Sunday, August 25, 2013

Minnesota - August 2013

Summer ended and we decided we needed one little summer trip to cap it off. This summer was very challenging for several reasons so we just needed some fun. So one day we decided we were going to check out Minneapolis and the Mall of America and the next day we got in the car and drove there. We chose Minneapolis because there is a lot to do and we thought it would be cool enough for the kids to have lots to do outside. But when we got there, it was REALLY hot...unseasonably hot. So our plans changed a little but we stayed very busy while we were there and would definitely go back. 

We got there in the evening and took the kids straight to the Mall of America, not really to shop, but to just walk around a little and show them what we would be doing. They had been cooped up in the car all day so it was good to get out and run around. We took a quick trip to the American Girl Store. It was so cute to see Brennan running over to everything and saying "oohh" or "Oh My Goodness"! We didn't buy anything this time...she already has a bitty baby and bitty twins...but I know she will love it the next time we go. Brennan has never slept well in a hotel so we didn't have high expectations. This is her first trip out of the crib, in a big bed, so it was a little better. 

The next morning, we went to the Como Park Zoo. It was free and beautiful. There was a ton for the kids to see and it was small enough that they weren't exhausted after. It was a great morning with the family and the kids loved it.

After the zoo, we headed over to the Mall of America. We had no idea the magnitude of this place or that you could literally spend an entire weekend inside and not even shop. There was so much to do. So we took the kids to one store that we don't have at home and they were done shopping. After that, David took them to the "amusement park" in the middle and they had the BEST time. Brennan is a daredevil and loves rides. Conner likes them too...just nothing too scary! The most exciting thing for Conner was this:

He LOVES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and he got to meet them. He was in his glory! He was running around with them, karate chopping. Then when we left, he hugged all of them and blew kisses. He was so excited and it was great. Brennan got to meet Dora and Boots (which she had never seem before this and now it's one of her favorites!) but I wasn't there with the camera so I missed the moment!

The kids would have stayed there all day and all night. That night we had special plans. 

We met up with some old friends that I wish we lived closer too. We might have to make a trip to Minnesota an annual occurrence just to visit them. Corbin and Carrie and their two kids met up with us at the Mall and we walked and talked and had dinner and just enjoyed their company. Conner's favorite part was going with the big boys to the Lego Store. Brennan was a little shy but in the end, she warmed up! I have a bunch of pictures on my phone that I still haven't downloaded. I'm sure I can find a good one!

Our last day in Minnesota, we went to the Aquarium. It's also in the mall (crazy!) so it wasn't too big. It was actually okay because the kids went through it once and liked it okay and then later in the day, David took them back so I could do a little shopping. I figured I better do a little shopping if we spent a few days in a mall!

Our last night in Minnesota, we met up with my great aunt and 2 of her daughters (my cousins). The last time we saw my Aunt, Conner was in a baby carrier. It was so great to have that time with them. We went back to her house after dinner and had desert and the kids had a great time.

This was a great road trip and I hope we will do it again (not sure how David feels about that!). Next time, hopefully it won't be so hot (wasn't expecting that in Minnesota) and we will do more outdoor stuff. It really is so beautiful there.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dreams and Wings -

This is our fourth year participating in an amazing program called Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan. Because of DM, C has had the chance to participate in some amazing things. This year, for the first time, we participated in Dreams and Wings. Dreams and Wings is an organization that provides plane rides to kids with special needs. B didn't go up in the plane and I'm not sure that C will ever do it again, but it was a great experience for him. The day was amazing. We got to the hangar and there were tons of activities for the kids. A fire department was there just for the small group of kids. They had a race track set up with remote control cars which both kids loved. They had a caricature artist and temporary tattoos so we have some amazing memories from the day. 

Conner was SO excited to walk out to the plane and look at it. BUT once he realized he was getting on it, he got a little scared. He was crying and really upset. He got strapped in and continued to cry until the plane took off. David went with him (I am not that big on flying either!) and once they took off, he said he thought it was pretty cool.

The pilots donate their time and planes for this event. The pilot that flew Conner was great with Conner and we had a great experience. The plane was so small that to get on, you had to climb on the wing of the plane.

While Conner was in the air, Brennan made a new friend on the ground. Now, every time we go to a Dance Marathon event, she asks if her "best friend" is going to be there!

This was such an amazing experience and we are so grateful that our whole family has the opportunity to participate in activities like this. Conner says he doesn't ever want to fly again. He is slightly terrified (I think the noise of planes scares him the most and he can't really verbalize why at the moment) so we are probably going to skip this program the next time until Conner is ready to do it without tears! We had such a great day and we love Dance Marathon. Those U of M kids are amazing!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Conner turns 6! - July 25, 2013

Conner turned 6! I can't believe how old he is getting. For his birthday, we just went out to dinner with some friends and family and then we had a little gathering at our house over the weekend. Conner wanted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The cake looked pretty cool. And the cookies party favors came out perfect (I have an amazingly talented friend!). 

We also visited the NICU on Conner's birthday and dropped off some treats and pictures. We were so happy to see one of our favorite doctors and Nurse Practitioners (she was in the delivery room when the boys were born). We haven't seen either of them in a few years so it was great to bump in to them.


Conner is pretty fun and amazing at 6 years old. I love getting to spend time with him and sad that our time together will be less now that he is going to be in school every day all day. I treasure our "dates" and hope that it stays that way.

At 6 years old:

Favorite food: still buttered noodles (with a bowl of cheese to dump on it) or sushi
Foods he won't eat: There are few things Conner won't try. For some reason, purple cabbage grosses him out and he doesn't like olives or chick peas.
Favorite vegetable: Broccoli
Favorite fruit: He likes them all
Favorite desert: Chocolate - anything chocolate!
Favorite activities: Starbucks date with mom (lemon pound cake and chocolate milk!), Marvelous Marvin's Mechanical Museum, Chuck E Cheese, and still would love to live at Disney World! He also LOVES going to the movies and eating popcorn!
When he grows up: Conner wants to be a veterinarian or a chef.
Favorite friend: Ben (his big cousin!)
Favorite toy: Conner loves playing with my iPad and he likes to build stuff. He loves all kinds of building stuff.
Favorite TV show: Octonauts or really anything on Disney Junior. And he loves watching DVDs. We still love Cars, Wreck It Ralph and many many others!
Activities: This summer, Conner did lots of camp and had fun and we tried T-Ball and swimming this year, but he didn't love them. His main activities this year are Friendship Circle and therapy. I wish he could do some more fun activities but right now we are a little tight on time. I'm hoping to get him in to a cooking class or something else once he gets a little older.

Conner loves hanging out with his family and is super sweet to everyone he meets. He is friendly and has won the hearts of everyone who has worked with him over the last 6 years. He is still really hyper and busy and faces daily challenges but kicks most of those challenges in the butt! We are super proud of our former 23 week 1 pound miracle boy!