five years together

Yesterday we celebrated five years of marriage! Five years that have gone way too quickly, probably because they've been so enjoyable. Most of the time its hard for me to remember what life was like before Jake, when it was just the two of us and we could go on dates any night of the week. Those three years were so fun, yet I love Deric more now as I watch him grow into his role as a father.

The night before our anniversary we talked for a while (well, I think I spewed thoughts everywhere and let Deric get a word in occasionally) about bigger things than the typical day to day "how's work? how's Jake? what are we eating tonight?" conversations, and it was so good to walk away from that conversation knowing we're right on the same page even though we'd initially had those thoughts separately. I'm very thankful that we have the same hopes/dreams/goals, even if they're not hammered out quite yet, and that we have each other's support. It makes me excited to see what the next five years hold!

Last night, we swapped babysitting with friends whose anniversary was last weekend so they came over to play with Jake. We ate dinner with them and then left to watch Jurassic World, but the theater was so full that the only seats available were down front. Usually we'd just wait for the later showing but we didn't want our friends to stay even later than planned since they have kids of their own, so we came home after about an hour of trying to think of something else we could do. We ended up spending the rest of the evening with Jake on the playground, enjoying an unseasonably cool night, and later ate our movie candy while we watched Netflix. It wasn't too much of a bummer though because Jake is spending a long weekend at Deric's parents for the 4th of July so we've been looking forward to celebrating our anniversary for an entire weekend!


Father's Day 2015

This year's Father's Day was fun for both of us, even though I tried to make it all about Deric. But when he chooses to eat out for both meals its a win-win because I don't have to cook! I'm very proud of his excellent decision-making skills. I did make him a big breakfast before church and gave him his gifts, which he loved. While Sarah was here she wanted to do a Father's Day photoshoot for Drew, so I stole her idea and gave Deric a picture too. ;)

 ^is he not the cutest??

He also got a new baseball hat (which he gets every few years, so its not really a surprise) but this year was even better because I found Jake a matching hat. That morning I asked Deric to water the garden and set out his gifts and breakfast while he was in the backyard. When he came back inside, he saw the picture and hat but it took him a minute before he looked up and saw Jake in his highchair, wearing his onesie and his baseball hat and looking hilariously cute. 

After church, Deric and Jake helped me harvest veggies from the garden, which is one of Jake's favorite things to do now, and then I *tried* to get a few non-blurry pictures of the two of them in their hats.

^face deep in green beans!

That afternoon, Deric and I worked in our sauna of a garage building a toddler bed for Jake. That's a great dad right there--spending his Father's Day working on a project for his son. But he enjoys building so even though I kept telling him he didn't have to build the bed that day, he finished it after dinner and we both love how it turned out. We rounded out the day by watching the last Hobbit movie with friends and going to bed entirely too late. 

I could tell even early on in our relationship that Deric was going to be a great father, and he's blown away my expectations. Jake loves him so much that he has to give his daddy hugs twice before he leaves for work and even then, is still so upset. No one makes Jake belly laugh like Deric can (which makes me so jealous!) and even on days when Deric is exhausted, he still chases and wrestles with Jake as much as he wants. He talks often about experiences he wants Jake to have as he grows up and ways he can help him become a man of God. When I find myself worrying about Jake's teenage years and who he'll become, I remind myself that Jake first has God to steer him through tough times but he's also got an excellent example in Deric, so I have a lot of faith that Jake will turn out to be a good man. These two guys make my life so much better!


Jake @ 25 months

So far, two years old is possibly my favorite stage because despite the clash of wills, I love to see his personality developing in everything he does. He's old enough to be involved in almost everything we're doing and appreciate doing fun things. Lately one of his favorite pastimes is drawing on his magnetic drawing board and proudly announcing what he drew with "wook Mommy, wook!" His repertoire consists mainly of circles, the letter J, castles or train tracks. Anytime he plays with playdoh or builds something he'll announce that he's made a castle. The other day at lunch he pressed two slices of cheese together and proudly declared even that a castle.

And I definitely love to listen to him talk because his pronunciations are so funny. Every day Jake says something new that cracks me up. Like when he told my mom over FaceTime (and later our neighbors) that "Daddy play basetball [basketball] alllllll day." I laughed so hard when he started using the phrase "alllll day" that now he totally hams it up every time, squinting his eyes and tilting his head off to the side. He draws out his syllables like a true Southerner when he knows he's being funny.

^straight hammin' at lunch

 His responses to me lately are always either "No Mommy no!" or "Aaaaayyyy-k", with quick little "nope!"s thrown in there to mix it up.

While Sarah was here, she taught him the word "caboose" while we watched the train at the park but he pronounces it "camoose". Tomatoes in the garden are "tomaynos" and vegetables are "bestables".

^ever so helpful while Dad fixes the dryer

We've recently begun helping him pray before bed (which he refers to as "talk to Dod") and soon after that we were drawing with chalk on the driveway and he asked me to draw God....right buddy, I'll just whip that one up for ya.

^he's always enjoyed putting silverware away but now that he's got a stool to see over the edge, 
he was occupied for at least five minutes rearranging everything

One morning as I was driving him to his weekly playdate at his friend's house, I told him I was going to miss him. He promptly replied, "No Mommy, I go to Bryn's house."

^free smoothie day!

While he ate a granola bar in the kitchen, a chunk dropped on the floor so I told him to put it in the trash. He said "Nope, I eat it!" and plunked it into his mouth. No big deal at home, but he's gotten into this habit out in public too...yikes.

^cooking/baking lessons are starting!
Jake seems to be slowly coming out of his introvert shell lately, chatting up friends of ours that he used to ignore. Its like he's just bursting at the seams when he talks to anyone but us because suddenly he's stuttering like crazy as he tries to get all those thoughts out as fast as he can. And our friends smile away as they attempt to understand him, but no one usually catches anything but "train" or "Daddy" over and over again.

^he loves to see himself in the mirror after baths, usually yelling "baby 'rito [burrito]!"


a week with Sarah & Joel

Sarah and Joel came to spend the week with us while Deric was at camp last week and we had such a great time. I so wish both sides of our families lived closer (like, in town) so Jake could grow up with his cousins and we could all trade free babysitting. ;) But until then, we'll keep making those long drives to spend time together. Jake loved Joel and talked about him constantly, both to us and to strangers/cashiers/anyone in the vicinity. I'm pretty sure he had some paci-envy as he constantly found Joel's pacis and put them back in his mouth. (We're also pretty sure Joel's working on some teeth so there were plenty of teethers to track down/share as well. Poor kid!)

While Sarah and Joel were here, we took them to our favorite park so "baby Joel see the train comin'" as Jake told everyone we talked to the entire week. He was just so excited to show Joel his favorite thing in the entire world.

We let the boys fingerpaint in the backyard and splash around in the baby pool, which was a big hit for both of them. We went swimming at a friend's pool one morning and visited the splashpad another morning. Sarah and I stayed up late most nights so we took full advantage of the boys' coinciding afternoon naps and napped ourselves, but eventually we had the energy to sew some projects towards the end of the week.

It was such a fun week that before we knew it, it was Friday night and we were treating ourselves to dinner + frozen yogurt to cap off the week. Now the house is too quiet and Jake and I miss our full-time playmates, but we're glad we got to see them for seven straight days!


running through the "rain"

We spent Friday morning cleaning out our garage, which is possibly the worst chore ever. But long overdue, so we manned up and got it done. Jake was a trooper and stayed fairly busy on his own while we schlepped and cleaned, and as we finished up he made the best of a boring situation and had the time of his life running back and forth through the "rain" (aka Deric spraying the hose). It took him a few minutes to warm up to the water but eventually he would just stand there while Deric sprayed him from head to toe, water dripping off his little nose while he just smiled away. He looks like such a big kid in these pictures, I can't believe it. And he's lucky to have a fun dad who ran around in the water with him!

Running through the Hose from Ashley Skinner on Vimeo.


life lately

One of Jake's favorite places to play is on our bed, but only once its been made (go figure). He loves to bury into the pillows and then call out for us to come find him. It kills me to see blonde tufts of hair sticking out on one end and little pointed toes on the other end. Other times we find books or trains in between pillows.

These guys! Dad always gets the smiles.

First time using paint (outside, stripped down to his diaper, because I keep envisioning paint being trekked through the house and *shudder*). Jake really got into it and painted three or four coloring pages, so next time I'll probably get out some newspaper and let him go to town on a bigger "canvas".  Followed promptly by a dunk in the pool, of course.

When we hit up the library, I know I've got about three minutes to find some decent books before Jake's "wooking" at all the DVDs and bringing them crashing to the ground. That, or last time we were there, he climbed on top of the (kids) table to get to the *one* toy they have. Not really a big deal but he doesn't usually climb on things so that move surprised me, logical as it was.

Jake tried corn on the cob for the first time and loved it so much that I had to monitor him pretty closely to make sure he was actually eating corn and not the cob. I'm pretty sure he ate more than I did.

Visiting the horses that live kind of across the street from us.  We pass their pasture every time we leave the house and Jake is always looking for them. Of course, when I'm driving without him the horses are always right up close to the road but when Jake's with me, they're in the back lot where he can't see them. Cue frustrated toddler. So last Thursday when Deric was working late and I was out of ideas, we walked over to talk to the horses. Jake was fascinated and made sure to tell Deric how the horses were eating the grass. They must be pretty friendly because as soon as we walked over, the horses came right up to the fence. Maybe if we get to know their owners we can one day feed them something, but for now we kept our distance and watched them eat that grass.

Moving up to toddler (ie. sugar based, apparently) toothpaste has made toothbrushing a big deal around here. Jake's always trying to brush our teeth and that stuff tastes disgusting, let me tell you. We won't be buying sparkly blue toothpaste again because I swear its just sugar if he's that happy about it!

Brushing Teeth from Ashley Skinner on Vimeo.