Friday, March 30, 2012

Video Friday: Game Changer

This week Nolan REALLY started to PLAY with toys.  I know this sounds so silly but I don't think he really knew how to play with things.  And I wanted him to figure it out on his own rather than me show him how I think he should play with them.  He doesn't get to see other kids playing with his toys often enough to learn from them.  We had a pretty nice week playing with a lot of his new toys.  We played with them all over the house and it was fun to see him playing with them ON HIS OWN.  Sigh.  What a treat.  While it only lasts minutes, it is still really neat to watch.  And here he is breathing on the glass.  I remember doing this as a kid.  I'm sure my parents didn't love mouth prints all over the glass but it was fun to do this and watch it fog up and then go away.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bike Ride

This is Nolan's kind of bike ride... he likes to push the bike and would rather not ride it.  He really loves the bike (and now his scooter) but we can't get him to ride it the normal way anymore.
I think he likes it so he can check on the neighbors we can't see from our windows- here he is checking in on Mickey, the old man who works like a dog and kills his yard every year by spreading fertilizer by hand and watering by hand hoping it'll grow.  Also he is the man who installed crown molding in his garage.
But I somehow got caught taking these pictures which resulted in Nolan abandoning his bike and Dad in the street while he ran to me.  I don't mind, but poor Dave walking the empty bike back.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Really Playing

It's been really fun to watch Nolan REALLY play with his toys.  It's almost as if he suddenly realized that they toys have uses and when he uses him imagination they can really be a lot of fun.  He's not a great 'player' compared to some of the friends that we've seen play but he is learning which is a lot of fun.  These pictures are from his birthday but these are two of the toys he was really interested in today. 
We're still not at the point where he is playing independently for long periods of time but he's working on it which makes trying to get other things done a little easier.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting Things Done

This weekend we got lots of work done.  All of those things not-fun things that need to be done.  Our basement has gotten out of control with clutter on the non-finished side so I reorganized, decided some things needed to be donated, vacuumed and put some shelving units in.  
Then I went to the garden center and got a load of dirt, poop, fertilizer and a few plants - can you believe it? I'm going to put plants in?!!!  For the past few years we've only been pulling plants out.  So exciting to pick which I liked and where they should go.  I feel really on-top of the garden this year.  Unfortunately I already got my first taste of poison ivy.  great!  And I will need to go protect the new plants today because while the weather hasn't really felt like March, it is March and is supposed to be cold tonight.  (maybe I'll pull those towels out of 'to be donated' and use them as blankies for the plants.  
 And we put this fella to work.  He didn't love working but he sure loves to sweep.  Anything is helpful.  :)  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Video Friday: New in the Yard

We got a birdbath.  Nolan really loves watching the birds and squirrels eat from the feeder so I thought getting a bird bath would be fun.  Nolan seems to understand the concept but can't stop touching the water.  Some funny parts of this- notice how he throws the shovel as if to say 'I'm done with this'.  Also how close he gets to the water of the bird bath?  Not great.  We're working on not touching it.  If you listen closely you can hear him say 'bath' and 'birdies'.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hard Days Work

When Nolan saw our neighbor turning is soil preparing it for dozens of tomato plants he grabbed his shovel and offered to help.  
He watched Joe do the work and then did some of his own.  He WAS successful at getting some on the shovel and moving it. 
 I went back and forth worrying that Nolan was slowing Joe down and thinking Joe really appreciated spending some time with Nolan, adoring him like I do.  Joe's had a tough year.
 I'm sure we'll see more and more of Joe as the weather warms up.  It's my favorite part of the warm weather, everyone starts coming out of their homes and we all catch up on the past 6 months or so.
Nolan was not interested in touching the fat wiggling worms Joe turned up but continued to tell me to touch them "Mommy Touch Worm".  After one frantically wiggled out of my hand I was done touching them.

oh- and two hours logged into gardening this summer and I have my first bout of poison ivy.  Will it never end?  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fun with the Cousins

It's always so nice to spend time with my brother and his family.  They live close-by but have a very hectic life so when we do get together it's exciting.  They have 3 children and sometimes having them over is pure madness.  And sometimes it is bliss.  
The last visit with them was pure bliss.  The kids played really nicely.  Nolan was interested in playing with them and could keep up with them (that's key!).  He could follow their directions and they were so nice to him.   
 Even during a game of hide & seek they pretended not to see him the first time they sought him.  He's not the best hider since he doesn't understand to wait until the seeker finds him.  But they were so awesome.
This is one of our favorite moments.  They all were pushing Nolan around in this box.  Clearly Nolan LOVED it.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Play date

Last week we hosted a huge play date.  It was a birthday play date but a play date nonetheless.
 The turnout was awesome and it was a lot of fun!  It seemed like there were kids everywhere!  Nolan did a good job sharing most of his toys but was rather protective of his bed.  
 Then they all started jumping.  Oh what fun!  
 What a really super day he had.  I'm so happy for him and also that the birthday celebrations (read: cupcakes) are finished.  We are all on cupcake detox this week.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

What in the world is this on my head?
OH!  The headband I've been wearing for weeks.  It must be some special day.  But why did my mom dress me in orange?  Doesn't she know it's the day I'm supposed to be wearing my Oscar The Grouch shirt?  Oohhhhh... that's right, I LOVE this orange shirt.  Ah, well, at least it's a color on the Irish flag. 
 Even though we thought he'd love corned beef (salty meat) he had to be bribed with left over cupcakes to eat a whole slice of it.  Ah, we've come a long way from this and an even longer way from the days we had a St. Paddys Party and bought SO much beer we decided to buy a beer fridge rather than let all the excess beer get skunked.  My things have changed.  
Now that the kiddo is asleep I need to go convice Dave to do an Irish Car Bomb just for old times sake!  Happy St Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Video Friday: Final Birthday Re-Cap

If you ask him about birthdays he'll start to sing the Happy Birthday song and then he says 'Blow Candles' and 'Eat Cake'.  I mean this kid GETS birthdays.  Here is his party song.  He was pretty excited about everyone singing and very excited about the lit candle. What's also quite funny is how after he blows the candle and we take the cake away he looks for the cake almost as if to say 'hey!  where are you going with my cake?'

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Party Highlights

Here are some highlights from the party.  Notice the watch Nolan is wearing on his wrist?  He LOVES his new watch.
 He also LOVES his backpack which we've brought everywhere we've gone this week. It's much better than a diaper bag and he's the carrier... most of the time.
 He also loves his new electric guitar.  He really loves the guitar but also so did the grown ups at this party.
 Nolan had a Thomas themed party- here's his cake.
 He loved eating the cake!
 A lot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Birthday Re-Cap #2

Another thing that go along with being the big OH-TWO is sitting forward facing in the car seat.  This is really exciting for both Nolan and me.  I can't believe how big he looks now that I can turn around and see him.  Actually I think he looks so small and vulnerable facing forward but such is life.  This kid really enjoys facing forward and I also think he enjoys not losing feeling in his feet because his legs were so long they were as high as the headrest when he was facing forward.
Something else we did last year and will do every year is measure him on the wall in our basement.  Check out the growth on this kid.  Near his ear is where he measured last year.  Official measurements from the doctor will come tomorrow but we measured him to be 36 inches, a 5.5 inch growth from 12 months ago. 
 And then, of course, the happy birthday song, blowing out candles and eating cake.  This was just a giant (FREE) cupcake from Whole Foods.  Thanks Whole Foods.  This was absolutely gorgeous and huge but didn't taste that great.  But thanks anyway.  It was fun to watch Nolan try to eat it.
Ah, and the presents.  This was cool to watch.  He started with the largest present, unwrapped it and then demanded he play with the toy.  He played for about 15 minutes with each new toy before he moved onto the next largest wrapped present.  Smart kid.  Very fun. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birthday Re-Cap #1

On Nolan's birthday we went to Mystic to see the fish again.  We did it last year and he seemed to have a super duper blast.  This year he was much more interactive and running from place to place.  He seemed to REALLY love the whales.  Then he ran into the aquarium and found the shark touch tank.  None of the sharks came anywhere near him- I think they were afraid of Nolan.
 So we ran from place to place, most of the time I wondered if he even saw the fish.  Then we got to the big shark tank.  He watched this for a few minutes.  Maybe the bigger the fish, the more attention they get?  He was also very interested in the sea horses and spent much of the day saying 'Sea Horse' with a long pause in between those two words.
 We also enjoyed the Sea Lion show, when he wasn't saying "sea horse" he was saying "sea lion".  I was impressed by him sitting watching the show.  He did a great job and clapped at the right times too!
 Then we found the penguins.  Nolan loves his toy penguin we got him last year on his birthday trip to Mystic.  These guys certainly kept his attention too.  They were a lot more active than last time and it was fun to see them swimming around instead of just standing on the rocks.
I can't believe this guy is TWO.  Wow.  It was a very exciting week for him.  And for us!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Another Hair Cut

We brought Nolan for another haircut.  This time we went to a fancy kiddo hair salon.  Nolan was super excited about the possibility of sitting in car while getting it cut.
 Nolan picked the YELLOW car.
 Then we told him that 'that lady' will be cutting his hair.  He was excited about the penguins on his cape.
 All in all I think he liked it. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Video Friday: Happy Birthday to Nolan

Today Nolan is TWO!  Wow, where did the time go.  It's amazing to remember where I was two years ago (or to try to remember).  It's amazing how rich and full our lives have become in the past two years.  I had no idea my life could be this beautiful.  
Nolan is getting the hang of this birthday song.  We've been singing it for everyone and anyone we can think of.  Often its for his cousin, Mom, Dad, and of course, himself.  Here he is, singing it to himself.  While the words aren't too clear, you get the picture.  
What an amazing day- TWO years old.  Wow.  Happy Birthday Nolan.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Let The Birthdays Begin!

Today began the first of many happy birthday celebrations for this little guy. The whole class sang Happy Birthday to Nolan.  I'm pretty sure he didn't realize it was FOR him but he loved it regardless.
I LOVE to celebrate birthdays.  When it's my birthday I milk it all week.  It's my birthday week and I expect to be treated especially nicely that whole week.  This week for Nolan is no exception.  Gramma is in town visiting which is such a treat for him.  And then the birthday song which is fun.  On Friday the family is heading down to the aquarium, which is what we did last year and I think Dave and I are as excited for this as Nolan is.  Saturday is his party when he will 'eat cake' and 'blow candles'. 
Turning Two is exciting.  I love that he's getting excited about his birthday.  I certainly am.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snow Day

Last week it snowed a little bit.  Just ask Nolan and he'll tell you it's a 'little bit of snow'.  We got about 2 inches of snow but it was 'good' snowman making snow.  
So, we made a snow man.  We being Dave and I.  Nolan was too busy picking up snow and throwing it.  I think he was trying to make snowballs but couldn't pack the snow correctly.  

For someone who didn't do much to make the snowman, he sure looks proud of himself.  
But Nolan did put on the finishing touches.  The eyes and the arms (not seen in this photo) were Nolan's ideas.  He really seems to enjoy playing in the snow.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sometimes Parents Just Don't Get It

For MONTHS YEARS Nolan has been looking at this photo of Napa grapes, which is over our dining room table, and making elephant sounds at it.  Dave and I just shrug and say 'Nolan, those are grapes, not elephants' and move on wondering what in the world he is talking about.  I mean, seriously, do you see an elephant in this picture?

Then this week or last week Dave and I FINALLY saw what he sees.  An elephant.  Huh, sometimes parents just don't get it.  What a creative little bird we have on our hands.  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day Two: Big Boy Bed

It's an understatement to say Nolan likes his bed.  This kid loves it.  He's climbed all over it, jumped on it, danced on it, climbed in and out of it a thousand times already and seems to understand that he needs to stay in it until we come and get him.
But he's TOO excited and while he seems to understand it, he doesn't follow that direction.   Yesterday's nap was almost an epic failure.  He cried for an hour and when I popped in to try to calm him down he was sitting on the floor reading a book crying.  So we went back to bed, I laid him down and put the blanket on and rubbed his back.  I told him to close his eyes (he shut them tight) and put the blanket over his face while rubbing his back.  These are all things I've never done before, as a general rule we don't go into his room when he should be sleeping.  We learned this after we were sleep trained when he was 4.5 months old.  At any rate I was nearly quivering at the possibility that he's going to expect this treatment at every nap.  Nevertheless he did, eventually fall asleep at nap- YAY BIG BOY!
 So last night at bedtime he insisted we read one of his 5 books from his bed.  He didn't lay down and snuggle in, he sat on the edge, just like the photo above while I read the book.  Then I laid him down, put a larger blanket over him that I tucked into the bottom and sides of the mattress and left.  We didn't hear a peep out of him until 530 this morning.  Was that luck?  Or perhaps because it's dark in his room he couldn't see?  Or maybe he was so darn tired from his mini nap that he just conked out.  When we checked on him at 10pm he was still tucked into bed, under his covers sleeping on his side!  
 So at 530am we heard some peeps but we fell back asleep and assumed he did too.  Dave went to get him in the morning and said the light was turned on and Nolan had pulled both blankets off the bed and made a little nest on the floor and was sitting in the nest reading books.  While we don't want him getting up out of bed until we come to get him I suppose if he is reading quietly it is ok...
 So wish us luck for nap attempt #2.  Hopefully he is wiped out from his day today and falls asleep rather quickly.  I suppose it's helpful that it's dark and rainy this weekend and we are teaching Nolan about sleeping in a big boy bed in the winter versus the summer when it's still light out at 8:30pm.  
I'm just trying to find the silver lining in this process being months/years earlier than I was anticipating.