can't hardly wait

Jake and I have been in Port Hope for the last few days while Deric is in Michigan at a CIY conference. We've been helping Mom get the house (and garden!) ready before everyone else gets here, most of them in just a few hours!

I'd been prepping Jake for Port Hope over the last few weeks and pointing out the highlights: riding the tractor, getting ice cream cones across the street, and playing with all of his cousins and aunts and uncles (and great aunts/uncles/grandparents too!). It's hard to believe that last year in Port Hope, Jake was taking some of his first steps to Grandad for licks of his ice cream cone, and this year he is running circles (literally, check my Instagram!) and talking to everyone about everything. I have a ridiculous number of photos from last year but Jake is much less thrilled to have his picture taken now so here's hoping I get at least a few grins caught on camera! We're so excited for the rest of the family to get here!

too many hours in the car with a two year old

Mom, Jake and I made the drive from Knoxville to Michigan by the skin of our teeth. Jake made it within seven miles of Port Hope before he just couldn't take it anymore, so that was a pretty successful trip. Throughout the trip he would say "Mommy, I need something!" He never knew what he needed but I'm thinking he just needed to be out of the car. I feel us, buddy. At one point we were stopped for about thirty minutes and Jake got to climb around in the car. He was elated to be out of his seat that he willingly took pictures with me, a definite first! At dinner we faced off in a game of Checkers. Jake's strategy was um, unique, but considering I always lose, what do I know?


blueberry picking

Friday morning started out overcast and slightly cooler than sweltering so we headed out to pick blueberries. Of course as soon as we got there, the sun came out and it got miserably hot but we powered through long enough to pick three pounds, no thanks to Jake! He probably ate about three pounds worth while Deric and I did most of the picking. Ok, Deric did most of the picking since his wingspan really came in handy to get all the blueberries at the very top of the bushes. I mostly followed Jake to make sure he wasn't eating the unripe berries or any off the ground but he was pretty good about only eating the blue ones. We asked Jake what he wanted to make with the blueberries and he requested muffins, so on Saturday morning we made blueberry oatmeal muffins for breakfast. I'm sure we'll be back to visit the blueberry patch every summer now that Jake is able to help pick berries, not that any of them actually make it home. ;)


in the "big kid room"

Since moving Jake's room around to make it more toddler friendly, we've been spending a lot more time in there. (He now refers to it as his "bigkidroom"-- one word, just like his "bigkidbed". He's so proud!) He likes to sit on his bed to read books and color at his desk, which Deric's parents gave to us. Its a little big for Jake right now but he'll grow into it quickly. I'm amazed almost daily at how responsible he is, putting things away without me asking (a touch of my OCD passed down, uh oh!) so he likes to store his coloring books and crayons inside the desk. 

All the sudden he's become quite the stuffed animal hoarder. In his crib he didn't sleep with anything but his two blankets, and now he has to have his frog and penguin with him. He tries to get his puppy and (gigantic) bear too but then there would be no room for him in there!

This afternoon I finally got around to packing away the clothes he's recently outgrown. I tried his jacket from last year on again (because its a 3T so I thought surely..) and to my surprise, he kept the jacket on for a while and added his size 6M beanie. It killed me to see his little ear sticking out the side while he nonchalantly played with his trucks! Too funny.

^"wook, Mom! my jacket."

I also taught him to put his socks on his hands which he got a big kick out of...until he tried to take them off and put them on again himself. So that was a good time that quickly deteriorated, but such are a toddler's mood swings. He always bounces back pretty quickly.


a slow-paced Saturday

I tend to keep myself pretty busy on weekends in the summer because there are always so many projects to get done while its nice out, plus I usually need Deric's help to entertain Jake so I can actually accomplish something. ;) But on Saturday, instead of breaking out my to do list and orchestrating the entire day, I sat back and let the day go where it will. We spent the better part of the morning in Jake's room (newly rearranged to accommodate his toddler bed!) where I finished knitting a baby blanket for a friend, Deric built planes and carousel rides from my old K'nex set, and Jake alternated between coloring at his desk and pulling Deric's work apart.

We ate at Chick-fil-a for lunch and then we endured yet another monsoon during Jake's nap time, so we spent the remainder of the afternoon inside just playing and relaxing. It was such a nice change of pace because since having Jake and having significantly less free time, I continually feel like I have to spend the free time I do have scrambling to catch up on cleaning, projects, and whatever else comes along. It was so nice to relax and ignore my to do list out for a day, plus it made our Saturday seem to last a lot longer!

On a side note, Friday night we barbecued and swam with the friends of ours whose boys were all born within a month of each other. It was so much fun to see the boys playing and swimming together, plus it was nice to spend time with friends we rarely see because of said boys. ;) 


26 months

Successfully sleeping in his "bigkidbed" [always one word] except for the few times we've found him on the floor in the middle of the night.

He says "wook! see?" about a thousand times a day. Today as I was cooking dinner, I overheard Jake showing Deric his banana and saying "is my banana! wook! see?" probably ten times in a row. His dad is definitely his number one buddy.

75% of the time he carries around three or more little Tonka trucks that a friend gave him.

After playing with friends at the pool, he's worked up the courage to jump off the stairs into the water. He'll jump off the side of the pool into our arms, but most of the time his "jump" is more of a fall about three inches down into our arms.

Jake's taken to "wooking at the peas" and will hunt for snap peas five or six times while we're playing in the backyard. He'll grab even the littlest peas before I can stop him, so we're all out of peas for the time being. He likes to hunt for "geen beans" as well and he recently learned to identify squash so he checks on the two little squash, saying "wook! stwash!".

While singing Jesus Loves Me, Jake's version went "the Bible tells me sooo...much."

I asked him what story in his Bible he wanted to read and he told me Jonah. I asked what happened to Jonah and he told me Jonah plays with Jesus.

Instead of answering "yes" to questions, he responds "Uh huh. I do."

Just these past few days he's constantly had his tongue out or his hands in his mouth. Are we really going through that stage all over again??

As we've gotten rid of his pacifier and moved him to his "big kid bed", we've talked a lot about M&Ms. Jake will tell me every so often that he gets "weh-men M's" because he's a big kid. He really is becoming quite the big kid! [Sob.]


Jake on the lake

Friends of ours invited us out on their boat this past Saturday and it was an absolutely perfect night to be out on the lake. As we drove out to meet them we got caught in a torrential downpour complete with thunder and lightening so we thought we'd have to cancel our plans, but we watched the radar and waited about thirty minutes for the storm to pass. The rain cooled the night off and we stayed out until the sun went down.

It took Jake a little while to get accustomed to the boat and the feeling of bouncing over the wakes of other boats but once we got to swim and play around, he was in his element.

His favorite part of the night was probably swimming with his dad--no surprise there--but he was good buddies with our friend Dan by the end of the night after Dan let him steer the boat and showed him what button to push for the horn.

We didn't expect to be out so late but the night was so nice, the company was great, and Jake never even looked tired...until we got home and he crashed in less than a minute. It was a picturesque summer night, that's for sure.

^no worries about the lack of life jacket, we were anchored 
and there were two adults right outside the frame of this shot!


growing up way too fast

Since Jake's been home from his weekend with his grandparents, I've made a conscious effort each day to focus on him more throughout the day. Rather than fit him into my schedule and to-do list, I've tried to relax and not jam our days quite so full. So instead of getting this errand done and that chore finished, we've been out in the backyard drawing with chalk and picking (and eating) snap peas, even the little ones that aren't ready yet.

Yesterday while I made lunch, I set him up next to me with a butter knife and pieces of cheese so he could practice his cutting skills. Not much cutting got done; he'd try cutting a piece once or twice and pop it into his mouth saying, "I eat it! Is gone!" Last night we found a recipe for oatmeal blueberry bars (which is really just blueberry crumble) so Jake helped dump ingredients into the bowl and stir. I've really enjoyed introducing him to cooking and "bacon" (as he told his daddy later) because entertaining him while he sits on the counter next to me is so much easier than numerous attempts at finding something for him to do while I cook meals.

^"Is gone!"

I wish I could always ignore the daily errands and chores like we have been lately, but instead I plan to be more efficient while Jake naps and *hopefully* become consistent at waking up even just thirty minutes before him to get a jumpstart on the day. I'll do what I can while he sleeps and for the things that don't get finished, we'll do them together and enjoy it. Sometimes I get so frustrated when just getting us both out the door to get groceries takes over an hour, but then I have good days where I throw my timeline out the window and I let Jake stand in the cart and hand me every single item while I check out (I only do this in the self checkout with no one in line behind us, don't worry!).

I feel like I can see him growing up right in front of me and its amazing and seriously sad all at once. We've been talking a lot lately about being a big kid as we practice using regular cups rather than sippy cups and as we prepare to move him to his toddler bed (once I get the dang thing finished, that is). We weaned him off his pacifier this week in preparation for moving to a toddler bed here soon and he handled it so much better than I expected. His first nap without his pacifier was a little rough but I rocked him to sleep in just a few minutes and since then, he's asked for his pacifier but hasn't cried over it. We bribe him with M&Ms which has obviously helped. But all this talk about being a big kid is too much for me! Even though he's almost too long for me to hold and rock, I'd rock that baby to sleep every night until he's 18 if that wasn't frowned upon. ;)

^momentous not because Handy Manny knows how to properly use the toilet,
 but because this is the very first picture where Jake purposefully smiled into the camera!
I should have given him an M&M...

4th of July staycation

Jake spent a long weekend over the Fourth of July at Deric's parents' house, along with his two cousins. He had the time of his life: they rode the golf cart and the tractor (and rode in Grandpa's new red truck all weekend, a definite hit), went swimming on the 4th and watched fireworks, rode bikes at the park, and went to a local pizza place that sends a train to your booth to deliver your drinks. (I can only imagine the sheer glee that followed that discovery!) When we met up with everyone at the end of the weekend, he still had eyes only for Grandma and Grandpa and he was so upset when we left. It was heartbreaking but I'm glad that he had such a fun weekend.

[insert videos of Jake doing cute things once we get those videos from the g-rents]

While Jake was gone, Deric and I worked on a few furniture projects and finished painting Jake's toddler bed. We had plans to rent paddle boards at a park nearby, but it rained the entire weekend. Almost nonstop torrential downpours, so unfortunately it was a more low-key weekend than we'd planned. But even that was kind of nice because Deric caught up on some movies he wanted to see and I started a new book. We did eat out quite a bit and went rock climbing, something we haven't done together in quite a few years. I love climbing but always forget until I'm halfway up the wall just how afraid of heights I am. :) So even though I was petrified half the time, we enjoyed doing something different together.

^blurry thanks to my fear of falling off the wall while taking the pic

^blurry thanks to the woman who either didn't care about getting a decent picture, or who didn't know her way around an iPhone. because honestly, i debated asking her teenage daughter to take it instead. Even I'm getting schooled on technology by teenagers!

By the end of the weekend, we were both so ready to get Jake back. Even though we definitely enjoying sleeping in and having uninterrupted conversations, the house was just too quiet. And we did get a few more bonus days to sleep in because Jake slept hard until 8:30 the first day home and later took a four hour nap. I think that's a pretty sure sign he had a fantastic weekend. :)