Shopping for the tree

There is a Christmas Tree farm just a few miles away from our house. So last year we checked it out for the first time and we didn’t hesitate to go back again this year.  Their trees are beautiful and they LAST.  We almost felt bad getting rid of our tree last year since it was still healthy and alive after the first of the year instead of dying and littering our house with pine needles.

When we got there the boys had a great time running up and down the rows of trees.

It became a race

it didn’t take long for the boys to figure out how to ditch us by running in-between the trees.

You can’t really pick a bad tree there so it didn’t take us long to find our tree. After we paid for it and loaded it up, the boys were still having so much fun playing, so we stuck around for a bit.

Maybe someday I’ll get a picture with them where they are both looking at the camera.

Our house is decorated, Red the Elf has arrived and we now have our tree.  All the Christmas fun has started.  I’ll be back with lots more to share soon.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

18 Months

I often say I feel like I was robbed of Dylan’s babyhood.  He grew up so fast, physically and developmentally that I forget he is not even 2 years old yet.  In fact, in November he turned 18 months, and he does not look or act like he’s only a year and a half old.

A lot has happened in the past 6 months since he turned one. While he had been taking a few steps here and there, a week after his first birthday he was walking.  And really didn’t stay in the walking phase for too long before he began running, everywhere…

He has been a teething machine, he now has a total of 10 teeth, including 3 molars.  Teething didn’t really seem to bother Jacob too much, but it really affects Dylan.  He suffers from the pain, has a loss of appetite, fevers, crankiness, etc…

Dylan has an appetite!  Of course his food preferences are completely different from his brother’s.  While Jacob loves his yogurt, fruits of all kinds, some veggies, cheeses and sweets, he is not a fan of meat.  Dylan however will eat chicken, tri-tip, salami, bacon, pasta and fruits.  But is not a fan of yogurt, cheeses or sweets.  So our meals are either diverse, or have a little of something to satisfy everyone, or one kid just doesn’t eat as much as the other.

I remember when Jacob was a baby I was thankful that I never had to worry about him hitting, pushing or biting other kids, he never did that.  Dylan on the other hand did go through the hitting and pushing phase, so I had to really watch him when playing with others.  On that topic, which really doesn’t help that issue…his favorite thing to do is wrestle with his brother.  At first I was always concerned about Dylan since he was still a “baby” and didn’t want him to get too banged up.  But then I realized that he can easily hold his own and he is usually the instigator constantly tackling Jacob and taking him down.  I quickly grow tired of playing referee and as long as no one gets too rough and they are in a safe spot, I let them wrestle.  And they love it!

He is really starting to show more interest in sign language now and has been picking up signs as fast as we can show him.  His vocabulary is really starting to pick up a little speed as well.  He loves music and asks me to play some every time we are driving in the car.  His favorite song as a baby was the Wheels on the Bus and it has now become 10 Little Indians.  His favorite word right now is GO!  Jake and I often count 1…2…3… and pause for Dylan to shout GO!  Every time I back out of our garage Dylan yells GO!  He is learning about the traffic signals and when the light turns green he yells GO!!

Justin taught him how to say football.  One day he surprised me when we were walking past the TV display at Costco and they were recapping a game on the news and Dylan shouts FOOTBALL!  I have a feeling he is going to be our athlete.  The boy is always running and anytime he is carrying something he carries it in a proper football hold. he has great hand/eye coordination and at 18 months old he has a pretty solid golf swing complete with a follow through.  We never taught him that, he just picked up a toy golf club and started hitting every ball he could find. Definitely got that gene from his daddy!

From the beginning Dylan has never been easily distracted.  If he is upset about something it takes a lot of distraction techniques and time before he gets over it.  He is my strong willed child!  However, underneath all those mischievous grins, sneaky ways, loud and rambunctious personality, he is my cuddle bug.  He gives serious hugs and will not let go.  My mom says I used to hang on her like a monkey when I was little that sometimes she didn’t even have to hold on to me since I was holding on so tight.  Dylan does the same thing.  And to add to the hugs, he will stare in my eyes and give me kisses and kisses and kisses.  He is a little love! And he’s also a cheeseball… When taking a picture of him, he scrunches up his face and shows all his teeth and says a long and drawn out CHEEEEEEESE.  You’ll see in the picture below.

Everyone says the second baby is easier than the first since you know better about what to expect.  Which is true in a lot of ways…however, there is no way to predict their personalities and mannerisms.  In my experience, so far, both boys have been pretty different in almost everything.  And I kind of love that!  Honestly, I can’t believe this is an 18 month post for Dylan, not because I can’t believe how old he is, but because I can’t believe that he is ONLY 18 months old!

His 18 month birthday was November 8th, Election Day, so he wore his American flag shirt to mark the occasion.

img_7999ed

And I thought the problem with the subscribers not getting email notifications was resolved, but it seems that no one got a notification about my last post about Halloween (click here to see it).  So I contacted them again and am waiting for resolution…Hoping this one comes through.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Pumpkins and Superheros

Halloween is such a fun holiday with the boys, I love that they get excited about dressing up in costumes, asking every day if it is time to go trick or treating and looking for decorations on houses when we drive around town.  But I personally love Halloween because it is the kickoff to the holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas to follow.  So when we started seeing pumpkins at every store and pumpkin patches we went to, Jake wanted to get one.  We ended up with a small collection of a few pumpkins of various sizes that we used for decorations around the house.  Then he kept talking about carving the pumpkins and we told him we had to wait until it was closer to Halloween.  Finally, a few days before Halloween, we went to get some good sized pumpkins for carving.  On Saturday morning that was our first order of business, a pumpkin carving party.

It seems I can never get the boys to smile at the same time for a picture…

img_7755ed

img_7756edThe boys have a variety of costumes that they love to play with and Jake decided that he would be Spiderman for our pumpkin carving party, while Dylan was sporting a Superman shirt.

img_7772ed

And Grandma was in town so she got to join in on the fun!

img_7783ed img_7786ed

Neither one of the boys were too thrilled about the slimy insides (we will see how long that lasts)…so daddy and grandma did most of the hard work with cleaning them out, while they stuck with their spoons as “scoopers”.

img_7796ed img_7829ed

And I guess the key to getting this guy to smile AND look at the camera at the same time is carving pumpkins as Spiderman…

img_7802ed img_7814ed img_7812ed img_7824ed

Then mom joined in to get her hands dirty for a bit. And apparently the boys were really confused to see daddy behind the camera?

img_7834ed img_7846ed

Then these two goofballs started their silly antics…

img_7868ed img_7873ed img_7866ed

When it came time to carve them, we got one of the Halloween books that we had been reading with the boys that has various types of Jack O Lantern carvings so they could choose which ones they wanted.

img_7881ed

Supervising daddy’s work.

img_7886ed

My blue eyed boy!

img_7876ed img_7889ed img_7898ed

We ended up with silly, sleepy and surprised.  I call that a success!!

img_7922ed

And we noticed that we carved 3 pumpkins this year, and Jake is 3 years old.  Last year we carved 2 pumpkins, when he was 2 years old and the year before that it was 1 pumpkin when he was 1 year old.  Total coincidence, not intentional at all.  And I don’t think next year we will have 4, but with two boys, who knows…

With the pumpkins carved, costumes ready, we were officially ready for our Superhero Halloween! Batman and Robin to the rescue!

img_7941ed

img_4999 img_5004

We started off the night at a neighbors house for a pre-party before hitting the streets to trick or treat.

img_5014ed img_5015ed

BOO!

img_5019

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Bates Nut Farm

A few years ago when Jacob was a baby, I went with some girlfriends and their littles to Bates Nut Farm.  In the fall they turn their farm into a pumpkin patch with pony rides, a petting zoo, tractor hay rides, a corn maze and other fun activities.  At the time Jacob was a little too young to really “enjoy” it all and every year I kept saying I wanted to go back.  This year I finally made it.  Our schedule is busy as usual, and there is only one day during the week that we don’t have any kind of scheduled thing like school, swim lessons, etc…So that day usually is filled with a playdate or doctor’s appointments, or errands that need to be taken care of.  About a month ago on that day, we had nothing planned.  And it wasn’t until about 8:00 that morning when I was trying to figure out how we were going to spend the day that I decided we were going to go to Bates Nut Farm.  I got the boys dressed, packed up some food, loaded up the car and grabbed my camera.  It is about a 30 minute drive into the mountains from our house which made for a nice leisurely drive to drink my coffee while singing along with the with kids music playing in the car.  I like to get to these places right when they open to avoid the crowds and the afternoon heat.  And this day was perfect!

img_7677ed

After saying HI to the farmers unloading all the pumpkins, they started searching for the perfect one.

img_7686ed

Dylan thought they needed some re-arranging and started moving them from one side to the other

img_7721ed img_7729ed img_7724ed

img_7713ed

img_7738ed

Then Jacob wanted to feed the goats, so all 3 of us each got a cup full of food and went to the petting zoo. Both boys loved it and laughed when the goats ate out of their hands.

img_4814ed img_4803ed

Then the lady working there offered to take our picture, and we still had food on us.  So the goats kept trying to climb into my lap along with Dylan to eat it up!

img_4812ed

Then we hopped on the tractor hayride for a spin around the farm.

img_4818ed

And Jacob talked during the entire ride, commenting on everything he saw

img_4820ed

And Dylan thought it was pretty fun

img_4821ed

Then we walked around the stores and bought a few treats.  We went over to where all the animals were and looked at chickens, pigs, llamas, turkeys and more goats before heading home for lunch.  I love those spontaneous adventures with my boys!

3 Year Old Preschool

When we moved, we left Jacob at his old preschool because we didn’t want to change schools on top of a new baby, new neighborhood and a new house.  So when it got close to the end of the last school year, I started researching the preschools in this area and learned that the school he was at had fantastic hours and a more of a year round program, meaning they didn’t close for Spring Break or summer, etc…we decided to keep him at his old preschool through the summer program and then start him at his new preschool closer to home in the fall.  So before I share his first day of school pictures (which are now a few months old), here are the ones he had taken last spring at his old preschool.  And he looked so darn cute in all of them, that I couldn’t just settle on one photo and ended up getting all three…

279465702_2016_5_8 279465701_2016_5_8 279465703_2016_5_8

When it came time to start his new school, it didn’t really seem to faze him.  The 3 year old class is a little more work than 2 year old preschool, and this is my kid who likes to have a job and something to do, so he jumped right into it.  And the fact that one of his good buddies is in his class helped too I’m sure. I barely get a kiss good bye when I drop him off and he is always excited to run around with his buddy while the moms chat for a few minutes when I pick him up.  So it is safe to say that he is enjoying it!

Here’s our little cheeseball ready for his first day of 3 year old preschool.

img_7496edbl img_4187edbl

And the tractor backpack in his favorite color green from grandma and grandpa was the icing on the cake.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Feeding Dylan

I know I’ve been kind of sporadic here lately and I don’t like that.  It boils down to the fact that I have no time during the day to work on this blog and by the time the boys are in bed for the night, I am too tired and just want to sit and talk to my husband or watch a TV show or scroll through my Facebook feed or simply just sit and stare at nothing and enjoy the quiet.  I love this blog though and don’t plan on stopping.  It is my favorite way to capture the story of our lives, especially since I haven’t touched Jacob’s baby book since he turned 2 and I did buy one for Dylan…but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  I’ve been feeling the urge to start picking up my camera again every once in a while.  So one day after dropping off Jacob at preschool, I didn’t really have any urgent errands to take care of and rather than browsing the aisles of Target and spending $200 on stuff I didn’t know I needed, I decided to do something fun with Dylan.  So we went to feed the ducks.  Before we left the house, at the last minute I ran back in to grab my camera and I am so glad I did.

img_7568ed

According to Dylan though…we were there to feed him and just look at the ducks.

img_7607edHe would come get a slice of bread from me and walk back to the ducks and stand there and eat the bread.

img_7563ed

Then turn around and walk back to get more

img_7604ed img_7585ed

I showed him how to break up the bread and throw it to the ducks, and he looked at me and smiled, and even laughed, he thought it was funny.img_7611ed img_7613ed

And he kept on eating the bread, while I threw some pieces out to the ducks in between pictures.

img_7609ed img_7589ed

When Dylan’s tummy was full, we walked over to the playground where he did about 50+ laps up the stairs and down the slide.

img_7633ed img_7625ed img_7635ed img_7638ed

I love this little goofball

img_7647ed img_7650ed2

It was a fun date with my littlest man.

img_7656ed

Testing, testing

1…2…3…

Apparently the last post I did never sent out a email notification that I published a new post.  So I went online to try and find out why and I guess due to an update it was messing up the system.  I haven’t had time to research how to fix it, but there was recently another update so I am hoping there is resolution to the problem in this update.  So this is just a test post to see if the email notifications are working again…

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…

IMG_7496ed

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

IMG_7510ed

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.

IMG_7535ed IMG_7529ed

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

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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.

IMG_7401ed IMG_7411ed IMG_7409ed

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

IMG_2841ed IMG_2845ed IMG_2852ed IMG_2833ed IMG_2837ed

The whole group!

IMG_2823ed

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.

IMG_7424ed

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.

IMG_7430ed IMG_7435ed IMG_7442ed

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

IMG_7453ed

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

IMG_7455ed IMG_7463ed

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

IMG_7467ed IMG_7471ed

And kept working on his walking skills

IMG_7482ed IMG_7483ed

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

IMG_7470ed

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.

IMG_7475ed

Success!

IMG_7489ed

Rawwwwwar!!

IMG_7487ed

We ended the night with a pizza date for dinner.

IMG_2874ed

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.

IMG_2880ed

Save

Save

Save

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.

IMG_7276ed

They had many types of hawks and owls,

IMG_7271ed

and my personal favorite was the Eagle.

IMG_7280ed

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

IMG_7284ed

It was a fun afternoon adventure!

IMG_2772ed IMG_2768ed

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.

IMG_7293ed IMG_2786ed

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

IMG_7313edBut he took his job very seriously,

IMG_7307ed

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

IMG_7308ed

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

IMG_7309ed

Ugh!  I can’t believe it!

IMG_7310ed

Still taking pictures??!!

IMG_7311edWhatever, I’m going back to work…

IMG_7312ed

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

IMG_7298ed

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

IMG_7316ed

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.

IMG_2788ed

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!

IMG_2809ed

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.

IMG_7380ed

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!

IMG_7335ed

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.

IMG_7351ed IMG_7343ed IMG_7356ed

Then it stopped, and the sun came out!

IMG_7370ed

Cheering for the sun!

IMG_7367ed

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

IMG_7374ed IMG_7377ed

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!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save