Friday, August 31, 2012

3 Years Old!

Believe it or not, Simon is 3 years old! How did THAT happen?

It doesn't feel like that much could possibly have changed, but then I watched a few videos from last summer. A year ago, he was still a chubby toddler with crooked teeth, just learning how to speak. And now he's a little boy, much more kid than baby. Speaking of, we took him to his 3 year pediatrician appointment today, and his stats are: Height, 36.5" (25th percentile); Weight, 30lb 12oz (50th percentile).

We had a great time celebrating his birthday this year. On Sunday, the 19th, we had a kiddie party at the nearby wading pool. We had about 12 of his friends there, plus parents and a few siblings. The weather was perfect and Simon had a great time.

And then on his "actual birthday", Aunt Karyn came up and we did presents, decorations and cupcakes. Lots of fun!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A few moments with Nate

Nate is on the move these days! He does something we are calling the "inchworm" and starting some hands and knees crawling too. He's just starting to realize that he can choose where he goes now and I think life's about to get a lot busier!

Here are a few quick videos of him talking...



 and getting himself into a sitting position.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lessons Learned

While Simon's birthday is coming up this weekend, we held his party this past weekend because the wading pool that we wanted to use will be closed on the 26th. I will share pictures and details later, but for now, here are some lessons I learned this past weekend about third birthdays.

  1. Don’t bother buying actual cupcakes, just frost some styrofoam or something. It’ll save money and the birthday child will never know the difference, since apparently cake is akin to spinach when there is frosting to be consumed.
  2. Wait until after his nap to tell him that it's time for his party. While it might seem fun to build up the excitement, all that will do is make him pop out of his room 15 times within the first 5 minutes claiming he napped and it was “party time!”
  3. There’s no point in asking party guests not to bring gifts. 80% of them will anyway and then you will be faced with the awkward, slightly embarrassed looks from the other 20% even though they are the ones who followed the rules.
  4. He’s not going to eat any food of any nutritional value on his birthday. Just stuff a vitamin in his mouth between bites of frosting and call it good.
  5. Whatever you do, don’t let the Elmo balloon fly out of the trunk of the car in front of your soon-to-be three year old. It will trigger a screaming fit of unrivaled proportions. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

East Coast Trip Part 3: NJ at Grandpa's house

Finally, we headed out to spend a few days with Grandpa. We first met him at his office, and introduced the boys around to lots of people in his building. It started to rain on our way out, and rather than share the big umbrella that Dad had with him, Simon grabbed it.

We then went over to GG's house and visited with her for a couple of hours, which was great. Simon managed to find everything breakable and/or sweet and inappropriately interact with it.

The next day, after another Benadryl-soaked night for Simon, Grandpa and Aunt Karyn took Simon out for a walk of the neighborhood in the morning, and in the afternoon we went to a great pool in the development. There was a cute little wading pool that Nate could sit and splash in and a bigger pool that Simon loved. He even got more adventurous than ever, pushing off from the ladder on his own and gliding to Daddy and Grandpa. He called it swim lessons.

Friday was great, Aunt Donna and Uncle Paul hosted a bunch of the family for a BBQ and pool party. We saw Heather and Peyton (who is such a big girl now, and so sweet!), GG, Aunt Ceil, Lorie and Amy and her gorgeous girls, Emerson and Brooke. It was so much fun to see the cousins playing together, all the kids were in the big pool, the kiddie pool and the sprinkler and had so much fun together. The girls were so sweet with baby Nate and he got in some good GG lap time. We had a delicious dinner and then cake, which Simon decided was for his birthday. Thanks for humoring him, everyone!

Other highlights at Grandpa's: Simon and Nate had a ton of fun playing with all the toys at Grandpa's house, like legos and musical instruments. We also played musical beds in an effort to get both kids to nap well--Nate even got to sleep in Grandpa's big bed for his naps! And once the kids were in bed at nights, we got some good Olympics watching in too...thanks for sitting through that Dad! And thank you for everything, we had a great time with you!

So, after a week and a half of travel, family, swimming, good food and sun, it was time to head home. We had a somewhat brutal final day, with a connecting flight back through Atlanta. Again, optimism set in when I took this picture:

But reality took over when we boarded the final, cross-country flight and Simon became THAT KID that everyone hates on airplanes. It was a really long, tough day, but it was good to get back home and into our own beds. 

Overall, it was a tough trip logistically, but definitely worth it to see everyone and bring the boys to Atlanta and NJ. Everyone was so helpful finding us gear to borrow for the boys, figuring out sleeping arrangements and stocking up on diapers and food. Thank you for helping us make this work, it was wonderful to be able to see everyone on our whirlwind tour!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

East Coast Trip Part 2: NJ at Grandma and Papa's house

We had an easy, uneventful flight up to NJ from Atlanta, which was fantastic. Simon was very excited to ride the "space train" at the Newark Airport (the air train, as most people know it), and we got to Dollar Rent a Car to pick up our stylin' baby blue Crown Vic for the duration of our time in NJ. We installed the car seats (again) and hit the road down to Grandma and Papa's house.

We were very excited to see Grandma, Papa and Aunt Karyn! We took it easy the first night, but the next day, after a morning of outside time for Simon, Mom and Jeff hosted a bunch of family and friends for a casual dinner to catch up and introduce Nate. It was a really nice evening and both boys had a lot of fun.

A few other highlights from our time with Mom and Jeff:

Swimming in the Anzuini's pool (thank you, Cathy!)

Simon baking cookies with Grandma and Aunt Karyn:

Outside fun for Simon, including a "motorcycle" (big wheel bike toy), fire hydrant sprinkler and kiddie pool. He had a ball. And Nate trying lots of new foods...cocktail meatballs were a hit!

As for sleep...the first night went about as well as it had in Atlanta, and Grandma ended up staying with Simon until he fell asleep...and she took a little nap too. The next night we bit the bullet and dosed Simon with Benadryl---I had very mixed feelings, but he wasn't getting decent sleep and tends to be a miserable wretch when he's tired. And you know what? It worked!

Overall, we had a great time with Mom and Jeff, thank you for everything!

(to be continued...again!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

East Coast Trip Part 1: Atlanta

Here's the first installment of a few posts about our trip. We left on 7/26, Matt's birthday, and got up very early in the morning to catch a 6:30 AM flight to Atlanta. We dressed the boys in their travel clothes the night before, so we just had to wake up two groggy kids and plop them into their car seats in the towncar. Simon was super excited for the trip, and of course didn't sleep for the rest of the very long day!

The flight was, well, mediocre. I had high hopes when we boarded and things looked like this:

But a couple of hours in, plus no sleep, plus not wanting to eat turned Simon into a little ball of frustration. But we got there. Melissa picked us up at the airport and we headed up to Roswell.

It was great to see everyone--it's been quite a long time since we're seen Jess and Peter, and this was the first time Peter and I even met! Everyone was excited to see how much Nate has grown and Simon was so excited to see Nana and Papa.

Some of the highlights of our time in Atlanta include:

-Celebrating Matt's birthday with everyone. We had a delicious dinner and cake that Melissa used to make for him when he was younger. Matt got some great gifts, including a special bottle of wine from Jess and Peter.

-Having family pictures taken with a professional photographer. We had a bunch of photos taken, and the photographer was great with the boys, particularly with getting Simon to stop, ahem, picking his nose. :)

-And of course, the pool! Everyone enjoyed the pool--Simon "painted" the concrete with a paint roller he found:

Nate "swam" in a big pool for the first time ever and really enjoyed it:

The dogs, Buddy and Callie, were great with the boys and Simon loved throwing the ball and getting Callie to jump in the pool!

And in general we just beat the intense Atlanta heat by staying wet!

We had some hiccups too--this was the first time we have spent any nights away from home since a year ago and Simon was pretty nervous about sleeping alone in a new house. We tried several different configurations--the boys together in a room, in separate rooms, and ended up all 4 of us together, of course. But it took about 3 hours to get bedtime done, between the two kids, and even then one or the other was waking up throughout the night for reassurance. It was...trying. But, as I'll share in part 2, we found some answers later in the trip.

After a few fun days with the Atlanta crew, it was time to pack up and head up to New Jersey! Thank you Nana, Papa, Aunt Jess and Uncle Peter for a great visit!

(to be continued...)