Teddy is 2!

Theodore John, age 2 years and a few hours

I’m pretty sure Teddy was this little squish yesterday and I blinked and now he’s 2!

Theodore John only minutes old

Teddy has a whole lot of personality in a tiny body. He’s barely out of 18 month clothes but 24 month/2T are far too big yet. He’s 2 ft 7.5 inches tall (3rd percentile) and weight 22 lb 3 oz (1st %). He may be small but he is a bundle of jokes, sweet gestures, and funny words.

Teddy loves fruit snacks (we call them fruit candies because that’s what they really are), cookies, crackers, freeze dried yogurt drops, dried mango and raisins, yogurt, scrambled eggs, cupcakes and muffins, toast, grilled cheese and tomato soup, pizza, pancakes, sausage, bacon, hot dogs, roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, waffles, and any candy he can see. Basically, he likes all the typical toddler foods but few of the healthy ones. It feels like he got picky far earlier than Ben so we’ve been working on breaking that habit now rather than let him rule over dinner like a tiny dictator.

Teddy loves cars and trucks more than Ben ever has. He’s been making vroom noises since he was 8 months old and will sit and play cars for ages. He also loves things that aren’t toys, like empty children’s vitamin bottles and a PS3 controller. I’ve given up taking away his “mote” at bed anymore because of the meltdown associated with having to leave the controller behind! He’s Ben’s biggest fan and will follow him anywhere. Ben is fairly tolerant of having a little brother with him constantly and loves to have a playmate. They wrestle, play pretend restaurant or kitchen, watch shows, make piles of all the pillows in the house, and play Duplos or little Legos with Brian downstairs. When Ben and Teddy are not best friends, they are worst enemies, like most siblings. Teddy will do anything if it means he can go for a walk in the wagon or stroller and has quickly adapted to accompanying Brian to drop Ben off at school.

Ben has always been one to act first and learn lessons after the fact. Teddy is exactly the opposite. He will wait as long as it takes to study something before moving forward. He didn’t roll, crawl, or walk until later than normal but excelled at all of them right away. He has incredible fine motor skills and will carefully play with small figurines, setting up tiny tea parties so the animals can have a ‘nack. His patience as a tiny person amazes me and nothing illustrates how different our boys are than when asking for help. I attempted to teach Ben how to sign for help before he could speak but he refused to use it. He was capable but preferred throwing a toy or falling to the floor in anguish instead of asking for assistance. Teddy, however, is an expert, even without being prompted. “Hep peas” was one of his first two word phrases and the one that gets the most use. It never fails to amaze me when Teddy walks into the room where I am, hands me something, asks for hep, and responds with “gink oo” (or thank you for those who don’t speak Teds).

Teddy’s vocabulary has exploded in the last few months. He has words for just about everything but our favorites are guckle = buckle, moois = moose (which is pretty much every animal that isn’t a puppy, duck, or horse). He loves to take care of his baby doll, ask for snacks, drink (water, juice, milk), and tell us no at any possible opportunity. Asking him questions almost always generates a “yup” in response except for diaper changes and naps: “No map! No poop!” He loves his kitties: Skints (Squints) and Mogee (Mowgli). He’s been working on names for grandparents and has so far come up with Gramommy for Grammy and Memaw for Grandma.

Teddy is, and always has been, very loud

We’ve been able to control his breathing through two colds with his steroid inhalers so we shouldn’t need to return to the hospital anytime soon. I still get jumpy when I see his nose start to drip because I know a nasty cough isn’t far behind. Thankfully, he puts up with the inhalers fairly well at this point.

Happy birthday Teddy bear! We are so thankful that you’re our #4!

Ben is 4!

The Birthday Boy

In the tradition we started last year, I asked Ben some birthday questions this morning. He did so much better focusing this year and had answers for almost everything. It is really fun to see how much he’s matured since his birthday last year (check out that post here).

What is your name?
Benny-Boy maybe?

How old are you?
I am 4!

What is your favorite color?
Green and blue

Play-doh is always a huge hit

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Um, 5?

What is your favorite food?
Hot dogs!

Who do you like to play with?
Mowgli [our cat]… and Daddy

“My own little Legos!”

What is your favorite book?
Woody and Buzz, my present

What is your favorite animal?

Jake Duplos!

What is your favorite song?
Everything is Awesome!

What makes you laugh?

The only thing Ben asked for was a basketball hoop – on repeat – and his reaction was exactly what we had hoped for

What do you like to do with your family?
Go play at the playground and give my family kisses

What does Daddy do for work?
Play. I don’t know what he does

What does Mommy do for work?
Post Status!

Birthday jealousy is real and alive in our house today! Little brother is having a hard time waiting until his birthday in 2 weeks

What is your favorite movie?
Everything is Awesome movie, the Lego Movie!

What is your favorite show?
Disney Shorts

What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Swim and play in the sprinkler

Where do you like to go on vacation?
To the pool and splash pad [Florida]

Happy birthday, Benny-Boy!

Ben’s first day of school


Today was Ben’s first day of school – ever – and he could hardly wait to leave the house. When we went to his open house last week, he was quiet, withdrawn, and told me that he didn’t want to make friends with the other kids. Today he marched into his class after greeting his teacher without any fear at all. He turned and gave me a hug at the last second to say, “I’ll miss you when you’re gone,” but happily went to play playdough. I think he’ll do just fine.bens-first-day-1035 bens-first-day-1041 bens-first-day-1050

The Magical, Disappearing Summer

This is rather awkward. I’ve meant to post, honest, but we’ve been having too much fun summering hard to worry about new posts or formatting photos or eating healthy dinners. Suddenly its July and I’m convinced the last few months have gone by at twice the normal speed.

In May we road tripped to Disney (another full post coming about that!) and celebrated Brian’s 30th birthday while we were there. Brian and I celebrated our 8th anniversary, I took a trip to Savannah with some of my dearest friends, and Teddy ended up in the hospital with RSV. By the time he got out and we felt sufficiently recovered, it was Memorial Day weekend when we did lots of yard work and my sister got engaged!

Enjoying one of Savannah’s many parks with my travel buddies
We watched *so much* Nemo at the hospital
The benefit of having a room on the 6th floor is that you have an amazing view of all the vrooms and gucks driving around
Ben’s favorite part of shopping for plans was the hot dog truck in front of the greenhouse!
Putting Ben to work
She said yes so we’re planning on an October wedding

In June I turned 30, we took a short beach vacation to Ludington (potentially a full post here too) so we could enjoy Lake Michigan and attend my cousin’s wedding, Ben had an amazing dentist appointment, we enjoyed our back yard oasis as much as possible, and Teddy went back to the hospital with RSV again. We have an action plan now so there’s less of a chance that Teddy will have to be admitted to the hospital again this summer. I’d really prefer it to be never!

Teddy hates the sand with the fire of 1000 suns but he’s all about playgrounds
T had a big break through in June when he discovered that he does indeed like the baby pool
Babies in the pool
Teddy was more intensely sick for a longer time than in May so we have lots of droopy baby pictures
Look, Ma! No Oxygen! Teddy did really well maintaining his oxygen level while he was awake but needed O2 while sleeping for several days


The downside of being in the hospital, other than the bills and feeling like a caged animal, was we had to miss a friend’s wedding. The upside was that since we already arranged childcare, Brian got to come with us!

July started with a bang (both literally and figuratively). We host my extended family for brunch on the 4th so we spent a few days cleaning and landscaping before going all-in on celebrating the US’s independence. Brian built a play house into the bottom of the boys’ swing set, we finally hung some pictures and projects inside the house, and we’ve made nearly weekly trips to the local farmer’s market.

Ben is so thrilled to have a house with a doorbell
Mmmmm. Michigan strawberries
Independence Day parade
This was T’s first parade as a toddler and he loved all the trucks and loud things

What do you have going on for the rest of the summer? We have more short trips, wedding planning, house projects, and large road trips to look forward to in the rest of July and in August. Maybe we’ll catch up again in September?

Pending Post: Disney Recap

We went on vacation! We drove to Orlando for nearly two weeks of (mostly) computer-free family time. Once I pry photos away from Brian, I’ll write up a proper recap post. 

For now, I’ll leave you with these:

Tiny Teddy

How big is Teddy? Sooooo big! Kinda

Teddy had his 18 month well-child doctor visit this morning. I wasn’t at all surprised to discover that Teddy is a really small kid. He’s 20 lb 10 oz (8th %), 31.75″ (25th %), with a giant 19.25″ (87th %) head. He’s shy and hesitant to meet new people but hitting all the important milestones, learning new words all the time, likes reading, roughhousing, and snuggling.

In fact, Teddy was so overwhelmed by having to meet with the pediatrician this morning that after his exam, when the doctor and I were chatting about our London trip and Teddy’s development, Teddy curled up against my chest and fell asleep. That was a new experience for me! At least I don’t have to worry about Teddy being too friendly with strangers unlike Ben, who thinks everyone is a new best friend.


Meet Me Monday: Obsessed

Good morning! Did the past weekend go by far too fast for you too? We got snow on Saturday which made the whole weekend feel weird. Snow shouldn’t happen in April!

Today’s Meet Me Monday question is, “What is something you’re obsessed with?”

I am interested in a fair number of things but incredibly passionate about very few. The closest I could come to a full-blown obsession is my feelings about Disney World. As long as I can remember, I’ve loved Disney music and movies and since our marriage almost 8 (whaaaaat?!) years ago, Brian and I have vacationed at Disney World in Florida every year. Each vacation has looked different; we’ve had short, long, on-property, off-property, extended family, just the two of us, indulgent, and thrifty trips over the years.

Two-year-old Benny meeting his hero, Buzz Lightyear. He still talks about it!

Our trips look so much different now than they did before we had kids but we’re thrilled to introduce our love of Disney to our offspring. Ben is already looking forward to going back in May.

(Low Res, my apologies) Our 2015 Disney vacation family portrait. We get our photo taken in the same place every year and I love that the photos show our family growing from just the two of us, to being pregnant with Ben and Teddy and now the boys as they get bigger.

How about you? Do you share my Disney infatuation? Do you love reading? Collecting stamps? What is your obsession?

Meet Me Monday: Destress

We’ve made it to another Monday!

Today’s Meet Me Monday question is: What do you do to destress?

There’s nothing as calming for me to close the shades a little and crawling into bed to enjoy the silence

I recently learned that I’m an ISFJ personality type and like most introverted people, I need to withdraw to recharge and destress, which is a little hard to do with my little guys running around the house. When there’s another adult around to watch the boys, I like to hide in my room. Just 30 minutes of laying on my bed and reading or playing with my phone is enough to give me a boost to make it through the day.

How about you? What do you do to relax and get rid of stress?

Meet Me Monday: Funny Video

As an exercise to prompt myself to write more often, I’m going to start posting answers to conversation starter like questions every Monday. If you feel inspired, join on in by commenting or posting on your own site!

This week’s question: What was the last funny video you watched? 

I watched this video of Morgan Freeman doing a dramatic reading of the lyrics to Justin Beiber’s “Love Yourself” earlier this week and was giggling to myself the whole time. Enjoy!

Teddy Toddler Tantrums

Our Teddy is almost 18 months and has discovered that he can throw a fit. He’s really good at it too; most times the only thing I can do about them is to carefully lower his tiny, rigid body to the floor and wait for him to start sobbing over something tiny and insignificant. 

He had tantrum after tantrum for a solid hour this morning so I decided we needed a hard reset. I plopped him in his crib with toys, books, and all the comfort items he might need if he spontaneously decided to take a nap. I put a favorite Baby Einstein on my laptop across the room and crept into the bathroom for a shower.

Teddy needed some downtime

Shout out to all the parents who have already done resorted to their backup strategies to make it through the day!