Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Baseball and Baking at Twenty Six Months

This was the first month that zoomed by so fast, I almost missed my monthly update. My heart has been bursting with love for this little boy, who is growing up way too fast, that I get to call my own! Each night after he goes to bed, Phil and I look at each other with a sparkle in our eyes and can't stop mushing and gushing about how awesome he is! Even through the crazy two year old mini meltdown moments, he is just so loving and caring and funny and silly and loving and caring and funny!
This month Micah:

  • has been stringing several sentences together. 
  • has been counting everything he sees (starting with 2, but usually goes up to 10 without repeat numbers or out of order numbers!)

  • has been really interested in the alphabet letters and can do a lot of them in order
  • had a great time on Halloween being a little butterfly. We went to a fun neighborhood with lots of scary loud houses with fog machines and he just loved the whole thing. Didn't get scared.
At our Pathways Connect Mtg. in the kid area! Coldest week and he takes off his shirt!

  • played with duplo legos, his cars, baseball with the tee ball inside, football, a bit with his trains, a bit with his stuffed animals and in his play house.
  • loved trying to play hide and go seek. He is good at counting to ten and then saying, "ready or not here I come!" When it is my turn to find him, I narrate the event like, "Is Micah in the bed? Noooo…Is he behind the door? Nooooo. Is he in the closet? Nooo…" So now Micah has been saying similar things randomly and jokingly saying…Noooo! 

  • continued to love reading. He likes snuggling with books with all three of us (daddy, gramma, mommy) and often will just grab a book and read it to himself (based on memory and the pictures).
  • has repeated a few not so great words like dangit, darnit, oh shit. Luckily we were able to stifle our giggles enough to ignore it and not make a scene out of it, so he hasn't repeated them again.

  • continues to say "It's kind of funny" about things that are different, interesting, or sometimes for things that are actually funny.

  • runs around the kitchen island. and around. and around. and around. This month the adventure has been to run around it being a baseball player pretending to run the bases. And…another time we love running around the island is naked time before the bath. LOVE

  • got a few more bumps and bruises and a decent scratch on one leg from a wild blackberry bush jumping out at him.
  • been jumping and balancing while out and about wherever he can. He also helped spot some pretty cool mushrooms growing in our neighborhood. 

  • loves wearing his bird hat and winter mittens.
  • helps Gramma with everything. Baking, cleaning, cooking, picking out recipes in cookbooks. Everything. It is the cutest thing!

  • went to Kelsey Creek Farm and payed a little attention to the animals and more attention to jumping down all the steps in their amphitheater! 

  • sat on a real live excavator thanks to cousin Mark (there is one being used right by their house)!
  • has gotten really into our month of being thankful. Each night we write down on a paper leaf what each of us are thankful for. Micah leads the discussion, "What's Gramma thankful for?" "What's Daddy thankful for?" "What's Mommy thankful for?" Sometimes he answers for us. Sometimes he asks Charlie and always answers that Charlie is thankful for presents. He makes sure that I write it all down. He is sometimes thankful for whatever food he is eating at the time, sometimes thankful for one of us (or all of us), and sometimes has really reflective thoughts like being thankful for gramma's help or the moon. :-) 

  • had another visit from Nana and Papa. We went out to dinners, went wine tasting in Woodinville, went to the zoo, walked around UW, and more. He loved having Papa throw him onto the bed and lift him up so that he could run in the air. 

  • helped Daddy celebrate getting into the UW business school!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Butterfly Boy and Halloween fun

For the last two years during Halloween, we mostly did any pumpkin decorating or Halloween festivities for ourselves since Micah was too young to "get it". This year, however, was so much more about what Micah wanted. And boy did he know what he wanted! I was truly blown away by how dedicated he was and how much conviction he had with his answers to my Halloween planning questions. He was certain that he wanted a silly pumpkin with teeth when carving a jack-o-lantern, not a sad, or mad, or happy, or surprised pumpkin. Daddy finally did the carving, but Micah watched on with intense interest and was very pleased with the end result. He especially enjoyed going outside to look at the candle in the pumpkin. What he wasn't too fond of was touching the pumpkin pulp. For some reason, he let Mommy sift out all the seeds for roasting all by herself. 

Micah may have known what kind of pumpkin he wanted, but I was even more struck by his resolve for what to be for Halloween. I asked him about a month before and he said he wanted to be a butterfly. Throughout October, I probably asked him what he wanted to be about a hundred times or more (ok, maybe more like twenty, but it was a lot!) and each time he replied butterfly! Sometimes, I'd ask if he wanted to be something else and when he responded yes, I'd say…"do you want to be that or a butterfly?" The answer was without fail, butterfly!  I even took him costume shopping with me and held up several cute options that I knew he would like, yet when asked if he wanted to be this or a butterfly, there was no doubt in his mind! So, butterfly it was! I found a cute set of wings at Value Village for about $3 and then used some dollar store pipe cleaners, headband, and ping pong balls to create antenna. He pretty much loved it. 

Until he didn't. Until about five minutes after wearing the butterfly costume on Halloween afternoon. After all that, he wasn't even going to be a butterfly! Well, as toddlers can be somewhat fickle, I had anticipated this and had about three other costumes at the ready. So, we loaded up the car dressed as Nemo. Shark bait ooo lala! Shark bait ooo lala! 
Our wonderful friends, the Collins' family, invited us to celebrate Halloween with them and a few other families. It was just perfect. There were kids of all ages, yummy chili, tons of healthy finger foods, and just the cutest holiday themed touches. My friend Erin is a masterful hostess! 
Photo by the amazing mother of this amazing snuggle buddy. Find her at Abeille Photography

Photo by my friend Dannie at Abeille Photography
Finally after a bunch of time spent chatting with friends over an adult beverage or two and the kids running around in and out of the playroom, all five families packed up and headed out to Trick-or-Treat the neighborhood. Micah even got excited about his butterfly costume again, so we costume changed again before heading out. Oh boy do the Collins' live in one amazing neighborhood to Trick-or-Treat in! Some of the houses went all out with decorations, loud scary music, and fog machines. I was starting to get pretty nervous about how Micah would react for his first true Trick-or-Treat, but he shook off the timid shy thing after the first three houses and lit up with pure joy for the rest of the night! He thought the scary stuff was pretty funny and didn't get spooked at all. I held his hand for the first few houses and then let Daddy walk with him so that I could get in some amazing baby snuggles from my girlfriend Dannie's son! 

I was a little bit nervous wondering how it would go afterwards, envisioning temper tantrum city with the late night and lots of candy at his finger tips, yet to my surprise, Micah did great! Instead of wanting to eat the candy, he had a blast just taking it out of his bag and putting it back in, analyzing the look of it all, asking "what's that, Mommy?" to every piece, and counting it all. 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10! (not one to one matching and we start at 2, but still pretty impressive, right teacher friends?!)

Oh Halloween, I have always enjoyed you, but this year was something truly special. May we never forget these looks of discovery and pure joy on our toddlers face. And may we always help to add a sense of magic to many, many days.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Growing a Pumpkin Patch Tradition

Getting so big!

Ah Fall. Pumpkin Patches. Corn Mazes. Hay Rides. Fresh Hot Apple Cider. Pumpkin flavored everything. Pumpkin everything. The sound of crisp leaves under your boots. A chilly breeze brushing at your cheeks.
cider and pumpkin donuts, oh my!
Cute little country store

Gourds galore

Nothing makes me more nostalgic and sentimental than pumpkin patches. For some moms it's birthdays or Christmas, but for me it's the P-patch. It's the pull out the annual pumpkin patch photo, look how my baby has grown, sappy warm feeling deep down inside that rushes up and brings tears to my eyes.
Sorry for the poor quality. Something got lost in translation of apps etc.

There is nothing like watching a two year old boy discover a farm in the fall with curiosity, amazement, and excitement. The only thing that might compare is listening to the same two year old boy retell his experience in terms of getting to be at the pumpkin patch with a friend.
Feed for the goats
Oh hello goat!

tractor trike!

Silly Mommy!

perfect position for throwing the pumpkin, eh?

running around

that's a good one!

The power of friendship is often underestimated. What is also often underestimated is the amount of work it takes to build and maintain friendships. We are so thankful for the friends that have let us know when we disappointed them. The friends that share our joy and our frustrations. The friends that don't just live in a self centered social media world that nurtures a false sense of friendship. We are thankful for the old school kind of friendships.
Isaac's a good wheelbarrow driver

After four years going to pumpkin patches together, I think it's ok to officially declare that the Richardsons have become those friends. Our friendship is so easy in so many ways and yet, over the years we've all had to work to maintain it too. It's not often that you find couple friends where all parties involved get along and truly enjoy being in each others presence equally. Now, we can only cross our fingers that our sons will also equally get along. So far, so good! It's not like we expect the boys to grow up to be besties….just get along enough so that I can keep posting our annual photo at the patch!
fun at the playground
"That's corn Mommy!"

Hide and go seek corn maze style

a rare moment when he actually stayed on the path

I die from the cuteness!

A fall favorite!

My super kiddo!

Each year we try to go to a new pumpkin patch since there are so many amazing ones not that far away. This year, Bob's Corn and Pumpkin Farm was the perfect spot! We walked through the pumpkin patch drinking their yummy hot apple cider, hit up the toddler tractor trike area, fed the goats, played on the playground, ran through the kids corn maze (a little nerve racking for us parents!), and bought some kettle corn and pumpkins on the way out. It was perfect! Especially since the rain managed to hold off until we were heading to the car!
The annual friends photo!

How Pacific Northwest Fall can we be!?

Another super cute family at the patch