Thursday, July 30, 2009

Energizer Bunnies

Today's play date was NONSTOP energy! Here's a few videos of Jack and "Joe," as Aunt Missy calls him, having a ball!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's the "special" today?

Yesterday during breakfast I offered Joseph a piece of nectarine, and he flat out refused. "No want it" is a phrase we hear often enough when it comes to new food, even if he eventually does eat it. But he loves apples, so I saved 1/2 of the nectarine and called it "Daddy's special apple" after dinner, and he ate it all up. So when I pulled out a plum today....

And this was after already eating 1/2 an avocado, 2 slices of deli turkey, a pile of roasted butternut squash, a handful of blueberries, and a cheddar cheese stick. I had actually intended on eating that plum, but it's a sacrifice I was willing to make.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It's been great having Grandpa in town these past few weeks while he does some training for his new job. We get to see him for dinner once or twice a week. On Saturday we dined at the Old Ebbitt Grill, a Washington landmark, and were thrilled when we got to see President Obama's motorcade fly by, flashing lights and all, while we were waiting outside to be called for our table. Then we took in a quick view of his beautiful house on the way back to the car. Joseph is perfecting his big, cheesy grin for when he actually gets to meet the President some day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I dreamed a dream

I woke up this morning remembering a dream about how we went to the doctor's office for JT's 2 year old checkup. My staff (since we use my office) said he was 39 inches tall, but I was sure they did it wrong, so I remeasured him and got 38 inches. He weighed a whopping 42 pounds, and I couldn't believe it when I heard it, but it explained my sore muscles and why I'm always tired.

Then we actually went to my office this morning for his real checkup accompanied by Mimi.

Turns out his height was right in between, at 38 1/2 inches. His weight was only 37 pounds, 5 ounces, meaning he only gained 3 pounds in the past 6 months. Which also means I have no excuse to be so tired.

As a treat we went across the street to Cabin John Regional Park, which has a real miniature train. It's a replica of an 1863 steam engine, and for $1.75 you get to ride around the woods for about 15 minutes. We saw deer 3 times! The bell clangs and the whistle blows, and the kids just love it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nutty for you!

After 2 looooooooong years of avoiding nuts, as recommended by pediatricians (such as ourselves) to prevent allergic reactions, Joseph finally got his 1st taste of peanut buttery yumminess the day after his birthday. We had no reason to think he'd be allergic, but we waited just in case because we didn't want him to be covered in hives for his party. After the 1st tentative taste, he ate the rest of the plate. Peanuts for everyone!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2nd Time Around

We had a special schedule change so we could have a play date with Jack and go back to Cameron Run water park while Mimi was still in town. Joseph knew where he was - the second we put our stuff down he wanted to go down the water slides. Missy was still a big chicken, so Mimi and I tag-teamed with Joseph and Jack a bunch of times.

We did finally get Mis to go down the super-S-L-O-W curving slide with Jack after convincing her that it would not send her into labor. Good sport that she is, she even did it 3 times so we could get good pictures.

The boys just love this place, and I was thinking we should be going there every play date for the rest of the summer. That is, until Joseph only took a 1/2 hour nap in the car and wouldn't go back to sleep after we got home. I'm reconsidering.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Can you dig it?

Saturday was Joseph's 2nd birthday, and his birthday party as well! The weather, and in fact the whole day, couldn't have been more perfect. Given his fascination with trucks, we threw a construction themed party.

We found this Tonka truck t-shirt several months ago, and had been hiding it until the day of the party so it wouldn't get ruined.

Instead of regular party hats, each kid got a hard hat with their name on it, and they could decorate them with stickers if they wanted.

Here's the cake (and smash cake) I made. Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, covered in chocolate glaze. It was the 1st time we were letting Joseph have chocolate, so I had to go overboard! EVERYTHING is edible, except the candles. The Tonka trucks, fences, and sign were made out of melted white chocolate, and the boulders were all candy like Whoppers and Junior Mints. The traffic cones are candy corn.

Some of the big guests:

Some of the little guests:

All of the kids had a ball on the swing set we built. WELL worth the effort, and sure to be the new hangout for the Alton Boyz and their friends.

When the cake came out, our best friend Jack got priority seating.


All the kids were really very patient while we were filming Joe Joe eating his cake, so when we finally said everyone could dig in, hands came from everywhere! They were all excited about eating boulders and trucks.

We also had ice pops on hand, and since he was sugared up anyway, Joseph had a few of those too.

One of Joseph's best buddies is his friend Ethan's dad, Mr. Steve. He loves to just hang out with him. Too cute.

During his nap after the party, we brought up the train table that Mimi and Poppy got him (which Grammy and I assembled the day before and hid in the basement). He's been playing with it nonstop.

We're almost done, promise! Here's the party favors - "tool boxes" for each kid, filled with sugar cookie tools. What can I say, I love to bake! There were a few extra that we put out at the party too.

And lastly, here's a few close-up shots of the cake:

Jeez, I need to start planning his 3rd birthday now!
Thanks to everyone who helped me pull this off!
I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Joe Joe!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Joseph at 2 years

Welcome to toddlerhood! Time to drag out the alligator for an official 2 year old picture and developmental update. Six months makes a world of difference at this age - I'm continually amazed at the new words and news skills that come practically every day now.

Joseph finally has more words than I keep track of, probably 75-100. We patiently waited for 2 word sentences, which came between 22 and 23 months. They started out cute, with "bye bye truck" and "up please," but then we got into "no want it" and "no ______" (fill in the blank with anything and everything). He repeats everything we say, and gave up on signing, except for "more."

We were also waiting for him to get moving, and now he's running, climbing, jumping, and dancing nonstop. Say "ready, set..." and he takes off before "go!" We're chasing him everywhere just to change his diaper or put on his shoes. He can go up the stairs all by himself now. Destruction is still a favorite activity, as is emptying every drawer or cabinet he can get into.

No big change in sleep patterns - 10 hours at night plus a 2 hour nap. He "sleeps in" till 6:30 most mornings now, which has been a treat. He finally has a variable appetite, and just picks at some meals. He'll never refuse pasta, cheese, bananas, grapes, sweet potatoes, any form of bread or cracker, or milk.

We still go to Gymboree class on Sunday mornings and have our playdates with Jack on Thursdays, but swim classes ended in the Spring, and we're eagerly waiting to restart them in the Fall. We're spending tons of time at the park and playing with friends outside now. Joseph is fascinated by all trucks and buses, planes and helicopters, and boats. He can't get enough books, and it's often the 1st word he says when we get him in the morning.

The 2's are not looking too terrible yet, although he has shown the typical impatience and temper that comes with being a toddler. He's also occasionally a "headbanger" when upset, smacking his forehead on the floor or door if he doesn't get his way. Nice.

The one thing that hasn't changed is how sweet our Joe Joe is. He's a hugger and a kisser, and is friendly everywhere we go, smiling and waving and charming the socks off of everyone he meets. He says "thank you" and claps when you sing for him, and never says no when you ask him to dance.

It's so hard to believe he's TWO!

If you build it, they will come

After 2 months and much debate, we finally got around to buying a swing set for our yard. I found a smaller version online of the one Jack has, but couldn't find any local companies that carried it. So I ordered it from (of all places) No tax, and free shipping! But we had dragged our feet so long that it was delivered only a week and a half before Joseph's birthday, so the pressure was on to get this thing up. Luckily my dad is in town for a few weeks for work, so he was able to come help me while Brent watched Joseph.

Once we got the whole tower up we realized the yard was a little more sloped than we thought, so Brent had to show us how to level out the ground.

And that was it for the end of day one, since we had people coming over for dinner. Not bad for about 2 hours worth of actual work.

I had the next day off from work, so was able to do a bit myself while our nanny watched Joseph. Then Dad came back after work, and we tried to put up the swing beam. Which was when we realized it really wouldn't fit, and we had to move the tower forward about 3 feet. Leveling it was a snap the 2nd time, but now there's a big hole Brent has to fill back in with dirt and grass. Oops!

End of day 2, which was really less that 2 hours of work too. It got dark very quickly and we would have had to stop even if we didn't want to!

The swings and slide were usable all week, but it wasn't until yesterday (the day of Joe Joe's birthday and birthday party), that we finally had the chance to get the roof attached. It only took 10 minutes, but needed 2 people.

We gave Joseph a quick swing before getting dressed for the party, and then all the kids came. It was a huge hit!

Many thanks to my Dad for so much help in the construction process, and even more thanks to him and Grammy, who decided they wanted to buy the swing set for Joseph for his birthday.