Sunday, November 9, 2014

2 things

1. In the last week or so, Jacob has started pulling himself up on absolutely everything. He is content only if he is standing while holding onto something. Unfortunately, he loses his footing or balance pretty quickly and has also been falling a lot. I no longer feel safe leaving him alone for one second. I just lowered his crib a week ago, and thank heavens I did because today after his nap I found him standing in it. I thought he couldn't pull up if he was in a sleep sack, but I was wrong. He will not give me a moment's rest, the little stinker!

2. Today while I was nursing Jacob in the boys' room, Jamie rushed in and said, "Mommy, I saw a bug." I asked what kind, where it was (a stinkbug--man, I hate those things), and I told him okay, but I needed to finish nursing Jacob before I took care of it. He ran off. A few minutes later I heard the toilet flush; then Jamie came back to announce he had taken care of it. Apparently he smashed it with his rain boot, picked it up with a tissue, and flushed it. I never even saw it. Having kids has officially paid off.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween party!

Jamie has always loved Halloween. This year he kept asking over and over for a Halloween party. He also asked several times to see his preschool group from last year, so finally I decided we could combine the two and have a party for that group. I involved Jamie in the planning as much as I could, showing him different ideas I found online and letting him pick the decorations. We had a great time planning it together, and the party turned out to be so fun!

I am really lucky my friend Brianna was there. She took some awesome pictures, and I am so thankful! Almost all of these came from her.

Jamie was so excited to decorate. He wanted to do it days in advance. It was hard to convince him to wait until the day of the party.
We had them guess how many candy corns there were in the jar. I thought it would be funny with preschoolers. :) And on the right are the bat party favors I made.
some of the guests! a "peacock princess," Snow White and Cinderella, and Sully from Monsters, Inc.

I don't know what it is about Thomas that encourages little kids to chase and tackle him, but this happens every time Jamie has friends over.

When the guests arrived, we had them create monsters with construction paper cut-outs and googly eyes, but I don't have any pictures of the actual process. I was busy still trying to get the food ready. :)

Then Thomas told them a couple of Halloween stories. First, he told them "In a Dark, Dark, Room." Jamie loves scary things so much that I forget other little kids actually get afraid. A couple of them were legitimately scared by his storytelling! Then he read a library book called Ten Creepy Monsters.

We had three games planned for the party. The first was pin-the-nose on the jack-o-lantern.

The second game was pumpkin bowling. The pins were paper towels with black eyes and mouths to look like ghosts, and the ball was a pumpkin.

Our last game was bobbing for doughnuts. We had doughnuts hanging from a string and the kids were supposed to try to eat them without using their hands. It was hilarious to watch. Most of them did a good job following the no-hands rule, but not Jamie. He was going to eat that doughnut right then and there, rules be darned.

Finally, we had some Halloween-themed snacks prepared. We had mummies and vampire blood (hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll strips with ketchup), ghosts and pumpkins (bananas with chocolate chips and clementines with celery stems), witch fingers (string cheese with sliced almonds), and graveyard cups (chocolate pudding, crushed oreos, Peep ghosts, and candy corn pumpkins). Again, it didn't occur to me that kids would actually be weary of any of that because Jamie is actually more likely to eat something if we pretend it's something spooky or gross. But at least one girl wouldn't touch the "blood." Oops.

When they finished eating, the kids talked and played a little more and that was that! We made sure they got their bat favors before they went home.

Oh, and we announced the winner of the candy corn game. There were actually 153.

We had so much fun at this party!! I'm glad Jamie convinced me to throw it. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more Halloween parties in our future...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

pumpkin patch and a conference in Atlanta

Thomas had a conference in Atlanta a few weeks ago, so of course we planned to go with him and stay at Mark & Sarah's. Then Jamie's preschool scheduled their pumpkin patch field trip for the same day. So Thomas ended up taking a bus down to Atlanta while Jamie, Jacob, and I went to the pumpkin patch and then drove to Atlanta on our own afterwards.

The pumpkin patch was a lot of fun for Jamie! It had been raining and was a cold, wet, muddy morning, but he loved getting to play with his friends, go on a hayride, choose the "perfect pumpkin," and play in the hay they had in one area.

We left straight from the field trip. The pumpkin patch was fortunately in the right direction, so it took 20 or 30 minutes off the regular travel time. I was nervous about the drive because Jacob is typically a very bad traveler and it was the first time I'd driven them by myself anywhere longer than maybe half an hour. However, I got lucky, and he actually slept for 2 hours! It was a miracle.

We had a great weekend at Mark & Sarah's. Jamie had so much fun (as usual) playing with his cousins, and it was so nice for me not to be alone while Thomas was at a conference! He was gone all day Thursday and Friday and half the day Saturday, but I still got to see him in the evening and then we all got to spend Saturday afternoon and Sunday together. The kids' favorite activities this time were "painting" the deck with soapy water as the "paint" and raking up pine needles in the backyard. Doesn't sound too exciting but they loved it. We are lucky to have some family so close!

For once, I really didn't take that many pictures, but here are a few.
Adriana's school had their fall festival while we were there. The kids all got their hair sprayed different colors and their faces painted. 
Jamie, Abigail, and Elena put on what they called a "puppet show" though it involved no puppets. They're pretty funny.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jamie catch-all

Just some random pictures of Jamie from the last few months that haven't made it on to any other posts...

Superhero Day at the zoo
for a long time he would put his hair down by Jacob's hands and wait for him to pull it...
...then he'd complain, "Ow, Mommy, Jacob's pulling my hair!" but always with this grin.
I found this one day. Made me laugh.
We noticed that the weight limit for the Ergo is 45 pounds, which is about what Jamie weighs, so he went for a ride. 
He LOVES to dress up! He'll put on the most random assortment of things and turn it into all kinds of different special suits. I don't remember what these were anymore.
He hasn't done it in a bit but for a while he wouldn't stop covering himself in stickers.

He's getting excited about learning to write.
He also went through a stage where he wanted to use tape as "protectors" all the time to pretend to be a Ninja Turtle. When he was sick in September, he would NOT take his medicine. One day I used the tape as bribery and he drank it right up. 
He loves to do "science experiments." We did one with coffee filters and markers and then turned them into butterflies.
Jamie likes to try and take pictures sometimes. I love all the little feet in them.
He thought he was soooo funny when he added "poop" and "pee" to our weekly dinner menu.
working out with Mommy.
his favorite way to play with Jacob is for both of them to be on his bed while pretending it's a boat
this makes me laugh every time
When I was sick in September, Jamie decided to take care of me. He took my temperature, brought me a wet paper towel for my forehead, brought me (admittedly random) food and water, gave me crayons and a coloring book so I'd have a "quiet activity" I could do while I rested, brought me a teddy bear, etc, etc....
One day in September, Jamie and Thomas went to the Smokies by themselves. They had a great day. The main event was a junior ranger program in Cades Cove. Jamie got to learn about a saw mill and some other old ways of life. He LOVED it.
The day before my birthday, Jamie and I went to see Seussical, the Musical at the Knoxville Children's Theatre. We had so much fun! It was his first time going to any type of play or musical, and he still talks about it and requests to hear the songs. I can't wait to take him to more!
We've been reading a lot of books about pirates. One day Jamie asked if he could go out on the balcony with a bucket of water and some rags and "swab the deck." He spent at least an hour doing this.
He wanted me to make him into a mummy.
I found this paper that had a rocket ship drawn on one side and "Halloween" written on the other. He's getting lots better at drawing and writing! And he knows how to spell Halloween because of a song Thomas and I learned in elementary school and taught to him.
He drew all the Ninja Turtles.
Jamie has a difficult time entertaining himself, but one day I managed to get him to play most of the day while I was working on something (I can't remember what anymore though). These pictures don't quite capture how disastrously messy the apartment was at the end of that day. I suppose that's the price for getting him to play by himself.
a couple of times I've noticed him writing his ABCs or just found a paper with them later on. I love it! This was all done of his own volition.
This just makes me laugh.