Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Great Minnesota Get Together

Every year for a week and a half at the end of August through Labor Day the wonderful state of Minnesota hosts the annual State Fair. It’s known to us locals as the Great Minnesota Get Together and it truly is. People from all over the state and probably even the near surrounding states flock to St. Paul for rides, animals and food on a stick.

Going to the state fair has been an annual tradition in our family since I can remember. We had a brief hiatus while we were living in Chicago but started back up the year we moved back and this year was no different. This year it was just Angel, Rowen and I that went and we had a great time as usual.

I am not normally a large crowd kind of person but something about the fair makes being around and bumping into all of those people ok…just for one day. Here is a photo I took last year at the fair of the sea of people. This is what every street throughout the fair looks like just about every day.

We do our fair share of eating which is always my favorite part but we also take in everything we can stand within a 6-7 hour walk. One of the first spots we usually hit is the CHS Miracle of Birth Center. It is a large barn full of animals that have already given birth or are waiting to give birth. They all give birth in this barn for everyone to see. There are cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks, turkeys, and chickens. This year we had the privilege to watch one of the cows give birth. It was very cool!

Another area we usually go to is machinery hill. This is where they have all the tractors, lawn mowers, boats, RVs etc. Its fun to look at what is out there but mostly we go there because Rowen loves getting on the “tractors”.

We usually take Rowen to the Rainbow Playground "booth". They have a few of the playgrouds on display that the kids can climb around on. Its a big hit with all the kids.
It gets to be a long day with a lot of walking so breaks are needed…

and maybe a nap…

but it’s always a fun filled family day and we have always been blessed with great weather. We are already excited for next year!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I don't mean to brag but...

Angel works for a company called Pearson. They are a company that creates educational materials like testing booklets and text books. They also do research studies.

Angel had received an email a couple of weeks ago about a study they were doing with children three and under and they were looking for kids to participate. It was a study on their language skills. We decided it might be kind of cool for Rowen to participate and just find out where he is at right now so we signed him up.

We set up the session for last night. The gentleman that set it up said it would probably take about 30 minutes. So we went and the examiner, Shawnee, explained that she was going to ask Rowen a bunch of questions using a flip book with a bunch of pictures and some other props. She said some would be very easy for him and others would be too difficult.

She began the exam and he was doing pretty well. Then we got to the 30 minute mark, then the 45 min then one hour. Angel and I were kind of looking at each other thinking when is this going to end. At this point Rowen is also losing interest. Then he had to go potty, so Angel took him to the bathroom and I sayed in the room with the examiner. She explained that he was doing very well and that he was going longer than usual because he kept getting the answers right.

I guess they ask the questions and once the child gets so many questions wrong they stop. Well Rowen would get a few wrong and then he would get some more right so she had to keep going. He did so well that she went through the entire study booklet of questions! All one and a half hours worth. Rowen was definately tired of it by the time we were done. He would say "Are we almost done?" or "Can we go home now?" or "Can we please be done now?"

All in all he did very well and Shawnee was very impressed and Angel and I were very proud!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mom has lost her mind!!!

Today was a very hot, sticky and humid day here in the Twin Cities. The weather mixed with a long week at work made for a tired mama. Angel had a baseball game tonight and since it didn't start until 8pm we decided it would be best for Rowen and I to stay home.

So after Angel left for his game Rowen and I made dinner and while dinner was cooking did some dishes together. After we ate and finished up the dishes he wanted to watch a movie in his room so we went up there, watched the movie and then layed in his bed, as we do every night, and talked about our day.

When we were finished with our evening routine I came down to the living room and settled in to watch a movie. About 10 min into my movie I heard booms coming from the distance and remembered that the Ramsey county fair was having their annual fireworks display. I quickly went up to my bedroom to see if I could see them from the window but of course because of the distance and all of the trees in our such luck.

As I was heading back downstairs I decided to go in and check on Rowen. In true Rowen form he was still awake and asking me what I was doing. I told him I had heard something and was just checking it out. He said "yeah that's just the fireworks." I couldn't believe he knew that's what the noises were and since he did I spontaneously asked him if he wanted to drive down the road and see if we could catch the end of them. He quickly said yes but while doing so looked at me like I had two heads. You have to understand I am the one in our house that tends to stick to the rules and Angel is the one that tends to bend them a bit. One of the rules is that bedtime is bedtime, no getting out of bed.

After he agreed we should go I scooped him up from his bed but Rowen was still in shock because, as we were heading down the stairs he said "but I thought it was bedtime and I have to go to sleep." I told him that it was okay and he could go back to bed as soon as we got home, thinking to myself "yeah right he will be wide awake when we get home".

I grabbed my purse and keys, threw my sandals on and we rushed out to the car. As I'm putting Rowen into his car seat he realizes he does not have shoes on. Another thing I would not normally do but there was no time to waste. I assured him it was okay and that we were just going to stay in the car. I probably should have also assured him I was not losing my mind!

We only had to go about a mile up White Bear Avenue before we started seeing the fireworks above the buildings and trees. We got to a point where we could see them clearly without anything blocking our view so I pulled off the street and parked. It was the perfect spot, no one else was there and we could see the show perfectly. I let Rowen come sit up in the front seat to watch them. So there the two of us were in our pajamas, Rowen barefoot, watching fireworks in the DQ parking lot at 10:10 pm.

I ran out of the house so fast I forgot to grab the camera which, as I looked at his little face as he sat there watching the fireworks, I was a little dissapointed about. But the smile on his face was so priceless that I won't need a camera to remember it.

We only got to watch about 10 minutes of the fireworks but all of the events that transpired leading up to and including them will be memories that I have forever. It was fun to be spontaneous and a little crazy! I think I should do it more often!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July

The Fourth of July is an important holiday for our country. First and foremost its a holiday to celebrate the freedoms that we all have. We have these freedoms because of so many strong and courageous men and women from our past and present. These men and women have made the unselfish choice to join the armed forces to protect us and the freedoms we all enjoy everyday. It is safe to say they, along with their families, have all made sacrifices to do this for every one of us. I am thankful to and have great respect for all of them. I am proud to say that two of those strong and courageous men are my uncles, Bob and Mike along with Mike's wife Debbie and their six kids. My Uncle Mike is over halfway through his one year assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan. We think about and pray for him and his family every day and will all rest much easier once he is home for good at the end of the year.

We started our Fourth of July by going to church and aftarwards headed up to North Branch to spend the day with my dad. It was a nice relaxing day spent eating and visiting. Rowen and Papa played a couple of games of darts and possibly broke a couple of Mike's darts (Sorry Tio!)

We stayed for the North Branch fireworks. We got our camping chairs out and sat in dad's driveway to watch them but then me, being the impatient person that I am, thought they had already started them but we could not see them so I suggested we drive over to the schools and watch from there. Dad knew otherwise but I did not want Rowen to be dissapointed if we were in fact missing them so Angel, Rowen and I got in the car and parked in the elementary school parking lot. As the fireworks were starting Rowen said "Wow, Papa shoulda come!" We had a great view and he loved the fireworks. He actually sat through the whole show! Of course when we got back to dad's he confirmed for us that he could see the whole show just fine from his front sidewalk. Oh well, next year we will stay and watch from Papa's house.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I am now a blogger!

I had never really thought about starting a blog until just tonight actually. The idea came from a discussion I had with Jerry, my aunts boyfriend. I never really thought I would have enough to blog about but then I realized I have a three almost four year old. I have had plenty of stories to tell friends and family in the past and I don't doubt he will supply us with plenty more going forward. Who knows Angel and I might even have a few of our own now and then! So stay tuned for the Rundown on the Ricardo household!