Turkey Crafts

A rainy Sunday + First women’s basketball game of the season = The boys and I were on our own all day = Perfect opportunity for some crafty fun. A few weeks ago, I picked up a craft kit at Michael’s and broke it out this afternoon. The boys LOVED it. It was a simple turkey making kit: paper plate, foam pieces, and you add glue. I made a quick sample for the boys:
Handed each kiddo a full set of supplies:
Washable glue from Lakeshore made this activity entirely possible. Jake was intrigued by the sparkle:

It didn’t take long for both of them to go to town:

Jake was ALLLLLLLL about the glue:


Tyson was much more particular about putting his turkey together:

He quickly figured out that dipping some pieces was faster than using the popsicle stick. Smart boy:

Turkey making machine:

I will say that the glue washed off incredibly easy and as much as I feared the clean up and mess…it wasn’t bad at all. More glue. Never enough. Apparently:

Happy boy:

Jake’s finished turkey:

And as he began his second…he decided he was done in true toddler fashion:

Tyson happily took over. One of Ty’s three finished creations:

Ty’s turkey line up:

Our finished flock:


Pumpkin Carving

The Daddy-man has been super duper busy with work so he and Ty had some special Daddy-Ty time carving pumpkins while Jake napped. Tyson was really excited and ready to go:
Daddy and Ty time:
Super excited and ready to go…until you asked him to put his hand in there. You want me to do WHAT. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Yucky, he says:

The answer: a pair of gloves. And he’s back in the game:

LOVED his little gardening gloves. Good thing, cause this Mama doesn’t garden and he’s not likely to get much other use out of them:

And then the camera battery died. No finish photo. Will have to re-stage Halloween pictures another day. They’ll never know. Right?

Pine Cone Bird Feeders

The boys and I got out early today in an attempt to make it to the park before the heat. While we were there, we went on a mini treasure hunt and came across a stash of pine cones. I let Tyson pick out two special pine cones and told him we’d make something special when we got home: bird feeders. I wrapped each pine cone with ribbon. Smudged on peanut butter:
And let Ty dip and roll them in bird seed:
Our finished product:

We headed outside and I let him pick where he wanted to hang them. He picked one spot in front our big window in the play room:

And another hanging from the little tree in the very front of our yard:

And then he stood and watched. And watched. And watched:

With his “noculars”:

Super easy project. Tyson LOVED it. Of the many things he has learned at school, they have really fostered a love of nature and animals. He is allowed to “work” the garden and feed/care for the chickens. As a result, he has become such an empathetic little guy when it comes to animals. I couldn’t ask for more.

Ty’s First Last Day of School

Then and now. First day and last day. September and June.
THEN: size 8 shoe, size 3T clothes. NOW: size 10 1/2 shoe, BIG BOY size 4 clothes.
Still LOVING trains…

Las Vegas

Being the amazingly devoted basketball fan that I am (read: no way I would let my husband enjoy five days and four nights of uninterrupted sleep in a blissful hotel room by himself), the boys and I decided to join him on his last work trip to Vegas. Tyson couldn’t stop talking about going on an airplane and was so so so excited. BOTH boys were amazing on the flight. Ty took in the sights and watched the portable DVD player. Jake slept. Waiting to board the plane:

Our first night there we walked the Strip with the boys. They literally sat on the edges of their seats and took in all the lights, sounds, and overall craziness that is Vegas. Both boys were absolutely amazed by the Bellagio water show and Mirage volcano. As we walked down the street, Jake would dance as he heard music coming from various hotels and casinos which garnered us many smiles and laughs from the strangers walking by:
Our first full day in Vegas, the husband was stuck in meetings all day so I took the boys to the Lied Children’s Discovery Museum. It is a cross between our local Studio Grow and the Exploritorium. The bottom floor was very much like Studio Grow: a play construction area, an infant crawl and shape sorting area, a drawing/craft room, a bubble/water play area, and a big room that resembled a small town- bank, auto shop, grocery store, airport, hardware store. Tyson had a great time working the assembly line and passing the blocks down to Jacob waiting at the end:
There was just as much for Jake to enjoy as Ty…which is rare. And I had to get a picture of Jake’s outfit. Still one of my all time favorite outfits…I am sure one day the boys will hate me for the number of pictures of both of them in it. It’s okay. Doesn’t bother me. They both look so darn cute:

The air pipes. Put ball in and it zips up the pipes. The boys played here for a good ten minutes:

Similar exhibit to the one above only the air shoots out of the cone. Jake couldn’t get enough:

For PopPop, check out Ty’s pipe building skillz. Not bad:

Jake enjoying the infant play area:

Not enjoying my impromptu photo shoot:

Water play. Put the plastic dividers in and watch the boat go:

Hehehe. Ty trying SOOOOOOO hard to blow a big bubble…

And he finally got it:

Jake working the airport luggage station. Take luggage off. Put luggage on. Take luggage off. Put luggage on. Apparently, a thoroughly entertaining exhibit for a one year old. Note Ty’s absence. He wasn’t interested in the least:

He was busy fixing cars in the Auto Shop. Every time you work the drill correctly a loud sound came out of the car. He LOVED:

Practicing car maintenance:

Upstairs on the science floor. Learning about gravity:

And nutrition. Match the food item with it’s proper food group:

Can you guess who was asked NOT TO CLIMB into the below exhibit? His name rhymes with Shyson:

Learning about music. A laser harp. My little music LOVER LOVED:

Trying to walk in anti-gravity boots. Harder than it looks. I think I may need to find a pair of these bad boys in Ty’s size. They REALLY slowed him down. Like really really slowed him down:

Back downstairs for one last loop. Enjoying the grocery store and it’s cash register…especially the button that made it *BEEEEEEP* *BEEEEEEP* over. And over. And over.

Meanwhile, Jacob enjoyed clearing the shelf entirely of all its contents:

Working hard to move the Lego blocks:

While Jake chilled in the front of the truck:

And knocked off Lego blocks whenever they got close enough…which eventually led to our departure:

While Jake napped, Ty hung out and watched movies:

Our second full day, Daddy was again stuck in meetings and we headed over to the Mirage Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat:

It made me a little nervous just how close we were to this big guy:

It was surreal how close we were to the dolphins. We could have literally reached out and touched them on a few occasions:

Jacob…trying to literally reach out and touch them:

There wasn’t a “show” but the dolphins are exercised every twenty minutes or so:

Again, so so so close:

Exploring the Venetian (read: buying Mommy a blended coffee from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf). Tyson LOOOOVED the gondolas. I told him to look at the boats and he promptly corrected me by telling me they weren’t boats they were gondolas. Excuse me.

Last full day. We headed over to the Mandalay Bay Aquarium. Tyson was absolutely beside himself with excitement. There was an underwater ship exhibit with floor to ceiling glass windows…and lots of sharks, big sharks, fish, and turtles. I think Ty sat in front of that window for a good twenty minutes:

And…enjoying the second half of the game from the best seat in the house. And enjoying the free popcorn. Cookies. Water. Snacks.

While traveling with two kiddos certainly posed its challenges- especially the logistics of getting two big suitcases, two carry on bags, two backpacks, two kids, and a double stroller from the car to the airport. From the airport to the hotel. We managed to figure it out and have a really really amazing trip.

A Birthday Party for TWO

We had a party for the boys at Bounce U Superbowl Weekend *gasp*. I really can’t rave enough about Bounce U. We literally didn’t have to do any party prep. We just showed up…and had fun. Both bounce rooms were ours and EVERYONE looked to have a really good time. Grown ups included. The kids started the party off with a safety video. Tyson impatiently waiting for the fun to begin:
I definitely had just as much fun as the kiddos. Jake LOVED the slides and bouncers:
Climbing up each time was no joke. Especially when carrying a 24 pound one year old:
Did I mention the curly-haired-ONE-year-old LOVED each and every minute of it:

As did the super-excited-THREE-year-old Ty:

An attempt at a group shot. Note the one kid not cooperating. Shocking, I know:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t back up anymore and didn’t have a different lens…but a pretty good shot of everyone. Sorry, Orion for cutting off your cute little face:

Tyson’s favorite part- the birthday cake- or a new Lightning McQueen and Mater car:

Impatiently waiting for everyone to finish singing Happy Birthday…he desperately wanted his hands on those cars:

Jakey’s special egg-free cupcake:

Making a wish and blowing out the candles:

And a happy camper, finally:

Enjoying the goods:

Also enjoying the goods. Can you tell:

Thank you everyone for coming out on Superbowl Sunday to party with the boys. They are so loved. We are very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family.

Future Soccer Star

Tyson started Daddy and Me Soccer two weeks ago. It is likely the first of many more sporting endeavors to come:

3rd Birthday Letter

Dear Tyson,
More so than the last two years, it is hard to communicate everything I would like to in words. Every year, around your birthday I am catapulted into this frenzy of remembrance and visions of your actual birthday bounce through my head. Memories of the last three years fill my heart and my mind. I had no idea before you were born what it meant to be a mom. I had no idea how much one little baby could change my life. My house. My car. My sleep. You have grown more than I ever imagined possible in the last twelve months:
You became a big brother. Loving and protective:
Your boundless energy keeps me on my toes. Keeps me busy. Keeps me young. You are one of very few people that can keep up with me at the Rez. I look forward to many running adventures in the near future. You are inquisitive. Exceptionally mechanical. Fearless.

Yet, you love to create. Your stepping stone sits proudly on our front walkway and always reminds me of this day. You have taught me the beauty of coloring outside the lines. Opened my color palette. Made our glider your “own”:

You have outgrown your Chandler Bing “CHEEEEESE” smile *thank goodness* and are now quite the ham…when I can slow you down enough to take a picture:

You learned a new phrase, “I do myself” and use it for both good and bad. You love to help wash Mommy’s car and even remind her when it is need of cleaning. Frequently. You often push out your car and wash it while Mommy washes hers:

You started preschool. As in drop off and leave preschool. I think it may have been harder for Mommy than it was for you. It only took a few weeks to get the hang of it and you now tell Mommy to leave so you can get on with your playing. You are particularly fond of Garden Kevin, the garden, and the chickens. You are so lucky to go to a school that introduces you to such fabulous things.

If one word could describe YOUR favorite toy this year it would simply be: TRAINS. You can’t get enough. Your ability to recall the names of each and every train simply by looking at their face is mind boggling. Amazing. You also love your books, especially your “I Spy” books. I often catch you reading until late at night in bed with a secret stash of books you have smuggled into your room. You build fun towers with your Duplos and rock puzzles. You knock out your 24-piece puzzles like nothing often putting your Mommy and Daddy to shame with your puzzle skillz:

You are silly. Funny. And have a great sense of humor. You make us laugh daily.

You love to sing. DANCE. You are truly entertaining when it comes to the Freeze Dance…just thinking about you dancing and playing the Freeze Dance Game brings a smile to my face. You discovered the “marmonica” at Christmas and are really good:

Despite your rough and tumble ways, you have the sweetest, most gentle nurturing side. You are so careful and loving with your stuffed animals. You make sure they are warm, fed, and happy. Your newest friend, The Big Bad Wolf, hasn’t left your side since you got him:

You continue to challenge me to become the best Mama I can. You have taught me patience. Forgiveness. How to let go. You have given me new eyes through which the world is different. Happier. Sappier. Ooey-gooey-er. We love you more than a letter could ever express.
Happy 3rd Birthday, Ty Ty!!
Mom and Dad

Tyson’s FIRST First Day of School

The first of many many more to come…
First day of preschool:

I realize that our lives will now revolve around a schedule of September to June school years. I hope to keep a record of first day of school photos and last day of school photos. Tyson has absolutely flourished because of school. He’s reached an age where school provides so much more than I can at home and it shows. I am so proud of my little man. Happy First Day. Looking forward to seeing what this school year brings…

Ty’s First Last Day of School

Tyson has had his first two last day’s of school in the last couple of weeks. He attends two different toddler classes and we have LOVED them both. While our school career started off very rocky, he has grown and matured so much since last fall. Independence. Vocabulary. Social Skills. Separation. Structure. Sitting to eat. Following rules. Listening to other adults. Asking for help. Taking turns. Numbers. Colors. And perhaps my favorite thing thus far, Ty’s first art portfolio:
“Art” only a mom could love:
Also known as “five second don’t-want-to-sit-at-the-art-table art”: