Dinosaur Birthday for Two

The boys’ birthdays are two weeks apart. Two weeks after Christmas. Last year, we threw a joint birthday party for both boys and it seemed to be the perfect solution. We timed it the weekend following Jake’s actual birthday…which happened to be Superbowl Sunday. Oops. So, this year, I planned the party after Jake’s birthday and Superbowl Sunday. Putting the party almost a full month after Ty’s actual birthday. Not sure I’ll be doing this again. Not sure I’ll be able to get away with a joint party again either as Ty had a most definite opinion regarding his guest list this year. Both boys are on a major dinosaur loving kick. My mom offered to make the cake and/or cupcakes. And the cupcake toppers. She absolutely, one hundred and fifty percent outdid herself. LOVED the way everything came out and so did the boys. The toppers:
Tyson loved the googly eyes. And promptly recalled the names of each dinosaur:
The entire spread:

Dinosaur themed cupcakes complete with a volcano:

And lava:

Party table:

Birthday collages:

Tyson’s favorite part of the party place:

Jake had his air hockey:

Tyson tried to figure out the skeeball:

Rare “mommy and kiddo” photo moment:

Cupcake time. Ty tried to block out his brother, hence Jake’s face:

Blowing out the candle like a pro:

Blowing out the candle…with mouth closed. We’ll work on this:

Fun family photo. It only took about fifty attempts:

It was a really fun and special day. Loved seeing my boys surrounded by such love and support. We have the most awesome family and friends.

Christmas

No need to tell me. I know. Our boys are very spoiled. I did some shopping. The husband did some shopping. Tyson had a very Thomas Christmas:
Jake had a puzzle, Little People Christmas:
The aftermath… toy manufacturers take security precautions to the next level. Those dang wire twisty things are no joke. My fingers were numb and my nerves frayed after unwrapping/untangling all the toys:
Tyson LOVED his Thomas set. He had been wanting (read: asking a million times every.single.day for the last month for Thumper, Rocky and the boulder):

Jake’s Christmas Morning favorite was a super cool hide and seek puzzle. You lift the doors of the puzzle and there are animal magnets under each one. He loved having me move them around and then asking him to find each one:

Tyson has always loved puzzles. This Thomas set was no exception:

Then we had to wrangle the kids out the door to make the drive to Nana’s and Papa’s House. Jake was excited to pack his new pak-pak. He picked his Buzz Lightyear (which had no off switch. The whole.entire.traffic.filled.drive was made extra special with his musings: “The universe needs our help. Let’s go. Zooooooooom.”):

The whole.entire.rain.and.traffic.filled.THREE.HOUR drive:

Despite the long drive, we all had an amazing time visiting with family. The boys were entirely too spoiled. It was a two day Christmas extravaganza. Lots of love, family, and laughter. The boys are at the perfect age to make the holiday truly magical. Their excitement, their smiles, their laughter…priceless. Pure magic.


Christmas Eve

We hosted Christmas Eve this year. The Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandma, Uncle and Auntie made the trek out for the afternoon. Tyson was beside himself with excitement: more so for Grandma’s arrival than the impending visit from Santa Claus. After waiting so very patiently for everyone to eat, the boys ripped into their gifts. Tyson was a present opening tornado of mass paper destruction:
Jake was much more laid back about it all…
And done after the first present: a set of Handy Manny tools. Tornado Ty happily opened the rest of Jake’s gifts for him. And everyone else.

When I was little my mom used to take my brother and I to the fabric store, let us pick out our own fabric and made us each a blanket. Mine was always double stuffed because I ran cold and I still have my very loved Strawberry Shortcake blanket. This year, Jakey got his very own double stuffed blanket. I am way jealous.

Uncle D had just as much fun with the toys as the boys did:

Tyson was so in love with his new construction site set that we literally didn’t hear a peep out of him all night:

He played and played and played and played…

And eventually suckered his Uncle into a game of Candy Land. I can’t play with him anymore. He wins. All.the.time. And cheats. I can’t take it.

Jake LOVES his tools. He carries them around. Sings. Dances. Does this little move:

Dancing with his Chuck Truck:

Grandma, Uncle D, and Tanya made Santa his cookies. The boys were very spoiled. Very much loved on. And had an amazing night. Tyson and Jake each picked out a cookie for Santa and celery for the reindeer. And quickly zonked out for the night…


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:

LOOOOOOOOOVED 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…