Tuesday, June 28, 2011

picnics, skinned knees, baseball, sunrises and sunsets....

Here's an update on our summer happenings:
- Grandma Liz and Grandpa Mark brought down Cullen and Simone's Christmas present:  a pint-sized picnic table.  The kids love to sit together and eat their treats outside.
- Simone's favorite new activity involves climbing inside her to table to play.
- Cullen's favorite new activity involves playing educational games on Mom's ipad. 
- We went to dinner last Friday at the scenic Trempeleau Hotel.  The restaurant was a bit stuffy for the kids, but they had a blast playing in the yard.  Cullen fell down a few times and skinned his knee, but Dr. Dad was able to make it all better. 
- Simone's hair is starting to come in.  She has just one little curl behind her right ear.
- We took in a La Crosse Loggers baseball game with Tracy, Jason and Jameson.  Cullen, Jameson and Simone spent more time playing and exploring than watching the game.  But that's to be expected - right?!
-  Finally, Dirk captured an awesome sunrise one morning.  The amazing view never gets old.


Cullen is quite the daredevil on his balance bike.  For those who have never seen a balance bike, it's a small bike with no pedals and no training wheels.  The purpose is to teach kids to balance on two wheels from the start so they will make a quicker transition to a two wheel bike with pedals.  As you can see, we think Cullen ma be on that pedal bike sooner than later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let the games begin.

While Summer has yet to arrive, Cullen has just finished his inaugural T-Ball "season." The season consisted of 5 weeks of drills:  throwing, hitting, fielding and running the bases.  While Cullen was moderately interested in the throwing and fielding parts, games of catch would usually end with him running in circles or commenting on the guys playing softball on the opposite field.
Cullen:  Dad, those guys have numbers on their back!
Dad:  Yes they do, now go back over and throw the ball to me.
Cullen:  Why do they have numbers on their back?
Dad:  Ah, because that's what they use to tell the players apart.
Cullen:  Why?
Dad:  How the hell should I know, now get your ass back over there and throw me the  #*&#$!ball.
*The last statement was the authors thoughts and not verbalized.

When the hitting drills began, Cullen was all focus and having a blast.  At home he has always gripped the bat as a lefty so we went with that.  I think Grandpa Mark might be behind this, but he does a really good job making contact for a three year old and knocks it all over the field.

Base running ended up being Cullen's biggest joy.  This had little to do with the actual running of bases, as he would usually end of running for home plate when he was halfway between second and third.  The real excitement of base running was that all of his "teammates" would line up by home plate and slap five as he ran towards home.

Simone was content eating cheerios on the sideline (one of her favorite past-times).

Cullen certainly has a love for sports an we can't wait to see how far he takes it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

hot. hot. hot.

The summer heat has turned up!  So with the heat comes the fun backyard activities.  Cullen and Jameson had their 2011 fishing expedition.  They both caught some huge sunfish (huge to a 3-year-old) with the help of their fathers.  Cullen's fishing luck was due to his new Buzz Lightyear pole, while Batman brought Jameson his.  We also set up the 2011 Swanson family pool straight outta the box.  Cullen didn't mind the freezing water from the hose - he just kept running from the far end of the yard to see how big of a splash he could make.  Simone loved the water table.  She just enjoys standing next to anything that is her "size".  She is still close to walking but not taking any steps on her own yet.  Dirk and I just enjoyed sitting on the patio, cocktails in hand, watching the kids!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

TGIS: thank God it's summer.

Summer "officially" kicked off this past weekend.  With the long winter and non-existent spring, we are due for a good summer and Monday didn't disappoint.  We spent the day hanging around a friend's pool with a cast of characters including: George, Joanie, Maddie, Dennis, Kari, Jack, Stella, Joe and Julia.   Both of the kids loved it.  Cullen has always been a water bug and Simone is taking after her brother.   Cullen loved jumping - or "diving" as he called it into the water.  Simone was content hanging in the baby floater trying to drink the pool water. 

Lisa and I are really looking forward to summer and watching the kiddos continue to grow.  Simone is now close to walking and is saying Momma and Dadda fairly easily.  In the last few days she has also began giving kisses.  They are a bit slobbery but I'll take them.

Cullen is getting more independent and daring each day.  He has begun to push the limits on his balance bike.  His new thing is riding down the driveway and into our neighbors yard .  He does this with his feet lifted - totally balancing on his own.  I was amazed the first time I saw him do it.  I was busy talking to someone, when I glanced back towards the house and saw Cullen:  feet in the air, flying down our driveway.  My heart was in my throat as I thought he was going to crash, but no sir.  He safely steered himself until the bike came to a stop in the neighbor's grass.  We'll try to post a video soon - it's hilarious.