Sunday, October 18, 2015

Happy Fall Y'all!

As I mentioned, Adam and I took off three days at the beginning of Tyler's Fall Break to have some family fun!  And boy, did we!  Saturday was spent on party prep, and AJ's birthday party was Sunday.  Monday, we went to Eagle Creek Park, a state park close to where we live.  I hadn't been there since I was a kid, which is crazy because it's so close, and it's gorgeous, and it only costs $5 to get in. 

Again, the weather was perfection, cooler in the morning and warming up in the afternoon, and beautifully sunny.  The trees were beyond gorgeous, which just the right touch of fall colors.  We visited the park center and the ornithology building (Birds galore!) and spent a few minutes marveling at how gorgeous Eagle Creek reservoir is, particularly this time of year.  Mom and I decided we want to live on a lake someday, or at least have a vacation house near one! 

So pretty!

My loves


After that, we found a picnic area near a playground where we ate peanut butter (and jelly for everyone but Tyler and some cheese for AJ, who refuses to try PB&J) sandwiches, chips, fruit and cookies.  After that, we let the kids play on the playground for a little while.  Then we visited Lilly Lake and walked a bit of the hiking trail around it.  The kids climbed around on a fallen log and even found a tree with a huge hole in it that they could climb into!  I stuck my hand inside to help Tyler out and it amazed me that it was at least 15 degrees cooler inside there!

With Gaga, hanging at the playground

AJ on the merry-go-round

Nature Boys

Tuesday we drove to Trafalgar, IN to visit Apple Works, an orchard there.  It was actually the same one that Tyler and I had visited on his class field trip the week before.  The field trip was a total blast, Tyler loved having me along and the kids were all so fun. I had a group of 5 that I was responsible for and they were all very well behaved, thankfully! 

Goofy Boy

Apple picking!

So anyway, we went out there and got some apples (a peck of apples!) and some other goodies (fudge!).  They'd been making apple dumplings the week before and I was dying for one (an apple, cored and stuffed with butter and brown sugar, then wrapped in dough and baked) but unfortunately they were sold out, so I "settled" for an apple pie instead.  Then we went out to the pumpkin patch and wandered for ages looking for the right ones! We ended up with a medium sized one for Tyler, a smaller one for AJ, and a little mini one I couldn't resist.  We made a quick lap through the petting zoo and then went to Steak N Shake for lunch.

The perfect pumpkins!

He put this sticker on his face and then made this face. And then I died from cute.

In the afternoon, Adam took Tyler to the Children's Museum where they were having a special exhibit of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Tyler had a blast and I think Daddy secretly did too!

Digging for bones!

WHOA, big Mikey! And Tyler's making his classic picture face :-P

Wednesday we mostly relaxed, with Adam and Mom getting a couple of auctions to sort through, but all in all, it was a great couple of days!  So much fun, but not completely exhausting!  I could get used to a two day work week, too!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Three's CraZee!

My BABY turned THREE on Monday!  I didn't get a post up, due to the fact we were off enjoying a few days off as a family.  Tyler is on Fall Break for two weeks, so Adam and I took Monday through Wednesday off work.  But more about that in the next post-now all about AJ!

So what is AJ like at 3 years old? He is wild and silly and loud!  He's definitely more willful than Tyler, he definitely knows the word "no" and we're working hard on getting him to understand that he isn't allowed to tell us know when we ask him to do something!  He makes us all laugh though, he's truly such a character!  His favorite thing in the WORLD is to be tickled!!  He's constantly asking to be tickled and then saying "Again!" over and over!  He really can't get enough!

Tyler and AJ are really very different kiddos.  Physically, Tyler looks more like me, and AJ resembles Adam.  His hair is pin-straight, just like Adam, although it's lighter in color than his daddy.  He's also got daddy's double "swirl" in the back of his hair, which makes haircuts a challenge!  He's big for his age, while Tyler has been on the more petite size since about a year old--In fact, AJ is only 5 inches shorter and 10 lbs lighter than his big brother!  He's more rough-and-tumble than Tyler was, more confidant and physically active.  He loves to run and jump and climb and keep us on our toes!  Tyler was such an advanced talker, and while AJ definitely makes himself heard, it often pretty tough to understand him!  It all means something to him, but sometimes we're left shrugging!  Tyler is actually pretty good at translating for us!  I'm not worried about his speech at this point, he's come a long way, but it's different for us to have a child that doesn't speak as clearly as Tyler did!  My favorite word from AJ?  Chocolate!  It sounds like "Twacwate"!

AJ's likes and dislikes at 3:  He loves cartoons, particularly Paw Patrol, Bubble Guppies, Blaze and the Monster Machine, and Team Umi Zoomi.  They are all on Nick Jr and he got a lot of toys from  Blaze and Paw Patrol for his birthday and he's having oodles of fun with them.  He's got a great imagination, he is always acting out little scenes with them.  He still loves playing with his Thomas trains, but he doesn't watch the shows very often any more.  He likes to read, though he prefers to sit on his own and look at books over sitting and reading them together. He has to be in the mood to sit still to do that, and it doesn't happen often!  He loves to be outside and free to run around.  Food wise, he's less picky than Tyler by far!  He loves pretty much all fruit, especially strawberries and cuties.  He loves chicken nuggets and pizza and sausage links with scrambled eggs and toast, and macaroni and cheese with applesauce (I always make applesauce when I make kraft mac n cheese and now he can't have one without the other!).  He only tolerates drinking milk, so much so that we started strictly giving him juice only if it's thinned by half with water.  He doesn't like a lot of vegetables, so we're working on that, but he ate a bunch of cooked broccoli at a buffet last week and we were thrilled.  He doesn't really care for cake or ice cream, so his preferred treats are cookies, especially Oreos, or candy, especially m&ms.

Dislikes: Bedtime!  He usually says "Aw!" or whines a bit, and he's actually been acting scared when I try to put him down, so we're working through that.  He also gets absolutely PETRIFIED by the most random things, like Barbie commercials or the movie Frozen!

We celebrated AJ's birthday with a small family party in the backyard.  We grilled out hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage.  We also made scalloped potatoes and had lots of fruit and veggies, chips, and cookies and cupcakes for dessert.  The weather was gorgeous, warm but with a nice breeze and sunny.  AJ had a great time running around the yard with Tyler and Toby and Lizzy (his cousins)--we usually make him stay close to the patio, but we let him roam and he was loving it.

I can't believe my little rainbow baby is a big three year old boy.  The time has gone so quickly!  He's got such a great little personality and I can't remember what life was like without him! 
Here are a few pictures from the party!  Love that little bugaboo!

Hipster wears his hat backwards
Aunt Chall on the far left, Dad, Aunt G and "Uncle" Jon

This pic killed me, he's shrugging his shoulders up like "Aw, for me?"


Not overly impressed with cupcakes

Tyler hanging out in a tree