Sunday, June 28, 2015

Little Big Man Turns 2! Celebrations, frogs, and family photo lineup

As is the standard in our house, Jacob had a 3-day birthday celebration with three gifts spread out throughout. He opened Hannah's present right after breakfast on his actual birthday. This was the longest that I could convince her to wait to give it to him. She got him a Lightning McQueen die cast car and Mater to match. His grannah and granpah had gotten him a Cars book for Christmas that he was obsessed with, so we figured the actual cars would be a big hit.

First he unwrapped Lightning. His reaction was hysterical. He was literally shocked, like he couldn't believe his eyes that these things had jumped off the page of a book. His jaw dropped and he walked away from us, turning his back and staring seriously at Lighting, still in the package.

Then he unwrapped Mater, and with the shock worn off, he went straight into excitement mode. Mater is his favorite. When him and Hannah play cars, he only ever gives her Lightning to play with. Mater he keeps for himself.

He carried those cars around all day that day, except into the kids room at the gym. After hanging his coat in our locker, he carefully put the cars down on the floor of the locker before trotting off to the kids room. I don't know if he was concerned about losing them or having to share, but he was serious about having me lock them up.

Normally we stretch the presents out with one for each day for three days, but Eric and I were as excited as Hannah to give him ours, so we handed it over that afternoon. We bought him a set of child-sized real tools. There's a shovel, a trowel, a leaf rake, a garden rake, a hoe, and gardening gloves. Both kids have gotten a lot of use out of them this year and are currently digging "the world's largest hole" in our front yard. Fortunately we are not in the running for "the world's nicest lawn," so we're okay with things like random holes and unmowed patches (Hannah's experiment inspired by this book). 

They got right to work digging in the big pile of mulch that dad had picked up the day before. (If you're wondering, the little girl in purple is one of Hannah's school friends).

After dinner we struck up a fire and stuffed our faces with birthday 'smores. I think this may become a family a tradition...

We didn't have anything to give him the next day since we'd doubled up on his actual birthday, but his birthday was back in full swing the following day, Saturday. My family came down for a mash-up birthday-egg-hunt party. Our new yard is awesome for egg hunts!

I conned the cousins into posing for a post-egg hunt picture.

Then I conned them into sticking around for a few more minutes so I could get grammy in the frame. When my mom's birthday rolled around this year I thought some sort of a photo memorabilia would be a nice present and was shocked to learn that I have few photos of her with the kids, and the ones I do have are not particularly good. Apparently I am too busy talking when we hang out to take pictures, so, for to make future holidays and birthdays easier, I'm trying to balance my talking with picture taking.

After a pizza lunch, we broke out the cake. Strawberry shortcake. Jacob was clearly thrilled.

Then grammy gave him her present, and the kids took turn racing cars down the wooden slopes.

My aunt and uncle came for the day as well, and since I again realized that I rarely, if ever, take photos of the important adults in our lives, I made sure to corner them before they left and pull my kids into the shot as well.

While Jacob and Mason napped, Hannah and Clay and the daddies pulled toads out of the pool and carried them down the stream.

Their eggs are so cool!

After about an hour, Mason was out there catching frogs with the big kids.

By this point Clay had tired immensely of my constant request for him to stop having fun and smile for another pictures. He hit his limit for snap-happy aunt Terri!

They even caught two mating frogs, and in spite of the children's fascination, those frogs kept right on mating. I get it that animals aren't modest, but it still seems like being picked up and carried around would be a bit of a mood killer.

They spent the afternoon catching and releasing toads, climbing, and playing by the stream.

Then we found some salamanders under a log.

Shortly after his big birthday celebration, Jacob went in for his 2-year checkup. I haven't been as good about posting his milestones and measurements and all that jazz like I was with Hannah, but since I happen to have left the measurement paper that the pediatrician sent me home with right here by my computer for the last few months, here they are: on April 9, he weight 29.5 lbs and was 34.5 in. tall. That puts him in the 68th percentile for weight and 61st for height, so, he's pretty average in size.

As for milestones, he's always been very communicative, having picked up sign language early on and then quickly taken to creating his own signs. He started talking a lot more after his second birthday too, which is similar to Hannah, but where she was mostly pretty quiet and uncommunicative until her mouth could form the words clearly, Jacob has been babbling and signing for quite some time. He's leaving the house in underwear most days, but we still have diaper days as well, and our underwear days are rarely over without a few wardrobe changes. He definitely fits the stereotype of boy more so than Hannah with his love of cars and construction equipment and "hi ya" chopping/hitting....Of course, he also enjoys rocking Hannah's baby to sleep and will say "aww" when he sees a cute baby animal, so hopefully he's getting a balanced upbringing.

And now, for my favorite tradition, one I have totally sucked at keeping up with Jacob, here's the whole fam at age 2:


Eric is actually only about 18 months in that picture, but his face is hard to see in the one I have of him at 2 (it's on Hannah's 2-year birthday post if you want to see it).

Disclaimer: I'm so tired and eager to cross this off my to do list that I'm not going to read it again to edit...this is never a good idea, but I'm doing it anyway. Don't judge please.

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