Mason at 4

I keep meaning to sit down and survey Mason for what HE thinks life is like at four years old, but I keep forgetting. So today, I bring you MY take of Mason at four – styled like my old monthly updates I did his first 2 1/2 years!

At four years old, Mason is

  • Still wearing 2T clothes, although some of the pants are getting a bit too short
  • weighing in around 36 lbs
  • still rear facing in his car seat
  • suddenly remembering he skipped the terrible twos – we’re all about screaming “No!” and throwing horrible tantrums these days
  • addicted to Wii golf
  • convinced he’s going to be a speedskater and a snowboarder when he grows up. Thank you Winter Olympics!
  • wondering when it will ever be Spring
  • getting the hang of riding his bike without training wheels
  • into Paw Patrol and Jake and the Neverland Pirates
  • looking forward to going to “Big Kid School” this fall (aka 4k)
  • great at playing the kid’s version of “Uno”
  • napping some days at daycare and never ever at home
  • taking karate classes
  • having a love/hate relationship with Sunday school.
  • STILL using a potty seat *sigh*
  • more particular about which pair of undies he’s wearing vs what pair of socks
  • always playing with monster trucks or construction trucks or tractors.
  • still the king of bedtime delays (It’s 10:10 and he just finally fell asleep
  • the boss of Charly – he’s the only one the dog ever listens to!
  • knows all of his primary colors and can count to 12 reliably and 30 with help.
  • very into giving hugs and saying “I love you”
  • “Can I tell you something?” is his most used phrase
  • playing with his first Lego sets (birthday presents ftw!)
  • convinced that any time it’s light out that it’s morning.

At four years old, Mason’s favorites are:

  • Favorite breakfast is pancakes or Kix Cereal
  • Favorite suppers are chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and pizza
  • Favorite drinks are milk and water (he’s not allowed to drink anything else)
  • Favorite snack is graham crackers with butter and/or peanut butter on them
  • Favorite vegetable is green beans.
  • Favorite movie is The Little Mermaid.
  • Favorite song is “The motorcycle song” (some adult rock song with motorcycles in the video)
  • Favorite friends are Aaron, Liam, Chloe, and Ethan
  • Favorite stuffed animal is his penguin collection.
  • Favorite game is golf
  • Favorite toy is the remote control digger he got for his birthday
  • Favorite thing to do is play games on the TV (aka Wii Sports) or play with his golf toys (sensing a theme here?)
  • Favorite treat is Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins or M&Ms
  • Favorite thing to do outside is play with his digger (which hauls lots of snow these days)

I’m really curious to see what Mason says are his favorites compared to what I believe they are. Stay tuned next week for HIS answers to his bi-annual survey!

What are your kids up to these days?

My Three Year Old Is Braver Than Me. And You. And Everyone Else.

When we went on vacation, one of the things I was really looking forward to doing was the Northern Lights Ropes Course. Basically, this is an obstacle course of sorts where you’re walking on swinging bridges, balance beams, tightropes, stairs, etc, all 30+ feet above the ground. I’ve seen a variety of activities like this on TV over the years and the  people who braved these things always seem so proud that they did something out of their comfort zone and I wanted that to be me even though I have the world’s worst balance.

So we get to Wilderness and my mind is made up. I’m going to do the ropes course. My husband thinks I’m nuts and when it gets to be time to do it, Mason wants to do it too. Well, like I said, I have ZERO balance and really wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being in charge of Mason while I was clinging for my life 30 feet above the ground (even though I would be harnessed, I know that wasn’t turning me into an Olympic gymnast in the balance department) so SuperDad elected to go as well.

Knowing we were first timers, a course guide went before Mason to help us get started. Then Mason went and then SuperDad. And you guys? I saw my little 35 pound son, my only child, walking across a rope 30 feet in the air and I almost puked all over. I didn’t even step foot on the first rope before going “Uh uh. No way. NOT going to happen,” I stared for a while and then had the person take my safety gear off so I could go watch my family die have fun.

ropescourse4(This one gives you a better idea how high up above the ground they were)

I got out my camera and start taking pictures – mainly of Mason and the ropes course instructor and a few of my husband, who looked as swooshy as my stomach felt. (I’m doing him a favor and not posting any of those pictures!) To make a long story (slightly) short(er), SuperDad went over three obstacles and then spent the next 15 minutes working his way back to the beginning point and Mason? Well, Mason and the course guide did every obstacle. Some of them multiple times. The guy was FANTASTIC with Mason and let him pick where he wanted to go next and WALKED BACKWARD and held Mason’s hand on the harder stuff.

ropescourse3Occasionally Mason would catch sight of me and call “Hi Mommy!” and give me a big smile and a thumbs up, and then it was back to business.They stayed out there the full half an hour and left no obstacle unturned.

ropescourse2
(I’m so bummed this picture is so blurry, but I was still trying not to vomit at this point LOL)

ropescourse7

As I walked around to get pictures from a better angle, I saw people everywhere stopping and commenting on my tiny little Mason out there, braver than could be. Fingers pointing, crowds gathering, everyone wanted to watch the little kid going with insane confidence over the course.  It was a sight to behold and I still can’t really believe he did it, especially after we BOTH bailed on him!

ropescourse1

So yeah, my (then) 3 year old is MUCH braver than his Mom and Dad.

ropescourse6

 *This post was NOT sponsored by Wilderness Resort. They did provide a free one night stay for my family but our time on the ropes course (or lack there of) was entirely my own idea*

 

 

Just a Tease

Hi Internet!

I’m still alive!! It’s been a CRAZY last two weeks with Mason’s birthday, two birthday parties, FPU, karate classes, stomach issues, basement leaking problems, a good friend giving birth, an absolutely INSANE two weeks at work, the whole shebang! This week promises to be a bit calmer (hopefully not famous last words) and I have SO much fun stuff coming up on the blog

  • More vacation posts
  • Mason’s birthday post
  • Mason’s 4 year old survey
  • Why my then three year old is WAY braver than his parents
  • Mason’s Jake and the Neverland Pirate’s birthday party
  • An awesome giveaway
  • A Financial Peace University Update
  • My updated wishes
  • Three weeks worth of Project 365 (with a few missing days *sigh*
  • and so much more!

So, check back later this week for lots of updates and sorry about the radio silence! Has anyone invented an way to add an additional five hours into the day yet?!

Wilderness Resort – The Waterparks

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know that Mason LOVES water! We took his first swimming lessons just shy of 6 months old and going to the swimming pool, beach, and playing in his backyard pool are the highlights of his summer. We’re also lucky enough to live within driving distance of the waterpark capital of the world – Wisconsin Dells! We recently spent a whirlwind three days in Wisconsin Dells and despite the sub-zero temperatures, Wilderness Resort had us floating, sliding, swimming, and splashing to our hearts content! Which makes sense because they just happen to be America’s largest waterpark resort!

Wilderness Resort has over 500,000 square feet dedicated to just waterparks alone and four of these parks (over 200,000 square feet) are completely indoors and ready for play even in the dead of winter! Unlike other vacations where you’re worried how you’ll possibly be able to keep the preschooler entertained, I was worried we wouldn’t possibly have time to play everywhere we wanted to play!

With four completely different indoor waterparks, we had a hard time choosing what we wanted to do. SuperDad wanted to do the wave pool (America’s biggest indoor wave pool, at that!), I had my eye on some slides (like the Hurricane and the Black Hole) and I wanted to make sure that Mason got plenty of time in the areas just designed for kids his age as well as family raft rides, of which there was several!

We started out our wet and wild vacation at Klondike Kavern. It was here Mason fell in love with the dumping bucket. Every five minutes or so, a chime would ding and over 750 gallons of water would dump from a giant bucket. Standing under that gush of water was Mason’s nirvana and he could have done that for several hours a day had we let him!

Wilderness Resort Bucket Dump
wrbucket3

We hit up some family tube slides and SuperDad and I took turns playing with Mason while we went down some solo slides too. Every single slide was fun and added to the “let’s do that again later!” list. Then we headed over to the Wild WaterDome and played in the wave pool for a LONG time. Mason and I shared a double tube and SuperDad got his own tube and was responsible for pushing us back out into the deeper water as the crazy crashing waves pushed us back to dry land. We had a great time as a family laughing and hanging on tight as waves big and small crashed against our tubes. I was also totally in love with the 100% windowed roof (aka dome) There was sunshine on my skin for the first time in 5 months despite the extreme temperatures outside. It was glorious! In the end, the only thing that got us out of the wave pool was our hungry tummies!

wrwave

The next day, we hit up the “Wild West” which is the biggest of the four indoor waterparks. The presence of another dumping bucket made Mason super happy, as well as his chance to do another family raft ride with us. He loved being able to go on a big slide with Mom & Dad and we loved the quick lines and the opportunity to do something where all three of us could participate. I waited in line for the much anticipated Black Hole slide and it didn’t disappoint. You guys, this was the FASTEST waterslide I’ve ever been on and quite frankly, I could have went down it another twenty times had the rest of the family not been waiting for me! Then Mason and I played on the Ransack Ridge Play and Spray Structure and did some smaller slides while SuperDad hit up the body slides. So. Much. Fun. We ended up back at Klondike Kavern and I went on the Hurricane slide that I’d heard so much about. I had never been on anything like it and it definitely lived up to the hype!

On our third day, we attended the rubber ducky races at the Lazy River and then hit up all of our favorites from the first two days. We spent a ton of time crashing the waves in the Wild WaterDome and doing family raft slides and watching Mason get 750 gallons of water dumped on him over and over and over. We also took several laps around the Lazy River and Mason felt like a super Big Kid getting to ride his own tube around the tame, but relaxing, river.

We never made it over to Cubby’s Cove despite our best intentions, but I’m sure Mason would have loved all the Mason-sized slides, geysers, and spray guns! We also never remembered the bumper boats when we had our swimsuits on so they’re definitely on our to-do list for our next visit!

I loved that there was something for every age at each of the parks. Mason was more than thrilled to play in the youngest child areas in each park or go down some of the bigger slides with us and we were more than thrilled to have a great selection of tamer and more adventurous slides, as well as have stuff that we could do both with and without Mason. The provided life jackets and life guards at every turn helped give a real feeling of safety and security and allowed us to give Mason a bit more freedom, which gave him a bit more confidence to do things he might not have normally tried. And really, fun waterpark or not, that right there is always a parenting win!

wrslide

We also loved that the waterparks were open to resort guests only. While we intentionally went on a Sunday-Tuesday so there would be fewer people there, the fact that they don’t open up their waterparks to everyone who walks in really helps keep the traffic down and the lines for the slides a lot shorter than they are at other waterparks we’ve been to. And, yeah, as a mother of a 4 year old (and a slightly impatient person myself), less time waiting in line and more time playing is always a customer service win to me!

I was initially worried about the walk between waterparks being too much for a (nearly) four year old but the hallways were well heated and once we figured out the best route between locations, it was a snap getting around the resort. While it sounds strange, Wilderness Resort’s awesome towel service (which let us trade our wet towels in for dry ones at any moment) made things a lot less stressful too! We’d get fresh dry towels anytime we had to walk anywhere and turn in our wet ones when it was time to play again. This made it so handy to not have to worry about where our towels were and we never had to deal with wrapping a chilly kid up in a soggy towel. A total win if you ask me!

Throughout our three days there, we got a chance to see parts of the (empty and snow covered) waterparks outside through the windows. They looked like so much fun and Mason frequently asked “Can we go down THAT slide?!” With four MORE huge outdoor waterparks and several walk up dining and drinking establishments in each waterpark, I have no idea how or why anyone would ever leave the waterpark area in the summer!

If you’re trying to figure out a fun winter OR summer getaway for your family (or just as a couple?) we give six thumbs up to Wilderness Resort and their amazing waterparks!

Disclaimer: Wilderness Resort gave us 1 night of lodging in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own and not influenced by this exchange in any way.

Weekly Wishes #4 :: March 10-16

I missed last week since we were on vacation, but here were my wishes from the week before

1) Get invitations for Mason’s birthday party – accomplished, despite Wal-mart trying to deny me my invitations because they felt a picture I took on Halloween night was copyrighted.

2) Decide on a new blog title and domain name – I’m still so wishy washy on this.

3) Start either making my step goal or playing with Jillian Michaels again – Not so much. I did great with my step count on vacation though!

4) Quit stressing about Joe T Greyhound’s slumber party. – Everything went greyt and I stressed for nothing, as usual.

5) Appear in some pictures that I take / are taken and try to get a new fantastic “headshot” of Mason. – Fail and fail

This week’s wishes

1) Get my house picked up. I’m participating in 40 Bags in 40 Days and five days in, I’m at 2 bags.

2) Not spend any more more (unplanned) money on Mason’s birthday party. Between his friend’s party and his family party, things are getting a bit out of hand.

3) In bed by 10:30 every weeknight.

4) Get back into the swing of reading all four of my Bible reading plans every day

5) Scale back – my endless to do list is starting to drag me down. Commit to stop over-committing.

What do you hope to accomplish this week??

Catch the Moment #9 :: Project 365

We were away on vacation for a mere 3 days and wow did it throw my blogging schedule off!

Thursday, February 27
Today we registered Mason for 4k. I had thought this was going to be a big to-do, but we basically turned in our paperwork and Mason played in both of his potential classrooms.
4k Registration

Friday, February 28
Slow news day. Haven’t taken a picture of Katze lately.
Katze cat

Saturday, March 1
Joe and Charly got a new shipment of Bully Sticks. They were very excited.
march1


Sunday, March 2

Mason hunted for Scaredy Squirrel while we waited to check into the resort.
march2

Monday, March 3
What Mason and Daddy do while Mommy looked for deals at the Outlet Mall
march3

Tuesday, March 4
This bucket dumped over a thousand gallons of water every two minutes or so. It was Mason’s favorite thing of the whole vacation.
Wilderness Resort Bucket Dump

Wilderness Resort Bucket Aftermath

Wednesday, March 5
Joe was happy to get home from his slumber party and sleep in his own our bed
march5

If you do a “photo a day” project, be sure to join the fun and link up with us here:

Nurse Loves Farmer

 

Catch the Moment #8 :: Project 365

This week’s photos sponsored by the words SNOW, COLD, and SICK OF WINTER.

Thursday, February 20
All week led up to severe winter storm warnings. It was forecasted to start snowing around 1:00 and snow 8-16″ on Thursday into Friday. This was our view at 4:00 when the snow finally started.Snow & Barn

Friday, February 21
School was cancelled and daycare was cancelled. SuperDad had picked up an extra shift, so Mason and I had a snow day.
Mason in the Snow

Saturday, February 22
So, I know I live in Wisconsin and I know it’s winter, but this right here is proof that this winter has been RIDICULOUS.
Weather Forecast

Sunday, February 23
We started playing Uno with Mason this weekend and he loves it. He also wins more often than not, even without our help!
Mason playin Uno

Monday, February 24
Monday night was my first Financial Peace University class. I had to settle for a picture of the kit as I didn’t want to creep out my new classmates.
FPU Kit

Tuesday, February 25
It never figures that when I’m running late, I get stuck behind the school bus (or a tractor)
Behind a School Bus

Wednesday, February 26
Charly apparently was very worried no one was going to remember to feed him.
Charly with his Bowl

Congrats to all of my fellow Catch the Moment bloggers – we’ve taken a photo a day for two months now!

My Favorite (Android) Phone Apps

If you’re anything like me, you use your smartphone a lot. Maybe you check Facebook and hang out on Instagram, maybe you make some phone calls here and there, maybe you text like crazy, or maybe that little handheld device runs your whole life – I think the latter is how it is for me!

It seems like everyone is aware of the big name apps like Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Candy Crush Saga, Google Maps,  Pinterest,  Angry Birds, Gmail, etc but what about those other apps that you use a lot that aren’t necessarily the same apps everyone and their grandma is using? I know I have have several apps that I find incredibly useful that no one else seems to have heard of and I’m sure you do too!

So let’s all geek out and help one another be more productive (or maybe less productive in some cases LOL) and share your favorite non-mainstream phone apps via the linky or in the comments.

Link Up Next Week

I’m using a Samsung Galaxy S4 and some of my favorite apps are as follows:

TinyCam Monitor (link)- This app, combined with several wireless cameras in my house lets me see what’s going on in my house at any moment, night and day. Waaay cheaper than the $250 baby monitor systems, I can watch Mason, my dogs, or my garage with the click of a button, pan and zoom around the room, hear what’s going on, and even speak through my phone and out the camera. Super cool and very useful. I’ll never let a friend buy an expensive baby monitor again.

Fuel Log  (link)- I use this to track my gas mileage and trip expenses. I log my odometer reading and gas purchases with every fill up and it calculates my miles per gallon, average cost per day of driving my car, average fuel consumption, basically everything I’d want to know and compares it to previous data. I could also log oil changes etc if I really wanted to.

MediSafe (link)- I am totally mis-using this app but that’s okay. It’s made for reminding you to take your medication but I use it as a reminder program for my entire life! A pop up reminder reminds me to water my plants twice a week, give my cat his meds, do chores around the house on a weekly or every other week basis, scoop the cat box every other day, all sorts of little things that I was constantly forgetting. I can snooze the reminder if I’m in the middle of doing something else and that works way better than something other apps where I’d click close and forget all about it.

Feedly (link)- probably not obscure, but this is how I read blogs. I have it on my computer, my Kindle, and on my phone and thus, no matter where I’m reading from, it knows which posts I have and haven’t read. I’ve also got them sorted by blogs I gotta read every single day vs everything else. Love Feedly!

Amazon Cloud Drive (link)- After having my phone go missing on several occasions, as well as drowning in the rain once, I know the heartbreak losing hundreds of irreplaceable photos and videos. It’s an awful feeling. Now, thanks to Amazon Cloud, as soon as I’m anywhere near wi-fi, all of my pictures and videos are automatically backed up onto the cloud, which I can then access from anywhere I have internet access. I can also transfer them to another phone if need be. The peace of mind is awesome.

So, there you have it! What are your favorite apps these days? They don’t have to be  overly useful or time saving like mine, they can be the newest game you’re addicted to or the way you follow your favorite actors – if you find an app worthwhile, please share!

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Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for anything said in this post – none of these companies/apps even know I exist. I just find them useful and think you might too!