Thursday, July 31, 2014

Grant: 8 MONTHS!

Eight months has gone by already!  
Okay, so really eight and a half by the time I am actually posting this. 

This guy is pretty excited about growing up.  
I, on the other hand, am not so is all happening too fast! 

Yep, 8 months.  It's true, Grant.  

Okay, let's eat.  

And SMILE.  
Grant remains such a happy, go with the flow baby.  
Isn't he beautiful? 

He loves his toys.  

Everything goes in his mouth and I keep thinking he is going to get two more teeth on the bottom but they haven't showed up yet.  His tooth count is still at 6! 

Grant's most notable milestone this month is pulling himself up, standing on his own for up to 15 or so seconds at a time and he is walking around furniture and with his walker.  

Thankfully, he has figured out how to lower himself down more gently than the abrupt plop.  The plop still happens occasionally but his control is MUCH improved. 

I again waited to do the 8 month photos right before bed and so the big boys wanted photos again.  The impossible task of getting all three in a photo has gotten even tougher with Grant's mobility.  

Hang onto him. 

Wait, Grant!

I finally get them all in one photo and two of them are completely distracted.  One teeth gritting smile though! 

Dad jumped in for some night time fun. 

I don't make this stuff up!  Crazy kid. 
I think he was picking out his bedtime story.  
Note: when Tyler was a baby, the unruliness of this shelf would have driven me crazy.  Now, I am just pleased the books are not all over the floor (thanks to Tyler being a bit OCD like me and picking them up).  I love how kids have mellowed me out...a bit.  

Grant's 8 month birthday fun facts include: 
  • Sleeping!  He naps usually 2-3 times a day.  We are working on cutting out the 5:30p nap even though it is handy to get dinner on the table when he would lay down.  Bedtime is around 8:30 and he typically sleeps until 6:30a.  
  • Eating!  Grant is not a huge fan of baby food.  He would much rather eat what everyone else is and so we have expanded his solid foods a lot this month.  Bits of grapes, pears, carrots, peaches, green beans, etc.  Most of the things I have in baby food form, just now in small chunks.  He is so much happier about meal time now.  I am telling you, the kid wants to grow up too quickly.  He still nursed about half the time at the 8 month birthday and since mom has really be working on closing down shop, if you know what I mean.  Formula feeding has been going great and Grant LOVES his bottle!  
  • Talking!  Only two words that we can understand: dada and mama.  Most of the time it is "dadadadada" and "mamamamama" over and over again.  I think Grant just gets excited he got the sound down and doesn't want to lose it.  It. Is. Perfect.  I will admit he said dada first and often.  As overwhelmed I as sometimes get with the amount of times a day I hear "mommy" there is still something wonderful about hearing your baby call you mama for the first time!
  • Playing!  Grant is in awe over his big brothers and now that he can "chase" them is on the go and all up in whatever they are up to.  Most of the time once Grant catches up to them, they are on to the next activity but this has really helped improve his speed lately. :)  The older boys are great with him, often sitting down to read him a book or shake a rattle for him.  I am not sure Tyler and Nathan are ready for Grant to grow up and get even more into their stuff than he already is.  Grant destroyed the track on the train table the other day and it did not go over all. 
  • Personality!  Grant is a delightful baby.  He smiles a LOT.  He loves attention but plays very well on his own.  He is a bit sneaky and I really have to watch to keep bathroom doors closed as he crawls to the bathtub constantly.  He will stand there, dance and grunt as if to say "let's play in the bath, mom!"  He knows what he wants.  He works hard to do things most 8 month old babies don't - lots of grunting to indicate his hard work. 

We love our "Baby Grant" (as the boys call him)!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Picking strawberries

Several weeks ago, we spent our Friday night picking strawberries with Popo Francis, Greg, Jenny and Ryan while Grandma stayed back at their house with Grant and Matthew.  

The boys loved it!  

Tyler was a great helper. 

Nathan was into it too. 

I am confident that Nathan ate WAY more than he picked.  I was having a hard time picking fast enough to stay ahead of him.  

I am pretty sure he was asking why I was taking pictures and not picking strawberries.  :)

Here is our haul. The berries were pretty small but oh so sweet.  We froze quite a bit of them and I have been using them for morning smoothies.  Yum yum!  

It was a fun night with the family!  

Monday, July 14, 2014

4th of July Picnic

We had an absolutely perfect 4th of July morning this year.  We spent the morning at Shaw's Arboretum with our good friends, the Wade Family.  It was 80 degrees and we had the park pretty much to ourselves.  We couldn't believe it.   We started out on a very short hike and then let the kids play and explore in the Nature Explore Classroom.  We did not see a single other kid the entire time we played here - crazy and a bit wonderful!  

Nathan was busy showing off his super hero moves on the trail.  

This boy and his sand box!

This little lady is always on the move. 

Grant loves blocks at home and these log blocks were no exception. 
Notice Grant's first forehead bruise.  That is because he is pulling himself up on everything and occasionally has a crash landing. 

It was the perfect area for the kids to climb and explore.  

Why do I even put a blanket down?  Grant's goal is always to get off the blanket as quickly as possible.  

A special thanks to Heather for all of the pictures so far.  I did a horrible job of taking photos!  Thanks, Coop!  

Nathan, Tyler and Own holding hands walking to the car to prepare to switch spots for our picnic.  Adorable with a capital A! 
 I just love little boys with hats! 

Talking about adorable - Amelia is just that!  And her little firecracker shirt fits her to a "T. " I love her spunky personality.  

At the picnic area we, again, had the place to ourselves.  We had quite the spread.  Kids were happy with their options and adults enjoyed an adult beverage while the kids quietly ate their lunch.  Did I mention how perfect of a morning it was?  Truly!  The. BEST. 

While Heather and I packed up, Jeff and Mike went to get the car and took Nathan and  on their shoulders.  LOVE!  

So thankful that we live in a country that allows us to have perfect days like this.  
Happy Birthday America! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Newest Family Member

No, we are not having another baby and no, we did not get a dog. 
We picked up a turtle for the upcoming turtle race at the Washington Town & Country Fair.

This is Donatello, or Donnie for short.  Tyler says Donatello is the fastest of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.   He will be living on the back porch.  The covered part, of course!  We told the boys it is best for Donatello to stay outside since the turtle race will be outside. Best training conditions.  Thankfully, that explanation seemed to work.  

The boys are so excited and want to check on Donnie often. The clear "house" is a bit of a treadmill since Donatello tries to get out it forces him to work his muscles for the big race.  Donatello has been snacking on spinach, apple cores left over from our lunch, and left over hamburger buns.  Donatello likes to knock over his water bowl too.  

Hopefully we can keep this new family member alive until August 9, the day of the big race!   I have already put the bug in the boys ear that we will be letting Donatello go back with his family after the race.  Hopefully, that process goes smoothly.  Meanwhile, if you have any turtle care or training tips, please send them our way. :) 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

World Cup Fever

The World Cup on tv recently has led to more soccer games in the backyard. 

A whole other blog post is coming soon about the swing set in the background!  

The World Cup soccer games in the back yard also prompted me to request a goal for the boys to "score."  Luckily, I have a very handy husband who made one out of pvc pipe.  I bought 2 yards of net from JoAnn Fabric and zip tied it to the pvc goal.  It is a HUGE hit in the backyard.  


I found the pvc pattern for the goal on Pintrest and website listed here.  
The total cost for this fun little project including the pipe and fabric (we already had a collection of zip ties) was only $15-16! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Memorial Day Service

I know I am going way back with these photos but as I was cleaning off camera cards I came across these photos from the Memorial Day service the boys and I attended with Grandma and Popo.  

Memorial Day is so much more than just a 3-day weekend and the unofficial start to summer.  

I love this one of Popo with the big boys. 

Nathan had his flag waving, ready for the program to start. 

Grandma was talking to Tyler about respecting the flag. 

This photo is Memorial Day to me - one generation teaching another to remember and respect the flag and those who have served and protected it and what it stands for. 

Grandma's provide the best nap spots.  

We are so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect the flag and the USA.  While I am pretty sure my boys didn't take away much from the service, I hope that by continuing to take them to these types of events they will eventually have the highest admiration for our veterans.