Thursday, September 29, 2011

Garden Faire, Being Crafty, and other random things

 Recently, Ian has been very interested in how things are spelled. We'll spend 5-10 minutes after dinner most nights spelling random words as Ian spells them back one letter at a time. Grammy had the idea of WRITING the letters while we spell them so Ian can see the words written out, too. What a great idea! It's easy to use the chalkboard easel (from Uncle Andrew & Aunt Sarah) we keep in our kitchen to do that. :) Ian also enjoys drawing on the chalkboard, especially lines and zigzags.

Last Saturday, Matt took Ian to the Mercer Arboretum Garden Faire. We stumbled upon this festival last year and thought it was so much fun! This year, Ian enjoyed the free train rides just as much as he did last year.
 But this year, he was able to ride in his very own car!
 Daddy and Ian stopped for a snack and then moved on to some of the activities.
 Ian wasn't interested in the arts/crafts activities this year, but he did like playing with random sticks on the ground as well as seeing the policeman's horse.
 Our little butterfly ... :)
 Riding on the train for the THIRD time!

While Matt and Ian were at the Garden Faire, Kim was getting some of the 150 professional development hours she needs to renew her teaching certificate next December. (Thankfully, she has only about 35 to go!) Kim went with some friends to the Houston Puppetry Festival. All of the workshops were "make and take" ones, so Kim got to be a little crafty!
 This dog was made out of two mini cereal boxes.

 This little boy is created from carpet foam, a paper plate, and felt.

 And this one is Ian's favorite -- The Itsy Bitsy Spider in a cup! He likes to hold up each puppet as Kim (and he) sing. See the below video.

Kim also got to be crafty when our small group had a baby shower for Martha! Even though the Wilton website considered this to be an "easy" pattern, they were a little tricky for this novice cupcake-decorator. Maybe part of it was that I modified a few things (using chocolate chips and Laffy Taffy instead of the candy chips recommended). They ended up looking a little creepy but tasting pretty good! :)
Ian continues to love being helpful around the house. One of his recent favorite chores is helping to gather the garbage from all of the rooms of the house and then dragging the garbage bag to the curb himself.

This video shows one of Ian's current favorite prayers. Notice that he's attempting to snap with the song. (Sorry Kim's voice is a little overpowering ... oops!)

Ian certainly makes us laugh with the things that he’s saying now. He wants to be involved in every conversation and gets a little disgruntled when Matt and I are having our own conversation. He’ll keep asking, “Are you done talking yet?” It’s especially funny to listen to what he says while he’s trying to fall asleep at night. He loves to sing himself Sunday school songs or retell things that have happened recently. There are two topics that he seems to talk about often. He’ll often talk about our eye colors, saying something like, “Daddy has green eyes. Momma has blue eyes. Ian has blue eyes, too.” He also loves to talk about an experience we had at a mall play place where I had to correct another little girl who wasn’t being polite. He’ll tell himself in the crib, “The little girl said (then he’ll make a spitting sound), and Momma said, ‘Don’t do that. It’s not nice.’” It apparently made a big impression on him.  Ha ha.  If any of his friends "get in trouble" during our time with them, Ian doesn't even seem to notice it at the time. But, he'll keep retelling me over and over about what happened when we get home. Not surprisingly, when he's the one that gets in trouble, we don't hear much about that ever again. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some firsts ...

 On Sunday at nap time, Ian slept in his big boy bed for the first time! Momma and Ian read books together in his bed, and Ian took a nice long nap!
 Even though it seemed to be a very positive experience, Ian has asked to sleep in his crib ever since then. We're guessing that the crib is just what he's used to, and we're not going to force the issue yet. :)
 On Sunday night, we had a family movie night and watched part of "Rio." Ian thought it was SO much fun to watch a movie with the lights off and eat some popcorn!
 Ian had his first bath in Momma & Daddy's jacuzzi tub. He loved the water and the bubbles but thought the jets were really scary and loud!
 The best part was watching the bubbles come out through the top of the funnel.
 Ian loves helping Momma vacuum the baseboards (a job Kim really doesn't like ... go,Ian!).
We had a friend from church over for lunch on Tuesday. Ian loved showing her all of his toys and the rooms in our house. She did a great job playing and interacting with him ... and even brought him gummy bears! What a treat!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fun Activities and Big Boy Room

 One of Ian's favorite outdoor activities is seen above (both in the picture and in the video). He asks us to draw various shapes on the ground, and then we give him directions on how to get between the shapes. (like "Can you put your elbow on the square?" or "Can you gallop to the octagon?") He thinks it's the best game ever! I was thinking that maybe I could modify the game by using letters of the alphabet instead of shapes!
 Before I ran to get the camera, Ian was using the tongs to take the puzzle pieces out and put them back in. I told Matt that he's going to LOVE the board game Operation in a few years. :)
 One day this week, Ian asked if we could eat lunch "in the house" (in his play structure). Since the weather has been a little cooler, I thought that was a great idea! He loved peeking over the fence and watching birds go to our neighbors' birdfeeder while he was eating his lunch.
 Ian's big boy room is almost done! Matt put up the light-canceling blinds! They work very well at keeping out the early-morning sunlight coming through the east-facing window.
 We also put up the border (removable and self-stick... it's the best invention ever!!) as well as the vehicle wall clings (also self-stick and removable!!).
 We hung up wall hangings and got his bedding all set!
 Ian loves climbing onto his bed and showing his room to everyone that comes over.
 We moved the furniture from our bedroom up into Ian's room. (Our new bedroom furniture should be delivered within a week, we're guessing! We can't wait!)
All that we still need to do is move over the clothes and items from Ian's nursery into his big boy room and get the bed rail up. This weekend, Ian will spend his first night in his big boy bed! :)

Professional Photo Shoot!

 Our friend Tanya did a professional photo shoot with us over Labor Day weekend. Here are some of our favorite pictures! (You'll certainly see these pictures again ... around our house, on our Christmas card, etc.). Tanya certainly has an eye for photography, doesn't she?? If you live in the Houston area, you may want to give Tanya a call for wedding, infant, child, or family photography! :) Her blog is All pictures here are printed with permission from Tanya Alexandra Photography.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy September!

A few months ago, we found this Cozy Coupe on a really good sale and meant to give it to Ian for his birthday. We didn't get around to setting it up until this week. Ian has been having a great time zooming down the driveway. About 3/4 of the way down, he picks up his feet and just coasts out into our cul-de-sac. (It definitely reminds Kim of Uncle Andrew as a little boy!)

One fun activity last week was water balloons. Ian had never seen one before! He loved "helping" to fill them up, squeezing them,

and throwing them! He quickly learned that they popped most quickly when he threw them onto the grass. He also quickly learned how fun it was to play with the filled balloons before they were tied off .... especially if it involved getting Momma soaked!
We continue to make progress on Ian's big boy room! My friend, Lauren, helped to give me some crafty suggestions on how to decorate these letters for Ian's wall. Now, the entire room (walls, ceiling, trim, and doors) are painted. Next up are adding the border, arranging the furniture, and decorating the walls! We're within just a few weeks of being all done! :)
Last Friday, Ian and I met some friends at the fountains on Market Street. It turned out to be a great way for Ian, Carson, and Nate to beat the heat!

As usual, Ian did not mind at all getting his face completely wet.
This time, we brought some water toys along. It was amusing to see how Ian thought to use the funnel.
Nate liked trying to catch the water coming from the funnel in a bucket. Thanks for the fun morning, Elisabeth, Elaine, and Carole! :)
We celebrated Labor Day by going to the zoo. The weather was beautiful, so it seemed like most Houstonians had the same idea. :) The meerkats were still a big hit for Ian.
Ian crawled through the aquarium tunnel for the first (and second and third) time ever.

The guys also got an up-close view for the elephant bath!

It's always fun to spend a day with Daddy! :)
On Tuesday, we set out to make "Clean Mush" (another idea from Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos.) Ian helped to grate a bar of Ivory soap and add 1/2 cup of Borax.
He then helped to unroll a roll of toilet paper (a big hit!) and add water.
The resulting "clean mush" was so much fun to squish, pick up with tongs (just like at Aunt Amy's house!), drop on the ground, and stomp on!