Monday, December 7, 2009

Opps, I posted the wrong video clip...

I posted the wrong video clip on the last blog, so here is the right one...the one with Royce actually singing. Enjoy!

Royce singing in the Christmas program.

video

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Family Times

September – Just backing up some months… I really don’t know where else to start but back in September, when time and events started to blur together and slip out of focus much like my own eyes when taking off my glasses. Anyway, the being of the month brought Joe and me our 10 yr anniversary, and although we talked about what we were going to do to celebrate nothing ever was settled on (probably because our minds were really on Gannon’s upcoming surgery the following weekend) until a day or two before. Then last minute calls were made and arrangements for us to stay with Joe’s bother and family in Minnesota, and that we would join them in going to the state fair. Unfortunate Randy ended working all night, but we still enjoyed going to the State Fair with Kelly and Cameron. I have to say with all the walking we did the boys were excellent!

Butterflies landed on Royce in the butterfly house.

Aunt Kelly shows Gannon the butterflies.



The next day just our family went to the Renaissance Fair, I don’t know how our children handled that, but they did really well keeping up. Also, being our 2nd time there we were able to manage the time and see some really neat, kid appropriate shows. At one of the magic show, done by a father and son, my older two boys decide that they would participate and actively voiced their opinion at the point in the show of the disappearing bunny trick. At the being of the trick the magician said that once the bunny disappeared he would not bring him back out, or make him reappear due to the limited time they had on stage. The magician set up a box in which the son place the bunny and shut the lid after waving his wand over the box the magician said some magic words and then stated, “there the bunny has disappeared.” Royce at this time yelled out, “Yeah, right! Prove it!”, so the magician called another boy from the audience up on stage to assist with the trick. Opening the box and having the boy look at the audience and hold the lid of the box with the top of the lid facing the crowd, then proceeding to take the box completely apart to show that the bunny was no longer in the box. Royce watching the boy with the lid then yells, “Hey, the bunny is in the lid, show us the top of the lid.” The magician then flipped the lid over where a cloth that bubbled out and moved gently as if the bunny was under it. With that Royce yells out, “Lame!”, so the magician takes a long pin and pokes the cloth, making a ‘POP’ sound. Giovonnie then wails dramatically at the top of his lungs, “You killed it! You killed that poor poor bunny!” Then tragically continuing to cry very loudly, as I tried to reassure Giovonnie that the bunny really wasn’t dead, that it was their pet, and they wouldn’t really kill it. The magician finally told his son to get the bunny out of the shed behind them, so that on one would be mentally scared from the experience. After two full days of walking around in the hot sun Joe and I were way too exhausted to go on our fancy dinner date; instead we had a very tasty meal prepare by Randy and Kelly. The rest of our time was enjoyed hanging out with the MN Cox families before slowing getting ready to go home on that Monday. (I’m thankful that Joe and I picked Sept. 4th for our wedding date… it’s always nice to celebrate over a long Labor Day weekend.)

Royce, Giovonnie, and Gannon get their picture taken with a the Knight we cheered for at the Renaissance Fair.



The following weekend we were right back in MN for Gannon’s surgery, which I’ve already blogged about, and The Cox Brother’s trip to the Boundary Waters. That was along week for my boys and me with Gannon’s recovery, but we made it through, and Joe had a great time doing that manly guy thing with his brothers.

Since then one person or another in our family has became sick with the flu, colds, and such, which leads me into October.

October – Just as I was getting over one of my little colds, we had a make-up parent-teacher conference with Royce’s teacher. Surprisingly, the overall report was good. Maybe it’s the male teacher thing, or maybe Royce is just finally getting it, but this is the first year where “age” or “ADD” hasn’t been a concern, and Royce talks about the things they do in class instead of telling me how much he “H-A-T-E-S” school.

We also had our fist snowfall were the snow actually stuck for a whole day. Giovonnie loves the snow and was so happy he went and played in it for about 1 hour before I made him come in. He made the cutes family of snow angels.

Giovonnie making a snow angel on our first snowfall of the year.

Our family of snow angels that Giovonnie made, Dad and Mom on top and Royce, Giovonnie, and Gannon on bottom.




I took Gannon to MN for his follow-up visit after his cleft surgery. Dr. Sidman stated that both layers (one layer on top of the other) of stitches were dissolved except for two little stitches of the top, or inside layer. He was also glad to see that Gannon didn’t lose any weight during his recovery. All looked good, and after a 10-minute visit we were told that we would only have to be seen twice a year at his office for the next 3-5 years, and once a year by the cleft specialist team for hearing, and speech. By three years old if he can clearly say, “I want some cookies.” Then he will not need a speech therapist to work with him regularly, but if not then he will be setup with someone around our area to work with him. If his speech doesn’t get better with the therapist by age 5 they will redo the cleft surgery at that time. A few differences that I’ve noticed with Gannon since his cleft surgery is that there is no longer drink, nor food coming out of his nose, when he sneezes he wrinkles his nose, he also likes to blow is nose (but hates when I wipe it), he can now suck out of a spill proof sippy cup and he snores very loudly when he sleeps.


Gannon blowing his nose.



Holly and her children came out for a visit, which has become a bit of a tradition, that will hopefully continue thru the years that we live here (we are always talking of moving back home to Wisconsin, but that’s all it’s really been over the last 6 years that we’ve been here). Every year we take the kids to Pumpkin Land to go through the corn maze, and then we do some sort of crafty thing, and carve pumpkins. This year it was surprisingly enjoyable as we trekked through the corn maze in the rain, and mud.





Bk to Ft, Lt to Rt: Ella, Giovonnie, Royce, Gannon, Ony (Navatine), and Jonah at Pumpkin Land.

Mapping out our route to find all 6 mail boxes.


Ella, Jonah, and Giovonnie show they mastered the muddy corn maze.

Holly helps carve Ella and Giovonnie's pumpkins.

All the Pumpkins are carved looking spooky for Halloween.

Joe accidentally got this spooky shot of the lit pumpkins faces jumping out of their shells.


By the end of Holly’s visit I was back to being sick again, and the following Monday I went to the clinic to be told that I didn’t have the flu or strep, and to go home and get some rest; by Wednesday I felt even worse and went back to the clinic, after having x-rays taken the Dr. told me there was a bit of fluid on my lungs and prescribed me an antibiotic along with some cough syrup with codeine. I was finally feeling better again, and so I started sewing. The boys wanted to be Ninjas for Halloween, and after piecing together a few patterns from different websites I whipped together a couple of costumes which got me on a crafty sewing binge. I’d been spending my time making some cute crayon roll-ups for my younger nieces and nephews and one for Giovonnie, a few pincushions, and a small blanket for Joe instead of being on my computer (to explain some of my nonexistence on facebook, emails, and my blog).

Giovonnie's mans kimono shirt. (Royce's was black.)


Giovonnie doing his rooster Khufu moves.


A few of the things that I made, pincushions, color roll, and the blanket the boys and I made for Joe for Veteran's Day.


On Halloween day we went and had family portraits taken, they were so over due the last family photo we had taken was when Giovonnie was 2 weeks old (over 6 years ago). Then we met up with Joe’s brother Scott’s family for dinner and trick-or-treating. Of course the last day on October brings us into November.

November – Wow, with November here I remembered that I hadn’t been writing in Gannon’s baby book between him turning 1 year old on November 5, and with him beginning to walk I really wanted to document these moments, so I made sure to have my camera on me, but it seemed that I was always just missing the shot of him taking those first steps during that week, and with in a few days he was toddling around the house! My baby is not longer that little infant I can cuddle up to whenever I want, but a little toddler who is on the go. Unlike the other two boys we just did a quick one-year party at home for Gannon with just us. Gannon really didn’t get the concept of present opening, and got quite frustrated when we would snatch the gift away after he tore the paper off and hand him another, just as he would tare the paper off the next one we’d do it again. Finally he after getting the paper off the last gift, he hugged it to his chest with a screech as Giovonnie tried to reach for it. Joe peeled all the other toy cars and trucks out of their boxes then we put Gannon on the floor to play with them before Joe, Giovonnie, and Royce rushed out the door for an evening of boy scouts.

Gannon's car birthday cake I made for his 1st birthday,and his gifts.

Gannon reaching for his cake, as I try to get a picture of him with it.

Gannon trys to get the cake as Joe is putting it back on the table.

Gannon's happy birthday dinner, he love pizza too.

Gannon opening one of his birthday gifts.

Gannon playing with two of the cars he got for his birthday, as Joe takes others out of the packages.

Gannon walking!


On the 10th Gannon had his one-year check-up, he is a big boy weighing 25 lbs 9 oz, he is 32in. tall and has a head circumference of 19in. All went very well until he had to get 5 shots! They gave him 4 at once, then the nurse that gave him the final shot got the brunt of his anger with a mean scowl, a loud long growl, and then wailing tears. I know that seems like a lot, but the first 3 were just the regular vaccines that most children get, but the other two were important to add on being they were the flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccine which both have been present in our area and schools. He did have a fever of 102.1degrees on day 9 after the shots were given, but I was unsure if it was from the shots (the papers I was giving said side effects could last up to 10-12 days), or from him teething, or both.

Thanksgiving weekend we headed to Wisconsin to see my family, and so that Joe could go hunting with his dad. The boys and I ate lunch with my dad on Thanksgiving Day while Joe and his dad went hunting, and then later met up with Joe and his dad to go to Thanksgiving dinner at Joe’s Uncle Bob and Aunt Marlene’s. Giovonnie kept asking if we were going to Uncle John’s bar (another one of Joe’s uncles), but we’d say, “No, we’re going to Uncle Bob’s house; where we went last year.” Finally when we pulled in the driveway, Giovonnie exclaimed, “Oh, this place. I love this place!” The following day Joe went back out hunting with his dad, and the boys and I went to Portage to hangout with my mom and Granny Case. I was so glad that Holly went to Green Bay to pick her up. It was the first time Great Granny Case saw Gannon. The boys were glad to see her too. Aaron and his family stopped by, and so did Holly and her family, we played so cards and the kids played outside. Later we went to the Holiday parade, which the kids kept getting cookies from every stand we walked by, and collected candy from the parade. (I still have candy lying in the back seat of the car.) After the parade we all headed back to my mom’s for dinner, the boys and I ate quickly then headed back out the Farm. We met up with Joe, Papa Royce, and Uncle Jamie (who was a good surprise for the boys) at Uncle John’s bar/dinner where I found out that Joe got two deer a doe and a 8 point buck. Then Saturday came and Papa Royce and Uncle Jamie went to Minnesota to see the other Cox family and have Turkey dinner with them, and Joe, the boys, and I went to our good friend Jody and Chong’s for a bit before heading to my mom’s for Turkey dinner. It was really nice hanging out and spending time with everyone. We spent the night at my mom’s and then met up with my friend Robyn for breakfast before going back home to Iowa.

December
– has started off as fast paced as the following months with the boys’ school Christmas program last night (Thursday, the 3rd). I was so proud to find out that Royce was picked to sing in a double quartette, and I could even hear him. This was a boy who at one of his other Christmas programs walked right past a microphone skipping his 3-word part completely, now singing in front of a huge gym full of parents while standing among three girls. I really just can’t how much Royce’s character has grown in just a few months. I also have to give credit to Giovonnie of being very well behaved during the concert, singing and keeping his hand to himself a great improvement from last years, end of the year kindergarten graduation.

Royce singing in the Christmas program.

video


I’ve been enjoying spending some one on one time with Giovonnie as well, because he is very interested in some of the crafty things that I’ve been doing. A couple of days ago Giovonnie must have heard the story of the Ginger Bread Boy at school again, and was asking if we could make a Ginger Bread Boy. I asked like Ginger Bread Boy cookies that you can eat, or a Ginger Bread Boy Puppet, or stuffed animal (Giovonnie doesn’t care much for dolls, but loves stuffed animals)? Giovonnie replied a stuffed animal one, so last night before the Christmas program we worked together; I traced out the shape onto a piece of brown felt and he cut it out, then I sewed the pieces together and turned it inside right, and he stuffed him full of fiber fill, then we hot glued eyes, and buttons, and then made his guy some red pants out of red felt. Giovonnie now loves his new guy, Gingy then Ginger Bread Man.

Gannon will be 13 months tomorrow, and next week we are due to go to the Children’s hospital in MN again this time will be our first meeting with cleft team specialist, Dr. Sidman, hearing specialist, and a speech therapist. Gannon will also need to go get his second set of flu shots sometime that same week.

Funny little movie of Gannon playing and tickleing his own feet in the car. video


Well, I hope you all enjoyed catching up with us now, and being that it is December I hope this counts as the family update because I won’t be sending any in the mail with the Christmas cards, but I will try to do better at blogging more regularly. I hope you all have Happy Holidays together, and many blessings befall you and yours this season.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gannon's Soft Palate Cleft Surgery

Gannon had his cleft surgery on Sept. 11, 09. The morning went by quick. After checking-in and a small wait the family was ushered down the hall to the family waiting room area where Gannon was changed into his scrubs and his height and weight were taken. Daddy was very hands on here with the diaper changing and all.The nurse decided that Gannon was too tall to lie down on the scale so she had him sit up while she took his weight. Then we were taken to "our" family waiting room. This is where we met with nurses, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist team before the surgery. It was a bit nerve racking when the anesthesiologist told us they would have to breath for our baby while he was under just before they carried him out the door, and down the hall. Then we were sent to sit in a waiting lounge which slowly be came packed with other family members waiting for their own someone to come out of surgery. Grandma Cathy soon came and took Royce and Giovonnie to her house. (Thank you so very much Cathy.) While he was in surgery a nurse would call us to let us know how Gannon was doing and where he was at with the surgery. Dr. Sidman first checked the tubes in Gannon's ears to see if they would need to be replaced, but we received a phone call to tell us that all was well there the tubes were completely clear and in-tacked (areal blessing). Then they started the cleft surgery which took about 45 mins. Again we received a call to let us know that the surgery went well, that Gannon was going to the recovery room for about an hour, and that Dr. Sidman would be out to speak with us in a bit. When Dr. Sidman found us we were answering questions for a nurse in order to move Gannon up to a hospital room. He said, "the surgery went as smooth as butter." Once Dr. Sidman left we finished answering questions for the nurse and then we were directed to wait in the family lounge again. The hour passed and we received a call letting us know that Gannon was still a bit tired, and they would keep him for another 20 minutes. Joe and I played an "I spy" game with a drawing that was hung in the hospital hallway as we waited. Forty-five minutes went by, and still no Gannon. I turned to Joe, "What could be taking them?" Joe shrugged, "I don't know." Fifteen more minutes went by, "Joe, it's been two hours from when he went into recovery, and the last time they called they said 20 more minutes - that was an hour ago. Would you go check?" Joe went to talk with the volunteer at the desk in the family lounge returning with news that Gannon would be in another 20 minutes. Those twenty minutes passed by way to slowly for my liking, plus another 10 and then we finally received the call that we could go see our baby and take him to his room. Once we caught up with the nurse Joe took Gannon from her arms and carried him as we followed her to the hospital room which we would be staying in.On the way she explained that Gannon although waking from time to time was having a hard time staying awake and was on blow by oxygen the whole time, and that he may need it up in the room too. After getting settled in our shared hospital room and all the bells and whistles were attached to Gannon the many nurses decide it would be best to put Gannon back on the blow-by O2. Every time he would wake up he would start to cry, and realize that it was more painful to cry, so he would hold his breath which would make his O2 levels go down and his heart rate go way up setting the alarm bells off and nurses rushing in. Gannon slept off and on the rest of the day, and in the evening he finally ate Popsicles. He loved the orange ones the best. Joe went to stay at Grandma Cathy's with Royce and Giovonnie while I stayed at the hospital with Gannon. The baby next to us was released to go home, so the room was all ours until 4am when another little girl came in with her dad because of a bad tooth infection. She had to have oral surgery the day before her 4th birthday! (What a wonderful birthday gift that was.) Anyhow, between the two little ones with the alarms going off for IV stuff, and med stuff, heart rate monitors, and O2 levels going off every 10 minutes or so and nurses coming and going I don't think I got any sleep at all. Gannon was up at his normal 7 am, and he was ready to play. Joe came back to the hospital about 9 am with Royce and Giovonnie. Gannon was glad to see his brothers. He even smiled at them; it was too cute. Gannon became quite hungry and ate some pudding, took two drinks out of his sippy cup, and then settled on Popsicles. When the nurse asked about how much he was drinking I said, "not much, but he has ate more then I expected. When we told her that he had 4 twin pops (a total of 8 Popsicles) she said excitedly, "Popsicles count." We were then released to go home Saturday at 1 pm instead of on Sunday, so we went to Uncle Randy and Aunt Kelly's so the boys could see Cameron for a while, and Gannon and I took a nap. (Naps are so good.) Then we went over to Grandma Cathy's to eat dinner, and to get a good nights rest before heading back home. On Sunday we left Daddy at Uncle Randy's for his bothers Boundary Water trip, and head back home. Thank you to those of you who rembered Gannon in your prayers he has felt better every day, although at night he seems to be in some pain yet, in the day he is feeling well enough to play, crawl around, and walk around the furniture. He doesn't even seem to mind the arm braces (called NO NOs) that keep his hands from getting to his mouth once they are on, but he can and does pull them off from time to time. I think that we will both be glad when we will be able to take them off for good, only two more days.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

~With Love


Thanks to all of you who wished us well on our 10-year anniversary last Friday. We celebrated by spending time with our family, and some of the other Cox families up in MN. (Thanks for letting us stay with you, Randy and Kelly).
Today we are headed back to MN this time for Gannon’s cleft surgery which will take place at the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. We are scheduled to check-in to the hospital at 6am and he should be in surgery by 7am. Gannon will have his soft palette repaired as well as his ear tubes realigned or replaced. Please keep Gannon in your prayers throughout his surgery and his recovery.

It's hard to even see it, but way to the back there is a small hole in the soft palate and no uvula. During the cleft surgery the hole will be repaired.


For those of you who are interested there are better pictures of what this cleft looks like and information on how the cleft is repaired at Pediatric ENT Associates (this is the clinic where Gannon goes to see Dr. Sidman for his cleft and ears) website: http://pedsent.com/surgery/cleftpalate.htm

Thursday, September 3, 2009

August Where Did You Go?

August day’s lazy fun
run right into September
when school has begun.



August seemed to go faster then any other month so far this year, maybe it was because besides doing nothing in particular, we were preparing for the school year to begin and there were a number of little changes, things that may normally go unnoticed came rolling in one right after the other. At the beginning of the month Gannon went from doing an Army Crawl to a full-fledged crawl within only a few days and began pulling himself up on funiture. On the first day he would cry after he got himself up because he was to afraid to let go so that he could get down. He also started saying his first words, besides mama and dada, he added on "nigh-nigh" and "amen". On the 5th of August, Gannon had his 9mo check-up (almost a month ago). Every time I get his growth stats I am amazed because when he was born we were told that with the cleft palette it was likely he would be smaller then average. I’d say with the height of 30in, head circumference of 18 ½ in and a weight of 25 lbs at 9 months our boy is not small at all! The following day, August 6th, I took Royce and Giovonnie to register for school; neither boy was excited about the idea of school starting soon, but now it was close to being here and we had to start to prepare with buying new backpacks, supplies from the class lists, and new school clothes. Gannon cut his first tooth that week, and was taken completely off the bottle too. August 11th we finally had the hail damage repaired on our Magnum, which proved to be a pain between the irritating claim adjuster and the hail removal guy… Anyhow, we took a quick last minute trip to Wisconsin for a Cox family reunion on the weekend of the 15th. I was able to see my mom and my Brother Aaron’s family the day before while going shopping for the boy’s school clothes at the Outlet mall in Wisconsin Dells. Royce and Giovonnie thought it was unfair that Dad got to stay behind and play with Papa Royce while they had to face their weakness and go shopping! It was along day and after shopping for what seemed like ages to the boys we went out for pizza. (Thanks to Laura Ann for this quick pic. of Gannon with a spoon on his nose.) After pizza we hurried back to the farm to meet up with Joe and Papa so that we could go see the movie GI Joe. That Sunday, the 16th, we went to the Cox reunion. It was so good to see everyone again, and a grand bonus to win the 50/50 raffle (must have been our lucky year - again). I regret not pulling my camera out to take pictures because I could have got some real good ones of Royce and Giovonnie trying to catch crawfish, and minnows in the creek. Royce at least tried hard not to get his new school clothes and shoes full of mud, but Giovonnie was covered from rear to foot. I made him undress to his underwear before getting in the car. Afterwards we returned to the farm to pack-up our things, and to give Giovonnie a bath before we headed for home. That week we finished buying school supplies, as well as when I noticed that Royce Lee was again maturing; taking on responsibilities without being prompted or reminded, taking extra care for Giovonnie so that he wouldn’t feel like it was always about the baby (or so he told me), and even offering his assistance with other things besides his own chores. I am a proud mama. Giovonnie also changed a bit, and lost his purple snaggle tooth; actually, Joe helped him yank it out with a string to be exact. Then the weekend of the 21st came bringing Royce’s 9th birthday along with it. He knew just how he wanted his birthday cake; he ordered it as a chocolate cake with white vanilla frosting, and red Pull & Peel Licorice to write his name, and Redi Whip on the side. He even went to the store to pickup the ingredients with me the day before his birthday. August 23rd we celebrated Royce’s birthday by letting him chose what we would do together on his special day. We played games, watched him open gifts, measured his height on the “growth chart door” and then later met Uncle Scott and his family at Pizza Hut for dinner and cake, and on the way home was serenaded over the phone from his cousin Cameron with the birthday song. It was really just a simple birthday, yet he said, “It was the best day ever!” Then the very last day of summer vacation snuck up on us, so we spent it lazing around the house before attending the open house at the school that evening.

And the boys started school on August 26th - Oh fun summer August days where did you go?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fourth of July, Fishy, Race, go Splishy Splashy

~July ~

Hot summer days full of fun

these are all the things that we have done.

FISHING:
The weekend of the 4th of July we made it to Wisconsin on last minute plans, as usual. Our first stop was to visit Papa Royce, Joe's dad, at the farm. We spent some time with him going fishing down at an Amish Families pond where Royce Lee caught his first fish, all on his own ;). Then he was done. Two little Amish girls played with Gannon in the grass while Giovonnie tried to feed worms to the chickens that were running about the farm. He would chase them saying, "Here chicken, chicken. Eat the worm." Then throw the worm at the chicken. The chickens would just run away, so he gave up thinking that they "just must not be hungry." He thought that he should then feed the fish that were caught and put into the bucket, so he started dropping worms into the bucket making sure to get them right next to the fishes mouth. Soon a young boy with curly dark brown hair came out riding his miniature horse which Giovonnie admired. Giovonnie asked, "Can I pet your horse?" The boy said yes, and as Giovonnie was petting the horse he stated with a smile, "I've always wanted a horse just like this one." The boy tied the horse to the fence, and then they went to checkout the fish in the bucket. Giovonnie want to pick one up so the Amish boy showed him how to grab it.
After fishing we went back to the farm, cleaned ourselves up, and then ate those yummy fish for lunch.

GO-CART RACES:
Later that evening we meet up with my friend Robyn for dinner at Famous Dave's, in Wisconsin Dells. I'm so glad we were able to see her. It had been a while, like 3 yrs. After dinner we went took the boys to see the place where "mom & dad" met - Riverview Park & Waterworld. Well it was late so the water park side was closed. Of course Robyn had to spoil the boys and buy them tickets for the rides. (Thanks, Robyn.) They had a blast! Royce was able to drive his first go-cart which was a very big deal.
He didn't even crash once. And Giovonnie rode with Joe, they had the fastest car, so they kept passing people and Giovonnie would smile and wave. Gannon stayed with me and Robyn. He was pretty content just to look around and see all the people, the bright lights, and things. (I didn't bring my camera, so the pictures are what Robyn took with her cellphone camera.) The boys even rode with Joe on the Grand Prix, where Joe almost beat the time. It was closing time and on our way out there were a few left over tickets, so the guy who owns the amusement park said, "Hey, would you like to use those tickets up, I'll turn the ride back on. I can because I own these ones." We said, "sure." The boys got on the Swing which started off with laughter, and then turned to fear and yelling, "let me off this thing!" I think Giovonnie looked down, and he is terrified of heights. The next ride over was a firetruck that went up and around, and the boys both liked that one. With a few tickets left the boys hopped on one more kiddie go-cart ride. Giovonnie decide he didn't like it, and got off and walked right out leaving his car in the middle of the track. Thankful the only other car was the one Royce was in and it was as slow as a slug, or Giovonnie could have been run over. It was well after 11pm when we parted with Robyn, and headed back to the farm.


FIREWORKS ON THE 4TH:
In the morning we headed down to Milwaukee area to see Joe's "other bother" Jim and celebrate the 4th of July with Jim and his family and spend the night there. Royce and Giovonnie enjoyed swimming in the lake, the water balloon fight, and playing the PS2. The fireworks were great, but the mosquitoes were horrible. I swear that some of those things were the size of humming birds ;). (Thanks Jim and Paula for inviting us.) It was a very long 10hr drive home the next day.


PLAYING IN THE RAIN:
On the 9th of July we had a huge thunderstorm, that included hail. The 2 older boys thought this was "AWESOME!" and ran down the flooded street collecting balls of hail. (I still have some in my freezer, and it is now the beginning of August.)

video

video

POOL PARTY:
The following weekend we went to Minnesota to see Joe's family at Randy and Kelly's Pool Party weekend. The boys were so happy that they would see cousin Cameron on this trip. We all had so much fun swimming in the pool, playing games, and just hanging out. This year Royce was brave enough to go off the diving board with out any arm floaties on, and after joining in on a jump contest and seeing his dad and uncles doing crazy flips off the diving board Royce gave it a go too with success! (Although it totally freaked me out I cheered him on.)
Giovonnie also faced his fear of heights, and although it took him climbing to the top of the slide and climbing back down 3 times, he finally went down the big slide. He loved it and he was very proud of himself for doing it.
Gannon of course loved the pool too, and he found a favorite Aunt as well. He just loved Aunt Mindy, and would even choose to go to her over his own mommy. I have to say I loved every moment of freedom, but was glad when he was ready to come back. ;)

and CELEBRATING MILESTONES:
Giovonnie lost his 1st tooth literally; Joe found it under the kitchen table. It fell out when he was trying to open his Sunday Cone package. We were all very excited for him. He was very pleased the following morning to find under his pillow the dollar in quarters the tooth fairy left him.

Gannon also had reached a couple of milestones too he started to crawl, well an Army Crawl (flat on his belly only using his elbows and knees to slither across the floor.) He started to pull himself up on to things as well, and this is when he got his first "boo-boo."

We had an eventful July, and now have fallen into a relaxed August. At least for a few week before school starts - maybe.


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