29 August 2017

Big boy bed time

Chris took a vacation day on Friday, so he was home at Damon’s nap time. While Damon was supposed to be asleep, Chris and I heard a loud thud. Chris waved it off as a car door slamming. But I was convinced that the noise came from Damon’s room. So I went to inspect.

When I opened the door, I saw that the bed was empty and I couldn’t find Damon anywhere. Then he popped out from behind the rocking chair. That rascal escaped from his crib! Later he would demonstrate his escape moves to Daddy. Damon said he wanted to look around. So he straddled the top rail like a horse and jumped off. If he did this one time, there’s a good chance he’ll do it again. So Chris suggested that we convert the bed on Saturday.

First off, Damon and I had to purchase some big boy sheets. There were only two choices in toddler bed size – Mickey Mouse and Lightning McQueen. Luckily he loves both characters, so I knew he would be happy with either one. Damon chose Lightning McQueen. And how appropriate that he wore a Lightning McQueen outfit and hat that day!

When we got home, Damon helped Daddy convert the bed. We shifted it to a different wall and removed the rocking chair. Suddenly Damon’s room looked a bit more like a big boy room. Plus it had much more space for toys and playing! Damon was very pleased with the new setup.

Here’s Damon making one of his weird faces.

And here’s the big boy with his new bed and sheets.

So far, he’s done just fine overnight. He fell out one time, though he didn’t call for us when it happened. I questioned him about it, and he said, “I figured out how to get back in bed.” Well, OK!

Naps is another story. Apparently he’s starting to work his way out of daily naps, though I was hoping they would last at least another six months. Or maybe just a few naps a week? Here’s hoping!

We thought we did this a lot sooner with Damon than we did with Avery. It turns out that they both went to big beds at just about the same time. No more baby cribs in the Clark house!

24 August 2017

Wisconsin Dells: A week in review

Just before summer started, Mommaw and Poppaw Clark suggested taking a little trip together. Some of Chris’ friends talked up Wisconsin Dells, so we decided to check it out. It turned out to be a great family vacation spot!

On Saturday afternoon, we loaded up a rented minivan and headed north. We spent Saturday night in a Chicago suburb, including dinner at Rainforest Cafe. Then on Sunday, we drove to Wisconsin Dells.

After checking in to our resort, we hopped on the train at The Riverside & Great Northern.

Damon was pretty excited about our train adventure.

The train ride lulled Avery to sleep!

We continued the train theme for dinner by eating at Buffalo Phil’s where our drinks and dinner were delivered to our table by an electric toy train! Damon was in train heaven. After dinner we had to check out the swimming pools at our resort.

Then we enjoyed s’mores around the campfire, a fun amenity included with our room fee.

The next morning we had an hour-long guided horseback tour at Canyon Creek Riding Stables. This was so much fun! Damon and Daddy rode Elmo together, and Avery loved her horse named Saturn. In fact, she was clearly the best equestrian of our group. Her horse obeyed her very well while the rest of us struggled to get our steeds to do what we needed them to do! We were all a bit too distracted to get any pictures of this event. The big surprise of our tour was that we saw several deer in the woods!

Before leaving the stables, we stopped in at the petting zoo. These fellas were pretty hungry and were very glad we were there to feed them!

Next, we did some shopping in the downtown area. This area reminded me a lot of Gatlinburg and Nashville, Ind. We ate some delicious hamburgers at Monk’s and then had dessert at Goody Goody Gum Drop.

After resting and swimming at the resort, it was time to eat again. So we had an alfresco dinner at Bobbers. Just before bedtime, Avery regaled us with her expertise with the game Watch Ya Mouth.

Even though this was just the first time playing it, Avery seemed to master it much better than the rest of us!

Tuesday was full of more fun. It all began with a Dells Army Ducks tour. These amphibious trucks were surplus equipment from WWII. The tour began on the streets of the Dells then moved to Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River.

There are two eagles at the top of this tree. Can you see them?

We saw a lot of beautiful scenery on our duck boat tour.

After our tour, we moved on to miniature golf at Timber Falls Adventure Golf.

Damon has a good golf swing, doesn’t he? But the only way he could get the ball in the hole was to scoot it around like a hockey puck. Daddy needs to work with him some more!

All over the Dells, we kept seeing pizza delivery trucks with a moose on top. So we had to check out Moosejaw Pizza and Dells Brewing Company for lunch.

The day ended with some swimming followed by dinner at Kickers and games at the resort.

We were ready to slow down a bit by Wednesday. So we started with a delicious breakfast at Mr. Pancake. Then Mommaw and Poppaw took a stroll through downtown while the four of us visited Timbatavi.

This was a zoo that featured some different animals than the usual ones. And we were able to get up close and personal with some of them, including camels, kangaroos, and alpacas.

We all needed to rest after walking around the zoo. So after resting and swimming at the resort, we ate dinner at Crabby’s. This was an unusual dining experience because we cooked our own food on hot rocks. That was pretty fun! Then we headed back to the resort for s’mores and games.

On our last day, we stopped for breakfast at Paul Bunyon’s Cook Shanty before driving all the way home. The homemade donuts were worth the price of admission for this unique restaurant!

We loved our resort. It was off the beaten path but still close to everything we needed.

It featured two outdoor pools and one indoor kiddie pool. Since Avery and Damon love playing in the pool so much, this was a great alternative to staying in a water park. We definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed a full water park the same way we did these pools.

Here are a few videos of our swimming adventures:

We really enjoyed our visit to Wisconsin Dells, and we probably will return there for another family vacation some day!

15 August 2017

02 August 2017

First day of third grade

It’s Aug. 2, and Avery started third grade today. To say that summer flew by would be an understatement! She had a blast this summer, but I also know she’ll love going back to school.

We started the day with the obligatory photos.

And not to be outdone, Damon insisted on getting his picture taken, too. Next year he’ll finally get his turn in the spotlight since he’ll be going off to preschool!

27 July 2017

22 July 2017

Three-year doctor's appointment

Since we just celebrated his third birthday, Damon was due for his three-year doctor’s appointment. Here are his current stats:

Weight – 32 pounds, an increase of about 5.5 pounds since last year (25th percentile)
Height – 36 inches, an increase of 2 inches since last year (50th percentile)

He’s right on target with his growth milestones, including saying his ABCs, counting to 10, recognizing colors and shapes, coloring with a purpose, running, jumping, and throwing a ball overhand.

Our goals over the next year are to continue writing and recognizing letters and numbers and reading lots and lots of books! Damon also will become more independent, which is both a blessing and a curse!

Hopefully we won’t see Dr. Roscoe before next August!

20 July 2017

13 July 2017

10 July 2017

Damon’s third birthday party

Damon is 3 years old! How did that happen?

When we started talking about his birthday party a few weeks ago, he definitely wanted a Blaze party. And a no-frills one too. “Pizza, cake, and presents.” That’s all he asked for, and that’s all he got!

The party’s secondary themes were Legos and Minions, indicated in several gifts and wrapping paper. Mommaw and Poppaw Clark, Grandma and Grandpa Hromada, and Aunt Karen spoiled Damon with lots of toys, books, and clothes.

Daddy bought some Hot Wheels cars and a cool “crash” track. I can’t decide if he bought these things for Damon or for himself! Daddy said it’s payback time for all those years he had to play with Barbies!

After cake and ice cream, we headed outside for some pictures with the man of the hour.

Happy birthday, sweet Damon. We love you!