dig in sand. He and Bryce spent a lot of time "golfing" with the toy golf set, climbing around on the boat while it was parked near the campsite before going into the water, eating snacks and just running around.

Collin also took his first boat ride on the lake and caught his first fish!

Here he is taking a worm from Daddy...and then admiring the fishy that ate that same worm for lunch! Apparently there is some "guy thing" about kissing the first fish you Collin also took part in that right of passage, much to my surprise! I had never heard of that before...but both Jay and Doug swear it's "real"...

He also enjoyed his first campfire and s'mores! Just like his Mommy, his favorite part was the chocolate. Although he took some tentative bites of the first s'more and liked it, when I tried to make him another one he asked me for "no cover" and grabbed for pure Hershey's chocolate instead! That's my boy!

Collin also had another "first" that shocked his Mommy. After leaving the boys to play (Doug and Jay included) I came back to see this....

What a weekend! The weather cooperated nicely, the kids did well, and the adults got to enjoy some good conversation around the campfire late into the night. We again got to be amazed by our little man and experience many firsts together! Again, thanks to the Neumann's for a great weekend!

Independence Day

We are quickly beginning to realize that being parents to a toddler is all about their "independence"...So when we went to Como Zoo to celebrate the Fourth of July, Collin was allowed to "plan" the day. Afterall, it was not only a holiday, it was also his first trip to a zoo!

We started out with a visit to the monkeys, which was a favorite!

Collin enjoys Curious George and absolutely loves to dance to the song "Do the Monkey" by The naturally this was his favorite location for the day!We continued through the rest of the zoo, including the butterfly exhibit where Collin showed amazing restraint and did not try to chase the butterflies or touch the plants...Well, at least not too much....We spent some time with the big cats, the aquatic animals and the outdoor hoofed animals.

Not to be outdone, Collin grew "taller" to keep up with the giraffes by sitting tall on Daddy's shoulders.

Of course, being an energetic young man, we also spent time in Como Town, the small amusement park area for children. What was great about this space was that, unlike so many carnivals, the rides were almost all made for children his size. Even though it was a Holiday, the lines were also minimal so Collin could pretty much take a turn on any ride at any time. He loved showing off in his yellow sports car and really enjoyed the "choo choo" with his Dad!

We finished our day at the main grounds of the zoo with another trip to the monkey house to say "goodbye" before we moved to our final stop, the Conservatory. Collin really seemed to enjoy smelling the flowers (a new skill taught to him so that they were not pulled out by the roots) and he especially had a great time jumping along the stone paths and bridges that wind through the outdoor area.

He was not so interested in the guided tour of the Tea House, which in all honesty was more lengthy and extensive than any of us bargained for. As our overzealous tour guide explained all about how the Tea House came to be at Como, the tradition of Tea Houses, and the events held there at the Como site, Collin's patience began to wear out. He still handled himself like a gentleman, but it was clear that he was ready to move on...This was also clear of his Daddy, who slowly and subtly began to turn his attention from our guide toward the golf course that is directly adjacent to the Tea House. You could actually hear the golf balls being hit...I got the sense that both of my "boys" were done with the Tea House long before our guide was done with us!

All in all it was a very successful day. It was fabulous to watch Collin thrive in an environment with so many options to offer and decisions that he could make. Independence at its best!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Journey of Parenting

We cannot believe how quickly our journey into parenting is going. Collin is almost 2 years old already! He is growing up so quickly. We are fortunate to have many friends with sons around Collin's age...actually there is a pretty accurate timeline going
within Collin's "peer group". (Pic: Collin, born at Mercy Hospital)
Our friends Abby & Tim just recently welcomed their own handsome son, Ethan Robert Krueger, into the world at the end of June. Their journey is just beginning...
It does not seem like that long ago that we were bringing Collin home from the hospital...
At the other end of the spectrum, Collin's Godparents Katie & Darin Bartsch have already celebrated their son Zack's second birthday in May, and also have a baby on the way. Our friends Jay and Renee Neumann are the proud parents of Bryce who recently turned three!

Right in the middle of this spectrum, our friends James & Angela Hammill have a fantastic son, JJ,who will be turning one in August.

JJ and Collin going for a ride!

And, of course there are some women in Collin's life as well. Molly and Josh "Not-Cooley" Schuster have an adorable girl Riley, who will be two in October.

Our friends Jan and Abel Zeleke are the parents of terrific toddlers Jasmine and Zana, and are also expecting another addition to their family this winter.
We feel so blessed to be taking this journey with all of you!

From the beginning...

We would not be adoring parents without starting our blog "retroactively" to when our family really began....

Here is one of our first official "family" pictures taken in Hawaii while we were pregnant with Collin. It was a fabulous trip and the first of our family travel experiences.

Since this first "family vacation" we have traveled to Florida several times to visit my dad and his wife. Although Collin has yet to swim in the ocean (cold!) he has enjoyed the ocean breezes, the great weather and the sandy beaches...he is quite the outdoorsman and loves being outside.

These days we "travel" to the park near our house several times a week, although we do have more adventurous trips planned for the remainder of the summer. This month we will be taking our first camping trip to Alexandria, MN and in August we will be traveling to Iowa to visit friends. We'll be sure to keep you all up to date on those excursions!


We will begin this blog with a little "disclaimer". Although we are very excited to share our family with you, those of you that know us well are aware that we are not the best at keeping current on this type of thing...However, we will do our best to share the highlights of our family. We sincerely hope you enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed sneak peeks into your families via your blogs. Enjoy!