Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bootcamp Challenge

Last week Russ and I went to San Diego. We planned our trip around the Bootcamp Challenge race that he wanted to participate in. It was a 3 mile course with several obstacles and drill instructors along the way. This year marked the 20 year anniversary of the year that he completed boot camp so he thought this would be a fun way to mark the occasion.

We arrived in San Diego on Wednesday and the race was on Saturday morning. We spent our days sight seeing, eating, drinking, and relaxing. It was a great trip!

On Saturday morning we were to be at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) by 6:30. We got up early and took our hotel shuttle over to the base and had no problems getting on and to the spot where we needed to be... which meant we had a lot of time to kill. The actual race kicked off at 9:00 am. There were booths sat up though so we just walked around and saw everything.

Russ had decided to run the race in his boots and utes (utes=utilities=cammies). He had received his packet and race number in the mail only the day before we left for our trip. He happened to receive two race numbers and coincidentally, he received number 666 as one of them. Quite the coincidence for the "Devil Dog" so of course he wore that one.

Shortly before the race began they were going to have a safety brief. This guy took the stage:

And he immediately yelled for everyone to drop on their faces. Thousands of people dropped quickly into the pushup position. Me - well... I high tailed it out of there to the side of the crowd. Russ, he dropped as quick as any of them. They did push up after push up while yelling what they were told too... "Marine Corps", "Motivation", "Dedication."
The sea of people doing pushups:

Russ up:

And Russ down:

When the safety brief was over it was time for the race to begin. The colors were presented, the anthem was sang and then the race was off.
The start:
Russ at the start:

After the race started they had shuttles that the spectators could get on to go over to the obstacle course and watch your participant complete it. I watched Russ start and then hurried over to the shuttle area. I got on the second shuttle and they dropped us at the obstacle area. I immediately knew that I had missed Russ because there were guys walking and a lot of older and overweight guys. I knew there was no way he was in with this group. I snapped a couple of pictures and then hurried back on the next shuttle so I could see him finish.

When I got back to the finish area the clock read 33 minutes so I thought he should be finishing anytime... 3 miles plus obstacles. Nope, I was standing watching and he came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said "How am I doing?" Darn it - he had already finished!! I missed his ENTIRE race (well, besides the grand start)... Total bummer! No good pictures. :(
So, here he was after he finished in 28:53:

We hung around for a while, each had a beer and saw the results posted and then walked around the base a bit. We stopped to take a picture because this was his battalion when he was here:

It was a great race, well organized (with the exception of the shuttles). We had a good time. We went back to the hotel that day and just hung out, relaxed, ate some pizza, and mourned the fact that it was the last day of our trip.
Now we're just planning where we want to go next... :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

11 months old

Guess who is 11 months old? Hopefully you guessed Ross... who else would it be? And guess who no longer wants to sit in the rocking chair and smile for his monthly picture? Yep, I guess it's a good thing that I only planned on doing this until he was one. This guy is active! Here are the best shots I got. I took these on the 21st actually as Russ and I left the three kiddos with Grandma Cella for five days and went to San Diego (more on that later).

See mom, I can stand in the rocking chair:

Oh, and a fuzzy blanket... I MUST suck my thumb even though I just woke up:

Night night:

Always near... my helper Ryan:

Stealing the spotlight. Hi, I'm Ryan... I'm 51 months old and I sit still (sometimes):

I was going to recap but I think I'll save that for next month... in 24 days our little guy is going to be ONE year old and I'll share all of his monthly pictures then.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Reid - Number 7!!

My boys just keep getting bigger and bigger! I'm way past the fact that Reid is not my baby anymore. Reid has always been a mature little boy, always VERY articulate. He was speaking in sentences before he was even TWO! But somehow, I continue to have him froze in my mind at a certain point in time... around 3 or 4 years old I think. Like these pictures:

But my little articulate boy is not so little anymore. He likes to remind me that he's about as tall as my chest now. He's not only articulate but he READS very well, spells very well, and comprehends so much! He is STILL such an awesome kid. He is so understanding, mellow, easy going. He understands when his priorities aren't always number one in our family and he doesn't get upset when things aren't always perfect. He rolls with the punches. However, he is a sensitive guy.... a pleaser. He does not like to be in trouble and usually a stern voice or a stern look is plenty to get him back to trying to mind if he is mis-behaving. He is certainly not perfect, he's a TALKER and can be quite silly. He's gotten in trouble at school for talking when he's not supposed to be.

Here's an updated picture of Reid with a turtle that he found with Russ:

Here are a couple from his birthday party. It was a CRAZY day so we didn't get a lot of great pictures but these are the best:

And here are a couple of pictures of Reid in his Tiger Scout uniform before his first meeting. He is VERY excited to be in Tiger Scouts and loves his shirt and badges. I'm not sure if he truly understands what Scouts is just yet. As we walked into the information night he was telling another little boy that he was pretty sure they were going to shoot some bow & arrows that night. Unfortunately, they didn't... but they did have fun. And then they played kickball at the first meeting after the information night so I do think he is having fun... but he wants to shoot a bow & arrow soon :)

An update on Reid's arm:

We saw ortho last week and his new bone is growing in nicely. You can still see the broken spot in the x-rays but you can also see the new bone growth. He no longer has his immobilizer (and therefore now has TWO arms through his shirt- YEAH!) and is using both arms for every day tasks. He has two more weeks of no contact sports and then he can resume full activity. We will go back to ortho in two weeks for one last check but he won't even have new x-rays done at that time. The first day without his immobilizer he was guarding his arm pretty well and not using it as often as the other but each day he is using it more and more and he doesn't have any pain associated with it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead

We are very blessed to live within a few miles of Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. On Labor Day we went over for a couple of hours. We bought a family pass this year and haven't actually been because the heat was usually too much for Baby Ross. The weather on this day was perfect. Our pass included some free fishing poles, goat food, drinks, and pony rides. Reid was REALLY wanting to go fishing. Typically you can throw a handful of food in the pond and at least 20 fish hit the surface fighting for it. On this day we threw a handful of food in first and it just sat there. Uh oh. Daddy was nice enough to put the worms on the hooks for the boys and let them give it a try but we didn't have a single nibble. Ryan drug his all through the water and all over the ponds edge so the only fish he would ever catch would be the fastest fish alive... but Reid did well, was very patient - but no luck. We really only sat there for MAYBE 10 minutes but fishing and patience really isn't this mom's thing (I know, you all are shocked, right?). We quickly moved on to other activities. We still had a lot of fun and hopefully we'll find another nice weather day to make it back and use some more of our free passes.

Dad baiting Reid's hook:

Ryan fishing:

Reid fishing, not so happy that none are biting:

A rare moment of sitting still:

Ross sitting with mommy while the older boys fished with dad:
When we first went in the goat pen he was going from goat to goat only giving them all a small sip of milk and then yanking the bottle away and going to another. He thought that he had to feed all of them :) We finally convinced him that there were plenty of people to feed the other goats and he could pick one and give that goat his whole bottle.
Ryan feeding his goat:
Walking around feeding goats:

Ross thought the goats were pretty fun too, after her figured out the bottle wasn't for him:
Reid's an old pro at feeding the goats:
Ross with his daddy... if he sees him, he wants him:
Ross grabbing Russ' ear like he does all the time! We were having such a good time. Ross' shirt says "Chicks Dig Me." I love this pic!
All done:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Night Night Blanket

The other night after baths we were just playing on the floor in Ross' room. Ross was playing with his toys and Ryan started playing with him. They were having a really good time.

Ryan was helping Ross string together all of his links and teaching him how to do his shape sorter.

Ross eventually got bored playing (or sick of being bossed) and started to motor through his room pulling up on everything. He was standing up pushing his swing around for a while...

And playing with the toys that go on the tray of the swing.

But then he got tired... He crawled over to his bed, pulled himself up and pulled his "night night blanket" through the rails and started sucking his thumb like he was going to go to sleep.

He's done this the last couple of nights that he's been playing in his room now. Tonight his "night night blanket" was down in the living room when I put him to bed. I tried to lay him in his bed to go and get it and he immediately started crying. I went in his room, handed him his blanket... and in the thumb went and he went to bed. I guess ALL of my boys now have a special blanket for sure!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I thought I'd share a glimpse of life in the McDowell house lately. Brace yourselves!

First, this is Ryan. Yep, he NEVER slows down or walks anywhere. He runs, jumps, talks nonstop.

This is Ryan singing/saying "celebration" over and over and over... like 100 times last night - I'm guessing Beth had a disco at her house yesterday. No clue! It's just background noise with him - I learn to tone it out. And yes, that's my phone ringing in the background... between becoming the Housing Coordinator for the hockey team, Reid breaking his arm, and trying to stay in touch with people - my phone rings NONSTOP... literally. Or at least beeps from text messages. My battery is almost always dead and last month I went over my allotted minutes by the tune of about $60 :( eek.

Second, this is Ryan with Ross. Yep, Ryan is becoming his boss... you know, just like how he hates that Reid does it to him. I see a pattern here.

This is Ross. He's nonstop and not quite walking. But he can pull up and hold onto anything. He can crawl anywhere he wants to go and fast. He still low crawls but I think that's just his crawl... did you see his belly? Who could get up on all fours to actually get that thing off the floor anyway? Oh, and I have a thing for patterns today - notice someone else that's starting to talk nonstop. I hope when we go to San Diego in a few weeks that Russ doesn't feel like talking... I'm looking forward to QUIET!

Oh, and did I mention these pics of Ross in his pj's were taken around 5am? Yep, he decided at 4am that he was up for the day. To recap my night... I went to bed around 11pm. Reid was up from 12 - 2 in our bed. I dozed off and on but finally sent him back to his bed at 2am. Ross got up at 4am. Um.. yeah, I'm tired. I hope I can muster up the energy to get to the gym tonight!

I got Ross dressed and ready for daycare by about 6:15am... Ryan woke up shortly after and we were sitting in Beth's driveway before 7am waiting for her to open :)