5.19.2017

Mother's Day!

My first Mother's Day as a mother of two! This time last year I was nine days away from meeting Reid and honestly, I don't even remember what we did to celebrate last year. I probably just took a nap and didn't cook dinner. ;) This Mother's Day was equally as low-key and that's exactly what I wanted. Deric always wants to get me a gift and every time I tell him to save (our) money, that all I want is to relax and not do any of the typical chores for the day. And that's what I did! We grilled out for lunch with Deric's parents and his aunt and uncle and it was a beautiful day, the first day that really felt like summer! That alone made me so happy.

Watching the boys play with Deric-- Jake running around after him and Reid either in his arms or asking to be picked up--made me so grateful for my family. Even though some days lately have felt incredibly long as I spend my time trying to keep Reid from falling into or off of *everything* while fielding so many questions from a curious four year old, I still love this phase of life and the chaos that is a natural part of it. And Deric is absolutely the best husband and father for us, so gracious to me when I need his help and so engaged with the boys.


Reid would *not* keep his hands of Jake and thankfully Jake thought it was hilarious, as we all did. You can see Deric pinning his hand down in the photo below. These three guys are the best people to spend my days with!






5.15.2017

Jake's fourth birthday!



Jake turned FOUR on Saturday! I can't believe it. He's turning into this little man right in front of my eyes. At four, Jake is...

Affectionate. He's taken to chasing after Deric as Deric is walking out of the house to go to work, and kissing his leg (the highest he can reach!) a few times before he leaves. All this after Deric's hugged and kissed all of us a few times. Its so sweet to see. At breakfast on one of these mornings he asked me, "Mom, did you give Dad a kiss and hug when he left for worK? I did. I don't even know how many cause I didn't count."

CURIOUS. Oh my word, the amount of times I hear "But why?" in a day is too many, honestly. ;) I'm pretty sure that most of the time, Jake doesn't even realize that he's asking me "Why?". But other times I can almost see the gears working in his brain to piece information together. At dinner tonight he asked me why a basketball hoop has two holes in it and we talked it through until he figured out why you need two holes to shoot a ball through it. As tiring as it is for me to answer his questions though, I do hope he keeps a curiosity for life and learning.

Always building. Magna Tiles and K'Nex are at the top of his list but he is definitely drawn to any type of toy he can put together, versus activities like coloring. He seems to have a mathematical bent already so we'll see if that continues as he grows. If it does, soon he'll be teaching me things because math is definitely not a strong suit of mine!

So funny. The things kids say! I asked him yesterday morning if he remembered his dreams and he said, "I basically do not know." Everything is so matter of fact right now! The other day when he and Deric were playing, Jake was crawling on Deric's back and yelling in Deric's ear. Deric said, "Bud, you're yelling in my ear!" And without missing a beat Jake yelled just as loudly, "That's what they're for!"

Keeping track of which foods are healthy and which aren't. He asks me fairly often if a particular food we're eating has sugar in it. If it does, he'll assure me that "Its ok, Mom. We can have sugar sometimes." Last week on Deric's day off, I took Jake to Panera to get a bagel while Deric and Reid were asleep. We ended up getting a cinnamon roll as big as Jake's head and he polished off the majority of it in no time. As we were getting in the car afterwards, he told me that he wanted to have a cinnamon roll for dinner and naturally I told him that we couldn't because its not healthy. He said, "I know what will make them more healthy! We can have a cinnamon roll and then broccoli, cinnamon roll than broccoli!"

A few photos from his birthday...

^^his token face every time we take a pic! 

We hung streamers and got balloons to surprise him in the morning! Breakfast was eggs, bacon and blueberries muffins as requested. He opened his gift from Aunt Foo and immediately got to work building on his new Magna Tile cars. After breakfast we watched a few Looney Tune cartoons (his current favorite, and Deric's too) before heading out to play. The weather was seriously perfect all day Saturday: warm enough to enjoy it but not even a hint of humidity!

^Laughing out loud, probably at some poor cartoon getting hammered over the head ;)

Y'all, these guys are such peas in a pod. I can't get enough of watching them play and interact. Reid is all about Deric these days (he cried so hard when Deric left for work today!). And Deric is such a great dad, always playing and engaged with them. Its no wonder we all adore him.



After lunch, we went to the Aquatic Center in town to play in the pool and both boys were in heaven. Reid was dying to dive headfirst into the water and Jake played hard on the playground. We introduced Jake to the "wazy" river as well. ;)






After swimming, Deric and Jake went to the grandparents' to help lay mulch. Ric and Sherry bought him work gloves and a wheelbarrow and Jake took his job very seriously. He made multiple trips back and forth with mulch, loading the mulch ever so precisely in his wheelbarrow. But first we had to take Reid for a ride!


The day before Jake's birthday I told him how my dad used to say things like "This is the last time you'll eat dinner while you're (x) old...This is the last time you'll go to bed while you're (x) old..." And Jake thought it was so funny. So not only did we do all the "Last times" the day before his birthday, we also thought up plenty of "This is the first time..." all day long on his birthday. (And even a few days after.) Each time he just grins like he doesn't know what to think about it. I think the concept of age and birthdays is still processing in that little brain. ;)


We are so proud of Jake and love him to pieces! And now I have to gear up my emotions for a little brother's first birthday a week from now....(and get started on birthday party prep for later this month!)

5.09.2017

these two

Jake's taken to climbing into Reid's crib when he sees Reid wake up from his naps. Reid loves to see Jake come barreling into the room and up into the crib and I'll admit that I love having a few more minutes to accomplish things while watching them play together!







5.05.2017

Beats: 11 months

Man, this baby...that's almost not a baby anymore! I can't resist kissing his cheeks hundreds of times a day, every time I pick him up--usually just in the nick of time before he knocks something over, falls off something or tries to eat something off the floor. He is SO busy. He crawls to me multiple times each day wanting to be picked up only to try to squirm out of my arms almost instantly. He's become a Daddy's boy just in the last few weeks. He beelines for Deric when he comes in the door after work and often points to and reaches for him when I'm holding him. It makes me a little jealous but is also so sweet to watch. I just know Reid watches Deric and Jake play together and wants to badly to play with them. And soon enough, he'll be right in the thick of all the wrestling, pillow forts, and races.


Reid is tough to entertain for more than a few minutes but a tractor and fire truck are his favorite toys to play with inside. He'll scoot them around the living room, crawling along next to them. He's tried a few times to stand up independently and almost made it once. He pulls himself up on everything-- including anything with wheels--and wants to walk while holding our hands. He's learned to pull himself up on the rail of his crib and will walk around the perimeter before and after he sleeps.


He continues to adore his blanket and can fall asleep so quickly if I hold him belly down against me and give him his blanket. He prefers his blanket be draped across his back but with enough to hold in both of his hands against his face. I love how consistent he is with this little habit of his.


Reid loves to "fly"--as we call it-- at mealtimes. He'll wave his arms up and down while smiling and trying to catch Deric and Jake's attention so that they'll fly with him. As soon as they do, he makes that little grimace-smile face and screech with happiness.

I took the splashing photos last week when it was a gorgeous 70 degree day and we had just filled up our sand table for the first time this season. We got blue and green sand since that was all the store had, and it is pretty cool. Now the colors are mixed and its a pretty teal color. We added water to the sand that afternoon and Reid went to town. He was entirely soaked and didn't care a bit.




(Today we went to the Children's Museum and I put him in one of their smocks and let him play in a similar water feature, only to stop him about 30 seconds in because he'd already soaked his clothes through the smock...and today was decidedly not 70 degrees out.)


I'm so curious to see Reid's personality develop! I have a good feeling he'll be a tricky little one, but he is such a loving and happy baby I'm sure it'll all even out. We're so thankful to have him in our family.

4.30.2017

Easter in Ann Arbor!

I was so excited to spend Easter weekend with my parents and grandparents in Ann Arbor this year, especially since we couldn't make it for Grandad's birthday celebration back in February. I think this was the first Easter I've spent with my family since college, since its not usually a travel-to-family type holiday. We drove up Friday morning and returned Sunday afternoon so it was a quick visit, but the drive wasn't as long as the six hour trips we're used to taking so it was no big deal!

First stop after a few hours in the car, the playground!


 Family portrait thanks to Mom ;)

I love my grandparents' neighborhood. It is so charming and reminiscent of (what I imagine) life was like back in those "simpler times." Jake rode this bike up and down the sidewalk probably fifty times and Grandad couldn't resist the chance to surprise him.





Jake introduced Grandad to the magic of Magna Tiles! I think they created some sort of sea monster...I'm continually blown away by the things Jake builds. He creates all sorts of shapes I wouldn't think of. I feel like playing with Magna Tiles will pay off when he takes Geometry one day. How could it not??


On Saturday morning (my) Grandad took us to the coolest botanical garden that was a rainforest in the front half and a desert in the back. That warm, humid air felt fantastic after so much winter weather! Seeing pineapple plants and mangos (plus about a hundred more I didn't recognize) was a lot of fun for Jake. 


A succulent kaleidoscope! It was fascinating. I'm so glad Mom got a picture of what it looked like inside the kaleidoscope--I could frame it. I'm not sure if Jake was able to see it or not since kids can't wink very well, but he had fun trying!




The fish in this pond were NOT afraid of us. They would actually surface to try to bite our fingers so I'm thinking they're used to being fed?? They were probably the biggest goldfish (koi?) that I've ever seen. We watched them swim for quite a while and couldn't get over how close they'd come!


From rainforest to desert! I've never seen so many varieties of cactus before. Jake was pretty enthralled as well and thankfully wasn't tempted to touch any of them.


On Easter morning we visited the Methodist church downtown where Mom and Dad were married. It is a gorgeous church and it was special to be there knowing this was where our family started. We kept both boys with us during service and while it took four adults to keep them occupied and quiet, they did pretty well! 

Obligatory family photo after church. Thankfully I had some good lookin' models while I set up the camera settings. ;)



And miracle of all miracles, we got a family photo where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera! 



I'm so glad we could spend Easter with our family! A great family, beautiful weather and celebrating the hope we have because of Jesus' resurrection made it a weekend that will always be remembered.