Thursday, November 05, 2009

Time for an Update

Recently I've had several relatives delicately (cough cough) point out that it's been quite awhile since I've updated this blog. (You know who you are!!) And it's true, my last post was in July, wow! Needless to say, there are a few things to share from the past 3 months.

Let's see... highlights since my last post. Well, the fair came to town in August, always fun! My parents drove over for it, it's kind of a tradition that they go to the fair with the kids now.

This was really the first year that Noah was old enough to know what was going on and get excited about the whole thing.
And he was old enough to ride some of the more adventurous rides...check out the face!
He was especially excited about "driving" the cars... although you wouldn't know it from this photo. :)

And, while there was no making out with any goats this year, Noah was just as thrilled to see all the animals and go into the little petting zoo.
Getting up close and personal with a very calm, sweet, and patient chicken.

The biggest change around here is that our Bree is now a school girl! Yep, started Kindergarten in September.
This was our girl on her first day of school... how cute is that?

Sittin' in the car ready to be dropped off for the first time.

Going to school is a big adjustment for any kid, and it was an especially new thing for both Bree and me since Kindergarten here is a full day. Yep, 8:30 - 3:30 Monday through Friday! But we've all settled into our new routine and Brianna is having a great time at school. She really likes her teacher Mr. Burrel, and is participating in the school's enrichment program. No surprise, the teacher informed me she was recommended because of her advanced "verbal skills." I just smiled when he said that, she's been talking a storm since she learned how and precocious to boot. I told him, "Yeah, once she learned to talk she's just pretty much never stopped." He said, "I noticed!"

Meanwhile in evenings and weekends we've been trying to enjoy the last of the semi-warm weather around here...

Since the high school is within walking distance, we head over there a lot to play around after dinner. This night it was soccer.

oohh...check out the intensity of these soccer rivals!

And here's Niko guarding the goal.
He can't kick the ball, so he's not a very good forward, but he makes a pretty good goalie!

Meanwhile, Noah decided he was much more interested in football.
Here he is practicing his tackling skills.

And at the end of our playtime, there's nothing like lounging around with friends. Actually, we didn't pose this one, Trav was trying to snap a shot of Bree and Niko decided he wanted in on it. He just pressed his cheek up against hers! He's a silly dog, makes us laugh a lot... here when he decided to lick the last few crumbs out of a plastic animal cracker tub.

We've also been enjoying the more "wild" aspects of the outdoors, hiking, campfires and such.
Hey look! A picture where Noah doesn't have his binky in! Still working on getting rid of the plug...

Noah contemplating the mountains from the top of Lost Horse Trail.

An outdoor family "portrait". We love this one, such a typical family photo...everyone looking in different directions, dog having just jumped on a lap and the baby crying.

As usual, along the way Travis also managed to take some pretty spectacular landscape pictures.

Then it was time for costumes, candy and Halloween! Bree wanted to be a witch and Noah decided he would be a spider!
Marching along in the annual main street costume parade.

A little spider getting a treat...

After the parade, it was time to head around the neighborhood for even more tricking and treating.
Noah was really into it, every little bit he would put his arms out in front of him and yell "boo!"

It was super cute! The spider did have kind of a tough time keeping up with the witch though and had to scurry along behind her quite a bit.
Of course, proper trick or treat etiquette is old hat to Bree, but still a work in progress for Noah. They'd both knock, Brianna would say, "Trick or treat!" and Noah would go, "treat!!!" and hold his bag open. He was a very polite spider though and never failed to say "tank you!" at every house, which got him a lot of smiles... well, that and the fact that a spider with a binky is not too very intimidating.

And despite her best mean faced pose, the witch was more cute than terrifying as well. :)

The kids made a much so that the little spider was having a hard time carrying his load, mostly it just dragged along the ground behind him. Although, he refused any help...2 year old independence you know.

Why did the spider cross the road?
To keep up with the witch!

So that's about the whole enchilada from here. Life goes on as usual and we're busy busy busy with a school girl and an active toddler. Never a dull moment...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Max and danny

As has been the case with my parenting experiences to date, I've been surprised by yet another classic parent/child moment that has happened way before I thought it would...

Brianna came home from preschool today and informed me that she has a boyfriend. A boyfriend! I didn't know quite how to feel about this. On the one hand, I was a bit shocked that I was going to have to worry about boys already, on the other hand, I found it pretty darn amusing. Amusement won out and I decided to play it cool. "Really?" I said, "What's his name?"
"It's Max," she told me. "And he's so nice and we play together all the time at school and I really like him.... I'm deciding if I want to marry him or Noah."

I suppose it's not that surprising really. After all, we are talking about a little girl who, at least once a week, has a "wedding" day where she puts on one of her nice dresses and informs me that she's getting married to Noah today. She often refers to him as her "little husband" and rather quite enjoys bossing her little husband around. But now, apparently he has competition for the title of little husband. And I do mean little, because I found out that actually, Max is in the class below Bree...which means, she likes a younger man! Oh my!

Meanwhile, Noah is having a love affair of his own, with "danny" which is Noah speak for candy. Several times a day he will drag me over to the pantry, point, and say, "MaMom danny!" And I usually say, "No, no candy. How 'bout an apple or crackers?" Usually he's okay with that answer, sometimes he throws a fit, and sometimes he decides to collude with Bree to try and go around Mom's decree. He'll run over to big sister and say, "Na (his version of Brianna), danny!" And, even though he says it in a whisper, it's not a very quiet whisper, more like a stage whisper, and I'm onto the plot.

Ah...young love...Max and danny.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Noah!

Wow, it's been such a busy summer! vacations, travel, weddings, a rather painful and unexpected bout of pesticide in the eyes and recovery (but that's a whole other story)...and birthdays! In our family we have Bree's birthday, wedding anniversary, Trav's birthday, and Noah's birthday all in the span of one month! Whew! And on July 13th, Noah turned 2! My babies are growing so fast!

Just like for Bree, it was just the four of us for Noah's birthday. Which apparently, was more than enough, or we party hardy, judging by the amount of party mess that was left to clean up afterwards!

In keeping with my handmade gifts pledge, the large majority of our gifts to Noah were sewn by yours truly. One of the first things he opened was his own tool pouches.

Which turned out to be handy...he wore the tool belt the rest of the day, and used his tools to open the rest of his presents.

Yep, a man needs the right tools to get the job done. Nothing like hammering and screwing your gift wrap into submission.

Noah's a big fan of the show Dora the Explorer, and Boots the monkey is his favorite character. So, I also made him a stuffed animal Boots. Considering this was my first attempt at a stuffed animal, I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Of course, he had to get his own bean bag chair, just like big sister.

And I also made him his own playscape. He got a farm scene, complete with barn, silo, fences, and haystack.

And just like Bree's the whole thing cinches up into a bag that holds all the parts inside.

Embracing my hand made gift movement, my mom made him a Super Noah cape, which he loves! It's so funny too, he'll put it on, run into the room and strike a pose with his hands on his hips, cape billowing behind him. Then, after a dramatic pause, he'll run back out again. :)

His other big gifts were a basketball hoop and a sand/water play table. (Yes, they're plastic, I couldn't sew those things!) Now that the fence is finally up, it's nice to have some fun things for the kids to do outside. Yep, that's the new fence in the background there. (I finally broke down and just got white vinyl. It's not quite as bad as I thought, although, as predicted, in high sunlight you can practically be blinded by the glare of it's shiny white surface.)

After the gifts, it was time to party! Which, at our house means blowing those party blower things at each other...

...and blowing up funny shaped balloons and proceeding to "sword" fight and smack each other with.

Then it was time for cake. I frosted this one while it was still too warm and it turned out a bit wonky. But hey, it still tasted good and you know, might as well shrug and go with the flow instead of fret.

The birthday boy giving the cake the finger swipe and lick test.

Naturally, being all of 2 now, Noah thinks he's quite a big boy. He's in that phase where he wants to do things himself even though he can't quite really do them without help. And his character grows daily, along with his vocabulary. Yes, it's that stage that I find so charming where every word is either mispronounced, or used in the wrong context and it's oh-so-cute. So, since it's been awhile since I've done so, here are a few of my favorite things Noah says, translated from "Noahnese" to English.

do = yes Because, most of the time I'm asking things like "Do you want ____?" So, of course the answer is, "I do!" Although, lately he's also sometimes answering "uh-huh" which I find equally adorable.

MaMom That's me. Not sure when or why he started referring to me that way, but these days, he does. "Do MaMom!" = I do want that Mom!

Nuhko = Nikko, the dog

Boots = his favorite show/monkey, or the footwear, which is one of his favorite things to wear, usually with just a diaper on to accesorize.

Go = "There you go" or "Let go" depending on the context.

He also has a few "phrases" that only his mother can understand. Mostly because they're said in more of a singsong syllable kind of way. And it's not so much the words, but the sounds and the cadence of how he says them that cue me in.

da-i-tis = There it is.
whe-a-oo = Where are you?
Hahaha = Noah's evil laugh that he actually makes quite sinister and says usually during, after, doing something naughty.

Then there are those words that need no translation:

Mine A staple of 2 yr. olds everywhere, especially ones with older siblings.
Now a charming addition to the vocabulary. :)

Along with new words, it's been fun to watch Noah and his sheer "boyness". So different from Brianna at this age. For one thing he's already stronger than she is now, which we know because he's been hitting a lot. (And which we're working on quicky nipping in the bud.) He also likes to jump into a room with an improvised "sword" (which has been anything from a stick to a plastic golf club), assume a wide leg stance, swing his arm and go, "Hi-ya!" And the kid seems to always be sticky and dirty, despite my best efforts to keep him clean. In fact, I've been thinking his nickname should be pigpen, just like the Charlie Brown character, he seems to have a cloud of dust following him around. As proof, I present exhibit #1:

Yep, this is pretty much the standard look lately. (Except for the hat.) But at least he's also patriotic huh?
This picture reminds me of a Jeff Foxworthy joke... you know, you might be a redneck if your face is always dirty, you never wear a shirt, but you love your country so much you wear a red white and blue top hat. :)