Jake's 3rd birthday interview

Long overdue, but I've finally edited Jake's birthday interview that we filmed back in May. We shot this right after breakfast and he was pretty antsy to get done with all of our questions and get to the main event of the day--"pwaying" [playing]--but he humored us and let us fire questions at him. I so wish we'd thought to interview Jake on his first and second birthdays as well, but that's alright! We'll be sure to start the tradition earlier with Reid, and it'll be fun to see how they change and grow each year. Jake is such a goofball already and I hope that's one thing that won't change over the years. He sure keeps life fun.

Jake's 3rd birthday interview from Ashley Skinner on Vimeo.


these boys of mine

First, I have to say that it is SO weird to hear myself say "the boys" or "the kids" in conversation! Its this of all things that has been the weirdest adjustment since Reid came along and I'm still getting used to it.

This morning I caught glimpses of Reid's smile! Technically this is the second time he's smiled but the first time was July 5th--I bookmarked it in my mind for the baby book, but he hasn't smiled since then so I wondered if it was a fluke. Regardless, his little attempts at a smile today made my morning. I feel so impatient waiting for his smiles and more interactions to really get started!

This afternoon Jake was supposed to be napping but he wasn't showing signs of falling asleep so I let him play with his toy gears in his room. I could hear him playing over the monitor for an hour or so and then I noticed it was suddenly quiet. Since the video monitor only shows Jake's bed right now--we have yet to mount it on the wall--I crept down the hall to check on him. I laughed when I saw a bunch of his books out in the hallway and could imagine him sliding each book one by one out under the door.

And sure enough, he was asleep on the floor right next to his bed, with his blanket on him and everything! Learning to cover himself with his blanket has been a source of frustration for him at night--and a delay tactic to get us to come in his room--so it was funny to see that apparently he'd finally figured it out. Then later tonight as we were talking and getting ready for bed I mentioned that he'd taken a really late nap today and he told me he actually took two naps. I corrected him and he said "No, Mommy I took two! One in my room and one in the hallway!" I'm pretty sure he did, now that I think about it. I had woken him up via the monitor around 5pm from his little nap on the floor and I heard him wake up but he didn't come into the living room. So I called him again and asked what he was doing, and he replied "I'm just 'waying' down!" I bet he made it as far as the hallway before falling back asleep for a minute, what a tired kid!

The photo below is from the other day and another 5pm nap. Jake must be growing because he has taken some long and late naps for a few days now! On this particular day, I could not wake him up short of just picking him up out of bed. I opened his curtains and his door and went about my day as usual, making plenty of noise as I went. I changed Reid's diaper on the changing table, talked to Reid, put clothes away, etc. and Jake barely moved. I'm picturing a scene similar to this in about 13 years but without the cute frog pillow and his beloved penguin. ;) Probably the same amount of grumpy once he finally wakes up though!


a weekend getaway to Chattanooga!

Over the weekend of the Fourth, Jake spent a few days with Deric's parents and his cousins in Indiana so Deric, Reid and I also decided to skip town and have some fun! Chattanooga is only about an hour and a half from us and yet in the five years we've lived here, we've never visited the city. We figured this last weekend was the perfect opportunity to explore and we loved it so much that we're already planning another trip with Jake this fall. Chattanooga is incredibly family friendly and there are plenty of attractions that we want to experience with Jake, especially the Children's Discovery Museum and the Aquarium.

Deric and I didn't actually visit any of the attractions in the city this weekend, we mostly ate at a bunch of local restaurants and walked around the city to scout out fun things to do when we come back with Jake. Clumpies Ice Cream came highly recommended online and then by locals so we were sure to try it out on Friday night. We ordered probably the best fish tacos I've ever had at Big River Grille: they were wrapped in both a blue corn tortilla and a taco shell! I may have to try that at home to spiff up our next taco night.

The air conditioning in our van went out on Friday night so unfortunately, Deric spent Saturday morning at the mechanic in hopes that it would be a quick fix and we'd be back playing tourist by noon. At 6:00pm that night, we finally got our van--and its new air compressor--back. Whomp whomp. But of all the trips for car troubles to happen, the one without a toddler was the best timing. We didn't have any set plans for Saturday so while we waited for the van to be fixed, we explored more of the city, tried out a local burger place and spent a few hours reading (and napping, in Deric's case!) at Starbucks. It was nice to sit back and relax without worrying about keeping Jake entertained while we waited.

Instead of snapping pictures all weekend, I thought I'd try out a video to remember the trip. It was fun to put it all together so I think more videos will happen in the future!

Chattanooga from Ashley Skinner on Vimeo.


after school selfies

After I picked Jake up from school on Tuesday, I asked him if I could take a picture of him holding his craft and showing off his little USA bracelet that he got at school. He promptly told me "No" but then changed his mind and asked if he could take the picture with me. Big ole shocker, because this kid is just now humoring our requests for posed photos (for all of half a second, usually) and he typically denies my requests for pictures of us together as well. So when he wanted to take a picture with me, I was definitely up for it! And then he wanted to take the picture himself...and then it was like the toddler version of "If you give a mouse a cookie"...

If you ask to take a toddler's picture, he'll want to see himself in the camera.

If he sees himself in the camera, he'll want to hold the phone.

If he gets to hold the phone, he'll want to push the button himself.

If he pushes the button himself, you're guaranteed a bunch of blurry bursts of photos on your phone that you'll have to delete before you find a few worth saving. ;)


heard around here (in March)

Somehow this blog post didn't see the light of day back in March, and the memories are too cute to forget! I feel like I'm always grabbing my phone to write down the goofy things Jake says but it's so worth it to remember "toddler speak". And I have the worst memory ever; usually I can't remember what it was that he said even a few hours later when Deric gets home. So I fill up my Notes app on my phone and relive his antics hours or even months later!


While reading Eric Carle's "Rooster's Off to See the World", I usually change up the animals to make Jake laugh. Tonight I switched the turtles for kangaroo and Jake kept saying, "No Mom, tow-doles!" Deric and I laughed and asked him to say turtles again. He did and then threw his hands up in frustration and said, "Oh no! I can't even say my own word!" Hilarious.

sous chef!

We ate lunch outside today and while Jake was munching on his celery and peanut butter, he kept saying "This is my best part." At the end of the day I usually ask Jake what the best part of his day was, so this must have been his way of saying he was really enjoying that celery. ;)

Jake fell hard while running down the hallway. I told him that maybe we need to walk in the house and he said through his tears, "I just wanna run!"

A couple of months ago he had recently mastered putting on his tennis shoes by himself. He came in from the mudroom and showed me his shoes (which were on the wrong feet). I told him I was proud of him and he replied, "Something's not right here."

Also a few months ago, Jake heard Deric open the outside door to come in from work. He jumped up and said "Daddy's coming back to me! I better open the door." He takes his job of opening and closing the door from the mudroom to the garage very seriously, always shutting the door behind Deric in the mornings when he leaves and greeting him when he comes home.

^how he reaches the faucet to wash his hands

While tucking him in one night I told him it was time to be quiet and go to sleep. He immediately said, "So, how's Daddy?" I said he was good. "So, how's Mommy?" I said good. "So, how's I am?"

Talking about his army men: "This [gun] is a shooting thing. You shoot things out of it."
Me: "What do you shoot out of it?"
Jake: "Gums. Just like Daddy's gums."

He will ask us randomly, "Mommy/Daddy, are you having a good day today?" Extra cute when its first thing in the morning.

A while back, I let him try some hot chocolate in his very own mug and asked him, "So what do you think of your hot chocolate?" He replied, "I do think it!"

Randomly: "I have grapes in my kitchen...but I also don't."

^that little tongue always makes an appearance

"Mommy, you can make dinner but first let's play for three to five minutes."

"A cake is like a party that you eat." (Maybe we were talking about birthdays? Either way, this should be cross-stitched onto a pillow!)

After hearing "jealous" on his new favorite show, Dinotrux: "That guy is jealous!"
Me: "What's jealous mean?"
Jake: "Jealous is when you put something in your hair in the bathroom."
Me: "Like gel...?"
Jake: "Yes!"

In the middle of breakfast: "Daddy, I'm so proud of you for waking up!"

^blowing raspberries

While making a pile of army men: "Look! I made a heart for you and me!"

I asked him the other day what he wanted to do. He usually responds with simply "play". But that day he said "I'm building a house for us today. That's my project!" Guess we're churning out a mini weekend warrior. He loves to help Deric out in the garage with whatever building project he's in the midst of. This last weekend he came inside and asked me to get his tools for him from the toy closet, then marched back outside to help his daddy. On the way out he said, "Bye Mommy. Have a good day making peanut butter and jelly!"

bringing ALL of his tools to Kroger