Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jackson James is 18 Months Old - 1.5 Years Old

18 Months and Counting!
We survived the 18-month check-up and with only one shot. We were three days too early so we couldn’t get the third shot for Hep A so instead Jackson only had to get the flu shot. Man, I don’t like those things! So now at his 2-year appointment, he’ll have to get a shot.
Hanging out in our wall unit

Height: 33 inches
Weight: 24.1 pounds
Head: 50%
Diapers: Still in Size 3 but wearing Size 4 at night because he was peeing the bed otherwise
Potty Training: This has begun but we’re just letting him lead the way. He knows when he is peeing and pooping and will tell us. When we get to the potty, he doesn’t always do these things. He knows what’s going on. So we’ll say he’s “sitting” for now.
In short, his doctor said he’s healthy, healthy, healthy. Tall and skinny. As long as I hear the word healthy, mama is happy.  

Jackson’s Likes:

1.   He is obsessed with watching “Wheels on the Bus” on HooplaKidz. He could watch the video over and over and over again. He’ll point and say “bu” (for bus) once the video ends and will keep saying it until the video starts again. AND he FINALLY sat through an entire episode of Baby Einstein’s On the Farm. He even fell asleep in Karl’s arms. This has happened…umm….never. But he also has a cold so nap time didn’t really exist this past weekend.
Snoozing with dad!

2.  He loves climbing up the rope ladders and chains and anything scary looking [to me] when we get to a park. Very daring boy.

3.   Still enjoys sticking most anything in his mouth. However, he knows what garbage is because when we get to a park he finds all the trash and throws it in the garbage can. Very impressed.

4.   He loves sweeping and helping. If something is out of place or there is a crumb on the floor, he’ll run up to it and say, “uh-oh” and run and get his broom. He will unload and load the washer and dryer. He’ll grab a towel if there are water droplets on the floor and wipe them up. He is good.

5.   He loves Pumpkins. He can spot them miles away.

6.   He loves singing. I catch him singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” a lot. Adorable. So sweet.

7.   Animals. We went to Karl’s grandparent’s farm and he scooped up whatever kitty he could get a hold of. He’d squeeze and hug them to pieces. It was so sweet to see.

8.   Pointing out trucks and any bigger vehicles on the road. His vocabulary is growing leaps and bounds and he has no problem saying, “bus”, “dump truck”, “mobile home”, “cement truck”.

9.   Still loves balls and throwing them. He also knows when dad is drinking “beer”.

10. Babies. (uh-oh)

11. He loves loves loves reading books. He has a few favorites – “Kittens are Like That”, “A Light in the Night”, “Cars”, “Colors”, “Pop-Up People”, “100 First Words”, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”, “Carl’s Birthday”, “Snuggle Puppy”

12. He loves playing the piano at Grandpa Jim’s and Grandma Judy’s.

13. Breakfast. He comes downstairs and climbs in his highchair. He is ready (just like me!) to EAT!

14. Turning the lights on and off in the house.

15. Sitting in my car and pretending to drive it. He’ll even grab the seat belt and try to put it on. I get in my car the next day and my wipers are going at warp speed and my air is on full blast. Fun.
Loves driving any vehicle. Varrooooom!

16. Locking my car via my keys and then closing the garage by pushing the button in our garage.

17. Still loving frozen blueberries, avocado and watermelon and peas and cottage cheese and pancakes. When he refuses these, I know he’s not feeling well.

18. Giving hugs. He hugs each of his stuffed animals and he’ll run up to my leg or Karl’s and squeeze. Best feeling hands down.
Loves Snoopy!

19. Being outside and running wild. This kid does not walk. Just runs.

Loves running outside! Here we're headed toward a raspberry bush

20. Sucking those first two fingers and stroking his pinkie. I’ve never quite seen anything like it.

Getting comfy with Gpa Jim and sucking those fingers

21. Graham crackers. Loves those things.

Jackson’s Dislikes:

1.   We’re working on the vacuum. He has no problem with smaller vacuums. It’s the bigger ones. We were told that at daycare he freaks out a lot and we need to bring out the vacuum more and tell him it’s loud but not scary. (I hate thinking of him crying at daycare and not being there to comfort him.)

2.   Seems like when he eats Sweet Potatoes he gags almost every time.

3.   When we have to wipe his nose.
No caption needed

4.   When we take something away.

5.   Not being able to do something on his own – getting overly frustrated.

Things to do with a Toddler in the Winter - 18 months

Winter Activities in Minnesota with a Toddler
Last year was the longest winter ever. And I mean ever. Can you blame me for getting nervous for the colder seasons ahead of us (it is 28 degrees out right now on October 22)? You bet I’m preparing for the cold, darker days (all 5-6 months of them) ahead, especially with a VERY active little guy (1.5 years) who LOVES being outside. And I mean LOVES. What to do?
Just hanging out in the hutch
We live south of the river (in Minnesota) so I am trying to stick to fun places closer to home (just in case we get nailed with a snow storm or ice or both).
I’m looking for activities Friday, Saturday and Sunday that won't break the bank. I work full-time Monday through Thursday.

Libraries are FREE!!! Story time on every third Thursday in Savage at 6:30 p.m.

This is what I have so far:

·         Lots of libraries – fun books, toys and space to run around. Some have story time. Or even Barnes and Noble in Burnsville. I hear there is a cool train.

·         Michael’s Craft Store – find crafts and take them home to do

·        Play areas at Burnsville and Eden Prairie Mall  - trying really hard to get past the germs (I know, I know)

·         Bundling up and sledding to a nearby park
·        Walking around Mall of America (will take willpower not to buy anything…)

·        Open swim at Life Time Fitness – obviously I pay for this in my membership, but in my mind it feels free

Under $10

·         IGM Gymnastics in Burnsville ($8) 

·         Eagan Community Center in Eagan ($4)

·         Good Times Park in Eagan ($8)

·         Edinborough Park in Edina ($7) 

·         Children’s museum in St. Paul – ($9.50 – doesn’t include parking if needed) 

·         Jumps and Downs in Shakopee – ($7)

·        Shakopee Community Center Playtime – ($1) Bring clean trikes, balls, riding toys and enjoy the big space from 10:00 - 11:30 on Fridays.

·    Playworks in Prior Lake – ($4.50)

·    The Works in Bloomington – ($8.00)

More than $10

·        Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley ($18 – under 2 is free) -

·        Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America in Bloomington ($18.99 – I think there are only a few rides that little people can go on) 

·        Water Park of America in Bloomington ($30+ and I think that’s per person) 

·        Underwater World at Mall of America in Bloomington ($12 for MN residents (online) – kids under 3 free)
·       AirMaxx Trampoline Park in Eden Prairie ($13) on Friday mornings

·      Safari Island Indoor Water Park in Waconia ($8 per person)

Weekend Getaway

·      Arrowwood Resort Center  in Alexandria ($160 a night)

What am I missing? What is a must do? A must see? Please either comment below, comment on my Facebook page or email me at christie(dot)koester(at)