Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year and Holiday Fun

Welcome to 2015...This year is going to big for us, I feel it. :)
But first...rewind a bit. We had a really fantastic holiday season this year. Both my mom and Josh's mom came in town for Christmas, plus Lexi and Tiernan were here a few weeks earlier for Thanksgiving. I had a lot of fun Winter and Christmas things that I wanted to do with the family (ZooLights, ICE! at the Gaylord, Driving to see Christmas lights, Christmas crafts) but none of them got done. I didn't even get out a Christmas card this year! I think I still might make one and send it out just for fun. Josh says we'll feel bad years from now looking back and realizing we are missing one year out of our stack of annual cards. He might be right.
The kids and I did get to celebrate the season by baking cookies together (guess how fun that was!?!) and delivering them to our friends. Truthfully, baking with toddler/preschoolers is only fun for the kid. For the parent it is only stressful. Spilled milk, powdered sugar clouds in the air, JJ dumped out a bottle of Vanilla extract (house smelled good though)..and I could go on. But whatever, in the end, the cookies looked and tasted good and Audrey was SO HAPPY to put on her Christmas hat and deliver cookies to her friends. The day we delivered them she had the idea to get the Santa hat - and she looked so cute! I love that she wanted to wear the hat. JJ and Nathaniel slept through most of the deliveries.
We saw Santa at Fair Oaks Mall again this year and it was the first time Audrey told him what she wanted for Christmas - "a doll house and Rapunzel with the white dress". She also told him that the boys wanted toys. Nathaniel slept through all of this (!!) and I didn't dare wake him. The bigger thing that day was that they had photos with Olaf as well as with Santa. Naturally, the kids were more excited about Olaf.

We also got to ride on the Santa train this year. I waited in line in the rain with both boys for these tickets because every year I hear how awesome it is. It was pretty cool I guess...but honestly it seemed overrated. The train ride was fun and JJ thoroughly enjoyed it but I think Audrey was a little bored, and Santa only came through once and it was for only a minute. He didn't have time to talk to the kids or anything, just waved. Next year we'll probably skip this event.
We decorated Gingerbread houses for the first time ever - and neither Audrey nor Joshua really were interested! Well, Audrey was excited but it wore off quickly and then she just wanted to eat the candy. Joshua wasn't in to it at all from the beginning and he spent most of the time pouring out the candy and spilling it everywhere. It was fun though and at least we got to say we did it!
The kids got everything their little hearts desired, and then some more, for Christmas. Between Santa, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and us...they were spoiled. We actually started packing up boxes of toys in November in preparation for JJs birthday and Christmas. We also got rid of a lot. We still have unopened toys in their playroom closet from Christmas. I'm waiting for a rainy day (or snow day) to open them so we can make the surprises last a little longer..and bust the boredom on those long days at home. :) Thank you all for a great Christmas!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

JJ turns TWO!

We celebrated baby JJ's second birthday last month (so behind - ack!) and it was a fun time. The party was a train theme of course, since that is all he ever thinks or talks about. I did it pretty simple with some Thomas decorations and a Thomas the Train cake. JJ loved the cake the most I think. It came with a wooden thomas train as decoration and of all the new train and train-like-toys he got that day, this train from the cake was his favorite! haha!

We had a fun day with friends and family and got to spend the evening catching up with some friends we haven't seen in quite a while. It was a great day. JJ was passed out on the couch before dinner time so that tells me he had fun! He got more trains than he could ever have asked for and HE LOVES IT! He sleeps with some of his trains and he has favorite trains.

Josh made him a train table for his birthday. It was a pretty easy project and I think it was an awesome gift. Bad thing is that it is HUGE but that's also a good thing because he and Audrey like to sit in it and they can also make pretty big tracks on it. It has room for storage underneath and we plan to make a top for it so it can be covered and serve as a coffee table when not in use. Its never not in use...but maybe the excitement will die off and we'll be able to cover it someday. It was his first birthday build though, so I know Josh is very proud of it.

I got Joshua tickets to see Sesame Street Live for his birthday, so he and I made a day of it. We went to lunch and did some shopping and then headed over to the Patriot Center for the show. The crowd was a lot of 1 and 2 year olds so it was pretty rowdy and loud. JJ (like most of the kids) wouldn't sit still and watch the show, he really just wanted to walk around and dance. Luckily we were on the end seats so I let him play a bit on the stairs. haha. so safe. I let him pick out a t-shirt too, and he was excited to wear that around for the show.
All about our big boy 2 year old! He's dropped way down in percentiles for weight and dropped some in height. He hasn't lost weight, but just hasn't gained as much as they want to see. He was in the 90th and 80th percentiles previously so they're concerned that he's not eating enough or getting enough calories. And honestly the doctor is probably right about that. Audrey used to have eating issues, but JJ is so much worse. He sometimes eats once a day. If he's tired, he won't eat. If he's playing, he won't eat. I try all these techniques to try to get him to eat but when it comes down to it, I can't force feed him. The doctor put him on Pediasure once a day to boost his calorie intake a bit and then we have a weight check again in a few weeks. I've been giving him the pediasure in his smoothies and he likes it that way. Smoothies seem to be the way to go with him since he doesn't have to actually stop playing to eat it, and I can fit a lot of calories in it. I'm not overly concerned with him gaining weight but it does worry me that he doesn't take in enough calories. He needs nutrients, you know??
He is talking more and more every day. He's started stringing together two words like "mommy look!" "train go!" and the like. My favorite thing to hear him say is "Mommy Look! I did it! I did it mommy look!" He's so proud and loves to show off what he can do. He is very expressive about what he wants and doesn't want. He constantly is calling us to tell us about something or show us something. He is still such a monkey-do...anything he sees Audrey do, he's right behind her. Its funny because most of the time he doesn't even know why he's doing or saying something, he's just copying her. They play together quite a bit but also bicker a lot and he's content to play alone with his trains. He also got a trampoline for his birthday and that's been a big hit in the house with both kids. I like it because it burns off some energy since we aren't going outside as much these days.
We are still working on potty training, but he's doing great! I am so glad I took a different approach this time instead of the "3 day" approach. It is so much easier and less stressful. He wears a diaper if we're going to be out for a long time, or if we're going to a party or play date where he might not remember to stop and use the bathroom.
His favorite book right now is a book called, "Little Blue Truck Leads the Way". He's not that in to books in general but when we do read its usually this one that he chooses. His favorite TV show is Thomas the Train of course, and favorite food is smoothies and cookies. :) 
He still sucks his thumb and carries his lovie(s) everywhere and I love that about him. Its like this little aspect of his babyhood that sticks with us and no one is in any hurry to lose it. He is my happy boy, very easy going (most of the time), and loves to make us laugh. He likes to roar, growl, hide, make faces, and do absolutely anything else that can get our attention and make us smile. He's a little entertainer. :)