Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grandparents Day

Friday was a very special day for was Grandparents Day at his school! And it just so happened that Grammy and Pop were heading into town anyway, and were able to make it for the festivities!

I think it's safe to say he was a tad excited to see them...just look at this face!

All the kiddos got to share ice cream sundaes with their special people.

And the he got to present them with a special gift. I love how proud Jackson looks here!

Although Grandparents Day was only officially celebrated by the bigger kids, Andrew was pretty excited to see Grammy and Pop too! And I know Grammy was excited to smooch on those sweet cheeks...

I was glad Grammy and Pop came to town because I was gone for the weekend for a work conference with these crazy kids!

Justin would have been just fine on his own, but it's always easier to have someone else to help wear those boys out. Thank you Grammy and Pop for providing back-up and being there for Jackson!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Anatomy of a Toddler

My sweet baby Andrew is a full-fledged toddler. There. I said it. A toddler. Sigh. 

But you know what? I kind of love a toddler. Here's why...

Ok, except maybe the dramatic tantrum part. Everything else is pretty much perfection. =)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Justin and I have now celebrated 14 Valentine's Days together. A day once marked by romantic dinners, sweet gifts and flowers, is now a day celebrated with preschool parties and heart-shaped pizza. 

What we may lack in romance we certainly make up in love and cuteness.

What a difference a year makes!

These boys really do love each other. Jackson tells us all the time, "Mommy, I love my baby brother". And if Andrew could talk, I am sure he would reciprocate.

Jackson looked forward to his school party all week. 

I think he was more excited to give his Valentines than he was to receive them.

They did turn out pretty cute, and both boys love playing with these little animal figurines. Hopefully their friends do too!

Andrew's class had a little party too. While he doesn't yet understand the significance of the holiday, any day is a good day for extra snacks! (And he was the first to clean his plate!)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Blessing of a Runny Nose

On Sunday, Jackson and I had a wonderful Mommy/Son date to go see the play, Peter Pan, together. As expected, he did beautifully throughout; (relatively) quiet, engaged and attentive to the action on the stage. His whispered (as well as a three year old can whisper) commentary was priceless and cracked up the dad next to him. I adore this child.

Mom and Jackson, pre-date

But during the play, I got the sniffles. I  rarely get caught without a kleenex or two in my purse, but Andrew has been a bit snarfly lately, and I apparently had gone through my stash. [Back story: About a month ago, I lost my pricey prescription sunglasses. I have turned the house upside down looking for the darn things, cleaned out my purse, etc....they were no where to be found. I had reluctantly planned to go later this week to visit my optometrist to replace them.] So as I am rifling through my purse desperate to find anything to wipe my nose with, I shove my hand in the rarely-used front pocket of my purse and WHAT DO I FIND? My sunglasses! Hurray! I never did find a kleenex (my glove had to do!), but what I found was so much more valuable! Thank you Lord for a case of well-timed sniffles!

Quality time with my boy, finding my glasses, and a sweet treat afterwards--it doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bathroom Renovation

When we moved into our new house last year in June, we created a three page list of improvements we wanted to make. The house was nice, just bland and not really our style. We did make lots of changes right away--replaced almost all of the flooring, installed granite counter tops and tile back splash in the kitchen, and painted a number of rooms. But so far, we didn't have any entire rooms that we consider "done". 

We decided that we wanted to tackle our first floor bathroom. It's small enough that we felt like we could do everything at once and get it crossed off the list. We started the project during the long MLK weekend. It may be a small room, but it still felt like a big project, especially when you consider that everything had to happen after we put the boys to bed or during nap time. We did get a whole morning of uninterrupted effort on that Monday morning when the Bakers were nice enough to take the boys for a play date at their house. Thank you Stefanie and Cameron! And the project was literally saved when Julian let us borrow his paint sprayer. I learned during this project that I have many gifts and talents--painting cabinets is NOT one of them. That caused a delay when the cabinets had to be re-sanded and then repainted properly. But we finally got it done!

So here are the "befores"...

Fine. Basic. Boring. 

And the "Afters"! This is our downstairs hall bath, so it's the one guests typically use when visiting. But it's also the bathroom we actually use most often with the boys. So I wanted it to be "boyish" and reflective of our little guys, but not juvenile. So we went with a gray, navy and white color scheme. We Justin painted the cabinets and trim a bright white (after I tried and failed), the walls a cool gray, and then he framed out the mirror. I picked out the rugs, shower curtain, and art for the walls. Like I said, we all have gifts. =) 

I love love love how the mirror trim turned out. It makes such a huge impact.

A bathroom needs bathtub pictures and I love how these turned out! They make me smile every time I walk in the room.

I had seen some of these bathroom rules on Pinterest and Etsy, but decided I could do it myself cheaper. I was right. It took me about 10 minutes to lay out and print, AND I was able to put our own little personalized twist on it.

We are so happy to finally be able to cross a whole room off of that to-do list!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

16 Months!

Precious Andrew is 16 months old! Let's see what he's been up to this month....

His interest in books has been on the rise! He likes to look at them on his own now, but also regularly grabs one off his bookshelf, says "book!" and brings it to one of us to read. He will actually sit quietly through a book or two, especially if they are the interactive kind with flaps to lift or textures to touch.

He's also decided that he enjoys big brother's morning cartoon ritual and happily lounges in bed while we get ready each morning.

Andrew is rather animated and very silly. He will often steal off limit items and then run away, but looks back with a giggle, just hoping you will chase him. He's learning his body parts and can point to his nose, eyes, mouth and hair.
"Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin Alive, Stayin Alive"
He's also learning motions to songs. Here he is doing "If You're Happy and You Know It". Get ready to melt when he does the "then your face will surely show it" part!

He's growing increasingly communicative, adding words, signs and animal sounds to his vocabulary. He tries very hard to say "Jack" and I even heard him say "Edward", the name of his buddy from school.

He also has a bit of an independent streak and throws fits when we try to carry him in or out of school or carry his lunch box for him. He's a big boy, after all! He tries to open doors (thank goodness he can't quite reach yet) and retrieves the stool from the bathroom to reach those off limit items that are placed just out of his reach.

He may be big and independent, but he's still a mama's boy! I can't say that I mind being his favorite and our snuggle time as he drifts off to sleep is my favorite time of the whole day. 

We can't believe how fast you are growing sweet boy! We love you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jumping with Jilly

We went to a super fun birthday party on Saturday for our favorite newly 3 year old little girl!

Jilly's mommy rented out a local gym for the party and the boys had a blast!

Jackson showed his stuff on beam...

while Andrew impressed on the horizontal bar...he hung on for longer than I felt comfortable leaving him there! It was seriously impressive.

Jackson scaled the obstacle course...over and over and over...

And both boys enjoyed the foam pit!

 All of the kiddos had a blast, but none more than the birthday princess!

I still can't believe you're THREE, Jillian! We love you! Happy birthday!