Monday, August 31, 2015

Nathan is half a year old!

Thankfully we jotted down some notes so we could remember what our sweet third child was doing when he turned six months old back on May 16. :)

Nathan loves to grab things and put them directly into his mouth. He has an amazingly long reach. When we hold him during breakfast time, we have place our bowl of cereal nearly in the center of the table to avoid him grabbing the side and dumping everything out. :) Nathan also loves grabbing and sucking on his toes.

Though he still wobbles when sitting, he enjoys sitting up with the help of the Bumbo seat. He can roll both ways and purposely toward objects that he wants. He prefers to be held -- especially being held in a standing position on someone's lap or facing out.

We still get lots of comments about Nathan's beautiful hair. Most of the time, Nathan has a cute little patch of "alfalfa" hair on the top of his head. We had to give him his first haircut this month -- the back was getting SO long.

before haircut

As we've been spending much more time outside this month, Nathan has gotten quite a few mosquito bites, even if we use bug bands. Nathan seems to have sweeter blood than anyone in our family -- he'll end up with more bites than the rest of us combined. Poor guy!

Nathan flaps his arms like crazy when he gets excited -- especially when he sees Momma, Daddy, or his big brothers. Some of Nathan's favorites include peek-a-boo, silly noises, bath time, anything that's crinkly (especially disposable water bottles), swings, or being carried in the Baby Bjorn. He's starting to outgrow his activity gym and bouncy seat; they don't keep him entertained like they used to. Nathan loves watching what is going on (especially with his brothers)! He's mostly a quiet observer but will occasionally squeal or laugh with delight.

Nathan still wakes up to nurse a few times each night. He's starting to fight falling asleep in our arms at naptime as well. Instead of drifting off to sleep while we cradle him in our arms like he used to, we have to hold him upright with his head on our shoulder. He'd much rather be awake and part of the action. Nathan takes his longest naps if he's in a moving swing, but he is getting better at napping in his Pack and Play.

On Nathan's six month birthday, everyone here (Ian, Ryan, Daddy, Momma, Grammy, and Uncle Jason) took turns feeding him rice cereal mixed with breastmilk ...

He opened his mouth like a champ and seemed to know just what to do! He doesn't open his mouth as eagerly for the vitamin drops that we give him at bathtime, but that's understandable. :)

We are so in love with our little half-year old! God has richly blessed us with and through you!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ryan's race car party

We had a lot of fun celebrating sweet Ryan's three-year-old birthday with a race car party. The decorations were a lot of fun ...
a stop light to welcome all of our drivers,

a "pit stop" sign to label the bathroom,


black and red balloons to line the "race track,"

and even a lovingly designed race car sign made by big brother, Ian.

With everyone's help, we got all of the decorating and last-minute preparations done with minutes to spare! :)

When Ryan's friends started arriving, they signed the "Cool Cars" book that would be Ryan's souvenir from his party.

Cousin Isaiah helped greet our guests, including his birthday buddy, Oliver.

We kept the first part of our party outside (though unfortunately it was a pretty muggy morning!). We told our guests to run up the race track to our garage and backyard full of various play-time options ...

the car "city,"

a car racing station,

our big parking garage,
our Shake-and-Go car track,
a throw-the-beanbag-into-the-spare tire game,

and a reading center complete with many race car books.

Most of these options were played with for a short time, but the kiddos were really most excited about swinging and playing on our playset.

Meanwhile, while the youngest kiddos played, we had Ian and his buddy, Caleb, hide all of the road signs for one of our upcoming activities.

After about thirty minutes of playtime, we moved into some of our group games. The first one was the old classic "Red Light, Green Light."

All of the kiddos really liked this one,

and we played multiple rounds,
even having the kids do various moves like taking giant steps,
jumping, etc.

The Birthday Boy wanted to take a turn being the stop light, too. :)

Then we moved into the fun variation of "Are You Sleeping, Mr. Bear?" called "What Time is it, Pace Car?" Everyone had to sneak up on the "pace car," while asking that question. Eventually, the "pace car" turned around and said, "It's race time!" and tried to tag as many people as possible before they made it back to the safety of the garage.

We played this game a few times, too, always changing which kiddo or adult was the "pace car."
Then, we moved into our final activity. All of the little ones had to find eight different road signs that were hidden throughout the yard.
Mommies and daddies did a good job of helping to make sure each child found all eight different signs pictured on the posterboard.
Yay! After they did it,

everyone came inside to the dining room where they helped to finish "My Book of Traffic Signs."
They used glue sticks to attach the appropriate road sign they had found to the corresponding page in the book.
The kiddos seemed proud of their work.
While the chefs in the kitchen finished the lunch preparations, I read the kiddos some race car books, including "Mitchell's License."

Grammy and the rest of the kitchen crew did a great job putting the finishing touches on the lunch.

We ate ham and cheese sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls with various condiments, veggies, fruit, and chips.

After everyone ate, we got out the race track cake ...

..and sang "Happy Birthday" to Ryan.

He wasn't all that interested in blowing out his candle (he despises the smoke smell),
but some of his friends were happy to help him.

Ryan opened up his friends' gifts

...and then it was already time to thank everyone for coming. Ryan was excited to hand the favor (a 5-pack of Hot Wheels cars and a mini Kit-Kat bar) out to each person.

It was a great party. Thank you, family, for all of your help! We were happy to celebrate you, our thoughtful, handsome, caring, funny Ryan! We love you! :)