Sunday, June 26, 2011

Camping at Johnson's Shut-Ins

It was fun in a miserable sort of I hope this is over soon sort of way. I've never been so stressed as I was at 8:30 trying to get both kids to go to sleep in a tent with noisy bugs and birds and neighbors. We went as a last hurrah before Blake started his intern year. The main attraction is the pools that are a .25 mile hike. Crystal clear water that is only marred by a few snakes here and there. When someone spots one, they call "Snake!" and you get out of the water for a couple minutes until you assume it's gone. So seriously, I'm not sure we would go back, but it was sure pretty and Isaac loved the water. It's a good thing we went somewhere with water because there was a heat advisory in effect.
I guess we're quite the serious hikers because one of the rangers said, "I've seen one of those backpacks once!"

Trusty hiking shoes

So beautiful, camping in Missouri. But with this beauty comes BUGS. Ants, flies, spiders, big beetles, cockroaches, grasshoppers, gnats, mosquitoes. It takes all the fun out to be swatting and waking up in the middle of the night to a spider crawling up my arm.
James was miserable. No place to nap, so hot, but once we did finally get him to sleep at 9 he slept until 6, which ironically is the longest sleeping stretch he's ever done.

Such clear, amazingly refreshing water.

Isaac loved the tent. It was hot in there, though. We all just barely fit in our 4-man tent with the pack n play in the corner. Isaac really wanted to relive his baby days and sleep the pack n play and did not want a big boy sleeping bag.

Isaac #2ed for the very first time in the potty in the grass while we were there. Nothing can live up to that now. And I would like to report that I feel like potty training is complete. We've only had one accident this entire week and the #2s have finally clicked, thanks to the reward of ice cream. And may I just say, to anyone potty training soon, that if it starts getting wearisome, try changing the treat reward because I did m&m's for a week and it was super exciting when the treat changed to fruit snacks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Isaac is 3!!!

Isaac was thrilled it was finally his turn to get a cake and candles!

I worked hard to make it a good day for him. He got to watch a lot of the Little Engine That Could when he woke up. That's his favorite movie. We went to the zoo at 8 after letting James get a little nap and we rode the carousel and went to the children's zoo. (These things are free before 9.)
Then we paid $15 to ride the train! What a birthday treat. We made the mistake of sitting in the very front, though, which was too loud and Isaac had much more fun when we switched to the middle.
(too loud!)

After that we made our way back home and James got a nap and we did presents! Lots of things a 3 year old loves. After his nap we all went swimming, which really isn't that unusual since we've been almost every day since moving here. We had the friends over for dinner and we let Isaac and Benjamin just play instead of eat. I made Isaac a blue balloon cake, but I did it all wrong. I showed him the cake in the shape of a balloon and he said, "No, balloons on it!" so I blew up little water balloons and put them on and he said, "No, big ones!" Oh well. He still lit up with a big smile when we all sang happy birthday and he spit trying to blow out his candles.
I just want to say that Isaac is a really good boy. He's a very good older brother and likes to give James kisses and gives him toys, "Here go, James." He always wants to please Blake and I and is very seldom disobedient. He always asks permission to do things, "I go outside? Yes, dat's fine?" He's picked up on some movie phrases like "Train tracks? That's weird." He's beginning to play interactively: "Mom, I'm the scary train. You're the blue engine. I want the boy back!" and then I'm supposed to say "You can't have him!" (These are all from The Little Engine that Could.) He still won't eat meat but he will eat half an apple a day so he can eat a cookie. He likes wearing his Thomas and James underwear and Mickey-mickey diapers at night (has a mickey and minnie on it). He loves trains and trucks and sometimes likes to read books in a big long stint. He's graduated from board books and likes The Little Mermaid, the Prince and the Pauper, The Little Engine that Could (of course), but sometimes he'll go back to old favorites like Little Quack Counts or Red Train. He loves to play in the sand at our apartment and loves to swim and go under the water. He's getting so tall and is talking so much. I love him to death and I'm so glad he's part of our family.

Yes, you read that right: Isaac is wearing big boy underwear! He's doing a really good job, but we haven't quite got the #2s down yet. I know it's only cute for me to see him in his undies, but I'm posting a picture anyway.

The questions I'm asking myself are: Is is better to throw a diaper away that has pee in it or clean up pee on the floor? Is it better to wipe a poopy bum and throw away a diaper with poop in it or wipe up a poopy bum and gingerly throw poop from little train undies into the toilet and then scrub the undies in the sink? I know he's learning a life skill, but it's hard getting there. And he is doing a good job learning. It's just hard. I thought it was going to be magical.

throwing balloons at our beautifully lush and green new townhome. we love it here!

7 months

We missed his six month checkup, but here James is at 7 months:
20 lbs 6 oz ~ 80th percentile
26" ~15th percentile

He's sure a chunk, but he's so adorable. We get a comment wherever we go about what a cute smile he has or what cute red (ish) hair.
He's doing good eating solids and we're making sure to give him lots of veggies and throw in some meat in the hopes that he won't be as picky of an eater as Isaac.
Some times he sleeps really great, sometimes not so great, but he's definitely getting older and figuring out how things work.

Isaac loves his brother a lot and always wants to hug him and give him kisses and maybe "play" with him:

and finally a smile.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Yay, Blake! We're so proud of the man for graduating. I made him dress up the night before to take pictures in front of the hospital.

Such a handsome graduate. It was a nice occasion, but a bit long for two little kids. My mom took James out for more than half of the ceremony. Isaac did ok but said, "Daddy wear a dress?" about 50 times while he sat on my lap.
We were so glad we had so much family support. It meant a lot that five people would travel here to watch Blake walk across a stage in a green dress.

Bear Lake

We went to Bear Lake on our way (sort of) back to Missouri. It is always so beautiful and peaceful there, even if the water is a little chilly. Isaac had a blast there and James hated it (if his sleeping habits have anything to do with likes/dislikes). Everyone bailed on the trip (Blake's whole family was supposed to come) but we were happy that my sister spent the night with us in between bike races. We watched her as she passed the cabin on her second race. Watch out, here comes IronmANNE!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Our trip to Utah

We spent a LOOONG time in Utah. I'm still trying to decide if it was too long, too short, or just right. Was it long enough that it makes us glad to back in our own place alone? Was it long enough that it just made it really hard to leave again? Did we get sick of everyone? Did they get sick of us? Who knows. It was a fun trip and yet it is nice to be home again. Here's what we did:

I had a birthday with an awesome white cake. Gloriously, though, this very week I started eating chocolate again and James has slept 6 hour stretches both nights so hooray! Now I can eat chocolate again, just in time for me to be back home without chocolate treats everywhere I turn. (It was good weight control, though, because I actually lost weight this trip to Utah.)

I had a good helper to open presents, though he wasn't as thrilled with the gifts as I was.

We celebrated twice.

We went to the park on the days that were fine (and few and far between).

Isaac grew very attached to both grandmas and did everything with them. Like they would have to hold up his peanut butter sandwich for him to eat.
Classic James face--"What are you making me sit here for?"
Then it was Easter. We got to dye eggs.

And our fingers.

Then we got to search for the eggs with all our cousins. I looked for all the starburst and let Isaac have the chocolate eggs. Isaac was very obedient and only ate the candy when we told him he could have a piece. For a full month, the candy was in a basket, then in his recycle truck, then in a sand bucket, then in a bag, then back in the recycle truck, etc. Slowly diminishing piece by piece. When his cousin Eli came over a week after Easter, he points excitedly to the candy in Isaac's truck: "Look, candy!" Isaac's like--oh yeah, it's been there forever.

Somehow all the kids magically wore red/orange (except Kate).

Poor James was sleeping during the hunt.

Then we hunted again with the other side. Isaac did a good job finding all his blue eggs and James' orange eggs.

Oh, how I love this smiley boy! He is so sweet!

We celebrated Blake's birthday once


three times. This was the first time in four years or so the triplets were all together for their birthday. Isn't it so sad they never get their own cake?

Isaac occasionally gave into sleep at Grandma K's house.

It snowed. More than once. This was May 3.

James and Isaac are such good pals. Fingers crossed it will always be like this. I love this picture because I swear James is almost as big as Isaac!

Blake played a lot of basketball, mostly waking up early on Fridays to play with his brother and Dad.

He played once with my handsome younger brother who is currently single...

And it got warm! Just in time for us to pack up our car and drive the miserable 20 hours back to Missouri. But this time Grandma Karen and Grandpa Kent drove with us and loved to have Isaac in their car. They played with stickers and read books and watched "The Little Engine that Could" twenty times. James was able to nap a little better in the car since the noise maker was gone. He also is older and more interested in toys so overall the drive went much much better than it did two months prior.

Bye Utah! Bye family! Come visit us!

P.S. Oh yeah, and a shout out to my awesome brother Chris, who surprised me by flying in from London to surprise me for my birthday. Umm, how awesome is that? Didn't get a picture, sadly, but he is just as handsome and single as my other brother up there.