Sunday, September 30, 2012

Family Birthday Brunch

On Sunday we went to Nel Centro, our favorite family brunch spot, for a birthday celebration.  For the 3rd year in a row, we are celebrating THREE family birthdays -- Ryan, me (Lee), and Gramma. Amy flew up from SF to be with us. Mike, Jake, and Papa were also there.

Yay, opening a present!

Both boys got a car to play with to entertain themselves while waiting for the food to arrive.
After a delicious brunch, a few more birthday presents.
Then all 4 boys went home while Amy, Mom, and I went shopping. 

Took some pictures when they dropped me off at home.

Before they left, Ryan got his final birthday present from Gramma and Papa -- one that was too noisy to open at the restaurant. He loved his new saxophone and the music it plays.
Happy birthday to the 3 generations!

Ryan -- 24 Months/TWO YEARS OLD

Dear Ryan, 

You're 2 years old! Wow! You are such an incredible little boy, and we've been watching you blossom before our very eyes. How lucky for us. 
You love taking baths, and now you finally love bubble baths (you were completely scared of them when you were around 1). Afterwards it's fun to put on your robe and be cozy.
Being in a carrier with mommy or daddy is still a fun thing to do, although we do it less often now that you're getting bigger and you like to use your legs more often. This red yamo carrier has been used so much with both you and Jake, that the chest strap broke and had to be replaced!
Along with your growing body have come many falls, bumps, bruises and scrapes :( Luckily, you mostly take it in stride.
You have a great sense of humor!

What else has been happening? You've started to draw straight lines instead of only random squiggles. Your hair has been getting a bit darker -- starting to see some light brown growing in underneath the blonde. You're starting to figure out how it works to flash the lights in the house in order to get mommy or daddy's attention -- a great step to being more independent our home! 

Speaking of being independent, it's clear you have your mother's stubborn streak. When 2 stubborn libras are together, it's not always pretty, but we're learning and I love you times a million no matter what. 

However, the very best thing is your communication development. Shortly before turning 2, you started putting together 2 word sentences on a regular basis! Since then, you have been talking much more (both in sign language and in English) and it makes you so happy when you can make yourself understood. 
So to my sweet, happy, assertive, stubborn, snuggly 2 year old -- I love you so, so much and am so excited to see you continue to grow.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ryan's 2nd Birthday Party!

Happy Birthday, Ryan!! We celebrated your birthday on Friday afternoon after Jake was finished with school. 

Lemon cupcakes with lemon frosting.

We played a game where I pulled animals out of a bag and the kids had to say what sound that animal made. The littles -- Ryan, Porter, and Silas and the big brothers -- Jake, Max, and Finley loved it.

This is the sweetest picture.

Presents! Hot wheels from Jake.
Take-apart/build airplane from Silas and Finley.
And wooden pizza from Porter and Max!
It was a great party, simple and everyone had fun.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Soccer 2012

This year Jake joined the soccer team, the Cheetahs. Most of his team played last year, but Jake has quickly learned the game and has been having a great time playing! 

This is a bit of video from the very first game. I'll have to remember to take a video at the last game to show the difference in their playing!
Jake's good friend Cole (from preschool) is on the team. Ryan likes to hang out with Cole's brother, Logan.
 At the 3rd soccer game, the assistant coach's sister was kind enough to take team pictures!

 I LOVE this picture. Happy soccer boys!
 They are an awesome team. They've won all 4 games played to date.

I love going to the games. Being forced out of the house early on a beautiful Saturday morning and getting to watch the action and chat with friends while drinking my weekly cup of coffee has been bliss.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Zoo Day!

We received a family zoo membership as a gift from my parents after not having one for about 1.5 years, but hadn't had a chance to use it for the month that we'd had it. After noting that it was going to be a beautiful day on Friday, and with Ryan's Friday music classes not starting for another 2 weeks, I decided to keep Jake out of school and take both of them for a long morning at the zoo. I'm so glad we did -- we had a fantastic time. 

Because the zoo is so large, we have to pick and choose which sections we want to go through. Today it was the Pacific Northwest section. The mountain goats and black bears were awake and eating. 

In the replica of an eagle's nest.

 Oregon toad. He came right up against the window while we were there and was staring at us staring at him.
 Inside the elephant museum.
Watching the elephants.
 We got right on the train (no waiting in line) about 5 minutes before the train left the station. It was a nice, long ride around Washington Park and the zoo. We loved it and the weather was perfect for it.
 The sea lion was in rare form today -- sunning himself on the rock and making quite a show.

 The obligatory picture with the mountain goat statue :)
One of the best parts of this zoo trip is that Jake is now old enough to be interested in the information about the animals: reading the signs, asking questions, and having dialoges about zoo life. It was a neat parenting moment :)