Monday, February 29, 2016

Spring is coming!

Spring is coming! The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer and the first blooms are popping up in our yard!

So that must mean spring ball is almost here! Jackson will be playing t-ball for the first time and he is so so so excited! He and his daddy went to Academy and got him a glove, a tee and some balls. They've been busy practicing!

Andrew will also be playing spring soccer, so that means three nights of sports practices every week for the next couple of months! So send me your favorite fast, super easy dinner recipes to help us survive these nights, please and thank you!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Andrew's Sweet Dance Moves

Andrew has some pretty sweet dance moves...

This kid cracks us up!

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Civics Lesson

With President's Day in February, Jackson has been learning about the presidents, and has decided he is going to be President of the United States some day. We've been using his new found aspiration as a motivator for good behavior and it seems to be working!  After all, America wouldn't elect someone who didn't complete their work in kindergarten, right? I don't know about you, but I think Jackson Malnar for president might be a better option than any of the current candidates!

He has also been learning about symbols of America, like the flag, the bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, and the Liberty Bell. 

He brought home his interpretation of the Liberty Bell and we were pretty impressed!

Philadelphia is kind of far away, but I remembered that Texas' replica of the Liberty Bill is much closer! So today, Justin left work a little early to pick Jackson up for a trip to campus. Jackson has also been learning about voting, so Justin took him with him to cast his ballot. Jackson got to try out the voting machine, and was pretty excited about his "I Voted Today" sticker.

After voting, the pair walked to the Academic Building to check out the replica Liberty Bell. It was given to Texas A&M following WWII in honor of the Aggies who served and gave their lives.

I am saving this picture for Jackson's presidential bid in 2048!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Benjamin is 5 Months

Another month has marched on and precious Benjamin is now 5 months old!

"I'm 5 months old?! How can that be?!"

Benjamin has been knocking out milestones like it's his job (well, I guess it sort of is). He can sit up independently pretty well....

He army man crawls proficiently and is a man on a mission.  His teachers report that he has been exploring the classroom at school.

And we've been seeing lots of this...
Rocking on hands and knees
 And his plank form is impressive!

So basically, we are baby proofing for our 5 month old because he is on the move and getting quicker by the day! Crazy.

He is a HAPPY boy. He thinks his mommy and big brother Andrew are pretty funny. Andrew is basically obsessed with him. They get a lot of quality time together during our morning and afternoon commute and we hear "Benny is my best friend. I love you baby brother Benny!" at least 5 times each way.

His hands are in his mouth constantly, but he's decided he's a big fan of the paci too. It only took 4 months! He's gotten super grabby, and nothing within his reach is safe now. His movements are now coordinated and purposeful. He can spot his paci from several feet away, crawl to it, grab it and put it back in his mouth. Pretty good for 5 months!

He's outgrown his little crib and will move to the pack n play this weekend. He's also decided it's cool to sleep on his belly. He usually sleeps in his own bed 4-5 hours each night and then snuggles in our bed the rest of the night. His brothers love to crawl in our bed with him in the morning and touch him and talk to him then act surprised when he wakes up. =)

At 5 months, his eye color is still a question mark. They are still grey but at times look more brown and other times more blue. I think they will end up hazel. Ben is tall and sturdy, but all of that moving around has made his sweet baby chub melt away already. =(
He's in 9 month clothes but some of his pants and one piece outfits like pajamas are getting too short. Time to get the 12 month clothes out! I would estimate that he weighs about 18 pounds.

I think he continues to favor Jackson.

Happy 5 months, sweet Ben!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Howlin' Good Fun

Our amazing tour of DFW's greatest family fun venues continued back across the metroplex to Grapevine, home of Great Wolf Lodge. This place was amazing!

Great Wolf Lodge is a bit pricey, but you can start using all of the resort amenities at 1:00 PM the day you check in and can stay until 9:00 PM on the day you check out, so when you consider you get two days of fun out of the one overnight stay it's not so bad. So we checked in just after 1:00, donned our free souvenir wolf ears, and jumped into the fun!

Jackson and Andrew were very impressed that the water park is inside the hotel. At a perfect 84 degrees, we forgot that it was February for a while! (not that it was that much cooler outside with this weird mild winter we have had!)

Measuring officially at 43 inches, Jackson was big enough to ride all of the big "you must be at least 42 inches to ride" slides. He is an adrenaline junky and couldn't get enough of the big slides! While we waited in the lines to go down the big slides, we got to spend lots of quality one on one time together. He is so fun to talk to these days and reveled in the undivided attention with mom or dad. Combined with the thrill of the slides themselves, I haven't seen him this happy in a long time. 

Unfortunately, this is what Andrew thinks of getting left behind when big brother gets to go ride the big slides. =(

You can't feel bad for him for too long though...he still managed to have a pretty good time, somehow.

And there were slides that everyone could enjoy too!

Benjamin thought that 84 degrees was the perfect napping weather! He slept through our entire first day in the water park.

We realized it was dinner time so called it a day and grabbed a pizza and salad to eat in our room. We tore the boys away from watching Frozen (all Disney movies, all the time on the tvs!) and went to the Character Story Time down in the Lodge. Jackson would rather watch Frozen...

We made it up to him with the biggest ice cream sundae you've ever seen. #ParentingWin #BedtimeFail . Ben didn't get any ice cream but he's still the cutest little wolf you've ever seen. He rocked those ears, with strangers stopping to admire him.

Ben finally got into the fun the next day! This was his first time "swimming" and I'm afraid we've ruined him for normal pools!

But all too soon he was lulled back into that perfect, 84 degree nap!

While Benny got his beauty rest, Jackson and Andrew lived it up. 

The only bad part about Great Wolf Lodge was having to leave! The boys demonstrated their wolf howls one more time and then we hit the road. As we were climbing in the car, they asked when we could come back. =)

What a wonderful weekend! We feel so lucky to have gotten to enjoy so many amazing experiences with our little family!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Marvelous Medieval Times

Our weekend of fun in DFW continued when we left the zoo and headed east to Mesquite. The big boys crashed in the van after their big morning checking out all the animals (and walking 5 miles across the zoo!) Since sweet Ben had slept through most of our zoo adventure, he was ready to party once we got to the hotel and was happy to show Nana all of his new tricks. 

With Benjamin in good hands with Nana, we took the big boys to meet Aunt Judy and Uncle Jerry at Medieval Times! Judy and Jerry gifted us with this experience and it was awesome! Knights on horseback, swords, and eating with your hands..the whole thing was completely up Jackson and Andrew's alley! We all couldn't have had a better time!

The dinner and show didn't start until what is normally the boys' bedtime, so I was a little nervous about how they would do. But it turns out I had nothing to worry about...

Once the show started, the boys were absolutely captivated.

It's safe to say they got pretty into it. =)

And the cake was a hit too!

The boys have already decided that we have to go back when Benjamin is big enough (and would happily go back like, tomorrow!) Thank you so much for a wonderful evening, Judy and Jerry! We loved sharing the experience with you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A 'Zoo'pendous Day!

Oh my goodness, we had the best weekend! Jackson didn't have school on Monday, so we planned a long weekend to DFW. We drove up to Fort Worth on Friday night and stayed the night with Matt and MaryAnn. Matt has some connections at the Fort Worth Zoo and treated us to free tickets! Thanks, Matt!

We last went to the Fort Worth Zoo three years ago when Jackson was 2 1/2...and the crazy kid remembers some parts of that visit! Andrew was just a tiny baby, so it was fun to get to go again and discover it all again. AND we got to spend the day with Matt and MaryAnn who the boys absolutely adore.

Jackson's favorite animals were the chimpanzees. They were precious. There was one little chimp who is probably about Andrew's age and he and Andrew seem to have a lot in common! He bounced around the habitat, acting silly and antagonizing all of the other chimps until he got a rise out of them. We also saw a mommy gorilla with a new baby who was absolutely precious.

Jackson and Andrew picked Matt and MaryAnn to ride the carousel with them!

Sweet Benjamin snoozed in his stroller all morning long. 

After lunch Andrew started getting cranky since it was nap time, but Jackson was in his element. He said he was enjoying being a scientist and getting to see the animals and ask ALL THE QUESTIONS. I think he would have watched the otters swim for hours. Who can blame him?

It was a wonderful start to our DFW adventure, but all the fun was just getting started...stay tuned!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

We were splashing in the pools and riding the water slides at Great Wolf Lodge on Valentine's Day, but the boys had tons of fun at their school parties on Friday. They were both pretty pumped about sharing their Valentines with their friends. I mean, who doesn't love a crazy straw? (And the loops on the straws made a perfect holder for a Starbucks card for the teacher versions!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tool Time

Jackson and Andrew got some quality time with Dad last weekend at Home Depot's Kid's Workshop. The project of the day was a Valentine's Mailbox that they got to assemble and then paint. 

Can you tell that they were very proud of their creations?

While the big boys worked on their projects, Ben and I hung out at home and then did a little shopping. Currently the fastest way to a big Benny smile is to play with that handsome baby in the mirror!

And don't try to make this guy recline...that's for little babies! Big babies like Benjamin must always sit up (and play with their feet!)

He's really getting the hang of this sitting up thing! I told him that 4 1/2 month olds can't sit up and he seemed quite pleased to prove me wrong!