This is FOUR

In January, Jacob turned FOUR!  In my opinion, this was his best birthday yet.

We started off the festivities by decorating his door with streamers and balloons the night before his birthday.  However…sometime in the middle of the night one of the balloons popped and woke him up, so he came in our room.  He woke me up saying, “Why are there decorations on my door?” Ooops!  I explained to him that they were for his birthday and got him back to sleep.   Regardless, he was still excited to see the decorations, especially since they were his favorite color, GREEN!

That day Jacob had preschool.  So we went to school with a big bag of Rice Krispy treats, Jacob’s current favorite treat.  They celebrated after their snack time with the Rice Krispy treats and sang Happy Birthday while Jacob got to wear a birthday crown.  Later in the afternoon daddy came home with a special delivery from Nonie, who we also call the “balloon grandma!”

Dylan was still napping at the time, and when he woke up and saw the Giant Batman and Spiderman balloons, he was not too sure about them and would not let me put him down.  So we gave Jacob his presents and he started opening them.

It didn’t take too long for Dylan to decide they were not so scary anymore. Or maybe he was overcoming the shock of seeing his favorite superhero in our living room.

Together they both tackled the rest of the presents.

That evening two of our neighborhood families came over for pizza and cake to celebrate with us.  Jacob loves being with these friends and we love the parents too, so it is win win for all of us!

My four year old!

The reason we didn’t do a big birthday party this year, was because a couple days later we took Jacob to the Happiest Place on Earth…Disneyland!

It truly was a fun, magical day!  It had been many, many years since Justin or I had been there, so we felt like giddy kids ourselves.

We had park hopper passes so we could go back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventures.  In Disneyland, we went to ToonTown where we saw Mickey, Goofy and Pluto, we walked around FantastyLand and rode on the flying Dumbo.  The weather was cloudy and cool, with a few sprinkles here and there.  Which was great because it kept the big crowds away. On our way to Pirates of the Caribbean, it started pouring and we stopped to find shelter for a few minutes and ended up buying some ponchos.

On Pirates of the Caribbean we scored the front row seats on the boat, which Jacob thought was fun when we “went down really fast under the waterfall!” Because of Jacob’s love of StarWars we spent a lot of time in TomorrowLand.  We rode the rocket ships, Buzz Lightyear’s ride and even Star Tours.  Jacob was scared and had a death grip on both of us during Star Tours, but afterwards he wouldn’t stop talking about it, I think this kid likes to be scared!

His reward for being so brave was a lightsaber of his choice (and also the talking Buzz Lightyear because he really wanted it and hey, it was his birthday).

And it wouldn’t be a complete trip to TomorrowLand without a visit with the one and only, Darth Vader!

Then we went to California Adventures where we spent most of our time in the CARS portion of the park.  Which by the way, I thought they did a fantastic job with!  The rides were fun for both the adults and kids, and the re-creation from the movie was perfect!  We walked down the street just when Tow Mater was leaving and Jacob got to wave at him as he drove by.  A minute later, Lightning McQueen showed up. So we took a few minutes to say Hi to him.

Then we checked out the rest of the park and rode more rides, among Jacob’s favorite was the other Buzz Lightyear one “where you use the blasters to shoot the bad guys!”

And to end the long day we walked along the boardwalk and took a ride on the giant Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel which gave us a birds eye view of both parks lit up at night. It was a pretty magical time for all of us and we can’t wait to go back!

The following week we had his 4 year old check up.  They tested his eyesight, hearing and overall general health.  He passed all his tests and is a healthy boy.  He now weighs 34 lbs and is 3 ft 4.5 in tall.  Jacob is our smart, silly, cautious, inquisitive boy.  He has mastered the fine art of arguing with us, or completely tuning us out altogether and tests my patience every single day.  But behind his strong willed personality, there are hugs and kisses and requests to play hide and go seek and chase with him and he often stops what he is doing and looks at me with a smile and says “HI mommy!” and that makes all the frustrating times melt away.  He still asks a million questions a day, and if I ask him if he needs help with something he says “No, I can use my super Gecko muscles!” (you will only understand what that means if you’ve seen the cartoon PJ Masks) and proceeds to flex his muscles and ask you to feel how strong he is.

I saw this fun little questionnaire online and decided to ask Jacob the questions.  Hoping I can remember to do something like this every year around his birthday.  It is a fun way to engage them in conversation and see how the answers may change as they grow.

  1. What is your favorite color?  Green
  2. What is your favorite number? 100
  3. Who are you best friends? Micah, Cameron, Melia, Mackenna, Ryan and Hudson
  4. What is your favorite song? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (doesn’t matter what time of year it is, he always wants this song)
  5. What is your favorite food? Pancakes and Nutella
  6. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Firefighter (which is funny since he has this crazy obsession with smoke alarms…)
  7. What is your favorite cartoon? Miles from Tomorrowland and Blaze and the Monster Machines
  8. What is your favorite toy? Mac truck, Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen
  9. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Working hard with him outside
  10. What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Hugs and kisses

And here is Jake’s 4 year old picture with his giraffe, elephant and a big boy haircut!

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Star Wars Christmas

The boys have really gotten into Star Wars.  They have never seen the movies, still a little too young for them.  But they have several Star Wars books filled with short stories that explore the world of Darth Vader, Storm troopers, The Death Star, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2 and C3PO. Those stories are among Jacob’s top picks before bedtime.  And they love to play Storm troopers, where daddy and Jacob are Storm troopers with blasters made out of legos and they are looking for the rebels and chasing RD-D2 (played by Dylan) and blasting off in their rocket (the tee-pee).  Such imagination with these boys!

A few days before Christmas some friends came over with early Christmas presents for the boys.  They got a baseball tee, a drone, and some snugly blankets with Superheros and Star Wars characters on them.

But the favorite thing for both of them were the light sabers.

They immediately started playing Star Wars

Then Dylan finally let us correct the way he was holding his light saber and it was game on!

So Star Wars paraphernalia along with Superheros, Cars and Toy Story are quickly taking over our house.  I am excited for the day (or I should say weekend) when the boys are older and we can have a Star Wars marathon.  It has been years since I’ve seen the original movies and I’m not even caught up on all the new ones.  In the meantime, we will keep reading the stories and perfecting our light saber skills.

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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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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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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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Springtime

It is amazing how fast the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years!  Some days drag on forever, but time in general is just speeding by. Here we are enjoying another beautiful San Diego Springtime! With St. Patrick’s Day and Easter just a couple weeks apart, March was a fun filled month.

I love how Jacob really learns about all the different holidays not just with what we do at home but at school.  They have so many fun activities, themed lunch parties, and all the holiday crafts.  After his St. Patrick’s Day party at school, I tried to get a picture of both boys.  Neither one would sit still, so I gave them some of the shamrocks that Jacob made at school and asked Jacob to tell Dylan about them. That lasted for about 5 seconds, when I was able to snap this picture.

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Then Jacob took off and I was left with this handsome dude.

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He was eyeing the artwork and trying to figure out what to do with it.

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After looking at it and waving it around, he decided to rip it to shreds and see how it tasted

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It must not have been very tasty, because then he took off after Jacob.

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After St Patrick’s Day came Easter. Our original plans for Easter weekend were pretty relaxed.  Jacob and I had a birthday party to go to on Saturday, then we were going to church on Sunday.  However, thanks to March Madness, a group of us had an impromptu get together on Saturday evening to watch the game, which also turned into an Easter egg hunt for the kids, and a fun evening with friends. Here they are lined up waiting for the GO! to start the hunt.

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And I will admit…I didn’t do the whole Easter basket thing this year. And since this was a last minute thing, we didn’t have a basket for Jacob to use for the hunt.  So Justin ran out to the car and grabbed a wine carrier bag for him to use.  Parents of the year, I know…

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To make things fun for the dads we also hid cans of Coors Light for them to find.  Somehow it turned into the dads giving the kids a dollar for every can they found and brought to them.

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Sunday morning we celebrated the real reason for Easter at church.  After the service we did another Easter egg hunt.  Instead of quickly gathering as many eggs as he could, Jacob would pick one up, and crack it open to see what was inside before putting it in his bag. He is very selective…

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And then he and Dylan got into a groove where Dylan would pick up an egg and Jacob would take it and put it in his bag.

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After the service we went to our friends house with a group of our church family and spent the rest of the day there.

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We feel so blessed to have all these wonderful friends who are like family to get together and do life with.

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’  – Luke 24:6-7

THREE

The first week of January, after we got the house cleaned up from Christmas, we got out the birthday decorations to celebrate Jacob’s 3rd birthday!

Jacob was born on a rainy day, so it was appropriate that the week of his birthday we had a pretty wild storm come through town.  Over a span of 5 days we had rain, flash floods, thunder/lightning, a tornado warning, a power outage and an earthquake! For people who are spoiled with San Diego’s perfect 70 degrees and sunny weather, it made for an exciting week! Jacob was so happy to use his new umbrella and rain boots

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and I felt like I was glued to the window for days watching it all unfold!  This crazy birthday week weather also confirmed my suspicion that this is going to be a wild year navigating life with a “threenager”.

On his birthday we had a trip planned to go visit the local fire department since every time we drive by he looks to see if the garage door is open. If it is not, he says “it’s closed, that means there’s not an emergency and the fire trucks are sleeping.”  If it is open, he is thrilled to see the trucks and yells “They’re awake! They’re awake!” However, due to the flash floods and thunder and lightning I decided it would be best to stay home rather than driving through the mess, and they were busy enough during the storm.  That night after  daddy got home from work we had a giant cupcake to celebrate his birthday and he sang along with us when we sang Happy Birthday to him.

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I’m THREE!

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The next day at school, he had cookies with his class to celebrate his birthday again.  And that weekend we had a Thomas the Train themed party with some of Jacob’s friends!  When looking online for a bakery, I discovered the bakery that did our wedding cake has their main location nearby.  So that was an easy choice for his cake.  I’m not really big on birthday cake, but this one was GOOD!

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Not all the kids made it into this picture, but I love seeing these kiddos together and it will be fun to look back on these pictures when they are older.

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He also had his three year check up with our pediatrician.  We addressed the peanut allergy again and his blood test results came back a 2 on a scale of 0-6.  It is a low number, but there is an allergy there, so we have an appointment to visit my old office do do some more testing.  Otherwise, he is a very healthy boy who now weighs 30.9 lbs and is 37.5 inches (a little over 3 feet) tall.

It was a fun week celebrating our cute, rambunctious, stubborn, frustrating, smart and sweet 3 year old!  To close this post, here is Jacob’s 3 year old picture with the giraffe and elephant.

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