Friday, August 31, 2012

Always there for you.

"Liam-I am your big brother, and I am always going to be there for you. If you need something at school, you just come and find me. Well, except for next year...because I'll be in kindergarten, so I don't know what you're going to do then" ~Jake

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mommy, Jake & Liam-Day of Fun!!

That's what Jake called the day last week when I kept both kids home with me as a surprise for the day.  We had some business to attend to first (it was the day of Liam's 15 month check up) but after that, we had all day to ourselves!! 

There's a shopping center near downtown Pittsburgh called Southside Works, which features a fountain/splash pad area that kids can play in.  We had never taken the kids there, but I figured it was water and they'd like it.  First we went to a regular playground in that area, then enjoyed a picnic lunch outside, then made our way over to the fountain.  My guess that they would enjoy it was a bit off...I wouldn't say they hated it, but they didn't love it.  Liam was a bit hesitant, since the water would go all the way down, then come up suddenly and nearly slapped him in the face one time.  And he kept slipping and falling (the bricks surrounding the water area were super slippery, he was sliding with his shoes on and without)  Jake complained that the water was cold (truth).  But, oh well.  It was a nice day, nonetheless.

Monday, August 27, 2012

15 months-check up and update

It's hard to believe that this time last year, my maternity leave was ending and I was heading back to work.  It's crazy how quickly the time has passed, and how much my baby has changed and grown!  I don't even know if I can use the word baby anymore: he's full-on walking as his main mode of transportation, he's attempting to climb anything that he can, he spends his days trying to keep up with his big brother, and he's getting ready to transition to the Toddler room at school.  *GULP*  I'm definitely in denial, but I think that at this point, "toddler" would be a better word to describe him.

We had his well visit last week, and he looked great.  Here are the stats:

Height: 32 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 24 lbs, 5 oz (46th percentile)
Head circumference: 48 cm (73rd percentile)

Looking back at my notes on Jake, he was 2 pounds lighter and an inch shorter at 15 months!  I am sad to report that some of Liam's chub that I love so much is starting to vanish now that he's become a professional walker.

My only concern going into the appointment was his vocabulary.  Full disclosure: I totally commit the worst parenting crime by comparing Liam to Jake all of the time. I know that you're not supposed to do this, but really, can you even help but doing it?  I have nothing else to compare to!  So of course, when I glanced back through my notes about Jake's milestones and language skills at 15 months and saw that he had closer to a dozen words (Liam has 5 or 6), I  couldn't help but worry.  The doctor assured me that Liam is still in the normal range for language development, and I'd probably find that he would just hit an explosion at some point and really take off with the talking.  Phew!  Liam's consistent words are mama, dada, ball, bubble and yum.  I have heard him say nana (referring to a banana), GG and PopPop before, but he doesn't say those on a regular basis.

His eating skills still continue to blow our minds, there are times when he honestly eats the same size portion as I do at dinner.  I have no idea where he puts it all!  I have to laugh sometimes because with Jake, we were soooo controlling over what he could and couldn't eat (cupcakes at any time aside from his birthday??  no way!  Chips, even at a party?  Yeah right!)  Well, let me just tell you how challenging it would be to keep to those same rules with Liam.....not only is he an eating machine, but he is so observant of what Jake and any other kids are eating.  Perks of being the 2nd kid, I guess!

Move over, baby Gap models!  There's a new kid in town.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Luau 2012

It's hard to believe we have been doing the luau for SIX years!!  It's always so much fun and, not to toot our own horns, but we agreed that this was the best one yet.  We had for it.  It was sunny, a little breezy, and the temperatures were in the mid-70's.  See?  Perfect!

I wanted to try out some different food this year, so I turned to (where else?) Pinterest, of course!

Sand Pudding (recipe found here)

 Nutter Butter Flip Flops (original idea found here)

Some other food shots:

 A highlight of the day for Brian was seeing me wearing shoes in the house; he felt like this was such a rare, momentous occasion that he made me stop and pose for a picture. Yes, I am one of those obsessive people who can't stand shoes in the house.  This is the ONE single day out of the year that I will deal with it and not cringe.  Or at least try to not cringe.  But you know I was busting out that vacuum and mop first thing the next morning!

Another highlight for me was definitely all of the kids running around.  I realize that some people may think that would actually be a downside to the party, but I love it.  I love seeing them run around our yard, without a care in the world, eating junk food all afternoon, and playing until they crash (late at night!).  One of the reasons we fell in love with our house was because of the backyard, and we had visions of kids loving to play seeing that come true makes us really happy!

They got a little wild at one point (you probably don't remember, but there was some couch-jumping last year....couch jumping with 3 or 4 smaller kids is much different than couch-jumping with 5 or 6 kids, who all went through growth spurts in the past year!)  Brian and I agreed that this was probably the last year for the couch jumping, it was fun while it lasted.

For some inexplicable reason, most of the boys felt the need to remove their shirts prior to couch jumping and milkshake consuming. 

Aside from their wild moments, I was really, really impressed by the kids overall.  I didn't count, but I'm pretty sure there were at least 25 kids there.  Of course, there was the standard bickering over toys and some sharing squabbles, but no all out battles and I really think they played quite nicely together.  And no one sustained any major injuries, which is always a mark in the "win" column when there are that many kids put together!

Another great thing about the day was that my cousin from Canada, her husband and 4 kids were able to come to the party!  We hadn't seen them since last summer...and at that time, there were only 3 kids!  Here is GG meeting the cutie Greyson:

Thanks to everyone who joined us, we hope you had as much fun as we did!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Take me out to the ballgame!

First of all, happy belated birthday to Brian!!  He celebrated his birthday last week by taking Jake to his first Pirates game that afternoon!  His boss was nice enough to give him a few hours out of the office and tickets to the game.  We weren't sure how Jake would do (I mean, let's be honest, I can tolerate roughly 30 minutes of a baseball game before I get antsy), but we figured it was worth a try, just to say they had gone.

They parked downtown, then walked across the bridge and took the standard pictures with the statue before heading into the stadium.

Then they made their way to their seats:

The gorgeous view from inside PNC Park!

They had great seats, right behind the dug out.

Aside from a little bit of nervousness at the beginning of the game (due mostly to the noise), Jake did a GREAT job!  Brian was so proud of him, he was paying attention and standing up and cheering right along with the crowd just a few minutes into the game.  He got a bit restless in the 4th inning, so they took a walk around the stadium and made their way to the kids play area.

He got out some energy there, then requested to go back to their seats to watch the rest of the game.  And of course a first visit to the park isn't complete without some type of souvenir and junk food:

While he was initially very excited to try the cotton candy, he only ended up taking a few bites, declaring it to be "too fuzzy".

When they came home that evening, Jake was excited to tell us all about his day, then help Brian open up his gifts. 

new steelers tshirt from GG & Pappy
Hula monkey from GG & Pappy :)  so festive!
homemade beer making kit from me & the kiddos
New welcome mat that says "welcome to Brian & Emmy's tiki hut" :)

Happy birthday, Brian...we love you!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Post-weekend recap

Remember how earlier in the summer I was complaining about the temps being in the mid to upper 90's ALL OF THE FREAKING TIME?  And then there were the people who were complaining about the people complaining...they were all, "Why is everyone whining? It's summer!  It's always hot!  This happens every year!"  No it does not.  And now I have proof that July of 2012 was literally the hottest month ever on record.  Take that, noncomplaining jerks. My whining was totally justified.

Moving on, the point of my rant above is that last weekend, the temps dropped...waaaaaay down.  (insert other people complaining about the unseasonably cool temps here...but not me!)  BRING ON FALL!  While the cooler weather was welcomed with open arms by me, I was not exactly prepared for it, as Liam had not a single piece of fall clothing out. We also happened to have our neighborhood block party that evening, so there we were, 15 minutes before it started, digging through old bins of clothing trying to pull something together.

Once we all got to the block party (bundled up), we had a great time!  I love that our neighborhood does stuff like this (and I'm planning more stuff for the kids in the 'hood, but that will be another post).  The highlight for Liam was this treasure hunt amongst wood chips that they had.  He didn't care about finding the treasure, but loved making a giant mess of himself.

Jake took advantage of the free tattoos and started working on his full sleeves.

Who needs toys when you can play with a huge pack of plastic cups?  The boys got in a lot of college-party practice hand eye coordination practice.

 It was a bit warmer on Sunday, but still nice and cool in the morning, so we headed to the zoo.

Child cage
stingray tunnel!
Hey, hey!!
who let the big kid in the meerkat tunnel??
Photobombing Meerkat!

 What's your opinion on the cooler weather?  Are you welcoming it with open arms and longing for a pumpkin spice latte, or sobbing into your iced beverage, wishing you were in your bathing suit?

 I think we all know where I stand.
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