a trip to the zoo for Reid's birthday

The boys and I visited the Zoo for the first time on Reid's birthday! We went with two friends who are seasoned zoo-goers so they knew where to go and what was worth seeing on an especially crowded day. I was really impressed with the Zoo and the amount of animal interaction! The boys had a great time and were troopers throughout the heat. We're excited to visit again and see more animals and exhibits!

Almost the entire crew, just missing two! 

Face to face with the tiger (that is not a mirage!) and not even startled by it!

Barely holding both boys so they could see the elephants swimming! This lasted about ten seconds before my back about gave out. ;) I love these guys and watching them experience new things!


the boys' birthday party (& a gender reveal)!

We celebrated the boys' birthdays with a joint party in the backyard, just like last year! (Only a different backyard, since we weren't in our house quite yet!) We were so thankful for yet another year of a clear forecast which allowed us to have the party out back and let kids roam free and play in the water. We like to keep their birthday parties simple and more like a barbecue than a party: good food and friends, games for kids and adults, and cake at the end of course!

We set out corn hole for the adults, a sprinkler, soccer balls and goals, a water table and the kids were happy as can be!

^^Possibly my favorite picture of Reid!

Cake time! I made Jake's cake, a number 5 with a dinosaur theme (reminiscent of his 3rd birthday!), but I outsourced Reid's cake to our neighbor. Reid absolutely loves our neighbor and she just so happens to be pretty darn good at decorating cakes, so she took on the challenge of making a puppy cake for our little guy who loves seeing puppies (not getting close mind you, just looking at them!) He was so thrilled with the cake, even if his face doesn't reflect it in the picture. ;)

After enjoying cake, we did a gender reveal for baby #3! When I was pregnant with the boys, Deric and I always found out the gender during the ultrasound, which was still exciting. But we decided to do something a little more exciting this time and I asked a friend to help us with a reveal. We'd just been at the doctor for the ultrasound a few days before the party, so we didn't have to wait much longer to find out! It was definitely hard at the ultrasound not to peek though!

^^I promise Reid's not upset! ;) I was so shocked and I think Deric was too! Even though we'd had an inkling all along that it was a girl, I was still so surprised. And it was so worth it to wait a few days for a fun reveal with friends!

^^White balancing my camera totally worked against me somehow, sadly!

And then after the excitement, it was back to the water for the kids! A friend lent us their slip-and-slide and the kids had a great time on it, once they got the hang of *sliding* rather than falling. Such a fun party for the boys and I'm glad they were able to have all their best buddies--and cousins-- with them!


a trip to Charleston

The boys and I flew to Charleston at the end of April to visit the Netherys, and we had such a great time! That sunshine and warm air did wonders for all three of us, especially since Indiana was still fending off winter. And seeing their cousins is always a blast! Well-- except for Reid and Eli this time. They had some trouble sharing with each other but they'll grow out of this stage and hopefully be good buddies! Jake and Joel can't get enough of each other and played from morning until night.

The first day we were there, it rained hard all day so we had a relaxing day inside, playing with new-to-us toys and watching the rain fall.

All that rain made for an even better trip to the park on the following day-- there were so many puddles, the boys were soaked by the end of the morning. They had so much fun playing that Sarah ended up grabbing lunch at a grocery store nearby and bringing it back to us at the park so we could play even longer. I was jealous of the boys-- swinging on the swings with water underneath looked so fun!

This is what we ended up with eventually-- all four nearly naked and having the time of their life!

We ventured to Isle of Palms to enjoy the beach the following day, but the wind was pretty chilly so we spent most time with towels around us, digging in the sand. Of course the boys didn't mind one bit that it was on the chillier side, but Sarah and I were freezing! We grabbed smoothies on the way home and spent a good bit of time sitting outside the store, watching the boys run around and come back for sips of smoothies occasionally.

Our last day was my absolute favorite day. Every day had been fun so far but downtown Charleston is one of my favorite cities and we didn't plan to go until that morning, but we're so glad it worked out! At first we thought it might not be a great idea because window shopping isn't high on kids' list of fun ideas, so we decided to run around the Battery and get lunch at a restaurant built on a pier.

After lunch, we took the kids on the water taxi that stopped right next to the restaurant and we rode all around the harbor to see different sights! I had just read about it that morning and it was a really good experience for the boys. The taxi takes four stops, two on each side of the harbor, and the full circle took about an hour so it was a perfect amount of time for us to ride and watch the other boats. We even saw two dolphins in front of the boat! Very briefly, but still exciting. Reid talked about it for quite a few days after our trip. 

It was a fast few days with the Netherys but we were so glad to make it happen! That warm air and time with cousins was so good for all of us and we were sad to leave so soon. Thankfully we'll see each other in just over a month at Port Hope!


catching back up!

So much has happened since February, when I last posted! Most importantly, the reason for my hiatus from blogging...

We're going to have a baby! Baby #3 is due October 8 and everybody's pretty excited! This baby wreaked havoc on me until 17 weeks--or the end of April-- which is why nothing has been documented lately. Thankfully that cloud has lifted and I'm trying not to wish away the summer in anticipation of meeting this little one! It will be so fun to see Reid become a big brother and Jake continue to be a great big brother.

So let's catch up on these last few months. Jake had a lot of fun events at preschool, like cowboy day and a teddy bear parade. We had a great time helping him make a "float" and he did so much of it on his own! He always has so many ideas and plans for projects, crafts, or even just car tracks that it was fun to see him make this fire truck come to life. (And then at school, the kids stick their favorite teddy bear--or in Jake's case, his stuffed dog-- into the float and they put on a parade for all the parents!)

^^Making the ladder to put on the side of the firetruck!

Deric and I took Reid on a donut date one morning while Jake was at school. We had hoped to switch Deric's day off to Friday and enjoy one-on-one time with Reid in the mornings while Jake was at school, but we only did that once or twice and then I was so nauseous that I needed Deric home on Thursdays to help me with both boys all day.

The boys and I celebrated my birthday with a trip to the Children's Museum with good friends, and later that evening Deric and I tried out Top Golf with more good friends! It was so fun, even for someone who definitely doesn't love golf. The food was delicious and the friends are always fun!

During "Spring" Break, Deric took students on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic and left us to deal with the EIGHT inches of snow that fell in one day! It was unreal and I hated every minute of snow at the end of March, but we trekked outside with our favorite neighbor/babysitter and made the best of it. Thankfully Grandma came to stay with us for the week since I still wasn't free from the nausea at this point. She was a lifesaver, and the boys were so entertained by Ryker!

Grandma and Jake (and Ryker) spent the afternoon after the blizzard making the best snowman!

It was a little strange to dye Easter eggs the same week as all that snow, but we did! We used fake eggs this year which was a big plus-- the boys could manhandle them all they wanted and they wouldn't break. After dying the eggs, Grandma helped the boys decorate them with stickers.

That's a lot of pictures right there, so next up I'll cover Easter through the present! We've been pretty busy just these last few weeks!