Reid at 20 months

Absolutely loves wearing boots-- his rainboots have the #1 spot, but his snow boots, Jake's rain boots and even my furry boots are all contenders. He'll bang on the door to the mudroom until I let him get in there and find some shoes to clomp around in, and he doesn't take them off on his own. I usually sneak the boots off of him at meals or on our way upstairs for naps but otherwise he could clomp around the house for days.

Likes to wear (pieces of) the costumes. Just the cape or just the helmet is good enough for him. I can tell he likes wearing the cape and running really fast. His run is so cute because he's just getting it down and still kind of bobs up and down instead of going any quicker! He's just learning to jump and actually get off the ground too so he's learning to use the trampoline from Christmas as more than a spot to lay down and play cars. 

Stripped down after spaghetti for dinner but rockin' the knight costume!

Stuck on his paci (which he sometimes refers to as "papi") and his blanket. If I'm not careful he'll keep it in all day so I try to pop it out and keep it just for naps and bedtime, but you know that doesn't always happen. Church nursery: here's your paci! Grocery store: definitely getting your paci! Car rides: why don't I give you your paci?? ;)

At church today, after he put his hat on by himself. I couldn't fix it. It was too cute.

Speaking of his blanket, he is just the cutest. He finds the corners right away and rubs it on his palm, his cheek, his belly...he'll even rub it between his toes. Heaven for Reid would be his paci, his blanket and his favorite pair of boots!

Loves reading the Bible. He can say the word "Bible" pretty clearly and will look for it among his other books.

Wants to do exactly what Jake is doing at any given time. When Jake claps his hand, Reid claps his hands. When I gave Jake a band-aid the other day for a cut on his finger, Reid watched me put it on Jake's finger and then immediately stuck out his finger for a band-aid too. So of course I had to give him one, which he took off a few minutes later. Speaking of Jake, they play together all the time. They get frustrated with each other for sure, but they still don't go play different things. Its usually the Hot Wheels on one track or another but its interesting to me how closely they play even when they're not getting along. I hope they're always close, even despite arguments.

Jake was helping peel the carrots. Reid was helping eat them!

I have pretty good sous chefs! Transitioning them to head chef as soon as possible.

Apparently I wasn't making dinner fast enough tonight! He found his bib and a measuring cup and wanted to be held while I cooked. Maybe he was supervising for quality control? He constantly wants other people's food or any kind of condiment someone uses. If Deric puts salt on something, guess who needs some salt?! He does love condiments though, especially hummus!

Learning the in's and out's of Play doh. I had just taught him to hide the play doh under the cup and reveal it, which he thought was the best!

He is a kid of few words at this point but I know that any day now the floodgate will open and he'll seem like a totally different boy! I refer to him a lot as a "baby" still and I know he's not, but since he doesn't talk I think of him as younger than he is. And I do admittedly hold on to my "baby" when his big brother is growing like I can't even believe! I love these two guys so much.


when family comes to town!

We were so lucky this year to have all of my immediate family come to our house for a post-Christmas get-together! Having everyone here for the week after New Year's made the holiday feeling last even longer than usual and I loved it! It was the perfect week for extra company because the entire week, the temperature was in the negatives. Thankfully we had gorgeous snow outside to look at every day...and all the outside toys down in the basement so kids could run and run and run. Some days I barely even saw Jake because he was playing in the basement with his cousins all day! I loved that they had a place all to themselves and could do whatever they wanted. It also meant that the adults had some calm in the living room for reading, chatting...and eating. ;) We always eat well when we're together.

Slow mornings spent coloring, reading, crafting...that's my idea of a great time!

Occasionally the kids came upstairs for food/crafts/more food, but the majority of the time it looked like this down in the basement...so much going on!

Grandma is learning to play guitar and she captured Jake and Cana's attention for quite some time!

Always lots of wrestling when there are this many boys around!

We had no set plans for the week, deciding to roll with it and see what everyone felt like doing on a particular day. I think everyone needed some down time and relaxation! The only activity determined ahead of time was making gingerbread houses! Its a tradition we started in high school and of course the kids love it, so we couldn't miss it!

We are certainly a family of readers!

....and eaters. ;) Meal prepping was a group activity every night, which I loved!

Mom had requests for her Port Hope muffins so she enlisted some sous chefs to get the job done!

We took over IKEA one morning and it was quite the circus, but so fun!

Our only other venture out of the house (besides sending someone to the grocery store on a daily basis!) was to a coffee and pastry shop in Indianapolis where thankfully Sarah had the thought to get a photo of the three of us, something we hadn't done in a while!

Every so often someone would venture outside but with those negative temperatures, the excursions only lasted a few minutes!

Game nights! Its fun to have a crowd together for games and we introduced the fam to a new game, Sheriff of Nottingham. Highly recommend it!

Probably the most exciting event was when Eli suddenly decided to learn how to walk! He started with just one or two wobbly steps and within ten minutes was trekking across the living room from person to person! 

The whole gang! I feel so fortunate we all had the opportunity to be together for an entire week!


Advent activities throughout December

For Advent this year we decided to read through the Storybook Bible plan and a simple activity for each day. Each night I would write the story and activity for the next day and slip it into our Advent calendar for Jake to find. Most of the activities were really simple and even still, it was hard to come up with ideas some days! I'll definitely use this post as a reminder for next year of some fun activities to repeat. Other activities including bringing cookies to our neighbors, driving to see Christmas lights, a glow stick bath...simple! It was good to have dedicated quality time each day with the boys (or just Jake sometimes, depending on the activity). Next year Reid will get to be involved even more!

Watching Arthur's Christmas on the pull-out sofa bed!

Gingerbread cookies!

Reid was allowed to stir the flour for a hot second...;)
Making magnets for his grandparents out of model magic! 

Homemade hot chocolate with candy cane stir sticks

Celebrating Jake's 100th reading lesson with frozen yogurt!

Helping wrap gifts for Dad!

Using Christmas cookie cutters with our play-doh (and learning how to make play-doh ornaments for his tree)!