Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!
We'll see if we make it out for Trick or Treating tonight. We may hit up a few houses and then ride the stroller the rest of the way while TJ finishes up.
We'll see if we even make it in the costume. We tried it on and some tears were shed. Sigh.
This was all I got. Without the headpiece.
Hoping for at least one good picture tonight.
I stayed up late last night making candy for TJ's class.
Why? I have no clue.
I used a silicone ice cube tray in the shape of skulls and cross bones to make orange and white candies and then I made some Halloween bark using chocolate chips, oreos, plain m&m's and candy corn. I adapted it from THIS recipe. It was yummy. And only took a few minutes. Will be making again.
For like every holiday.
Or maybe even not holidays, just for the heck of it.
It's that good.
Then I wrapped it all up, tied them off and added some toppers.
Hopefully the kids liked them - no peanuts involved!
And yes, I know that the grout in between the tiles on our table need to be cleaned {so glad you noticed} but did you know that graphite & crayon and pen come off of tile so easily? Me either, until I discovered my child's drawings on the table the other day. Not one to criticize learning, I told him good job and then gave him a piece of paper.
good parenting move? or maybe bad? hmm...

Hope everyone enjoys the night and eats lots of candy. Thank goodness our family pictures were yesterday and not after today...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Patch.

I think that my love for each season has evolved over time. I love winter time because I love the holidays. I love getting together with my family. I love having time off from work. I love the smell of cinnamon. I love a good fire. I love curling up to watch Christmas movies. I love celebrating my honey's birthday the day after mine. But right after New Year's, I begin to despise the winter. I hate leaving work when it's already dark. I hate the bitter cold weather. I begin to count down the days until spring. I love the summer because I love heading to the beach. I love the sunshine and not having to wear 50 layers of clothes. But this year, I was really, really, super excited for fall.
{obviously before the hair cut}
Fall always means football season but it also means the beautiful changing of the leaves in NC. And this year I made sure to take Deuce to his first pumpkin patch. We just went to a small church set up not far from Ed's work and it was a great spot. I let Deuce pick out his own 3 mini pumpkins and he even tried to pick up the biggest pumpkin in the whole patch.
He picked out several pumpkins that he wanted to take home but I was mean and only let him get the baby ones. We had already bought big pumpkins when we made our whirlwind trip to Lowe's a few weeks back.
The people that were working were so nice and even gave Deuce his own sticker that said "Pumpkin Patch Visitor." And sure enough, we weren't able to leave the pumpkin patch without a knock-down drag-out tantrum. Sigh.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

18 Months Old = 1 & a Half.

Remember when you were in elementary school and you always told your age in halves?
"I am 9 and a half."
Well Deuce is now officially 1 and a half.
He was 18 months old this past Saturday.
He had his 18 month well baby visit this morning and it was a good one.
He's still right on track for the football field weighing in at 30.95 pounds (90-95th percentile) and 33.5 inches long (80th percentile).
What's He Up To?
Food: still eats pretty much anything but he's starting to be more picky about when he wants to eat and what at the time. One morning he may want oatmeal and the next he wants a biscuit. His favorites are applesauce, wheat thins, yogurt, chicken nuggets, fries, mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese. I don't really know how many teeth he has, I just know he has a lot and one of his favorite things to do its brush his teeth and spit in the sink. Even if he doesn't really spit anything out.
Words: he is talking up a storm. His most common and easily understood words are: dadda, TJ, momma, moon, baby, car, truck, ball, Elmo, yea, Pop, Nana, WaWa (for both Laura and water), dog, hi, bye-bye and of course No. He also says PLEASE {more like peas} which is awesome and he says it at the appropriate times too.
Cognitive: he can point to his hair, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, feet and arms on command. He can also bark, quack, moo, meow, sssss for snake and roar on command when asked about the respective animals. He loves to climb up to the kitchen table and draw or color several times a day. He also really likes to read books and I often find him in the rocking chair in his room with a pile of books. He is very cuddly lately and he hugs, blows kisses and gives slobbery kisses all of the time.
He also got his second hair cut yesterday and got his first real edge up with clippers. Thanks to Patrice and lots of toys and a little Dora on tv, he pretty much fell asleep in my lap and made it fairly easy to get done. Whew.... it's looks great and he truly looks like a little boy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

NC State Fair 2011.

We took Deuce to his first ever NC State Fair on the first Saturday that it was open. We had gone to the Carolina game earlier in the day and had decided that since we were already in Chapel Hill, we might as well head a little further down the road to Raleigh to the annual fair. My sister's house is about 2 miles away from the fairgrounds so we scooped her up and headed to dinner before venturing to the fair. I only brought in my phone so the pics are pretty crappy.
Deuce was slightly overwhelmed with all of the bright lights, enormous crowd and high flying rides. He was so good though. He didn't motion to get out of his stroller one time and he didn't whine or cry about wanting anything. He was just laid back and enjoying the ride.
Last year we took him to the Central Carolina Fair in Greensboro but it is much smaller and there are no really big rides. Plus he was only about 4 or 5 months old then so I'm sure his sight wasn't nearly as developed. The lines at the State Fair were so long (like at least a 45 minute wait) so TJ selected the rides he wanted to go on based on the length of the line. Deuce just sat by the side and waved and watched.
While TJ was running through a couple of fun houses I took Deuce over to see the mini horses. He loved them, just like at Nana's.
Right before we left we found a spot to watch the nightly fireworks show. The fair puts on a great fireworks display every night that lights up the sky. We loved it. My sister doesn't love it booming right over her house every night, scaring the poo out of her dog though.
He made sure TJ didn't miss a thing.
After we hiked 15 miles back to the car we had a long drive home. And after a day of football, family & fair...we had two tired boys.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Night Lights Keep Out Monsters.

TJ will probably kill me for this one day. Whatever. Lately he has been claiming that he's scared of the dark. He may be, but in the past 5 years, I have never known this kid to get out of bed in the middle of the night from a bad dream or a spook or anything. Not one, single time. So like I said, maybe he is. OR maybe he just doesn't want to miss anything that happens once he goes to bed. {Not that he would miss anything, unless you count me watching 90210 & every single show on Bravo while Ed snores on the couch missing something.} He always seems to find some reason to stay up past his bed time. Even if it's for 5 minutes, or even if it's to say he's all-of-a-sudden thirsty, or he has to pee - AGAIN. Maybe he thinks there are monsters under his bed. {And there just might be. The trash monsters, since TJ's idea of cleaning his room is stuffing everything under his bed.} Our house is so small that there are no hallways. Every room is right off of the living room. So we don't like his new found fear of the dark because he wants his door left open. And that means that I can't watch Teresa Giudice and the rest of the housewives curse each other out until after I'm sure he's asleep. {Sorry pastor, I know you've told us it's not a good idea to watch that stuff but I just can't help it.} So I decided to make TJ a night light that he would like and maybe even think was cool, as opposed to those other "baby looking ones" that he wants nothing to do with.
It was very simple to make and inexpensive. I bought one of those glass cubes from Michael's that people use at Christmas. It was $9.99 and I had a 50% off coupon so it was $4.99. I also bought a single bulb light to go inside of it. It was $3.99. You could technically use a strand of Christmas lights that you already have but the single bulb light has a clicker switch on the cord to make it easy to turn on and off. AND I didn't want to light up his room like it was daylight.
I got a single sheet of white vellum scrapbook paper for like .59 cents and I cut it to match the size of the cube. This hides the bulb from the inside. I mod podged it to the cube and added some scrabpook stickers. If I had a silhouette machine or a cricut, I probably would have cut out some other cool design but I used what I had. The I added some ribbon to the outside of the cube.
Success! He is now sleeping in his room with his door shut and there are no excuses for him to not be able to see. How cute would this be for a baby shower gift for a nursery night light?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Park Play.

One of the good things about watching your baby become a toddler is being able to take them to the playground and let them explore on their own. We are trying to soak up these last few weeks of somewhat warm weather with frequent trips to the park. Whether it's to play on a playground, read books or throw the football in a patch of grass, I try my best to get Deuce out to run every Thursday and Friday when I'm home from work.
It's nice when the playground or park is relatively quiet. I feel like I can let him roam a little more freely when we are the only ones there as opposed to him trying to bully his way to the front of the line at the top of the slide and me being all the way on the ground trying to direct him to move to the back and wait his turn. Not saying this has ever happened or anything. I know, I know. The child's got to learn how to be sociable at some point.
He loves this swinging bridge thing. Before we left, he got up the nerve to try and run across it like the big kids were doing. He wasn't so successful but he got back up and kept trying. He thought it was hilarious so that was all that mattered.
Sometimes we just go to the park and put out a blanket and sit and have lunch.
We attempt naps {that most often don't happen - especially when food is nearby}
And we read lots and lots of books. Reading is so vital. So we read and read and read. Every free second we can. I always have at least 5-6 books in his bag at all times. He loves them. My mom gave me this book to read called "Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children will Change their Lives Forever" by Mem Fox. It's a very quick read and really makes us as parents understand why it's so important that we read to our children from day 1. I highly suggest it.
And of course, eating and reading is twice as fun.
And remember me saying he loves Elmo??
Yeah, it's like the first thing he says when he wakes up. That and baby. Hmmmm...


Monday, October 17, 2011

Football with Pop.

Well we're halfway through the football season and prior to this past weekend, it has been a pretty good one. My dad came down from VA recently and brought 2 of his buddies to a game. We don't see my dad that often. Busy schedules and distance just prevent it from happening as frequently as I would like. My dad and I haven't always been super close but age and babies have definitely changed that. And I can't even tell you how happy that makes me.
Your perspective on that stuff changes after you have kids. Dad and I missed out on a lot of time together while I was growing up so we are doing our best to make up for that lost time. After the game we spent a couple of hours just hanging out in the parking deck, after most of the cars had left, throwing the football and talking about golf. Golf is my dad's other passion.
It's funny how the cycle of life revolves and how we find ourselves acting like our parents in some ways and doing our best to not be like them in others. I'm pretty sure my dad could say that about himself. As we grow older we learn to value what is the most important thing in our lives, and that's our family. I'm pretty sure my stubbornness and my hatred for being wrong evolved from my dad. And I'm so enjoying getting to know my dad on a friend-friend level as opposed to just the father-daughter level.
So here's to making up for lost time and for endless smooches pop gets from his first grand kid. He can't keep his lips off that baby!
And I know I'm biased, but seriously....what 17 month old has that kind of form???? uh, love it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Greensboro Children's Museum.

Rebecca and I took Deuce and Chase to the Greensboro Children's Museum last week. It was the first time Deuce and I had ever been there. It is right in downtown Greensboro across from the library and has an edible garden! Very cool place. We made our first stop in the supermarket.
The boys pushed their own carts around and threw things into their baskets, like they have seen us do many times. Deuce thought the lemons and oranges were balls though so he kept throwing them across the market sending me on a goose chase to pick them all up.
Chase was the chef for the day. He loves hats and wore this chef outfit the entire time we were in the market. I tried to put one on Deuce but he wasn't having it.
After we left the market we went in to the tot area. This was for ages 2 and below. It was great. Rebecca and I sat on a couch and just let the boys run wild. We stayed in there for well over an hour. They loved it. He was quite possessive of the fred flinstone car again.
He also wouldn't stay off of the lego table. He kept climbing on top of it. He was either on top of stuff or inside of it.
Both boys loved the airplane and they took turns playing pilot.
One of the other rooms was a hospital/dentist office. Deuce has had a thing for "babies" lately. He calls everything baby. He immediately found this black baby doll and picked him up. I thought it was hilarious that he went right to the black one.
Then he went right to a white baby and picked him up too. He found a rocking chair and sat down with both his white baby and his black baby and rocked them while talking to them and hugging them. He did that all on his own. I was pretty impressed. It made me feel sort of satiated that I am obviously making a good mommy impression on him.
He also loved sitting at the nurses station and answering the phone. He stayed over there for awhile while Chase moved on from room to room. He loves the phone. He walks around the house talking on the phone all of the time!
We went to a house that had basic kitchen supplies. Of course my little dude immediately found the rubber cookies. And yes, he did try to take a bite out of it.
There was a Greensboro fire truck in the museum and Chase really like the boots and the fire hat. Both boys climbed up into the truck and like pressing all of the buttons.
After finishing our tour of the inside of the museum, we ventured outside to the edible garden. We were immediately met my the chickens in the chicken coop and a pretty goldfish pond. The boys like the chickens and the brightly colored fish and they did their best to get their faces as close as possible.
There we all sorts of tunnels that were covered with the vines of growing vegetables like gourds. The boys loved running through the tunnels. We even took home some lavender to hang and dry.
We had a great time at the Greensboro Children's Museum and I can guarantee that we will be going back. They just opened a Curious George exhibit and since Deuce has a recent obsession with George {and Elmo}, I know he would like that!

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