Wednesday, January 28, 2015

John Deere Tractor Museum

Little boys and tractors.....they just go together in our world.  We have two little boys who love all things farm, tractors, combines, and pretty much anything that moves.  They are all boy.

Three weeks ago, we surprised Carson and Weston with a visit to the new John Deere Tractor Museum that just opened in Waterloo.  We picked Carson up from school that Friday, and told him we had a surprise for him.  I wasn't quite sure how long we would be there, or what the museum was like.  I didn't know if it would keep the attention of a 2 and 5 year old, but I figured if there was a single tractor there, they would love it.  So we took the chance, and I am glad we did.  We all had a lot of fun, and it was very interesting.  I wouldn't say the museum is geared towards little kids, but since our boys love all things tractors, it definitely wasn't hard to keep their attention when the display floors were filled with tractors!

Their eyes lit up every time we moved on to the next "station" and they got to be a little hands on with a few things.  It was really neat to do some reading, and watch them listen intently, for the most part :)  They had some really neat things that you could interact with, which was fun to watch them do.  They pretended like they were plowing a field behind a horse, and had to stay in a straight line, and keep the light "green" and not let it pull you to one side or the other.  The simulator really did do a lot of pulling, so they had to work hard to keep the green light on.

There was also a demonstration as to how strong a horse really is, and how much weight it could bare.  It's amazing how they did things "back in the day" and how far technology, and this world truly has come.  It's scary at times, but also amazing.  

They also had fun making different shapes, tractors, and machinery with the magnets.

There was also an "engineering studio" that they could sit down in, and do some drawing on the paper that was provided.  The information talks about how they come up with the next big thing, how long engineers work on the projects, the drawings they start with, etc.  

Next the tractor seat has changed over the course of many years.  They started out a steel seat, and now they offer cushioned, suspension seats that I can only assume feel like a recliner compared to the steel seats.  

The boys really enjoyed this one.  You moved a handle along this line of the different machinery that John Deere offers, and there is a short video clip that plays on the screen about that particular piece of machinery.  It tells about what it was like years ago, and where technology has led it to today.  The boys have a lot of these toys at home in their farm collection, so they got to see them in action---which they always love.  They immediately go home, and know exactly what to do with them after they watch the short video.  It's fun to see the wheels turn in their head, and them understand why and how the different pieces of machinery work. 

We saved the best for last as we made our way through the museum.  They had a few big tractors that you could climb onto/into, and the boys were so giddy and excited about it!  We did a lot of rotating between whose turn it was to sit in the driver's seat, and touch all the appealing gadgets that draw a little boy's busy hand to it.

We all had a lot of fun, and I am so glad we finally decided to go.  We had the entire museum to ourselves, which was just an added bonus with two busy, excited, and loud (at times) little boys.  We have talked about grabbing my Grandparents the next time we go, as I know my Grandpa would really, really enjoy it.  Hopefully we can make that happen sooner than later!  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Where to even begin catching up........

That is the question.  A big one, too.  I have been away from this blog for over a year.  For no particular reason, other than I just didn't make it a priority.  I am not sure if I am ready for that commitment again or not, but I do know this----I really enjoy looking at old blog posts, and all of the pictures that go along with them.  So, here is my attempt to jump back into things.  It may be "more pictures, less talk" kind of posts, especially considering my current status of 30 weeks pregnant, which will then deliver another child....AKA: even more busy, but I want to make more of an effort.

I truly don't know where to begin catching up.  I am not sure if I even can.  Ok, I can't.  It's not possible.  So, I will start from my current status.

30 weeks pregnant with Baby Brouwer #3.  A little LADY!!

I am going to go back through, starting from the very first preggo pic I took of myself at 12 weeks, and go up until today, at 30 weeks.  Since I haven't documented them in blog posts, because I have been MIA, I will put them all here.  It's amazing to me to see the changes!

The boys are SO excited about having a Sister.  Carl and I were just talking about it in bed last night, and how they are so cute right now, and I get so happy when I see their excitement for their Baby Sister to come.  I got teary eyed the other night when Carson muttered the words...."when my Baby Sister comes, I am going to make her a little heart to put in her room."  It may be the pregnancy emotions flooding through me like open gates, but it got me good.

This pregnancy has been good to far.  Just in the recent week or two have I really felt like sleeping has been a huge struggle for me.  Pair that with 4:40am alarm clocks for a workout, and I am ready for bed when the boys go at 8:00pm :)  I have also been having some bad pain with my pelvic bone, which has landed me with chiropractor visits weekly.  They are an extent.  I was working out 4-5 times a week between Crossfit and Kickboxing, but I have toned that down to 2-3 days a week due to my pain, and the intensity it brings me that particular day.  I am still hoping to continue to workout to the very end, but we will see what the final weeks bring.  My ultimate prayer/wish/hope is for the workouts to aid in my recovery this time around.  My previous recoveries were hell hard, and not the I am hoping this time around is better.  Because let's face it....I will have a newborn and 2 littles to run after, so I don't have any time to "be down" after the C-Section :)

This time around, Carson "gets" what is happening.  When Weston was born, he was 2 years old, and I don't think he really understood what was going to be happening.  But this time?  He gets that Mommy is going to have a baby, his Baby Sister, and he is extremely excited.  I think Carson will be a big help, and Wes......well, I think he is going to be my struggle.  Mainly because he is my "baby" and I may, or may not, have been treating him like that for all of his life :)  He gets very jealous when I hold other kids, or turn my attention away from him.  So it will be interesting to see how he responds.  Although, with Carson's help, I think he will do just fine.

Carl and I have also been busy in the nursery, and we have been having SO much fun with it so far!  It is quickly becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house, and I am so thrilled with how it is all coming together.  I think I will save the room for a separate post, and I will wait until I am done with it to share.  Because, well, I only get to decorate one little girl's nursery in my lifetime, so I will save that for a post of it's own.  It deserves it ;)  Here is a sneak peek for right now.

Another BIG milestone that I must document, since I am just going to pick up from right now in our lives is......Weston is pretty much potty trained!!  That means, we will have about a 2 month(ish) break from having to buy diapers!  Although, I am buying them already for baby sister, I don't have to buy 2 sizes.  Can I get a Hallelujah?!  This potty training journey has been very smooth, and I almost don't even want to talk about it, because I don't want to jinx ourselves!  Carl started potty training Wes last Sunday.  He put him in underwear, and was happy to take on the challenge.  I left for a few hours to do the grocery shopping/errand running, and Daddy held down the fort.  He said Wes didn't want to go on the toilet, but Carson was right there cheering for him, saying "Go Wes, Go!"  and he finally went.  Wes giggled, and thought it was funny.  That was the very first time he had ever gone on the toilet, so that was a big step for us!  After that, it was almost like Wes knew what it felt like, and had confidence that he could do it.  I think he was accident free for 2 days, and then headed to daycare.  He had one accident there the first day, and that was pretty much it!  I am so extremely proud of him, and how far he has come---and how quickly.  He now goes on his own, and won't even tell you, which is just amazing in my eyes!  He goes, flushes, puts his clothes back on (usually inside out and backwards) and jumps right back into playing.  We started this process on New Years Day, and it went downhill really fast like, so we postponed it.  It is really easy to postpone such a task, if you ask me :)  But, we have come SO FAR in the last week, and I am one proud Mama!  

I have a feeling I am going to be going back on a few things, and "catching up" on some of the fun things that have been going on in our lives these days.  But for right now, I will leave you with that.  I figured I needed to start somewhere, so this is my new starting point.  30 weeks pregnant, and a potty trained little boy.