Thursday, August 31, 2017

Leo 3.5

Leo turned 3 and a half last week.
My boy is getting so big.
He is so independent and brave and smart and precious.

I don't even know where to begin with him.  He amazes me every single day. Seriously. He is so smart and funny. He is always saying the cleverest things. Sometimes he's too clever.

Last week we were getting ready for church and I said - Leo do you know your verse for this week? and he said no... and I said well then you're not going to get any candy... and he said its okay, Miss Kaye gives me candy even if I don't say it.
and then! At church Miss Kaye was talking to them about how important it is to listen to your mom and dad and Leo says - "but it's easy to just go to time out"

Last night we went to Chickfila and I was trying to bribe him to help me clean up his bedroom before and I said - Leo if you help me clean up I'll get you ice cream after dinner. He thinks for a second and says - no, I don't like chickfilas ice cream anyway.

I should be afraid of what is to come...

But I promise more often than he says things like that he is super sweet.  He makes up the sweetest songs. Today he sang this to me -

God is with you wherever you go
God will protect you
God made dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are not here anymore
I love you

He is amazing at drawing and writing. He has been writing his name forever but now he likes to write all different kinds of letters and then ask me what it spells. Or he will ask me how to write a word and write it out perfectly. I really feel like he's going to read soon.  He knows all his letter sounds and can sound out short words and he can do a few sight words. - Dog, cat, mommy, daddy, Houston, Batman lol.
It makes me so happy that he loves to do art projects. Almost every day we draw with chalk or paint or just draw on paper.  He is getting pretty detailed and I love all his art. Its so hard to have to throw some of them away sometimes. But I always take a picture first!

Oh and back to church and the bible verses - he is great at memorizing verses. He has about 5 that he can recite and he knows the entire Lord's prayer. Sometimes he sings it in his little made up songs :)

He is so curious. It keeps things interesting. He asks me to look things up on my phone or he wants to find a book about certain subjects at the library. Today he asked the librarian for a book about worms that suck blood... and the other day he insisted we good whether or not ants have boogers.
One day he got in trouble for chopping down one of my plants but I couldn't be mad after he told me the reason he did it was that he just wanted to see what was inside of it. haha. He asks that about a lot of things - what is inside of it?!

One of his favorite subjects is sea creatures.  His current favorite show that he asks to watch almost every single day is Octonauts... I still don't like him watching a lot of TV, but he really loves this show and remembers every single thing about it.  He's taught me about cone snails, burmese pythons (pyphones to Leo :), squid, jelly fish, alligators, and so much more. He is Kwazzi, I am Tweak, Lee is Captain Barnacles, and Houston is Peso. I don't know... just the names he gave us.

One of the most adorable things is Leo now has imaginary friends. I've read that it is a sign of intelligence lol. I don't know about that, but it is fun.
For a couple months now Leo has talked about "his animals" in pretty much every situation it is - oh my animals can do that or my animals have been there before or my animals will keep us safe.
This week though the animals have begun physically being in our house.  The two he talks to the most about are his Tiger and his Monkey. The monkey swings on our ceiling fan and the tiger was sitting at our table at breakfast.

He still loves to dress up and pretend he's different superheroes. He sometimes combines different ones and powers.  He mostly likes Batman and Spiderman though.

Oh and he LOVES legos! He could sit in his room for hours and build things with his legos. I know I keep saying it but that also makes me so happy!  He is REALLY good too and comes up with some very cool contraptions. He is very symmetrical in his building too.

I'd say he's your typical boy in most things - he likes dirt, sports, being dangerous, tv, etc...

We're getting very excited about our upcoming adventure to Honduras. Leo can't wait to see mountains and I am feeling hopeful that he develops an interest in Spanish because as of right now he does not want to learn Spanish at all!
I will tell you what though, Leo will not miss the AC while we're there. He comes out often in sweatshirts complaining about being cold and we keep our house at about 75, haha, if it's a cloudy day you can be sure Leo wants to wear

As has been the case for his entire life, Leo is super tall. He was over 40 inches this summer when we went to Busch Gardens so he got to ride a lot of the bigger rides! It's crazy!
I think he's finally gained some weight too. We'll find out at Houston's 15 month appointment soon how much he weighs and how tall he is.  He's wearing 4-5T and size 11, almost 12 in shoes!!

He's still pretty picky in the eating department, but he has been more open at least to trying things thankfully. He finally eats chicken and french fries out in restaurants! haha! I NEVER though I'd be happy about that, but it's so much more convenient when he will eat SOMETHING on the menu. I think part of the difference is he decided he likes ketchup... and chickfila helps. The gateway nuggets.

And besides being smart, funny, and sweet.... this kid is ridiculously good looking.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Houston 15 Months

My sister in law asked me the other day how much Leo weighed when he was 2 and I was able to quickly check my blog and read a full account of everything Leo was doing when he was 2 years old (and basically every other month of his life) and while doing so I noticed I had not updated about Houston since his 9 month post... if I'm this bad with my 2nd kid what does this say about my future children's records?!

So this is me committing to blogging more! For my children's sake! haha!

Houston just might be one of the cutest 15 month old you've ever seen. Of that I'm pretty certain. He just makes you want to squeeze him.  He has the best smile and the shiniest brown eyes that just dance when he's happy.

He loves to dance. He likes The Office theme song! If you know me you know this is my all time favorite show so I often try to sneak in an episode while I'm cooking dinner or doing dishes and when the music plays Houston is always dancing. I just love it so much.

He is a CLIMBER! If I leave the room Houston can be found on top of the kitchen table. He climbs on the toilet, on beds, chairs, into the bathtub... He also loves to get into the cabinets and pull out every single thing, but if I just hand him a stack of Tupperware he wants nothing to do with it. lol. of course.
He loves water. Mostly dumping water out of cups, lol, but he loves the beach and the pool and his water table that we got him for his 1st birthday!

He also loves balls and playing basketball and reading books. The other day I no lie took a 5 minute video of him reading an animal book so intently... but you'll have to take my word for it because my phone desperately needs reset and I have commitment issues about deleting every thing so it didn't actually record it...
He likes to draw and eat crayons. haha. Actually maybe he just likes making messes!

We're currently working on animal sounds. He learned to say woof woof for dog while we were in Ohio in July so about 13 months I guess. And he has been saying woof for every animal since. haha! At Busch Gardens the other day he got excited whenever he saw an animal and said woof woof woof over and over.
Now he can do the trick we taught Leo about sticking his tongue out for lizard and beating his chest for gorilla. He tries to moo like a cow and sometimes will say baa for sheep.
I feel like he's going to be picking up a lot more quickly. Every time we practice he does more and more.

For a couple months he has been able to point out different body parts - head, eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and belly.  He understands a lot of other commands too. Like if I say raise your hands or show me your feet he can.

I admit I was a lot more diligent with the sign language with Leo and at 15 months he knew a lot more signs than Houston, but Houston is very consistent and good with please, more, all done, and thank you. I need to teach him more!

Houston has so many nicknames from us - Housty, Houster, H-town... none of which were nicknames I originally thought of when I named him Houston.  I thought we were going to call him Hugh or Huey lol. I love when Leo calls him a nickname though. It is so sweet.
They are the sweetest brothers. I can't wait to see their relationship form even more. But they definitely fight. Leo gets upset when Houston takes his stuff and Houston wants to do whatever Leo is doing... so that's fun. haha.

Houston is still on the slim size. We go tomorrow for his 15 month check up so I'll know how much he weighs and how tall he is then. My guess is long and thin! He's wearing 18 month clothes mostly, but can still fit his 12 month shorts.
He eats okay, but definitely not like Leo did at this age. It might be due to his environment (aka my fault) because I tend to feed him exactly what I'm feeding Leo so he eats a lot of fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, hummus, etc.  He would eat every 1500 berries a day if I let him. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are his favorites, but he likes strawberries too. He also loves to walk around the house chomping on an apple.

Houston is just the sweetest, happiest, goofiest baby. He makes himself laugh sometimes and it cracks me up.  He's super ticklish and peekaboo always works to get a smile out of him.
I am so thankful he's mine.

Houston's first movie - Lego Batman on $1 day! He made it through the whole movie until about the last 15 minutes and I had to stand up in the back with him. 

Milkshake thief! 

Houston experienced his first solar eclipse this month! He slept through most of it, but we got outside to catch some of the fun shadows on the eclipse :) 

Mommy and Daddy's 8th anniversary 

We had a big flood this month! 
We were stuck at our house for a couple days and played in the rain :)

Eating markers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Leo's Lego Batman Party!

Leo turned 3 on February 25th!
I can't believe he's already 3! Every mom who ever says something about her kid's birthday has to say that right? But seriously. Wow. 3 years.

If you know Leo or have been around him for more than a few minutes you'll know he loves Batman! Combine that with his newfound love of Legos and the Lego Batman movie coming out we decided to do a Lego Batman party! 

We are now in our final year of residency (yeah!) so money for extra things like birthday parties isn't abundant, but since we skipped the party last year and Leo is now much more aware of things like parties and actually has little friends - we decided to have a party!

The total cost of the party was really low when compared to having a party at a party place, especially considering we had about 40-50some people and fed everyone lunch! I'd say total I spent around $100 and I'll share what we did.

It was such a fun day and amid all the fun I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I wish I had, but that's life. 

First, the major expense we were able to avoid was the cost of renting a space.
A couple years ago our church had a big "block party" and the teens built an awesome lego table and people donated legos to the church! When I decided on the theme having it at our church was an obvious choice. Since we are members there was no charge for using the church gymnasium (and all the church's stuff - tables, chairs, etc.)  Of course when using something like your church it's proper etiquette (at least I think it is anyway) to drop a little extra in the offering plate on top of your regular tithe.  Anyway!  Having a party for a 3 year old in a big gym was great! We set up about half of the gym and left the other half open for wild kids to run free! It was perfect!

Next the decorations were practically free. I saved all my cardboard boxes from crackers, pasta, mail, etc. and a friend saved me several large boxes from her office and we covered them in primary colored wrapping paper that I purchased at Dollar Tree, Party City, and Hobby Lobby. I found a large roll of red at Dollar Tree because it was Valentine's Day, smaller rolls of blue, green, and yellow at Party City for .99, and a large roll of good quality black paper at Hobby Lobby for $5 with 40% off coupon!
I cut out circles and glued them to the tops of the boxes to make them look like Lego bricks and used them as centerpieces (but seriously a 3 year old's party doesn't necessarily need centerpieces, lol) and with the black boxes I glued on yellow squares to look like a city skyline.

Other decorations were things we had at home - Legos!

Walmart carries Lego themed plates, napkins, cups, etc. for only .99 each! And I used the plastic cups McDonalds gave out in their Happy Meals as a holder for forks and spoons!

One thing I did spend a little money on was silicone Lego brick and men shaped molds! I found a set of 8 on Ebay for $12! I had the intentions of making crayons and chocolates and then decided on just crayons because I didn't want kids to get confused and eat the crayons! ha!
Thankfully I changed my mind because I found that after I used a mold for crayons the wax was very, very, very hard to remove entirely so the chocolate probably would have tasted like wax.
I tried a couple different methods of making the crayons but the best was melting them in the molds in the oven. I bought about 4 boxes of 48 crayons at the Dollar Tree, removed the papers (it is definitely easier to do if you soak the crayon in water for a couple seconds first!) and broke them into pieces, lined them in the molds, placed them on a cookie sheet and put in the oven at about 200-250 (I'm not big on specifics, haha) until they were totally melted - maybe 10 or so minutes. Then let harden on the counter until solid and then put them in the fridge to cool them completely.
They turned out so cute and was seriously one of my favorite parts of the party and planning!
I printed off a couple different coloring sheets on my home printer (so yeah no idea how much that cost.... but like paper and ink we already had you know) of Lego Batman and of a plain Lego man and scattered some different shapes and colors of the Lego crayons on the table.
I also put a few crayons in little clear bags (40 for $1 at Dollar Tree) and gave those out as party favors.

The majority of my party budget of course went to food. I invited A LOT of people to the party. Man, kids parties are hard. First of all we had it at our church and we have so many friends and people we love at our church so they all got invited.  Then I have a lot of friends from my mops group and that's the bulk of Leo's friends so I invited just so many people.  I didn't get a final headcount but I think we had about 50ish people there! 
I made a facebook event to invite people (oh so saved on invitations too!) and made Lee an admin also and a couple days before the party he got a little nervous and was like uhhh how do you plan on feeding all these people? haha clearly he was super involved in the party planning.

My original plan was just like oh we'll just grab some hot and ready's from Little Caesars because it's cheap, right? Well the week of the party I got an email from Pizza Hut that they had 50% off their entire menu when you ordered online! So I called and confirmed I could order 10 pizzas and get the discount AND have them delivered and they said yes!!
So our menu was pizza, macaroni and cheese (that I made), chips, watermelon, rice crispie treats that looked like Lego bricks, and of course cake!
For drinks I stuck to basics and had tea, lemonade, and water.
2 of my sweet friends actually ended up bringing lemonade and a large fruit salad to the party which was amazing and so helpful! Making a mental note to always ask my friends if they need help with food for their kids parties ;)

And then the other expense was the cake, which I made so it was pretty cheap.
I made a shot in the dark post and asked if any of my friends had Batman cookie cutters and was shocked that one actually did! So another $10-15 saved!
I saw the cake idea on facebook and practiced the technique on valentines day and it didn't turn out too bad so I just went with it! I do not recommend making your kids' birthday cakes. Just buy them at the grocery, haha, but if you're like me and likes the challenge, saving money, and how happy it made Leo.... it was all worth it.

It was such a fun party and we have such great friends.
Stuff like this just leaves me feeling so overwhelmingly thankful.
Thankful for that precious 3 year old boy of mine and thankful for all the people in our lives.

Happy Birthday Leo!


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