I’m Back!

So while I was working on my last few posts about our trip to Oregon last year, I started having some problems with the Admin section of this blog.  I could not upload any pictures, I kept getting error messages and everything I tried didn’t work.  It was so frustrating because I only have two hours a day, two days a week without the boys to get things done.  And for a while all that time was spent trying to figure out what was wrong and attempting to fix it with no luck.  I called an IT person I knew and he couldn’t help me.  Then we started the addition on our house and that consumed every spare moment I had, so the blog was pushed even farther back.  After the addition project settled down, I was wondering if it was even worth trying to get back into this.  I often wonder if it is a good idea, in terms of my kids safety to even share these stories online.  Even though it is only going to a small group of subscribers of family and friends, it is still out there.  I am always conscious of what I share and keep things general and try not to give out too much detailed information.  I had a conversation with Justin and asked him what he thought.  He told me he thought it was worth starting again.

And once I realized I couldn’t upload pictures to my blog, I stopped taking pictures, and I didn’t like that.  Which reminded me of a few of the reasons why I started this in the first place.  Photography has been a longtime hobby of mine, and if I don’t have somewhere to share the pictures I am taking, then what is the point of taking pictures.  Also, the pictures I am taking are telling the story of my boys childhood.  Whether or not they will be interested in this when they are older, it is something for me.  I love being able to look back over the past 5 years and remember things I forgot, or see how much they have changed and that makes me happy, and so thankful that I captured that moment in time.  I don’t know how long I will continue to do this, I know as the boys get older they are not going to want all these details of their life shared. But until then, I decided to keep it up.

So that meant several very long, frustrating phone conversations with tech people.  After no resolution with their advice, they finally gave me an option to pay an $80 fee and they would troubleshoot and fix the problem.  48 hours later, it was working again! Hallelujah!  I was skeptical and afraid that it was going to “break” again, so I quickly uploaded all the pictures I had and started writing some stories, before something could go wrong…but so far all seems well.  Since it has been almost a year (!) I obviously can’t get completely caught up.  But I do have some things I want to post about the last year, before moving on.  So a lot of the posts may be more picture heavy than story since I’m just scrambling to get up to date.  So here goes, first order of business…I FINALLY updated the header! Although these pictures are already 7 months old…at least it is not just baby pictures of Jacob and Dylan has a presence.

Be back soon with more!

And then he turned TWO

I am excited that I am getting this post done in the same month as the event happened!  A few weeks ago, Dylan turned TWO!  And he was so excited about it!  That morning, after dropping Jake off at school, I took him to Krispy Kreme for a doughnut treat.

That afternoon while he was napping, Jacob and I made his birthday cake and wrapped up his presents.  When daddy came home he had a birthday balloon from Nonnie and Jacob declared that it was time for Dylan to open his presents.

We had some friends in town that were staying with us, so we all enjoyed a nice dinner outside before it was time for cake.

CHEEEEEEEESE!

Then it came time to blow out his candle

Ever since his birthday Dylan has been walking around singing “Happy Dylan…Happy Dylan” which is his own version of the birthday song.

I think they liked the cake

When we moved, it became quite a trek to visit the boys pediatrician, but I liked him, so I kind of lagged on finding a new one.  After talking to a fellow mom who is also one of the doctors I used to work with, she recommend someone whose office is really close to our house.  So we had Dylan’s 2 year old check up with their new pediatrician, who I really like.  He is a healthy boy and checked out great!  When talking about how tall he is, his doctor said that both our boys are projected to be at least 6 feet tall and Dylan is likely to be 6′ 2-3″.  Maybe we will have a basketball player on our hands, he is our athlete after all.  Dylan is currently 3 feet tall and weighs 29lbs 9.6oz.  He did get one shot and the nurse was fantastic and SUPER fast, Dylan didn’t even have a chance to think about it and start crying, another plus for the new doctors office!

Dylan very quickly grew out of the baby phase and is more and more independent every day.  He is my hot and cold kid.  He goes from being happy, silly, playing to throwing a complete fit in just a matter of seconds.  We are experiencing the terrible twos this time around.  But he is also such a love and a snuggler.  He usually doesn’t want to just sit in my lap, he has to have my arms completely wrapped around him like a harness.  He often wants me to hold him or carry him around and it is getting really hard to do that for extended periods of time since he is so heavy!  He is my chowhound and will eat pretty much anything, except for veggies.  Most days I make a double serving of my lunch because he often hijacks whatever I am eating for himself, even though he already had his lunch.  He has 3 of his two year molars in so we are almost done with the teething pains.  He still adores Jacob and when they are not fighting, they really have a great time playing together.  He is a parrot and has been copying everything we say, and picking up new words everyday and stringing a few words together.  Especially with the amount of talking his brother does, I can’t imagine how many words he has absorbed already.  If we ask Jacob a question, after Jacob answers us, Dylan automatically gives his answer too.  He will not be left out of any conversation.  His favorite song is Baa Baa Black Sheep and sings it all day and requests it every single night before bedtime.  This is my kid who is happy to have his picture taken, so I give you his 2 year old picture with Giraffe and Woolly Mammoth.

Happy Birthday to my sweet blue eyed boy!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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!

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

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

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And Dylan thought it was pretty fun

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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!

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.

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

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Then turn around and walk back to get more

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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.

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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.

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I love this little goofball

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It was a fun date with my littlest man.

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The Dishwasher v.2

Dylan’s favorite thing to help me with these days is unloading the dishwasher.  I remember doing a post about Jacob helping me unload the dishes and when I went back to look for it, I realized it was exactly 2 years ago!  And looking at those pictures of Jacob when he was so little was a fun trip down memory lane.  Now, 2 years later, I have a new little helper.

No matter where he is in the house, when I open the dishwasher, he hears the click and immediately makes his way into the kitchen.

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And starts unloading things,

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and working on trying to get the bigger objects through the small spaces in the rack.

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And he does it all with a smile!

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Sometimes he finds some unique, interesting objects

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‘So mom, what do you call this thing?’

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Ahhhh, this whisk will keep me entertained for a while!

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The top rack is always a bit challenging, since it is not easy for him to reach from the ground.

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His solution….just climb on up!

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Pretty sure appliance companies could use this picture as an example of what NOT to do to your dishwasher.

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Soon I need to start teaching him where everything goes so he can actually put stuff away for me!

First Haircut

There is something about giving a baby a haircut that suddenly makes them look older.  With both boys I dreaded cutting their hair in an attempt to keep the baby look for as long as I could.  Jacob was 15 months old when he got his first real haircut, I finally gave in after people started mistaking him for a girl!  Since he was born, Dylan has had little trims around the front and his ears to keep it out of his face, but not a real haircut.  He has more hair than Jacob did at this age and it is darker.  It was getting long in the back and it was starting to do the side flip thing.  So I gave in and decided it was time to cut his hair.  A few days later my mom came to visit, after breakfast one morning we took Dylan’s highchair outside and armed with a spray bottle, comb, scissors, things to keep Dylan distracted and of course me with the camera. Dylan got his first haircut.

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Not to be left out of the fun, Jacob wanted to help, so he decided he would be in charge of the spray bottle.

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And by helping in his mind, means spraying and saturating anything and everything with water, including grandma.

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Then he moved onto Dylan’s feet.

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Grandma had her work cut out for her trying to cut a squirmy baby’s hair who was getting his feet tickled by all the sprays from the water bottle.

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Slowly Dylan started looking a little less babyish and more little boyish.

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Thank you grandma for doing a great job!

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The Blue Park

One thing that I really do miss about our old neighborhood is all the parks.  We lived within walking distance of several playgrounds and lots of big grassy fields/soccer fields/baseball fields, etc…Our walks to the park and letting Jacob run around with a ball on the fields, was such a big part of our daily life.  There was one playground that was Jacob’s favorite, I actually did a post on it.  We called it the Blue Park since the ground was a blue padded/squishy rubber, and most of the equipment was blue.  We spent a lot of time there.  On our last day when we moved out of our condo, we stopped at the Blue Park to let Jacob play one last time, before heading to the new house.  Every once in a while when I say we are going to the park, Jacob asks if we are going to the Blue Park, and still talks about it often.

In March, Jacob had a dentist appointment, and his dentist office is in our old neighborhood.  When we were finished with the appointment, I told Jacob I had a surprise for him, and I started driving towards the Blue Park.  When we got closer and closer, I could see on Jacob’s face that he recognized the neighborhood and from his excitement I knew that he knew where we were going.

It tugs on my heartstrings to see how much he has grown since we were here last (almost a year ago).

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He can tackle things with ease now that were a little too difficult for him before.

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And it was fun seeing him show Dylan around his favorite park.

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And it is fun to see Dylan doing the things that Jacob did when he was a baby.

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Dylan really liked the swings at this park

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Jacob did swing for a little bit

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But he would much rather climb

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Such a big boy now!

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It is these moments, that I am SO thankful for this blog, these pictures and memories. When I start to feel overwhelmed with how far behind I am, or the pictures and stories that never made it on here, I remember the trips down memory lane when I look back on an old post and the happiness/sense of accomplishment I feel when I get a new post done. It also shows me how much I have grown as a mother.  When I read back on the first post I did about this park and I came to this sentence, “This particular day was a Saturday morning, there is no way I could take pictures and chase Jacob around the park by myself, so we had daddy with us.” I had to laugh.  Now that I am used to the juggling act that two kids entails, bringing my camera along at the park (by myself) didn’t seem like a big deal.  At times, it was a bit challenging and I always had to make sure Dylan was in a safe place when I was focusing on Jacob, but it is possible.  To me, remembering old memories and creating new ones is more precious than anything, and I am so blessed to have my little family to do that with.

SpiderMan

One day Jacob found his SpiderMan costume in a pile of things that I was getting ready to put away in the attic.  He asked me to help him put it on and despite the fact that it was too small for him, he wore it all day long.  Then the next day when it came time to get dressed, he requested his SpiderMan costume again, and the next day and the next…and so it began.

He did everything in his costume. He ate his meals as SpiderMan, ran around the house and outside as SpiderMan, played his drums as SpiderMan

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He wore it on our evening walks on the golf course

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SpiderMan practices good dental hygiene

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Jacob basically was living his life as SpiderMan.

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A really fun time was when we went to the grocery store.  I wish I had someone to videotape that experience.  EVERYONE was smiling and commenting on and high fiving Jacob, it made for a fun shopping experience.

This went on for quite some time and the costume was getting a bit beat up. I started telling him it was dirty and I had to wash it every time he asked to put it on (I know the experienced parents reading this know exactly what happened to it)…But the hat part was fine, so he continued to wear it.

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Doesn’t matter where we were going, or what we were doing, there was always a little part of SpiderMan with us.  From reading the news with daddy on Saturday morning

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to going to the dentist to get his teeth cleaned (told you SpiderMan has good dental hygiene!)

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And my absolute favorite thing was when I asked him what SpiderMan says, he would make the hand motions like SpiderMan does when he shoots the webs from his hands and say “I love you!” since it is also like the sign for I love you.

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Makes my heart melt!

Ranch Style Photos

In February we were back at the Broken Branch Ranch. And every once in a while we do a little photo shoot to try and get some cute pictures of the boys around the ranch and with Grandma and Grandpa. The main focus this time was on Dylan, mainly because a certain 3 year old is not too keen on sitting still and smiling for the camera. We also were trying to recreate something similar to our favorite “cowboy” picture of Jacob when he was 8 months old.  Since Dylan is a little older than Jacob was, it was harder to keep him still, but I think we got some good ones. There’s not a whole lot of story to tell here, just heavy on the picture side…

First we loaded up the props in the wagon.

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Then while we were waiting for the guys to bring the bales of hay I started snapping away at Grandma and Dylan

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Then Dylan was ready for his close up

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When Grandma and Grandpa joined in, Dylan could not take his eyes off Grandpa.  He loves Grandpa’s deep laugh and in every single picture I took he is smiling at him.

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Then we tried to get one with both boys and we ended up with more outtakes.  But they are still fun pictures to have, that show the general craziness of two boys.

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This is what we get if we ask Jacob to smile or laugh for the camera (and again Dylan was focused on Grandpa laughing)

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This would have been a good one if Dylan had been smiling, but I think he was over it at this point.

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Dylan was tired of sitting and being held, so we let him stand up and play on the bales of hay

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and he was sampling the goods

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Then we went for a ride in the wagon

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Which led us to the horses

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And that is usually where you can find this guy hard at work

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I love some of the facial expressions I get, he takes his jobs seriously! I can just hear his voice in his head saying “Don’t mess with me mama, I’m busy!”

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Once his legs get a little longer he will be tearing all over the ranch in this thing, he knows exactly how to drive it, but he can’t quite reach.

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After my dad saddled up Thunder the two of them went for a a little ride

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When they were finished, Jake goes right to the bin with the horse treats to fill up his pockets with treats to give the horses.

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Mission accomplished!

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Wish he was this passionate about doing chores at home!