Monday, August 29, 2011


Auntie Christi got married yesterday and just so happened to have the cutest ring bearer ever (we're just a *little* biased around here). Since Auntie Kimmie couldn't make the wedding, I promised I would post pictures of Drew as soon as possible. I'll post the rest of the wedding pics as the week begins to slow down.

We had really talked up this wedding outfit for a few months before the wedding in hopes that there would be no major meltdowns over what we were asking him to wear. When it was finally time to put everything on, he was so excited and there were no requests for his fireman boots! (Can we just insert a *huge* sigh of relief here on my part?)

What ring bearer is complete without a bow tie??

"I so exciiiiiiiited!!!!!" 

So squeezable!

And of course, one last check in the mirror before we headed out to see Daddy. Oh my vain little child.....

Love these two!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Three Things

Anyone else out there hooked on Pinterest? I'm sure you all are, I'm late joining the Pinterest bandwagon...I know. Can we just talk about the kids tab though?? Endless ideas, and so so fun! Thank you Pinterest for this night of bath time fun in our house.

Homemade bath paints: shaving cream + food coloring

We let the boys paint the tub first before we filled it with water. I figured that was the only way Collin would be able to stand without slipping. I had also moved just about every touchable thing out of reach of the boys while they were in the tub (mainly the shower curtain) for fear of stains. As an even extra stain precaution though, I gave Collin plain shaving cream without any color. He spent some time smelling, and then tasting (ew!) the shaving cream before actually painting the walls with it.

Drew got to play with the colored foam, but as you can see Collin pretty quickly caught onto the fact that something was missing from his paint

....and it didn't take long before Collin was more interested in Drew's paint than he was his own. Obviously, plain shaving cream was a good idea in theory, but really just a lost cause as Collin loved all the color too!

So simple and so fun! They boys have asked for a repeat quite a few times since the night we did this :)

And I'm running late on this as usual, but three things about the boys this month:


1. Wears his fireboots (rainboots), air tank (monkey backpack) and fireman hat everywhere (The fireman hat is actually one of the construction worker hats from his birthday party. If it’s facing forward, it’s a construction worker hat, if it’s backwards, it’s a fireman hat).  It's 100 degrees here, but without fail, we leave the house with those rain boots on every single time. He’s love love loves Fireman Sam and any other fireman or fireman related thing. He also spends a lot of time rescuing us from "fires" that have popped up around the house. 
2. Is pretty excited he gets to be the ring bearer in Christi’s *almost here* wedding. He’s gone around telling anyone (and by anyone, I truly do mean anyone. A few days ago, it was the lady cutting out fabric at Joanne’s for us) that he’s getting married. Only he says it like this, “I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!!” and there is some serious enthusiasm backing that statement. I then have to remind him that Auntie Christi is the one getting married, and that his job is to carry the rings. This little explanation usually rids us of the weird look we’re getting from whomever he has just shared his upcoming nuptuals with.
3. Is obsessed with building forts. If I have mentioned this before, then know that's just how much he loves forts these days. He loves to read, play and hangout in them. I think this is a daytime extension of his love of sleeping under his bed that I talked about last month.


1. Waves and says "bye, bye".
2. Points at everything and now "asks" for whatever it is he's pointing at.
3. He loves to be chased. He and Drew spend plenty of time throughout the day chasing each other around the house. It's sort of a combination of tag and hide and go seek really. Collin will usually hide under a table or behind something  as soon as he realizes Drew is coming to get him. He giggles away while Drew comes to tag him and tell him "tagyou'reit" (we've tried explaining to Drew that it's not "tagyou'reit" it's tag you're it, but he thinks of  it as a single word). Unfortunately for Drew it's usually a one way game, as Collin gets distracted before his chasing ever begins. I love hearing both boys giggling away while they chase each other though! It's a simple pleasure for me. :) 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming

Ug! I have been a terrible blogger lately and because of this, there's lots to catch up on. The boys both took swim lessons this summer over the course of eight weeks or so. Collin only took four lessons, but Drew had a full session and loved it.

We decided to start Collin swimming this year, mostly because we had started Drew at a year old and I didn't want Collin to feel left out (silly, I know). Despite the ridiculous reasoning, he's been a water baby from the get go and I actually think for the most part, he enjoyed getting some time to swim around and be a part of the big kid things with everyone in the pool. Collin's instructor was great! I had forgotten that they literally start the lesson as soon as your child gets in the pool. I had just barely handed Collin off and Marin had already put him face down in the water and was helping him navigate towards her. It still amazes me how much "swimming" a one year old can actually do! Swim?? Yes, swim. Well, more like a wiggle but it's as much of a swim as a one year old is going to get; and with those little flippers on his feet (yep, flippers--they're just as teeny and adorable as you are probably imagining them to be), he actually can swim half the length of the pool! His instructor was very patient and in the end, I think Collin actually enjoyed himself.

His instructor Marin (rhymes with Karen) wouldn't blow in his face or count to three before putting him into the water. Instead, she would just lift him up by his armpits and sort of set him facedown in the water as she stepped back for him to start swimming. The theory behind this was that if he were to fall in a pool, he wouldn't have air blown in his face or someone counting to three as a signal for him to hold his breath. If he fell in, it would just be water. So, in light of that, they try to teach that the forward motion before they enter the water is the signal to hold your breath. Made sense to me.

She spent a lot of time talking with, patting, and reassuring

Collin also get to talk to friends and play with toys (in this case, rubber duckies on the edge of the slide)

The only part Collin wasn't a fan of was jumping off the step. Funny because you'd think standing up on the step is where he'd feel most know, having something solid under his feet again. Not so much. In any case, Marin would have him stand on the step or on the edge of the pool and then jump off and start swimming towards her. Yep, one year olds can actually do all of this!

Halfway through each lesson and again at the end, all of the kids get to ride on a huge float (essentially a huge kick board), shaped like a duck. The instructors turn them in a circle and sing. Then, at the end of the song the instructors step back and all of the kids push off and swim out to their instructor.

And finally, at Collin's very last lesson, they had a parent hop in the water to teach you the techniques they had been teaching your child in hopes that you'll continue teaching the rest of the summer. 

Drew this year was amazing!! I was blown away at his improvement since last year...mostly because this year marked a big turning point in what they teach. At two and a half years old, they start teaching them how to take a breath instead of just swim forward. Well, this changed everything for Drew because although he still isn't doing much more than a doggy paddle in terms of arm strokes, he can now swim wherever he'd like to in the pool. When he gets tired or needs a breath, he just flips over and floats on his back! This made me so much more at ease with Drew around water. Still careful for sure, but definitely more at ease!

Last year, Drew had an amazing instructor named Chris. Drew loved him and so did we! I had asked if Chris was teaching this year and was told he had "graduated" (his wife had a baby last summer a month after I had Collin, so this didn't surprise me much) so this year we had Scott. Scott did a great job (I'm convinced that there are no bad instructors at Jan Thomas! I have no idea what their selection process looks like, but they manage to find the most patient, enthusiastic, and fun people to work for them!). Anyway, turns out Chris ended up teaching swim this year after all, and of course, Drew spotted him in the pool the moment we walked through the gate. We had to explain to him that he would have a different instructor that he would end up loving just as much as he did Chris, and sure enough we were right! Poor Scott though spent probably the first four or five lessons listening to Drew tell him all about Chris, or pointing out where Chris was in the pool and asking Scott if Chris could watch him do whatever it was Scott had instructed him to do. Scott was so, so patient with all of this, and by the end he had definitely won Drew over. He was awesome!

Meet Scott. He ranks right up there with Fireman Sam, Buzz Lightyear, and Lightening McQueen. We're still talking about Scott in this house....and for that matter, Chris (from last year) as well. That's how big of an impression these guys made on Drewski.

Thumbs up! Scott showed him how to do a thumbs up at his very first lesson and at first he would stick his pointer finger up like a number one. The entire lesson Scott would do a thumbs up every time Drew did what he was supposed to and Drew would do a number one back. Well, of course this continued when we came home, so after a little practice with Daddy, Drew proudly showed up for his next lesson ready to show Scott he had learned how to do a proper thumbs up.



Flip and breathe! (so proud of my munchkin!!)

And of course, just like Collin, Drew still had plenty of play time between swimming 

...and he still got to ride on the duck and sing songs.

He also got to "dive" off of the diving board. His dive was hilarious because exactly as sprawled out as you see him in the picture is how he would land in the water....every. single. time. 

The diving board and the slide were Drew's favorites. Mine? Those flippers!!! (Among other things of course!)

And also like at Collin's last lesson, I was able to get in the water and work with Drew at his last lesson as well

We also tried to teach Drew how to correctly dive. Emphasis on *tried* :)

The very best part for Drew came at the end of the last lesson of the summer. Drew remembered this part from last year so he knew what was coming and had eagerly waited for it. When everything was all said and done, Scott stood Drew on a three-tiered pedestal and very loudly announced Drew as a champion swimmer for swimming the width of the pool, learning to roll over to take a breath, diving to the bottom of the pool to grab toys, and jumping off the diving board. He then awarded him with a medal and a blue ribbon. Everyone waiting for and watching other lessons then clapped and of course the other instructors made a big deal out of it.....and Drew ate it up! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Collin's Birthday

I still can't get over how fast Collin's first year went by! I feel like we came home with this tiny bundle, blinked, and he was up and walking. How does that happen??

We've been busy, busy, busy these past few weeks, so I know I'm late in posting, but I did want to share a few pictures from Collin's birthday. We had a fairly low key birthday party with all of the extended family (including my parents on Skype!) and Collin got a kick out of being the center of attention for an entire day. It's funny, I had been a little worried that Drew would have a hard time allowing it to be Collin's birthday instead of his, but Drew spent the day excited and happy for his little brother. I heard him singing Happy Birthday and asking Collin if he was excited about his day quite a few times throughout the afternoon. It was cute and made all my worrying seem silly. Drew has a sweet heart and his excitement for Collin added energy and fun to an already exciting day.

The Dr. Seuss Cake! I love making the boy's cakes each year. It's one of the things my parents always did for us, and it's one of my favorite things to do for our boys. This was the first time I've made a cake using fondant though. I think fondant usually tastes terrible, so I hunted around on the internet and found a recipe for Marshmallow Fondant that I thought I'd try instead. Turns out, the fondant tasted great, working with fondant however, was awful!! I think I threatened to throw the entire cake away at least twice before it was finished. Thank goodness Auntie Jenn was on hand to talk some sense into me! In spite of all the fondant drama, I actually loved how the cake turned out.

In true Dr. Seuss fashion, we also made the cake topsy turvy :)

Coll's mini cake :)

This little rocking chair has been in Nathan's family for years and every kid since Nathan's grandma has a picture in it around their first birthday. We tried to get a good one with Collin, but as you can see both boys were clearly more interested in something else

Nathan's mom has made a quilt for each of the boys on their first birthday. Drew's was firetrucks, and Collin's is Dr. Seuss. We love these quilts!! (P.S. Isn't she talented?)

Collin was mostly interested in the wrapping while Drew on the other hand, was more interested with what Collin's presents held inside!

Cake time! Ready....


Go!!! Collin took one tiny bite first, got a taste of what the thing in front of him was, and immediately went to eating the cake this way.

When it was all said and done, we had one happy, messy little boy. ....Well, actually we had two! Drew looked only slightly less messy than Collin after his cake! ;)

Aaaaand, when it was all said and done, and everyone had gone home, birthday boy tripped and fell onto the foot of the coffee table, resulting in this. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't even do the goose egg justice. It was huge! Fortunately, after some ice and tylenol he was fine. He is however, still sporting a good sized bump on his head almost 3 weeks later and after talking with his doctor, I learned it may stay a while (I guess the hematoma where the bruise was can calcify and leave the bump for up to a year! Let's hope that's not the case!).

Anyway, we had a great time celebrating Collin! I can't wait to see where the next year takes us!