Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On the loose in DSW!

So last night we were running some errands - mostly in stores where James would be confined to a cart.

Given that, plus the fact that it was nearly 100 degrees outside AND that his shoes were soaked from his most recent encounter with the water table on the deck - this kid is not wearing shoes! 
(Though I don't think the No Shoes, No Shirt - No Service applies to babies.) 

As you can see, shoes or not - he had a ball cruising around DSW, those mirrors are at the perfect height for a little nugget like him. Watch for a quick unassisted stand in the beginning and a 'wave' in the mirror. 

Oh and a final "totally proud momma moment" - last night James got a hold of the TV remote while we were in the kitchen and managed to get into the DVR menu, select and start a Little Einstein's  episode! (Probably a total accident - but still awesome!)

Monday, August 26, 2013

More cottage fun!

This past weekend the Hebels and Scheidts came up to the cottage and we had a ball!
We always have a fun time with these guys - but it was very clear that boys were loving hanging out and NOT training for a race :)

There were some football shenanigans going on - attempting to pass the ball from one to the next while jumping off the pier.

They were successful - I think just the one time - but it was a four man blind pass, so pretty impressive!

Us ladies chose to just watch and laugh :)  

Jenn, Connie and Anne - you can hardly see the baby bump Connie is sporting in this photo - but it's there!

James and Buppa driving the boat

While enjoying an after 4pm booze cruise James was trying to catch a fish with Grammy - all the got was their weird bug-eyed one!

Upside-down photo of the guys swimming under the boat.
In case you didn't know - swim goggles sink and sink fast!

Sunday morning James spent some time playing on the boat while on shore - it is a huge play pen! His new trick - standing by the back door on his tip toes to look out at the guys playing!

Derek and Connie did some fishing --- Patrick was the photo bomb!

James took his first ride on the jet ski - all smiles!

Hanging out with Grammy on the boat --- now that he is walking/standing more - the life jacket is not so much of an enemy --- maybe more a tolerable acquaintance!

Already looking forward to next weekend - bring on the end of summer heat!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

So cute!

 We spent some time in the yard on Sunday playing with James - hard to believe he is almost one! He is turning into such a big boy! Copying sounds - standing on his own - saying his first few words - even witnessed his first steps last Friday night!

Patrick and James were kicking the football around.
I love this photo cause it looks like he totally gets it!

Monkey-ing around with Daddy!

And my current favorite photo... so often the close-ups don't turn out - squinty eyes, closed eyes, etc.
This was just too cute!  Note the farmer tan on his arms!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jacqui and Chris tie the knot!

My co-worker Jacqui got married this weekend and we were lucky enough to be included in their special day. It was a perfect day for a wedding - sunny and not too hot. The ceremony and reception were held at the Memorial Union so Patrick and I did some Madison things this weekend as well. Patrick ran the Mini- Marathon with his brother Jo-jo and I volunteered at the Tri 4 Schools Triathlon in Middleton. Both were awesome! There were over 500 kids between the ages of 3-14 competed - they were truly inspiring and totally adorable! It was fun to imagine James participating in just a few years!

Here I am with a bunch of the finisher medals!

Here is the lovely couple!
One of the unique things about their wedding - they served Babcock ice cream during cocktail hour! This delicious treat is found only around Madison since it is made on campus. It was great!

My other favorite part of the wedding - Jacqui and Chris have dated since high school but were not always in the same town - or even country for that matter! When Chris was overseas, they wrote TONS of letters.  So to decorate the tables and give their family and friends a glimpse into their relationship - they created tags on the flower vases with little blurbs from some of their letters. Each one made you smile and think, " they are just too cute!"

Patrick and Chris

 Jenn, Jacqui and Steph

And while we had fun in Madison - James got to spend some time at the cottage with Grammy and Buppa. 
Thanks again!  

Friday, August 16, 2013

South Haven!

We stopped in South Haven to see Andy, Beth, Johnny and their fun South Haven family on our way home Sunday. Johnny will be turning 1 this weekend so we wanted to see the little man and celebrate!

Here are the boys with John's gift - the balls fly out of the elephants nose and sometimes land in the ears. The rest of the time they fly all over the room and provide great entertainment for John and Zeus (the dog!). 

 We spent a little time on the beach - the boys had a terrific time playing in the sand and both quickly learned that sand is NOT for eating. Johnny has all week at the beach so I am guessing he will be well trained. I am willing to bet James will need to re-educate himself when we go back this fall!

Jimmy James = chick magnet!

 Beth and John snuggling on the beach.

Who loves the beach? - this kid!

The sand is so nice on the east side of the lake - James enjoyed burying himself in it multiple times!
Note John is sleeping behind him --- he can crash just about anywhere!


Isn't he so cute?!?

And two silly shots of the boys - can't wait to be beach bums with this guys again in September!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kalamazoo - Part 2!

While we were in Kalamazoo we celebrated Josiah's 2nd birthday!


He was pretty excited about the whole thing - cake, presents, etc! 


Jojo's Aunt MaryBeth sent him a superhero cape as a gift.  If you visit the Ruble's blog, you have probably seen TJ's cape and Jojo wearing a bandana.  Jojo now has his own and was ready with his superhero pose!

And of course we passed the bandana down to James!
 It was actually Thomas' idea - very cute!

Here is James doing his impression of a superhero cape sweep!

Saturday night we celebrated Jojo's big day with a party on the deck. It turned into a hat party and the boys were quick to outfit everyone with a hat!

Then we enjoyed this amazing cake that Lisa made --- Thomas the train! 

The boys thought it was fantastic to look at and to eat!

By Sunday morning James was spent! He polished off a great breakfast of Blueberry French Toast and then promptly fell asleep in his high chair!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Michigan Weekend!

Last week Mom and Dad had Thomas and Josiah for the week.  Patrick and I were planning to go to Michigan this weekend so we worked out the boy's visit so we could drive them back with us on Friday night. We had plenty of snacks, movies and bribes in the car to make the "normally" 5 hour trip with the 3 boys (4.5 years, almost 2 years and 10 months)--- you know, through Chicago rush hour during construction season!  

Actually everyone did great. Jojo wins the prize for "best kid" on the trip - but the other two were great as well. At one point they were all 3 sleeping but I could not safely snap that photo from my seat! 

Once we were through Chicago and past the majority of construction - we were on the hunt for a McDonalds - sadly there was no play land - but leave it to Patrick to make it fun and use up some energy!
I wish I had snapped a picture of Uncle Patrick's Calisthenics - he was leading the boys in jumping activities (using the tiles on the floor) and other various activities - all while being quiet at the same time! 

Favorite part of the stop - explaining to numerous shocked on-lookers / gawkers that
"No - these were NOT all my children!"  - of course I had tons of snappy/slightly snotty comments...
once we were back in the car!

Sunday we went to the dunes and did some hiking/sand jumping. Patrick had James in the baby carrier. I thought I got the good end of this deal since he is getting pretty heavy - plus this meant I got to jump! However, I took my fair share of carrying Jojo as well - so we all got our exercise!

Heading to the dunes!

Thomas jumping! 

 Note the t-shirt --- apparently still one of his favorites!

 Jojo heading down the dunes --- I am pretty sure Thomas was just below!

When we were done playing we ran down this fluffy path to the lake.  You can see the Rubles down on the beach and then Patrick and James about 1/2 way down. It was really fun to sort of float and bounce down the hill. Kind of like downhill skiing!  

Ruble family at Lake Michigan.

And a seriously worn out Jimmy James! This was on our way home Sunday night --- he was just about to crash and I pulled out my phone --- his face cracks me up!  

Note: these are the pictures from the weekend that were on my phone --- next post --- the camera pics that fill in the rest of the weekend :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Be a Buddy not a Bully campaign

Dean is partnering with WISC-TV on a "Be a Buddy not a Bully" campaign and last Friday we had a photoshoot. I asked Hannah Stelse and her friend Freya to be in the photos and they happily agreed.
In addition to the kids, there was a Monona police officer, two anchors from WISC and a Dean doctor.

 We have orange and grey bracelets that say, " be a buddy not a bully" on them - so these photos are to show the bracelets and the ads/ promotions will say something like,
"we took the pledge to be a buddy not a bully".

 Here is a shot of Hannah - hard to believe I met Jen and the Stelse family when Hannah was the same age as James is now!

James was also at the shoot and wanted to be with the kids so bad!
I did my best to distract him - but he had a mission to get on that white paper!

He did end up getting his picture taken with Officer Ryan. 
Beth thought it would be fun to have "the future" of the anti-bullying campaign - so we put a bunch of bracelets on his arm and he hammed it up for the camera.
Glad to see his first experience with the police was a positive one!

Watch for more about the Buddy Campaign this fall :)