Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mr. Organization

Sam is quite particular with being orderly (YEAH!!). He likes to put away toys, pick up garbage off the ground (even in public places), put his cup in the cup holder, etc. Tonight he decided it was time to line up all the plastic pumpkins. Everywhere. He would take them to the coffee table, then the stairway, then the end table, etc., etc., etc. This little activity literally kept him busy for about 20 minutes, which is amazing! We'll have to remember this ...

Time for a Shower

Alicia, Kate and I threw a baby shower today for our good friend, Robin. She is due in mid-November with her first baby. Robin and I have known each other since 1995 when we were next-door neighbors as freshman at ISU. We have always been great friends. She is a wonderful, sweet person who would do anything for anyone. In the past few years, she (and Kate) have thrown me both a bridal and baby shower so I was extremely excited to help return the favor. There is not enough I could do to show my friends how lucky I am to have them in my life.

Last Josh Blue Fan Standing

On Saturday night we went to the Funny Bone see Josh Blue, the winner of last season's "Last Comic Standing". If you have never seen him, he's hilarious! He has cerebral palsy and pokes quite a bit of fun at his disability, but he also has other bits that kept us laughing the entire time.

On the way there, Brian and I realized this was only the second time we'd gone out with friends (no kids) since Sam was born! It was long overdue, and we made sure to live it up! We went with Brian's two brothers Will and Todd, sister-in-law Traci, cousin Matt and his wife Andrea and friends Jen and Jeff. A few of us went out afterwards. We hadn't done that in ages and had a great time!! (Hence the tired and worn out Amy in the baby shower picture!) We need to get out more! :-)

Fun at the Zoo

We had many adventures this weekend, including going to the Blank Park Zoo with Grandma and Grandpa Edmondson.

Sam's favorite animals were the tiger that paced back and forth in front of the window, and the big fish in the aquarium that was just his height. He also loved to run in and out of the tunnels at the prairie dog exhibit, and play on the slide at the playground equipment. Oh yeah, and he had a blast feeding the fish and the animals in the petting zoo. Okay, so there wasn't much that he didn't like! It was a great time had by all!

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Like Mother, Like Son

Many people have commented to us that Sam doesn't look like either of us. Recently I found this picture of myself; I think I was about one year old. Poor kid looks more like his mom, right down to the bags under his eyes and Spongebob teeth. Here's hoping the next one looks more like Brian! ;-)

Monday, September 24, 2007


Today, Sam said the word "mom" for the very first time. Sure, he had babbled "mama-mama-mama" before, but today I think he really meant it. (And there was a witness!) Grandma Yori was here to watch him while I headed off to work, and he walked into the kitchen towards me and said "Mom", just one syllable, like he meant it!

It's funny how such a small and simple word can mean so much.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thomas the Train

Today, Grandma Knoll treated us to a ride on Thomas the Train in Boone. After last night's wedding reception, Grandma, Traci, Franki, Jack, Sam and I all loaded up into Traci's van and headed over to Boone. The kids did a great job in the car and were so excited to see the trains when we arrived. There were all sorts of fun things to do -- playing instruments with a 2-piece band, inflatable games, temporary tattoos, hay bale maze, magician, inflatable maze, and of course THE TRAIN RIDE!! Everyone had a great time and I think they probably all slept on the way home!

Thank you, Grandma!!!

Dancin' Machine!

Yesterday we went to the wedding of Kelly and Tim Hartwig (Brian's cousin) . It was a beautiful day for a wedding! Sam had a blast at the reception doing what we think was dancing! It was the first wedding reception where he was actually big enough to dance, and he loved it! I don't know who had more fun -- Sam, or those of us amused by his moves!

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ...

Since it was so nice tonight, we decided to eat outside. We packed up our PB&Js, watermelon, pretzels and drinks, and off we went. As soon as Sam figured out our destination -- THE PARK!! -- he wanted nothing to do with food. He ran around like crazy towards the swings, then the slide. He always rides down the big slide with Brian or me, but today was a milestone for him -- his very first time down the (smaller) slide by himself! And he did great! He was not scared and didn't want to get off. I think he went down at least 11 times.

'Tis the Season

Last weekend's cool weather put me in the mood to take out our Halloween decorations. Of course Sam didn't remember them from last year, so he got a kick out of all the pumpkins. And he really enjoys playing with the window decals (taking them off, putting them back on, taking them back off, etc., etc., etc.)!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Mr. Manly absolutely LOVES having the digger and tractor in our backyard. Today he got to ride on the tractor (lawn mower) and WOULD NOT take his hands off the wheel! It was so funny to watch him "steer". He acted like he'd done it before! He was having so much fun riding all around the backyard.

Back to Work!

After briefly celebrating the Cyclones' win last night, we got back to work on the yard today. (By "we", I mean Brian.) Sam loves watching the digger (aka "duh-duh-duh-duh-duh") drive around the back yard!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I've Been "Tagged"

I've been "tagged" by my good friend Vicki. Neither one of us really knows what this means, but we're playing along! (She was tagged by one of her friends!)

You have to post these rules before you give your facts:

1) Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name that you wish you had.)

2) When tagged, you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name facts.

3) At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave a comment telling them that they're tagged and to read your blog.

M - Mother. I absolutely love being a mother to Sam. He is such a happy little boy, and I try to remember to thank God everyday for giving him to us.

A - Attitude. It's something I strive to keep positive although I catch myself complaining far more often than I'd like. I need to work on that.

R - Responsibility. As a wife and mother, I have more responsibility in my life than ever before. But I am very glad to be where I am, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

I - Iowa State. I am a huge Cyclone fan (and grad!) and we beat the Hawks today! Go State!!

E - Everything. I feel I have everything I ever could have dreamed. Mushy, but true!

As for who I'm tagging ... I don't know many bloggers, so every one of them is getting it -- Leana, Kate, Vicki, and Rhonda! If I can figure out how to do it!

It's a CYCLONE state ... AGAIN!

Seven out of the last 10. I think it's past the point of calling it a "fluke". Once again it's a Cyclone state, and it feels GOOD! Great job, Cyclones!!! Sorry I doubted you.

Check out this video from YouTube:

Beat Iowa!

Today is the "big game" between Iowa State and Iowa. We hope the 'Clones make it respectable.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Demolition Man

We've been remodeling our house since we moved in during the spring of 2004. We took a break when Sam was born, but have been focusing on the deck and some of the landscaping this summer and fall. We have some pesky grass in the back yard that's not meant for our climate, so we are killing off our entire yard, leveling it and planting new seed. (Yeah, we're nuts.) However, it has taken a little more time to kill off the yard than we planned, so we have a few extra weekends to fill with other projects.

A couple weeks ago, we decided to get rid of some unsightly bushes that have been framing our home since we moved in. They were nasty, overgrown, and due to be disposed of. Brian had the opportunity to borrow a skid loader from work so we decided that would be perfect to pull out those monstrous eyesores. After cutting them back, he fired up the skid loader and proceeded to try to pull out the roots.
Needless to say, we still have five of the six stumps left. First, the strap that he was using to tie around each stump broke. Then, the skid loader shorted out and wouldn't start.

Ah, the rewards of home ownership!
We're hoping to finish this little project sometime in the near future! :-)


Oh yeah, and he got some beads at the parade, too. Boy, are those fun!!

Pufferbilly Days

We took Sam to his first Pufferbilly Days parade last weekend in Boone. He had a blast watching all the tractors, trains, and of course, FLAGS. He even got to take a flag home, as some people were handing them out! The parade was almost two hours long. But this is a great parade, because every entry is required to be a float, band, or some sort of display -- no random pickup trucks just cruising along. It's fun to see the creativity of everyone. Another first -- for all of us -- was the local grocery chain, Fareway, throwing out full loaves of bread! Only in Iowa!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

My allergies have been acting up the past few days and I've been sneezing and blowing my nose like crazy. Last night, Brian and Sam got quite the kick out of making fun of their poor, sick, under-the-weather, wife/mom, while I laid there barely able to move. (Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration.) I have to admit that it was pretty funny watching the little man mimic Brian, though! (You might want to "pause" the music at the very bottom in order to get the full effect of the video.)

Monday, September 3, 2007

New Style of Eating

Sam and I went on our walk this morning, and he was being so silly! He had a muffin for a snack, and instead of picking it up with his hand to eat it, he leaned down like a puppy and took bites. And he did this the entire morning in the stroller! I guess since he wasn't exerting any energy to walk, he decided to take it easy on the eating style, too! His silliness keeps us constantly entertained.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Mr. Big Stuff

We decided to put together Sam's tricycle today. He received it as a gift from his great-grandparents during the winter, so we thought we'd check it out to see if he was big enough. And, boy, did he have a blast 'helping' Daddy put it together! He had even more fun being pushed all around the deck on his new wheels! His feet don't quite reach the pedals yet, but it's fun anyway!! Thank you so much for the present, great-grandparents!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cyclone Football

We went to Iowa State's season-opener on Thursday night. It was a disappointing outcome, but Mr. Manly enjoyed all the sights and sounds that accompany a football game. He got to eat hot dogs before the game, watch the marching band walk by, pet a dog, see Cy (still scared of him) and play with friends. It was fun but he was getting pretty restless after awhile. Needless to say, he fell asleep immediately after getting in the car. Good thing, too, because it took 42 minutes to get out of the parking lot! But that's a story for another time!