Splash Park Fun

After getting through all our vacation photos, it dawned on me that I didn’t pick up my camera again all summer long!  I think because I’ve been so behind on pictures/posts I didn’t want to take any more pictures to put me back even more.  Also, my hands are not as “free” with two little boys to juggle so my camera has taken a backseat.  I started feeling a little bad about that, and wishing I had more pictures of all the fun things we did this summer.  Yes, I have thousands of pictures that I’ve taken with my iPhone, and those are great and I am hoping to do a post of our summer highlights with those pictures.  But the photographer in me, really prefers the quality photos that I can get with my camera.  So one morning we had a “meet the teacher” day at Jake’s new preschool, and afterwards we went to a Splash Park with some friends to let the kids run around.  At the last minute, I grabbed my camera hoping to catch some pictures of the final days of summer. And yes, I know it is mid-September and these pictures are now a month old…but better late than never has become my new matnra…

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This is a great place for the kiddos to run and play and stay cool in the summer heat.

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IMG_7515edAnd while the big kids ran all over the place, this little guy kept busy at a fountain with an assortment of buckets and cups to fill and dump out.

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Sometimes simple things like buckets, water, good friends and sunshine is all you need.

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Idaho or bust

Now that it is August (how did that happen?) and summer is almost over, I figured I better wrap up the last of our vacation we took in May!

A couple of years ago some friends of ours moved to Idaho.  So instead of going home after our fun with grandma and grandpa at “The BIG ranch up in Oregon”, we flew to Idaho for a few days to see them. Not only was it great for the adults to catch up, but their little girl is just a month older than Jake and it was fun seeing them reunite and play together.

On our first day we went to a brewery for lunch.  The property was beautiful with lots of space for the kids to run and play.  It was raining off and on, so inbetween the rain the kiddos burned energy chasing each other and Justin.

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And jumping off the raised patio, over and over and over again.

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The whole group!

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Then they drove us around and showed us their town.  We rented an Expedition so we could fit 4 adults and three kids in one car. Jake and Sammie had a great time giggling and being silly in the way backseat, and yes, Jake is picking his nose in this picture.

IMG_2871edAnd it wouldn’t be a trip with the Haigis’ without a visit to a wine tasting room!  I never knew Idaho had wine country.  We went to their favorite place, Cinder.  It was very kid friendly with toys to play with and chalk to draw on their concrete floors.

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And this was the best attempt to get a picture of all 3 kiddos.

IMG_2861ed The next day after going out for lunch, we relaxed around their house and Jaime got into her teacher mode and came up with crafts and activities for the kiddos to do for the afternoon.  First up was making slime.

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Jake has inherited his daddy’s aversion to anything sticky or messy, so he wasn’t too sure about this at first.

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But he quickly got over it and they had a great time molding, stretching and squishing slime.

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While the older kiddos were playing inside, Dylan was taking advantage of having all the outside toys to himself.

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And kept working on his walking skills

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And their dog Bear joined him to play in the sunshine.

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Then the big kids came outside for the next activity, dinosaur eggs.  Armed with a wooden pick, they dug at the eggs until finding their dinosaur prize.

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Success!

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Rawwwwwar!!

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We ended the night with a pizza date for dinner.

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It was so good to see them and visit their new hometown.  The boys did really good with all the traveling and we always have fun visiting other places, but it is also nice to come home to San Diego.

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Birds and the Bridge

One afternoon my mom and I took the boys and one of my mom’s friends to the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene.  It’s a neat place that rescues injured/sick birds and nurses them back to better health.  It is a small outdoor location that makes it perfect for little kids to run around and learn about different types of raptors.

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They had many types of hawks and owls,

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and my personal favorite was the Eagle.

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Jake made a friend, and they chatted their way through the center.

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It was a fun afternoon adventure!

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That evening, back at the ranch, Jake was happy to be back doing chores with grandpa and daddy.  And this year his favorite chore was picking up the horse poop.  Over the last two years, he has always “helped” grandpa pick up after the horses, but he really was just sitting in the cart dancing away to the country music on the radio and talking to grandpa.  This year, he actually wanted to do it “all by myself” which is a phrase we hear frequently these days…so consider yourself warned…if you are squeamish by the sight of horse poop, you can quickly scroll over this next batch of pictures to the second half of this post.

Jake looked forward to doing this every single day.  And anytime he saw horse poop he had to stop what he was doing and announce that we needed to pick it up.

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He did have his few trips and face plants into the piles,

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And he was mortified that I was taking pictures of him…

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Really mom?? Are you really taking pictures right now?

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Ugh!  I can’t believe it!

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Still taking pictures??!!

IMG_7311edWhatever, I’m going back to work…

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And this little guy, is still too young to be wielding his own pooper scooper…

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But he was watching closely, and taking notes.  I’m sure he will join them next year.

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All this talk of picking up horse poop makes this an appropriate spot to share this adorable photo of Dylan taking a bath in grandma’s bathtub.

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On our last day there, we had some more rain.  We had a few errands to run and shopping to do in town and we even drove 30 minutes out of our way to go back to Brewers Union for fish and chips for lunch.  And I love this picture of the boys/guys with the dark storm clouds in the background, cheering for the rain!

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And one thing that we never did and had been talking about doing since our first day there was visiting the Lowell covered bridge.  Other than walking through the bridge and reading about the history of it, there really isn’t much else to do, so the guys were not too excited about going.  But those kind of places are what make people like me, who are interested in photography, drool.  So the guys obliged and we headed over there.  I wish we had easy access to a place like this in San Diego to do photography sessions.

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As I said it had been raining off and on all day, of course right when we pulled up, the skies opened and it was POURING!  But we were there (the only ones for that matter) and we weren’t going to let some rain stop us. So we ran…all the way to the safety of the covered bridge and we were soaked!

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Once out of the downpour, we walked around and read about the history of the bridge, and looked out over the lake and watched the storm.

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Then it stopped, and the sun came out!

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Cheering for the sun!

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And we were able to have a much more leisurely walk back to the car.

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We always have so much fun visiting the “big ranch up in Oregon”!  And I love that every year we do some of the same things as well as some new things. I am looking forward to all the fun things we can do in the coming years as the boys get older!

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Around the ranch

The baby calves on the ranch were just couple months old and needed their medications and ear tags, etc…and the momma cows needed a check up as well, so we had a roundup!

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Friends and neighbors came over to help.

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Everybody had a job to do

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And this little cowboy was loving all the action

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When our other little cowboy woke up from his nap, he sat in the stroller and watched all the action while having a snack.

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Towards the end, Jake thought daddy was spending way too much time with the cows and convinced daddy to pick him up and get him closer.

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We heard a lot of MOOOOOing that day!

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Later that afternoon we got the horses out, and Dylan thought it was pretty fun.

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We ended our roundup day pretty much the same way we end every day when we are at the ranch…Playing marbles!  This is a game that has been in my family forever and I grew up playing this game all the time.  It’s fun, it’s competitive and the girls always win 🙂  After the dinner dishes are cleaned, kids bathed and in bed, the 4 of us sit at the game table and play the marble game all night long.

IMG_7220edThe next day the sun came out again and we just played/worked around the ranch.  The boys were moving tractor equipment to get it ready to cut & bale the hay, re-positioning electric fences, and Jake took over for daddy when he was taking the covers off the vents around the house.  He watched daddy do a few and then declared “I can do it ALL BY MYSELF!” and he did.  This kid likes to work his tools.

We also played…pushed toy tractors around

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Played with the giant ball

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Went for rides in the wagon

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And flew a kite

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After the kite got stuck in a really tall tree…we moved on to riding horses.

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There is always plenty to do and I love the experiences that our boys have while there.  I think I have one more post left…be back soon!

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Sunny to Rainy Days

After our very hot first day there, the next day was still warm, but much more pleasant to be outside.  So we played around the ranch.

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We sat out on the grass and played with a giant ball, and Dylan was practicing his walking skills back and forth between mom and grandma.

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We drove into town to do some shopping and for lunch at Track Town Pizza.

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We’ve always visited my parents in Oregon during the summer when it is hot, and all the grass is dead and brown.  One year we went up in the fall which was pretty since all the leaves were starting to change colors and we went to a fun pumpkin patch.  But we always hear them talk about how pretty it is during the spring when everything is blooming, the grass is green and the hay fields are thriving.  So that is why we decided to go in the springtime this year.  And obviously the reason everything is blooming and green is because there are lots of rainy days.  Being from Southern California, rainy days are so much fun!  So it made for an exciting morning when we woke up to cool temperatures and grey skies warning us of the coming thunderstorm.  After breakfast, Jake and daddy sat out on the porch watching it rain…

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They were looking for lightning and counting until the thunder hit.  The thunder was close and LOUD!

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And Jake loved it, but the dog, Jane…not so much…in fact after a particularly loud thunder which rattled the windows in the house, she bolted to the safety of her crate in the mud room.

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After the big storm passed, we had a consistent drizzle for the rest of the day, so it was a good day to visit some neighbors and friends.  First we went to Bob’s house so he could show Jake his train village he built in his basement.

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He let Jake sit in the controller’s chair and Jake loved watching the train going around and around and over the bridges and through the tunnels.

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The view of my parents ranch from Bob’s driveway

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Then we went to Vicky and Roscoe’s house to meet their miniature donkey’s

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When we got there Jake took one look at the donkey, then turned around and saw all of Roscoe’s tractors and farm equipment and said WOW!  You have a lot of cool stuff!  Clearly, he is a motorhead and has no interest in animals.  Dylan on the other hand thought they were pretty fun!

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Then the boys started exploring the tractors

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And the toys, and they have a lot of them!

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IMG_7107edThat evening the rain let up a bit so Jake was thrilled to be able to go out and do the chores.

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And of course drive his tractor around in the barn.

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These Southern California people love rainy days!

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Fish Hatchery

Three days after Dylan’s birthday we hopped on a 6:30am flight to visit Grandma and Grandpa at what Jake calls  “the BIG ranch up in Oregon”.  We really missed not taking this annual trip last year since we were still in the middle of our move/remodel/newborn baby/etc…Since we left the house so early, we pretty much scooped the boys out of bed and put them in the car, so they were cozy in their pajamas during our flight from San Diego to Seattle.  And we think that because it was so early in the morning, they were still kind of half asleep while taking in everything around them, which made for an easy flight.  Jake was so excited to be on an airplane and kept talking about the jets, and asking what every single picture and symbol meant.  So when he saw the seatbelt light and the no smoking light overhead, he asked what they were.  We explained the seatbelt light and just dismissed the no smoking light.  But anyone who has ever been around a persistent three year old knows that he wasn’t going to let us just dismiss it…instead of launching into a discussion about what smoking is, how bad it is for you, etc… Justin came up with a great idea and told him that it means no yelling or talking loudly on the airplane. Since the light is on the entire flight, Jake kept telling us that there was no yelling or talking loudly on the airplane...Hey, it worked! And the funny thing is now whenever he sees a no smoking sign anywhere (and for some reason our Target has them everywhere, I never noticed them until Jake started pointing them out), he tells me that it means no yelling or screaming! One day we will have to tell him what it really means, but for now, I’ll take no yelling or talking loudly! I just had a thought…maybe I should put no smoking signs all over the house and in the car!!

Ok, back to our trip, of course the second we landed in Seattle, Dylan promptly fell asleep. And he stayed asleep while we got off the plane and made our way through the airport to find a restaurant for breakfast.  We found the perfect spot by the windows so Jake could watch the airplanes.

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After breakfast and changing the boys out of their PJ’s, we found a quiet corner where they could run around and burn some energy before the last leg of our trip. After his little catnap, this guy was ready to go!

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It was a bit of a challenge to keep Dylan in my lap and quiet during the flights, but all in all, the boys did great. And we were so happy to see grandma and grandpa when we arrived!

The next day was pretty hot, so we decided it would be a good day to start our adventures by driving into the mountains and visiting the fish hatchery.  But first we had to stop for lunch at the local pub, Brewers Union.

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Aside from it having bad lighting inside for taking pictures, this was such a great place! Not only do they have really good fish and chips…

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But it was very kid friendly.  They had all kinds of toys for them to play with, including a kid sized pool table.

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I can remember my mom doing this same thing to me, teaching me how to shoot pool.

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When our food arrived we had to corral the monkey’s to eat.

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Jake stuck with the grilled cheese sandwich

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And this guy was being a cheeseball while eating his sweet potato fries

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With full tummies, we made our way to the fish hatchery.

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First, we got some fish food to feed some really big, over 50 year old, sturgeons.

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The boys loved seeing the fish jump out of the water to get the food

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We walked around the rows of fish, where you can see them as teeny tiny little babies and each row they were a little bigger and bigger.

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It was fun watching the little fish swimming against the current and jumping into the water pouring in the channels.

IMG_6947edThere were other things to do at the hatchery as well.  They had some small animals and birds to look at.

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And Jake and Daddy’s favorite was the miniature golf!

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Our last stop was the tiny museum.  After looking around we sat down and enjoyed the cool AC blowing while the boys chased each other and the fish around in the big tank.

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It was a great way to start off our vacation!

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ONE

The day after the party was a special day for many reasons.  First, it was Dylan’s actual birthday, it was Mother’s Day and his baby dedication!

We spent the morning with our church family for Dylan’s dedication.

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We are so blessed with an amazing village to help guide us on this crazy parenting journey!

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Afterwards we had a quiet (at least as quiet as you can get with two boys!) afternoon at home, celebrating with just the 4 of us.

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I love his snuggles, giggles and big bear hugs…I love his determination, fierceness and stubbornness.  He is sweet, he is loud, he is growing up way too fast in an attempt to keep up with his brother!  I can’t believe he is ONE! Happy Birthday big boy!

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The First Birthday Party

The day before Dylan’s birthday we had a party to celebrate his first year.  Since it was the weekend after Cinco de Mayo, we kept the celebration going into the weekend with a Cinco de Mayo theme.

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Dylan had friends of all ages come to celebrate with us.

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We just celebrated this little cutie’s 1st birthday a month earlier.

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After everyone ate and the kids got some good playtime in, it was time for cake!

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Dylan didn’t quite know what to do with the cake, so big brother got him started by showing him how to properly eat the frosting with your fingers.

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Once he got the hang of it, he decided he liked it.

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Then he figured out how to pick it up, and shove it directly into his face.

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Some of the kids made it in the group photo

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And it wouldn’t be a kids Cinco de Mayo party without a Pinata!  Thanks to one of my girlfriends we had the ultimate giant Pinata, it was almost adult sized!

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The birthday boy got the first swing

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Then all the kids had a few rounds starting with the little ones

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And big brother got his turn

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I love the kids cheering in the background!

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And you can tell this girl knows her way around a Pinata by the looks of determination on her face!

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And the kid who plays T-Ball is the one who finally got the job done!

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A happy Birthday Boy!

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All the kids (and adults) had a great time.  We are so thankful to those who came to celebrate with us. When the party was over Dylan couldn’t go to bed without opening his presents, with lots of help from his brother of course!

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I’d say it was a successful first birthday and looking forward to all the birthday parties to come!

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Papa’s pool

The last weekend in April we went to Papa J and Nonnie’s house to celebrate Papa’s birthday.  And Justin made the mistake of telling Jacob we were going about 2 weeks before.  So…every single day, all.day.long he kept talking about going to Papa’s to swim in the pool.  Every time we were getting ready to go somewhere, he would ask, “are we going to Papa’s?”  When we put him to bed at night, we tell him it’s time to get some sleep so he is ready for the next day’s adventures, and he always asked “Tomorrow are we going to Papa’s pool?”  Finally, the week before, I started laying out the days and telling him what we had to do each day before we could go to Papa and Nonnie’s house.  It went something like this…“Today we have to do laundry and run errands, tomorrow you have school, the next day is a playdate and swimming lessons, then you go to school again and when we pick you up from school, THEN we will go to Papa’s house!” 


After counting down the days, the day finally came for us to go, and we had a great time!  The things I didn’t get pictures of was golf cart rides, trip to the park, yummy meals and lots of family time playing together.  And of course what Jacob had been waiting for…we spent lots of time in the pool.

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Jacob is not the only one who loves to swim, Dylan was having a great time too!

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They love being with their daddy and Papa in the water.

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And Jacob loved being launched into the air by Papa.

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And Dylan was cheering him on.

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It is fun to sit back and watch them playing around, being silly and simply just being kids (both the big boys and the littles!)

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And Dylan has become quite the dog lover.  The neighbors dog spent the day with us and it was a love affair between the two.  The dog followed Dylan everywhere, and Dylan loved every minute of it and was signing doggie all day long. I’ve gained supporter in my quest for a dog!

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And while the guys were golfing one day, the boys and I were able to get a quick lunch with one of my best friends who I had not seen in a long time.

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It was a fun weekend celebrating Papa and spending time with family!

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Month 12

And just like that…Dylan turned one!  The month of May has been a crazy, fun filled month and I have LOTS to share.  But first, lets finish up the weekly photos.

This little guy is a true snuggler (is that a word?)  He loves to give hugs, and I mean full on arms wrapped around your neck, his cheek squished up against yours and squeezing as hard as he can.  When Justin gets home from work, Dylan is not happy until Justin picks him up so Dylan can give him a proper hug!

His independence is in full force.  If I prepare food for him (cut it up or try to feed him myself), he refuses to eat it.  But if I simply just put it down in front of him he will chow down.  And it is forbidden to try to feed him anything other than what his brother is eating, I’m sure if he was close enough to Jacob while eating he would just grab his plate out from underneath him.  He also prefers to brush his own hair, wash his own face and uses his body to lean, nudge and point to where he wants you to go when holding him.

Along with his independence, his determination and stubbornness have arrived too.  He is ALOT noisier than his brother was.  It was very easy (and sometimes still is) to distract Jacob from something, and he would just go with the flow.  Dylan on the other hand is more stubborn, if you try to distract him from something his determination and noise level get stronger and louder and he puts up more of a fight.   I guess he has two extremes, a loving snuggler to a determined go getter!

When he has a cup in his hand and sees someone else drinking something he repeatedly needs to toast them and “do Cheers!”  He loves to play with a toy (or real) phone and pretend he’s talking to someone.  His favorite place to be is outside and is always pointing out the window or banging on the door to tell us he wants to go out to play.  His walking skills are improving every day.  And because of that, he has now figured out how to open and close the doors, which is his favorite thing to do while playing in the bedrooms, open the door, close the door, open the door, close the door, over and over and over again.  It makes me cringe every time because I keep imaging those little fingers getting smashed.

Here are the last of the weekly photos

Week 49 – We had a pretty nasty virus come through our house and affected all of us (except daddy) for a couple of weeks.  Poor guy was not feeling well this week.

Dylan 49 wksWeek 50 – back to his smiley self!

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Week 51

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Week 52

Dylan 52 wks

And that is it for the weekly photos!  Now it’s time for me to get a new couch!